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Christian History Made Easy

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Todd Parker

on 21 October 2012

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Transcript of Christian History Made Easy

Christian History Made Easy How this study will be applicable to your lives. You will learn …
How a fire in Rome in AD 64 led to early persecution of Christians.
How the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 affected perceptions of Christianity in the Roman Empire.
Who the apologists were and how they defended Christian beliefs.
Which human failures and factors God used to bring glory to himself. What’s in this Session? From the perspective of people in the 1st century AD, Paul and other believers in Jesus were considered to be part of a new Jewish sect (Acts 16:19–21). Who Were the Christians? The Apostle Paul Click Here for Map In AD 54, Emperor Claudius expelled from Rome all persons practicing the Jewish religion.
This edict of Claudius included Jewish believers in Jesus (Acts 18:2). Who Were the Christians? Coin with image of
Emperor Claudius Click Here for Map In AD 54, Emperor Claudius expelled from Rome all persons practicing the Jewish religion.
This edict of Claudius included Jewish believers in Jesus (Acts 18:2). Who Were the Christians? Coin with image of
Emperor Claudius Tragedies in two cities led to changes in perceptions of Christianity.
AD 64: A fire destroyed 10 districts in Rome.
AD 70: The Roman army destroyed the Jerusalem temple. Who Were the Christians? The fire probably began by accident in an oil warehouse.
Many Romans claimed that Emperor Nero started the fire.
To stop the rumors, Nero blamed the Christians. The Fire in Rome—AD 64 Emperor Nero The apostles Peter and Paul were probably martyred during Nero’s persecution of Christians. The Fire in Rome—AD 64 Crucifixion of Peter Why did Romans despise Christians?
Christians rejected the traditional Roman gods.
Romans misunderstood many Christian customs, especially the Lord’s Supper. Persecution of Christians Why did Romans despise Christians?
Christians valued children and women in ways that challenged the social order.
Christianity seemed like a new religion; Romans were suspicious of new traditions. Persecution of Christians Click Here for Map The destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem also affected perceptions of the Christian faith.
In AD 66, a group of Jewish insurrectionists took Galilee and Judea from the Romans. Destruction of Temple—AD 70 Emperor Vespasian sent his son Titus to retake the rebel provinces.
In AD 70, Titus destroyed the Jewish temple.
Jesus predicted this event (Mark 13:1–2). Destruction of Temple—AD 70 Model of the temple that the Romans destroyed in AD 70 The final group of Jewish rebels chose mass-suicide instead of surrender.
They died at Masada, a fortress that Herod the Great had built near the Dead Sea. Destruction of Temple—AD 70 Masada After the destruction of the Jewish temple, the Jewish and Christian faiths each became more distinct as
Judaism became
less diverse. Destruction of Temple—AD 70 The Arch of Titus commemorates the destruction of the temple In the late 1st century AD, Emperor Domitian demanded to be worshiped as “Lord and God.”
Domitian and his successor Emperor Trajan persecuted Christians as well as Jews. More Persecution Trajan, Emperor of Rome, AD 98–117 In AD 112, a governor named Pliny described how he dealt with Christians in a letter to Trajan.
Pliny described Christian beliefs as “outlandish superstitions.” More Persecution Roman temple of the gods, Tunisia Because Christians refused to worship the Roman gods and emperors, Christians were accused of “atheism.”
Christian apologists
defended their faith
against false charges. The Apologists Justin Martyr Justin was a philosopher who became a Christian and an apologist.
He believed that pagan philosophers had discovered dim shadows of divine truth. The Apologists Justin Martyr Around AD 165, “Justin Martyr” was beheaded for his faith.
Christianity grew because God’s Spirit was working; at the same time, God uses human factors as he enacts his sovereign will in the world. The Apologists What human factors were important in the early church’s growth?
1. Christianity provided moral guidance in an immoral world.
Many Gentile “God-fearers” became believers in Jesus as their Lord and Messiah. How God Was Working 2. Christianity valued women and children.
Unlike Roman religions, both Jewish and Christian faiths called men to be faithful to their wives and considerate of their children. How God Was Working 3. Christianity offered relationship with a God who had intersected human history and who, through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, understood humanity’s suffering.
The awareness of Christ’s sufferings comforted many early martyrs. How God Was Working Polycarp of Smyrna before he was executed for his faith: “Eighty-six years, I have served Christ, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my king, the one who has saved me?”
Sanctus of Lyons before martyrdom: “Nothing is painful so long as the glory of Christ is near.” How God Was Working Regarding the martyrdom of Blandina: “They saw in the form of their sister him who was crucified for them.” How God Was Working Martyrdom of Blandina of Lyons 1. What was the Edict of Claudius? (see Acts 18:2) How did this edict affect early Christians?
2. Soon after the fire in AD 64, the Romans executed Peter and Paul. After these tragedies, what sorts of discussions do you suppose Christians had with one another in their gatherings? Talk About It . . . ? Return to Menu 3. How did the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 affect relationships between Jewish believers in Jesus and other Jews?
4. What can Christians today learn from martyrs such as Justin and Blandina? Talk About It . . . ? Back “There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them...” Acts 18:2 What is the "church"? Read Colossian 1:18
Read 1 Timothy 3:14-15 Colossians 1:18 NASB
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Colossians 1:18 NASB 1 Timothy 3:14–15 NASB
I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:14–15 NASB What is church history? Some Christians don't care about church history. Why? Yawn! Who needs it? Medieval Era Ancient Era Modern Era You will learn … Why Christians should study church history. How this study will make church history easy to understand What’s in this Session?
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