Early Christianity Lecture Notes
Early Christianity Lecture Notes HUM1B
Popular in Humanities Honors 1B
Popular in Arts and Humanities
This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Wendell Rodrigues on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HUM1B at San Jose State University taught by Dr. Cooper in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 90 views. For similar materials see Humanities Honors 1B in Arts and Humanities at San Jose State University.
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Date Created: 01/28/16
• In search of the Historical Jesus • In Humanities Honors, we will be studying Christianity subjectively • The earliest few hundred years were incredibly messy • We have accounts from the bible through writers • Jesus did not write any of the Bible • He did not direct any of his followers to write anything • The earliest account of Christianity comes from a man named Pliney • He describes a mass from the early 2nd century • All we know about Jesus was written by religious zealots 40-60 years from his death • No original manuscripts have survived • The names of the Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) were not the actual names of the authors. They are just guesses, and replaced with traditional names • There were few texts in circulation due to threat of persecution. Different congregations preferred different Gospels. • There were 50 different Gospels in this time. 4 of these made it to the New Testament • 4 ofﬁcial accounts of the New Testament • Since Jesus was a Jew, his new teachings were called the New Testament, while the old Jewish Law was the Old Testament • The Gospel means Good News • The Synoptic Gospels (borrowed from Mark) • Mark • The ﬁrst gospel written around AD 79 • The writer was possibly a literate secretary to Saint Peter • Wrote a decade after Peter’s death • Luke • Probably written around AD 80 • Writer was possible a follow of the Apostle Paul • Paul never met Jesus but was an early convert • The text borrowed heavily from that of Mark • Matthew • Could either be second or third Gospel around AD 80 • The authors had access to a book of Jesus’ saying and quoted from it • Borrowed from Mark (possibly to ﬁll in the gaps) • John • The last of the four, around AD 95 • Not written by the disciple John, possibly a follower • The most different of the gospels • Poetic, did not borrow from Mark • Origins of the New Testament • Paul - Wrote letters that predated the gospels • Oldest Christian writings • Q- a hypothetical book with quotations directly from Jesus • Apocryphal Gospels - The Gospel stories that didn't make canon (accepted religious text) • The Gospel of Thomas • Jesus is the light of the world • Jesus is alone the divine energy of the world • suggests that Jesus taught something different, which is that everyone, in fact, all being, came from the divine source, and we can accept that divinity on our own. • Apocalyptic Thinking (eschatology) • Dualistic force (Satan was punishing humans for getting closer to God) • Most Jews rejected this because it deﬁed monotheistic beliefs • The ones that believed it were called Apocalyptic thinkers • God would visit the earth and straighten everything out • God would send “the son of man” to ﬁx all problems • Jesus would call himself the Son of Man • Jesus was a follower of John the Baptist, an apocalyptic thinker • The writers of the Gospel, noticing the apocalypse was not immediately upon them, rushed to write Jesus’ teachings of the apocalypse for future generations • The New Testament was written in Greek • Jesus • Was born of humble origins • from Nazareth in Galilee, a remote agricultural and ﬁshing village • Never visited Jerusalem until the last week of his life • Worked with his hands • Was illiterate • Almost nothing is known of his ﬁrst 25 years of his life • Was a regular kid • Jewish Historian Josephus gives us much insight into the social and political environment in which Jesus lived. Wrote about: • Sadducees - Jewish Aristocracy. Ran the temple complex • Ran tourism in Jerusalem • Ran schools • Cooperated with the Romans, so as to not be shut down • Also tried to maintain a relationship with the Jewish population • Pharisees - Believed in meticulous adherence to the ancient Laws (fundamentalist) • Essenes - Monastic Jews who believe the other sects were corrupt. • Lived separately in their own communities • The fourth philosophy - Jewish Nationalists who resisted Roman occupation • Led an uprising against the Romans, and failed • Jesus’ Public Ministry • Initiated by his baptism under John the Baptist • Was known as Rabbi (informal title of teacher) • Offered a unique interpretation of Judaism, but no hint of a new religion • Reinterprets the text, but does not reject fundamental parts of the text • Do not lose sight of the true meaning of the religious text • Used parables (stories) to explain the meaning behind his teachings • They were lessons in critical thinking • Used symbols and expected readers to interpret them • The Death of Jesus • Half of the Gospel chapters are devoted to the last week of Jesus’ life. • Jesus’ radical teaching was tolerated prior to his entrance into Jerusalem • The environment of Jerusalem made Jesus into a troublemaker • He ﬂips the tables in the temple, angry about all the monetary transactions taking place in a sacred building • Hosted a Passover feast (the last supper) • Was betrayed by Judas • The Romans then prosecuted Jesus for Treason • Jesus said that he was the king of the Jews • Caesar was the only king • Jesus as a Political/Social thinker • Believed in Justice • Jesus was a communist • Anti-individualism • Forming a universal community
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