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Judaism & Christianity
2000 BCE ~ 600 CE-beyond
Much of the History of Christianity is
based in the Old Testament of the
Elevated Priestly class
Aramaic – common language of
Monotheistic Religion
2,000 years before the birth of Jesus, a man named
Abraham listened to God’s call & moved his family
from Ur (in Iraq today) to the eastern edge of the
Mediterranean Sea.
Here he became the Patriarch - ? To the Hebrews.
These lands were known as Canaan, but today they
are part of Israel.
Following the exodus led by Moses to get the
Hebrews out of Egypt; they find the promised land
and it is divided up into 12-Tribes, who are ruled
over by judges.
Complete Reading:
Exodus and the Ten
Moses and 10 Commandments
God Calls to Abraham
The first King is Saul; he was followed
by David, Israel’s greatest king. He is
followed by his son, Solomon.
Following his death the kingdom is
divided into two parts – Israel to the
North and Judah to the South.
Hebrew Kings….
King David
King Saul
Alexander the Great ordered The Old
Testament translated into Greek
57 BCE – Herod becomes King of
Roman Empire founded in 27 BCE,
controls all regions around the
Mediterranean, Gaul & part of Britain.
Jesus Born Here
Birth of a Child……
In Bethlehem, in the province of Judea
under the control of the Roman Empire
in 4 BCE a baby boy was born to a
young women named Mary and her
finance, Joseph.
Little is known about the youth of
Jesus, most of what has been written
began he was about 30-years old.
The Story Unfolds….
Many of you, as Christians know this
His trials & successes are followed in
the Bible. Following his crucifixion and
his rising; the story of the Christian
Church begins:
Complete Reading:
The Teachings of Jesus
Between 64 BCE & 313 CE the Story of the
Christian Church is one of formation.
Peter delivered the first Sermon, it
became the outline for the early church
As the church grew, the Apostles -?
needed help in administering to the
needs of the faithful.
Young men became Deacons - ?
The first was Stephen, but he was
condemned by the Sanhedrin & stoned. He
became the First Martyr - ?
A Roman citizen at the stoning was named
Saul – he later became Paul of Tarsus, a
leading missionary of Christianity.
Early in Rome, Christianity was tolerated,
until they refused to acknowledge the
emperor as the sole power of Rome.
Rome began to attack Christians and
blamed them for anything that befell the
Christianity Expands:
Compare the Roman Empire
to the Spread of Christianity:
What is Similar? What is Different?
Pliny the Younger sent many Christians to
the arena, some as lion food.
Some Christians chose to die as martyrs,
rather than renounce their faith.
In spite of this persecution, the “church”
spread rapidly throughout the empire and
Pliny the Younger
Complete Reading:
Persecuting Christians
Why did Christianity have a
wide appeal?
Accepted converts
Extended the hope of salvation to rich
& poor alike
Christians had an explanation for the
suffering & evil in the world
Promised relief from this life’s
hardships & injustices in the next life.
Universal Love & Brotherhood
Monastic Communities:
Following the Fall of the Roman
Empire in 476 CE, the Church of
Rome assumed political and spiritual
control for the people.
Some members of the church chose to
abandon the secular World and either
entered Communal Organizations or
chose the Solitary Life.
Communal Organizations:
Earliest communities established in Egypt.
Members dedicated themselves to rigorous
prayer & self-mortification under command
of abbots who ruled their communities.
This model spread to Palestine where
Jerome translated the Bible into Latin.
Basil the Great practiced this in
Greece to train religious leaders.
Benedict of Nursia, later St. Benedict created the
most popular model in the West. His rule required
monks to lead a life of Poverty, Chastity &
Obedience. They shared work, meals and
celebrated the Eucharist.
Christian Communities
Preserve Civilization
The monasteries & convents not only
educated the young, but they also
preserved the knowledge of the Ancients in
their libraries.
Through their farming abilities, they also
helped feed the local people and protect
them from starvation.
For a long time, the church protected, fed,
educated and governed the people
Replace Chaos with Control
Important Events of
Edict of Milan
Allowed all citizens of the empire to
choose their own religion – (Religious
Toleration) which in turn helped Christianity
Council of Nicaea (325 CE)
1st Ecumenical (universal) Church
Stated the Jesus & God were of the same
nature in every way
God the Father & God the Son implies a superiorinferior relationship
Council of Chalcedon (451 CE)
Declared that the faithful had to accept
the teachings of the Church – (Dogma)
Jesus was fully Human and fully Divine at
the same time.
Councils of:
The Great Schism ~ 1054 CE
In the 11th century – the Patriarch of
Constantinople and the Bishop of
Rome (Pope) could tolerate the other
no more.
The Church of Rome split into two
Rome (Catholics)
Orthodox – Eastern, Byzantine & Russian
They argued over the Council of Nicaea,
Chalcedon and the power of the Pope.