|Term Paper Title
||THE ROOTS OF CHRISTIANITY
|# of Words
|# of Pages (250 words per page double spaced)
THE ROOTS OF CHRISTIANITY
Religion is an impulse to explain. A natural impulse that everyone has and everyone one grapples with. Itís an impulse that, sadly and ironically, has been exploited to convince people to take actions that defy and demean that impulse. These exploiters are the ruling elite of nearly every society, in every era. Itís not hard to understand the false sense of security and comfort of faith that religion provides. Religious faith, which is a set of rules, is a tool used by the people in power to keep other people powerless, and to compel them into serving the interests of the powerful.
It is controversial who founded Christianity. Jesus of Nazareth - he led a movement that seems to have tried to reform Judaism. His death led to a spread of his words by his twelve closest followers. Simon Peter - seemingly designated by Jesus to lead after his death. Paul - it was his efforts that expanded Christianity into a religion distinct from Judaism. Each one of these men could be considered to have founded the Christian religion.
The Christian religion began with the ministry of Jesus Christ. He proclaimed himself to be the Messiah. Messiah is an Aramaic word which means "anointed king or deliverer." The name Christ is the Greek equivalent of Messiah.
Jesus called Peter, James, John, and other disciples to assist him with his ministry. He taught his disciples that he was sent by God to do the work of the Father. The disciples testified that Jesus was the Christ. On one occasion, Peter replied to Jesus, "And we believe and are sure that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69)
Jesus performed many miracles among the people of Jerusalem and the surrounding communities. He healed the sick, restored the sight of the blind, and raised the dead. Pharisees, priests, and other Jewish leaders became exceedingly jealous and angry. Eventually, they convinced the Roman leaders of Jerusalem to crucify Jesus.
After the crucifixion, Jesus appeared as a resurrected being to his disciples and friends. His disciples then carried on the work of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, both to the Jews and Gentiles. New disciples then joined the original disciples, particularly by Paul. Paul traveled throughout Greece and Rome establishing Christian churches.
Eventually, most of the early disciples were imprisoned and executed. Paul suffered martyrdom in Rome, probably in AD. 65. Peter was likewise executed in Rome at about this time. John was banished to the island of Patios.
When Christianity started out, they did believe that they were Jewish. It is one of the early controversies spelled out in the New Testament. Nonetheless, when something (person or community) transforms, that is changes its form, it can survive quite well around the circumstances or agent of change. What did remain consistent is the belief in the same God. It was this same God - the one who "brought Israel out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery"- who was the changing agent in the person of Jesus of Nazareth whom was known to his followers as the Christ. The movement was solidified though both social conditions and through its own ongoing experience of Jesus and God through the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. (See Acts 2) In Christian belief and experience, the experience of Jesus is ongoing. It didn't stop at either his execution, or resurrection, nor ascension, or at the Pentecost event.
Christians see Christianity as the fulfillment of Judaism. Jews seek a Messiah; Christians say the Messiah is Jesus. The basis of Christianity can be found in the New Testament book of Matthew, The Sermon on the Mount. In each of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) a different viewpoint of the person of Jesus is presented. Christians honor and read the Old Testament, but find new interpretations of old laws in the New Testament.
One of the religions Christianity took from was Muslim. The Koran says that God sent Moses and Jesus to the Israelites. The Koran also say that Abraham and all the prophets were Muslims (of course ...
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