Western Civ Unit 2 Essay 2
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The transformation of Christianity from an exclusively Jewish sect to a world religion. Essay should discuss the Jewish origins of Christianity (ancient Israel and the concepts of monotheism, covenant, Torah /Law, Messiah, and what it means to describe early Christianity as an exclusively Jewish sect) and how it transcended those origins in the early decades of its history (focusing on the deeds and words of Paul of Tarsus).
Essay should discuss the Jewish origins of Christianity
explaining jewish roots of christianity, Torah/Covenant/Law:
- In Luke 4 Jesus is reading from the Torah. He comes close to saying he's the messiah. This has to do with the covenant because Jews in Rome were opressed under Roman law so they thought they were not keeping the covenant. As they saw it the Messiah was someone who would restore the jews to a right relationship with God. concept of monotheism also comes from jewish religon
- Jesus was a jew. He kept jewish law, his name Yeshua was jewish, he went to the synagogue, he was jewish.
what it means to describe early Christianity as an exclusively Jewish sect
- First followers of Christ were Jews. EARLY christianity was a jewish sect because Jesus attracted Jews who had been waiting for a Messiah.
- It was also Jewish because gentiles were excluded at first. They couldn't become a Christian because they didn't keep the covenant.
- This is where the idea of Judaize comes in If gentiles want to be Christians they have to first become a jew by getting circumcised, keeping dietary laws, etc. Many gentiles didn't want to do that so early christianity was exclusively jewish
and how it transcended those origins in the early decades of its history
- Paul of Tarsus; he was a Jew but he was a hellenized jew. (he lived in greek city, spoke greek, knows greek culture etc)
- Paul was a former persecuter of Christians. His message was that you don't have to be a jew to be saved. He opens up christianity to gentiles and that's what makes it a world religion
- Galations 3:28: neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. This represents the entire world because it covers all the catagories of the world that Paul knew at that time.
- Paul introduces the idea of a world religion. He is familiar with stoicism and oikumine which is the known world.
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