Early Christianity Essay

864 words - 4 pages

The earliest recorded text teaching Christianity has its roots buried deep within Judaism. The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, created a new ideology of worship. The Messiah is the savior for all people and of all sins. Paul carried the message of the Messiah to the Gentiles. His missionary journeys and establishment of churches enabled the spreading of the message throughout the Roman Empire. Christianity grew in acceptance; those that believed in the Messiah separated and began to worship on their own. This marked the beginning of the split of Judaism and Christianity.

Christianity experienced many pitfalls along the path to fulfillment. As in history, ...view middle of the document...

For example, Nero was ruler of the Roman Empire, under his reign Rome was set on fire and burnt to the ground. Christians became the scapegoat for this cowardly act. Tasitus wrote that perhaps Nero himself started the blaze, as an excuse to persecute the Christians. Nero’s acts of persecution were contained within the confines of Rome.

In contrast to the persecution experienced by early Christian followers, Christianity today does not experience the level of outward persecution. Christianity is practiced in an atmosphere nearly void of violence. It was not until the reign of Constantine when Christians were authorized to practice their chosen faith. The “Ediet of Milan”(313 A.D.), gave official recognition to the Christian faith, thus ending persecution within the Roman Empire. Before Constantine’s rule, there were many rulers eager to drive out the Christians. The Emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.) established the first official policy relating to Christians and how they should be dealt with. Diocletion and the Apologists were the last of the persecutors in this era before Constantine. This marked the end of open persecution towards Christians.

Christianity shifted as it began to grow. No longer worshiping in the darkened catacombs, Christianity was now available to all. This exposure brought many who did not believe in the true meaning of Christianity and the message of the Messiah. Heresy arose amongst the Christians. Heretics sought false beliefs as their messenger. Gnosticism and Macionism movements caused confusion and strife within the Christian community. However, the Canonization of authoritative scripture, Creeds, and the Episcopacy brought stability back to...

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