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Transcript
Ancient Rome and
the Rise of Christianity
1
Origins of Christianity
-Judaism: world’s first
monotheistic religion
- Jews believed that one
days Messiah or a savior
would be sent by God to
save the Jewish people
- In 63 BC Pompey
(remember him from the
First Triumvirate??)
conquered Judea
2
Origins of Christianity
-started as a group of Jewish
people who believed that a
young man named Jesus was
the Messiah
-Christians believed that Jesus
was also the son of God and
the incarnation of God on
Earth
3
Christianity
• Romans allowed Jewish
people to worship their one
god
• Many Jews reluctantly lived
under Roman rule, however,
some wanted a revolt against
Rome and believed a messiah
would come to lead their
people to freedom
Jesus
-Born in 4 B.C. in Bethlehem
-worshipped God and followed Jewish law
-at 30 began preaching to villagers, used parablesshort stories with simple moral lessons to
communicate his ideas
-Recruited 12 disciples to help him spread his ideas,
called Apostles, in Jerusalem
-Some Jews in Jerusalem welcomed Jesus, many of the
rabbis felt he threatened their leadership
-Roman authorities felt Jesus would lead the Jews in a
revolt against their rule
5
Jesus’ Message
• God was coming soon to rule the world
• He urged people to stop their sins
• Faith over Laws: He stressed that following Jewish
religious laws was not as important as having a personal
relationship with God based on faith
• Forgiveness: people that to love and forgive from the
heart rather than go through the motions of following
religious law
• Love: “Love your neighbor as yourself”
• Salvation: Life after death in Heaven for those who
believe in him and confess their sins
• Trinity: Belief that God had three aspects: Father, Son,
Holy Spirit
6
Death of Jesus
-According to the Gospels,
Jesus was betrayed by one
of his disciples, arrested by
the Romans, and killed by
crucifixion-a person was
bound to a cross and left to
die
-Rumors then spread that
Jesus had not died but had
risen from death and
commanded his disciples to
spread his teachings
-After the disciples reported
he ascended into heaven
Gospels: the 4 accounts of
Jesus’ life written down by
his followers Matthew, Mark,
Luke, and John
7
Christianity Spreads
-Followers called Christians
-Disciples preach the messages
of Christianity throughout the
Roman world
-Peter established Christianity
in Rome itself
-Paul played the most
influential role in spreading
Christianity
He spread Christianity throughout the Mediterranean
-His letters called Epistles became part of the New
Testament in the Bible
8
Christians Oppressed
• Romans were not tolerant towards Christians because:
• they refused to honor the emperor with sacrifices
• they refused to worship Roman gods to protect the
state
• Christians were used as scapegoats, blamed for social
and economic problems
•Many Christians became martyrs- or people who suffer
or die for their beliefs
•However, Christianity continued to spread due to the
fact that all people were welcome
9
10
Martyrs
11
Appeal of Christianity
• Jesus’ teachings
honor the poor
over the rich
• Jesus taught that
anyone could be
saved
• Jesus brought a
message of love
and compassion
12
Early Christian Church: Constantine
• Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity
in 312 AD when he saw a flaming cross in the
sky as he was about to go into battle.
• He also saw the words “You will conquer under
this sign”.
• Constantine won the battle and thought the
Christian God gave him victory.
13
Early Christian Church: Constantine
-Emperor Constantine
issued the Edict of Milan in
A.D. 313.
-The Edict granted freedom
of worship to all citizens of
the Roman empire
-325AD Council of Nicaea is
held to formally write down
Christian beliefs
-Nicene Creed: the formal
declaration of Christian belief
14
Theodosius
Formally makes
Christianity the
official religion of
the Roman
Empire in 392
AD
15
Structure of the Church
The Christian Clergy
Pope/Patriarch
Bishop
Diocese
Priest
+
Community
Bishop
Diocese
Priest
+
Community
Bishop
Diocese
Priest
+
Community
16