The Origins and Spread of Christianity

The Origins and
Spread of
I can explain how
originated and
Section 2 Judea, the birthplace of
• Where was Judea and why was it important to the Jews?
Judea was a small territory on the eastern
edge of the Mediterranean. It was important
to Jews because it was their homeland, which
had been part of the ancient kingdom of
For each date on your timeline, describe how the Romans ruled
Judea and how the Jews reacted to Roman rule.
In 63 B.C.E., Romans had Jewish leaders that
supported Roman rule, but Jews rebelled
against Roman control.
In 37 B.C.E., Herod ruled Rome and practiced the
Jewish religion, but Jews did not trust him.
In 4 B.C.E., Herod’s three sons ruled Rome, but
Jews rebelled again.
Judea: The Birthplace
of Christianity
Christianity began
in Judea in the
present-day Middle
East. Jews there
told prophecies
about a messiah
who would remove
the Romans and
restore the
kingdom of David.
Section 3 The Birth of Jesus
What are the Gospels and who wrote them?
The Gospels are accounts of Jesus’ life and
teachings written by four of his followers,
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Describe Jesus’ birth according to the
According to the Gospels,
Jesus was born in
a stable in Bethlehem
because his parents had
to go to Bethlehem to be
counted for a Roman
census, and there was no
room left for them
inside the inn.
The Birth of Jesus
What we know about
Jesus’ life and his birth
around 6 B.C.E., comes
from the four Gospels.
Not much is known
about his childhood,
but when Jesus was
about 30, John the
Baptist identified him
as the Messiah.
Section 4: The Life and Death of Jesus
According to the Gospels, what
did Jesus say were the two most
important of all the Jewish laws?
Jesus said that the two most
important Jewish laws were,
“You shall love your God with
all your heart and all your
“You shall love your neighbor
as yourself.”
Summarize the Parable of the Good
Samaritan and explain its moral lesson.
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, an
injured man is rescued and cared for by a
Samaritan, after two people passed him by at
the side of the road.
Jesus was teaching us that we should be good
neighbors by having mercy on others, even
those who are not like us.
According to the Gospels, why was
Jesus condemned to die on a cross?
According to the Gospels,
Jesus was condemned to
die on a cross because his
teachings upset many
people and because some
feared that he might lead
a revolt against Rome.
Why was the belief in the resurrection
important to Jesus' disciples and other
Belief in the Resurrection
was important to Jesus’
followers because it
convinced them that he
was the Son of God.
The Life and Death of Jesus
• Jesus preached with his disciples in presentday Israel. He emphasized love and mercy, and
often taught in parables. His teachings
angered some. In his early 30s, the Romans
executed Jesus by crucifixion. According to the
Christian Bible, three days later, he arose from
the dead and appeared to his disciples. His
disciples began to spread his teachings.
Section 5: The Missionary Work of Paul
What caused Paul to stop
persecuting Christians
and become a
Paul stopped persecuting
Christians and became a
missionary because he
believed he had heard the
voice of Jesus in a vision.
How did Paul's work help to spread
Paul helped spread
Christianity by preaching
throughout much of the
empire. While in jail,
he wrote letters to other
The Missionary Work of Paul
Paul of Tarsus was a Jew. He persecuted
Christians. But after a vision, he became an
important Christian missionary, spreading the
religion around the empire. His letters to early
churches are part of the Christian Bible.
Section 6: Christianity Spreads
Why were Christians considered a threat
to Rome?
Christians were considered a threat to
Rome because they refused to worship
other Roman gods, would not admit that
the emperor was a god, preferred a life of
simplicity, and refused to serve in the
Complete the flowchart about the
persecution of Christians
Roman persecution of
Christians included making
their religion illegal and
sentencing them to death.
Rome’s persecution helped to
spread Christianity because
people admired the bravery of
the Christians. Christianity also
offered hope to the poor and
to slaves.
Describe the role of Constantine, and
Roman emperors who followed him, in
spreading Christianity
In 313 C.E., Constantine gave
Christians the right to practice
their religion. The emperors
who succeeded Constantine
accepted the new faith, and it
eventually became the official
religion of the empire.
Christianity Spreads
• The new religion survived harsh persecution
and spread across the Roman Empire. In 313
C.E., the emperor Constantine gave Christians
freedom of religion in the Edict of Milan. It
was the official Roman religion by 380.

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