Christianity Exam Notes Essay

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Christianity

General Introduction
The largest religion in the world (by number of followers)
It was founded upon the life and teachings of Jesus Christ
It played a key part in the history and culture of Western civilization.
It contains a great variety of beliefs and practices.
It began as a movement within Judaism in the first century CE.
It is a missionary religion
The main message is love and brotherhood

Life of the Founder
Jesus Christ
Christians believe that He is the Son of G-d who was sent to earth to save humankind
Jesus = “Yeshua” in Hebrew means “saviour”
“Christ” comes from the Greek word “Christos” meaning “anointed one”
His followers called him “Messiah” meaning “anointed one of the Lord”
A rough outline of Jesus’ life (as presented in the Gospels) can be reconstructed as follows:

Nativity: Birth of Jesus at Bethlehem, Christmas is celebrated in commemoration of his birth. Two accounts of his birth, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Fulfills the Old Testament prophesy to the coming of the Messiah.
Wise Men (Magi): Said to have visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts. Saw a star in the East and come to worship the newborn King of the Jews.
Massacre of the Innocents: King Herod ordered all the young male children of Bethlehem to be killed to avoid the loss of his throne to the newborn King of the Jews.
Finding in the Temple: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph come to the Temple for Passover, Jesus lingered in the temple in discussion of the scripture with the elders.
Baptism of Christ: Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. After Jesus was baptized the heavens parted and a spirit descended upon him as a dove. This is the beginning of his public ministry.
Temptation of Jesus: Jesus was led into the desert where he fasted for 40 days, and the devil tempted him three times, which he refused.
Public Life and Ministry: Jesus has a ministry of teachings and miracles, speaks in parables, champions the poor and oppressed, and teaches about the Kingdom of God.
Death of John the Baptist: Imprisoned and beheaded by Herod, frequently depicted as the head on a silver plate.
Entry into Jerusalem: Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before his death to celebrate the Passover festival.
Overturning the Tables of the Moneychangers: Jesus creates a disturbance at Herod’s temple by running out the buyers and sellers, or “robbers”, at the Temple.
The Last Supper: Jesus celebrates the Passover meal with his disciples and he prophesized the betrayal by one of his disciples and will be killed. Takes the bread and wine, “this is my body... my blood”, and instructed to do this in remembrance of him.
Garden of Gethsemane: Jesus prays here the night before his crucifixion, and he accepts God’s will.
Arrest: In the garden, Jesus is arrested by temple guards and Judas betrays him by identifying him to the guards with a kiss.
Trial before Pilate: Jesus affirms that he is the Messiah and he is sentenced to be killed.
Crucifixion: Jesus is stripped, flogged, and crowned with thorns. The cross states that he is being executed for aspiring to be King of the Jews. Jesus dies late afternoon at Cavalry.
Resurrection and Appearances to Disciples: Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday. The Gospels record appearances to the disciples, assigns Peter to role of the Sheppard of his community.
Jesus ascends to heaven.

Sacred Texts
Called “The Bible” sometimes “The Book”
“Bible” comes from a Greek term “biblos” meaning “book”
These are the Old Testament and New Testament books, which constitute the sacred writings of Christianity.
The Bible contains 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament

The Gospels
The first four books of the New Testament are the Gospels (good news)
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which record the life and teachings of Jesus
John was concerned with who Jesus WAS, and takes a more philosophical approach.
Matthew – he frequently quotes the Old Testament, his Gospel may…