The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital.
In the following article an account is given of Christianity as a religion, describing its origin, its relation to other religionsits essential nature and chief characteristics, but not dealing with its doctrines in detail nor its history as a visible organization.
These and other aspects of this great subject will receive treatment under separate titles. Moreover, the Christianity of which we speak is that which we find realized in the Catholic Church alone; hence, we are not concerned here with those forms which are embodied in the various non-Catholic Christian sectswhether schismatical or heretical.
Kenyon, "Handbook of the Textual Criticism of the N.
We have this further warrant for doing so, that the most mature critical opinions amongst non-Catholics, deserting the wild theories of Baur, Strauss, and Renan, tend, in regard to dates and authorship, to coincide more closely with the Catholic position. He who attentively studies these letters those i.
For clearness' sake we shall arrange the subject under the following chief heads: Origin of Christianity and its relation with other religions Christianity is the name given to that definite system of religious belief and practice which was taught by Jesus Christ in the country of Palestine, during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Tiberiusand was promulgated, after its Founder's death, for the acceptance of the whole world, by certain chosen men among His followers.
According to the accepted chronologythese began their mission on the day of Pentecost, A. In order the better to appreciate the meaning of this event, we must first consider the religious influences and tendencies previously at work in the minds of menboth Jews and Gentileswhich prepared the way for the spread of Christianity amongst them.
The whole history of the Jews as detailed in the Old Testament is seen, when read in the light of other events, to be a clear though gradual preparation for the preaching of Christianity.
In that nation alone, the great truths of the existence and unity of GodHis providential ruling of His creatures and their responsibility towards Him, were preserved unimpaired amidst general corruption.
The ancient world was given to Pantheism and creature-worship ; Israel only, not because of its " monotheistic instinct" Renanbut because of the periodic interposition of God through His prophetsresisted in the main the general tendency to idolatry.
Besides maintaining those pure conceptions of Deitythe prophets from time to time, and with ever increasing distinctness until we come to the direct and personal testimony of the Baptistforeshadowed a fuller and more universal revelation — a time when, and a Man through Whom, God should bless all the nations of the earth.
We need not here trace the Messianic predictions in detail; their clearness and cogency are such that St. Augustine does not hesitate to say Retract.
And thus it has been remarked that Israel alone amongst the nations of antiquity looked forward to glories to come.
All peoples alike retained some more or less vague recollection of a Paradise lost, a remote Golden Age, but only the spirit of Israel kept alive the definite hope of a world-wide empire of justicewherein the Fall of Man should be repaired. The fact that, eventually, the Jews misinterpreted their oraclesand identified the Messianic Kingdom with a mere temporal sovereignty of Israelcannot invalidate the testimony of the Scripturesas interpreted both by Christ's own life and the teaching of His Apostlesto the gradual evolution of that conception of which Christianity is the full and perfect expression.
Mistaken national prideaccentuated by their galling subject to Rome led them to read a material significance into the predictions of the triumph of the Messiasand hence to love their privilege of being God's chosen people.
The wild olive in St. Paul's metaphor Romans We may trace, too, in the world at large, apart from the Jewish people, a similar though less direct preparation. Whether due ultimately to the Old Testament predictions or to the fragments of the original revelation handed down amongst the Gentilea certain vague expectation of the coming of a great conqueror seems to have existed in the East and to a certain extent in the Roman worlds, in the midst of which the new religion had its birth.
But a much more marked predisposition to Christianity may be noticed in certain prominent features of the Roman religion after the downfall of the republic. The old gods of Latium had long ceased to reign. In their stead Greek philosophy occupied the minds of the cultured, whilst the populace were attracted by a variety of strange cults imported from Egypt and the East.
Whatever their corruption, these new religionsconcentrating worship on a single prominent deitywere monotheistic in effect. Moreover, many of them were characterized by rites of expiation and sacrifice, which familiarized men's minds with the idea of a mediatorial religion.
They combined to destroy the notion of a nation cultus, and to separate the service of the Deity from the service of the State.
Finally, as a contributory cause to the diffusion of Christianity, we must not fail to mention the widespread Pax Romana, resulting from the union of the civilized races under one strong central government. Thus much may be said with regard to the remote preparation of the world for the reception of Christianity.
What immediately preceded its institution, as it was born in Judaismconcerns the Jewish race alone, and is comprised in the teaching and miracles of ChristHis death and resurrectionand the mission of the Holy Spirit. During his whole mortal life on earth, including the two or three years of His active ministry, Christ lived as a devout JewHimself observing, and insisting on His followers observing, the injunctions of the Law Matthew The sum of His teaching, as of that of His precursorwas the approach of the "Kingdom of God"meaning not only the rule of righteousness in the individual heart "the kingdom of God is within you" — Luke Yet, though He often foreshadowed a time when the Law as such would cease to bind, and though He Himself in proof of His Messiahship occasionally set aside its provisions "For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath ", Matthew He confined His explicit teaching about the Church to His immediate followers, and left it to them, when the time came, openly to pronounce the abrogation of the Law.
Again, the faith which He failed to arouse by the numerous miracles He wrought, He sought to provide with a further and stronger incentive by dying under every circumstance of pain, disgrace, and defeat, and then raising Himself from the dead in triumph and glory. It was to this fact rather than to the wonders He worked in His lifetime that His accredited witnesses always appealed in their teaching.
On the marvel of the Resurrection is based in the counsels of God the faith of Christianity. By His death, therefore, and His return from the dead, Christas the event provedfurnished the strongest means for the effective preaching of the religion He came to found. The third antecedent condition to the birth of Christianity, as we learn from the sacred recordswas a special participation of the Holy Spirit given to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.
According to Christ's promise, the function of this Divine gift was to teach them all truth and bring back to their remembrance all that [ Christ ] had said to them John • The Roman Empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan (r. CE). The emperor's new forum and markets transformed the civic center of Rome.
The Column of Trajan commemorated his two campaigns in Dacia in a spiral frieze with thousands of figures. By the fourth century Christianity becomes the state religion and by the end of the fourth century it is illegal to do any form of public worship other than Christianity in the entire Roman Empire.
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher.
Not indexed. Not illustrated. edition. The Roman Empire Adopts Christianity. When Constantine, the emperor of Rome, became a Christian it meant that the empire became Christian, with momentous consequences for the .
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The phrase "the Fall of Rome" suggests some cataclysmic event ended the Roman Empire which had stretched from the British Isles to Egypt and Iraq. But at the end, there was no straining at the gates, no barbarian horde that dispatched the Roman Empire in one fell swoop.
Rather, the Roman Empire fell.