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Early Christianity

Uploaded by Admin on Jul 31, 2000

The earliest recorded text teaching Christianity has its roots buried deep within Judaism. The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, created a new ideology of worship. The Messiah is the savior for all people and of all sins. Paul carried the message of the Messiah to the Gentiles. His missionary journeys and establishment of churches enabled the spreading of the message throughout the Roman Empire. Christianity grew in acceptance; those that believed in the Messiah separated and began to worship on their own. This marked the beginning of the split of Judaism and Christianity.

Christianity experienced many pitfalls along the path to fulfillment. As in history, today we find ourselves learning Christ’s lessons all over again. The earliest Christian worshipers endured many hardships not experienced by society today. These differences in science, technology, and lack of practicing our beliefs have caused a rift between early Christianity and Christianity today.

Christianity borrows many aspects from Judaism. The Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures were used in the early teachings, however the Christian believers interpreted the scriptures in a different manner. This interpretation leads to a fundamental shift in ideology between Jews and Christians. In addition to scripture, Christianity adopted many worship rituals practiced within the Jewish synagogue; such as prayers, baptisms, and communion. Christianity of today still practices these sacred rituals. As the Christian faith began to spread, so too did the fear the Romans had as to what was Christianity’s underlying goal.

Imperial persecution became wholesale throughout the Empire. Initially the Jewish community was the instigators of this persecution of Christians. The book of Acts outlines several incidents involving such persecution. During the decade of 60 A.D., periods of Roman persecution occurred, however this persecution was sporadic. For example, Nero was ruler of the Roman Empire, under his reign Rome was set on fire and burnt to the ground. Christians became the scapegoat for this cowardly act. Tasitus wrote that perhaps Nero himself started the blaze, as an excuse to persecute the Christians. Nero’s acts of persecution were contained within the confines of Rome.

In contrast to the persecution experienced by early Christian followers, Christianity today does not experience the level of outward persecution. Christianity is practiced in an atmosphere nearly void of violence. It was not until the reign of Constantine when Christians were authorized to practice their chosen faith. The “Ediet of Milan”(313 A.D.), gave official recognition to...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   07/31/2000

Category:   Religion

Length:   4 pages (836 words)

Views:   1582

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