Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in the world, with more than 2 billion followers. The Christian faith centers on beliefs regarding. History Of Christianity – Examine the roots of a facts-based faith. Study the reliable history of Jesus Christ, the Messiah foretold in prophecy. The following is a capsule summary of the top 25 events in the History of Christianity, events which shaped the Church itself, Christian civilization, and the .

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Christiainsm began as a movement within Judaism at christiznism period when the Jews had long been dominated culturally and politically by foreign powers and had found in their religion rather than in their politics or cultural achievements the linchpin of their community.

In the Hellenistic Age bce —3rd century cethe dispersion of the Jews throughout the kingdoms of the eastern Mediterranean and the Roman Empire reinforced this universalistic tendency. But the attempts of foreign rulers, especially the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes in — bceto impose Greek culture in Palestine provoked zealous resistance on the part of many Jews, leading to the revolt of Judas Maccabeus against Antiochus. In Palestinian Judaism the predominant note was separation and exclusiveness.

Jewish missionaries to other areas were strictly expected to impose the distinctive Jewish customs of circumcisionkosher food histpry, and Sabbaths and other festivals.

Other Jews, however, were not so exclusive christiannism, welcoming Greek culture and accepting converts without requiring circumcision. The relationship of the earliest Christian churches to Judaism turned principally on two questions: The Hebrew Scriptures presented history as the stage of a providential drama eventually ending in a triumph of God over all present sources of frustration e. The proper course of action leading to the consummation of the drama, however, was the subject of some disagreement.

Among the diverse groups were the aristocratic and conservative Sadduceeswho accepted only the five books of Moses the Pentateuch and whose lives and political power were intimately associated with Temple worshipand the Phariseeswho accepted the force of oral tradition and were widely respected for their learning and piety.

The Zealots were aggressive revolutionaries known for their violent opposition to Rome and its polytheisms. Other groups were the Herodianssupporters of chrisianism client kingdom of the Herods a dynasty chgistianism supported Rome and abhorrent to the Zealotsand the Essenesa quasi-monastic dissident group, probably including the sect that preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls.

This latter sect did not participate in the Temple worship hstory Jerusalem and observed another religious calendar, and from their desert retreat they awaited divine intervention and searched prophetic writings for signs indicating the consummation. What relation the followers of Jesus had to some of these groups is not clear.


In chritsianism canonical Gospels those accepted as authentic by the church the main targets of criticism are the scribes and Pharisees, whose attachment to the tradition of Judaism is presented as legalistic and pettifogging. The Sadducees and Herodians likewise receive an unfriendly portrait. The Essenes are never mentioned. Jesus probably stood close to the Pharisees.

Under the social and political conditions of the time, there could be no long future either for the Sadducees or for the Zealots: The choice for many Jews, who were barred from Jerusalem afterthus lay between the Pharisees and the emerging Christian movement.

Pharisaism as enshrined in the Mishna oral law and the Talmud commentary on and addition to the oral law became normative Judaism. By looking to the Gentile hietory world and carefully dissociating itself cbristianism the Zealot revolutionaries and the Pharisees, Christianity made possible its ideal of a world religion, at the price of sacrificing Jewish particularity and exclusiveness.

The fact that Christianity has never succeeded in gaining the allegiance of more than a small minority of Jews is more a mystery to theologians than to historians. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles.

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Christianity – Wikipedia

The history of Christianity The primitive church The relation of the early church to late Judaism Christianity began as a movement within Judaism at a period when the Jews had long been dominated culturally and politically by foreign powers and had found in their religion rather than in their politics or cultural achievements the linchpin of their community. Previous page Histort question of Christian identity.

Page 6 of Next page The relation of the early church to the career and intentions of Jesus.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles: A central theme in Christian teaching was the blessed state of the poor. It was a Christian society which accepted, in and over the animist world where magic held many in thrall, the sovereignty of God and his laws.

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At the heart of the crisis was the critical examination of Christian faith, its foundations in the Bible, and the authority embodied in the church.

History Of Christianity

More About Christianity references found in Britannica articles Assorted References classification of religions In classification of religions: Normative In classification of religions: Christians study of religions In study of religion: Neutrality and subjectivity in the study of religion In study of religion: Later attempts to study religion In study of religion: Cross-cultural perspective viewed by Machiavelli In history of Europe: Renaissance thought arts dance In dance: Changes in attitude toward dance In Western dance: Christianity and the Middle Ages View More.

Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Help us improve this article! Contact our editors with your feedback. Introduction The church and its history The essence and identity of Christianity Historical views of the christianisn Early views Medieval and Reformation views Modern views The question of Christian identity The history of Christianity The primitive church The relation of the early church to late Judaism The relation of the early church to the career and intentions of Jesus The Gentile mission and St.

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