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What Is the Religion We Call Christianity?

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What is the religion we call Christianity? Christianity is a major religion in our world, which developed from Judaism. Christianity started about 2000 years ago in Judea, or today’s Israel. Jesus Christ and His faithful team of followers began the trend. In this time, Judea was home to extremely busy cities, farms, and different cultures. The ruler was the emperor of Rome, John the Baptist. At that time, the Jews despised Roman rule. Rome’s cultural belief of having many gods was against the beliefs of Jews. Some Jews saw their only hope to be to submit themselves to this change. Other Jews became very committed to their religion and resisted Roman rule. Yet, others decided to study the Jewish law and wait for their promised Messiah, savior, to come.

Jesus preached in Israel during the time of Augustus, urging a purification of the Jewish religion that would free Israel and establish the kingdom of God on earth. He urged a moral code based on love, charity, and humility, and he asked the faithful to follow his lessons, abandoning worldly concern. Many disciples believed that a Final Judgment day was near at hand, on which God would reward the righteous with immortality and condemn sinners to everlasting hell.

Jesus was a Jew. He observed the Jewish faith and was well acquainted with the Jewish Law. In His early thirties, Jesus traveled from village to village, teaching in the synagogues and healing those who were suffering. He lived from about 3 BC to 30 AD. He lived and taught in Palestine, primarily (although not exclusively) among fellow Jews. Christianity separated from the main body of Judaism for two reasons. Christianity came to regard Jesus as in some sense God's presence in human form. This was unacceptable to most Jews. Judaism is defined by a covenant made between God and the Jewish people. Part of this covenant is the Law, a set of religious and ethical rules and principles. Most Christians came to regard both this covenant and Law as in some sense superseded by Jesus' teaching and the community that he established. On the night he died, Jesus talked about establishing a "new covenant" based on his death and resurrection.



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