IN CLASS...3/14/16 - Mr. Nelson's Classroom
  • THE JEWISH HISTORY/EVENTS AROUND THE START-UP OF CHRISTIANITY: 
  • During the first half of the 1st Century, Jewish Diaspora communities throughout the Roman Empire grew, prospered, and proselytize.  The availability of the Bible in Greek (the Septuagint) was a major factor in the influence of Judaism among the pagans, as well as maintaining the cohesion of the Jewish Diaspora, since most of the Jews in the Mediterranean area were not conversant in Hebrew.
  • Pharisees, represented by Hillel, emphasized individual prayer and study as the foundations of Jewish life, while the Sadducees, represented by Shammai, constituted the Temple cult.  In later rabbinic literature on the disputes between Hillel and Shammai, Hillel always wins.  The Essenes, an ascetic fundamentalist group centered near the Dead Sea, rejected both the Pharisees and Sadducees and preached that the “end time” was near.  Although the Romans had been invited by feuding Jewish leaders to rule Judah in 63 BCE, the kings and procurators installed by Rome were cruel and incompetent, most notably the prefect Pontius Pilate (26-36).
  •  During the 20 years prior to 66, the violent acts of class warfare began to be directed specifically at the incompetent Roman appointed authorities.  In 66, the Roman garrison in Jerusalem was massacred in a riot that originated when the procurator stole money from the Temple treasury to make up for unpaid taxes.  The governor of Syria attempted to retake Jerusalem, but his troops were defeated and slaughtered when retreating.  Judea was then in open revolt against Rome.  Vespasian was sent with two new legions to conquer Judea.  The Romans methodically advanced from the north secured the Galilee and seacoast, and besieged Jerusalem.  Before the fall of Jerusalem, a group of Pharisees led by Yohanan ben Zakkai was permitted by the Romans to leave the city.
  • The Euphrates River was accepted as the boundary between the Roman Empire and Persia when Hadrian decreed a halt to Roman expansion (114). The Jewish-Christian community, which maintained Mosaic law while accepting Jesus as the Messiah, formed in Judea following the death of Jesus (30).  However, following the destruction of the Temple in 70, the influence of this group diminished rapidly.  Paul (d. 64) and others proselytize in the Roman Empire, particularly in Asia Minor, and found major success in converting pagans to early Christianity by emphasizing faith and the promise of afterlife, rather than adherence to Mosaic law.
  • Major Christian centers grew in Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome.  As the Church hierarchy developed, the Episcopate of Rome emerged as a primary center.  Doctrinal disputes between “orthodoxy” and Gnosticism, Arianism, Manichaeism, and Nestorianism (among others) provoked fierce conflict among Christian sects.  One doctrine that united all factions was “the perfidy of the Jews,” refusing to accept Jesus as the Messiah and maintaining adherence to the ancient law.
  • In 392 Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and Rome was established as the site of the pope.
  • EARLY CHRISTIANITY EVENTS AND TIMELINES:
  • The map for the early church. | Bible mapping, Bible study topics, Early church
  • New Testament/Early Christianity Timeline | Pursuing Veritas
  • Jesus begins his ministry after his baptism by John and during the rule of Pilate, preaching: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:12–17). While the historicity of the gospel accounts is questioned to some extent by some critical scholars and non-Christians, the traditional view states the following chronology for his ministry: TemptationSermon on the MountAppointment of the TwelveMiraclesTemple Money ChangersLast SupperArrestTrialPassionCrucifixion on Nisan 14th (John 19:14Mark 14:2Gospel of Peter).
  • Resurrection appearances of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and other women (Mark 16:9John 20:10–18), Simon Peter (Luke 24:34), and others, (1Cor.15:3–9), Great CommissionAscensionSecond Coming Prophecy to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecies such as the Resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment, and establishment of the Kingdom of God and the Messianic Age.
  • Shortly after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Jerusalem church is founded as the first Christian church with about 120 Jews and Jewish Proselytes (Acts 1:15), followed by Pentecost (Sivan 6), the Ananias and Sapphira incident, Pharisee Gamaliel‘s defense of
  • 50 Council of Jerusalem and the “Apostolic Decree” . Circumcision controversy in early Christianity.
  • The Early Church - Volume 1: Carrington (1957) - Title/Contents/Introduction pages

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