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Christianity Study Guide

Course Code
David Perley

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The Life of Jesus
Birth in Bethlehem, southeast of Jerusalem
Childhood home was in Nazareth
Predominantly Greek-speaking area
Public life began around the age of 30 and started with his baptism by his
older cousin John
Experienced a mystical vision as a call to prophecy or ministry and retreats to
the desert
Recruits twelve male disciples, most of whom are fishermen
Attracts many women followers and lower-class followers
He travels the region working miracles, teaching how to apply Jewish law to
everyday life, and telling parables
oLove for God
oLove for ones Neighbours
He is arrested and taken to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, where he is
found guilty of perverting the people and claiming to be the king of the Jews
He is paraded through the streets of Jerusalem to his place of execution, a hill
called Golgotha
He is nailed to the cross and left to die
Two days after his death, women followers visit his tomb and find it open and
his body missing
He is raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven to sit on Gods right
side from where he would soon return to judge all persons and usher in the
kingdom of God
From Sect to Church

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Small circle of disciples were left to carry on Jesus message who stirred in
them the hope that low-status and marginalized people (the poor, women,
Samaritans, sinners) had a place in Gods plan
These disciples expected the end of age and the glorious return of their
teacher to come at any moment and so they felt this urgent need to prepare
New Testament book Acts of the Apostles (Lukes sequel to his gospel)
describes the event where 7 weeks after the crucifixion of Jesus, his disciples
who were celebrating Shavuoth, were approached by the Holy Spirit as a rush
of wind and fire; after that encounter, they were able to speak and
understand diverse languages and therefore, able to preach to all people
The apostles steer a middle path between exclusive Jewish and gentile
definitions of the movement
oLuke gospel barely makes reference to the Zealot-inspired rebellion
against Roman rule in 66-73 (in which the 2nd temple was destroyed)
even though it must have been the centurys political turning point for
the Jewish people
oChristians would have sought to distance themselves from Jewish
ambition and Judaism altogether
the principle builder of the Christian tradition
He was educated and sophisticated, cosmopolitan figure with a privileged
status of a Roman citizen, a Pharisee from the diaspora Jewish community in
He was a convert that was first one of the people who persecuted Christians
He had not known Jesus personally, but had received a vision of the post-
resurrection of Jesus that changed his life forever
After that experience he traveled for a quarter of a century, preaching that all
people were heirs in Christ to the promises of God

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He corresponded with the scattered communities of Christian converts
through written letters 50-60 CE.(Pauls Letters constituting the earliest
Christian literature)
Apostle to the gentiles; rejected the notion that one must first become a Jew
in order to follow Jesus
It is not through observance of ritual laws or even correct moral conduct that
salvation is attained, but rather through faith in Jesus and the divine grace
that comes through him
oFrees people from the bondage to the law of Moses
Human beings are inherently self-willed and sinful and in order to liberate
humans from their sinful nature, God sent Jesus to die a self-sacrificing
oJesus the Redeemer
Paul advocated Life in the Spirit faith, hope and love
Paul rejected Life in the Flesh the pursuit of what passes away including
worldly ambition or pleasure
oThe body must be controlled and repressed
His voyages established many Christian communities in the port cities of the
Roman Empire before his death
New Testament
Jesus is the new contract through which God makes with humanity
Divine transmission expressed through a person
INERRANCY scripture is divinely inspired and therefore without error
LITERALISM the scripture should be taken at face value (factually
HISTORICAL-CRITICAL academics must be conscious of the is historically
accurate and what was fabricated to piece together what the apostles felt to
be important in depicting Jesus
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