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Christianity and the Roman
Empire
(Ch 13 Sec 3 and 4)
Key Terms
 Define: crucifixion, messiah, resurrection,
martyr, epistle, parable
Beginnings of Christianity
 The Romans conquered the land of Judea
 Jews here resented foreign rule and hoped
the messiah would come to save and free
them
 Romans began to punish the Jews and
appointed Herod as ruler
 Jesus was born under the rule of Herod, in
Bethlehem
 His stories are part of the New Testament
The Bible
 Book of worship: Bible
 After Jesus dies, his disciples told his stories
written into the New Testament
 The writers were: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and
John. They are the 4 Gospel writers
Christian Beliefs
 Jesus grew up in Nazareth as a carpenter
but began to teach
 He taught there is only one, true God
 His followers believed him to be the Messiah
Fears of Christianity
 Romans complained that Jesus taught that
God was greater than the emperor
 Jesus was condemned to death by
crucifixion.
 He rose from the dead and asked his
disciples to spread his teachings.
Christianity Spreads
 The Greek word for Messiah was Cristos and
Jesus became known as Christ.
 Christianity spread to Syria and then to Rome
 Letters of Paul:
*Saul, a Jew, rejected the Christian message until
he had a vision that Jesus spoke to him
*He changed his name to Paul and began to
spread Christianity
*Paul wrote epistles which became part of the
Bible
Rome Burns
 Christians were viewed as enemies because
they did not worship the Roman gods
 Fire started in Rome, leaving the city in ruins
 Nero blamed the Christians and they were
sent to death, including Paul
The Appeal of Christianity
 For 250 years, the Romans tormented Christians and
blamed them for the decline of the Empire
 Christianity continued to spread
 The message of a better life after death appealed to many
 Christian communities helped the poor and widowed
 Emperor Diocletian outlawed Christian services and put
many to death
*They became known as martyrs
Section handout
Religions of the World Project