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The Rise of Christianity. Chapter 6 Unit 3 Notes. The Rise of Christianity. Main Idea RELIGIOUS AND ETHICAL SYSTEMS: Christianity rose in Rome occupied Judea and spread through the Empire Why Now? Christianity has over a billion followers TERMS:

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the rise of christianity

The Rise of Christianity

Chapter 6 Unit 3


the rise of christianity2
The Rise of Christianity
  • Main Idea
    • RELIGIOUS AND ETHICAL SYSTEMS: Christianity rose in Rome occupied Judea and spread through the Empire
  • Why Now?
    • Christianity has over a billion followers
  • TERMS:
    • Jesus, Apostle, Paul, Diaspora, Constantine, bishop, Peter, and pope
the rise of christianity3
The Rise of Christianity
  • Setting the Stage:
    • Roman gods were worshipped in an impersonal way and without emotion
    • Christianity developed out of a movement in Judaism, emphasized personal relationships with God and people
      • Attracted Romans
the life and teaching of jesus
The Life and Teaching of Jesus
  • 63 BC Judea under Roman control, maintained independence till AD 6 = province of the empire
  • Jews believed that a Messiah (savior) would arrive and restore the Kingdom of the Jews
the life and teachings of jesus
The Life and Teachings of Jesus

Jesus of Nazareth

  • Between 6-4 BC a Jew names Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Judea
  • Raised in Nazareth (N. of Palestine)
  • Baptized by John the Baptist and became a carpenter
  • 30 began public ministry
    • 3 years taught, did good deeds, and performed miracles
    • Monotheism
    • 10 Commandments
    • Emphasized personal relationship with God
    • Love (for ALL, even enemies)
    • Reward of eternal kingdom after death for those who repent
the life and teachings of jesus6
The Life and Teachings of Jesus

A Growing Movement

  • Main source of information is from the Gospels
  • Apostles: Jesus’ disciples (pupils) wrote the Gospels
  • Message appealed to poor (Jesus ignored wealth and social status)
the life and teachings of jesus7
The Life and Teachings of Jesus

Jesus’ Death

  • His popularity concerned Roman leaders
  • AD 29 he was greeted as a King (Messiah) in Jerusalem
    • Chief Jewish priests denied he was the Messiah and said his teachings were blasphemy
  • Roman Governor Pontius Pilate accused him of defying the authority of Rome
    • Arrested and crucified
the life and teachings of jesus8
The Life and Teachings of Jesus

Jesus’ Death con’t….

  • Placed body in tomb - according to Gospels his body was gone after 3 days and he started appearing to his followers
    • Then he ascended into heaven
  • Ascension made his followers believe he was the Messiah
    • Jesus Christ (Christos, Greek for “messiah” and “savior”) derives Christianity
christianity spreads through the empire
Christianity Spreads Through the Empire
  • Followers continued to spread beliefs about Jesus
  • Teachings were based on Jewish traditions BUT soon began to create a new religion
    • Christianity spread slowly but steadily
christianity spreads through the empire10
Christianity Spreads Through the Empire

Paul’s Mission

  • Apostle, didn’t follow Jesus, but had a vision of Christ and then devoted his life to Christ’s teachings
  • Pax Romana allowed ideas to spread safely
    • Common language - Latin and Greek
    • Paul wrote Epistles (Letters) to believers
      • Stressed Jesus as son of God who died for our sins
      • Welcomed converts Jews or Gentiles (non-Jews)
christianity spreads through the empire11
Christianity Spreads Through the Empire

Jewish Rebellion

  • In 66 a group of Jews revolted against Rome
  • In 70 Rome stormed and destroyed the temple
    • All that is left is the western wall (today the holy shrine of the Jews)
    • 1/2 million Jews were killed in the rebellion
  • 132 tried again to break free from Rome
    • 1/2 million died again
    • Religion survived but Jews were driven from homeland in what is known as the Diaspora.
christianity spreads through the empire12
Christianity Spreads Through the Empire

Persecution of the Christians

  • Christians refused to worship Roman Gods\
    • Rome saw as an opposition
      • Also used to scapegoat political and economic problems
  • Conclusion of the Pax Romana persecution intensified
    • Made martyrs (person who sacrifices life for beliefs) for Christianity
a world religion
A World Religion
  • Late 3rd c. million Christians in Roman Empire
  • Christianity grew because:
    • Embraced all people
    • Hope to powerless
    • Appealed to people who didn’t like extravagance of Rome
    • Personal relationship with God
    • Promised eternal life after death
a world religion14
A World Religion

Constantine Accepts Christianity

  • 312 emperor Constantine was fighting in a battle and he prayed for divine help
    • Saw a cross in the sky (symbol of Christianity)
    • Ordered his men to put crosses on their shields and they WON
    • Credited his success to the Christian God
  • 313 ended the persecution of the Christians
    • Edict of Milan: declared Christianity to be one of the approved religions of the empire
  • 380 Theodosius made it the official religion
a world religion15
A World Religion

Early Christian Church

  • Hierarchy: organized in ranks in an order where the levels are subject to authority of levels above
    • Local level: priests
    • Bishops: supervise priests and local churches
      • Peter was the 1st bishop “rock” on which to build the church
    • Pope: father (head) of church, is the bishop of Rome = should be the leader of the entire church
a world religion16
A World Religion

A Single Voice

  • As Christianity grew disagreements grew
    • New Testament: official standard beliefs
      • Added Hebrew bible, Christians call it the Old Testament
  • 325 Constantine called a meeting in Nicaea, Anatolia = Nicene Creed or basic beliefs of the Church
a world religion17
A World Religion

The Fathers of the Church

  • Augustine, bishop in Hippo, N. Africa
    • People needed the grace of God to be saved
    • Had to received Sacraments to belong to the Church and achieve grace (salvation)
    • The City of God written after the fall of Rome, fate of Rome not important because God’s city could never be destroyed
  • Meanwhile Rome was crumbling….


  • belief that Jesus is Messiah
  • Acceptance of Gentiles and Jews alike
  • BOTH
  • Belief in one God
  • 10 Commandments
  • Jewish
  • Belief that Jews are the chosen people
  • Adherence to Jewish laws
what is judaism
What is Judaism
  • First religion to teach the existence of one god
  • The Torah (5 books of Hebrew Bible)
  • 3 sects of Judaism: (split happened in 19th c. over intepretation of the Torah)
    • Reform: Tried to adapt to western world
    • Orthodox: Follow dietary (kosher) laws and follow Torah literally
      • Kosher Laws:
        • “beast of earth” that chew cub and have cloven hooves
        • Fish must have fins and scales
        • All fruits and vegetables are kosher (excluding grapes) unless there is a bug on it
    • Conservative: Tries to balance the Reform and the Orthodox Jews
what is christianity
What is Christianity?
  • Belief that Jesus is the son of God
  • It is based on the life and teaching of Jesus
  • Largest world religion - 2 billion followers
  • Christianity can be broken into 3 groups:
    • Roman Catholic
    • Protestant (Lutheran, Episcopal, Mormon, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist)
    • Eastern Orthodox