The Development of Christianity

The Development of Christianity
WHI Ch. 5 Section 4
pp. 168-173
• I. Augustus brought back traditional Roman
festivals and ceremonies.
– A. Romans believed proper ritual brought a right
relationship with the gods.
– B. Romans were tolerant of other religions.
• II. Judea had become a Roman province by
A.D. 6.
– A. Unrest was widespread in Judea, but the Jews
differed among themselves about Roman rule.
Sadducees: cooperation with Rome
Pharisees: scholars, observe Jewish law
Essenes: liked apart from society
Zealots: wanted violent overthrow of Roman rule
– B. A Jewish revolt in A.D. 66 led to the destruction
of the Jewish temple (70 A.D.).
• III. In the midst of conflict in Judea, a Jewish
prophet named Jesus began his public
– A. Jesus taught the importance of the
transformation of the inner person.
• 1. “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”
• 2. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul,
mind and strength.”
– B. The Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate ordered
Jesus to be crucified.
• 1. Jesus was seen as a potential revolutionary against
• 2. Followers of Jesus believed he had risen.
– C. After reports that
Jesus had overcome
death, Christianity
quickly spread.
• 1. Paul taught that by
accepting Jesus as Messiah,
one could be saved.
– Paul: wrote epistles
(letters) to churches
throughout the empire
– Peter: viewed as the 1st
• 2. The written Gospels
give a record of Jesus’ life
and teachings.
– D. Many Romans came to see Christianity as
harmful to Rome.
• 1. Christians refused to worship Roman gods.
• 2. Rome began persecuting Christians during the reign
of Nero.
• Why?
– Wouldn’t worship emperor
– Wouldn’t serve in the military
– Believed in one true religion
– E. Christianity attracted many followers in the
Roman world.
• 1. Christianity gave meaning to life.
• 2. Christianity was too strong to be blotted out by force.
– It was a religion for anyone.
– It allowed for spiritual equality.
• 3. Under Theodosius, Christianity became the state
– Before, Constantine gave the Edict of Milan (313 A.D.)
which provided for toleration of Christianity.