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Transcript
Chapter 1: Source of the Democratic Tradition 2000 B.C.E. – A.D 1689
Section 4: The Rise of Christianity
Question: Who was Jesus of Nazareth?
I. Jesus of Nazareth
All we know of Jesus of Nazareth comes from the accounts to Mathew, Mark,
Luke, and John, four followers of Jesus
 Gospel comes from the Old English word fro “good news”
 Jesus parents Mary and Joseph from Nazareth travel to Bethlehem which is not
far from Jerusalem where Jesus was born in 4 B.C.E.
II. Early Life
 Jesus was a descendant of King David through his parents and was believed to be
the messiah (a savior sent by God to lead the Jews to freedom)
 Jesus grew up in in the small town of Nazareth and worked as a carpenter like
his father and followed Jewish laws
 Went around preaching the word of God by using short stories with a moral
lesson to communicate his ideas for three years before going to Jerusalem
 Jesus’ preaching upset some Jewish leaders, because he interpreted the laws
differently


He taught the need for justice, morality and service to others (poor)

Jesus arrived in Jerusalem around Passover, a celebration of the exodus of the Jews
from Egypt.

Many Jews welcomed Jews, but the Chief high presets considered Jesus a
troublemaker and his teaching could upset the Roman Prefect or Roman military
official in Jerusalem.

The fear was Jesus teaching could inflame the Jews eager to end Roman rule and
cause a Roman crack down on the Jews and cause thousands of Jews deaths.

The chief Jewish priest decide to have Jesus arrested.

One of Jesus disciples betrayed him and led a group of Roman soldiers to him and
they arrested him.

After he was arrest and brought before the Jews council and questions, he was turn
over to the Roman Prefect with a recommendation of execution. The Roman Prefect
then had him executed by crucifixion

Crucifixion is a method of executing criminals, a person was nailed to or hung on a
cross and left to die.
Question: How does Christianity Spread?
I. Work of Paul
 After Jesus’ death, his disciples spread his teachings throughout the Roman
empire, They started with preaching only among Jews in Judea.
 Jews that who accepted the teachings that Jesus was the messiah became the
first Christians, or followers of Jesus Christ, from the Greek word for ‘the
anointed one”
 The apostle Peter established Christianity in the city of Rome itself
 Paul was originally know as Saul helped to separate Christianity from Judaism
 Paul did this by teaching Gentiles or non –Jews.
II. A New Covenant
 Christianity remain a sec with in Judaism
 Jesus as the messiah and the center of their faith, all Hebrew scriptures an Torah,
later these writings would be called the Old Testament in the Bible.
 Christian writings about Jesus, including the Gospels and Paul's letters become
the New testament.
 The New Testament represents the new covenant with God
III. Persecution

Romans were usually tolerant towards other religions, except Judaism and Christianity, because they
refused to make sacrifices to the emperor

Romans began persecuting them, especially when there was trouble in the empire

Nero used the Christian as scapegoats for social and economic hard times

Both Peter and Paul were killed in Rome during the Reign of Nero
IV. Reason for Christianity Appeal

Religion rooted in Jewish faith, naturally appealed to Jews

Ethics also generated broad interest

Jesus welcomed all people; humble, poor and oppressed

Found comfort in the message of love

Belief in equality and dignity of all and the promise of life beyond the grave

Add ideas of Plato, Stoics and other Greek thinkers and increase the appeal to educated Romans

Missionaries spread Christianity through the Roman Roads and across the Mediterranean sea

Edict of Milan—issued by Constantine, granting freedom of worship
Question: What was the Christian Church?

During the middle ages, the Christian church emerged as the
most powerful force in Europe
I. The Early Communities
 All members were equal and called each other “brother” or
“sister”
 Women led the way and served as teachers or administrators
 Clergy—performed religious ceremonies
 Had priests were controlled by bishops who were controlled by
the pope (a.k.a. patriarch of Rome)
II. The Medieval Church
 Church splits after fall of Rome—eastern (Orthodox Church 
anti-pope) and western (Roman Catholic Church  pope)
 Roman Catholic Church grew stronger and began to run gov’t
III. Philosophy

Ideas of Aristotle and other Greek thinkers were translated into Latin and spread into
Western Europe and challenged Christian beliefs (faith vs. reason)

Thomas Aquinas—Christian scholar, brought together Christian faith and Greek
philosophy  stated both faith and reason existed in harmony (God ruled over an
orderly universe)IV>
IV. The Judeo-Christian Tradition

Judaism is still a major religion in the world today

Contributed and strongly influence Christianity and Islam, two other monotheistic
faiths that arose in the Middle East

Today Jews, Christians and Muslims all honor Abraham, Moses, and the prophets

Judeo-Christian principles played a central role in the development of the democratic
tradition