Chapter 4 Christianity

Chapter 4 Christianity - Chapter 4 Christian Traditions...

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Chapter 4: Christian Traditions
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Origins The Life of Jesus We know very little about the early years of Jesus other than his birth in Bethlehem and that his childhood home was in Nazareth. His public years began at 30 Yrs old with his baptism by his older cousin, John the Baptist. Soon after, Jesus recruited twelve male disciples and a number of female followers. For the next year or more, Jesus travelled, working miracles, teaching how to apply Jewish law to everyday life, and telling parables, many of which pointed to an impending apocalypse. A few days after entering Jerusalem for Passover, Jesus was arrested for perverting the people and claiming kingship over the Jews. He was condemned, nailed to a cross (crucified), and left to die. Two days later, some of his women followers claimed to find his tomb empty. It has become Christian belief that he had gone to sit at the right hand of God in heaven.
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Origins, cont’d. The Gospels The gospels, from the Greek evangel (‘good news’), are accounts of Jesus’ life. The Christian message was crystallizing into recognizable form by the mid-fist century. When Christianity became the established religion of the Roman empire, church leaders made a list of the writings they acknowledged to be ‘scripture’, creating the New Testament. Marks’ account Luke’s account Matthew’s account John’s gospel is very different in that his purpose is to set out not just the narrative but its cosmic significance. John proclaims Jesus as messiah and saviour
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Origins, cont’d. From Sect to Church The disciples were peasants and fishermen who expected the end of the age, and the glorious return of their teacher, to come at any moment. The principal influence on the early Church, however, was an educated and sophisticated convert who took the name Paul. According to Paul, it is not through observance of ritual laws or even correct moral conduct that salvation is attained, but rather through faith in Jesus and the divine grace that comes through him. Thanks to Paul’s voyages, Christian communities were established in many of the port cities of the Roman Empire by the time he died.
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Crystallization Emerging Church Organization The Christian movement became formally organized during the early centuries. Before long, formal ordination was required to perform ritual and administrative functions. Sometime between the writing of the books of the New Testament and the early Christian councils, the priest emerged as the person in charge of ritual and instruction. The ranking priest in a particular political jurisdiction was known as a bishop. The hierarchy was further developed to include the role of archbishop.
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