Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity, from the start of the ministry of Jesus (c. 27–29 AD) to the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles (c. 100). According to Christian tradition, the period from Jesus's death, resurrection, and the Great Commission is distinguished as the Apostolic Age.
The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christendom, and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.
In the Christian gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan, and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry. A chronology of Jesus typically has the date of the start of his ministry estimated at around AD 27–29 and the end in the range AD 30–36.
In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, particularly the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus according to the New Testament and the Qur’an. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus.
Early Christianity developed out of the eschatological ministry of Jesus. Subsequent to Jesus' death, his earliest followers formed an apocalyptic Jewish sect during the late Second Temple period of the 1st century. They expected the second coming of Jesus and the start of God's Kingdom.
Early Christianity covers the period from its origins until the First Council of Nicaea (325). This period is typically divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period.
Jewish eschatology is the area of Jewish philosophy and theology concerned with events that will happen in the end of days and related concepts. This includes the ingathering of the exiled diaspora, the coming of a Jewish Messiah, afterlife, and the revival of the dead Tzadikim. In Judaism, the end times are usually called the "end of days", a phrase that appears several times in the Tanakh.
In Christianity, Jesus is believed to be the Son of God and the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Christians believe that through his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, God offered humans salvation and eternal life. He is believed to be the Jewish messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament. These teachings emphasize that as the Lamb of God, Jesus chose to suffer on the cross at Calvary as a sign of his obedience to the will of God, as an "agent and servant of God". Jesus died to atone for sin to make us right with God. Jesus' choice positions him as a man of obedience, in contrast to Adam's disobedience.
Paul the Apostle, a pious Jew who had persecuted the early Christians, converted c. 33–36and started to proselytize among the Gentiles. According to Paul, Gentile converts could be allowed exemption from most Jewish commandments, arguing that all are justified by faith in Jesus. This was part of a gradual split of early Christianity and Judaism, as Christianity became a distinct religion including predominantly Gentile adherence.
Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.
Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).
Gentile is a term that usually means 'someone who is not a Jew'. Other groups that claim Israelite heritage sometimes use the term to describe outsiders.
Jerusalem had an early Christian community, which was led by James the Just, Peter, and John.Antioch was where the followers were first called Christians. Peter was later martyred in the see of Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire. The apostles went on to spread the message of the Gospel around the classical world and founded apostolic sees around the early centers of Christianity. The last apostle to die was John in c. 100.
James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord, was the brother of Jesus, according to the New Testament. He was an early leader of the Jerusalem Church of the Apostolic Age, to which Paul was also affiliated. He died in martyrdom in 62 or 69 AD.
Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon, Sham'un al-Safa, Cephas, or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the first leader of the early Church.
John the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Generally listed as the youngest apostle, he was the son of Zebedee and Salome or Joanna. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. The Church Fathers identify him as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, and testify that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes. The traditions of most Christian denominations have held that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament.
Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as 'The Way' (ἡ ὁδός), probably coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." Other Jews also called them "the Nazarenes." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" (Greek : Χριστιανός) was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" (Greek: Χριστιανισμός) was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD.
The Nazarenes were an early Christian sect in first-century Judaism. The first use of the term is found in the Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament, where Paul the Apostle is accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes before the Roman procurator Antonius Felix at Caesarea Maritima by Tertullus. At that time, the term simply designated followers of Jesus of Nazareth, as the Hebrew term נוֹצְרִי still does.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
In Christianity, disciple primarily refers to a dedicated follower of Jesus. This term is found in the New Testament only in the Gospels and Acts. In the ancient world a disciple is a follower or adherent of a teacher. It is not the same as being a student in the modern sense. A disciple in the ancient biblical world actively imitated both the life and teaching of the master. It was a deliberate apprenticeship which made the fully formed disciple a living copy of the master.
Christianity arose in the syncretistic Hellenistic world of the first century AD, which was dominated by Roman law and Greek culture.Hellenistic culture had a profound impact on the customs and practices of Jews, both in Roman Palestine and in the Diaspora. The inroads into Judaism gave rise to Hellenistic Judaism in the Jewish diaspora which sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism. Hellenistic Judaism spread to Ptolemaic Egypt from the 3rd century BC, and became a notable religio licita after the Roman conquest of Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Judea, and Egypt.
Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. It encompasses a wide body of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. The Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.
Religio licita is a phrase used in the Apologeticum of Tertullian to describe the special status of the Jews in the Roman Empire. It was not an official term in Roman law.
The Roman province of Asia or Asiana, in Byzantine times called Phrygia, was an administrative unit added to the late Republic. It was a Senatorial province governed by a proconsul. The arrangement was unchanged in the reorganization of the Roman Empire in 211.
Palestinian Judaism at this time was divided into antagonistic factions. The main camps were the Pharisees, Saducees, Essenes and Zealots.This led to further unrest, and the 1st century BC and 1st century AD saw a number of charismatic religious leaders, contributing to what would become the Mishnah of rabbinic Judaism; and the ministry of Jesus, which would lead to the emergence of the first Jewish Christian community.
A central concern in 1st century Judaism was the covenant with God, and the status of the Jews as the chosen people.Many Jews believed that this covenant would be renewed with the coming of the Messiah. The Law was given by God to guide them in their worship of the Lord and in their interctions with each other, "the greatest gift God had given his people."
The Jewish messiah concept has its root in the apocalyptic literature of the 2nd century BC to 1st century BC, promising a future leader or king from the Davidic line who is expected to be anointed with holy anointing oil and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age and world to come. : מלך משיח, romanized: melekh mashiach) or malka meshiḥa in Aramaic.The Messiah is often referred to as "King Messiah" (Hebrew
|Events in the|
| Life of Jesus |
according to the Gospels
The main sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels, and to a lesser extent the Pauline epistles and the New Testament apocrypha.The Gospels are theological documents, which "provide information the authors regarded as necessary for the religious development of the Christian communities in which they worked." They consist of short passages, pericopes , which the Gospel-authors arranged in various ways as suited their aims.
In the canonical gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the Jordan River, and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. Luke 3:23 ) states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry. A chronology of Jesus typically has the date of the start of his ministry estimated at around AD 27–29 and the end in the range AD 30–36.The Gospel of Luke (
In the Synoptic Gospels Jewish eschatology stands central.After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus teaches extensively for a year, or maybe just a few months, about the coming Kingdom of God (or, in Matthew, the Kingdom of Heaven), in aphorisms and parables, using similes and figures of speech. In the Gospel of John, Jesus himself is the main subject.
The Synoptics present different views on the Kingdom of God.While the Kingdom is essentially described as eschatological, becoming reality in the near future, some texts present the Kingdom as already being present, while other texts depict the Kingdom as a place in heaven that one enters after death, or as the presence of God on earth. . Jesus talks as expecting the coming of the "Son of Man" from heaven, an apocalyptic figure who would initiate "the coming judgment and the redemption of Israel." According to Davies, the Sermon on the Mount presents Jesus as the new Moses who brings a New Law, the Messianic Torah.
His ministry was ended by his execution by crucifixion. His early followers believed that three days after his death, Jesus rose bodily from the dead and was exaltated to Divine status.Paul's letters and the Gospels document a number of post-resurrection appearances and the resurrection of Jesus "signalled for earliest believers that the days of eschatological fulfilment were at hand." The resurrection was also seen as the exaltation of Jesus, "the action in which God designated Jesus as the unique divine Son, Lord, and monarch who is to preside in the submission of all things to God’s kingdom," forming the basis and impetus of the Christian faith and devotion. His followers expected Him to return in the near future, ushering in the Kingdom of God.
There is widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, and on the meaning of his teachings.Scholars often draw a distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, and two different accounts can be found in this regard.
Critical scholarship has discounted most of the narratives about Jesus as legendary, and the mainstream historical view is that while the gospels include many legendary elements, these are religious elaborations added to the accounts of a historical Jesus who was crucified under the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in the 1st-century Roman province of Judea.His remaining disciples later believed that he was resurrected.
Contemporary scholarship places Jesus firmly in the Jewish tradition,Five portraits of the historical Jesus are supported by mainstream scholars, namely the apocalyptic prophet, the charismatic healer, the Cynic philosopher, the Jewish Messiah, and the prophet of social change. The most prominent view of Jesus is as a Jewish apocalyptic or eschatological teacher. A primary criterion used to discern historical details in the "third quest" is that of plausibility, relative to Jesus' Jewish context and to his influence on Christianity.
Traditionally, the years following Jesus until the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles is called the Apostolic Age, after the missionary activities of the apostles.According to the Acts of the Apostles, the Jerusalem church began at Pentecost with some 120 believers, in an "upper room," believed by some to be the Cenacle, where the apostles received the Holy Spirit and emerged from hiding following the death and resurrection of Jesus to preach and spread his message.
Paul's conversion on the Road to Damascus is first recorded in Acts 9:13-16. Peter baptized the Roman centurion Cornelius, traditionally considered the first Gentile convert to Christianity, in Acts 10. Based on this, the Antioch church was founded. It is also believed that it was there that the term Christian was coined.
Historically, after the death of Jesus, "Christianity [...] emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine."The first Christians were all Jews, either by birth or conversion ("proselytes" in Biblical terminology), who constituted a Second Temple Jewish sect with an apocalyptic eschatology.
Jewish Christians were fully faithful religious Jews, who formed an apocalyptic Jewish sects during the late Second Temple period of the 1st century. They regarded Jesus as Lord and resurrected messiah, and the eternally existing Son of God,expecting the second coming of Jesus and the start of God's Kingdom. They pressed fellow Jews to prepare for these events and to follow "the way" of the Lord. They believed Yahweh to be the only true God, the god of Israel, and considered Jesus to be the messiah (Christ), as prophesied in the Jewish scriptures, which they held to be authoritative and sacred. They held faithfully to the Torah, including acceptance of Gentile converts based on a version of the Noachide laws. They employed mostly the Septuagint or Targum translations of the Hebrew scriptures.
The Book of Acts reports that the early followers continued daily Temple attendance and traditional Jewish home prayer. Other passages in the New Testament gospels reflect a similar observance of traditional Jewish piety such as fasting, reverence for the Torah and observance of Jewish holy days.
Liturgical services were based on repeating the actions of Jesus ("do this in remembrance of me"), using the bread and wine, and saying his words (known as the words of the institution).[ citation needed ] The rest of the liturgical ritual is rooted in the Jewish Passover, siddur , the Passover Seder, and synagogue services, including the singing of hymns (especially the Psalms) and reading from the scriptures. At first, Christians continued to worship alongside Jewish believers, but within twenty years of Jesus' death, Sunday (the Lord's Day) was being regarded as the primary day of worship.
The New Testament's Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record that an early Jewish Christian communitycentered on Jerusalem, and that its leaders included Peter, James, the brother of Jesus, and John the Apostle. Legitimised by Jesus' appearance, Peter was the first leader of the Jerusalem ekklēsia. He was soon eclipsed in this leadership by James the Just, "the Brother of the Lord," which may explain why the early texts contain scarce information about Peter. According to Lüdemann, in the discussions about the strictness of adherence to the Jewish Law, the more conservative faction of James the Just took the overhand over the more liberal position of Peter, who soon lost influence. The Jerusalem community "held a central place among all the churches," as witnessed by Paul's writings. The relatives of Jesus were accorded a special position within this community, as displayed by the leadership of James the Just in Jerusalem.
According to a tradition recorded by Eusebius and Epiphanius of Salamis, the Jerusalem church fled to Pella at the outbreak of the Great Jewish Revolt (AD 66–73).
The Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his eschatological message to all the nations of the world. The most famous version of the Great Commission is in Matthew 28:16–20 , where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to make disciples of and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Christian missionary activity spread "the Way" to early centers of Christianity in the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire, and then throughout the Hellenistic world and even beyond the Roman Empire.
Apostles and preachers traveled to Jewish communities around the Mediterranean Sea, and attracted Jewish converts.Within 10 years of the death of Jesus, apostles had attracted enthusiasts for "the Way" from Jerusalem to Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica, Cyprus, Crete, Alexandria and Rome. Paul was responsible for introducing "the Way" to Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, and Thessalonica. Over 40 churches were established by 100, most in Asia Minor, such as the seven churches of Asia, and some in Greece and Italy.
Early Christian beliefs were proclaimed in kerygma (preaching), some of which are preserved in New Testament scripture. The early Gospel message spread orally, probably originally in Aramaic,but almost immediately also in Greek. Christian groups and congregations first organized themselves loosely. In Paul's time there were no precisely delineated functions yet for bishops, elders, and deacons.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(August 2019)
The sources for the beliefs of the apostolic community include oral traditions (which included sayings attributed to Jesus, parables and teachings),the Gospels, the New Testament epistles and possibly lost texts such as the Q source and the writings of Papias. The texts contain the earliest Christian creeds expressing belief in the risen Jesus, such as 1 Corinthians 15:3–41:
 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,  and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
The creed has been dated by some scholars as originating within the Jerusalem apostolic community no later than the 40s,and by some to less than a decade after Jesus' death, while others date it to about 56. Other early creeds include 1 John 4:2, 2 Timothy 2:8 Romans 1:3–4 and 1 Timothy 3:16.
Two fundamentally different Christologies developed in the early Church, namely a "low" or adoptionist Christology, and a "high" or "incarnation Christology."The chronology of the development of these early Christologies is a matter of debate within contemporary scholarship.
The "low Christology" or "adoptionist Christology" is the belief "that God exalted Jesus to be his Son by raising him from the dead,"thereby raising him to "divine status." According to the "evolutionary model" c.q. "evolutionary theories," the Christological understanding of Christ developed over time, as witnessed in the Gospels, with the earliest Christians believing that Jesus was a human who was exalted, c.q. adopted as God's Son, when he was resurrected. Later beliefs shifted the exaltation to his baptism, birth, and subsequently to the idea of his eternal existence, as witnessed in the Gospel of John. This evolutionary model was very influential, and the "low Christology" has long been regarded as the oldest Christology.
The other early Christology is "high Christology," which is "the view that Jesus was a pre-existent divine being who became a human, did the Father’s will on earth, and then was taken back up into heaven whence he had originally come,"and from where he appeared on earth. According to Hurtado, a proponent of an Early High Christology, the devotion to Jesus as divine originated in early Jewish Christianity, and not later or under the influence of pagan religions and Gentile converts. The Pauline letters, which are the earliest Christian writings, already show "a well-developed pattern of Christian devotion [...] already conventionalized and apparently uncontroversial."
Early Christianity continued Judaic practices: baptism,Jewish liturgical, a set of scriptural readings adapted from synagogue practice, use of sacred music in hymns and prayer, and ascetic practices. A novel element was the worship of Jesus as Lord.
Early Christian beliefs regarding baptism probably predate the New Testament writings. It seems certain that numerous Jewish sects and certainly Jesus's disciples practised baptism. John the Baptist had baptized many people, before baptisms took place in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul likened baptism to being buried with Christ in his death.
Communal meals originated in the early Church.The Eucharist was often a part of the Lovefeast, but between the latter part of the 1st century A.D. and 250 A.D. the two became separate rituals. Thus, in modern times the Lovefeast refers to a Christian ritual meal distinct from the Lord's Supper.
The Eucharist ( // ; also called Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper, among other names) is a Christian rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper; giving his disciples bread and wine during the Passover meal, Jesus commanded his followers to "do this in memory of me" while referring to the bread as "my body" and the cup of wine as "the new covenant in my blood". Through the Eucharistic celebration Christians remember both Christ's sacrifice of himself on the cross and his commission of the apostles at the Last Supper.
During the first three centuries of Christianity, the Liturgical ritual was rooted in the Jewish Passover, Siddur, Seder, and synagogue services, including the singing of hymns (especially the Psalms) and reading from the scriptures.Most early Christians did not own a copy of the works that later became the Christian Bible or other church works accepted by some but not canonized, such as the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, or other works today called New Testament apocrypha. Similar to Judaism, much of the original church liturgical services functioned as a means of learning these Scriptures, which initially centered around the Septuagint and the Targums.
A final uniformity of liturgical services may have become solidified after the church established a Biblical canon, possibly based on the Apostolic Constitutions and Clementine literature. Clement (d.99) writes that liturgies are "to be celebrated, and not carelessly nor in disorder" but the final uniformity of liturgical services only came later, though the Liturgy of St James is traditionally associated with James the Just.
At first, Christians continued to worship alongside Jewish believers, but within twenty years of Jesus' death, Sunday (the Lord's Day) was being regarded as the primary day of worship.
Paul's influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than that of any other New Testament author.According to the New Testament, Saul of Tarsus first persecuted the early Jewish Christians, but then converted. He adopted the name Paul and started proselytizing among the Gentiles, adopting the title "Apostle to the Gentiles."
Paul was in contact with the early Christian community in Jerusalem, led by James the Just.According to Mack, he may have been converted to another early strand of Christianity, with a High Christology. Fragments of their beliefs in an exalted and deified Jesus, what Mack called the "Christ cult," can be found in the writings of Paul. Yet, Hurtado notes that Paul valued the linkage with "Jewish Christian circles in Roman Judea," which makes it likely that his Christology was in line with, and indebted to, their views. Hurtado further notes that "[i]t is widely accepted that the tradition that Paul recites in [Corinthians] 15:1-71 must go back to the Jerusalem Church."
Paul was responsible for bringing Christianity to Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, and Thessalonica. Zechariah 8:20-23 ), and Paul saw himself as specially called by God to declare God's eschatological acceptance of the Gentiles and summon them to turn to God." According to Krister Stendahl, the main concern of Paul's writings on Jesus' role, and salvation by faith, is the problem of the inclusion of gentile (Greek) Torah observers into God's covenant. The inclusion of Gentiles into early Christianity posed a problem for the Jewish identity of some of the early Christians. Observance of the Jewish commands, including circumcision, was regarded as a token of the membership of this covenant, and the early Jewish Christians insisted on keeping those observances. Gentiles were, by definition, not part of Israel, God's chosen people, and the new converts did not follow all "Jewish Law" and refused to be circumcised, as circumcision was considered repulsive during the period of Hellenization of the Eastern Mediterranean.According to Hurtado, "Paul saw Jesus’ resurrection as ushering in the eschatological time foretold by biblical prophets in which the pagan 'Gentile' nations would turn from their idols and embrace the one true God of Israel (e.g.,
Paul objected strongly to the insistence on keeping all of the Jewish commands, considering it a great threat to his doctrine of salvation through faith in Jesus.According to Fredriksen, Paul's opposition to male circumcison for Gentiles is in line with Old Testament predictions that "in the last days the gentile nations would come to the God of Israel, as gentiles (e.g., Zechariah 8:20-23), not as proselytes to Israel." For Paul, Gentile male circumcison was therefore an affront to God's intentions. According to Hurtado, "Paul saw himself as what Munck called a salvation-historical figure in his own right," who was "personally and singularly deputized by God to bring about the predicted ingathering (the “fullness”) of the nations (Romans 11:25)."
For Paul, Jesus' death and resurrection solved the problem of the exclusion of the gentles from God's covenant,since the faithful are redeemed by participation in Jesus' death and rising. In the Jerusalem ekklēsia, from which Paul received the creed of 1 Corinthisnas 15:1-7, the phrase "died for our sins" probably was an apologetic rationale for the death of Jesus as being part of God's plan and purpose, as evidenced in the scriptures. For Paul, it gained a deeper significance, providing "a basis for the salvation of sinful Gentiles apart from the Torah." According to Sanders, Paul argued that "those who are baptized into Christ are baptized into his death, and thus they escape the power of sin [...] he died so that the believers may die with him and consequently live with him." By this participation in Christ's death and rising, "one receives forgiveness for past offences, is liberated from the powers of sin, and receives the Spirit." Paul insists that salvation is received by the grace of God; according to Sanders, this insistence is in line with Judaism of c. 200 BC until 200 AD, which saw God's covenant with Israel as an act of grace of God. Observance of the Law is needed to maintain the covenant, but the covenant is not earned by observing the Law, but by the grace of God.
These divergent interpretations have a prominent place in both Paul's writings and in Acts. According to Paul, fourteen years after his conversion he visited the "Pillars of Jerusalem" to compare his Gospel with theirs. According to Paul, in his letter to the Galatians,they agreed that his mission was to be among the Gentiles. According to Acts, Paul made an argument that circumcision was not a necessary practice, vocally supported by Peter, as documented in Acts 15.
The inclusion of Gentiles is reflected in Luke-Acts, which is an attempt to answer a theological problem, namely how the Messiah of the Jews came to have an overwhelmingly non-Jewish church; the answer it provides, and its central theme, is that the message of Christ was sent to the Gentiles because the Jews rejected it.
Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire occurred sporadically over a period of over two centuries. For most of the first three hundred years of Christian history, Christians were able to live in peace, practice their professions, and rise to positions of responsibility.Sporadic percecution took place as the result of local pagan populations putting pressure on the imperial authorities to take action against the Christians in their midst, who were thought to bring misfortune by their refusal to honour the gods.
Only for approximately ten out of the first three hundred years of the church's history were Christians executed due to orders from a Roman emperor.The first persecution of Christians organised by the Roman government took place under the emperor Nero in 64 AD after the Great Fire of Rome. There was no empire-wide persecution of Christians until the reign of Decius in the third century. The Edict of Serdica was issued in 311 by the Roman emperor Galerius, officially ending the Diocletianic persecution of Christianity in the East. With the passage in 313 AD of the Edict of Milan, in which the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christian religion, persecution of Christians by the Roman state ceased.
The early Christians likely did not have their own copy of Scriptural and other church works. Much of the original church liturgical services functioned as a means of learning Christian theology later expressed in these works.
The Biblical canon began with the Jewish Scriptures. The Koine Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, later known as the Septuagintand often written as "LXX," was the dominant translation.
Perhaps the earliest Christian canon is the Bryennios List, dated to around 100, which was found by Philotheos Bryennios in the Codex Hierosolymitanus. The list is written in Koine Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew.In the 2nd century, Melito of Sardis called the Jewish scriptures the "Old Testament" and also specified an early canon.
|Books of the|
|Acts of the Apostles|
| Romans |
1 Corinthians · 2 Corinthians
Galatians · Ephesians
Philippians · Colossians
1 Thessalonians · 2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy · 2 Timothy
Titus · Philemon
Hebrews · James
1 Peter · 2 Peter
1 John · 2 John · 3 John
|New Testament manuscripts|
The New Testament (often compared to the New Covenant) is the second major division of the Christian Bible. It includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation. The original texts were written by various authors, most likely sometime between c. AD 45 and 120 AD,in Koine Greek, the lingua franca of the eastern part of the Roman Empire, though there is also a minority argument for Aramaic primacy.
Writings attributed to the Apostles circulated among the earliest Christian communities. The Pauline epistles were circulating, perhaps in collected forms, by the end of the 1st century AD.
The Church Fathers are the early and influential Christian theologians and writers, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. The earliest Church Fathers, within two generations of the Twelve apostles of Christ, are usually called Apostolic Fathers for reportedly knowing and studying under the apostles personally. Important Apostolic Fathers include Clement of Rome (d. AD 99),Ignatius of Antioch (d. AD 98 to 117) and Polycarp of Smyrna (AD 69-155). Their writings include the Epistle of Barnabas and the Epistles of Clement. The Didache and Shepherd of Hermas are usually placed among the writings of the Apostolic Fathers although their authors are unknown.
Taken as a whole, the collection is notable for its literary simplicity, religious zeal and lack of Hellenistic philosophy or rhetoric. They contain early thoughts on the organisation of the Christian ekklēsia, and witness the development of an early Church structure.
In his letter 1 Clement, Clement of Rome calls on the Christians of Corinth to maintain harmony and order.Some see his epistle as an assertion of Rome's authority over the church in Corinth and, by implication, the beginnings of papal supremacy. Clement refers to the leaders of the Corinthian church in his letter as bishops and presbyters interchangeably, and likewise states that the bishops are to lead God's flock by virtue of the chief shepherd (presbyter), Jesus Christ.
Ignatius of Antioch advocated the authority of the apostolic episcopacy (bishops).
The Didache (late 1st century)is an anonymous Jewish-Christian work. It is a pastoral manual dealing with Christian lessons, rituals, and Church organization, parts of which may have constituted the first written catechism, "that reveals more about how Jewish-Christians saw themselves and how they adapted their Judaism for Gentiles than any other book in the Christian Scriptures."
There was a slowly growing chasm between Christians and Jews, rather than a sudden split. Even though it is commonly thought that Paul established a Gentile church, it took centuries for a complete break to manifest. However, certain events are perceived as pivotal in the growing rift between Judaism and Christianity.
The destruction of Jerusalem and the consequent dispersion of Jews and Jewish Christians from the city (after the Bar Kokhba revolt) ended any pre-eminence of the Jewish-Christian leadership in Jerusalem. Early Christianity grew further apart from Judaism to establish itself as a predominantly Gentile religion, and Antioch became the first Gentile Christian community with stature.
The Council of Jamnia c. 85 is often stated to have condemned all who claimed the Messiah had already come, and Christianity in particular. However, the formulated prayer in question (birkat ha-minim) is considered by other scholars to be unremarkable in the history of Jewish and Christian relations. There is a paucity of evidence for Jewish persecution of "heretics" in general, or Christians in particular, in the period between 70 and 135. It is probable that the condemnation of Jamnia included many groups, of which the Christians were but one, and did not necessarily mean excommunication. That some of the later church fathers only recommended against synagogue attendance makes it improbable that an anti-Christian prayer was a common part of the synagogue liturgy. Jewish Christians continued to worship in synagogues for centuries.
During the late 1st century, Judaism was a legal religion with the protection of Roman law, worked out in compromise with the Roman state over two centuries. Observant Jews had special rights, including the privilege of abstaining from civic pagan rites. Christians were initially identified with the Jewish religion by the Romans, but as they became more distinct, Christianity became a problem for Roman rulers. Emperor Nerva decreed that Christians did not have to pay the annual tax upon the Jews, effectively recognizing them as distinct from Rabbinic Judaism. This opened the way to Christians being persecuted for disobedience to the emperor as they continued to refuse to worship the state pantheon.
From c. 98 onwards a distinction between Christians and Jews in Roman literature becomes apparent. For example, Pliny the Younger postulates that Christians are not Jews since they do not pay the tax, in his letters to Trajan.Christianity was not legalized until the 313 Edict of Milan.
(1) Marcion's collection that begins with Galatians and ends with Philemon; (2) Papyrus 46, dated about 200, that follows the order that became established except for reversing Ephesians and Galatians; and (3) the letters to seven churches, treating those to the same church as one letter and basing the order on length, so that Corinthians is first and Colossians (perhaps including Philemon) is last.
The Acts of the Apostles, often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian church and the spread of its message to the Roman Empire.
Adoptionism, also called dynamic monarchianism, is a Christian nontrinitarian theological doctrine which holds that Jesus was adopted as the Son of God at his baptism, his resurrection, or his ascension.
Christology, literally "the understanding of Christ," is the study of the nature (person) and work of Jesus Christ. It studies Jesus Christ's humanity and divinity, and the relation between these two natures; and the role he plays in salvation.
The Epistle to the Galatians, often shortened to Galatians, is the ninth book of the New Testament. It is a letter from Paul the Apostle to a number of Early Christian communities in Galatia. Scholars have suggested that this is either the Roman province of Galatia in southern Anatolia, or a large region defined by an ethnic group of Celtic people in central Anatolia.
The Gospel According to Luke, also called the Gospel of Luke, or simply Luke, is the third of the four canonical Gospels. It tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
Matthew the Apostle, also known as Saint Matthew and as Levi, was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. According to Christian tradition, he was also one of the four Evangelists and thus is also known as Matthew the Evangelist.
The resurrection of Jesus, or anastasis is the Christian belief that God raised Jesus after his crucifixion as first of the dead, starting his exalted life as Christ and Lord. In Christian theology, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events, a foundation of the Christian faith, and commemorated by Easter. His resurrection is the guarantee that all the Christian dead will be resurrected at Christ's parousia. For the Christian tradition, the bodily resurrection was the restoration to life of a transformed body powered by spirit, as described by Paul and the Gospels, that led to the establishment of Christianity.
Ebionites is a patristic term referring to a Jewish Christian movement that existed during the early centuries of the Christian Era. They regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity and his virgin birth and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites. They used only one of the Jewish–Christian gospels, the Hebrew Book of Matthew starting at chapter three; revered James, the brother of Jesus ; and rejected Paul the Apostle as an apostate from the Law. Their name suggests that they placed a special value on voluntary poverty. Ebionim was one of the terms used by the sect at Qumran who sought to separate themselves from the corruption of the Temple. Many believe that the Qumran sectarians were Essenes.
Pauline Christianity or Pauline theology is the theology and Christianity which developed from the beliefs and doctrines espoused by Paul the Apostle through his writings. Paul's beliefs were strongly rooted in the earliest Jewish Christianity, but deviated from some of this Jewish Christianity in their emphasis on inclusion of the gentiles into God's New Covenant, and his rejection of circumcision as an unnecessary token of upholding the Law.
The Council of Jerusalem or Apostolic Council was held in Jerusalem around AD 50. It is unique among the ancient pre-ecumenical councils in that it is considered by Catholics and Orthodox to be a prototype and forerunner of the later ecumenical councils and a key part of Christian ethics. The council decided that Gentile converts to Christianity were not obligated to keep most of the Law of Moses, including the rules concerning circumcision of males. The Council did, however, retain the prohibitions on eating blood, meat containing blood, and meat of animals not properly slain, and on fornication and idolatry, sometimes referred to as the Apostolic Decree or Jerusalem Quadrilateral.
Early Christianity had its roots in Hellenistic Judaism and the Jewish messianism of the first century and Jewish Christians were the first Christians. Christianity started with Jewish eschatological expectations, and it developed into the veneration of a deified Jesus after his earthly ministry, his crucifixion, and the post–crucifixion experiences of his followers.
Most scholars who study the historical Jesus and early Christianity believe that the canonical gospels and the life of Jesus must be viewed within their historical and cultural context, rather than purely in terms of Christian orthodoxy. They look at Second Temple Judaism, the tensions, trends, and changes in the region under the influence of Hellenism and the Roman occupation, and the Jewish factions of the time, seeing Jesus as a Jew in this environment; and the written New Testament as arising from a period of oral gospel traditions after his death.
The Christ myth theory is the view that "the story of Jesus is a piece of mythology", possessing no "substantial claims to historical fact". Alternatively, in terms given by Bart Ehrman paraphrasing Earl Doherty, "the historical Jesus did not exist. Or if he did, he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity."
The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus are the earthly appearances of Jesus to his followers after his death and burial. Believers point to them as proof of his resurrection and identity as Messiah, seated in heaven on the right hand of God.
This article combines a number of episodes in the New Testament and in Jewish tradition during his lifetime in which Jesus was rejected.:) :):):):):):):):):)
The history of early Christianity covers the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period, to the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.
Paul the Apostle has been placed within Second Temple Judaism by recent scholarship since the 1970s. A main point of departure with older scholarship is the understanding of Second Temple Judaism, and the covenant with God and the role of works, as a means to either gain, or to keep the covenant.
For the early Christians, the agape signified the importance of fellowship. It was a ritual to celebrate the joy of eating, pleasure and company.
During the days of the Early Church, the believers would all gather together to share what was known as an agape feast, or "love feast." Those who could afford to bring food brought it to the feast and shared it with the other believers.
So strong were the overtones of the Eucharist as a meal of fellowship that in its earliest practice it often took place in concert with the Agape feast. By the latter part of the first century, however, as Andrew McGowan points out, this conjoined communal banquet was separated into "a morning sacramental ritual [and a] prosaic communal supper."
Agape (love feast), which ultimately became separate from the Eucharist...
Around AD 250 the lovefeast and Eucharist seem to separate, leaving the Eucharist to develop outside the context of a shared meal.
The New Testament contains twenty-seven books, written in Greek, by fifteen or sixteen different authors, who were addressing other Christian individuals or communities between the years 50 and 120 (see box 1.4). As we will see, it is difficult to know whether any of these books was written by Jesus' own disciples.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: First Century Christianity|