RLG100 - Lecture 20

RLG100 - Lecture 20 - Christianity Terms likely to be...

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Christianity Terms likely to be tested: Roman Holy Empire United States - largest number of Christians in the world Brazil - second number of Christians Mexico - third Russia - fourth China - five Then Gernmany, Philipines, Italy, UK, Nigeria Christians form majority of population in Europe, America, New Zealand and minority populations everywhere else in the world The first Christian century has had more books written on it than anything else; every word of New Testament had commentary on it - so cant know everything on Chrsitianity ~2 billion Christians in the world Christianity centred around Jesus - though we have very little objective history about him. This is what we know: - born ~ 4BCE , a Jew (gather of this from scripture); but don't know date or month of his birth; both the Roman date of Dec 25 and Armenian date of Jan 6 are of later origin (we don't actually know Jesus's brithdate) *-not until middle of 6th century that Christians reckon time as before and after birth of Jesus (BC and AD). → family: - know he grew up in northern Palestinian town of Nazareth in a pretty large family - at least 6 other children in family (4 brothers and unknown amount of sisters = this we get from gospel of Mark); for various theological reasons they are viewed as cousins (don't have empirical data for one or the other) -assumed that Jesus's father died (because complete silence about him after beginning) Life: → -we gather Jesus learned stoneworking/carpentry; → at ~30 joined preacher known as John - John the Baptist ; Jesus was baptized at some point- possibly when 30 years old - this guy was a desert, solitary ascetic kind of prophet; wandered places and was a preacher , gave a great many sermons which taught an ethical religion - preached importance of morality in context of idea that MESSIAH will soon be coming, and so it was therefore necessary to be morally + ethically prepared for his coming; - this Messiah who would deliver Jews from their political subservience to Rome; This is a period in history where Palestine/Israel is governed by Roman empire - conflictual relationship; nationalistic fervour is developing in Palestine/Israeli population to regain independence and to slough off the Roman hegemony (this is the context in which to view rise of Christianity). - Shortly after joining John, Jesus himself started preaching, his own gathering/following; was quite a charismatic figure, developed a large following relatively quickly; gifted in parables and metaphors that were accessible to the ordinary person -at about age of ~33 came into city of Jerusalem, tried and apprehended by Roman authorities, eventually executed by Crucifixion - this was a very common style of execution back then (large number of Jews were executed this way, literally thousands of Jews were crucified following destruction of second temple actually)
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Themes of Jesus's teachings : 1. Kingdom of God/Heaven is near and what seems to be the understanding of this from the early gospels
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RLG100 - Lecture 20 - Christianity Terms likely to be...

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