The Rise and Spread of Christianity Ancient History - Mrs. Durdle

Judea

Judaism - Old Testament/ TORAH & other Scriptures; Prophets pointing to MESSIAH who would save the Jewish people and set them free.

Jewish revolutionaries - This painting depicts the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome, 66 AD -73 AD

Christianity - Jesus is the Messiah

  • Jesus - the fullment of the JEWISH PROPHECIES
  • Jesus - the SON of God
  • Jesus - the INCARNATION of God
  • MONOTHEISTS
HEAVEN and HELL
  • HEAVEN and HELL
Jesus taught his disciples to care for the poor, about Heaven and Hell, and about a future kingdom that would come at the end of time.

the RESURRECTION

Jesus' death

New Testament Writings

  • GOSPELS - Accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus
  • EPISTLES - Letters written by early Christians and leaders of the church.
Peter and Paul
The Church: The "Body of Christ" -- Christian community
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • WOMEN
  • Slaves
  • FREEDMEN
  • Immigrants
Why did Christianity appeal to these groups of people?
  • Stories were told in PARABLES
  • Gospels and Epistles written in "lower class" Greek
  • Opened up God's promises to Jewish people to GENTILES
  • Taught SPIRITUAL EQUALITY over social order
  • Sense of Community - effective leadership; Apostles PETER and PAUL led the way.

So why were they persecuted?

HUMILITY vs. Honor

POOR vs. Rich

FAITH vs. Ritual

  • Emperor DECIUS - persecuted Christians for not sacrificing animals
  • Emperors Valerian and Gallienus - tried to wipe out CHURCH LEADERSHIP.
  • Emperor Diocletian - LARGEST PERSECUTION of Christians in 302 AD

Peter and Paul are both martyred.

Diocletian...

Diocletian - "dominos et deus"

Problems: Roman Empire Size and issues of succession

Solution: The Tetrarchy

The Tetrachy didn't really work out like Diocletian had hoped.

Constantine's Converstion

  • Calculated POLITICAL STRATEGY ?
  • Expression of AUTOCRACY ?
  • Genuine faith?
Spread of Christianity under Constantine
  • Constantine gives more power legal power to bishops EXPANDS POWER AND INFLUENCE OF CHURCH LEADERS.
  • Being a Christian could help one's career in the imperial BUREAUCRACY.
Arianism
  • Teaching by ARIUS
  • Jesus couldn't be both God and the Son of God
  • Jesus was CREATED, not around for all eternity

COUNCIL OF NICAEA

The Council of Nicaea and Creed
  • Commisioned to ADDRESS HERESIES, especially Arianism
  • CONSTANTINE rejected Arianism, made the final ruling
  • Established important precedence for church-state relations
Edict of Milan - Religious toleration throughout Rome for the practice of Christianity
  • Constantine's successors (mostly) expanded policies SUPPORTING Christianity.
Theodosius the Great
  • BANNED pagan sacrifices and worship
  • Established NICENE CREED as universal norm
  • Established CHRISTIANITY as the official state religion
  • Martyrdom out, MONASTICISM in.

Power shift: State -----> Church

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