REL1350 - Spring2016 - Exam 1 study guide - Exam one study...

  • Baylor University
  • REL 1350
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Exam one study guide / lecture outlines REL1350 – Dr. Joe Coker Early Christian origins Jesus Christ – born c. 4BC o “Christ” – Greek for “anointed one” Early conflict between Christianity and Judaism o Stephen = first Christian martyr Defended Christianity before the Sanhedrin Christianity begins as a Jewish sect o Inherited conflicts internal to Judaism, such as between Hebrews and Hellenists (see Acts 6) Hellenism = spread of Greek culture and civilization after Alexander the Great o Gentiles = any non-Jewish person Paul of Tarsus o Originally Saul, a Pharisee and persecutor of Christianity Has conversion experience on road to Damascus o Undertakes 4 missionary journeys as advocate for Christianity “Pax Romana” = the Roman Peace Martyrdom Understanding Roman religion o “pagans” and “cults” o Cultus deorum = “care of the gods” o Polytheism o Focus on correct practice, not correct belief o No focus on afterlife o Why Christians don’t fit in with Roman religious system, despite general religious tolerance of Romans Persecution of Christians o Early persecution = sporadic and localized E. g. Nero’s persecution of Christians 64-68AD o Next phase = Christians seen as strange, seditious, elicit religious movement Refused to worship gods of state, Caesar, or local deities o Final phase = systematic, Empire-wide attempts to eradicate Christianity Begins with Decius in 249 AD Diocletian continues attempt to wipe out Christianity completely Then Galerius after him Relief finally comes in 312 with victory of Emperor Constantine o Perpetua and Felicitas 1
From Carthage in north Africa Refuse to offer sacrifice to Caesar Diversity of Christianity: Perpetua = nobility Felictas = servant Early Christian heresies The Apostle’s Creed o Why written? When? What purpose did it serve? Increasing number of pagan converts to Christianity leads to new ideas about what it means to be a Christian o Syncretism Orthodoxy o “ortho” = right, correct o “doxy” = thinking, practice o Heresy = any teaching that is contrary to established, orthodox belief Docetism o dokeo = Greek for “to seem” or “to appear” Denies the humanity of Christ Gnosticism o “Gnosis” = Greek for “knowledge” o Dualistic worldview – God of darkness vs. God of light o “the Hymn of the Pearl” Marcion and the Marcionites o Prosperous businessman in mid-100s AD o Proposed a Christian canon that excluded all Jewish works and had only one gospel How did the “orthodox” Christians respond to such heresy? Canon o Began to establish core of a Christian canon By end of 100s, agreed on 4 gospels, the letters of Paul, and Acts Final canon not established until 300s AD Creed o E.g. The Apostle’s Creed, c. 150 AD The “Symbol of the Faith” A means by which you could tell a true believer from a heretic Apostolic Succession o Emphasized importance of being able to trace one’s ministry all the way back to Jesus’ first followers An unbroken line of succession all the way back to Jesus himself o No “secret teachings” from Jesus Early Christian worship 2

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