Scramblin' thru... Christianity
Do unto others...
Born in either 4 BC or 8 BC in the city of Bethlehem in the Roman province of Judea, a holy man named Jesus began to attract a following. He taught that people should treat others in the same way that they, themselves, wanted to be treated, to worship one God, and to love their neighbors. His followers believed that Jesus was the Son of God.
Jewish leaders felt threatened by Jesus and turned him over to Pontius Pilate, the Roman authority of Judea. Jesus was crucified in 29 AD. Three days later, Jesus' followers said they saw Him raised from the dead. These followers became known as Christians. They taught that sins would be forgiven if people became Christian. This message was not successful with many Jews who saw Jesus as a prophet and not the Son of God. In 202 AD, Roman citizens were banned from converting to Christianity or Judaism. Those who disobeyed were tortured or fed to wild animals at sporting events.
After seeing a Christian symbol in the sky the night before a battle, Emperor Constantine the Great helped stop Christian persecution. In 387 AD, 50 years after Constantine was baptized on his deathbed, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. It continues to be the official religion of Italy today.
The first Christians believed Jesus would soon return to Earth, so they didn't see a need to write down His story. Fifty years after Jesus died, however, Christians wrote the Gospels (which means "good news"). Christianity's holy book, The Bible, has two parts. The Old Testament consists of The Torah. The New Testament includes the Gospels, along with letters written by Paul and others. It is the most read book in history.
Christians gather weekly to worship God. Christians observe important holidays like Christmas (the birth of Jesus) and Easter (the resurrection of Jesus). The cross remains a very powerful symbol of the religion.
Jesus Christ was of Middle Eastern descent. This meant Jesus was dark-skinned with brown eyes. His hair was described in The Bible and in other writings as being the texture of wool. (Soooo... what I'm hearing is He wasn't the typical Aryan, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus we usually see in Sunday School...)
Jesus Christ was NOT born on December 25th. In fact, according to scholars, astrologists, and theologians, the Star of Bethlehem was first spotted on September 11, 4 BC. Historians put Christ's birth between 8-4 BC. This means our current calendar, which starts with His birth in 1 AD, is wrong... and behind 4-8 years. (Yep. Jesus was born in 4 BC or 8 BC. In other words, Jesus was born 4 or 8 years before... Himself.)
The followers of Jesus called him Christ. Christ is from the Greek word Christos, which means "Chosen One" or "Messiah". They called him this because they believed he was chosen by God to be His messenger.
One of the most successful Christian missionaries, a
Greek-speaking Jew named Paul of Tarsus (now Saint Paul), started off persecuting Christians. One day, he had a vision in which Jesus spoke to him. He spent the rest of his life writing about Christianity and winning new converts to the faith.