Manual Coming Out Christian in the Roman World: How the Followers of Jesus Made a Place in Caesars Empire

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  1. First Impressions #29: Douglas Boin
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  3. Coming Out Christian in the Roman World: How the Followers of Jesus Made a Place in Caesar’s Empire
  4. Early Christianity - Ancient History Encyclopedia

They pressed fellow Jews to prepare for these events and to follow "the way" of the Lord.

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They believed Yahweh to be the only true God, [76] 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, [note 9] including acceptance of Gentile converts based on a version of the Noachide laws.

First Impressions #29: Douglas Boin

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.

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 —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. 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 , [96] but almost immediately also in Greek.

In Paul 's time there were no precisely delineated functions yet for bishops , elders , and deacons. 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 —41 : []. 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 Two fundamentally different Christologies developed in the early Church, namely a "low" or adoptionist Christology, and a "high" or "incarnation Christology.

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 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. 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.

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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". 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.

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. 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.

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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. 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. 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.

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. For Paul, it gained a deeper significance, providing "a basis for the salvation of sinful Gentiles apart from the Torah. 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, [note 18] 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 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. 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 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 Septuagint [] and often written as "LXX," was the dominant translation. Perhaps the earliest Christian canon is the Bryennios List , dated to around , which was found by Philotheos Bryennios in the Codex Hierosolymitanus. The list is written in Koine Greek , Aramaic and Hebrew. The original texts were written by various authors, most likely sometime between c. AD 45 and 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. Their writings include the Epistle of Barnabas and the Epistles of Clement.

Coming Out Christian in the Roman World: How the Followers of Jesus Made a Place in Caesar’s Empire

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. In his letter 1 Clement , Clement of Rome calls on the Christians of Corinth to maintain harmony and order.

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. 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 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.

Early Christianity - Ancient History Encyclopedia

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. For example, Pliny the Younger postulates that Christians are not Jews since they do not pay the tax, in his letters to Trajan. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.