Christian Traditions 1/17/2012 7:30:00 AM
Traditions at a Glance
1.5 billion Christians worldwide
Mostly live in Europe, the Americas, Australian, New Zeland and
some parts of Africa.
Founded by the followers of Jesus of Nazareth on the basis of his
teachings and resurrection.
There is only one God.
The bible consists of the Old and New Testament.
The Life of Jesus
o Very little is known about Jesus before he was the age of 30.
Luke and Matthew talk about his birth in the small town
of Bethlehem, just outside of the town that he was
raised in. It was a tiny Jewish village in a mostly Greek-
We assume that he became a carpenter like his father.
We only have one story from his youth. At the age of 12
he is said to have become obsessed with talking about
the problems with Jewish law.
He was baptized (sprinkling with or immersion in
water. The ritual by which a person is initiated into
membership in the Christian community. It is
considered a cleansing from sin) by his older cousin
John the Baptist, during which he sees the heavens
open and the holy spirit descending. He interprets this
as a call to being a prophet, so he goes to hide in the
forest where Satan has several attempts at tempting
him, which he refuses. After this he goes to see his
mom. He goes to a synagogue and tells everyone that
he is the last prophet.
Jesus recruited 12 male disciples, who were mostly
fishermen before. The number 12 is significant to
Hebrews as it signals a complete set. He also attracts a
number of female followers.
Mary Magdalene is probably the most important. For the next couple of years Jesus and his disciples
wanter around working miracles, teaching how to apply
Jewish law to everyday life, and telling parables
(stories about everyday life told to illustrate a point).
He also talked about an apocalypse (Catalysmic events
marking the transition form one era to another. A name
of the last book of the New Testament, which describes
such events) which will lead to a new era of peace and
righteousness. His main venues were synagogues or
peoples homes but sometimes he would talk to larger
On the Sunday before Passover, he fulfills a prophecy
by riding into town on a donkey. The people honor him
by placing palm leaves on the road before he rides by.
After this he is arrested for claiming to be the „King of
the Jews‟. He was executed on a hill named Golgotha,
he was nailed to a cross and let to die.
Two days after his death, a group of women go to
the tomb where his body was placed, and it was
empty. It became Christian belief that he was
resurrected to be at the right hand of God in
Christ: From the Greek Chritos, a translation of the
Hebrew work for messiah, „anointed‟.
The Gospels and Jesus
o Mark claims that a Roman soldier says “Truly this was a son
of God” as Jesus takes his last breath. This is relevant
because soon after Jesus‟ death Christian