Anabaptism is a Christian movement which traces its origins to the Radical Reformation. The movement is seen as an offshoot of Protestantism, although this view has been challenged by some Anabaptists. 4 million Anabaptists live in the world today with adherents scattered across all inhabited continents. In addition to a number of minor Anabaptist groups, the most numerous include the Mennonites at 2.1 million, the German Baptists at 1.5 million, the Amish at 300,000 and the Hutterites at 50,000. In the 21st century there are large cultural differences between assimilated Anabaptists, who do not differ much from evangelicals or mainline Protestants, traditional groups like the Amish, the Old Colony Mennonites, the Old Order Mennonites, the Hutterites and the Old German Baptist Brethren; the early Anabaptists formulated their beliefs in the Schleitheim Confession, in 1527. Anabaptists believe that baptism is valid only when the candidate confesses his or her faith in Christ and wants to be baptized.
This believer's baptism is opposed to baptism of infants, who are not able to make a conscious decision to be baptized. Anabaptists are those. Other Christian groups with different roots practice believer's baptism, such as Baptists, but these groups 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". Their persecutors named them this, referring to the practice of baptizing persons when they converted or declared their faith in Christ if they had been baptized as infants. Anabaptists required that baptismal candidates be able to make a confession of faith, chosen and so rejected baptism of infants; 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: I have never taught Anabaptism....
But the right baptism of Christ, preceded by teaching and oral confession of faith, I teach, say that infant baptism is a robbery of the right baptism of Christ. Anabaptists were and long persecuted starting in the 16th century by both Magisterial Protestants and Roman Catholics because of their interpretation of scripture which put them at odds with official state church interpretations and with government. Anabaptism was never established by any state and therefore never enjoyed any of the privileges that come with it. Most Anabaptists adhered to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount which precluded taking oaths, participating in military actions, participating in civil government; some groups who practiced rebaptism, now extinct, believed otherwise and complied with these requirements of civil society. They were thus technically Anabaptists though conservative Amish, Mennonites and some historians consider them outside true Anabaptism. Conrad Grebel wrote in a letter to Thomas Müntzer in 1524: True Christian believers are sheep among wolves, sheep for the slaughter...
Neither do they use worldly war, since all killing has ceased with them. Anabaptists are considered to have begun with the Radical Reformers in the 16th century, but historians classify certain people and groups as their forerunners because of a similar approach to the interpretation and application of the Bible. 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, some forms of monasticism; the Waldensians represent a faith similar to the Anabaptists. Medieval dissenters and Anabaptists who held to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount share in common the following affirmations: The believer must not swear oaths or refer disputes between believers to law-courts for resolution, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 6:1–11; the believer must not offer forcible resistance to wrongdoers, nor wield the sword.
No Christian has the jus gladii. Matthew 5:39 Civil government belongs to the world; the believer belongs to God's kingdom, so must not fill any office nor hold any rank under government, to be passively obeyed. John 18:36 Romans 13:1–7 Sinners or unfaithful ones are to be excommunicated, excluded from the sacraments and from intercourse with believers unless they repent, according to 1 Corinthians 5:9–13 and Matthew 18:15 seq. 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, Mark Thomas Stübner, they preached an radical alternative to Lutheranism. 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. Under the leadership of Müntzer, it became a war against all constituted authorities and an attempt to establish by revolution an ideal Christian commonwealth, with absolute equality among persons and the community of goods.
The Zwickau prophets were not Anabaptists.
Jesus in Christianity
In Christianity, Jesus is believed to be the Son of God and the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Christians believe that through his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, God offered humans salvation and eternal life; these teachings emphasize that as the Lamb of God, Jesus chose to suffer on the cross at Calvary as a sign of his obedience to the will of God, as an "agent and servant of God". Jesus died to atone for sin to make us right with God. Jesus' choice positions him in contrast to Adam's disobedience. Christians believe that Jesus was both divine -- the Son of God. While there has been theological debate over the nature of Jesus, Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus is the Logos, God incarnate, God the Son, "true God and true man"—both divine and human. Jesus, having become human in all respects, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin. According to the Bible, God raised him from the dead, he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, he will return to earth again for the Last Judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize key elements of the shared beliefs among major denominations based on their catechetical or confessional texts. Christian views of Jesus are derived from various biblical sources from the canonical Gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles. Christians predominantly hold that these works are true; those groups or denominations committed to what are considered biblically orthodox Christianity nearly all agree that Jesus: was born of a virgin was a human being, fully God did not sin was martyred and buried in a tomb rose from the dead on the third day ascended back to God the Father will return to Earth. Some groups considered within Christianity hold beliefs considered to unorthodox. For example, believers in monophysitism reject the idea that Christ was human and God at the same time. Others, such as the Latter-day Saints, consider Christ to be in possession of a physical body after his resurrection; the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus are his baptism, crucifixion and ascension.
These are bracketed by two other episodes: his nativity at the beginning and the sending of the Paraclete at the end. The gospel accounts of the teachings of Jesus are presented in terms of specific categories involving his "works and words", e.g. his ministry and miracles. Christians not only attach theological significance to the works of Jesus, but to his name. Devotions to the name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity; these exist today both in Eastern and Western Christianity -- both Protestant. Christians predominantly profess that through Jesus' life and resurrection, he restored humanity's communion with God with the blood of the New Covenant, his death on a cross is understood as a redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity's salvation and the atonement for sin which had entered human history through the sin of Adam. But who do you say that I am? Only Simon Peter answered him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God — Matthew 16:15-16 Jesus is mediator, but…the title means more that someone between God and man.
He is not just a third party between God and humanity…. As true God he brings God to mankind; as true man he brings mankind to God. Most Christians consider Jesus to be the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, as well as the one and only Son of God; the opening words in the Gospel of Mark, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God", provide Jesus with the two distinct attributions as Christ and as the Son of God. His divinity is again re-affirmed in Mark 1:11. Matthew 1:1 which begins by calling Jesus the Christ and in verse 16 explains it again with the affirmation: "Jesus, called Christ". In the Pauline epistles, the word "Christ" is so associated with Jesus that for the early Christians there was no need to claim that Jesus was Christ, for, considered accepted among them. Hence Paul could use the term Christos with no confusion about who it referred to, as in 1 Corinthians 4:15 and Romans 12:5 he could use expressions such as "in Christ" to refer to the followers of Jesus. In the New Testament, the title "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions.
It is used to refer to his divinity, from the beginning in the Annunciation up to the crucifixion. The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is made by many individuals in the New Testament, on two separate occasions by God the Father as a voice from Heaven, is asserted by Jesus himself. In Christology, the concept that the Christ is the Logos has been important in establishing the doctrine of the divinity of Christ and his position as God the Son in the Trinity as set forth in the Chalcedonian Creed; this derives from the opening of the Gospel of John translated into English as: "In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God." In the original Greek, Logos is used for "Word," and in theological discourse, this is left in its English transliterated form, "Logos". The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is John 1:1-18 where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word.
This doctrine is reiterated in John 17:5 when Jesus refers to the glory which he had with the Father "before the world was" during the Farewell discourse. John 17:24 refers to the Father loving Jesus "before the
Methodism known as the Methodist movement, is a group of related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were significant early leaders in the movement, it originated as a revival movement within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate denomination after Wesley's death. The movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, beyond because of vigorous missionary work, today claiming 80 million adherents worldwide. Wesley's theology focused on the effect of faith on the character of a Christian. Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include the new birth, an assurance of salvation, imparted righteousness, the possibility of perfection in love, the works of piety, the primacy of Scripture. Most Methodists teach that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of humanity and that salvation is available for all; this teaching rejects the Calvinist position that God has pre-ordained the salvation of a select group of people.
However and several other early leaders of the movement were considered Calvinistic Methodists and held to the Calvinist position. Methodism emphasises charity and support for the sick, the poor, the afflicted through the works of mercy; these ideals are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, soup kitchens, schools to follow Christ's command to spread the gospel and serve all people. The movement has a wide variety of forms of worship, ranging from high church to low church in liturgical usage. Denominations that descend from the British Methodist tradition are less ritualistic, while American Methodism is more so, the United Methodist Church in particular. Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition, Charles Wesley was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church. Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy, but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organised religion at that time.
In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the developing working class. In the United States, it became the religion of many slaves who formed black churches in the Methodist tradition; the Methodist revival began with a group of men, including John Wesley and his younger brother Charles, as a movement within the Church of England in the 18th century. The Wesley brothers founded the "Holy Club" at the University of Oxford, where John was a fellow and a lecturer at Lincoln College; the club met weekly and they systematically set about living a holy life. They were accustomed to receiving Communion every week, fasting abstaining from most forms of amusement and luxury and visited the sick and the poor, as well as prisoners; the fellowship were branded as "Methodist" by their fellow students because of the way they used "rule" and "method" to go about their religious affairs. John, leader of the club, took the attempted mockery and turned it into a title of honour.
In 1735, at the invitation of the founder of the Georgia Colony, General James Oglethorpe, both John and Charles Wesley set out for America to be ministers to the colonists and missionaries to the Native Americans. Unsuccessful in their work, the brothers returned to England conscious of their lack of genuine Christian faith, they looked for help to other members of the Moravian Church. At a Moravian service in Aldersgate on 24 May 1738, John experienced what has come to be called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his "heart strangely warmed", he records in his journal: "I felt I did trust in Christ alone, for salvation. Charles had reported a similar experience a few days previously. Considered a pivotal moment, Daniel L. Burnett writes: "The significance of Wesley's Aldersgate Experience is monumental … Without it the names of Wesley and Methodism would be nothing more than obscure footnotes in the pages of church history."The Wesley brothers began to preach salvation by faith to individuals and groups, in houses, in religious societies, in the few churches which had not closed their doors to evangelical preachers.
John Wesley came under the influence of the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius. Arminius had rejected the Calvinist teaching that God had pre-ordained an elect number of people to eternal bliss while others perished eternally. Conversely, George Whitefield, Howell Harris, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon were notable for being Calvinistic Methodists. George Whitefield, returning from his own mission in Georgia, joined the Wesley brothers in what was to become a national crusade. Whitefield, a fellow student of the Wesleys at Oxford, became well known for his unorthodox, itinerant ministry, in which he was dedicated to open-air preaching—reaching crowds of thousands. A key step in the development of John Wesley's ministry was, like Whitefield, to preach in fields and churchyards to those who did not attend parish church services. Accordingly, many Methodist converts were those disconnected from the Church of England. Faced with growing evangelistic and pastoral responsibilities and Whitefield appointed lay preachers and leaders.
God in Christianity
God in Christianity is the eternal being who created and preserves all things. Christians believe God to be both immanent. Christian teachings of the immanence and involvement of God and his love for humanity exclude the belief that God is of the same substance as the created universe but accept that God's divine Nature was hypostatically united to human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, in an event known as the Incarnation. Early Christian views of God were expressed in the Pauline Epistles and the early creeds, which proclaimed one God and the divinity of Jesus in the same breath as in 1 Corinthians: "For if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live. "Although the Judeo-Christian sect of the Ebionites protested against this apotheosis of Jesus, the great mass of Gentile Christians accepted it." This began to differentiate the Gentile Christian views of God from traditional Jewish teachings of the time.
The theology of the attributes and nature of God has been discussed since the earliest days of Christianity, with Irenaeus writing in the 2nd century: "His greatness lacks nothing, but contains all things". In the 8th century, John of Damascus listed eighteen attributes which remain accepted; as time passed, theologians developed systematic lists of these attributes, some based on statements in the Bible, others based on theological reasoning. The Kingdom of God is a prominent phrase in the Synoptic Gospels and while there is near unanimous agreement among scholars that it represents a key element of the teachings of Jesus, there is little scholarly agreement on its exact interpretation. Although the New Testament does not have a formal doctrine of the Trinity as such, "it does speak of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit... in such a way as to compel a Trinitarian understanding of God." This never becomes a tritheism. Around the year 200, Tertullian formulated a version of the doctrine of the Trinity which affirmed the divinity of Jesus and came close to the definitive form produced by the Ecumenical Council of 381.
The doctrine of the Trinity can be summed up as: "The One God exists in Three Persons and One Substance, as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit." Trinitarians, who form the large majority of Christians, hold it as a core tenet of their faith. Nontrinitarian denominations define the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit in a number of different ways. Early Christian views of God are reflected in Apostle Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians, written ca. AD 53-54, i.e. about twenty years after the crucifixion of Jesus: for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live. Apart from asserting that there is but one God, Paul's statement includes a number of other significant elements: he distinguishes Christian belief from the Jewish background of the time by referring to Jesus and the Father in the same breath, by conferring on Jesus the title of divine honor "Lord", as well as calling him Christ. In the Acts during the Areopagus sermon given by Paul, he further characterizes the early Christian understanding: The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth and reflects on the relationship between God and Christians: that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us for in him we live.
The Pauline Epistles include a number of references to the Holy Spirit, with the theme which appears in 1 Thessalonians "…God, the God who gives you his Holy Spirit" appearing throughout his epistles. In John 14:26 Jesus refers to "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name". By the end of the 1st century, Clement of Rome had referred to the Father and Holy Spirit, linked the Father to creation, 1 Clement 19.2 stating: "let us look steadfastly to the Father and creator of the universe". By the middle of the 2nd century, in Against Heresies Irenaeus had emphasized that the Creator is the "one and only God" and the "maker of heaven and earth"; these preceded the formal presentation of the concept of Trinity by Tertullian early in the 3rd century. The period from the late 2nd century to the beginning of the 4th century is called the "epoch of the Great Church" and the Ante-Nicene Period and witnessed significant theological development, the consolidation and formalization of a number of Christian teachings.
From the 2nd century onward, western creeds started with an affirmation of belief in "God the Father" and the primary reference of this phrase was to "God in his capacity as Father and creator of the universe". This did not exclude either the fact the "eternal father of the universe was the Father of Jesus the Christ" or that he had "vouchsafed to adopt as his son by grace". Eastern creeds began with an affirmation of faith in "one God" and always expanded this by adding "the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible" or words to that effect; as time passed and philosophers developed more precise understandin
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st-century Judea, most between AD 30 and 33. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources, although there is no consensus among historians on the exact details. According to the canonical gospels, Jesus was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with myrrh or gall to drink after saying I am thirsty, he was hung between two convicted thieves and, according to the Gospel of Mark, died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was written in three languages, they divided his garments among themselves and cast lots for his seamless robe, according to the Gospel of John.
According to the Gospel of John after Jesus' death, one soldier pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died blood and water gushed from the wound. The Bible describes seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross, as well as several supernatural events that occurred. Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus' suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion are the central aspects of Christian theology concerning the doctrines of salvation and atonement; the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion are considered to be two certain facts about Jesus. James Dunn states that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command universal assent" and "rank so high on the'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical facts" that they are the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus. Bart Ehrman states that the crucifixion of Jesus on the orders of Pontius Pilate is the most certain element about him. John Dominic Crossan states that the crucifixion of Jesus is as certain as any historical fact can be.
Eddy and Boyd state that it is now "firmly established" that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. Craig Blomberg states that most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable. Christopher M. Tuckett states that, although the exact reasons for the death of Jesus are hard to determine, one of the indisputable facts about him is that he was crucified. While scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it. For example, both E. P. Sanders and Paula Fredriksen support the historicity of the crucifixion but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion and that his prediction of the crucifixion is a "church creation". Geza Vermes views the crucifixion as a historical event but provides his own explanation and background for it. John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that, based on the criterion of embarrassment, Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.
Meier states that a number of other criteria, e.g. the criterion of multiple attestation and the criterion of coherence help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event. Although all ancient sources relating to crucifixion are literary, the 1968 archeological discovery just northeast of Jerusalem of the body of a crucified man dated to the 1st century provided good confirmatory evidence that crucifixions occurred during the Roman period according to the manner in which the crucifixion of Jesus is described in the gospels; the crucified man was identified as Yehohanan ben Hagkol and died about 70 AD, around the time of the Jewish revolt against Rome. The analyses at the Hadassah Medical School estimated. Another relevant archaeological find, which dates to the 1st century AD, is an unidentified heel bone with a spike discovered in a Jerusalem gravesite, now held by the Israel Antiquities Authority and displayed in the Israel Museum; the earliest detailed accounts of the death of Jesus are contained in the four canonical gospels.
There are other, more implicit references in the New Testament epistles. In the synoptic gospels, Jesus predicts his death in three separate places. All four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, initial trial at the Sanhedrin and final trial at Pilate's court, where Jesus is flogged, condemned to death, is led to the place of crucifixion carrying his cross before Roman soldiers induce Simon of Cyrene to carry it, Jesus is crucified and resurrected from the dead, his death is described as other books of the New Testament. In each Gospel these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative. Scholars note that the reader receives an hour-by-hour account of what is happening. After arriving at Golgotha, Jesus was offered wine mixed with gall to drink. Matthew's and Mark's Gospels record, he was crucified and hung between two convicted thieves. According to some translations of the original Greek, the thieves may have been bandits or Jewish rebels.
According to Mark's Gospel, he endured the torment of crucifixion for some six hours from the third hour, at 9 am, until his death at the ninth hour, corresponding to about 3 pm. The soldiers affixed a sign above his head stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was in three languages, divided his garments and cast l
Jesus referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, is described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. All modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry, he preached orally and was referred to as "rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers, he was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, the community they formed became the early Church.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on his resurrection on Easter; the used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini, the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe; the Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or as non-scriptural. Jesus figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements.
In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God; the Quran states. Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, was neither divine nor resurrected. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of <father's name>", or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth"; the name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע, a variant of the earlier name יהושע, or in English, "Joshua", meaning "Yah saves".
This was the name of Moses' successor and of a Jewish high priest. The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus; the 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is given as "Yahweh is salvation". Since early Christianity, Christians have referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ"; the word Christ was a office, not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning "anointed", is transliterated into English as "Messiah". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a name—one part of "Jesus Christ". The term "Christian" has been in use since the 1st century; the four canonical gospels are the foremost sources for the message of Jesus. However, other parts of the New Testament include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23. Acts of the Apostles refers to the early ministry of its anticipation by John the Baptist. Acts 1:1 -- 11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times; some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel
Criticism of Christianity
Criticism of Christianity has a long history stretching back to the initial formation of the religion during the Roman Empire. Critics have challenged Christian beliefs and teachings as well as Christian actions, from the Crusades to modern terrorism; the intellectual arguments against Christianity include the suppositions that it is a faith of violence, superstition and bigotry. In the early years of Christianity, the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry emerged as one of the major critics with his book Against the Christians. Porphyry argued. Following the adoption of Christianity under the Roman Empire, dissenting religious voices were suppressed by both governments and ecclesiastical authorities. A millennium the Protestant Reformation led to a fundamental split in European Christianity and rekindled critical voices about the Christian faith, both internally and externally. With the Scientific Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment, Christianity was criticized by major thinkers and philosophers, such as Voltaire, David Hume, Thomas Paine, the Baron d'Holbach.
The central theme of these critiques sought to negate the historical accuracy of the Christian Bible and focused on the perceived corruption of Christian religious authorities. Other thinkers, like Immanuel Kant, launched systematic and comprehensive critiques of Christian theology by attempting to refute arguments for theism. In modern times, Christianity has faced substantial criticism from a wide array of political movements and ideologies. In the late eighteenth century, the French Revolution saw a number of politicians and philosophers criticizing traditional Christian doctrines, precipitating a wave of secularism in which hundreds of churches were closed down and thousands of priests were deported. Following the French Revolution, prominent philosophers of liberalism and communism, such as John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx, criticized Christian doctrine on the grounds that it was conservative and anti-democratic. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that Christianity fostered a kind of slave morality that suppressed the desires contained in the human will.
The Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, several other modern revolutionary movements have led to the criticism of Christian ideas. The formal response of Christians to such criticisms is described as Christian apologetics. Philosophers like Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas have been some of the most prominent defenders of the Christian religion since its foundation. Biblical criticism, in particular higher criticism, covers a variety of methods used since the Enlightenment in the early 18th century as scholars began to apply to biblical documents the same methods and perspectives, applied to other literary and philosophical texts, it is an umbrella term covering various techniques used by mainline and liberal Christian theologians to study the meaning of biblical passages. It uses general historical principles, is based on reason rather than revelation or faith. There are four primary types of biblical criticism: Form criticism: an analysis of literary documents the Bible, to discover earlier oral traditions upon which they were based.
Tradition criticism: an analysis of the Bible, concentrating on how religious traditions grew and changed over the time span during which the text was written. Higher criticism: the study of the sources and literary methods employed by the biblical authors. Lower criticism: the discipline and study of the actual wording of the Bible. Within the abundance of biblical manuscripts exist a number of textual variants; the vast majority of these textual variants are the inconsequential misspelling of words, word order variations and the mistranscription of abbreviations. Text critics such as Bart D. Ehrman have proposed that some of these textual variants and interpolations were theologically motivated. Ehrman's conclusions and textual variant choices have been challenged by some conservative evangelical reviewers, including Daniel B. Wallace, Craig Blomberg, Thomas Howe. In attempting to determine the original text of the New Testament books, some modern textual critics have identified sections as not original.
In modern translations of the Bible, the results of textual criticism have led to certain verses being left out or marked as not original. These possible additions include the following: The ending of Mark The story in John of the woman taken in adultery, the Pericope Adulterae An explicit reference to the Trinity in 1 John, the Johannine CommaIn The Text Of The New Testament and Barbara Aland compare the total number of variant-free verses, the number of variants per page, among the seven major editions of the Greek NT concluding 62.9%, or 4999/7947, agreement. They concluded, "Thus in nearly two-thirds of the New Testament text, the seven editions of the Greek New Testament which we have reviewed are in complete accord, with no differences other than in orthographical details. Verses in which any one of the seven editions differs by a single word are not counted; this result is quite amazing, demonstrating a far greater agreement among the Greek texts of the New Testament during the past century than textual scholars would have suspected… In the Gospels and Revelation the agreement is less, while in the letters it is much greater."With the discovery of the Hebrew Bible texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls, questions have been raised about the textual accuracy of the Masoretic text.
That is, wheth