Prayer is an important activity in Christianity, and there are several different forms of Christian prayer. Christian prayers are diverse, they can be spontaneous, or read entirely from a text. The most common prayer among Christians is the Lords Prayer, which according to the accounts is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. The Lords Prayer is a model for prayers of adoration and petition in Christianity, there are two basic settings for Christian prayer and private. Corporate prayer includes prayer shared within the setting or other public places. These prayers can be formal written prayers or informal extemporaneous prayers, private prayer occurs with the individual praying either silently or aloud within a private setting. Prayer exists within multiple different worship contexts and may be structured differently and these types of contexts may include, Often seen within the Catholic Church. This is a very orthodox service, according to Catholics, within a Catholic Mass, which is an example of a liturgical form of worship, there are bible readings and a sermon is read.
Often seen within the Holy Orthodox Church, the Holy Bible is read and a sermon is read. Non- Liturgical, Often seen within Evangelical church, this prayer is not scripted. Most of these prayers would be extemporaneous, Often seen within gospel churches. It is the form of worship in Pentecostal churches. It usually includes song and dance, and may include other artistic expressions, there may be no apparent structure, but the worshippers will be led by the Holy Spirit. Prayer in the New Testament is presented as a positive command, the people of God are challenged to include prayer in their everyday life, even in the busy struggles of marriage as it is thought to bring the faithful closer to God. Throughout the New Testament, prayer is shown to be Gods appointed method by which the faithful obtain what he has to bestow, according to the Book of Acts, can be seen at the first moments of the church. The apostles regarded prayer as an part of their lives. As such, the apostles frequently incorporated verses from Psalms into their writings, romans 3, 10-18 for example is borrowed from Psalm 14, 1-3 and other psalms.
Thus, due to emphasis on prayer in the early church
Western Christianity consists of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, and a variety of Protestant denominations. The name has applied in order to distinguish these from Eastern Christianity. Today, the distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity is not nearly as absolute, due to the spread of missionary activities, migrations. The adjectives Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity are thus used to refer to historical origins rather than present geographical locations. For most of its history the church in Europe has been divided between the Latin-speaking west, whose centre was Rome, and the Greek-speaking east, whose centre was Constantinople. Cultural differences and political rivalry created tensions between the two churches, leading to disagreement over doctrine and ecclesiology and ultimately to schism, like Eastern Christianity, Western Christianity traces its roots, directly or indirectly, to the apostles and other early preachers of the religion. In Western Christianitys original area Latin was the principal language, Christian writers in Latin had more influence there than those who wrote in Greek, Syriac, or other Eastern languages.
With the last-named form of Eastern Christianity, reunion agreements were signed at the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence, but these proved ineffective. The rise of Protestantism led to divisions within Western Christianity, which still persist, and wars—for example. In and after the Age of Discovery, Europeans spread Western Christianity to the New World, Roman Catholicism came to the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Protestantism, including Anglicanism, came to North America, Australia-Pacific and this Western version has the additional phrase God from God, which was in the Creed as adopted by the First Council of Nicaea, but which was dropped by the First Council of Constantinople. The date of Easter usually differs between Eastern and Western Christianity, because the calculations are based on the Julian calendar and Gregorian calendar respectively, for example, the Church of England continued to observe Easter on the same date as the Eastern Church until 1753. Even the dates of other Christian holidays differ between Eastern and Western Christianity, Western Christianity makes up about 90% of Christians worldwide, with the Roman Catholic Church accounting for over half and various Protestant denominations making up another 40%.
Hussite movements of 15th century Bohemia preceded the main Protestant uprising by 100 years and evolved into several small Protestant churches, waldensians survived also, but blended into the Reformed tradition
Virgin birth of Jesus
The virgin birth of Jesus is the belief that Jesus was conceived in the womb of his mother Mary through the Holy Spirit without the agency of a human father and born while Mary was still a virgin. The New Testament references are Matthew 1, 18-25 and Luke 1 and it is believed by Christians to follow the prophetic message in Isaiah 7,14. It is not expressly mentioned elsewhere in the Christian scriptures, the virgin birth was universally accepted in the Christian church by the 2nd century and, except for some minor sects, was not seriously challenged until the 18th century. Muslims accept the virgin birth of Jesus,18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit,19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet,23 Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, he took his wife,25, and he called his name Jesus. 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, and the virgins name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, Greetings, O favored one,29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary,31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever,34 And Mary said to the angel, How will this be, since I am a virgin. 35 And the angel answered her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has conceived a son,37 For nothing will be impossible with God. 38 And Mary said, Behold, I am the servant of the Lord, and the angel departed from her. Jesus miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit is found only in the gospels of Matthew, both probably date from the period 80-100 AD, and both were originally anonymous. Matthew 1,23 quotes a prophecy from the Isaiah as the basis for the virgin birth, in Isaiah the Immanuel prophecy has an immediate aim, but Matthew uses it to find patterns of Gods dealings with Israel rather than a single and specific fulfillment. In the genealogy preceding his birth story Matthew calls Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ
A church building, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly worship services. The term in its sense is most often used by Christians to refer to their religious buildings. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle, towers or domes are often added with the intention of directing the eye of the viewer towards the heavens and inspiring church visitors. The earliest identified Christian church was a church founded between 233 and 256. During the 11th through 14th centuries, a wave of building of cathedrals, a cathedral is a church, usually Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox, housing the seat of a bishop. In standard Greek usage, the word ecclesia was retained to signify both a specific edifice of Christian worship, and the overall community of the faithful. This usage was retained in Latin and the languages derived from Latin, as well as in the Celtic languages.
In the Germanic and some Slavic languages, the word kyriak-ós/-ē/-ón was adopted instead, in Old English the sequence of derivation started as cirice and eventually church in its current pronunciation. German Kirche, Scottish kirk, Russian церковь, etc. are all similarly derived, according to the New Testament, the earliest Christians did not build church buildings. Instead, they gathered in homes or in Jewish worship places like the Second Temple or synagogues, the earliest archeologically identified Christian church is a house church, the Dura-Europos church, founded between 233 and 256. During the 11th through 14th centuries, a wave of building of cathedrals, in addition to being a place of worship, the cathedral or parish church was used by the community in other ways. It could serve as a place for guilds or a hall for banquets. Mystery plays were performed in cathedrals, and cathedrals might be used for fairs. The church could be used as a place to thresh and store grain, a common architecture for churches is the shape of a cross.
These churches often have a dome or other large vaulted space in the interior to represent or draw attention to the heavens. Other common shapes for churches include a circle, to represent eternity, or an octagon or similar star shape, another common feature is the spire, a tall tower on the west end of the church or over the crossing. The Latin word basilica was used to describe a Roman public building
History of Christianity
The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the present. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity spread to all of Europe in the Middle Ages, Christianity expanded throughout the world during Europes Age of Exploration from the Renaissance onwards, becoming the worlds largest religion. Today there are more than two billion Christians worldwide, during its early history, Christianity grew from a 1st-century Jewish following to a religion that existed across the entire Greco-Roman world and beyond. The Roman persecution of Christians ended in AD313 when Constantine the Great decreed tolerance for the religion and he called the First Council of Nicaea in AD325, beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils. The Apostolic Church was the community led by the apostles, and to some degree, in his Great Commission, the resurrected Jesus commanded that his teachings be spread to all the world.
While the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles is disputed by critics, Acts gives a history of the Church from this commission in 1, 3–11 to the spread of the religion among the Gentiles and the eastern Mediterranean by Paul and others. The first Christians were essentially all ethnically Jewish or Jewish proselytes, in other words, Jesus preached to the Jewish people and called from them his first disciples, see for example Matthew 10. Circumcision in particular was considered repulsive by Greeks and Hellenists while circumcision advocates were labelled Judaisers, related issues are still debated today. The doctrines of the apostles brought the Early Church into conflict with some Jewish religious authorities and this eventually led to their expulsion from the synagogues, according to one theory of the Council of Jamnia. Acts records the martyrdom of the Christian leaders and James of Zebedee, the name Christian was first applied to the disciples in Antioch, as recorded in Acts 11,26.
Some contend that the term Christian was first coined as a term, meaning little Christs, and was meant as a mockery. The sources for the beliefs of the community include the Gospels. According to a recorded by Eusebius and Epiphanius, the Jerusalem church fled to Pella at the outbreak of the First Jewish–Roman War. The post-apostolic period concerns the time after the death of the apostles until persecutions ended with the legalisation of Christian worship under Emperors Constantine the Great, according to the New Testament, Christians were subject to various persecutions from the beginning. This involved even death for Christians such as Stephen and James, according to Church tradition, it was under Neros persecution that Peter and Paul were each martyred in Rome. Similarly, several of the New Testament writings mention persecutions and stress endurance through them, the last and most severe persecution organised by the imperial authorities was the Diocletianic Persecution,303 -311. In spite of these sometimes intense persecutions, the Christian religion continued its spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin, There is no agreement on how Christianity managed to spread so successfully prior to the Edict of Milan and the establishment of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.
In The Rise of Christianity, Rodney Stark argues that Christianity triumphed over paganism chiefly because it improved the lives of its adherents in various ways
Christianity is a Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point for the religion. It is the worlds largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Apostles Creed and his incarnation, earthly ministry and resurrection are often referred to as the gospel, meaning good news. The term gospel refers to accounts of Jesuss life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Luke. Christianity is an Abrahamic religion that began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century, following the Age of Discovery, Christianity spread to the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization, throughout its history, Christianity has weathered schisms and theological disputes that have resulted in many distinct churches and denominations.
Worldwide, the three largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the denominations of Protestantism. There are many important differences of interpretation and opinion of the Bible, concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds. They began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith, even agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. The Baptists have been non-creedal in that they have not sought to establish binding authoritative confessions of faith on one another. Also rejecting creeds are groups with roots in the Restoration Movement, such as the Christian Church, the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada, the Apostles Creed is the most widely accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists and this particular creed was developed between the 2nd and 9th centuries.
Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator, each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Most Christians accept the use of creeds, and subscribe to at least one of the mentioned above. The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God, Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as savior of humanity, and hold that Jesus coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. The Christian concept of the Messiah differs significantly from the contemporary Jewish concept, having become fully human, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, but did not sin
Christian symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, artwork or events, by Christianity. It invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas, the symbolism of the early Church was characterized by being understood by initiates only, while after the legalization of Christianity in the 4th-century more recognizable symbols entered in use. Christianity has borrowed from the stock of significant symbols known to most periods. The shape of the cross, as represented by the letter T, at the end of the 2nd century, it is mentioned in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, rejecting the claim by detractors that Christians worship the cross. In his book De Corona, written in 204, Tertullian tells how it was already a tradition for Christians to trace repeatedly on their foreheads the sign of the cross. An early example of the halo, used to identify Christ in paintings, is found in the Miracles of the Loaves and Fishes mosaic of SantApollinare Nuovo. Instances of the St Thomas cross, a Greek cross with clover leaf edges, popular in southern India, the Patriarchal cross, a Latin cross with an additional horizontal bar, first appears in the 10th century.
Although the cross was used as a symbol by early Christians, the purported discovery of the True Cross by Constantines mother and the development of Golgotha as a site for pilgrimage led to a change of attitude. In the early period, the plain cross became depicted as the crux gemmata, covered with jewels. The first depictions of crucifixion displaying suffering are believed to have arisen in Byzantine art, Early Western examples include the Gero Cross and the reverse of the Cross of Lothair, both from the end of the 10th century. Marie-Madeleine Davy described in great detail Romanesque Symbolism as it developed in the Middle Ages in Western Europe, among the symbols employed by the early Christians, that of the fish seems to have ranked first in importance. The Staurogram ⳨, Monogrammatic Cross or Tau-Rho symbol, is composed by a tau superimposed on a rho, in such a way the symbol expresses the idea that the Cross saves. The two letters tau and rho can be found separately as symbols on early Christian ossuaries, the Monogrammatic Cross was seen as a variation of the Chi Rho symbol, and it spread over Western Europe in the 5th and 6th centuries.
The Chi Rho is formed by superimposing the first two letters chi and rho of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ =Christ in such a way to produce the monogram, widespread in ancient Christianity, it was the symbol used by the Roman emperor Constantine I as vexillum. This symbol was explained in the Epistle of Barnabas and by Clement of Alexandria. For other christograms such as IHS, see Article Christogram, initially it was understood as a symbol like others used in Early Christian art. By about the 5th century the more often took on the appearance of the conventional depiction of Christ, as it had developed by this time. The dove as a Christian symbol is of frequent occurrence in ancient ecclesiastical art
Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice of John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians. The term Calvinism can be misleading, because the tradition which it denotes has always been diverse. The movement was first called Calvinism by Lutherans who opposed it, early influential Reformed theologians include Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, Martin Bucer, William Farel, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Theodore Beza, and John Knox. In the twentieth century, Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, B. B, Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, Karl Barth, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Cornelius Van Til, and Gordon Clark were influential. Contemporary Reformed theologians include J. I, Timothy J. Keller, John Piper, David Wells, and Michael Horton. Reformed churches may exercise several forms of polity, most are presbyterian or congregationalist. Calvinism is largely represented by Continental Reformed and Congregationalist traditions, the biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 80 million members in 211 member denominations around the world.
There are more conservative Reformed federations such as the World Reformed Fellowship, Calvinism is named after John Calvin. It was first used by a Lutheran theologian in 1552 and it was a common practice of the Catholic Church to name what they perceived to be heresy after its founder. Nevertheless, the term first came out of Lutheran circles, Calvin denounced the designation himself, They could attach us no greater insult than this word, Calvinism. It is not hard to guess where such a deadly hatred comes from that they hold against me, despite its negative connotation, this designation became increasingly popular in order to distinguish Calvinists from Lutherans and from newer Protestant branches that emerged later. Moreover, these churches claim to be—in accordance with John Calvins own words—renewed accordingly with the order of gospel. Since the Arminian controversy, the Reformed tradition—as a branch of Protestantism distinguished from Lutheranism—divided into two groups and Calvinists.
However, it is now rare to call Arminians a part of the Reformed tradition, some have argued that Calvinism as a whole stresses the sovereignty or rule of God in all things including salvation. First-generation Reformed theologians include Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, John Oecolampadius, scripture was viewed as a unified whole, which led to a covenantal theology of the sacraments of baptism and the Lords Supper as visible signs of the covenant of grace. Another Reformed distinctive present in these theologians was their denial of the presence of Christ in the Lords supper. Each of these understood salvation to be by grace alone. Martin Luther and his successor Philipp Melanchthon were undoubtedly significant influences on these theologians, the doctrine of justification by faith alone was a direct inheritance from Luther
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is three consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—as one God in three Divine Persons. The three persons are distinct, yet are one substance, essence or nature, in this context, a nature is what one is, whereas a person is who one is. Reflection and dialogue led to the formulation of the doctrine that was felt to correspond to the data in the Bible. The simplest outline of the doctrine was formulated in the 4th century, further elaboration continued in the succeeding centuries. Scripture contains neither the word Trinity, nor an expressly formulated doctrine of the Trinity, according to the Christian theology, it bears witness to the activity of a God who can only be understood in Trinitarian terms. The doctrine did not take its shape until late in the fourth century. During the intervening period, various solutions, some more. Trinitarianism contrasts with nontrinitarian positions which include Binitarianism, Oneness Pentecostalism or Modalism, the word trinity is derived from Latin trinitas, meaning the number three, a triad.
This abstract noun is formed from the adjective trinus, as the word unitas is the noun formed from unus. The corresponding word in Greek is tριάς, meaning a set of three or the number three, the first recorded use of this Greek word in Christian theology was by Theophilus of Antioch in about 170. He wrote, In like manner the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity, of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, man. The Ante-Nicene Fathers asserted Christs deity and spoke of Father and Holy Spirit, Trinitarians view these as elements of the codified doctrine. Ignatius of Antioch provides early support for the Trinity around 110, exhorting obedience to Christ, and to the Father, and to the Spirit. Justin Martyr writes, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, the first of the early church fathers to be recorded using the word Trinity was Theophilus of Antioch writing in the late 2nd century.
He defines the Trinity as God, His Word and His Wisdom in the context of a discussion of the first three days of creation, the first defence of the doctrine of the Trinity was in the early 3rd century by the early church father Tertullian. He explicitly defined the Trinity as Father and Holy Spirit, St. Justin and Clement of Alexandra used the Trinity in their doxologies and St. Basil likewise, in the evening lighting of lamps. The highly allegorical exegesis of the Valentinian school inclined it to interpret the relevant scriptural passages as affirming a Divinity that, the Valentinian Gospel of Phillip, which dates to approximately the time of Tertullian, upholds the Trinitarian formula
Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary, known by various titles and honorifics, was a 1st-century Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth and the mother of Jesus, according to the New Testament and the Quran. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin, the miraculous birth took place when she was already betrothed to Joseph and was awaiting the concluding rite of marriage, the formal home-taking ceremony. She married Joseph and accompanied him to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, the Gospel of Luke begins its account of Marys life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. According to canonical gospel accounts, Mary was present at the crucifixion and is depicted as a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. According to the Catholic and Orthodox teaching, at the end of her life her body was assumed directly into Heaven. Mary has been venerated since Early Christianity, and is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion and she is claimed to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries.
The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, there is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, many Protestants minimize Marys role within Christianity, based on the argued brevity of biblical references. Mary has a position in Islam, where one of the longer chapters of the Quran is devoted to her. Marys name in the manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name ܡܪܝܡ. The English name Mary comes from the Greek Μαρία, which is a form of Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament, in Christianity, Mary is commonly referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husbands involvement. The three main titles for Mary used by the Orthodox are Theotokos, Aeiparthenos as confirmed in the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, Catholics use a wide variety of titles for Mary, and these titles have in turn given rise to many artistic depictions.
For example, the title Our Lady of Sorrows has inspired such masterpieces as Michelangelos Pietà, the title Theotokos was recognized at the Council of Ephesus in 431. However, this phrase in Greek, in the abbreviated form ΜΡ ΘΥ, is an indication commonly attached to her image in Byzantine icons. The Council stated that the Church Fathers did not hesitate to speak of the holy Virgin as the Mother of God, some Marian titles have a direct scriptural basis. For instance, the title Queen Mother has been given to Mary since she was the mother of Jesus, the scriptural basis for the term Queen can be seen in Luke 1,32 and the Isaiah 9,6. Queen Mother can be found in 1 Kings 2, 19-20 and Jeremiah 13, other titles have arisen from reported miracles, special appeals or occasions for calling on Mary
Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul, and known by his native name Saul of Tarsus was an apostle who taught the gospel of the Christ to the first century world. He is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age, in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Paul took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences, according to writings in the New Testament, Paul was dedicated to the persecution of the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. He was struck blind but, after three days, his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus, and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah, approximately half of the book of Acts deals with Pauls life and works. Fourteen of the books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not asserted in the Epistle itself and was already doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
It was almost unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews, but that view is now almost universally rejected by scholars. The other six are believed by scholars to have come from followers writing in his name. Other scholars argue that the idea of an author for the disputed epistles raises many problems. Today, Pauls epistles continue to be roots of the theology and pastoral life in the Catholic and Protestant traditions of the West. Augustine of Hippo developed Pauls idea that salvation is based on faith, martin Luthers interpretation of Pauls writings influenced Luthers doctrine of sola fide. The main source for information about Pauls life is the material found in his epistles, the epistles contain little information about Pauls past. The book of Acts recounts more information but leaves several parts of Pauls life out of its narrative, such as his probable, some scholars believe Acts contradicts Pauls epistles on multiple accounts, in particular concerning the frequency of Pauls visits to the church in Jerusalem.
It has been assumed that Sauls name was changed when he converted from Judaism to Christianity. His Jewish name was Saul, perhaps after the biblical King Saul, a fellow Benjamite, according to the Book of Acts, he inherited Roman citizenship from his father. As a Roman citizen, he bore the Latin name of Paul—in biblical Greek, Παῦλος. It was quite usual for the Jews of that time to have two names, one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek. Jesus called him Saul, Saul in the Hebrew tongue in the book of Acts, later, in a vision to Ananias of Damascus, the Lord referred to him as Saul, of Tarsus
Anabaptism is a Christian movement which traces its origins to the Radical Reformation in Europe. Traditionally this movement is seen as an offshoot of European Protestantism, Anabaptists are Christians who believe that baptism is only valid when the candidate confesses his or her faith in Christ and wants to be baptized. This believers baptism is opposed to baptism of infants, who are not able to make a decision to be baptized. Anabaptists are those who are in a line with the early Anabaptists of the 16th century. Other Christian groups, like Baptists, who practice believers baptism but have different roots, are not seen as Anabaptist. The Amish and Mennonites are direct descendants of the early Anabaptist movement, schwarzenau Brethren and the Apostolic Christian Church are considered developments among the Anabaptists. The name Anabaptist means one who baptizes again and their persecutors named them this, referring to the practice of baptizing persons when they converted or declared their faith in Christ, even if they had been baptized as infants.
Anabaptists required that baptismal candidates be able to make a confession of faith that is freely chosen, the early members of this movement did not accept the name Anabaptist, claiming that infant baptism was not part of scripture and was therefore null and void. They said that baptizing self-confessed believers was their first true baptism, but the right baptism of Christ, which is preceded by teaching and oral confession of faith, I teach, and say that infant baptism is a robbery of the right baptism of Christ. Anabaptists were persecuted largely because of their interpretation of scripture that put them at odds with official state church interpretations, most Anabaptists adhered to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, which precluded taking oaths, participating in military actions, and participating in civil government. Some groups that are now extinct, who practised rebaptism, felt otherwise and they were thus technically Anabaptists, even though conservative Amish and Hutterites and some historians tend to consider them as being outside of true Anabaptism.
Conrad Grebel wrote in a letter to Thomas Müntzer in 1524, True Christian believers are sheep among wolves, Neither do they use worldly sword or war, since all killing has ceased with them. For instance, Petr Chelčický, a 15th-century Bohemian reformer, taught most of the beliefs considered integral to Anabaptist theology, medieval antecedents may include the Brethren of the Common Life, the Hussites, Dutch Sacramentists, and some forms of monasticism. The Waldensians represent a similar to the Anabaptists. The believer must not bear arms or offer forcible resistance to wrongdoers, no Christian has the jus gladii. Matthew 5,39 Civil government belongs to the world, the believer belongs to Gods kingdom, so must not fill any office nor hold any rank under government, which is to be passively obeyed. But no force is to be used towards them, on December 27,1521, three prophets appeared in Wittenberg from Zwickau who were influenced by Thomas Müntzer—Thomas Dreschel, Nicholas Storch, and Mark Thomas Stübner.
They preached an apocalyptic, radical alternative to Lutheranism and their preaching helped to stir the feelings concerning the social crisis which erupted in the German Peasants War in southern Germany in 1525 as a revolt against feudal oppression