Christianity, term for the entirety of the followers of the “Christian” faith going back to Jesus Christ as well as for this faith itself. The term “Christianity” (Greek: christianismós) appears for the first time in a letter from the Syrian bishop Ignatius of Antioch .
According to transporthint, the Christianity is one of the World religions. The term Christianity denotes, on the one hand, the totality of adherents of the Christian faith and, on the other hand, this faith itself.
The founder of this religion of revelation and redemption was the Jew Jesus of Nazareth († around 30 AD), called Christ (= the anointed), who for Christians is the Son of God who came into the world to redeem humanity. Holy Scripture is the Bible with the Old and New Testament. The New Testament describes Jesus as an itinerant preacher and miracle worker who was handed over to the Roman authorities in Jerusalem. The governor of Palestine, Pontius Pilate, had him crucified. His disciples, especially the inner circle of the twelve apostles, testified to his resurrection and later to his ascension to heaven.
Characteristic of Christianity is the belief in the “Trinity”, the one God in three manifestations as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. According to the Bible, the father is the God of Israel, the creator of the world, who takes part in human life and comes to the aid of his creatures, who are entangled in guilt and sin. The Son of God is like the Father. By coming into the world and facing death, he opened the way to salvation for people. According to Christian belief, Jesus has overcame death through his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. The Holy Spirit is the love of God, the Spirit of God, in which the Church (as the “body of Christ”) participates and which enables Christians to live in faith. The teaching of Christ as testified in the New Testament, especially the commandment to love one’s neighbor, is binding for all Christians.
After Jesus died, his followers (e.g. Peter and Paul ) began active missionary work. Although the Christians were initially considered followers of Jewish sects and were persecuted by the Roman rulers, Christianity soon spread throughout the Roman Empire. Under Emperor Theodosius I, it was elevated to state religion in 380/381. Between the 4th and 13th centuries the Germanic, Celtic and Slavic peoples were also converted to Christianity. Rome, the former capital of the Roman Empire, was the center of Christianity and is still the seat of the Pope today.
Essence of Christianity
The question of the “essence” of Christianity has only been asked explicitly since the Reformation (M. Bucer), but has always preoccupied Christian theologians when they deal with other religions (e.g. Judaism, Islam), spiritual currents (e.g. Hellenism, Marxism) or political powers (e.g. Roman Empire). The definition of Christianity turned out differently depending on the question. From the beginning, however, there are constants: monotheism, the confession of Jesus Christ, the following of Jesus and a community resulting from it (community / church), some symbolic performances (sacraments; v. a. Baptism, Lord’s Supper / Eucharist, penance), specific ethical norms (e.g. charity), the hope of a salvation given without preconditions.
Since its inception, Christianity has understood Jesus as sent by God, already in pre-Pauline times as God who appeared on earth (Philippians 2, 6-11) or as the “Word” of God made flesh (John 1, 1 ff.) And thus himself as based on divine revelation and God’s positive will to salvation (religion of revelation, “absolute religion”). In dialectical theology In the 20th century, this thesis is continued by denying the validity of the term “religion” for Christianity: Christianity should not be a religion (understood as the “product” of human endeavor), but only divine revelation. However, since every religion is an “absolute religion” for its members, the “essence” of Christianity must be determined by its religious-historical peculiarities.
Christianity, which emerged from early Judaism, sees the question of the meaning of life – which is always encountered in religious history – posed in a radical form and answered in hope in the life, teaching and figure of the Jewish traveling preacher Jesus from Nazareth. What is specific about Christianity is therefore its strict orientation towards Jesus as a “mediator of salvation”; In other words, it is known as the solution to human problems, as the “Word of God” in this world, and is accepted in the followers.