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christianity notes

Origins- Principal events in the life of Jesus
Baptism (start of Jesus public ministry)
Baptism: a religious act of purification by water from the Greek word baptizo, ‘immerse’. For Christians, it
marks their reception into the Christian community. Began his ministry as a healer and teacher at 30. His
ministry begins with his baptism by John the Baptist who had started a religious movement and was baptising
people in the River Jordan
○ There he experienced God’s call to mission and was filled with the Holy Spirit. “The
Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him” (Matt 3:16)
○ Jesus begins his ministry in the countryside of Judea, near the River Jordan, when he
is "about thirty years old" (Luke 3:23).
○ According to John’s Gospel, Jesus attended at least three annual Feasts of Passover
through the course of His ministry. He was a wandering preacher and healer in the
villages among ordinary people.
Jesus chooses his 12 disciples
The Gospel’s tell us that Jesus began his ministry in Galilee (Mt 4: 12 – 19, Mk 1:14-15; Lk 4:14-15) His first
message was the same as John the Baptist: ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has come’ (Mt 4:17, Mk 1:15) A
spiritual kingdom, an inner kingdom of the human heart where God dwells and is master. The term the
Kingdom of God is found 61 times in the Gospels. Jesus uses this image to challenge his listeners to change to
repent and completely turn around their lives, Jesus also spoke about the joy of salvation (sins forgiven and
eternal life)
● Jesus chose 12 disciples, called Apostles, to share in his teaching and ministry (Mt 10). He shared with
them special teaching and deepest religious experiences so that they could fully understand who he
○ The central message that Jesus puts to his Apostles in the Gospels is “Who do you say that I
am?” (Mk 8:29)
○ Jesus also called women his disciples and they had an important role in the development of the
early church.
Jesus Parables (Jesus teaching on the Kingdom of God)
At the heart of Jesus teaching was the Kingdom of God.
- Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The
kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or
‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.” (Lk 17:20-21)
Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom is ‘here and now’ and told his followers that the loving and compassionate
God would heal and save those who are suffering and would bless them and grant them peace and justice in
their lives.
Jesus spoke about the ‘option for the poor’ which expressed his concern for social justice, and his desire to free
people from all that oppressed them and to restore their dignity – challenging the rich men who exploited the
poor and imposed heavy burdens such as taxes on them.
All are called to enter the Kingdom of God, especially to the ‘little ones’ those who were excluded from Jewish
community life:The oppressed poor The sick and suffering Public sinners Gentiles
Jesus Miracles (Jesus teaching on healing)
The miracles show the power of God working through Jesus.
Some of Jesus miracles include:
Turning water into wine at the Wedding Feast in Cana (his first miracle)
Feeding a crowd of 5000 with only a few loaves and fishes
Raised people from the dead ie The daughter of Jairus and Lazarus
Cured people who were normally incurable ie cripples and lepers
They displayed his power but Jesus is never shown as doing it for his own glorification and often occurred away
from large public gatherings. He often asked that it be told to no one. Jesus performed many miracles of healing.
He restored to wholeness those who were wounded in life or who were broken by sin. Jesus cured many
physical ailments, but more significantly he healed them in spirit by forgiving their sins.
HOLY WEEK: Jesus Passion, Death and Resurrection
Jesus had a huge following by the end of his ministry. He met political and religious opposition as his popularity
spread as the Romans were concerned of an uprising. Jesus ministry eventually took him to Jerusalem , where
he was arrested and brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Emperor's representative, who sentenced him to
death by crucifixion.
Origins of Christianity
Palm Sunday
The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.
They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in
the name of the Lord!" John 12:12-13
It was a day that marked the beginning of a week that would see Jesus cheered, then arrested, tried,
beaten, and put to death on a cross.
And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given
for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19)
Jesus Passion
After Good Friday- After the meal Jesus and the disciples went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He is in
fear and dread and yet submits to the Fathers will being done. Judas betrays Jesus.
Jesus Death and Resurrection
Death- He was arrested by the Roman soldiers and brought to trial before Pontius Pilate, He was imprisoned,
interrogated, tried and condemned to death (on criminal charges of stirring up a revolt against Rome) as he was
being referred to as ‘King of the Jews’.
○ Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace – he did not retaliate, and accepted the will of God. He
was crucified on the hill of Calvary.
○ That evening the dead body was taken down from the cross and laid in an empty tomb, and a
great stone was rolled across the entrance of the tomb. He was buried hastily on Friday
evening so as to not contravene with the Sabbath. This was the end of Jesus' earthly life.
Resurrection- On the third day after Jesus' body was placed in a tomb, Mary Magdalene and Mary (mother of
James) found the tomb empty
- An angel speaks to them and say that Jesus has risen from the dead (Mk 16: 1 – 8)
Jesus’ resurrection is the most significant event in the Christian faith, as it is based on the core belief of the
resurrection of Christ. That Jesus was the Son of God
- Soon after the discovery Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and to the disciples. Mt 28:9-20, Mk 16:920, Lk 24:43, Jn 20-21
- 40 days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:6-11)
After all the amazing resurrection encounters with Jesus, there comes a time when the disciples must say
‘goodbye'. Scripture tells us that Jesus is ‘taken up into heaven' and his disciples are left staring after him.
- “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?(Acts 1:1-11)
Their lives are changed forever. Yet they must move ahead without the immediacy of Jesus' earthly presence,
assured of his Spirit-filled care and glorious return.
Origins of Christianity
Chritanity Denominations
Anglicisansim - known as the Church of England until 1981, established by King Henry XIII (1535
CE), the Pope wouldn’t allow him to get a divorce (annulment) from his barren wife, remarried Anne
Boleyn after making his own Church, Anglican Church stresses importance of scripture
Catholicism - 1.3 billion adherents, despite differences between the East and West churches →
core concept of Eucharist and 7 sacraments (baptism, communion, marriage etc)
Orthodox (East)
Maronite (Antiochian)
Coptic (Alexandrian)
Melkite (Byzantine)
Ukrainian (Byzantine)
Roman Catholic (West)
Orthodoxy - result of the Great Schism, 260 million adherents, (Greek, Russian, Macedonian, Serbian
and Armenian Orthodox)
Pentecostalism - result of the Reformation, 280 million adherents, ANGLICAN, baptist, lutheran,
Uniting Church (Hillsong), Holy spirit working within people to make changes
Protestanism - 280 million adherents, focusses on the gift of the Holy Spirit, known as Prosperity
Churches, further developments are known as Charismatic Churches
Division of the Catholic Church
Origins of Christianity
Rivalry between Patriarchs in Constantinople and the Pope in Rome
The break of the communities that are now the Catholic and Orthodox Churches
Political Issues
authority and governance - the Pope was the true heir of Simon Peter, he wanted to be autonomous
and be the leader of both churches (not answer to the Patriarchs)
communication - Language barriers (Catholic = Latin, Orthodox = Greek), Catholic masses were in
Latin until 1965 CE
Islamic conquest - Islam was spreading in the West, the pressure from this and the crusades meant
that a lot of Christians converted to Islam to avoid persecution
Theological Issues
- Nicene Creed (The Council of Nicea 325 CE) - 1st Ecumenical Council was to resolve the
issue of Jesus’ divinity, Arius (from the Easter church) proposed that he was not divine but a
Holy person sent by God as an example, Pope Leo (1049 CE) added ‘the son’ to the Trinity
without the opinions of the Patriarchs (they thought this was polytheistic, Arianism and a
Liturgical Dates -The two churches had different dates for Christian events (Easter, birth,
death and resurrection of Jesus)
The final split The patriarchs noticed the change in the Nicene Creed and were angry they hadn’t
been consulted. Michael I met with Pope Leo and argued. They both excommunicated each other.
This is what divided the two churches completely.
Ethical Teachings
Ethics: are moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conduct of an activity, ethical teachings help
to guide a believer or adherent in what is morally right in any given situation, based on their beliefs.
Sources of Authority in Christian Ethics
1. Scriptures; word and teachings of Jesus
2. Tradition; leaders of the church voicing teachings on specific issues eg. Pope Encyclicals
3. Experience; prayer and conscience
4. Logic; critical beings with freewill- using logic and response to life’s questions
10 Commandments
● The nature of the relationship between God and human beings is found in the 10 Commandments;
○ The first two commandments state the importance of worshipping God and God alone. The
third commandment relates to the importance of observing the Sabbath and keeping it sacred
for God.
○ The other commandments present guidelines for human interaction and how human beings
should treat each other. These commandments emphasise the importance of human life and
the need to respect family and personal integrity.
● The 10 Commandments outline the ethical teachings and core values of Christianity as a religious
tradition. Some of the commandments are more prevalent in the teachings of Jesus Christ
The Beatitudes
The Beatitudes are a foundational passage for Christian ethics. The Beatitudes as a “christians identity card” as
it is one's moral value to themselves and others.
● Luke 6:20-26- “looked at his disciples and said *THE BEATITUDES* ….. “Rejoice in
that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their
ancestors treated the prophets.
The Beatitudes provide an ethical stance which stands in contrast to the dominant culture. They point to an
inversion of values whereby the things that are often regarded as having no value according to the dominant
culture are celebrated and affirmed in the reign of God.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be
comforted (Mt 5:4)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness, for they will be filled (Mt 5:6)
A person who accepts things as they truly are and is
empathetic is capable of finding true happiness. Jesus
calls Christians to help others through suffering and
support one another in the strength of numbers.
- MODERN RELEVANCE; Christians can
interpret this beatitude to come together and
support minorities in society, such as
protesting for the Black Lives Matter,
instead of watching from distance Jesus has
People who experience injustice and are made to be
powerless whilst those who are privileged thrive off
the greed of money and tangible items to feel whole.
Jesus teaches those in a position of societal power to
use their resources to help those who are voiceless.
current situation the world has been dealing
with Christians have been called to assist
those who cannot afford to feed their
taught Christians to use their core values of
treating one another equally and channel
that into fighting for racial equality and
justice for those who were failed by racial
- “You cannot be both Christian
and racist. You can be Christian
or you can be racist but you
cannot be both.” Anglican Priest
from Gosford who calls out
Christians to act as Jesus would
want by promoting equality and
justice for all races.
families or pay their bills as a result of a loss
of their job.
- Mercy Action group at Mercy
Catholic College is an example of
people using their position of
societal power to resource those
who are in need. They are
collecting non-tangible food and
hygienic products for a refugee
help store in the Western suburbs.
Principal Beliefs
Jesus is Human and Divine
“Jesus is the word who was with God and was with God and made in flesh) (Jh 1:14)
Divine: something pertaining to God, something supernatural
Human: characteristic of or having the natural form of a human, moral
- The belief that Jesus is 100% Human and 100% God
How is Jesus divine?;
- His divinity is evident in the Gospel,
- eye witnesses to his miracles
- People witnessed him die and come back to life, links to his role on earth by his salvation to
How is Jesus human?;
- The humanity of Jesus is recorded in historical evidence through the Roman Census
- Gospel tells us he lived the life of a carpenter
Controversies in 4th and 5th centuries;
Jesus is fully divine but not fully human
Jesus is superior to the rest of creation but not equal
to God
Mary was the mother of Human Jeus but not divine
The Council of Nicea (325 CE)
- Called to fight Arianism, states the father and the son are one of the essence and hence Jesus is fully
- Decided the belief of Christians ‘hypostatic union’
Final Belief- He was a human being who existed at a particular time yet He is also the divine Son of God whose
life, death and resurrection has significance for the whole of humanity
Death and Resurrection of Jesus
Death for sins
The belief that Jesus’ death was important to destroy sins and give humanity the opportunity for life
- Easter celebrations in the Christian communities recognise the importance of Death and Resurrection
- Jesus’ death was followed by his resurrection and then his ascension into heaven
“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me even though they die they will
live” (Jh 11:25)
Death and resurrection
- Traditionally believed that Jesus died for their sins
- Highlights the notion that death is an integral part of the human condition and one which is shared by
- Importance of the death of Jesus include seeing the death of Jesus as evidence of the unconditional love
of God
“Live a life filled with love following the example of Christ” (Eph 5:2)
Principle events in the life of Jesus
The religious tradition of baptism demonstrates a Christian adherents devotion to Jesus and God. When Jesus
was baptised He felt the Holy Spirit come down on him and he then embarked on developing his ministry and
spreading the word of God
- “The spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him” (Mtw 3:16)
Christians feel the holy spirit come upon them and are called to “live a life filled with love following the
example of Christ” by treating others with love and compassion just as Jesus would.
Through Jesus’ miracles he preaches the concept of love and having faith in Him as a leader, father, brother and
preacher. Jesus performed a lot of miracles during his time of His public ministry. Sacred texts such as the Book
of John from the Bible disclose how adherents of christianity must have faith in Jesus in order to live as an
example of Him. The miracle of Jesus walking on water displays
- “Jesus was walking on the sea and coming near the boat and they were frightened… he said “It is I do
not be afraid” (Jh 6:19-21)
how Jesus overcoming the physical impossibility of a Human walking on water to reach out and comfort his
followers, is perceived as Jesus always acting out of love towards his followers and to influence them to act with
Ethical Teachings
The Beatitudes
The core value of Christianity is love and Jesus tought this through preaching compassion, integirty and
modessty. The beatitudes are a foundational for Christian ethics.
- “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted”
Recent revents have seen the societal prejudice towaerds minority groups. In america a balck man was killed by
police for the colour of skin. There has been massive uproars globally about how minority groups are treated in
society by people of power. Christians are called to act with love during these times and stand up for those being
oppressed. “Live a life filled with love following the example of Christ”. An Anglican priest in Gosford is
following the example of christ and has used his privilige and societal status to preach for what is right. Using
social media he spreads the word of equality. “You can not be christian and racist, you can be christian or you
can be racist but you cannot be both”.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for rightenous for they will be filled”
People who experience injustice and are made to be powerless whilst those who are privileged thrive off the
greed of money and tangible items to feel whole. Jesus teaches those in a position of societal power to use their
resources to help those who are voiceless. Mercy Catholic college follows the example of christ and teaches
their students to use their privilige and advocate for those in need. Mercy Action group is holding a donation
drive by having students bring in non tangible food products that they are donating to a refugee help store in the
western suburbs as it is difficult for refugees to find their feet when they move to australia.
Principal Beleifs