Christianity emerged from a minor sect of Judaism over the 1st century and absorbed several other shared cultural, religious, and intellectual Greco-Roman traditions. Several traditional histories refer to the emergence of Christianity as the “triumph of Christianity” (Curran, 2009). Before Christianity, paganism had been perceived as the most dominant false belief and practice. Christianity did not emerge from a vacuum, as most Jews claimed a traditional allegiance to Christianity through Prophet’s revelations. This essay seeks to explain the emergence of Christianity and how it affected society and changed people’s lives. The paper incorporates key information on how Christianity’s development changed the world.
Emergence of Christianity
The church rapidly grew over the first centuries, as evident within the Roman Empire, whereby the state-supported all initial efforts by founders. Even though scholars lack sufficient data on the emergence of Christianity, the first five centuries witnessed Christianity’s dominance within the Roman Empire. The Jesus movement began as an obscure branch of the Roman Empire and transformed shortly into a major religion with millions of followers across Ethiopia, India, and Britain. Apostle Paul spread Christianity to Roman and Greek communities and cities of the Mediterranean world. In cities such as Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome, Paul experienced the cultural and religious norms of the Greco-Roman world that played a crucial role in the future of Christianity (Curran, 2009). The early church operated under an organized and open movement with specified social boundaries and well-spelled doctrines.
Over the first three centuries, Christianity became a super-large mystery religion within the Roman world and was divided between the secretive (exclusive mystery cults) and the public (inclusive civic religions cults) (Curran, 2009). Emphasis on civic cults was anchored on customary practices, such as offerings and sacrifices. Additionally, since the Greek culture was anchored on the historical city or polis state, public cults were an important part of the entire civic identity definition.
Christianity emerged as a strong religious movement within Judaism at a time when Jews had long been under political and cultural dominance by foreigners and found religion as the community’s linchpin. Beginning in the 8th century, the Israelite religion faced tension between the idea of monotheism and the notion of Israel’s superior choice by God. Over the Hellenistic Age, Jew dispersion all over the Mediterranean kingdoms and the Roman Empire reinforced that unrealistic tendency. Several Jewish customs were adopted into the new cultures, such as circumcision, Sabbaths, kosher festivals, and other Christian-affiliated festivals.
Stemming from Jesus’ teachings over the 1st century AD, Christianity encompasses a sacred biblical scripture, mainly in the New Testament (Tickle, 2012). The religion emerged under the tenets that Jesus is the son of God, the ultimate creator. Apostle Paul shaped the early church and other Christian theologies and missionaries. The Apostolic Age included the time between the emergence of Christianity and the death of the last Apostle. Christianity is anchored on the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the beginning of an everlasting God’s Kingdom later in life.
Effects of Christianity on Society and People’s Life
Even though some effects of Christianity and its emergence were felt after many centuries, the religion ranks among the most influential religions globally. To begin with, Christianity has contributed to global human rights advocacy during its preaching’s claiming that all human beings were created in the image of God, the Supreme creator (Tickle, 2012). Christianity has advocated for human rights to a greater degree as women face continuous marginalization and illegalities in several parts of the world, such as Saudi Arabia. Christianity recognizes women’s rights in a free and fair world whereby equality of all genders is advocated.
Christianity has been at the forefront of humanitarian and theological motivations in the contemporary world, as evident in global efforts anchored on Christian ethics and values. Several Revival movements view the Christian message as the ultimate call to action for societal reorganization with a view of God’s kingdom ethics. On the contrary, Christianity created a notion of superiority tussle between followers and other religions or the different sects of the Christian faith that sometimes result in conflicts and global instabilities (Kashi, 2009). Finally, Christianity affects the world in several ways that affect many other religions and faiths. The world, for instance, experiences an upward surge in the number of Christian schools and learning centers meant to eradicate global illiteracy and arrogance. Christian teachings are inculcated into the minds of young learners who convey the positivity learned to the world later in life. Christianity has affected humanity positively for centuries and ranks among the most followed and popular global religions.
Christianity emerged over the initial centuries after the descent of Jesus Christ and was passed on through apostolic missions by the 12 disciples and other missionaries. The early Christian movements over the ancient Roman Empire rule ensured a smooth transition from an entirely different system towards a religion that united followers with a promise of eternal redemption. Finally, Christianity has significantly influenced the world through endless interventions and provisions that simplify the world, such as advocating for human rights and political intervention whenever democracy misses. Christianity also plays a key role in eradicating negative morals and illiteracy in the world. Through interventions to construct schools and other theological learning institutions, Christianity creates a considerable reach to human beings in its quest for a free, fair, and just society.
Curran, J. (2009). The Emergence of Christianity. A Companion to Ancient History, 312.
Kashi, E. (2009, June 1). The forgotten faithful. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/arab-christians
Tickle, P. (2012). Emergence Christianity: What it is, where it is going, and why it matters. Baker Books.