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Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative
history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religio ...
from the start of the
ministry of Jesus In the Christian gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan by John the Baptist, and ends in Jerusalem in Christianity, Jerusalem, following the Last Supper ...
( 27–29 AD) to the death of the last of the
Twelve Apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, partic ...
( 100) and is thus also known as the Apostolic Age. Early Christianity developed out of the
eschatological Eschatology is a part of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural ...
ministry of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
. Subsequent to Jesus' death, his earliest followers formed an apocalyptic messianic Jewish sect during the late
Second Temple period The Second Temple period in Jewish history Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their nation, Judaism, religion and Jewish culture, culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Although Judaism a ...
of the 1st century. Initially believing that
Jesus' resurrection The resurrection of Jesus ( gr, ανάσταση του Ιησού) is the Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianit ...
was the start of the endtime, their beliefs soon changed in the expected
Second Coming The Second Coming (sometimes called the Second Advent or the Parousia) is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianit ...
of Jesus and the start of
God's Kingdom The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" but d ...
at a later point in time.
Paul the Apostle Paul; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, Saũlos Tarseús; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus AD ...
, a Jew who had persecuted the
early Christians The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religi ...
,
converted Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ''Cyberman'' * Conversion (Stargate Atlantis), "Conversion" (''Stargate Atlantis ...
33–36 and started to proselytize among the
Gentiles Gentile () is a word that usually means "someone who is not a Jew Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards develope ...

Gentiles
. According to Paul, Gentile converts could be allowed exemption from most Jewish commandments, arguing that all are justified by faith in Jesus. This was part of a gradual
split of early Christianity and Judaism Jewish Christians ( he, יהודים נוצרים, yehudim notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious movements, Jewish religious sect that emerged in Roman Judea, Judea during the late Second Temple period (first century AD). The #Nazare ...
, as Christianity became a distinct religion including predominantly Gentile adherence.
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
had an early Christian community, which was led by
James the Just James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord ( la, Iacobus from he, יעקב and gr, Ἰάκωβος , can also be Anglicisation, Anglicized as "Jacob (name), Jacob"), was "a Brothers of Jesus, brother of Jesus", according to ...
,
Peter Peter may refer to: People * List of people named Peter, a list of people and fictional characters with the given name * Peter (given name) ** Saint Peter (died 60s), apostle of Jesus, leader of the early Christian Church * Peter (surname), a sur ...

Peter
, and
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname), including a list of people who have the name John John may also refer to: New Testament Works ...
.McGrath, p. 174 According to Acts 11:26,
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...

Antioch
was where the followers were first called Christians. Peter was later
martyr A martyr (, ''mártys'', "witness", or , ''marturia'', stem Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some ...

martyr
ed in Rome, the capital of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. The apostles went on to spread the message of the
Gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...

Gospel
around the classical world and founded apostolic sees around the
early centers of Christianity Early Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Sem ...
. The last apostle to die was John in 100.


Etymology

Early
Jewish Christians Jewish Christians ( he, יהודים נוצרים, yehudim notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tib ...
referred to themselves as "The Way" (), probably coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord."Larry Hurtado (August 17, 2017 )
''"Paul, the Pagans’ Apostle"''
/ref>''Sect of “The Way”, “The Nazarenes” & “Christians” : Names given to the Early Church''
/ref> Other Jews also called them "the
Nazarenes Nazarene may refer to: * A person from Nazareth Nazareth (; ar, النَّاصِرَة, ''an-Nāṣira''; he, נָצְרַת, ''Natzrat''; arc, ܢܨܪܬ, ''Naṣrath'') is the largest city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. ( ...
," while another Jewish-Christian sect called themselves "
Ebionites Ebionites ( grc-gre, Ἐβιωναῖοι, ''Ebionaioi'', derived from Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is reg ...
" (lit. "the poor"). According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" () was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...
, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" () was by
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
, in around 100 AD.


Origins


Jewish–Hellenistic background

The earliest followers of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
were a sect of apocalyptic
Jewish Christians Jewish Christians ( he, יהודים נוצרים, yehudim notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tib ...
within the realm of
Second Temple Judaism Second Temple Judaism is Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social sy ...
. The early Christian groups were strictly Jewish, such as the
Ebionites Ebionites ( grc-gre, Ἐβιωναῖοι, ''Ebionaioi'', derived from Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is reg ...
, and the early Christian community in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
, led by James the Just, brother of Jesus. Christianity "emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine" in the syncretistic Hellenistic world of the first century AD, which was dominated by Roman law and Greek culture.
Hellenistic culture The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, We ...
had a profound impact on the customs and practices of Jews everywhere. The inroads into Judaism gave rise to Hellenistic Judaism in the Jewish diaspora which sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism. Hellenistic Judaism spread to
Ptolemaic Egypt The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , o ...
from the 3rd century BC, and became a notable ''
religio licita ''Religio licita'' ("permitted religion", also translated as "approved religion") is a phrase used in the ''Apologeticus, Apologeticum'' of Tertullian to describe the special status of the Jews in the Roman Empire. It was not an official term in Ro ...
'' after the
Roman conquest of Greece Greece in the Roman era describes the Roman conquest of Greece, as well as the period of Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ...
,
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
,
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...
, and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
. During the early first century AD there were many competing Jewish sects in the
Holy Land The Holy Land (: , la, Terra Sancta; : or ) is an area roughly located between the and the Eastern Bank of the . Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical and with the . The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory ro ...

Holy Land
, and those that became
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, CE, after the codification of ...
and
Proto-orthodox Christianity The term proto-orthodox Christianity or proto-orthodoxy was coined by New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian bibl ...
were but two of these. Philosophical schools included
Pharisees The Pharisees (; Hebrew: ''Pərūšīm'') were a social movement and a school of thought in the Levant during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70), destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic belie ...
,
Sadducees The Sadducees (; he, צְדוּקִים ''Ṣĕdûqîm'') were a sect or group of Jews who were active in Judea Judea or Judaea, and the modern version of Judah (; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', ...
, and
Zealots The Zealots were a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government ...
, but also other less influential sects, including the
Essenes The Essenes (; Modern Hebrew: , ''Isiyim''; Koine Greek, Greek: Ἐσσηνοί, Ἐσσαῖοι, or Ὀσσαῖοι, ''Essenoi, Essaioi, Ossaioi'') were a Mysticism, mystic Jews, Jewish Jewish religious movements#Sects in the Second Temple p ...
. The first century BC and first century AD saw a growing number of charismatic religious leaders contributing to what would become the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah. ...
of
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, CE, after the codification of ...
; and the
ministry of Jesus In the Christian gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan by John the Baptist, and ends in Jerusalem in Christianity, Jerusalem, following the Last Supper ...
, which would lead to the emergence of the first Jewish Christian community. A central concern in 1st century Judaism was the covenant with God, and the status of the
Jews as the chosen people In Judaism Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Kingdom of Judah, Judah", via Ancient Greek, Greek ''Ioudaismos''; the term itself is of Anglo-Latin origin c. 1400) is an Abrahamic primarily ethnic ...
of God. Many Jews believed that this covenant would be renewed with the coming of the Messiah. Jews believed the Law was given by God to guide them in their worship of the Lord and in their interactions with each other, "the greatest gift God had given his people." The
Jewish messiah The Messiah in Judaism () is the savior and liberator figure in Jewish eschatology, whose role is to restore Judaism Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Kingdom of Judah, Judah", via Ancient Greek ...
concept has its root in the
apocalyptic literature Apocalyptic literature is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Catego ...
of the 2nd century BC to 1st century BC, promising a future leader or
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

king
from the
Davidic line The Davidic line or House of David (, ) refers to the Lineage (anthropology), lineage of the Israelites, Israelite king David through texts in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and through the succeeding centuries. In Judaism and Christianit ...
who is expected to be anointed with
holy anointing oil The holy anointing oil (Hebrew language, Hebrew: שמן המשחה ''shemen ha-mishchah'', "oil of anointing") formed an integral part of the ordination of the Priesthood (Ancient Israel), priesthood and the High Priest (Judaism), High Priest as ...
and rule the Jewish people during the
Messianic Age In Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic people, Semitic-originated religions that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Israe ...
and
world to come The world to come, age to come, heaven on Earth, and the Kingdom of God The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's ...
. The Messiah is often referred to as "King Messiah" ( he, מלך משיח, translit=melekh mashiach) or ''malka meshiḥa'' in Aramaic.


Life and ministry of Jesus


Sources

Christian sources, such as the four
canonical gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words an ...
, the
Pauline epistles The Pauline epistles, also known as Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although the authorship of some is in dispute. Among these epistles are some of the earliest extant ...
, and the
New Testament apocrypha The New Testament apocrypha (singular apocryphon) are a number of writings by Early Christianity, early Christians that give accounts of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus and his teachings, the nature of God in Christianity, God, or the teachings of his ...
, include detailed stories about Jesus, but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus. The only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that by
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect
Pontius Pilate Pontius Pilate ( ; grc-gre, Πόντιος Πιλᾶτος, ) was the fifth governor of the , serving under Emperor from the year 26/27 to 36/37 AD. He is best known for being the official who presided over and later ordered . Pilate's importan ...
. States that baptism and crucifixion are "two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent". The Gospels are theological documents, which "provide information the authors regarded as necessary for the religious development of the Christian communities in which they worked." They consist of short passages, ''
pericope A pericope (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximate ...
s'', which the Gospel-authors arranged in various ways as suited their aims. Non-Christian sources that are used to study and establish the historicity of Jesus include Jewish sources such as
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...

Josephus
, and Roman sources such as
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus ( , ; – ) was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature Classi ...

Tacitus
. These sources are compared to Christian sources such as the
Pauline Epistles The Pauline epistles, also known as Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although the authorship of some is in dispute. Among these epistles are some of the earliest extant ...
and the
Synoptic Gospels The gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testame ...
. These sources are usually independent of each other (e.g. Jewish sources do not draw upon Roman sources), and similarities and differences between them are used in the authentication process.


Historical person

There is widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, and on the meaning of his teachings. Scholars often draw a distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, and two different accounts can be found in this regard. Critical scholarship has discounted most of the narratives about Jesus as
legend A legend is a Folklore genre, genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human valu ...

legend
ary, and the mainstream historical view is that while the gospels include many legendary elements, these are religious elaborations added to the accounts of a historical Jesus who was crucified under the Roman prefect
Pontius Pilate Pontius Pilate ( ; grc-gre, Πόντιος Πιλᾶτος, ) was the fifth governor of the , serving under Emperor from the year 26/27 to 36/37 AD. He is best known for being the official who presided over and later ordered . Pilate's importan ...
in the 1st-century Roman province of
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...
. His remaining disciples later believed that he was resurrected.Ehrman, ''The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden religion swept the World'' Academic scholars have constructed a variety of portraits and profiles for Jesus.''The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament'' by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 pp. 124–25 Contemporary scholarship places Jesus firmly in the Jewish tradition,Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition) and the most prominent understanding of Jesus is as a Jewish apocalyptic prophet or eschatological teacher. Other portraits are the charismatic healer, the Cynic philosopher, the Jewish Messiah, and the prophet of social change.


Ministry and eschatological expectations

In the
canonical gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words an ...
, the ministry of Jesus begins with in the countryside of
Roman Judea The Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each p ...
and Transjordan, near the
Jordan River ) , name_native_lang = , name_other = , name_etymology = Hebrew: ירדן (yardén, ''“descender”''), from ירד (yarad, ''“descended”'') , image = 20100923 mer morte13.JPG , image_size = , ima ...

Jordan River
, and ends in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...
, following the
Last Supper Image:The Last Supper - Leonardo Da Vinci - High Resolution 32x16.jpg, 500px, alt=''The Last Supper'' by Leonardo da Vinci - Clickable Image, Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art have been undertaken by artistic masters for centuries, ...

Last Supper
with his disciples. ''Christianity: an introduction'' by Alister E. McGrath 2006 pp. 16–22 The
Gospel of Luke The Gospel according to Luke ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Λουκᾶν , translit=Euangélion katà Loukân), also called the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, tells of the origins, Nativity of Jesus, birth, Ministry of Jesus, ministry, Cr ...
() states that
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry.''The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament''
by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 p. 140.
Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in ''Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies'' by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 pp. 113–29 A
chronology of Jesus A chronology of Jesus aims to establish a timeline for the events of the life of Jesus. Scholars have correlated Jewish and Greco-Roman documents and astronomical calendars with the New Testament accounts to estimate dates for the major events in ...
typically has the date of the start of his ministry estimated at around AD 27–29 and the end in the range AD 30–36.''Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times'' by Paul Barnett 2002 pp. 19–21 In the
Synoptic Gospels The gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testame ...
(Matthew, Mark and Luke),
Jewish eschatology Jewish eschatology is the area of Jewish philosophy, Jewish theology concerned with events that will happen in the End time, end of days and related concepts. This includes the ingathering of the exiled Jewish diaspora, diaspora, the coming of ...
stands central. After being , Jesus teaches extensively for a year, or maybe just a few months, about the coming
Kingdom of God The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" but ...
(or, in Matthew, the Kingdom of Heaven), in
aphorism An aphorism (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
s and
parable A parable is a succinct, Didacticism, didactic story, in prose or Verse (poetry), verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces ...
s, using
simile A simile () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
s and
figures of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and ...
. In the Gospel of John, Jesus himself is the main subject. The Synoptics present different views on the Kingdom of God. While the Kingdom is essentially described as
eschatological Eschatology is a part of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural ...
(relating to the end of the world), becoming reality in the near future, some texts present the Kingdom as already being present, while other texts depict the Kingdom as a place in heaven that one enters after death, or as the presence of God on earth.. Jesus talks as expecting the coming of the " Son of Man" from heaven, an figure who would initiate "the coming judgment and the redemption of Israel." According to Davies, the
Sermon on the Mount The Sermon on the Mount (anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or ...
presents Jesus as the new Moses who brings a New Law (a reference to the
Law of Moses The Law of Moses ( he, תֹּורַת מֹשֶׁה ), also called the Mosaic Law, primarily refers to the Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible ...
, the Messianic Torah.


Death and resurrection

Jesus' life was ended by his execution by crucifixion. His early followers believed that three days after his death, Jesus rose bodily from the dead. Paul's letters and the Gospels contain reports of a number of post-resurrection appearances. Progressively, Jewish scriptures were reexamined in light of Jesus's teachings to explain the crucifixion and visionary post-mortem experiences of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus "signalled for earliest believers that the days of eschatological fulfilment were at hand."Larry Hurtado (December 4, 2018 )
''"When Christians were Jews": Paula Fredriksen on "The First Generation"
/ref> Some New Testament accounts were understood not as mere visionary experiences, but rather as real appearances in which those present are told to touch and see. The resurrection of Jesus gave the impetus in certain Christian sects to the
exaltation of Jesus The resurrection of Jesus, or anastasis, is the Christian belief that God God, in monotheistic thought, is conceived of as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith Faith, derived from Latin ''fides'' and Old French ''f ...
to the status of divine Son and Lord of
God's Kingdom The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" but d ...
and the resumption of their missionary activity. His followers expected Jesus to return within a generation and begin the Kingdom of God.


Apostolic Age

Traditionally, the years following Jesus until the death of the last of the Twelve
Apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, parti ...

Apostles
is called the Apostolic Age, after the missionary activities of the apostles. According to the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
(the
historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary ...
is disputed), the Jerusalem church began at
Pentecost The Christian holiday of Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) from Easter Sunday Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for rec ...
with some 120 believers, in an "upper room," believed by some to be the
Cenacle The Cenacle (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
, where the apostles received the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...

Holy Spirit
and emerged from hiding following the death and resurrection of Jesus to preach and spread his message.Schreck, ''The Essential Catholic Catechism'' (1999), p. 130 The New Testament writings depict what orthodox Christian churches call the
Great Commission In Christianity, the Great Commission is the instruction of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus, resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciple (Christianity), disciples to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. The most famous versio ...
, an event where they describe the resurrected Jesus Christ instructing his disciples to spread his eschatological message of the coming of the Kingdom of God to all the
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
s of the world. The most famous version of the Great Commission is in
Matthew 28 Matthew 28 is the twenty-eighth and final chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This chapter records that resurrection of Jesus, Jesus is risen, describes the actions of the first witnesses to this event, and ends with the Great C ...
(), where on a mountain in
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, ha-galil; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galil ...

Galilee
Jesus calls on his followers to make disciples of and
baptize Baptism (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is a ...
all nations in the name of the
Father A father is the male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reprod ...

Father
, the
Son A son is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproduction ...
, and the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...
. Paul's conversion on the Road to Damascus is first recorded in Acts 9 (). Peter
baptize Baptism (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is a ...
d the Roman Cornelius the Centurion, centurion Cornelius, traditionally considered the first Gentile convert to Christianity, in . Based on this, the Early centers of Christianity#Antioch, Antioch church was founded. It is also believed that it was there that the term Christians, Christian was coined.


Jewish Christianity

After the death of Jesus, Christianity first emerged as a sect of Judaism as practiced in the Judea (Roman province), Roman province of Judea. The first Christians were all Jews, who constituted a Second Temple Judaism, Second Temple Jewish sect with an apocalyptic eschatology. Among other schools of thought, some Jews regarded Jesus as Kyrios, Lord and Resurrection of Jesus, resurrected messiah, and the eternally existing Son of God, expecting the second coming of Jesus and the start of
God's Kingdom The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" but d ...
. They pressed fellow Jews to prepare for these events and to follow "the way" of the Lord. They believed Yahweh to be the only true God, the god of Israel, and considered Jesus to be the messiah (Christ), as prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, Jewish scriptures, which they held to be authoritative and sacred. They held faithfully to the Torah, including acceptance of Proselytes, Gentile converts based on a version of the Seven Laws of Noah, Noachide laws.


The Jerusalem ''ekklēsia''

With the start of their missionary activity, early Jewish Christians also started to attract proselytes, Gentiles who were fully or partly conversion to Judaism, converted to Judaism. The New Testament's
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
(the historical accuracy of which Historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles, is questioned) and Epistle to the Galatians record that an early Jewish Christian community Early centers of Christianity#Jerusalem, centered on Jerusalem, and that its leaders reportedly included
Peter Peter may refer to: People * List of people named Peter, a list of people and fictional characters with the given name * Peter (given name) ** Saint Peter (died 60s), apostle of Jesus, leader of the early Christian Church * Peter (surname), a sur ...

Peter
, James, brother of Jesus, James, the brother of Jesus, and John the Apostle. The Jerusalem community "held a central place among all the churches," as witnessed by Paul's writings. Reportedly legitimised by Resurrection of Jesus, Jesus' appearance, Peter was the first leader of the Jerusalem ''ekklēsia''. Peter was soon eclipsed in this leadership by James the Just, "the Brother of the Lord," which may explain why the early texts contain scant information about Peter. According to Lüdemann, in the discussions about the Paul and Judaism, strictness of adherence to the Jewish Law, the more conservative faction of James the Just gained the upper hand over the more liberal position of Peter, who soon lost influence. According to Dunn, this was not an "usurpation of power," but a consequence of Peter's involvement in missionary activities. The Desposyni, relatives of Jesus were generally accorded a special position within this community, also contributing to the ascendancy of James the Just in Jerusalem. According to a tradition recorded by Eusebius and Epiphanius of Salamis, the Jerusalem church Flight to Pella, fled to Pella at the outbreak of the First Jewish–Roman War (AD 66–73). The Jerusalem community consisted of "Hebrews," Jews speaking both Aramaic and Greek, and "Hellenists," Jews speaking only Greek, possibly diaspora Jews who had resettled in Jerusalem. According to Dunn, Paul's initial persecution of Christians probably was directed against these Greek-speaking "Hellenists" due to their anti-Temple attitude. Within the early Jewish Christian community, this also set them apart from the "Hebrews" and their Tabernacle observance.


Beliefs and practices


Creeds and salvation

The sources for the beliefs of the apostolic community include Oral gospel traditions, oral traditions (which included sayings attributed to Jesus, parables and teachings), the Gospels, the New Testament NT epistles, epistles and possibly lost texts such as the Q source and the writings of Papias of Hierapolis, Papias. The texts contain the earliest Creed#Christian creeds, Christian creeds expressing belief in the resurrected Jesus, such as : The creed has been dated by some scholars as originating within the Jerusalem apostolic community no later than the 40s, and by some to less than a decade after Jesus' death, while others date it to about 56. Other early creeds include 1 John 4 (), 2 Timothy 2 () Romans 1 () and 1 Timothy 3 (). Early Christian beliefs were proclaimed in ''kerygma'' (preaching), some of which are preserved in New Testament scripture. The early Gospel message spread oral gospel traditions, orally, probably originally in Aramaic language, Aramaic, but almost immediately also in Koine Greek, Greek.


Christology

Two fundamentally different Christologies developed in the early Church, namely a "low" or Adoptionism, adoptionist Christology, and a "high" or "incarnation Christology." The chronology of the development of these early Christologies is a matter of debate within contemporary scholarship.Larry Hurtado
''The Origin of “Divine Christology”?''
/ref> The "low Christology" or "adoptionist Christology" is the belief "that God exalted Jesus to be his Son by raising him from the dead," thereby raising him to "divine status." According to the "evolutionary model" c.q. "evolutionary theories," the Christological understanding of Christ developed over time,Bart Ehrman, ''How Jesus became God'', Course Guide as witnessed in the Gospels, with the earliest Christians believing that Jesus was a human who was exalted, c.q. Adoptionism, adopted as God's Son, when he was resurrected. Later beliefs shifted the exaltation to his baptism, birth, and subsequently to the idea of his eternal existence, as witnessed in the Gospel of John. This evolutionary model was very influential, and the "low Christology" has long been regarded as the oldest Christology. The other early Christology is "high Christology," which is "the view that Jesus was a pre-existent divine being who became a human, did the Father’s will on earth, and then was taken back up into heaven whence he had originally come," and from where he Christophany, appeared on earth. According to Hurtado, a proponent of an Christology#Development of "low Christology" and "high Christology", Early High Christology, the devotion to Jesus as divine originated in early Jewish Christianity, and not later or under the influence of pagan religions and Gentile converts. The Pauline letters, which are the earliest Christian writings, already show "a well-developed pattern of Christian devotion [...] already conventionalized and apparently uncontroversial." Some Christians began to worship Jesus is Lord, Jesus as a Lord.


Eschatological expectations

Ehrman and other scholars believe that Jesus' early followers expected the immediate installment of the Kingdom of God, but that as time went on without this occurring, it led to a change in beliefs.Bart Ehrmann (June 4, 2016)
''Were Jesus’ Followers Crazy? Was He?''
/ref> In time, the belief that Jesus' resurrection signaled the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God changed into a belief that the resurrection confirmed the Messianic status of Jesus, and the belief that Jesus would return at some indeterminate time in the future, the
Second Coming The Second Coming (sometimes called the Second Advent or the Parousia) is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianit ...
, heralding the expected endtime. When the Kingdom of God did not arrive, Christians' beliefs gradually changed into the expectation of an immediate reward in heaven after death, rather than to a future divine kingdom on Earth, despite the churches' continuing to use the major creeds' statements of belief in a coming resurrection day and
world to come The world to come, age to come, heaven on Earth, and the Kingdom of God The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's ...
.


Practices

The Book of Acts reports that the early followers continued daily Second Temple, Temple attendance and List of Jewish prayers and blessings, traditional Jewish home prayer, Jewish liturgy, liturgical, a set of scriptural readings adapted from synagogue practice, use of Religious music, sacred music in hymns and prayer. Other passages in the New Testament gospels reflect a similar observance of traditional Jewish piety such as baptism, fasting, reverence for the Torah, observance of Jewish holiday, Jewish holy days.


Baptism

Early Christian beliefs regarding baptism probably predate the New Testament writings. It seems certain that numerous Jewish sects and certainly Jesus's disciples practised baptism.
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
had baptized many people, before baptisms took place in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul likened baptism to being buried with Christ in his death.


Communal meals and Eucharist

Early Christian rituals included communal meals. The Eucharist was often a part of the Lovefeast, but between the latter part of the 1st century AD and 250 AD the two became separate rituals. Thus, in modern times the Lovefeast refers to a Christian ritual meal distinct from the Lord's Supper.


Liturgy

During the first three centuries of Christianity, the Divine Liturgy, Liturgical ritual was rooted in the Jewish Passover, Siddur, Passover Seder, Seder, and synagogue services, including the singing of hymns (especially the Psalms) and reading from the scriptures. Most early Christians did not own a copy of the works (some of which were still being written) that later became the Christian Bible or other church works accepted by some but not canonized, such as the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, or other works today called
New Testament apocrypha The New Testament apocrypha (singular apocryphon) are a number of writings by Early Christianity, early Christians that give accounts of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus and his teachings, the nature of God in Christianity, God, or the teachings of his ...
. Similar to Judaism, much of the original church liturgy, liturgical services functioned as a means of learning these scriptures, which initially centered around the Septuagint and the Targums. At first, Christians continued to worship alongside Jewish believers, but within twenty years of Jesus' death, Sunday (the Lord's Day) was being regarded as the Sabbath in Christianity, primary day of worship.Davidson, p. 115


Emerging church – mission to the Gentiles

With the start of their missionary activity, they also started to attract proselytes, Gentiles who were fully or partly conversion to Judaism, converted to Judaism.


Growth of early Christianity

Christian missionary activity spread "the Way" and slowly created
early centers of Christianity Early Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Sem ...
with Gentile adherents in the Greek primacy, predominantly Greek language, Greek-speaking Early centers of Christianity#Eastern Roman Empire, eastern half of the Roman Empire, and then throughout the Hellenistic world and even beyond the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. Early Christian beliefs were proclaimed in ''kerygma'' (preaching), some of which are preserved in New Testament scripture. The early Gospel message spread oral gospel traditions, orally, probably originally in Aramaic language, Aramaic, but almost immediately also in Koine Greek, Greek. A process of cognitive dissonance reduction may have contributed to intensive missionary activity, convincing others of the developing beliefs, reducing the cognitive dissonance created by the delay of the coming of the endtime. Due to this missionary zeal, the early group of followers grew larger despite the failing expectations.Bart Ehrmann (June 4, 2016)
''Were Jesus’ Followers Crazy? Was He?''
/ref> The scope of the Jewish-Christian mission expanded over time. While Jesus limited his message to a Jewish audience in Galilee and Judea, after his death his followers extended their outreach to all of Israel, and eventually the whole Jewish diaspora, believing that the Second Coming would only happen when all Jews had received the Gospel. Apostles and preachers Dispersion of the Apostles, traveled to Jewish Diaspora, Jewish communities around the Mediterranean Sea, and initially attracted Jewish converts.Bokenkotter, p. 18. Within 10 years of the death of Jesus, apostles had attracted enthusiasts for "the Way" from First Christian church, Jerusalem to Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica, Cyprus, Crete, Alexandria and Rome.Duffy, p. 3. Over 40 churches were established by 100,Hitchcock, ''Geography of Religion'' (2004), p. 281Bokenkotter, ''A Concise History of the Catholic Church'' (2004), p. 18 most in Early centers of Christianity#Anatolia, Asia Minor, such as the seven churches of Asia, and some in Greece in the Roman era and Roman Italy. According to Fredriksen, when missionary early Christians broadened their missionary efforts, they also came into contact with Gentiles attracted to the Jewish religion. Eventually, the Gentiles came to be included in the missionary effort of Hellenised Jews, bringing "all nations" into the house of God. The "Hellenists," Greek speaking diaspora Jews belonging to the early Jerusalem Jesus-movement, played an important role in reaching a Gentile, Greek audience, notably at Antioch, which had a large Jewish community and significant numbers of Gentile "God-fearers." From Antioch, the mission to the Gentiles started, including Paul's, which would fundamentally change the character of the early Christian movement, eventually turning it into a new, Gentile religion. According to Dunn, within 10 years after Jesus' death, "the new messianic movement focused on Jesus began to modulate into something different ... it was at Antioch that we can begin to speak of the new movement as 'Christianity'." Christian groups and congregations first organized themselves loosely. In Paul the Apostle, Paul's time there were no precisely delineated territorial jurisdiction yet for bishops, Elder (Christianity), elders, and deacons.Stephen L Harris, Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.


Paul and the inclusion of Gentiles


Conversion

Paul's influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than that of any other authorship of the New Testament, New Testament author.''Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church'' ed. F. L. Cross (Oxford) entry on Paul According to the New Testament, Saul of Tarsus first persecuted the early Jewish Christians, but then Conversion of Paul the Apostle, converted. He adopted the name Paul and started Proselytism, proselytizing among the Gentiles, calling himself "Apostle to the Gentiles." Paul was in contact with the early Christian community in First Christian church, Jerusalem, led by James the Just. According to Mack, he may have been converted to another early strand of Christianity, with a High Christology. Fragments of their beliefs in an exalted and deified Jesus, what Mack called the "Christ cult," can be found in the writings of Paul. Yet, Hurtado notes that Paul valued the linkage with "Jewish Christian circles in Roman Judea," which makes it likely that his Christology was in line with, and indebted to, their views. Hurtado further notes that "[i]t is widely accepted that the tradition that Paul recites in [Corinthians] 15:1-71 must go back to the Jerusalem Church."


Inclusion of Gentiles

Paul was responsible for bringing Christianity to Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, and Thessalonica. According to Larry Hurtado, "Paul saw Jesus' resurrection as ushering in the eschatological time foretold by biblical prophets in which the pagan 'Gentile' nations would turn from their idols and embrace the one true God of Israel (e.g., ), and Paul saw himself as specially called by God to declare God's eschatological acceptance of the Gentiles and summon them to turn to God."[Larry Hurtado (August 17, 2017 )
''"Paul, the Pagans' Apostle"''
/ref> According to Krister Stendahl, the main concern of Paul's writings on Jesus' role and salvation by faith is not the individual conscience of human sinners and their doubts about being chosen by God or not, but the main concern is the problem of the inclusion of Gentile (Greek) Torah-observers into God's covenant.Stephen Westerholm (2015)
''The New Perspective on Paul in Review''
Direction, Spring 2015 · Vol. 44 No. 1 · pp. 4–15
The inclusion of Gentiles into early Christianity posed a problem for the Jewish identity of some of the early Christians: the new Gentile converts were not required to be Religious male circumcision, circumcised nor to observe the Law of Moses, Mosaic Law. Circumcision in particular was regarded as a token of the membership of the Abrahamic covenant, and the most traditionalist faction of Jewish Christians (i.e., converted
Pharisees The Pharisees (; Hebrew: ''Pərūšīm'') were a social movement and a school of thought in the Levant during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70), destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic belie ...
) insisted that Gentile converts had to be circumcised as well. By contrast, the rite of circumcision was considered execrable and repulsive during the period of Hellenization of the Eastern Mediterranean, and was especially adversed in Classical civilization both from Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks and Ancient Rome, Romans, which instead valued the foreskin positively. Paul objected strongly to the insistence on keeping all of the Jewish commandments, considering it a great threat to his doctrine of salvation through faith in Christ. According to Paula Fredriksen, Circumcision controversy in early Christianity, Paul's opposition to male circumcison for Gentiles is in line with the Old Testament predictions that "in the last days the gentile nations would come to the God of Israel, as gentiles (e.g., ), not as proselytes to Israel."Larry Hurtado (December 4, 2018)
''"When Christians were Jews": Paula Fredriksen on "The First Generation"''
/ref> For Paul, Gentile male circumcision was therefore an affront to God's intentions. According to Larry Hurtado, "Paul saw himself as what Munck called a salvation-historical figure in his own right", who was "personally and singularly deputized by God to bring about the predicted ingathering (the "fullness") of the nations ()." For Paul, Jesus' death and resurrection solved the problem of the exclusion of Gentiles from God's covenant, since the faithful are redeemed by Participation in Christ, participation in Jesus' death and rising. In the Jerusalem ''ekklēsia'', from which Paul received the creed of , the phrase "died for our sins" probably was an apologetic rationale for the death of Jesus as being part of God's plan and purpose, as evidenced in the Scriptures. For Paul, it gained a deeper significance, providing "a basis for the salvation of sinful Gentiles apart from the Torah." According to E. P. Sanders, Paul argued that "those who are baptized into Christ are baptized into his death, and thus they escape the power of sin [...] he died so that the believers may die with him and consequently live with him."E.P. Sanders
''Saint Paul, the Apostle''
Encyclopedia Britannica]
By this participation in Christ's death and rising, "one receives forgiveness for past offences, is liberated from the powers of sin, and receives the Spirit." Paul insists that salvation is received by the grace of God; according to Sanders, this insistence is in line with
Second Temple Judaism Second Temple Judaism is Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social sy ...
of c. 200 BC until 200 AD, which saw God's covenant with Israel as an act of grace of God. Observance of the Law is needed to maintain the covenant, but the covenant is not earned by observing the Law, but by the grace of God.Jordan Cooper
''E.P. Sanders and the New Perspective on Paul''
/ref> These divergent interpretations have a prominent place in both Paul's writings and in Acts. According to and Acts 15, Acts chapter 15, fourteen years after his conversion Paul visited the "Pillars of Jerusalem", the leaders of the Jerusalem ''ekklēsia''. His purpose was to compare his Gospel with theirs, an event known as the Council of Jerusalem. According to Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, they agreed that his mission was to be among the Gentiles. According to Acts, Paul made an argument that circumcision was not a necessary practice, vocally supported by Peter.McManners, ''Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity'' (2002), p. 37 While the Council of Jerusalem was described as resulting in an agreement to allow Gentile converts exemption from most Mitzvot, Jewish commandments, in reality a stark opposition from "Hebrew" Jewish Christians remained, as exemplified by the
Ebionites Ebionites ( grc-gre, Ἐβιωναῖοι, ''Ebionaioi'', derived from Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is reg ...
. The relaxing of requirements in Pauline Christianity opened the way for a much larger Christian Church, extending far beyond the Jewish community. The inclusion of Gentiles is reflected in Luke-Acts, which is an attempt to answer a theological problem, namely how the Messiah of the Jews came to have an overwhelmingly non-Jewish church; the answer it provides, and its central theme, is that the message of Christ was sent to the Gentiles because the Rejection of Jesus, Jews rejected it.


Persecutions

Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire occurred sporadically over a period of over two centuries. For most of the first three hundred years of Christian history, Christians were able to live in peace, practice their professions, and rise to positions of responsibility. Sporadic persecution took place as the result of local pagan populations putting pressure on the imperial authorities to take action against the Christians in their midst, who were thought to bring misfortune by their refusal to honour the gods. Only for approximately ten out of the first three hundred years of the church's history were Christians executed due to orders from a Roman emperor. The first persecution of Christians organised by the Roman government took place under the emperor Nero in 64 AD after the Great Fire of Rome. There was no empire-wide persecution of Christians until the reign of Decius in the third century.Martin, D. 2010
"The "Afterlife" of the New Testament and Postmodern Interpretation''

lecture transcript
). Yale University.
The Edict of Serdica was issued in 311 by the Roman emperor Galerius, officially ending the Diocletianic persecution of Christianity in the East. With the passage in 313 AD of the Edict of Milan, in which the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christianity, Christian religion, persecution of Christians by the Roman state ceased.


Development of the Biblical canon

In an ancient culture before the printing press and the majority of the population illiterate, most early Christians likely did not own any Christian texts. Much of the original church liturgical services functioned as a means of learning Christian theology. A final uniformity of liturgical services may have become solidified after the church established a Biblical canon, possibly based on the Apostolic Constitutions and Clementine literature. Pope Clement I, Clement (d. 99) writes that liturgy, liturgies are "to be celebrated, and not carelessly nor in disorder" but the final uniformity of liturgical services only came later, though the ''Liturgy of St James'' is traditionally associated with James the Just. Books not accepted by Pauline Christianity are termed biblical apocrypha, though the exact list varies from denomination to denomination.


Old Testament

The Biblical canon began with the Jewish Scriptures. The Koine Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, later known as the ''Septuagint'' and often written as "LXX," was the dominant translation from very early on. Perhaps the earliest Christian canon is the ''Bryennios List'', dated to around 100, which was found by Philotheos Bryennios in the Codex Hierosolymitanus. The list is written in Koine Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew language, Hebrew. In the 2nd century, Melito of Sardis called the Jewish scriptures the "Old Testament" and also specified an early Melito's canon, canon. Jerome (347–420) expressed his preference for adhering strictly to the Hebrew text and canon, but his view held little currency even in his own day.


New Testament

The New Testament (often compared to the New Covenant) is the second major division of the Christian Bible. The books of the canon of the New Testament include the Canonical Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Acts, letters of the Apostle (Christian), Apostles, and Book of Revelation, Revelation. The original texts were written by various authors, most likely sometime between c. AD 45 and 120 AD, in Koine Greek, the lingua franca of the eastern part of the Roman Empire, though there is also a minority argument for Aramaic primacy. They were not defined as "canon" until the 4th century. Some were disputed, known as the Antilegomena. Writings attributed to the Apostle (Christian), Apostles circulated among the Early centers of Christianity, earliest Christian communities. The
Pauline epistles The Pauline epistles, also known as Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although the authorship of some is in dispute. Among these epistles are some of the earliest extant ...
were circulating, perhaps in collected forms, by the end of the 1st century AD. The earliest Christian writings, other than those collected in the New Testament, are a group of letters credited to the Apostolic Fathers. These include the Epistle of Barnabas and the Epistles of Clement (disambiguation), Epistles of Clement. The Didache and Shepherd of Hermas are usually placed among the writings of the Apostolic Fathers although their authors are unknown. Taken as a whole, the collection is notable for its literary simplicity, religious zeal and lack of Hellenistic philosophy or rhetoric. They contain early thoughts on the organisation of the Christian ''ekklēsia'', and are historical sources for the development of an early Church structure.


Early orthodox writings – Apostolic Fathers

The Church Fathers are the early and influential Christian theology, Christian theologians and writers, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. The earliest Church Fathers, within two generations of the Twelve apostles of Christ, are usually called Apostolic Fathers for reportedly knowing and studying under the apostles personally. Important Apostolic Fathers include Clement of Rome (d. AD 99),Will Durant, Durant, Will. ''Caesar and Christ''. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1972
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
(d. AD 98 to 117) and Polycarp of Smyrna (AD 69–155). Their writings include the Epistle of Barnabas and the Epistles of Clement (disambiguation), Epistles of Clement. The Didache and Shepherd of Hermas are usually placed among the writings of the Apostolic Fathers although their authors are unknown. Taken as a whole, the collection is notable for its literary simplicity, religious zeal and lack of Hellenistic philosophy or rhetoric. They contain early thoughts on the organisation of the Christian ''ekklēsia'', and witness the development of an early Church structure. In his letter 1 Clement, Clement of Rome calls on the Christians of Corinth to maintain harmony and order. Some see his epistle as an assertion of Rome's authority over the church in Corinth and, by implication, the beginnings of papal supremacy. Clement refers to the leaders of the Corinthian church in his letter as bishops and presbyters interchangeably, and likewise states that the bishops are to lead God's flock by virtue of the chief shepherd (presbyter), Jesus Christ.
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
advocated the authority of the apostolic episcopacy (bishops). The Didache (late 1st century)Draper, JA (2006), ''The Apostolic Fathers: the Didache'', Expository Times, Vol. 117, No. 5, p. 178 is an anonymous Jewish-Christian work. It is a pastoral manual dealing with Christian lessons, rituals, and Church organization, parts of which may have constituted the first written catechism, "that reveals more about how Jewish-Christians saw themselves and how they adapted their Judaism for Gentiles than any other book in the Christian Scriptures."


Split of early Christianity and Judaism


Split with Judaism

There was a slowly growing chasm between Gentile Christians, and Jews and Jewish Christians, rather than a sudden split. Even though it is commonly thought that Paul established a Gentile church, it took a century for a complete break to manifest. Growing tensions led to a starker separation that was virtually complete by the time Jewish Christians refused to join in the Bar Kokhba revolt, Bar Khokba Jewish revolt of 132. Certain events are perceived as pivotal in the growing rift between Christianity and Judaism. The Siege of Jerusalem (70), destruction of Jerusalem and the consequent dispersion of Jews and Jewish Christians from the city (after the Bar Kokhba revolt) ended any pre-eminence of the Jewish-Christian leadership in Jerusalem. Early Christianity grew further apart from Judaism to establish itself as a predominantly Gentile religion, and
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...
became the first Gentile Christian community with stature. The hypothetical Council of Jamnia c. 85 is often stated to have condemned all who claimed the Messiah had already come, and Christianity in particular, excluding them from attending synagogue.Wylen (1995). p. 190.Berard (2006). pp. 112–13.Wright (1992). pp. 164–65. However, the formulated prayer in question (birkat ha-minim) is considered by other scholars to be unremarkable in the history of Jewish and Christian relations. There is a paucity of evidence for Jewish persecution of "heretics" in general, or Christians in particular, in the period between 70 and 135. It is probable that the condemnation of Jamnia included many groups, of which the Christians were but one, and did not necessarily mean excommunication. That some of the later church fathers only recommended against synagogue attendance makes it improbable that an anti-Christian prayer was a common part of the synagogue liturgy. Jewish Christians continued to worship in synagogues for centuries. During the late 1st century, Judaism was a legal religion with the protection of Roman law, worked out in compromise with the Roman state over two centuries (see Anti-Judaism#Anti-Judaism in the Roman Empire, Anti-Judaism in the Roman Empire for details). In contrast, Christianity was not legalized until the 313 Edict of Milan. Observant Jews had special rights, including the privilege of abstaining from civic pagan rites. Christians were initially identified with the Jewish religion by the Romans, but as they became more distinct, Christianity became a problem for Roman rulers. Around the year 98, the emperor Nerva decreed that Christians did not have to pay the Fiscus Iudaicus, annual tax upon the Jews, effectively recognizing them as distinct from
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, CE, after the codification of ...
. This opened the way to Christians being persecuted for disobedience to the emperor, as they refused to worship the Imperial cult (ancient Rome), state pantheon.Wylen (1995). pp. 190–92. From c. 98 onwards a distinction between Christians and Jews in Roman literature becomes apparent. For example, Pliny the Younger postulates that Christians are not Jews since they do not pay the tax, in his letters to Trajan.


Later rejection of Jewish Christianity

Jewish Christians constituted a separate community from the Pauline Christianity, Pauline Christians but maintained a similar faith. In Christian circles, ''Nazarene (sect), Nazarene'' later came to be used as a label for those faithful to Jewish Law, in particular for a certain sect. These Jewish Christians, originally the central group in Christianity, generally holding the same beliefs except in their adherence to Jewish law, were not deemed heretical until the dominance of orthodoxy in the Christianity in the 4th century, 4th century.Dauphin (1993). pp. 235, 240–42. The
Ebionites Ebionites ( grc-gre, Ἐβιωναῖοι, ''Ebionaioi'', derived from Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is reg ...
may have been a splinter group of Nazarenes, with disagreements over Christology and leadership. They were considered by Gentile Christians to have unorthodox beliefs, particularly in relation to their views of Christ and Gentile converts. After the condemnation of the Nazarenes, ''Ebionite'' was often used as a general pejorative for all related "heresies".Tabor (1998).Esler (2004), pp. 157–59. There was a post-Nicene "double rejection" of the Jewish Christians by both Gentile Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. The true end of ancient Jewish Christianity occurred only in the 5th century. Gentile Christianity became the dominant strand of orthodoxy and imposed itself on the previously Jewish Christian sanctuaries, taking full control of those houses of worship by the end of the 5th century.


Timeline


See also

* Christian martyrs * Christianity and Judaism * Christianization * Christian symbols#Early Christianity * Chronological list of saints in the 1st century * Council of Jerusalem * Classical antiquity * Early centers of Christianity * Early Christian art and architecture * Hellenistic Judaism * History of Christian theology * History of Christianity * History of the Eastern Orthodox Church * History of the Catholic Church * Historiography of early Christianity * Jesuism * Mandaeism * Persecution of Christians in the New Testament * Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire * * Timeline of Christian missions * Timeline of Christianity * Timeline of the Catholic Church


Notes


References


Sources

Printed sources * * * * Brown, Schuyler. ''The Origins of Christianity: A Historical Introduction to the New Testament''. Oxford University Press (1993). * * * * * * *Cullmann, Oscar, ''The Early Church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology'', ed. A. J. B. Higgins, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966 *Ivor Davidson, ''The Birth of the Church: From Jesus to Constantine, AD 30-312'', Oxford (2005) *W. D. Davies, ''Paul and Rabbinic Judaism'' 2d ed., London, 1965 * *Dunn, James D. G. ''Jews and Christians: The Parting of the Ways, AD 70 to 135''. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (1999). *Dunn, James D. G., "The Canon Debate," McDonald & Sanders editors, 2002 * * * * * * * * * * *Gundry, R.H., ''Soma in Biblical Theology'', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976 *Hunter, Archibald, ''Works and Words of Jesus'' (1973) * *Johnson, L.T., ''The Real Jesus'', San Francisco, Harper San Francisco, 1996 * *Kremer, Jakob, ''Die OsterevangelienGeschichten um Geschichte'', Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1977 * * *Ludemann, Gerd, ''What Really Happened to Jesus?'' trans. J. Bowden, Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995 * * * * * * * *Neufeld, ''The Earliest Christian Confessions'', Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964 *O' Collins, Gerald, ''What are They Saying About the Resurrection?'', New York: Paulist Press, 1978 * *Pannenberg, Wolfhart, ''JesusGod and Man'' translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968 * *Smith, J. L., "Resurrection Faith Today", in ''TS'' 30 (1969) * * * *Van Daalen, D. H., ''The Real Resurrection'', London: Collins, 1972 * *Weiss, Johannes, ''Der erste Korintherbrief'' 9th ed., Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1910 *Wilckens, Ulrich, ''Auferstehung'', Stuttgart and Berlin: Kreuz Verlag, 1970 *Wright, N.T., "The New Unimproved Jesus", in ''Christianity Today'', 1993-09-13 *Wylen, Stephen M., ''The Jews in the Time of Jesus: An Introduction'', Paulist Press (1995), Web-sources


Further reading


Books

* Bockmuehl, Markus N.A. (ed.) ''The Cambridge Companion to Jesus''. Cambridge University Press (2001). . * Bourgel, Jonathan, ''From One Identity to Another: The Mother Church of Jerusalem Between the Two Jewish Revolts Against Rome (66–135/6 EC)''. Paris: Éditions du Cerf, collection Judaïsme ancien et Christianisme primitive, (French). * Raymond E. Brown, Brown, Raymond E.: ''An Introduction to the New Testament'' () * Conzelmann, H. and Lindemann A., ''Interpreting the New Testament. An Introduction to the Principles and Methods of N.T. Exegesis'', translated by S.S. Schatzmann, Hendrickson Publishers. Peabody 1988. * Dormeyer, Detlev. ''The New Testament among the Writings of Antiquity'' (English translation), Sheffield 1998 * Dunn, James D.G. (ed.) ''The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul''. Cambridge University Press (2003). . * Dunn, James D.G. ''Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity''. SCM Press (2006). . * * Esler, Philip F. ''The Early Christian World''. Routledge (2004). .} * * Freedman, David Noel (Ed). ''Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible''. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (2000). * * Burton L. Mack, Mack, Burton L.: ''Who Wrote the New Testament?'', Harper, 1996 * Keck, Leander E. ''Paul and His Letters''. Fortress Press (1988). . * Mills, Watson E. ''Acts and Pauline Writings''. Mercer University Press (1997). . * Malina, Bruce J.: ''Windows on the World of Jesus: Time Travel to Ancient Judea.'' Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville (Kentucky) 1993 * Malina, Bruce J.: ''The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology''. 3rd edition, Westminster John Knox Press Louisville (Kentucky) 2001 * Malina, Bruce J.: ''Social Science Commentary on the Gospel of John'' Augsburg Fortress Publishers: Minneapolis 1998 * Malina, Bruce J.: ''Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels'' Augsburg Fortress Publishers: Minneapolis 2003 * McKechnie, Paul. ''The First Christian Centuries: Perspectives on the Early Church''. Apollos (2001). * Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan. ''The Christian Tradition: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100–600)''. University of Chicago Press (1975). . * Stegemann, Ekkehard and Stegemann, Wolfgang: ''The Jesus Movement: A Social History of Its First Century.'' Augsburg Fortress Publishers: Minneapolis 1999 * Stegemann, Wolfgang, ''The Gospel and the Poor.'' Fortress Press. Minneapolis 1984 * James Tabor, Tabor, James D.]
"Ancient Judaism: Nazarenes and Ebionites"
''The Jewish Roman World of Jesus''. Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1998). *Thiessen, Henry C. ''Introduction to the New Testament'', Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids 1976 * White, L. Michael. ''From Jesus to Christianity''. HarperCollins (2004). . * Wilson, Barrie A. "How Jesus Became Christian". St. Martin's Press (2008). . * Wright, N.T. ''The New Testament and the People of God''. Fortress Press (1992). . * Theodor Zahn, Zahn, Theodor, ''Introduction to the New Testament, English translation'', Edinburgh, 1910.


Book series

* * *


External links


New Testament Reading Room
Extensive online NT resources (incl. commentaries), Tyndale Seminary
Scholarly articles on the New Testament from the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Library
{{DEFAULTSORT:Christianity in the 1st century 1st-century Christianity, Christianity by century, 01 Early Christianity, 01 Early Christianity and Judaism