Christianity part 1. You might remember the articles I wrote about our Universal Human Rights, which I wrote mainly for this reason: These days violence, intolerance, racism, discrimination seems to increase again. More and more people need to flee their homes and/or their countries, in the hope to find safety and peace elsewhere on our big world. When even leaders have forgotten our Universal Human Rights, I feel it’s time and very important to remind us all again of our Universal Human Rights.
In my opinion, it is not only the responsibility of leaders (political, financial, corporate, etc.) to educate themselves, but also our responsibility too…you and me, as neighbors living on our globe together. The saying “knowledge is power” can be used in a good way. Educating yourself about the views of your neighbor, will lead to more understanding, tolerance and even though you might not agree with other views, I strongly believe this will increase compassion and kindness towards each other.
John Astria of Mensensamenleving.me writes/creates highly educational articles and he gave me permission to translate a couple of them. Thank you again, dear John! Find out HERE (click), why I think you should visit this Beautiful Soul.
The original article in Dutch “Het Christendom” you can find HERE (click).
I decided to divide the article in two different posts.
Christianity originated within the Jewish faith community as an arousing movement that opposed to the all too legalistic nature of what was then Judaism. The Essenes however, sought it in seclusion, just as John the Baptist did.
It is plausible certain lines ran from the Essenes via John the Baptist to the first Christian community. The occupation by the Romans was another reason the urge to oppose did increase in the then Jewish community and the call for the coming of the Messiah was strongly felt.
Jesus was born of relatively poor parents, remained unmarried, and at the age of thirty he sought publicity to make his views on Jewish teachings clear. Already after three years, his active life came to an end and he was consciously brought to death in a humiliating way. With Jesus of Nazareth, a man emerged who on the one hand wanted to keep to the Jewish customs, but on the other hand, emphatically and sometimes even provocatively took the liberty to deviate from it for the sake of the neighbor.
His followers (of whom he had appointed a dozen as apostles) reported after his death the appearance of their Lord and came to the realization that He lived ‘with’ them. After an exciting meeting (Pentecost) where his mother Maria was present, the group came out for the first time self-consciously. From that moment there is talk of Jesus as the Christ (= the Messiah in Hebrew).
God and gods
There is one God who, since the model-prayer of Jesus (the ‘Our Father’) is also called ‘the Father’. God the Father, God’s Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit form theologically speaking a Trinity. The Son is also addressed as ‘the Messiah’ and ‘the Lord’. Jesus can be understood as the incarnation of God (the Father), hence the ‘incarnate Son’.
Christianity recognizes the same books as Judaism as apocalypse/revelation (the Old Testament), but also has its own part (the New Testament), consisting of the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters and the Apocalypse (or the Book of Revelation)
The Acts and the letters are the oldest parts of the New Testament and were written about 60 years after the death of Jesus. Three of the four Gospels (Mark, Matheus and Luke) go back to one and the same source, the Gospel of Johannus originated a little later and stands somewhat apart.
The books recognized by the church are known as the ‘Canon’. Especially in the early days there has been a lot of discussion about which books do and do not belong: large church meetings (councils) had to be used to reach some consensus. Partly as a result of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, a recent interest developed in the non-canonical books (as the Thomas Gospel).
Sharing is allowed, if referenced to John and his website: mensenensamenleving.me
The other articles I translated in this series “Knowledge can increase compassion and kindness” you can find HERE , HERE and HERE (click).