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Early Christianity is related to Judaism in many of its practices, traditions, rituals, and certain aspects of its theology.

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Introduction

Early Christianity is related to Judaism in many of its practices, traditions, rituals, and certain aspects of its theology. As Lewis M. Hopfe writes, the "original group of Christians in Jerusalem and those groups that later sprang up throughout the world were considered by themselves and others to be another sect of Judaism" (311). In other words, the earliest Christians probably did not distinguish themselves from other Jews, except in their belief that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah (Hopfe 311). These early Christians worshipped at the temple of Jerusalem with other Jews, studied the Hebrew Bible and used in worship, and followed Jewish cultural practices, such as following many laws related to food, dress, and behavior. Two of the most common practices in the early Christian church have their roots in traditional Jewish religious practices. Baptism and communion (Hopfe 314-315). According to The Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, baptism is "the practice of sprinkling with pouring on or immersing in water as an act of Christian initiation and obedience to Christ's own command" (Grenz 18). ...read more.

Middle

According to the book of Acts this act of persecution stimulated the spread of Christianity by propelling the persecution-fearing Christians out into the world and away from what would be later known as Palestine. From the outside looking in, this Jewish area of the world slowly began to become known as Palestine because of its earlier associations with the Philistines (White 199). This name brought with it the baggage of continuous conflict held between the Philistine and Israel (White 17). While traveling to Damascus to persecute the Christians there, Paul had a vision in which Jesus appeared to him and said, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? ...I am Jesus whom you persecute...but get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do" (Acts 9:3-6). From that point on, Paul became one of the main supporters of the Christians. While he became a major voice in the Christian movement, he continued to participate in and follow his Jewish heritage much like many converted Christians. ...read more.

Conclusion

and that functions as the rule or standard of faith and practice in the church" (Grenz 23). The canon and the creeds are similar in that they both discuss the ideas of who or what exactly Jesus was, and his purpose for being here. While the canons are an extensive collection of writings that are considered to be the most reliable source of faith, the creeds attempt to condense and interpret their message. The Nicene Creed was a result of the Council of Nicea in the year 325 C.E., and confirms the divinity of Jesus (Ehrman, 390). After this event, Christianity became extremely popular and continued its spread throughout the known world. Over the course of the first two centuries of its existence, Christianity has undergone radical changes since its humble beginnings as a faction of Judaism. It has become even far more universal since then since it is targeted at all races and classes. Despite countless relentless differences with both the Christian and Jewish churches, the similarities that they held with one another are still prevalent to this day. ...read more.

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