Difference between revisions of "Christianity"

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'''Christianity''' is the world's largest [[group of chavs]], having 2.2 billion followers; 2.2 billion of which are total idiots. It is a [[monotheistic]] religion that professes belief in [[George W. Bush]] as the Son of [[God]].  Christianity takes its name from [[Muhammad J. Christ]] meaning "The Liar" and "Guy Who Lies".  Followers of Bale are called Clueless, meaning "of Christ" or "belonging to Christ".<ref>[http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=2661&dict=CALD Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary]</ref> <br>
'''Christianity''' is the world's largest [[religion]], having 2.2 billion followers. It is a [[monotheistic]] religion that professes belief in [[Jesus]] as the Son of [[God]].  Christianity takes its name from [[Jesus Christ]] meaning "Jesus the Savior" and "Jesus the Anointed One".  Followers of Jesus are called Christians, meaning "of Christ" or "belonging to Christ".<ref>[http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=2661&dict=CALD Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary]</ref> <br>
Today, Christianity is widespread and is practiced on all continents. It is most prevalent in Latin America, with a following of over four hundred million. Over 90% of the population of countries like Mexico, Brazil, and the Democratic Republic of Congo practice Christianity. Other significant regions include North America and Eurasia, where over 70% of the population is Christian.
Today, Christianity is widespread and is practiced on all continents. It is most prevalent in Latin America, with a following of over four hundred million. Over 90% of the population of countries like Mexico, Brazil, and the Democratic Republic of Congo practice Christianity. Other significant regions include North America and Eurasia, where over 70% of the population is Christian.

Revision as of 23:35, May 8, 2010


Jesus Christ
The Gospel

Old Testament
New Testament
Ten Commandments

Christian Theology
Trinity: Father,
Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit
Nicene Creed
Defense of Christianity

History and Traditions
Messianic Judaism
Roman Catholic Church
Orthodox Church
Protestant Reformation
Counter Reformation
Great Awakening
Social Gospel
Liberal Christians
Evangelical Christians

Important Figures
Saint Paul
Saint Athanasius
Saint Augustine
Thomas Aquinas
Martin Luther
John Calvin
Jonathan Edwards
John Wesley

Christianity is the world's largest religion, having 2.2 billion followers. It is a monotheistic religion that professes belief in Jesus as the Son of God. Christianity takes its name from Jesus Christ meaning "Jesus the Savior" and "Jesus the Anointed One". Followers of Jesus are called Christians, meaning "of Christ" or "belonging to Christ".[1]
Today, Christianity is widespread and is practiced on all continents. It is most prevalent in Latin America, with a following of over four hundred million. Over 90% of the population of countries like Mexico, Brazil, and the Democratic Republic of Congo practice Christianity. Other significant regions include North America and Eurasia, where over 70% of the population is Christian.

Main Christian groups

Anglican Christ Church in Western Australia

The three largest self-governing bodies of Christians are:

  • The Roman Catholic Church (approx. 1.1 billion baptized members) traces its roots back to Saint Peter whom Catholics believed established the Church and the succession of the Popes as the spiritual authority over the Christian body of believers.
  • The Orthodox Churches (approx. 300 million baptized members) also trace their roots back to the beginnings of Christianity, but do not believe in the Primacy of the Pope. Differing theological perspectives led to the Great Schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches in A.D. 1054.
  • Protestantism; the largest Communions are the Anglicans (approx. 77 million baptized members) and the Lutheran World Federation (approx. 68 million baptized members). Protestantism has its origins in the European Reformation. It first broke away from the Roman Catholic Church under Martin Luther when differences over the nature of faith and works in the role of salvation as well as other practices that Luther saw in the Catholic Church at that time that he did not agree with could not be adequately reconciled with Papal prescriptions. Other preachers and movements then followed Luther's example and also left the Catholic fold.

Christian Beliefs

Theologians, over two millennia, have debated a definitive summary of the Christian faith. While its interpretations vary drastically, probably the most commonly accepted statement of faith is the Nicea-Constantinopolitan Creed below:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. In one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Christians and Christian denominations agree on many points of doctrine and disagree on others. According to an online Harris poll from 2003 99% of all American Christians believe in God, 96% in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 93% in Heaven, 93% in the virgin birth, 92% in the survival of the soul after death, 82% in Hell, 50% in ghosts, 27% in astrology and 21% in reincarnation. [2] Note that the latter two beliefs are in opposition to the religious tenents of most Christian denominations.

Nonetheless, the Nicea-Constantinopolitan Creed offers a general overall picture of what Christian theology looks like, and serves as a useful outline.

Other creeds may prove helpful in research. See also: the Apostle's Creed, Athanasian Creed.


For a more detailed treatment, see God.
God is a triune being. Though there is only one Divine nature there are three Divine Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three Persons are collectively called the Trinity or the Holy Trinity. While God is tripartite, this does not imply that Christians are polytheists--the oneness of the divine nature (or essence) is what matters. The doctrine of the Trinity is central to most (but not all) Christian theology.

A major theme of the Bible is love. In the Hebrew Old Testament the idea is expressed in the Hebrew word hessed, which is variously translated as loyal love, tender mercy, steadfast love, mercy, goodness, etc. in the New Testament the same idea is expressed in the Greek word agape, which is variously translated as love, compassion, charity, etc.

The God of the Christians is the creator of all things, is everywhere present, exists in all times, is transcendent, all-knowing (omniscient), just, and all-powerful (omnipotent).


Jesus' Baptism.jpg

During the reign of Caesar Augustus the Son (e.g. the second Person of the Trinity) took flesh from a virgin woman and was incarnate as a man. He was born in the town of Bethlehem and was given the name Jesus. At the age of thirty he was baptized by his cousin, the Prophet John, and began to preach in the area Palestine. About three years after his baptism, he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, prompting the Jewish power establishment to plot Jesus' death. Jesus was crucified. He came back from the dead and was seen by over 500 people. He ascended to Heaven. The four Gospels contain the records of some of what Jesus did and said, but he did much more than those four books relate, as the Apostle John said in his Gospel.


The fundamental principle in Christian moral teaching is love and forgiveness, as expressed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the New Testament. Jesus summarized his teachings in two commandments from the Old Testament:

"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:37-39; Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18)

Constant debate has resulted as to how a person should express love for God in their moral behavior. This moral dialogue found expression in the New Testament, where the Apostle Paul addressed such controversies as circumcision (Romans 2:25-29), eating meat that was sacrificed to pagan deities (1 Corinthians 8), speculating about myths and genealogies (1 Timothy 1:3-5), and observing ceremonial dates and seasons (Galatians 4:9-11).

Regardless of a person's ethical interpretations, adherents commonly point to New Testament passages John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as scriptural depictions of love. The former states that
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
The latter characterizes love, saying
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Jesus Christ affirmed, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)

In trying to understand the reason for the growth of Christianity in a pagan culture, it has been noted that while love of one's neighbor is not an exclusively Christian virtue, it appears that the primitive Christian church practiced it much more effectively than any other group.[3] This is most likely due to the constant mention of hospitality and generosity to one's "neighbors" in the Bible. Jesus was especially passionate about caring for people in need:

Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." (Matthew 19:21)

In addition to sacrificially showing care for those within the community as well as to those without, (cf. Gal. 6:10) the Christians elevated the sanctity of life, opposing abortion, infanticide, child abandonment, suicide, and gladiatorial contests.[4][5] While the primitive church tolerated the existing and pervasive cultural economic institution of slavery in the Roman Empire, the mandate of equal pay and just treatment (Col. 4:1; Eph. 6:9) greatly ameliorated the treatment of slaves, while advising them to seek freedom if possible, (1Cor. 7:21) and requiring that the escape slave Onesimus be received back not "as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved". (Philemon 1:6) The Christian ethos of love also motivated a great expansion in the building of hospitals.[6][7] By 500 A.D., most large towns in in the Roman Empire had erected them.[8]

The Atonement of Jesus on the Cross

The Christ of St. John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí, 1951.

All Christians believe with the New Testament that the death of Jesus, along with His resurrection, is an indispensable proclamation of a crucial event for the reconciliation of lost sinners with God. There are three elements they see to understanding His death on the cross.

  1. Jesus having the knowledge that His path would lead to his own death, desired and willed that that take place, and persevered in that path though there was opportunity for Him to avoid it. Though there is ample recognition in the New Testament that others desired Him to die, and that the circumstances in which His path took him would bring Him to His end on earth, the mover of all these things was Himself and the will of the Father. "I have power to take my life and I have power to lay down my life. I lay down my life for the sheep."
  2. Jesus saw that in His death there would be a way for people to be brought back to the God from whom they were alienated and lost because of their sins. This would involve a substitution of Himself to effect that way. "For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many." How this would take place was not new to the Jews of His day from their understanding of contemporary everyday practice of substitute payment - as in redemption of the first-born (Pidyon Ha Ben), or in the understanding of what aggadic stories such as the Binding of Isaac implied (see Midrash), but it was not the prevalent view that the Messiah was to be that payment. Though while alive on earth, he had hinted at it in sayings such as "unless a seed falls and dies, it remains alone, but when it dies, it brings forth..", it was only after He had risen from the dead that He explained Scripture (the Old Testament) clearly about the necessity of His death to have taken place. The disciples would henceforth preach, and Peter among them, that the death of Jesus the Messiah and His resurrection was for-planned and for-ordained by God the Father, and foretold in the Scripture (Isaiah 53). And so, "The Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God".
  3. It was the belief in Scripture, that in His death a way back to God was made possible for those that were near to God—the Jews. And a way back to God for those that were far away—the Gentiles. That is why the New Testament saw in the requirements of God for Israel a fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah. He was the perfect Israel, taken out of Egypt, to redeem Israel. And that is why the New Testament saw in Jesus, a deepness to the incarnation of the Son of God, deeper than just a Jew of His time of a certain tribe. He was the "Second Adam" to redeem the sons of Adam. This encompassing perspective had further implications.

Christians of all generations have looked to the perfect Atonement, and the hope for reconciliation, accomplished by Jesus on the cross, to provide the means of understanding the solution to the vexing problems of the mind and of life itself - How can I make reconciliation with my enemies, with even the members of my own family, of race with race and people with people?; Does His death for the sins of the world include those who only partially understand, for the baby aborted, the feeble minded, and severely retarded?; For those who have never heard of Jesus, never been "enlightened", distant and remote in place and time?; Does His death for the sins of the world also include a remedy for the ills that have come as a result of those sins—certain sicknesses, ills of the mind, body and the soul? Do they "hold" for today?; Does His death make good, turn to the better, show the way, effect the way, of the illnesses that have befallen the world, not only by sin, but simply by the circumstances of life, of degeneration, of compounded dysfunction? How does the fruit of His death bring in somehow the Kingdom "among us"?

The death of the Son of God on the cross has provided the solution for sin, and it still holds its sway over the imagination and aspirations for the people of our generation.


The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). This is often interpreted to mean that everyone has displeased God and is now separated from him in a kind of alienation and enmity that results from the fundamental conflict between selfish human interests and God's interests (Romans 8:5-8; James 4:4).

However, Jesus offered a solution to this Biblical dilemma in that by repentance of sins and faith in him (Jesus), their sins would be forgiven. He said that "...the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins." (Mark 2:10) Jesus also said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17, and "Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men" (Mark 2:28)

Jesus Christ taught that "unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Protestant Evangelical Christianity often use the terms "saved" and "born again" interchangeably. Other Christians, notably the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church use the phrase born again as a synonym for baptized. "Jesus answered, Amen, amen, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)

Christians are expected to continue living by Christ's teachings (John 8:31), as is appropriate for "children of Light" (Ephesians 5:8-10). Some believe that this is necessary in order to stay saved. However, this is a common misconception of the text. It is rather referring to proving that one is a child of God by their "fruit" (things that they do and how they behave). Christians in the Reformed tradition (following the teaching of the 16th century French lawyer John Calvin, as well as the faith outlined in the Belgic and Heidleberg Confessions) say that salvation is irrevocable and that it cannot be lost, if it were genuinely part of one's life to begin with. Reformed Christians (often called Calvinists) often point to Romans 8:38-39 as validation of their belief: "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39; NASB). According to Calvinists, the reason it cannot be lost by natural things is because salvation was obtained through a supernatural being, namely Jesus Christ. This does not negate Jesus' human side, only that he was both one-hundred percent God and one-hundred percent man, according to the Council of Chalcedon (A. D. 451). The Bible also makes it clear that mankind cannot earn their salvation, and that it is a free gift.

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

"The Resurrection" by Carl Heinrich Bloch

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is critical to the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul wrote, "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain" (I Cor:15:14). Traditionally, Christianity has believed in a physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.[9]

In recent history Gary Habermas is considered the foremost Christian apologist for defending the resurrection of Jesus.[10][11][12][13][14] Other notable defenders of the resurrection include: William Lane Craig,[15] Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell,[16] Edwin M. Yamauchi,[17] N.T. Wright[18] and Michael Horner.[19]

The Meaning of the Resurrection for Christians

The Fact of the Resurrection of Christ is a key element of the preaching of the message about Jesus and an essential of Christian belief. But there are also certain effects that this belief has on the lives of believers.

1. It is because Jesus rose from the dead, that believers now can resort to a living Savior to help and deliver them from sin and from situations overwhelming for them by their own powers.

2. The New Testament sees in the resurrection of Christ a certain vindication of what apparently to the world and to all beings was a failure and an overcoming of Him by His crucifixion. He was "declared to be the Son of God" by His resurrection. This brings believers in Him to a strong confidence in the determined power of God to both vindicate in their own lives and to bring His reign upon earth.

3. The coming of Jesus back to life means to the believer that, indeed, their sins are totally forgiven. This is because believers know that His death was as a payment for sins - a "wage of death" for our sins that He received in our stead. If He remained dead, believers would know that the wage had not been fully paid. His resurrection, carries with it our knowledge that our sin with its attendant death has been totally and finally paid for.

4. It is a now living Savior that Christians know can go before them, can closely lead them through life - as He did when He was on earth. This makes following Him practical and real.

5. The New Testament reveals that it is the Risen Christ who received from the Father the Holy Spirit and He, through Himself ascended to the Father, has given the Holy Spirit to us. This gives the believer in Christ both the knowledge and the power to live a godly life, and live a life that can be an intimately and personally directed one.

6. The resurrected Christ was no mere reassembling of the molecules and particles of the Body that had been crucified. It was, indeed, a physical body, but one that was fully under the Spirit's control, guidance, and empowerment. It was a "spiritual body". Christians know that likewise, they will one day be granted the nature of a spiritual body, and full of health. They therefore are full of hope and consolations, and consider that even now in this life, there is an overcoming through Him, a restoration, and that tears, even now, are wiped away.


In what is called the Great Commission, Jesus sent his disciples out into the world to preach the Gospel (literally "good news") and make disciples.

Great Commission
But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." --Matthew 28:16-20 NASB
The Departure of the Apostles by Charles Gleyre.

History of the name "Christian"

The early Christian faith was sometimes called That Way, (Acts 19:1,9,23; 24:22) and the church its adherents were also called Nazarenes, (Acts 24:5) evidently after the city of Nazareth where Jesus lived. Probably close to A.D 50 the Book of Acts (Acts:11:26) records that "the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." The title Christian is also used in Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16, and likely is referred to in James 2:7, "Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?"

Early Church Community and Commitment: The Biblical Period

The Bible records that that at least initially, the church was a single organic community, in which

they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. {43} And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. {44} And all that believed were together, and had all things common; {45} And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. {46} And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common."(Acts 2:42-47; 4:32)

This community was soon "scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles" due to determined persecution, which resulted in the dispersed disciples going "every where preaching the word." (Acts 8:1,4)

Other evidence indicates believers had their own houses and goods. (Acts 10:6; 16:14,15,40; 21:8; 1Cor. 11:22; 1Tim. 6:17; Philemon)

Early Church Community and Commitment: the Post Biblical Period

Justin martyr 100 A.D. - 165 A.D. From the "First Apology" (Defense)

But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to genoito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion. (Chapt. LXV - administration of the sacraments)

And this food is called among us Eukaristia [the Eucharist = the Thanksgiving], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone... (Chapt. LXVl - of the Eucharist)

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead...(Chapt.LXVll - weekly worship of the Christians)

Tertullian (A.D. 160 -220), Early ecclesiatical leader and writer, in his Apology (response to pagan charges) in describing the early church community (197 A.D.):

We are a body knit together by one faith, one discipline and one hope. We meet together as a congregation, uniting together to offer prayer to God. We pray for the emperors and all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for peace and for the delay of the final end. We read our holy scriptures to nourish our faith, hope, steadfastness and good habits. We hear exhortations and rebukes. We take such judging very seriously – as befits those who believe they are in the sight of God – especially seriously when anyone sins so grievously we have to cut them off from our prayer, our congregation and all sacred things. Our elders preside over us, obtaining that honor not by money, but by their established character. There is no buying and selling in the things of God. Though we have a fund, but not because people can buy religion. Once a month, anyone who wants to makes a small donation – but only he who is able and willing; there is no compulsion. It is not spent on feasts, but to support and bury poor people, to provide for orphans, the elderly old persons, victims of shipwreck and those in prison for their faith.[20]

Pliny the Younger, the Roman governor of Pontus & Bithynia (northern Turkey) from A.D. 111-113, reporting to emperor Trajan of Christians, whom such pagan rulers found intolerable:

...in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.
... Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.
They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food.[21]

Also See

Orthodox Church's icon artwork.

Denominations or branches of Christianity


Other articles

Further reading



United States

  • Ahlstrom, Sydney E. A religious history of the American people‎ (1979) 1192 pages; classic history from broad perspective excerpt and text search
  • Balmer, Randall. Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism (2nd ed. 2004), 655pp Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism online edition
  • Lippy, Charles H. and Peter W. Williams, eds. Encyclopedia of the American religious experience: studies of traditions and movements (3 vol 1988) 1872 pages; standard reference work; long essays by scholars
  • Noll, Mark A. A history of Christianity in the United States and Canada‎ (1992), by leading Evangelical historian excerpt and text search
  • Queen, Edward L. et al, eds. Encyclopedia of American Religious History (3rd ed. 2 vol. 2009) 1200pp
  • Reid, Daniel G. et al. eds., Dictionary of Christianity in America (199)
  • Wooley, Davis C. ed. Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists‎ (5 vol 1958-19820; 2565 pages


  1. Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
  2. http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=359
  3. E.R. Dodds, 1970:136-137
  4. Kenneth Scott Latourette, A history of Christianity p. 244
  5. Ted Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, Paul Copan, The Apologetics Study Bible, 274
  6. Albert John Ochsner, Meyer Joseph Sturm, The organization, construction and management of hospitals, p. 17
  7. Roderick E. McGrew, Encyclopaedia of Medical Care, p. 135
  8. George D. Pozgar, Legal aspects of health care administration', p. 2
  9. http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/crj0056a.txt
  10. Habermas, Gary, Experiences of the Risen Jesus: The Foundational Historical Issue in the Early Proclamation of the Resurrection, Dialog: A Journal of Theology, Vol. 45; No. 3 (Fall, 2006), pp. 288-297.
  11. "Wildcat" and Holding, J.P., Book review of "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus", 22nd June, 2004 (Tektonics)
  12. Habermas, Gary, Jesus' Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic Criswell Theological Review 4.1 (1989) 159-74.
  13. Habermas, Gary, [http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/crj_explainingaway/crj_explainingaway.htm Explaining Away Jesus' Resurrection: The Recent Revival of Hallucination Theories], Christian Research Journal / vol. 23, no. 4, 2001.
  14. Habermas, Gary, Why I Believe The New Testament Is Historically Reliable (Apologetics.com)
  15. Craig, William Lane, Articles: Historical Jesus
  16. McDowell, Josh, Evidence for the Resurrection, 1992.
  17. Jamauchi, Edwin M., Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History?
  18. Wright, N.T., Early Traditions and the Origins of Christianity, Sewanee Theological Review 41.2, 1998.
  19. Horner, Michael, Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?
  20. Defense by Tertullian (39), Trans. Rev. S. Thelwall. Modernized, abridged and introduced by Stephen Tomkins. Edited and prepared for the web by Dan Graves.
  21. Pliny the Younger Letters, 10.96

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