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Early Christianity Outlines the beginnings of Christianity, appeal to convert, survival of the religion, martyrs, issues of religious perception, and society in the church.

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University of Regina
Classical Studies
Sheila Ager

Early Christianity October2010 1230 PMOrigins in Judaism o Belief in single absolute creatorContrasts with polytheism of Greeks and RomansJudaism o Figure of messiah important in Judaism Religious saviour political saviour military saviour o Do not want to be ruled by anyone else o Suppressed by a culture with a different religion Saviour would rid them of oppression JesusOldest images represent Jesus as a healerA lot of images come from catacombs under Rome o Where Christian community sought refuge at times of prosecution also where they buried their dead o Date to late 3rd and early 4th century Around time of Diocletian who conducted the worst of the persecutions Sources of Early ChristianityOldest historical testimony comes from Pauls letters comes approximately 23 decades after Jesus death Not one of Jesus original followersAnother source comes from Roman Pagan author Suetonius Wrote biographies of emperors including Nero who blamed fire in Rome on Christians Where public awareness of Christianity occurs4 gospels postdate letters of PaulAttributed to 4 evangelists named Matthew Mark Luke and JohnAll proclamation of faith not historical recordsConsequences objective history of earliest Christianity life of Jesus is impossible Nothing telling anything of Jesus from the time he was alive Life in the early Churchhouse churchesshows that Christian community appealed to all classes o Later evolution outgrew capacity of house churches and started renting public buildings basilica Community focused o Directed around shared meal known as Eucharist which is a celebrationreminder of Jesus last mealApocalyptic world view o Messiah came left and promised to come back any time Saw history as ending very very shortlyo After generations sceptics point out that messiah has not come back apocalyptic view decreases Became in institution and envisioned itself with longevity cant be Conversion to early Christianity required total allegiance o Why Romans do not like them they are not loyal to the state and do not sacrifice to the health and benefit of the emperorempire
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