Early Christianity Kristen Keck

Monotheism: Around the year 30 C.E. began the teachings of Jesus. Christians are monotheistic by believing in one higher power named Jesus. The Jewish people were to believe in their one god. For the Jews, Jesus was not a Christian. This is why they did not like non-Jews to believe in him. Also, Stoichism, believed in a monotheistic religion.

Judaism: "For most Jews, Judaism consisted of going up to the Temple on holy days; paying the annual Temple tax; reciting the morning and evening prayers; and observing fundamental laws, such as circumcision, ritual purity, and prohibitions on the consumption of certain foods"(Joshua Cole, Carol Symes Pg.141). Jesus did not like this way of teaching, yet he was the promised Messiah. Jesus was able to fulfill it all. Whatever was written from him to do, he had done it. He was defined as the "anointed one". As he made his ascendance into Heaven, he would look over everyone and judge until the end of time. This religion was huge for the Jews.

Jesus: The birth of Jesus was around 4 B.C.E. He traveled around areas such as, Galilee and Judea, to teach. He taught people his healing beliefs. People began to follow his powers. Some disciples had political intentions. At around 30 C.E., Jesus decided to enter Jerusalem. During this time was a religious event called Passover. Passover is a major Jewish holiday that lasts seven or eight days. The Roman government and Jews felt Jesus was going to disturb and cause chaos. Jesus was turned over to Pontius Pilatus, the Roman governor. He sentenced Jesus to execution by crucifixion. He wanted to make people aware of what happens when you act the way Jesus did in front of those people. Jesus's followers believed he had risen from the dead and live their lives according to what they think Jesus wants to see.

Peter: Peter was the chief disciple and he believed you had to be Jewish to be a follower of Jesus (lecture). Unlike Paul, Peter did in fact meet Jesus and wanted to teach Jesus's ways to Jews. He taught morals and ways to live a life that would reward you with going to Heaven after death. He traveled to Antioch, Syria to start and church, and even created a church in Rome. There was a horrific disaster. A fire was blamed on the Christians, so Peter was crucified in 64, same with Paul.

Paul: When Paul was born his actual name was Saul. He went through a big transformation. He was extremely against Christianity. Later on in his twenties, he transformed into Paul and traveled around to teach Jesus's faith to the Greeks. Paul never made in person contact with Jesus. It was said that "he received a direct revelation of his teachings". He did not believe in the Jewish religious law anymore. Around 49 C.E., Paul had many more people following Christ without being Jewish. Although some did still obey the Jewish law, many did not. He called these people church. People felt more accepted because it was not strict to one type of person any longer. Women were allowed to be productive within the church community, and even be officeholders. The Jews were not happy with Paul. Soldiers and Jews came together to take Paul to prison. They accused him of agitating others to make them believe in what he did.

Christians practicing while being persecuted: To be a Christian in the Roman world meant that you were not following the Roman beliefs. By definition, "a Christian was to be an enemy of Rome, because Christians refused to venerate the emperor as the embodiment of Rome's gods" (Joshua Cole, Carol Symes Pg.139). If you wanted to be apart of the Christianity faith, there were secret meetings held. They were secret because people would get punished if they followed this faith.

Stoichism: Stoichs were monotheistic. Like Christianity, Stoichism followed one higher power. The people are to do good in their lives, but not feel pressured to be punished. In this religion, you are allowed to live your life the way you think the god would want. This allowed people to follow their own faith and the way they think it should be followed. This was important because it set a standard for religions. This taught people to follow what they think is right and not obey certain orders.

Neoplatonism: A new influential philosophy of Christianity became Neoplatonism. This was more of the mystical thoughts of Plato. Plotinus, the founder, explained that humans are emanate matter from the divine. This means that our souls were once part of the divine and brought back to new bodies. This was a major part of the religion. The body was a vessel to enhance the soul. By fasting and self denying, it was easier to "train" the soul to make it better. Neoplatonism brought a new light to the subject of religion. It was now on a spiritual level.

Constantine: Constantine was being trained until he was left alone. He then went to Gaul to be with his father. Constantius died in 306 and Constantine was left to be in his place. He was now in control of the legions of Gaul and the Rhineland, also, Britannia. At around 310, Constantine started to promote himself as the "invincible sun". Rome and soldiers loved this. in 312, Constantine marched on Italy. He had a vision of two Greek letters that Christ had told him to use to conquer. He put them on banners and shields, they won. Because he had won, he built more churches and then forced Licinus to join the religion. Although the faith had changed, this became the most favorable religion.

Edict of Milan: The Edict of Milan was to establish Christianity as a religion in the Roman Empire. Rome never liked the thought of Christianity when it all started out. "This guaranteed freedom of worship to all Rome's citizens, Christian and non-Christian" (Joshua Cole, Carol Symes Pg.150). Constantine forced Liscinius into religious tolerance. There was to be no more punishment for being a Christian or any faith that someone desired to believe in.

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