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25-3 Judaism and Christianity. Focus. What were the main religious beliefs of the Ancient Hebrews? How did Judaism influence Christianity? What were the teachings of Jesus? Why did Christianity attract a large following?. The History of Judaism.
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Focus • What were the main religious beliefs of the Ancient Hebrews? • How did Judaism influence Christianity? • What were the teachings of Jesus? • Why did Christianity attract a large following?
The History of Judaism • 1800 BCE - Nomadic Hebrews from Cannan (Palestine) flee the area due to drought and famine and head to Egypt • Here they are enslaved by the Egyptians for years until Moses helps them escape • Moses leads them into the Sinai Peninsula and here he makes a covenant with God • Hebrews set up a small state in Palestine in 1025 BCE and form the Kingdom of Israel. • Its location between Egypt and Mesopotamia left if open to attack by invaders
History of Judaism • Two Great Kings helped Israel to flourish: • David- Skilled General who united the twelve tribes • Solomon- David’s Son, kept peace and built a great temple at Jerusalem • Taxed people heavily to pay for this • After Solomon’s death in 930 BCE the kingdom was weakened and fell to invaders and the Hebrews were forced into exile. • Persians allow the return to Israel after they conquer in 500 BCE, but never regain free rule again. • In 70 CE Hebrews revolt against Roman rule and Survivors of the ensuing war were forced out of Palestine and scattered about the world in an event called the Diaspora.
Teachings of Judaism • Monotheistic - One God - Yahweh • Torah-Record of early history as well as moral and religious laws • Tenants: • Law Essential • Ten Commandments • Other laws and codes established in the Torah • Ethical World View • People and their rulers should lead moral lives • Prophets reassert these values from time to time • Rulers not gods • Individuals responsible for their actions
The Rise of Christianity • Grows out of Hebrew Traditions inside of Palestine • Focused on the life of Jesus, the religions founder • His disciples believed he was the Messiah, savior chosen by God. • Destined to deliver Jews from foreign rule and return Kingdom of Israel • Taught about God’s goodness and mercy • Seen as troublemaker by Jewish leaders • Also seen as threat by Romans • Crucified and killed in 33 CE
Teachings of Jesus • Single God, the God of the Hebrews • Upheld Ten Commandments • Preaches Love and Compassion • All are equal and God forgives • Those who are humble, merciful and unselfish will be rewarded with eternal life • Used parables, short stories that teach morals, to teach many of his lessons • Acquiring wealth does not guarantee salvation
Spread of Christianity • Jesus was believed to be the Son of God • Followers called Christos and teachings collected in the New Testament • Spreads like wildfire throughout the easily accessible Roman World with missionaries carrying Jesus’ message • Christians often were martyred, forced to suffer and die for their beliefs, by Romans who were angry they would not recognize their gods. • Persecution helped the spread of Christianity instead of hurting it • In 313 CE the Emperor Constantine converted and by 395 CE it had become the official religion of the Roman Empire • In 330 CE Roman Empire divided and two Christina Churches form • Roman Catholic Church - recognize pope • Eastern Orthodox Church- don’t recognize pope
Why was Christianity so popular? • Offers all the hope of salvation and eternal life • Gives individuals control of their own destiny • People like being seen as equal in God’s eyes