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What have we learned?
• We have an understanding of the
context into which Jesus was born.
The Holy Land
The country where Jesus lived is
known as the Holy Land. This is
because the origins of Judaism,
Christianity and Islam are found
there. At the time of Jesus, the
Holy Land was called Palestine.
Today, this country is known as
Life Under Roman Rule
In 63 BC, Palestine was conquered
by the Romans and
became part of the Roman
Religious Structures in the Time of Jesus
The Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was the religious governing body located in Jerusalem. The
High Priest was president of the Sanhedrin. Its members were made up of
Sadducees and Pharisees.
The Temple
All Jewish people wanted to visit the Temple in Jerusalem at least once a
year. It was Judaism’s most sacred building. The chief authority of the
Temple was the High Priest.
The Synagogue
The synagogue was a meeting-place for prayer and the study of the Law.
The Sabbath
In the time of Jesus, the Jewish Sabbath began on Friday evening and
ended on Saturday evening, just as it does to this day.
What are the following groups collectively called?
What have we learned?
We can name some of the sources of
information about Jesus of Nazareth.
‘The source of any piece of information is
where the information comes from; the
evidence refers to the information itself.
The New Testament is the main source of
evidence about Jesus.’
•We can differentiate between documents of faith and documents of history.
Documents of Faith
The gospels are documents of
faith because the authors
believed that Jesus was the Son
of God. Each of the gospels
gives witness to the story of Jesus.
Documents of History
The historians Josephus and
Tacitus referred to Jesus in
their writings. They wrote
Documents of history.
•We can trace the development of the gospels from oral tradition to the written word.
Stages in the writing of the Gospels
First Stage
Life stage
Second Stage
Oral stage
Third Stage
Written Stage
This began with the birth of Jesus
and ended with his ascension into
When the followers of Jesus
recognised who he was, they brought
news of him beyond Palestine to
other countries, eventually reaching
Rome. This oral stage is part of the
Christian oral tradition.
Written stage Eventually, the
followers of Jesus began to write
down the story of Jesus’ ministry and
the circumstances of his death and
resurrection. This written stage is
part of the Christian written
What have we learned?
• We can identify characteristics of the
Kingdom of God as preached by Jesus.
‘When people looked at Jesus’ actions and
listened to his words, they caught a glimpse of
the presence of God in the world, inviting
their response.’
Characteristics of the Kingdom of God as shown in the parables,
miracles, table-fellowship and discipleship of Jesus.
Jesus helped people to understand the meaning of the Kingdom of God. He demonstrated
characteristics (signs or features) of the kingdom by showing:
• how people living in the kingdom should love their neighbour;
• how sinners and outcasts (outsiders) were to be treated in the kingdom;
• how there should be a special place for the poor;
• how women should be treated;
• how people must love and forgive their enemies.
• We can recognise these characteristics in the words and actions of Jesus and is
followers, past and present.
Living the Gospel today
When people respond to the call of Jesus, God’s
kingdom can be seen in their lives.
For example:
The L’Arche Community, Trócaire, Mother Teresa
and the Missionaries of Charity.
Outline the above examples in your own words.
What have we learned?
• We recognise moments of conflict in the life of
For example:
Growing opposition to Jesus; Jesus challenges the teachers of
the Law.
• We understand the Last Supper as a meal in
the Passover tradition.
We have read and are familiar with the
gospel accounts of the death of Jesus.
• The arrest of Jesus:
Mark 14:26-52; Matthew
26:30 56; Luke 22:39-53;
John 18:1-12.
• Before the Temple
authorities and
Peter’s denial:
Mark 14:53-72; Matthew
26:57–27:10;Luke 22:54-71;
John 18:13-27.
• Roman trial:
Mark:15:1-20; Matthew 27:1131; Luke 23:1-25 John 18:28 –
• Crucifixion, death and
Mark 15:21-47; Matthew
27:32-66; Luke 23:26-56; John
We have studied the possible impact of the
resurrection appearances on the followers of Jesus.
‘When the followers of Jesus realised that he had
risen from the dead, they were confident once
again. Jesus had not abandoned them, but had
come back to them as he had promised, to be
with them until the end of time. Now they fully
understood who he was. The resurrection of
Jesus from the dead and his subsequent
appearances finally revealed to his followers that
he was more than they could ever have imagined.
Jesus had surely come from God: “Whoever has
seen me has seen the Father.” ’ (John 14:9)
What have we learned?
We have an awareness of the emerging identity and development of the first
Christian communities.
‘Pentecost is the name given
to the day when the followers
of Jesus experienced God’s
gift of the Holy Spirit, as
promised by Jesus.’
‘The disciples were sent out
as missionaries and they
worked hard to spread the
Good News and build the
early Christian community.’
‘The Christian community in
Antioch grew as Christians
fled from Jerusalem, where
Christianity was outlawed. It
was at Antioch that the name
“Christian” was first given to
the followers of Jesus. One of
the challenges that faced the
early Christian community
was the tension between the
Jewish and Gentile Christians.’
Modern Christian Communities
The same statements in relation to faith, worship and way of life apply
today to modern Christian communities. For example: Restoration
Ministries is a faith-driven organisation that aims to restore and
strengthen the faith and confidence of people who have been hurt by
others and by life.
We have examined some of the new
titles for Jesus. (Higher Level only)
Son of Man
This title was first used in the
Old Testament to describe a
heavenly representative of
great power and dignity, who
would remain faithful to God
and act for God and for the
people in the event of a final
time of trial or crisis. In Mark’s
gospel, Jesus used this title
fourteen times when he was
describing himself.
The word ‘Messiah’ means ‘one
who has been anointed’. In the
time of Jesus, kings were anointed
to show their God-given
authority. The Old Testament
foretold that God would send a
Messiah to save the people. By
using the word ‘Messiah’ to
describe Jesus, the early
Christians showed that they
believed that Jesus was the
Messiah sent by God.
Son of God
This title was used to
describe the Risen Jesus.
This term helped the early
Christians to understand the
bond between God and
Jesus. It emphasised the fact
that Jesus was not just a
very powerful human, but
that he shared in the very
nature of God.
New Creation
St Paul gave Jesus the
title ‘New Creation’
because, in Jesus, God
had done something
very new that affected
every human being.
There was now an eternal
living link between the Risen
Jesus and the People of