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The Rise And Spread Of Christianity

1484 words - 6 pages

Christianity started in present day Israel with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem of Galilee. Jesus was the legal son of Joseph and Mary. The Christian belief states that an angel came to Mary, a virgin, and explained to her that she would birth the son of god. Her betrothed, Joseph the Carpenter was too poor to afford housing because the Jews had to pay taxes to the Roman Governor. Some Christians believe that Jesus Christ was born in a cave near a stable. Others believe that he was born in a horse manger after a hotel clerk turned the family away on the eve of Jesus' birth.The New Testament holds that Jesus' birth was heralded by divine signs and ...view middle of the document...

Christians emulate Jesus' lifestyle and follow his example in conquering temptation and fighting the devil. After his return from the wilderness Jesus gathered together 12 disciples who believed that he was Christ, and would help Jesus spread his message of religious reform and divine love. Jesus and his 12 disciples wandered through the settlements in Galilee and the surrounding countryside preaching and calling on people to believe in Jesus and his message. A noteworthy number of common people welcomed Jesus because of his healing powers, his ability to teach through parables, and his message that every person could be saved. Unlike some aspects of the Jewish faith that segregated the population and favored the clergy over the common man, Jesus' teachings appealed to the masses because of their simplicity and focus on love and spirituality rather than a strict adherence to rigid guidelines.In addition to Jesus' wondrous miracles and his godly healing powers, he also possessed a unique ability to speak to many varied members of society. He did not look down on sinners but encouraged them to return to God. He did not shun the sick or the maimed and he did not look down on women or non-Jews. Instead, Jesus welcomed all segments of society and offered a faith that would welcome and accept any willing participant.Jesus' ministry was strongly opposed by the Pharisees (a Jewish sect of scholars and priests) because of his interest in the poor and his criticism of hypocrisy within the Jewish community. As a result, Jesus came into conflict with these Jewish elites and condemned them. In turn the Pharisees looked upon him as a revolutionary, accused him of breaking the Sabbath because he healed a sick individual on the holy day of rest, and regarded as blasphemy his claim to be the son of god.Jesus had numerous disciples but 12 in particular had formed an inner circle and would later go on to spread his message across the world. These 12, known as The Apostles were Simon (called Peter); Andrew, Simon's brother; James the Elder (son of Zebedee); John, James the Elder's brother; Phillip; Bartholomew; Mathew (or Levi); Thomas; James the Younger; Judas (or Thaddeus, brother of James the Younger); and Simon Zelotes. The most famous disciple is arguably Judas; the man who betrayed Jesus and went on to commit suicide in shame. Judas was replaced by the other disciples who later chose Matthias as his replacement.Christianity was established on the teachings and the life of Jesus Christ but it was spread and documented by the accounts and lives of Christ's apostles. After Jesus died, the apostles traveled across Europe and the Middle East to spread Christianity. There was little written about the work of the disciples and their sacrifices, but their fates did not go unknown. They endured difficult lives and faced great persecution in an effort to spread Jesus' message and call attention to the virtues of Christianity. They all suffered greatly. For example,...

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