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Christianity: Historical Background PowerPoint Presentation
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Christianity: Historical Background

Christianity: Historical Background

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Christianity: Historical Background

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  1. Christianity: Historical Background Quest for the Historical Jesus Josephus, Pliny Jesus of Nazareth (5BC? -27 AD?) • Jewish Rabbi • Faith Healer • Exorcist

  2. Christianity • Began as a Jewish Sect in 1st Century • Christ = Greek Christos = Hebrew Meshiah • Jesus Christ = Jesus the Messiah • Jewish Sect  Stand-alone Gentile Religion • Also claimed to be the Son of God • Virgin Birth stories in Matt. & Luke (not in Mark, implied in John) • Crucified and followers claimed resurrection

  3. Christianity: Historical Background • Main sects of Jews at the time of Jesus: • Zealots: • advocated a violent revolution against Rome • Sadducees • Advocated cooperation with Romans. Controlled the temple destroyed in 70 A.D • Made $$ selling sacrifices in “flea market” in temple court

  4. Christianity: Historical Background • Pharisees • Controlled synagogues, grudging cooperation with Romans • focused on the teaching the Torah and strict obedience to it

  5. The Shroud of Turin

  6. The Shroud of Turin

  7. The New Testament • 4 Gospels (religious biographies) = “good news” about Jesus the Messiah, Son of God • The Acts of the Apostles (early Church history - Peter and Paul) • Letters of Paul • Other Letters • The Revelation of John or Revelation (no “s”!) a.k.a. the Apocalypse of John

  8. Mark • Earliest, shortest gospel, 60-65 A.D. • No birth narratives • Empty tomb, but no resurrection appearances (2 endings tacked on later) • Petrine tradition from John Mark • Roman Audience

  9. Matthew • 2nd Gospel - 65-70 A.D. • Based on Mark • Jewish audience • Focuses on Jesus as Messiah, teachings on the Law

  10. Luke • 3rd Gospel 70 - 85 A.D. • Gentile physician • Pauline tradition • Gentile Audience • Historical method, chronicler • Also wrote Acts

  11. John • Last Gospel - 90-100 A.D. • Based on account from John, the “beloved disciple” • Gentile audience, Jesus’ enemies = “The Jews” • Non-synoptic gospel • No parables • No focus on immanent apocalypse • Focus on eternal life now through Jesus

  12. Gospel of Mark Parables: Cryptic sayings or stories • Publicly given • Privately explained • Kept outsiders in the dark • Taught the faithful

  13. Gospel of Mark Cont. The Parable of the Sower (Ch. 4) • A parable about parables • Four types of soil = four types of people • Road (hard-hearted? Satanic victims) • Rocky (shallow, fearful of persecution) • Thistly (focused on everyday life, money) • Fertile (receptive, have “ears to hear”)

  14. Gospel of Mark Cont. • Jesus on the law • Spirit over the letter • Ethical over ceremonial Examples • The Sabbath (“The Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath”). • Unclean foods (“Nothing that goes into a man makes him unclean, but what comes out of him does.”)

  15. Gospel of Mark Cont. Jesus on wealth • An obstacle to spirituality • Contrast with OT view

  16. Gospel of Mark Cont. The Messianic Secret • Some scholars see as evidence Jesus didn’t claim to be the Messiah • The text implies more practical reasons • To complete his ministry and not be taken prematurely • Crowd control

  17. Gospel of Mark Cont. The Parousia (Coming, a.k.a. “Second Coming”) • Strong apocalyptic element in early Christianity--dies out as time goes on • Jesus stressed his coming would be immanent • Jesus said he would return in his disciples’ lifetimes--delay caused crisis in early Church • Second coming tied to Temple destruction • Modern Christians still expect a return • Switch to emphasis on individual eternal life

  18. Gospel of Mark Cont. Why is the Parousia delayed? 2 Peter 3:3ff • God experiences time differently • God wants to give people more time to repent This generation won’t pass away… There are some of those here who won’t taste death… We who are alive at the coming of the Lord The coming of the Lord is at hand - He is at the door… I am coming quickly…

  19. Gospel of Mark Evangelical Response • The Temple = future rebuilt Temple, or big gap, try to segment passage • This generation = genos, Jews • This generation = some future generation • Seeing Kingdom = the transfiguration

  20. Gospel of Mark Charges against Jesus • Blasphemy • Claims to be Messiah and “Son of God” • Jewish charge • Sedition • claims to be the Messiah, i.e. King of the Jews

  21. Gospel of Mark The Empty Tomb • No resurrection appearances in original version of Mark • An angel declares “He is risen!”

  22. Gospel of Mark Cont. • Jesus on the law • Spirit over the letter • Ethical over ceremonial Examples • The Sabbath (“The Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath”). • Unclean foods (“Nothing that goes into a man makes him unclean, but what comes out of him does.”)

  23. Gospel of Mark Cont. Jesus on wealth • An obstacle to spirituality • Contrast with OT view • Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven • “It would be a miracle if a rich man got into Heaven!”

  24. Gospel of Mark Cont. The Messianic Secret • Some scholars see as evidence Jesus didn’t claim to be the Messiah • The text implies more practical reasons • To complete his ministry and not be taken prematurely • Crowd control

  25. Gospel of Mark Cont. The Parousia (Coming, a.k.a. “Second Coming”) • Strong apocalyptic element in early Christianity--dies out as time goes on • Jesus stressed his coming would be immanent • Jesus said he would return in his disciples’ lifetimes--delay caused crisis in early Church • Second coming tied to Temple destruction • Modern Christians still expect a return • Switch to emphasis on individual eternal life

  26. Gospel of Mark Cont. Why is the Parousia delayed? 2 Peter 3:3ff • God experiences time differently • God wants to give people more time to repent This generation won’t pass away… There are some of those here who won’t taste death… We who are alive at the coming of the Lord The coming of the Lord is at hand - He is at the door… I am coming quickly…

  27. Gospel of Mark Evangelical Response • The Temple = future rebuilt Temple, or big gap, try to segment passage • This generation = genos, Jews • This generation = some future generation • Seeing Kingdom = the transfiguration

  28. Gospel of Mark Charges against Jesus • Blasphemy • Claims to be Messiah and “Son of God” • Jewish charge • Sedition • claims to be the Messiah, i.e. King of the Jews

  29. Gospel of Mark The Empty Tomb • No resurrection appearances in original version of Mark • An angel declares “He is risen!”