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  1. Christianity General introduction

  2. Fra Angelico. Christ on the Cross Adored by St. Dominic. c.1442. Fresco, 340 x 206. Cloister, Museo di San Marco, Florence, Italy “Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judaeorum.” In Latin, the letter J can always be represented by I, so the letters INRI are the first letters of those words: Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews

  3. Outline • Introduction • Part I. Definition • Part II. Jesus Christ • Part III. The three major branches • Conclusion • References

  4. Introduction • Christianity is intended for the whole world from the prophecies that foreshadowed it in the Old Testament • Among these were the promises made to Abraham and his descendants, the constantly recurring note of which is that in them “all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” • Christianity is now the most widely distributed of the world religions: in the late 1990s, its total membership exceeded 1.9 billion people

  5. Giotto.The Carrying of the Cross. 1304-1306. Fresco. Capella degli Scrovegni, Padua, Italy

  6. Part I. Definition • Christianity is a system of religious belief and practice which was taught by Jesus Christ in the country of Palestine, during the reign of the roman Emperor, Tiberius • Knowledge about the origin of Christianity and its earliest developments are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures and various sub-Apostolic writings • Centrality of the person of Jesus Christ:Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection made the cross the chief focus of Christian faith and devotion • Jesus is the Messiah, the expected of the nations, whose mission was to undo the effects of the Fall and to reconcile man with God; and he claimed to be himself God, equal to, and one with, the Father

  7. Part II. Jesus Christ • What is known of Jesus, historically, is told in the Gospels of the New Testament of the Bible • Jesus (between 8 and 4 BC-AD 29?) central figure of Christianity, born in Bethlehem in Judea • Having been divinely conceived by Mary, the wife of Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth • The Jewish people conspired with Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, to arrest and kill Jesus • Jesus was taken before the procurator, Pontius Pilate, for sentencing: taken to Golgotha and executed by crucifixion, the Roman punishment for political offenders and criminals • Miracle of his resurrection from the dead on the first Easter

  8. Fra Angelico. Arrest of Christ. c.1450. Fresco, 182 x 181. Museo di San Marco, Cell 33, Florence, Italy

  9. Part III. The three major branches • The Orthodox church is a fellowship of independent churches; the word orthodox from Greek “right-believing”; by the year 2000 the Orthodox Church had about 215 million adherents; zone: Eastern Europe; Greek culture • Protestantism began as a movement to reform the Western Christian church in the 16th century; Martin Luther’s publication, in 1517, of his Ninety-five Theses; John Calvin, a French theologian in Geneva in 1536; zone: USA, Northern Europe; reject the Roman Catholic position giving ultimate authority to the pope; 400 million Protestants; Anglo-Saxon • The Roman Catholic Church; Greek katholikos means “universal”; supreme authority of the bishop of Rome, the pope; 1 billion Catholics; zone: Southern Europe and America; Latin

  10. Conclusion • By rising from the dead, Jesus gave humanity hope of a life after death; Christians therefore call Jesus “Son of God” • After his resurrection, Jesus instructed his disciples and commissioned them to “Go ... and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19) • Jesus reconciled humanity to God and the cross became the symbol of the saving love of God the Father • The love of God and the love of neighbor are the two chief commandments in the ethical message of Jesus

  11. References • • • • • • • •