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Evolution of Christianity


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Evolution of Christianity

In about 2000 B.C., many displaced tribes were wandering through Middle
East throughout the Middle East because of the political upheavals that
accompanied the collapse of Akkadian kingdom and coming of the
Babylonians. These patriarchal tribes, under guidance of the oldest and
most respected male members, founded communities united by bloodlines,
economic interests, and folk traditions. One of these tribes known as
Hebrews, led by Abraham settled in the territory called Canaan, a region
identified loosely with ancient Israel. These tribes believed that
Abraham was guided by supernatural force, and this supernatural force
made a covenant, or solemn agreement with Abraham to protect his family
and bring prosperity to his offspring if they agreed to obey his divine
commands. These Hebrews enjoyed many prosperous decades in Canaan, and
in 1500 B.C. moved to Egypt at time when it was overrun by Hyksos until
Egypt reconquered their land and enslaved them. In about 1250 B.C. a
leader, Moses led Hebrews to Exodus from Egypt. These events were
recorded on Hebrew scriptures, and it described Moses as a savoir sent
by God. Their religion valued human life as sacred, because it was given
by God, who created and owned all things. The core of Mosaic law was the
Ten Commandments, which set forth the proper behavior of human beings.
Hebrews were called Jew later, and they started to incorporate two new
features into their religion which are eschatology, or the concern with
the end of the world, and apocalypse or prophecies about the coming of
God and a day of judgment. This future world would be led by a Messiah,
or Anointed One, who would bring peace and justice to all. Christianity
takes its roots from Judaism, and it gained much of its power from
tremendous moral force of its central beliefs and values. The surviving
sources for the origin of Christianity are writing in Greek by early
believers who were openly partisan. According to them, Christianity
began within the Jewish believers of Jesus. The outline of Jesus’ life
is described in books called Gospels. The writers of these Gospels were
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and only two these evangelists who are
Matthew and John, were witnesses of Jesus life on earth. There was a
belief at that time that in order to become Christian you first had to
become a Jew. This view of course was changed by Paul, a Jew converted
to Christianity after Jesus’ death. He welcomed led a group who welcomed
gentile, or non-Jewish members. Mark’s Gospel was written in part to
support Paul’s gentile faction. Paul was a citizen of Rome, and
therefore he was able to preach freely Greek-speaking Jew, and Jewish
converts scattered across the Roman Empire. Paul addressed theological
concerns in epistles, or letters which he directed to churches he either
founded or visited across Roman Empire. Paul interpreted Jesus’ life as
“Suffering Servant” who was noble and guiltless but misunderstood and
punished on behalf of others. He said that Jesus suffered for our sin we

ehalf of others. He said that Jesus suffered for our sin we
inherited from Adam and Eve. He also said that human redemption could be
obtained only through believing in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. The
New Testament which was created after Jesus’ coming to earth, started
from Gospels, which talked about Jesus’ life and his teachings, and
ended with Revelation, that talked about the end of the world, and the
Judgment Day.

Adoption of Christianity.

Christianity was adopted by Emperor Constantine of Rome in 313 A.D. as
a official religion of the Roman Empire. The adoption of Christianity
enabled most priests to join army units, and bishops to attend imperial
courts, because they didn’t want to join or attend before. Emperor
Constantine restored faith, returned confiscated property to the church,
built new churches, and gave tax exemptions to bishops during his reign.
He dedicated an entire city to Christianity and named it after his name
Constantinople. Constantine’s successors supported the spread of
Christianity, and by 395 A.D. most of the population was Christian.
Christianity adapted to Rome’s values, promising victory to Roman armies
and a bountiful life to believers. There were many controversies in
Christianity. Distressed by these controversies, Constantine tried to
end major controversy over relationship of Jesus to God. The first
group, who were followers of priest Arius, said that Jesus wasn’t the
Son of God, and that he was a %100 man. Another group lead by bishop
Athanasius argued that Jesus was %100 divine. In 325, under the
guidance of Constantine this issue was settled at a church council at
Nicaea in Asia Minor in favor of Atrhanasius. Even though Arianism was
condemned, it divided the church for decades and remained strong in
church’s ruling hierarchy. Many believe that the adoption of
Christianity by Constantine lead to the collapse of the Roman Empire.
The fall of Rome came when a leader of troop of German called Odoacer,
defeated a Roman army in 476, and later the entire Roman Empire was
divided into small Germanic kingdoms. The Roman Empire was already weak
by this time because, after the Roman Empire was divided into two parts
with two rulers on each side, it was reunited as one Empire. And this of
course didn’t last long.


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