The_Development_of_Christianity

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The Rise of
Christianity
• The rise of Christianity marks a
fundamental break with the
dominant values of the GrecoRoman world. Christian view of
God, human beings, and the
world were quite different from
those of the Greeks and Romans.
The Religious Environment of
the Roman World
• The official state religion of Rome
focused on the worship of a pantheon of
gods and goddesses, including
Jupiter(Zeus), Juno(Hera),
Minerva(Athene), and Mars(Ares). As
Rome developed and came into contact
with other peoples and gods, the
community simply adopted new deities.
Greek Hermes
Tolerant of other beliefs
• By the end of third century, the Greek
and Roman religions were completely
amalgamated. The polytheistic
Romans were extremely tolerant of
other religions, and allowed the
worship of native gods and goddesses
and adopted some of the local gods.
The appeal of Mystery
Religions
• An entry into a higher world of reality
and the promise of a future life
superior to the present one;
• Elaborate rituals with deep emotional
appeal: achieve communion with
spiritual beings and undergo
purification that opened the door to
life after death.
Mithraism 密特拉教
• Worship of
Mithras: chief
agent of
Ahuramazda, the
‘Wise Lord’, the
supreme god of
light in Persian
Zoroastrianism.
Mithraist Practices
• Mithras: the Roman sun god, “the
Unconquered Sun”, patron deity of
soldiers;
• Paid homage to the sun on the first day
of the week (Sunday), commemorated
the sun’s birthday around December 25,
and celebrated ceremonial meals.
(parallels in Christianity)
The Jewish Background
• Divisions among the Jews:
• The Sadducees(撒都该派): rigid
adherence to Hebrew law, reject
personal immortality, copt with Romans;
• The Pharisees(法利赛派):strict
adherence to Jewish ritual, rebel against
Romans;
• The Essences(艾赛尼
派):awaited a Messiah to save
Israel from oppression, usher in
the Kingdom of God;
• The Zealots(吉拉德派):militant
extremists advocating violent
overthrow of Roman rule.
Political Situation
• The Zealots were extreme in their
hope to expel the Romans by force,
and their activities led to two
disastrous revolts:
• The destruction of the Jewish Temple at
Jerusalem by the avenging Romans between
66 and 70 C.E..
• The destruction of the city of Jerusalem and
the expulsion of its entire Jewish population
in 132 -135 C. E..
The Story
of Jesus
• Jesus of Nazareth (c. 6
B.C. – 29 A.D.) was born
to a Galilean Jewish
family (not precisely in
“year one”), and began
public preaching
around 30 years of age,
esp. among the militant
Zealots.
• Jesus Christ(耶稣基督):“耶稣”源自
希伯来文 Yeshua,意思是“上帝拯救”
;“基督”源自希腊文 Messiah,意思是
“弥赛亚”。“基督”不是姓氏,而是
头衔。在希伯来语中,“弥赛亚”是“
受膏者”,“上帝选中的王”,“上帝
所指定的以色列王”。所以,“耶稣基
督”的真实意思是“耶稣是基督”;“
耶稣是救世主”。12月25日是指定的耶
稣诞辰庆祝日,但不是他真正的生日。
Not to undermine
the tradition
• “Do not think I
have come to
abolish the Law
or the Prophets;
I have not come
to abolish them
but to fulfill
them.”
The transformation
of the inner
person
• “So in everything,
do to others what
you would have
them do to you,
for this sums up
the Law and the
Prophets.”
• “Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all
your mind and with all your strength. The
second is this: Love your neighbor as
yourself.”
The Sermon on the Mount
• He presented the ethical concepts:
humility, charity, brotherly love, and a
belief in the inner being and a
spiritual kingdom superior to this
material world. This is the basis for
the value system of medieval Western
civilization, but not of the classical
Greco-Roman civilization.
• And seeing the
multitudes, He
went up on a
mountain, and
when He was
seated His
disciples came
to Him. Then
He opened His
mouth and
taught them,
saying:
• "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
• Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
• Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
• Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
• Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
• Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
• Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
• Blessed are those who are persecuted
for righteousness' sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile
and persecute you, and say all
kinds of evil against you falsely
for My sake. Rejoice and be
exceedingly glad, for great is your
reward in heaven, for so they
persecuted the prophets who
were before you.
-- Gospel according to Matthew
• You have heard that it was said, “Eye for
eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you,
Do not resist an evil person. If someone
strikes you on the right cheek, turn to
him the other also ……
• You have heard that it was said, “Love
your neighbor, and hate your enemy.”
But I tell you, Love your enemies and
pray for those who persecute you ……
• Do not store up for yourselves
treasures on earth, where moth and
rust destroy, and where thieves break
in and steal. But store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in
and steal. For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also … …
• No one can serve two masters. Either he
will hate the one and love the other, or he
will be devoted to the one and despise the
other. you cannot serve both God and
Money.
• Therefore I tell you, do not worry about
your life, what you will eat or drink; or
about your body, what you will wear. Is not
life more important than food, and the
body more important than clothes?
• Look at the birds of the air; they do not
sow or reap to store away in barns, and
yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are
you not much more valuable than they? …
So do not worry, saying, What shall we
eat? or What shall we drink? or What
shall we wear? For the pagans run after all
these things, and your heavenly Father
knows that you need them. But seek first
his kingdom and his righteousness, and all
these things will be given to you as well.
• My
kingdom is
not of this
world.
• 于是,他由于宣
布天国不是现在
的王国而得罪了
激进派;由于宣
布自己是救世主
而得罪了犹太保
守派;由于有众
多的追随者而给
罗马帝国造成了
威胁,所以他被
Pontius Pilate判处
有罪。
• Offending the Roman
authorities and the
radical Zealots, Jesus
found himself crucified
on the Cross.
• 耶稣所受的刑罚
是鞭打和钉十字
架。按照犹太法
律,鞭打犯人的
次数不许超过40
下,所以一般只
打39下,以示仁
慈。但罗马法对
鞭打的次数和程
度没有限制,以
致耶稣被鞭打得
极度孱弱,背不
动十字架了,死
在了骷髅地。
• But a few loyal
followers of
Jesus spread
the story that
Jesus had been
resurrected
and had then
ascended into
heaven.
• Peter, one of the disciples
of Jesus, founded the
Christian church at Rome.
Paul of Tarsus(c.5—c.67)
• 圣保罗,史称“基督教的第二创
建者”,提出基督实际上是救世
主-上帝,是上帝之子,来到尘世
是为了拯救由于亚当的原罪而犯
罪的终生。他用自己的死换来众
生的救赎,使得信众能够重新开
始个人的救赎。接受耶稣基督为
救世主,信众就能得救。这是基
督教的基本信条。
• Paul had written a series of letters, or
epistles, outlining Christian beliefs for
different Christian communities.
• The Gospels, the
“good news”
concerning Jesus’
life and teachings
and formed the
core of the New
Testament, the
Christian Bible.
• The Roman
roads helped
spread the
“good news”,
and
therefore the
rise of
Christianity.
Changing attitudes toward Christianity
• Harmful to the order of Roman state:
1. held secret meetings, connected to
Christian groups in other areas;
2. overly exclusive and harmful to the
community and public order;
3. did not recognize other gods;
4. refused to participate in the worship
of the state gods and imperial cult.
• Persecution of
the Christians
began during
the reign of
Nero.
始于公元一、二世纪的
对基督徒的迫害非但
没有阻止基督教的发
展,反而使其在第二
和第三世纪壮大为具
有中央集权的宗教组
织,主教的作用随之
越来越重要,建立了
工薪制的僧侣等级结
构,基督教教会已经
林立于罗马帝国制下
的大中城市。
• In the fourth century, Christianity
flourished after Constantine
became the first Christian emperor.
• Under
Theodosius “the
Great”(378-395),
Christianity was
made the official
religion of the
Roman Empire.
Reasons for the triumph of
Christianity
• The Christian message had much to offer the
Roman world: salvation appeals to a world
full of suffering and injustice.
• Christianity was not entirely unfamiliar: only
another mystery eastern religion offering
immortality by the sacrificial death of a
savior-God.
• Christianity had universal appeal: not
restricted to men as in Mithraism.
• It did not require a painful or
expensive initiation rite: simply by
baptism – a purification by water.
• It gave new meaning to life: a
personal relationship with God
and a link to higher worlds.
• It fulfilled the human need to belong:
communities bounded people
together by love, offering help to the
poor, the sick, widows, and orphans.
• It was attractive to all classes: the
promise of eternal life for all – rich,
poor, aristocrats, slaves, men and
women.
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