Early Christianity Essay examples

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The earliest recorded text teaching Christianity has its roots buried deep within Judaism. The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, created a new ideology of worship. The Messiah is the savior for all people and of all sins. Paul carried the message of the Messiah to the Gentiles. His missionary journeys and establishment of churches enabled the spreading of the message throughout the Roman Empire. Christianity grew in acceptance; those that believed in the Messiah separated and began to worship on their own. This marked the beginning of the split of Judaism and Christianity.

Christianity experienced many pitfalls along the path to fulfillment. As in history, today we find ourselves learning Christ’s lessons
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Imperial persecution became wholesale throughout the Empire. Initially the Jewish community was the instigators of this persecution of Christians. The book of Acts outlines several incidents involving such persecution. During the decade of 60 A.D., periods of Roman persecution occurred, however this persecution was sporadic. For example, Nero was ruler of the Roman Empire, under his reign Rome was set on fire and burnt to the ground. Christians became the scapegoat for this cowardly act. Tasitus wrote that perhaps Nero himself started the blaze, as an excuse to persecute the Christians. Nero’s acts of persecution were contained within the confines of Rome.

In contrast to the persecution experienced by early Christian followers, Christianity today does not experience the level of outward persecution. Christianity is practiced in an atmosphere nearly void of violence. It was not until the reign of Constantine when Christians were authorized to practice their chosen faith. The “Ediet of Milan”(313 A.D.), gave official recognition to the Christian faith, thus ending persecution within the Roman Empire. Before Constantine’s rule, there were many rulers eager to drive out the Christians. The Emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.) established the first official policy relating to Christians and how they should be dealt with. Diocletion and the Apologists were the last of the persecutors in this era before Constantine. This marked the end of open persecution
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