Some Facts Christianity has the largest following of the Western Religions. About 2.1 billion people world-wide practice the faith. Christianity is the most dominant force on every continent- with the exception of Asia. The faith is based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
More Facts Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. Messiah: chosen one Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Christians believe that God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins.
Really, there are more. One of the most important concepts in Christianity is that of Jesus giving his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion and rising from the dead after the third day (the Resurrection). Christians believe that there is only one God, but that there are three elements to this one God : God the Father God the Son The Holy Spirit Christians worship in churches. Their spiritual leaders are called priests or ministers.
Last of the Facts The Christian holy book is the Bible, and consists of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is the most read book on the planet. Christian holy days such as Easter and Christmas are important milestones in the Western secular calendar
The Life and Times of Jesus According to legend, Jesus was born in the tiny village of Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. He was born during the reign of Augustus, the Roman Emperor He grew up in Nazareth, and probably trained as a carpenter. There is no recorded history of the early life of Jesus. Jesus was a Jew.
Jesus Teachings Jesus based his teachings on the principle: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. At the age of 30, he spent three years teaching, healing and working miracles. He taught in parables - everyday stories which had divine messages for those who would hear it. His teachings are recorded in the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John He had twelve disciples whom he called to follow him and help him in his work.
Persecution and death Jesus stated publicly that he spoke with the authority of God. This claim angered the religious authorities in Palestine and they handed Jesus over to the Roman authorities as a revolutionary. He was tried for heresy, condemned and put to death by means of crucifixion. Crucifixion was the chosen punishment for convicts of crimes against the Roman Empire
Assignment Read the chapter entitled The Spread of Christianity and answer the following: 1.What was the Roman policy toward religion in the Empire? 2.Why do you think the Romans were accepting of the Jewish faith at first? 3.What were the main elements of Jesus teachings? 4.What reasons did the Romans give for their persecution of the Christians? 5.How did Paul contribute to the spread of Christianity? 6.Why did the Romans seek to end the life of Jesus? Why was he a threat to them?
What is nowadays called the 'Current Era' traditionally begins with the birth of a Jewish teacher called Jesus. His followers came to believe he was the promised Messiah and later split away from Judaism to found Christianity, a faith whose roots are firmly in Judaism.
Who killed Jesus? No trial or execution in history has had such a momentous outcome as that of Jesus in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, 2000 years ago. But was it an execution or a judicial murder; and who was responsible? The story begins when the Galilean rebel Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, deliberately fulfilling a prophecy in the Hebrew Bible about the coming of the Messiah. He's mobbed by an adoring crowd.
Who killed Jesus? The next day Jesus raids the Temple, the heart of the Jewish religion, and attacks money-changers for defiling a holy place. The leaders of the Jewish establishment realise that he threatens their power, and so do the Romans, who fear that Jesus has the charisma to lead a guerrilla uprising against Imperial Rome.
Who killed Jesus? Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, tried by Caiaphas and then by the Roman Governor. He's sentenced to death and executed.