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Ch. 7 Sec. 5
The Rise of Christianity
1
The Beginnings of Christianity
 The Romans allowed
the provinces to
practice their own
religions
 Still, they had to honor
the Roman gods & the
“divine spirit” of the
emperor (for most
people, adding another
god wasn’t a problem)
2
Jews & the Roman Empire
 Jews in the province of Judaea
believed in only one God
 Some Jews favored rebellion &
others hoped that God would send
a Messiah, or savior, to free the
Jews
 In A.D. 66 the Jews revolted & the
Romans destroyed Jerusalem & all
but the western wall of the temple,
which became a sacred Jewish
site (Wailing Wall)
3
 With the temple gone, the priests’ role weakened
 Rabbis - Jewish scholars who interpreted scripture &
Jewish Law – began to lead Jewish congregations
 In A.D. 135 the Romans crushed the last Jewish revolt
& banned all Jews from Jerusalem
4
 Jews built
communities
outside
Jerusalem,
where they
carried on their
faith & culture
 In this setting
Christianity
arose
5
The Teachings of Jesus
 Around A.D. 27 Jesus of
Nazareth began wandering the
countryside w/ his disciples, or
followers, teaching & performing
miracles
 His teachings, which greatly
influenced the Western world,
were grounded in Jewish
traditions
6
 He taught that there is one
true God, who cares more
for people than for laws or
rituals
 His teachings were for all
people, including the poor
 The Romans feared that
Jesus would lead an
uprising
 He was arrested, put on
trial, & crucified
7
 According to the Gospels, Jesus
arose from the dead & remained
on Earth for 40 days
 Then he ascended into heaven
 His followers called him Christ,
after the Greek word for Messiah,
Christos
8
 They believed that through his
death & resurrection all people
could be redeemed, or saved,
from God’s final judgment
 A new religion was born Christianity
9
The Spread of Christianity
 Jesus’s disciples set out to spread the word that
the day of judgment was coming
 At first Christianity spread slowly
 It expanded as life in the empire became more
difficult
10
 At first the Roman gov’t ignored
Christians as a Jewish offshoot
 But Christians began converting
others & speaking out against the
worship of other gods
 The Romans viewed these actions
as attacks on Roman religion
 They outlawed Christianity, seized
Christian property, & executed
Christians
11
 Many Christians became martyrs,
meaning they were put to death
for their beliefs
 Still, the religion spread
12
The Romans Adopt
Christianity
 In the A.D. 300s the Roman
emperor Constantine began
promoting Christianity
 He was baptized on his
deathbed
 The emperor Theodosius
made Christianity the official
religion of the empire
13
 The Christian church became well organized
 Priests conducted local services
 Bishops headed the church in each city
 Rome & other major cities became church
centers, & bishops of these cities were called
patriarchs
14
 Later the patriarch of Rome to the title of
pope (from the Latin word for “father”)
 The pope & bishops traced their authority
to Jesus’s disciple Peter, whose authority
came straight from Jesus
15
Church councils also
helped strengthen the
church
In A.D. 325 a council
wrote down the main
beliefs of the church
16