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A Concise History of Christianity
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1. The Early Years

The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
 and the Origins of Judaism

Messianic Idea
in Judaism

Christianity: The Early Years


2. The Turbulent Years

1054 The Great East-West Schism
1096 The First Great Crusade
1134 Medieval Inquisition
1271 Last Ninth Great Crusade
1413 The Lollard Rebellion
1481 The Spanish Inquisition


3. The Reform Years

1517 Luther's Ninety-Five Thesis
1618 The Thirty Years War
1776 Founding Fathers Religious Beliefs Differ
1840 Abolition Splitting Some US Churches
1870 Papal Infallibility


Islam also Sprang from AbrahamPhilosophical Changes Introduced by Abraham's Religions  

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The Early Years

The Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Origins of Judaism

" Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, known as the Patriarchs, are both the physical and spiritual ancestors of Judaism. They founded the religion now known as Judaism ..."

Abram, according to Jewish traditions was born in Babylonia in 1948 from Creation (circa 1800 BCE). He questioned the faith of his father, believed that the entire universe was the work of a single Creator and he began to teach this belief to others.  Abram received an offer from G-d that indicated that his leaving home would make him a great nation and bless him. The b'rit (covenant) between G-d and the Jewish people was thus established. (Gen. 12). "The terms of this b'rit became more explicit over time, until the time of the Giving of the Torah (see below). Abram was subjected to ten tests of faith to prove his worthiness for this covenant. Leaving his home is one of these trials."

  Living a nomadic lifestyle, Abram traveled through what is now the land of Israel for many years. G-d promised this land to Abram's descends but Abram and his wife were growing older and  had no children so  wife Sara followed a common practice and offered her maidservant Hagar as a wife to Abram. According to tradition, Hagar was a daughter of Pharaoh given to Abram during his travels in Egypt. She bore Abram a son Ishmael who according to both Muslim and Jewish tradition, is the ancestor of the Arabs. (Gen 16)

G-d changed Abram's name to Abraham (father of many), and Sarai's to Sarah (from "my princess" to "princess").  Sarah fulfilled a promise from G-d and bore Abraham a son Isaac (in Hebrew, Yitzchak) (Gen 17-18).



 Isaac was the ancestor of the Jewish people. Thus, the conflict between Arabs and Jews can be seen as a form of sibling rivalry! Isaac was the subject of the tenth and most difficult test of Abraham's faith as G-d commanded Abraham to follow a common practice in the region and sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. (Gen 22). "At the last moment, G-d sent an angel to stop the sacrifice." Judaism uses this story as evidence that G-d abhors human sacrifice.  Isaac married Rivka who bore him fraternal twin sons:  Jacob and Esau. (Gen 25).

Jacob the more spiritually-minded was Rebecca's favorite and Esau  a good hunter was Isaac's favorite. Esau sold his birthright of spiritual leadership to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew.

When Isaac was growing old, Rebecca tricked him into giving Jacob a blessing meant for Esau. Esau was angry about this and about the birthright so Jacob fled and met his beloved Rachel. Jacob was deceived into marrying Rachel's older sister, Leah, but later married Rachel as well, and Rachel and Leah's maidservants, Bilhah and Zilphah. Between these four women, Jacob fathered 12 sons and one daughter.

Jacob returned to his homeland and sought reconciliation with his brother Esau. Alone with G-d on the night before he was to meet his brother he wrestled with a man until the break of day at which time Jacob demanded a blessing  and the "man" revealed himself as an angel. He blessed Jacob and gave him the name "Israel" (Yisrael), meaning "the one who wrestled with G-d" or "the Champion of G-d." The Jewish people are generally referred to as the Children of Israel signifying them as descents from Jacob. The next day, Jacob met Esau and was welcomed by him.


Jacob's 12 sons are the ancestors of the tribes of Israel and the Children of Israel and the ones for whom the tribes are named. Son Joseph is the father of two tribes: Manasseh and Ephraim. Joseph's older brothers were jealous of their father's favorite and because he had visions that he would lead them all so they sold Joseph into slavery convincing their father that Joseph was dead. But this was all part of G-d's plan as  Joseph was brought into Egypt where his ability to interpret visions earned him a place in the Pharaoh's court paving the way for his family's later settlement in Egypt.

As centuries passed the descendants of Israel became slaves in Egypt and suffered greatly under the hand of later Pharaohs.

But G-d brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses who led through the wilderness to Mount Sinai where  G-d revealed Himself to the Children of Israel and offered them a great covenant: and if the people would hearken to G-d and observe His covenant including the ten-commandments  then they would be the most beloved of nations, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Ex 19). G-d revealed the Torah to his people, both a written and Oral Torah which later was codified and written as the Talmud. The entire nation responded, ' "Everything that the L-rd has spoken, we will do!" '  "According to Jewish tradition, every Jewish soul that would ever be born was present at that moment, and agreed to be bound to this covenant."

The Messianic Idea in Judaism

Belief in a mashiach is a fundamental part of traditional Judaism and it is part of Rambam's   13 Principles of Faith, the minimum requirements of Jewish belief.  Modern scholars suggest the messianic concept was introduced later in the history of Judaism during the age of the

prophets. Traditional Judaism maintains that the messianic idea has always been a part of Judaism. . However, the Torah contains several references to "the End of Days" (acharit ha-yamim), which is the time of the mashiach; thus, the concept of mashiach was known in the most ancient times. source                             Please         

Christianity, The Early Years

Jesus began his ministry after working as a carpenter at age 30 when John  baptized Jesus at "Bethany beyond the Jordan" by wading into the water with Jesus from the eastern bank.[19][20] John the Baptist is also mentioned by Jewish historian Josephus,[21] in Aramaic Matthew,[citation needed] in the Pseudo-Clementine literature,[citation needed] and in the Qur'an.[22] Accounts of John in the New Testament appear compatible with the account in Josephus. The New Testament reveals that John anticipated a messianic figure who would be greater than himself,[24] and Jesus was the one whose coming John foretold. Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus,[25] since John announces Jesus' coming. John is also

identified with the prophet Elijah.[26] Some of Jesus' early followers had previously been followers of John.[26] Some scholars have further speculated that Jesus was himself a disciple of John for some period of time,[27] but this view is disputed.[28]

Jesus then went into the Judean desert to fast and meditate for 40 days and nights where his faith was tempted by the Devil whose appeals were rejected. Jesus returned to Galilee and made trips to neighboring villages, was joined by disciples one of these was Mary Magdalene to whom  Jesus appeared after his crucifixion.  source

Apostle Simon ( Peter ) preached to the masses in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost following Jesus' ascension to heaven and prompted the disciples to choose a replacement to take over the apostolic ministry of Judas Iscariot after Judas' betrayal of Christ Jesus. Simon healed a man who had been crippled from birth, with but the words, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Simon was called by the apostle Paul a "pillar" of the Church. He defended the inclusion of the Gentiles (non-Jews) into the Christian Church as his  ministry was primarily to the Jews, as the apostle Paul's was to the Gentiles. Following imprisoned several times in Jerusalem because of his faith was being followed Peter left and is believed to have ministered in Babylon to the Jewish colonists and he wrote his first epistle (1 Peter.) He went to Rome and  it is believed the writer of the Gospel of Mark served as his translator as he preached.  According to Church tradition, the Roman Emperor Nero publicly announcing himself the chief enemy of God and was led in his fury to slaughter the Apostles.  Because of this persecution, Peter was crucified upside down while in Rome. source


400 Jerome Vulgate 400 c translates the Greek bible into Latin.
The Turbulent Years

2nd century begins the concept of Original Sin which according to Augustine, consists of the guilt of Adam which all humans inherit .  It was first alluded to in the  by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon in his controversy with certain dualist Gnostics.

1054 The Great East-West Schism  occurred when relations between the East and West which had long been embittered by ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes. because prominent issues such as then source of the Holy Spirit ("filioque"), whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist,[5] the Pope's claim to universal jurisdiction, and the place of Constantinople in relation to the Pentarchy.[6]  came to a head.

1096 The First Crusade was a military expedition by Roman Catholic Europe to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquests of the Levant (632–661). It ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem in 1099.

1134 Medieval Inquisition was a series of Inquisitions (Catholic Church bodies charged with suppressing heresy) from around 1184 including the Episcopal Inquisition (1184-1230s) and later the Papal Inquisition (1230s). The Medieval Inquisition was established in response to large popular movements throughout Europe considered apostate or heretical to Christianity, in particular Catharism and Waldensians in southern France and northern Italy. These were the first inquisition movements of many that would follow.

1271 The Last (Ninth) Crusade considered to be the last major medieval Crusade to the Holy Land ended in 1272. Edward finally reached England in the summer of 1274 and was crowned King of England on August 19, 1274. He had been accompanied by Theobald Visconti who became Pope Gregory X in 1271. Gregory called for a new crusade at the Council of Lyons in 1274 but nothing came of this. Meanwhile, new fissures arose within the Christian states when Charles of Anjou took advantage of a dispute between Hugh III, the Knights Templar and the Venetians in order to bring the remaining Christian state under his control. Having bought Mary of Antioch's claims to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, he attacked Hugh III causing a civil war within the rump kingdom. In 1277, Roger of San Severino captured Acre for Charles.

1413 Lollard Rebellion was a political and religious movement that existed from the mid-14th century to the English Reformation. The term "Lollard" refers to the followers of John Wycliffe,[1] a prominent theologian who was dismissed from the University of Oxford in 1381 for criticism of the Church and especially in his doctrine on the Eucharist. The Lollards' demands were primarily for reform of Western Christianity.

1481 Spanish Inquisition began when the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition established by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and to replace the Medieval Inquisition which was under Papal control. Assets confiscated were used for the Reconquista which finally expelled Muslims from these 700 years of dominance. Editors Note: Hitler did the same so what goes around comes around. It became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Christian Inquisition alonmay have g with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition.

Inquisition were  originally intended in large part to ensure the orthodoxy of those who converted from Judaism and Islam and regulation of the faith of the newly converted was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1501 ordering Jews and Muslims to convert or leave. Motives proposed for the monarchs' decision to fund the Inquisition included increased political authority, weakening opposition, suppressing conversos, profiting from confiscation of the property of convicted heretics, reducing social tensions and protecting the kingdom from the danger of a fifth column.

The Reform Years

1450's  Gutenberg Printed Bible added to the interesting history of communicating religious information to the masses.

1517 Luther's Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of  Indulgences  was written and is widely regarded as the initial catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. There were other   causes for the turmoil and Luther and Anti-Semitism would not be surpassed until the rise of Adolph Hitler

1618 The Thirty Years War  was a series of wars fought in Central Europe involving most of  Europe. It. was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history.  Conflict origins and participant goals were complex. Originally it was fought as a religious war between Protestants and Catholics of the Holy Roman Empire.  Disputes over internal politics and the balance of power within the Empire also played a significant role. The war to some extent ended the brutality caused competition Christian religions sects. In 1565 Fort-Caroline Massacre is one of many.

"A major consequence of the Thirty Years' War was the devastation of entire regions, denuded by the foraging armies (bellum se ipsum alet). Famine and disease significantly decreased the population of the German state Bohemia, the Low Countries and Italy; most of the combatant powers were bankrupted."  The problem of discipline was made more difficult by the "ad hoc nature of 17th-century military financing; armies were expected to be largely self-funding by means of loot taken or tribute extorted from the settlements where they operated. This encouraged a form of lawlessness that imposed severe hardship on inhabitants of the occupied territory." "Some of the quarrels that provoked the war went unresolved for a much longer time."

1776 U.S. Founding Fathers Religious Beliefs Differ  Franklin and Jefferson were deists in that they believed "that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of God, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge."  Washington harbored a pantheistic sense of providential destiny, John Adams began a Congregationalist and ended a Unitarian, Hamilton was a lukewarm Anglican for most of his life but embraced a more actively Christian posture after his son died in a duel.
Editors Note: Hamilton was the Dick Chaney of his day.

1840's Abolition Splits Some US Churches "One of the legacies of the Second Great Awakening was the Abolitionist Movement, the coalition of whites and blacks opposed to slavery. To support their cause, they frequently quoted Jesus' statements about treating others with respect and love. White Christians in the south, however, did not view slavery as a sin. Rather, their leaders were able to quote many Biblical passages in support of slavery. The Civil War and the divide over the question of slavery thus began in the nation's churches, a decade before fighting began on the battlefields."

1870 Papal Infallibility, " dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error[1] "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church".[2] This doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1869–1870, but had been defended before that, appearing already in medieval tradition and becoming the majority opinion at the time of the Counter-Reformation."



Islam Also Sprang from Abraham

Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of Hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Sharia is their moral code and relegiouse law.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God.[1] Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets.

They maintain that the previous messages and revelations have been partially

misinterpreted or altered over time, but consider the Arabic Qur'an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on multifarious topics from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment.

" Muslims revere Jesus as a uniquely inspired prophet who was born of the Virgin Mary, ascended to heaven and will come again. Yet Muslims cannot accept that Jesus was the son of God. This, they believe, reflects a flawed view of both Jesus and God. As Ms Siddiqui shows, Christians and Muslims sparred with one another intensely during the early centuries after Islam’s rise, with each side vying to be the ultimate revelation of God. But the two faiths did at least grudgingly acknowledge one another as monotheistic, despite Islam’s firm rejection of the Christian view of God as a trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Source


Philosophical Changes Introduced by Abraham's Religions

Judaism introduce Monotheism to the middle east, ended child sacrifice, provided guidelines for ethically and moral living and conditions for eventual resurrection after death.

Christianity modified some of Judaism guideline for an ethical and moral life and provided conditions for immediate resurrection following death.

Islam modified guideline for an ethical and moral life provided by Judaism and Christianity and added the purpose of existence is to love and serve God and resurrection was delayed until iyamah.

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Hinduism is the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent consists of many diverse traditions. It include a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is devoted to the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs.

Hinduism has been called the "oldest religion" and many practitioners refer to Hinduism as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal law" or the "eternal way"[1][2][15] beyond human origins.[15] It prescribes the "eternal" duties all Hindus have to follow, regardless of class, caste, or sect, such as honesty, purity, and self-restraint.[web 1]

Western scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion of various Indian cultures and traditions with diverse roots[20] and no single founder.[21][note 6] This "Hindu synthesis" emerged around the beginning of the Common Era,[17][27][note 10] and co-existed for several centuries with Buddhism,[33] to finally gain the upper hand in most royal circles during the 8th century CE. From northern India this "Hindu synthesis", and its societal divisions, spread to southern India and parts of Southeast Asia.[35][note 13][36][note 14][37][note 15][note 18]

Since the 19th century, under the dominance of western colonialism and Indology, when the term "Hinduism" came into broad use. Hinduism has re-asserted itself as a coherent and independent tradition. The popular understanding of Hinduism has been dominated by "Hindu modernism"  in which mysticism and the unity of Hinduism have been emphasised. During 20th century, Hindutva ideology, a part of the Hindu politics emerged as a political force and a source for national identity in India.

Hindu practices include daily rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, annual festivals, and occasional pilgrimages. Select group of ascetics leave the common world and engage in lifelong ascetic practices to achieve moksha.


" Confucianism is a system of "ethical-sociopolitical teachings" of  Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE), who considered himself a retransmitter of Zhou values.[5] More privately,

With particular emphasis on the importance of the family and social harmony, rather than on an otherworldly soteriology,[7] the core of Confucianism is humanistic. Confucianism regards the ordinary activities of human life — and especially in human relationships as a manifestation of the sacred because they are the expression of our moral nature which has a transcendent anchorage in Heaven and a proper respect of the gods While Heaven ( has some characteristics that overlap the category of deity, it is primarily an impersonal absolute, like dào and Brahman.

The this-worldly concern of Confucianism rests on the belief that human beings are fundamentally good, and teachable, improvable, and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor especially self-cultivation and self-creation. Confucian thought focuses on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics. Some of the basic Confucian ethical concepts and practices like benevolence"  and "humaneness are is the essence of the human being which manifests as compassion. It is the virtue-form of Heaven. Confucianism holds one in contempt, either passively or actively, for failure to uphold the cardinal moral values of rén and .

Traditionally, cultures and countries in the East Asian cultural sphere are strongly influenced by Confucianism, including mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, as well as various territories settled predominantly by Chinese people, such as Singapore. In the 20th century Confucianism's influence reduced greatly. In late 2015 many Confucian leaders[which?] formally established a national Holy Confucian Church (孔聖會/孔圣会 Kǒngshènghuì) in China to unify the many Confucian congregations and civil society organisations


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