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christianity essay questions

christianity essay questions - 1 The gospel of Mark was the...

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1. The gospel of Mark was the earliest of the four gospels that eventually became a part of the canon. It was the simplest and most straightforward, using the lowest level of Greek. It is also the shortest. It doesn’t include the miracle story of Jesus’ birth, but rather begins with his baptism from John the Baptist, and focuses on the adult ministry of Jesus. He proclaims that Jesus is the son of God, and focuses on the miracles that Jesus performed. The gospel of Matthew was different in that it was clearly written for a Hebrew audience. Matthew narrates the life of Jesus with constant reference to verses in the Old Testament (or the Hebrew Bible), constantly attempting to prove to the Hebrews that Jesus was fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament. The gospel of Luke contains two chapters of information not yet seen in the Bible that in a way set the stage for Jesus. He talks about visions and portents that declare the birth of John the Baptist as well as Jesus. Rather than Mark who makes Jesus seem to go into adult ministry because of his baptism and a choice, Luke makes it seem as though Jesus was born into the life he then lived. Luke was aiming more at a Greek audience than Hebrew; he made an effort to make Jesus seem important to the gentiles as well as the Jews. He focused on prayers and the poor/needy. 2. When Christianity first began after the death of Jesus, it faced many complications from both within the tradition as well as outside of it. Within the tradition, Peter and Paul were the two main promoters of early Christianity. Peter was in Jerusalem, focusing on the Jews that had converted to Christianity. They were still very concerned about upholding the traditions that they had considered so important to them as Jews. Paul was in the regions surrounding Jerusalem, and he was focusing on the Gentiles that had converted to Christianity. They too were concerned about the religious traditions, but for entirely different reasons – they did not want to uphold the Jewish traditions. They did not want to have to keep kosher or be circumcised to be considered a Christian. This was hard for the Jewish Christians to accept, because for so long one of the things that had separated them so much from the rest of the world was their circumcision and eating habits, and they did not want to have to give these up. There was a lot of conflict about it, but in the
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