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    Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered around the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It emerged in the 1st century AD in the Levant region of the Middle East and has since become one of the world's largest religions, with diverse denominations and interpretations. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the savior of humanity, whose sacrificial death on the cross atones for the sins of believers, offering them salvation and eternal life. Christians follow the teachings of the Bible, which includes the Old Testament and the New Testament, and they believe in the Trinity—the doctrine of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Central to Christian ethics are principles of love, compassion, forgiveness, and service to others, as exemplified by the life of Jesus. Christianity has played a significant role in shaping Western civilization, influencing philosophy, art, law, ethics, and culture worldwide.

    History[edit | edit source]

    Origin[edit | edit source]

    Christianity had originated in the 1st century, with the ministry of Jesus Christ, whom was crucified around AD 30-33 in Jerusalem. While Christianity during its origin had remained as a sect of Judaism, it had later slowly diverged from Judaism over differences in doctrine.

    Spread[edit | edit source]

    Although the religion was illegal under Roman rule, the Disciples of Jesus became Apostles and evangelists after the Ascension of Jesus Christ and spread the Christian faith to all corners of the empire where it remained an underground religion until Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and started the process of Christianization within the Roman Empire.

    Council of Chalcedon[edit | edit source]

    In the council of Chalcedon (451) the heads of the churches around the old world came together to discuss various topics related to spreading the Word and theological concepts.

    Great Schism[edit | edit source]

    Over time the bishop of Rome claimed to be the head of all Churches due to a link with St Peter and as such Papacy born. In 1054 the Church of the West and the Church of the East separated.

    Beliefs[edit | edit source]

    Jesus Christ[edit | edit source]

    Christianity revolves around the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah. Christians hold that Jesus was anointed by God to save humanity, fulfilling Old Testament prophecies. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, believers can be reconciled with God and receive salvation and eternal life. Christians believe that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human, having experienced mortal life without sinning and rising from the dead. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His ministry, including his teachings, miracles, and deeds, is well-documented in the gospels.

    The death and resurrection of Jesus are considered the most important events in Christian theology. His resurrection demonstrates his power over life and death, offering believers eternal life. Christian churches universally accept the New Testament account of Jesus' resurrection. The the resurrection is a literal bodily event.

    Trinity[edit | edit source]

    The Trinity is a fundamental belief in Christianity, stating that God exists as three distinct yet eternally co-existing persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Together, they are sometimes referred to as the Godhead. The Athanasian Creed summarizes this by affirming that each person is fully God, yet there is only one God.

    According to this doctrine, the Father has no source, the Son is begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (and in Western Christianity, from the Son). Despite their distinctions, the three persons cannot be divided from one another. While some believe that God appeared differently in different times (as the Father in the Old Testament, the Son in the New Testament, and the Holy Spirit presently), they are seen as three persons of the same divine essence.

    Eschatology[edit | edit source]

    Christian eschatology, or the study of the destiny of humans as revealed in the Bible, focuses on various endings: individual lives, ages, and the world itself. Key topics include the Tribulation, death, the afterlife, the Millennium, the Rapture, the Second Coming of Jesus, resurrection, heaven, purgatory, and hell, among others. Christians anticipate Christ's return at the end of time, following a period of intense persecution known as the Great Tribulation. All deceased individuals will rise again for judgment, and Jesus will establish God's Kingdom as prophesied in scripture.

    Regarding death and the afterlife, most Christians believe in divine judgment leading to either eternal life or damnation. Catholics, Orthodox, and many Protestants also believe in an individual judgment at the moment of death. Catholics additionally believe in purgatory, a state of purification for souls not fully cleansed from sin. Some Christians, like Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses, believe the soul is not inherently immortal and that the wicked will cease to exist after final judgment.

    Salvation[edit | edit source]

    Paul the Apostle, along with others of his time, believed that sacrifice could create new bonds, purity, and eternal life. He saw Jesus' death as the necessary sacrifice, making Gentiles who followed Christ heirs to Abraham's promise. They were considered children of God, no longer bound by worldly desires.

    Modern Christian churches focus more on saving humanity from sin and death than on the inclusion of Jews and Gentiles in God's family. Eastern Orthodox theology sees Jesus' death as a ransom that restores the relationship between humanity and God, offering the possibility of becoming more like God. Catholic doctrine teaches that Jesus' death satisfies God's wrath provoked by human sinfulness, emphasizing the need for faithful living and baptism. In Protestant theology, Jesus' death is seen as paying the penalty for humanity's moral debt. Christians have different views on whether salvation is predestined by God. Reformed theology emphasizes grace, believing humans cannot save themselves, while others, like Catholics and Orthodox Christians, stress the importance of free will and faith in Jesus.

    Variants[edit | edit source]

    Pauline Christianity[edit | edit source]

    Pauline Christianity is theology emerged from the teachings of the Apostle Paul and the New Testament writings attributed to him. Paul's beliefs, rooted in early Jewish Christianity, differed by emphasizing the inclusion of Gentiles in God's covenant without requiring circumcision. Proto-orthodox Christianity, rooted in early Christian history, heavily relies on Pauline theology, considering it an expansion of Jesus' teachings. Since the 18th century, scholars have suggested that Paul's writings diverge from the original teachings of Jesus and early Jewish Christians found in the canonical gospels and other New Testament texts.

    Self-View[edit | edit source]

    In the beginning of Romans 1, Paul talks about how he was chosen by Jesus to spread the message to non-Jewish people. He explains how Jesus revealed himself to him, similar to how he appeared to Peter, James, and other disciples after rising from the dead. Paul sees this as a big, unexpected change brought about by God's grace, not his own thinking. Paul also mentions having some kind of ongoing problem or difficulty, though he doesn't specify what it is.

    There's discussion about whether Paul knew he was meant to spread the gospel to non-Jewish people right when he became a believer. Before his conversion, he thought persecuting Christians showed his devotion to his Jewish faith. After his conversion, he saw Jewish opposition to Christianity as wrong and deserving of punishment. Paul believed Jesus stopped him from persecuting Christians because of his intense dedication. He also talks about receiving mercy from God because he didn't understand the truth before.

    Understanding of Jesus Christ[edit | edit source]

    Paul's writings focus on the crucifixion, resurrection, and return of Jesus Christ. He believed Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Son of God, and his resurrection proved it. According to Paul, faith in Jesus brings new life.

    Paul taught that Jesus' death wasn't a defeat but a sacrifice that frees believers from sin. Through baptism, believers join in Jesus' death and resurrection, gaining hope for salvation. When Jesus returns, believers will rise to meet him. Paul's message centered on God sending his Son, Jesus' death and resurrection benefiting humanity, Jesus' imminent return, and believers living with him forever. He also stressed living morally upright lives.

    In Paul's writings, early Christians worshiped Jesus, prayed to him, confessed him, were baptized in his name, and celebrated rituals like the Lord's Supper in his honor, showing his divine status.

    Atonement[edit | edit source]

    Paul taught that Christians are saved from sin by Jesus' death and resurrection. His sacrifice brings peace between God and humanity. Through grace and faith, believers share in Jesus' victory over death, receiving a new status as children of God. According to Krister Stendahl, Paul's main concern was not individual guilt but the inclusion of non-Jewish believers in God's covenant. Jesus' death and resurrection resolved the problem of excluding non-Jewish believers from the covenant.

    Paul's conversion changed his views on God's covenant. He believed Jesus' sacrifice reconciled sinners with God and broke the power of sin. Before, he thought only Jews were part of God's chosen people through circumcision. Now, he saw both Jews and non-Jews as part of the new community of believers in Christ. E. P. Sanders emphasized that believers are redeemed through participation in Jesus' death and resurrection, not just by legal terms of sin atonement. Baptism signifies this participation, freeing believers from sin's power and granting them forgiveness and the Holy Spirit.

    Relationship with Judaism[edit | edit source]

    Some scholars view Paul's relationship with 1st-century Judaism differently. Some see him as closely aligned with it, being a Pharisee and follower of Gamaliel. Others see him as opposed to it, like in Marcionism. Most see him somewhere in between, not insisting on certain ritual laws like circumcision but agreeing on divine laws. Paul redefined who the true Israelites were, saying those who had faith in Christ were the true Israel, excluding those he called "Israel after the flesh." He believed that the Torah given to Moses was valid until Christ came, so even Jews are no longer bound by it.

    Paul criticized claims of moral or lineage superiority of Jews while still recognizing a special place for them. His theology led to the separation of Christianity from Judaism, as he argued faith in Christ alone was enough for salvation, without needing to follow Jewish customs. Paul opposed Gentile circumcision, seeing it as against God's plan for Gentiles to come to Him without becoming Jews. He saw himself as chosen by God to gather people from all nations.

    According to Sanders, Paul emphasized salvation by God's grace, in line with Jewish thought. Dunn's New Perspective on Paul builds on Sanders' work, emphasizing the covenant between God and Israel. Wright notes differences between Galatians and Romans, with Romans being more positive about this covenant. He also argues that Christian works show faith in Christ.

    World to Come[edit | edit source]

    Bart Ehrman suggests that Paul initially thought Jesus would return during his lifetime. However, N.T. Wright argues that Paul's views on this evolved over time. Wright believes Paul later realized he might not witness the Second Coming but still held onto the hope. Paul believed that deceased Christians would be resurrected to join God's kingdom, and those who were saved would be transformed into immortal beings.

    Paul's ideas about the end times are clearest in his letters to the Thessalonians. He assures them that the dead will rise first, followed by the living. While suggesting that the end is near, he doesn't give specifics and advises patience for any delays. He describes the end as a showdown between Jesus and evil, with Jesus ultimately prevailing.

    Before his conversion, Paul thought the Messiah would end the age of evil and usher in a new era of righteousness. After his conversion, he believed this process had started with Jesus' resurrection but would only conclude when Jesus returned.

    Role of Women[edit | edit source]

    The second chapter of the first letter to Timothy, a disputed text, is often used by some churches to limit women's roles in church leadership. It advises women to dress modestly and learn silently, forbidding them from teaching or having authority over men. Some scholars, like J.R. Daniel Kirk, suggest a more inclusive view of women in Paul's letters. They point to examples of women's significant roles in the early church, such as Phoebe and Junia, who were praised by Paul for their work.

    There's debate about passages like 1 Corinthians 14, where women are told to be silent in worship. Some believe this was a later addition or applied to specific cultural situations where women weren't educated. Biblical prophecy, including women prophets in the Old Testament, challenges traditional gender roles. Paul's letters also acknowledge women's contributions to the church. He worked closely with couples like Priscilla and Aquila, and women like Phoebe and Chloe were active members and supporters of the Christian movement.

    Views on Homosexuality[edit | edit source]

    Most Christian traditions believe that Paul condemns homosexuality as sinful in two main passages: Romans 1:26–27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Another passage, 1 Timothy 1:8–11, touches on the topic indirectly. However, since the 19th century, many scholars have doubted the authenticity of 1 Timothy, considering it to be written by an unknown Christian author in Paul's name during the late 1st to mid-2nd century.

    Christian Apologetics[edit | edit source]

    Christian Apologetics is a theological movement that defends Christianity

    Relationships[edit | edit source]

    Friends[edit | edit source]

    • Creationism - 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
    • Monotheism - 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,
    • Altruism, Communitarianism- 5Love your neighbor as yourself.
    • Pacifism - 5and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
    • Jesusism - 16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    • Mysticism - 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.

    Frenemies[edit | edit source]

    • Theory of Truth - 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
    • Judaism - 1Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

    Enemies[edit | edit source]

    • Polytheism - 3You shall have no other gods before me.
    • Pharisaism - 14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
    • Other Religions - 6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    • Gnosticism - 31Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
    • Hedonism - 14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
    • Idolatry - 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
    • Egoism - 24No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
    • Satanism - 8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
    • Nietzscheanism - 10But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.
    • Progressive Christianity - 21Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    • Enlightenment - 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
    • Flat Earth Theory - 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
      • Circles are flat, though. And how would "He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in" if the earth is round?

    Gallery[edit | edit source]

    Further Informations[edit | edit source]

    Wikipedia[edit | edit source]

    1. Certain dogmas in reformed theology, such as double predestination and the phrase "the finite is not capable of the infinite", are formed using rational inquiry rather than scripture.
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