Christianity PPT


The Rise of Christianity

Traditional Roman Religion

• Etruscan nature gods

• Greek gods

• Ancestor spirits

• Emperor 1st priest

• Cult of the Emperor

• Freedom of worship – many religions


• Idea of a Messiah – one who would save the Jews from oppression

• Romans treated Jews cruelly

– Polytheists vs. monotheism

– 1 god

– Would not honor the emperor as god

• Prior to the 1 st C there had been a few rebellions against Rome in Judea

Kingdom of Judah becomes a

Roman Province 6 C.E.

Jesus of Nazareth

• Born in the reign of Caesar Augustus

• Started teaching when approx 30 years old

Jesus of Nazareth’s teachings

• God’s kingdom will govern all soon

• Give to others and care for others

• Do not sin- based on 10 commandments

• God is forgiving and loving

• Give up material wealthspiritual equality

Uses parables (symbolic stories) to explain beliefs

Roman’s and some Jewish leaders believed

• Leading people astray from god (J)

• Danger to Roman govt . (R)

• Could bring rebellion (R)


• Executed by Romans by Crucifixion

Christians worship in secret and are persecuted by the Romans because:

• Refused to worship emperor or serve in the military (thou shalt not kill)

• Tried to actively convert Romans (some seen as threat to traditional Roman values and


• Nero uses Christians as scapegoats for Great

Fire of Rome 67AD

• It was seen as a sect of Judaism - It was believed they might actively spread rebellion

(like the Jewish Uprisings)

Romans Put Down Jewish

Uprising in 70 C.E.

• Romans banned Jews from Jerusalem in

132 C.E. – Start of Jewish Diaspora

Martyrs in Rome

Emperor Trajan to Pliny - 1 st Century AD

“You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians. For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance. But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution. For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age.”

How Christianity Became

Accepted in Rome

• 312 Emperor Constantine wins Battle of

Milvian Bridge over the Tiber River in



• Saw Flaming Cross in the sky before battle with

Roman Rivals

• Had soldiers paint sign of cross on their shields won the Battle

313 C.E. Edict of Milan

Legalized Freedom of Religion (Including


325 C.E.- Nicean Council in Anatolia, Asia


Chose 4 Gospels

Nicean Creed

New Testament

Spread of Christianity

Other events

• 332 C.E.- Constantine is Babtized and then Dies

• Late 4 th century C.E.- The Scholar

Augustine writes “The City of Gods” which is first history book from “Christian


• 392 C.E.Emperor Theodosius made

Christianity the official religion of Rome

Constantinople is made the 2 nd