The Rapid Worldwide Spread Of Early Christian Faith

1998 words - 8 pages

Amid the confusion and conflict that resulted from the religious divisions within the Jews in the Roman province of Judea, a new religion based on the principles of Judaism started to gain attention throughout and beyond the Roman Empire. A poor Jewish man by the name of Jesus claimed to be the Son of God who would bring salvation to humans by death on the cross. Because of their disbelief in him, the Jewish leaders accused him of blasphemy. Jesus also represented a threat to Roman authority for his teachings on social justice; therefore, the Romans ordered his crucifixion. However, Jesus’ work did not finish when he was crucified. Based on the Holy Scriptures, Jesus resurrected three days after his death and before ascending to Heaven, he instructed his twelve disciples to become the early teachers of the Christian faith and spread Jesus’ teachings throughout the world. The disciples along with other Christians easily mobilized Jesus’ message of salvation by land and sea using Roman roads and routes such as the Silk Roads. The early Christian faith rapidly expanded as a result of the devotion of Christian missionaries, the reality of personal and community transformation that resulted from this faith, and the support of some government authorities who were appealed to Christianity by its adaptability and the rationality of its message.
Christians, the followers of Christ, believed that Jesus’ coming, death, and resurrection had fulfilled the prophecy of a Messiah who would be sent from God to provide salvation for the world and to restore the conditions of the divine covenant as stated in the Holy Scriptures. YHWH had made a covenant with the Israelites when Moses led a campaign of liberation from Egyptian oppression. In the desert, Moses shared with the Israelites the commandments that God had ordered him to teach them. These commandments were basic rules of behavior for spiritual and moral living which attempted to abolish the worshipping of all other deities and the practices of the Assyrians. In return for their devotion to God and His commandments, the Israelites would be prospered by God (document 13, page 62-63). However, the Israelites adopted many of the practices of their neighbors such as worshipping other deities and as they failed to fulfill their responsibilities with their God, they faced great military conflict. Even then, God protected His chosen people, and hence, He revealed to prophets such as Isaiah of His plans to restore Israel through a Messiah.
While many Jews expected the Messiah to be a powerful leader to restore Israel in a militaristic manner, Christians believed that the humble Jesus had effectively restored God’s divine covenant with His people. Mathew stated that people should “[t]hink not that [Jesus had] come to abolish the law and the prophets… but to fulfill them” (document 41, page 199). While the Pharisees, a Jewish sect, taught the law as understood by them, Jesus perfected and completed the Law of Moses...

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