The Origins and Spread of Christianity I can explain how Christianity originated and spread. Section 2 Judea, the birthplace of Christianity • 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 Israel. 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 Gospels. 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 soul” And “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 Christians? 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 missionary? 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 Christianity? Paul helped spread Christianity by preaching throughout much of the empire. While in jail, he wrote letters to other Christians. 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 army. 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.