Christianity is one of the religions in the world today; it is actually the largest religion present today with over 2.4 billion adherents who are rightfully referred to as Christians. They strongly believe that Jesus Christ is the only Son of the Almighty God and also the savior of all humanity. They also believe that Jesus was the Messiah whose coming was prophesied by a prophet of God, Isaiah, in the Old Testament. Christian theology is usually expressed in the ecumenical creeds that state that Jesus Christ suffered, was crucified, entombed and then resurrected on the third day. His resurrection is seen as a sign that he will grant life to all the people that believe and trust in him.
History of Christianity
Christianity started as a sect, a Jewish one to be particular, in the Middle East’s Levant during the mid-1st Century. Early Christianity got influences from Gnosticism and Zoroastriniasm. John Bowker claims that Christian ideas of angels, the world coming to an end, judgment, heaven, hell and resurrection got their substance and form from Zoroastrian beliefs. Early developments took place during the time and able leadership of the twelve apostles and in particular Saint Peter. His work was also followed by Paul the Apostle and then the early bishops. These early bishops are considered by Christians as the successors of the twelve apostles.
Early Christians were subjected to persecution by several Roman and Jewish religious authorities that disagreed with what the apostle’s were teaching. The punishments meted on them were varied and included death like in the case of Stephen and James of Zebedee. The state persecution was ceased in the 4th Century under Emperor Constantine (313 AD) when he issued the edict of toleration. Later in 380, Emperor Theodosius I enacted the law that established Nicene Christianity as the state church of the whole Roman Empire. From the 4th Century, this religion played an important role in shaping the Western civilization.
Christianity has faced a number of misconceptions ever since it was founded back in the Apostolic age. The New Testament created a lot of friction between the Pharisees and the people who followed Jesus. Presently, it is attacked by Muslim and Jewish theologians who criticize the doctrine of the Trinity believed by many Christians. They argue that this doctrine seeks to state that there are three gods which goes against the tenet of Monotheism.
There are three major primary divisions of Christianity: Protestants, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. These groups are referred to as denominations and they have diverse practices and doctrines. There is also a distinction drawn between the Eastern Christianity and the Western Christianity which has origins in the Great Schism of the 11th Century. There are other branches of reformation like the Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, Pentecostal, Adventist, Methodist and other various Protestant confessions that have emerged later on.
The Christian religion, just like the other religions has adherents who have different beliefs and also their bible interpretations are different. It regards the bible as its religious book through its Old and New Testament. There are various creeds in the Christian faith but the Apostle’s Creed is the most popular. Jesus Christ is the central tenet of Christianity and Christians believe that he is the messiah, who was anointed by God himself to save humanity. Christians also believe that the cornerstone of their faith is the death and resurrection of Christ. This event is very important and it is where much of Christian doctrines and theologies are based on. They also believe in salvation and the holy trinity that encompasses God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
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