(from the Greek Christos, literally – the anointed one), is one of the three world religions that arose in the 1st century AD. in Palestine, in the center of which stands the image of the God-man – Jesus Christ, who atoned for his martyrdom on the cross the sins of mankind and opened the path to reunification with God. In modern times, this term is used to characterize the three main areas of Christianity: Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Protestantism. Now, according to the UN, there are 1.5 billion Christians in the world, according to UNESCO 1, 3 billion.
Unlike other religions, Christianity was given to man by God.
Any Christian will say this to you, because this position is a part of his faith, but people somewhat distant from Christianity (well, or just curious scientists), having conducted a comparative analysis of the history of religious teachings, came to the conclusion that Christianity absorbed various ethical and philosophical ideas of other religions, for example, such as Judaism, Mithraism and the views of ancient Eastern religions.
Christianity came out of the Jewish environment.
One of the confirmations may be the following words of Christ: “Do not think that I came to violate the law or the prophets, I did not break, but fulfilled” (Matthew 5:27) and the very fact that Jesus was born in the Jewish people who within the framework of Judaism and was waiting for his Messiah. Subsequently, Judaism was rethought by Christianity in the direction of deepening the moral religious aspect, which affirmed the main principle of love for all things.
Jesus Christ is a historical person.
This is the opinion of representatives of one of the main schools studying this issue. Representatives of the other stand on the version that Jesus is a person rather mythological. According to the latter, modern science is deprived of specific historical data about this man. The gospels in their eyes are devoid of historical accuracy, since they were written many years after the events that happened, they repeat other Eastern religions and sin a large number of contradictions. Actually the historical sources of the first century and do not reflect in themselves either the preaching work of Christ, nor information about the miracles that he performs.
The historical school as evidence of the real existence of Jesus Christ gives the following facts: the reality of the characters mentioned in the New Testament, a number of historical sources containing information about Christ, the most famous of which is considered to be the “Antiquities” of Josephus.
It should be noted that in recent years, most religious scholars, as well as Christians themselves, stand on the position that Jesus Christ really existed.
In Christianity, there are 10 basic commandments, according to which a person must live.
Recorded on stone tablets, they were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.
1. I am the Lord your God … You will have no other gods in front of Me. 2. Do not make yourself an idol.
3. Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4. Commit the seventh day to the Lord your God.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Do not kill. 7. Do not commit adultery. 8. Do not steal.
9. Do not bear false witness against your neighbor. 10. Do not desire anything that your neighbor has.
Of great importance for Christian understanding and leadership in life is the Sermon on the Mount.
The Sermon on the Mount is considered to be the core of the teachings of Jesus Christ. In it, God the Son gave the people the so-called commandments of bliss (“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (“Matthew 5: 3 -16) and uncovered the understanding of the Ten Commandments.Thus the commandment “Thou shalt not kill, who will kill, is subject to judgment” turns into “everyone angry with his brother in vain, is subject to judgment” (Matthew 5: 17-37), “Do not commit adultery” in “… anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart …” (Matthew 5: 17-37).It was in the Sermon on the Mount that the following thoughts were heard: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, bless those who hate you, and pray for those who curse you” (Matthew 5: 38-48, 6: 1-8), “Judge not, … “(Matthew 7: 1-14),” Ask, and it will be given you, seek, and find: knock, and it will be opened to you: for everyone who asks receives “(Matthew 7: 1-14). “Therefore in everything you want people to do to you, do so to them, for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7: 1-14).
The Bible is a sacred book of Christians.
It consists of two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The latter, in turn, consists of the four Gospels: Matthew, John, Mark and Luke, the “Acts of the Apostles” and the “Revelation of St. John the Divine” (known as the Apocalypse).
The basic tenets of the Christian dogma are 12 dogmas and 7 sacraments.
They were adopted at the first and second ecumenical councils in 325 and 381 years. 12 dogmas of Christianity is usually called the Symbol of Faith. It reflects what the Christian believes: in one God-the-Father, in one God-Son, that God the Son came down from heaven for our salvation, that God the Son incarnated on earth from the Holy Spirit and Mary of the Virgin, in the fact that God the Son was crucified for us, rose on the third day and ascended to heaven to God the Father, at the second coming of God the Son for the judgment of the living and the dead, the Holy Spirit, the one Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, into baptism and, finally, in resurrection and the future eternal life.
Seven Christian sacraments now recognize both the Orthodox and the Catholic Church. These ordinances include baptism (acceptance of a person into the bosom of the church), chrismation, communion (approaching God), repentance (or confession), marriage, priesthood and anointing (for getting rid of the disease).
The symbol of the Christian faith is the cross.
The Cross in Christianity is adopted in memory of the martyrdom of Jesus Christ. The cross decorates Christian churches, clothes of clergy, church literature and is used in the performance of Christian rites. In addition, the cross (mostly consecrated) is worn on the body by believers.
An important place in Christianity is given to the veneration of the Virgin.
She is dedicated to four of the main Christian holidays: Nativity of the Virgin, Introduction to the Virgin Mary, Annunciation of the Virgin and Assumption of the Virgin, in her honor many churches were erected and icons written.
Priests in Christianity did not appear immediately.
Only after the final break with Judaism and the gradual change in the social stratum of the early Christian society, a Christian appears in the Christian milieu, who took full control of his power.
Christian ordinances and rituals were not formed immediately.
The sacrament of baptism was determined only at the end of the fifth century, and after it the sacrament of communion (the Eucharist) was formed. Further, for several centuries in the Christian ritual, the chrismation, deification, marriage, repentance, confession and priesthood gradually began to appear.
For a long time, images of saints in Christianity were forbidden.
As any objects of worship were forbidden, in worship which a number of Christians saw idolatry. The dispute about the icons came to a logical conclusion only in 787 on the seventh (Nicene) ecumenical council, which allowed to depict the sacred persons and the events connected with them, as well as the worship of them.
The Christian church is a special divinely-human organization.
But in no way is it historical. The Christian church is a mystical formation, in which, along with God, there are both living and already dead people, and, more simply, souls that, according to Christianity, are immortal. However, modern theologians, of course, do not deny the social component of the Christian church, however, for them it is not the main point for determining its essence.
The spread of Christianity in Rome was associated with the crisis of ancient society.
This social and historical factor, which became the reason for the appearance in society of a feeling of uncertainty in the ancient system of world order and, as a consequence, criticism of the ancient order, had a direct impact on the spread of Christianity within the Roman Empire. The dissociation between the various strata of Roman society, which is an antagonistic couple, for example, such as free people and slaves, Roman citizens and provincial subjects, also increased general instability in society and helped promote Christianity, which affirmed among people in need the idea of universal equality and salvation in another world .
In the Roman Empire, Christians have always been persecuted.
From the very beginning of the emergence of Christianity and until the IV century it was, then the imperial power, feeling the weakening of control over the country, began to seek a religion that would unite all the peoples of the empire, and eventually settled on Christianity. In 324, the Roman Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire.
Inside Christianity there has never been unity.
Representatives of the Christian dogma constantly held discussions on the Christological themes that affected the three main dogmas: the triune unity of God, incarnation and redemption. So the first Council of Nicaea, condemning the Arian doctrine, believing that God the Son was not consubstantial with God the Father, established a unified Christian understanding of this dogma, according to which God was defined as the unity of the three hypostases, each of which is an independent personality. The third ecumenical council, called the Ephesian, in 431 condemned the non-Heresy heresy, which rejected the idea of the birth of Jesus Christ from the Mother of God (the Nestorians believed that a man was born from the Virgin Mary, and then the deity moved into him). The fourth (Chalcedonian) Ecumenical Council (451) was established to justify the dogma of redemption and incarnation, affirming an equal presence in the person of Christ, both human and divine, united indissolubly and inseparably. The question of the depiction of Jesus Christ was decided even later in the 6th century on the fifth (Constantinople) ecumenical council (553), where the rule was to depict the Son of God in the form of a man, not a lamb.
Inside Christianity there were several major schisms.
As a rule, differences in the social and religious life of different Christian communities led to a divergence in religious views. Thus, in the fifth century, the teachings of monophysites arose in Byzantium, which did not want to recognize Christ as both a human being and God. Despite the condemnation of this doctrine by one of the ecumenical councils (415), it spread in some Byzantine provinces, such as Egypt, Syria and Armenia.
One of the largest is the split of the XI century, which occurred when the Roman Empire was divided into the Western and Eastern. In the first, in connection with the fall of the authority of the emperor, the authority of the Roman bishop (pope) grew strongly, in the second – where the imperial power was preserved, the patriarchs of the churches were deprived of an approach to power. Thus, historical conditions formed the basis for the separation of the once united Christian church. In addition, between the two churches, certain dogmatic and even organizational disagreements began, which led to the final break in 1054. Christianity was divided into two branches: Catholicism (Western Church) and Orthodoxy (Eastern Church).
The last split of Christianity occurred within the Catholic Church during the Reformation. Formed in the 16th century in Europe, the anti-Catholic movement led to the separation of several European churches from Catholicism and the creation of a new direction in Christianity – Protestantism.