Chapter 4, Lesson 1 Early Christianity

Chapter 4, Lesson 1
Early Christianity
It Matters Because…
Christianity is one of the world’s
major religions and continues to
influence people around the globe.
Judaism and the Roman
• Roman Empire allowed Jews to practice
their religion
• Rome ruled Jews with “iron hand”
• Jews hoped God would rescue them from
Roman rule
Control by Romans
• Rome controlled Judah, but allowed
Jewish kings to rule it
• In A.D. 6, Rome renamed Judah “Judea”
and replaced the Jewish king with a
Roman governor (procurator)
• Jerusalem remained the Jewish Holy City
Jewish Revolts
• Zealots – group of Jews who believed
they should fight for their freedom
• Zealots rebelled, were crushed, A.D. 66
• Romans destroyed Temple in Jerusalem,
center of Jewish worship
Jewish Revolts
• After Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70, about 1000
Jews held the Masada fortress for almost 2
• When Masada fell, only 2 women and 5
children remained inside
• Rest of the Jewish defenders committed
suicide rather than surrender
• Masada now a symbol of Jewish heroism
Jewish Revolts
• Another unsuccessful rebellion in 132 led
Rome to force all Jews to leave Jerusalem
• By 700, Jews had settled across Europe
and into central Asia
• Judaism as a faith remained alive even
though Jews were scattered across the
Jesus of Nazareth
• Grew up in small town called Nazareth
• About A.D. 30, Jesus traveled around Judea
teaching people his ideas about God’s love
• 12 men traveled with Jesus, called his disciples
• Jesus performed many miracles of healing and
taught a message of love, unselfishness, and
• Taught using parables, telling stories about
how God wanted his people to live
How Did Christianity Begin?
• People reacted strongly to Jesus’
• Positively and negatively
• Stories about Jesus, his teachings, and
miracles spread
• Jewish religious leaders and Roman
officials feared Jesus and his influence
• Together, Jewish and Roman leaders
plotted Jesus’ betrayal and death
Jesus’ Betrayal
• On the Jewish holiday Passover, Jesus
and his disciples shared a meal now
known as The Last Supper
• Jesus then went to a garden to pray
• He was betrayed by one of his disciples
and arrested by Roman officials
Jesus’ Death & Resurrection
• Jesus was put on trial and the Jewish leaders
and people ordered his execution
• Jesus was crucified, nailed to a wooden cross,
where he hung until he died
• Crucifixion was a common way Romans
executed criminals and political rebels
• Three days after his death, Jesus rose back to
• Roman guards and many of his followers
found an empty tomb
Who Were the Apostles?
• Early Christian leaders who spread Jesus’ message
• Performed miracles in Jesus’ name, converted
many to the faith
• Started churches across the Mediterranean
• Began calling Jesus “Christ” – the Anointed One
• Peter, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, started the
church in Rome
• Peter was also crucified, upside down
Paul of Tarsus
• Jewish leader who persecuted Christians
• Paul was converted to Christianity after a miracle
encounter with Jesus
• Paul traveled throughout the Mediterranean and
Asia minor
• Started churches and wrote letters that became
more than half of the New Testament
• Many of his letters written from prison
• Executed in Rome, believed to be stoned to death
Basic Christian Beliefs
• One God and His Son is Jesus
• People can gain salvation from sin and Hell by
accepting Jesus and the sacrifice of His life
• Salvation means eternal life in Heaven, a place
with no sadness or problems
• Christianity spread quickly after Jesus’ death
because of the message of love, peace and
eternal life
• The Pax Romana and Roman roads made it easier
to spread Jesus’ message