Early Christianity

Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity between the resurrection of Jesus around year 30 and the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

The very first Christians (the Twelve Apostles and the 120 Disciples at Pentecost, etc.) were all Jews or biblical proselytes, either by birth or conversion, referred to by historians as the Jewish Christians. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians record that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included Peter, James, and John. Paul of Tarsus, after his conversion to Christianity, claimed the title of "Apostle to the Gentiles". Paul's influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than any other New Testament writer. By the end of the 1st century, Christianity began to be recognized internally and externally as a separate religion from Rabbinic Judaism which itself was refined and developed further in the centuries after the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple.

As shown by the numerous quotations in the New Testament books and other Christian writings of the 1st centuries, early Christians generally used and revered the Jewish Bible as Scripture, mostly in the Greek (Septuagint) or Aramaic (Targum) translations, much of which is written in narrative form where "in the biblical story God is the protagonist, Satan (or evil people/powers) are the antagonists, and God’s people are the agonists".

As the New Testament canon developed, the Letters of Paul, the Canonical Gospels and various other works were also recognized as scripture to be read in church. Paul's letters, especially Romans, established a theology based on Christ rather than on the Mosaic Law, but most Christian denominations today still consider the "moral prescriptions" of the Mosaic Law, such as the Ten Commandments, Great Commandment, and Golden Rule, to be relevant. Early Christians demonstrated a wide range of beliefs and practices, many of which were later rejected as heretical.

Read more about Early Christianity:  History, Practices, Beliefs, Ecclesiology, Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy, Religious Writing, Spread of Christianity

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Famous quotes containing the words christianity and/or early:

    But, with whatever exception, it is still true that tradition characterizes the preaching of this country; that it comes out of the memory, and not out of the soul; that it aims at what is usual, and not at what is necessary and eternal; that thus historical Christianity destroys the power of preaching, by withdrawing it from the exploration of the moral nature of man; where the sublime is, where are the resources of astonishment and power.
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    In the true sense one’s native land, with its background of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home.
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