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World Religions: Focus on Christianity - Essay Example

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World Religions: Focus on Christianity

This is because there is evidence that all the 12 disciples Jesus chose were Israelite by birth and by nationality. Most of them were confined to the Nazareth area and they did things in line with Judaism. “Although Paul stands in continuity with Jesus' teachings, several important factors in the mission of Paul required him both to develop and to modify the message of Jesus” (Kostenberger et al, 2012: 39). In other words, Paul's mission in the Faith required that he modified his ways and approaches of dealing with the message of Christianity. This is because Jesus' ministry was mainly confined to the Judea region which was then a small part of the Roman Empire. On the other hand, Paul, who was a Roman citizen had a mission to reach out to people in different parts of the Roman Empire and this include people from all backgrounds like Greeks amongst others. Barclay (1993) identifies these three main factors as the central themes for Paul's teachings:
1. The passion for Jesus and his message of resurrection caused Paul to craft his message around an exalted and elevated Christ.
2. The death and exaltation led to a natural need for Paul to spread the message of the Spirit which gave way to a different view of mysticism and eschatology. 3. The differences in audience between Paul and Jesus meant that Paul had to use different words like “Christ” and “Sozo” [for Salvation] to discuss the main elements and components of the message of Christianity to a group of listeners from diverse backgrounds. Part 2: The Split of the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches The split between the Church in the East and the West is popularly known in most circles as the “Great Schism”. The Great Schism came up as a result of theological differences. The central issue in contention was the opinion on the Holy Spirit and the use of unleavened bread (or Matzah in Hebrew) as the body of Christ during communions (Creighton, 2004). Although the issues were minor in nature, the Pope claimed universal and final say on the matter. However, in the Church of Constantinople, the universal jurisdiction of the Pope was challenged. This is because Constantinople, a city in present-day Turkey was a cosmopolitan area that had a major Greek and Latin population. Hence, the Latin population was more connected to Rome and hence had links to the Papacy. The Greeks had some sense of autonomy and distinction (Smith, 2010). In 1053, the Patriarch of Constantinople ordered the closure of the Latin Churches in the city due to the lack of a consensus and agreement on the matter of the scope of the authority of the Pope (Smith, 2010). In 1054, the delegation from the Pope was sent to negotiate this matter. However, the Patriarch of Constantinople refused to accept the terms of their demands. This marked the commencement of a Greak break away from the Roman Church. Thus, the Pope proceeded to excommunicate the refuseniks on the Greek churches in the city of Constantinople. This split continued across doctrinal, theological and geographical lines. Also, the use of Latin was abolished in the Western Church. Part 3: The Arguments of the Protestant Reformers The Protestant reformation “was a major 16th Century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church” (Gray, 2003: 2). This is referred to as the Western Schism. In 1384, John Wycliffe criticized corrupt practices in the Church including the sale of indulgences, pilgrimages and the excessive veneration of the saints (Crowther, ...Show more


McCay identifies that without Paul, Christianity would not be the global religion it is today (2012). This is because Paul liberalized the principles of Christianity and made it accessible to Gentiles…
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World Religions: Focus on Christianity essay example
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