Introduction to Christianity
Started 2000 years ago with the birth of the Jesus of Nazerath.
Largest religous group in the world with over 2 Billion followers.
Many different groups known as churches (people and the building).
Largest Christian group is the Roman Catholic Church (half of the Christians in the world). Pope is the leader of this Church.
2 other main Christians groups Orthodox and Protestant. These different churches disagree about many things but have the same fundamental views.
The Son of Mary and Joesph, born in Bethlehem.
He preached the message of love and forgiveness and he taught people about his Father; God.
He had a large following of Disciples and many Jews thought of him as the Messiah who was going to save mankind from sin.
He performed miracles of healing and power over nature. And through example taught the importance of love and compassion.
He criticised the authorities of the time leading to his crucifiction by Pontis Pilate.
It is believed that he rose from the dead 3 days later know as the resurrection. (Easter).
40 days after the resurrection, it is believed that he ascended to heaven to be seated at the right side of the Father, with the Holy Spirit.
Written source of authority for all Christians.
2 sections- Old Testement and New Testement.
Old Testement- story of creation, history of the Jews, relationship between Jews and God and the 10 commandments.
New Testement- story of Jesus' life in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Story of Pentecost when after Jesus' death the Disciples recieved the power of the Holy Spirit. The letters give advice to Christian Communities on the problems that they are facing.
Views on the Bible
4 possible views:
1. Just stories made up to make people believe and behave in certain ways. Nothing in the Bible really happened.
2. There was a person called Jesus but many of the stories have been coloured by the Church making it difficult to know what is true and what isn't. Jesus was a great teacher but the supernatual bits are not true. Just look at the MORAL teachings.
3.Early Church tried very hard to preserve the story of Jesus. There are some inaccuracies but the broad story is true. He is the Divine Son of God and He had the ability to perform miracles. Those who wrote the New Testement either knew Jesus or had first hand knowledge of those who did. (Mainstream Christian View).
4.Everything in the Bible is true. Nothing is made up it is all true. (Fundamentalist View).