CHRISTIANITY

Daughters of Abraham includes participants of the three major religions that have their roots in Abraham.  All three of the faiths began in the Middle-East.  All were founded by a particular person whose life was committed to one God.  All are ethical monotheisms. All have a sacred book; thus all three are often called “People of the Book.”

Christianity developed after Judaism in response to the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who lived about 1200 years after Moses and about 600 years before Muhammad.  Jesus accepted the social order of the Roman Empire and so had few concerns about national or political issues.  Wars and battles are not addressed by Jesus.  His teachings focused on person to person relationships more than nation to nation.

Jesus was a Palestinian Jew who proclaimed that the time of the great expectations of the Hebrew scriptures were now at hand and invited followers to live in a new time. This time, which Jesus referred to as the Kingdom of God, was characterized as unbounded love.  He announced God’s unbounded love for all of God’s creation and invited persons to live their lives based on unbounded love.

This obliterating of social distinctions caused the political and religious authorities of the day to have Jesus crucified.  After the crucifixion, Jesus’ followers experienced him alive and present with them, and experienced Jesus sending them throughout the world with this gospel (good news) of God’s unbounded love from which not even death could separate them.

As persons came to believe this good news, they formed communities which were called churches.  Some of the initial believers wrote down their experiences with Jesus to pass to future generations.  Others wrote letters about the first churches.  These writings were collected and later determined to be Holy Scripture, along with the canonical scriptures of Judaism.

Differences eventually arose about how to understand Jesus.  Jesus was human, and yet in Him God was met.  Different ways were formulated to speak of this coming together of human and divine.  While sub-groups of Christians differ in terms of church structure and doctrine, they all have a common understanding that in the life of Jesus, God has come to us with unbounded love and invites us to respond with unbounded love.

Supplemental Resources

www.christianity.com

www.religionfacts.com/christianity