World Religion Report
Byrl E. Shaver II
Christianity is the largest, and one of the oldest world religions. Although it began as one, it currently has various denominations. All of these Christian groups and churches, however, adhere to the central tenets of Christianity. Christians have a distinct understanding of the nature of God, the identity of Jesus Christ, and the role of salvation. While most of the Christian holy sites are in Rome and Jerusalem, two of the earliest centers of the religion, Christian sites can be found in all countries where the religion is present. The early Christian missions, located primarily in Florida ...view middle of the document...
Then, in the year that would become the starting point for the modern Western calendar, 0 AD, Jesus of Nazareth was born into the world. At least, that’s what historians thought for a long time. More recently, however, historical and literary studies comparing records of the life of Christ with records from the Roman Empire in which he was born, have determined that the date of his birth was more likely between 7 and 3 BC. Regardless of the exact year, Jesus of Nazareth, son of Hebrew parents – Mary and Joseph, a carpenter, entered the world. Jesus grew up practicing the Jewish faith along with his parents. He became a preacher, teacher, and religious leader. Arousing the jealousy of many contemporary Jewish leaders, who disagreed with his teachings, which required them to give up some of their power and benefits in order to worship God more truly, Jesus faced a controversial welcome in Israel. Some people welcomed him as being sent by God; others, particularly the Saducees, Pharisees, and other Jewish authorities, rejected his teaching and saw him as a personal threat to their power. Accordingly, after three years of his public ministry, Jesus was put to death, crucified by the Romans at the request of the Jews. Jesus died at the age of 33.
For the Jews, and many who do not believe in Jesus, Jesus’ death was the end of his life. Jesus was a man like any other. Some believe Jesus was a profit, a great man. Others believe he was just an ordinary man. For Christians, however, Jesus is something else. Based on his own teachings, as well as supernatural and miraculous events that were witnessed during his life and recorded by his followers, Jesus is considered by the Christians to be both man and God. Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah God promised to the Jews. As a result, Christianity takes the beliefs and history of the Jewish faith, and adds to it. Like the Jews, Christians believe in the prophets and fathers of the faith from of old – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah, etc. The Christian Bible is comprised of two sections. The first section, the Old Testament, comprises Jewish Sacred Scripture. The second section, the New Testament, speaks about the life of Jesus and the early beginnings of the Christian Church, recounting Jesus’ actions, words, and teachings.
Christians have several basic theological beliefs. First of all, they believe in the Trinity, a doctrine stating that there is one God, but three Persons in the one God (Wenner, 2009). These three persons refer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This teaching is foundational to the Christian belief that Jesus is both man and God. Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, the Son. He is one Person, but his person has two natures – a human nature, making him man, and a divine nature, making him God at the same time. The three Persons of the Trinity are all equal and are completed united to each other: they are one God. ...