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Early Christianity in Western Civilization

Uploaded by Panda05 on Dec 22, 2004

Early Christianity in Western Civilization

Early Christianity was the main religion of Western civilization. The Bible is the primary source historians have available to follow the life of Jesus Christ, the leader of the Christians. He taught his followers, was crucified, and supposedly rose from the dead. Jesus' life is recorded in the last half of the Bible called the New Testament. Sections one and two of chapter six in the text discuss certain excerpts taken from the Gospels of Saint Mark, Saint Matthew, and Paul's letter to the Ephesians. These excerpts record the teachings of Jesus while he was on earth, before and after his resurrection. However, Jesus himself never contributed to these writings. They are reminiscences of his disciples, passed down verbally until recorded in written form thirty to seventy years after Jesus' death.

Saint Mark relays the ethical teachings of Jesus summed up with the most important commandments, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength," and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus believes these two commands to be the basic doctrine of his belief. That is why it is stressed in the Gospel of Mark to follow these instructions. Individuals will be closer to the kingdom of God by doing so, and in turn closer to Jesus. In short, it sums up in two sentences the way Christians should properly live out their lives.

The fact that Jesus wanted full devotion and commitment from his followers put fear in the heart of the Roman government. They assumed that if Jesus formed his own group of people that they would revolt against the rule of the Romans. Though this fear proved to be false, and Jesus merely directed his followers in living godly lives, he was still beaten and killed. However, if the Roman authorities held the power to execute Jesus, why did they see him as such a threat in the first place?

Saint Matthew presents the gospel as a guide to having right attitudes, acceptable to God. These attitudes are compiled into a list called the Beatitudes. Jesus believes that having true religion is more than following a set of rules or written law. ...

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Uploaded by:   Panda05

Date:   12/22/2004

Category:   History

Length:   4 pages (840 words)

Views:   13535

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