The Rise and Spread of Christianity

Essay by wissaramezCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2009

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Christianity started in present day Israel with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem of Galilee. Jesus was the legal son of Joseph and Mary. The Christian belief states that an angel came to Mary, a virgin, and explained to her that she would birth the son of god. Her betrothed, Joseph the Carpenter was too poor to afford housing because the Jews had to pay taxes to the Roman Governor. Some Christians believe that Jesus Christ was born in a cave near a stable. Others believe that he was born in a horse manger after a hotel clerk turned the family away on the eve of Jesus' birth.

The New Testament holds that Jesus' birth was heralded by divine signs and wonders. Guided by the words of an angel, foreign shepherds came and knelt in adoration before the holy child of god, born by Mary, who lay in the manger.

As Jesus Christ entered into adulthood, Christians believe that he began to exhibit his divinity and his purpose for the salvation of the human race. Jesus was observed performing many miracles including waking the dead and healing the sick. Many people began to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and the son of God. In addition, after years of oppression by the Romans and severe hardships endured by the Jews, the population began to look at Christ as the answer to their troubles and not only as the spiritual savior but also the physical one. This was a natural progression for the majority of the Jews whose belief system had already planted in them the idea of the Messiah. Consequently, Christianity began as a small sect of Judaism.

John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River where again God's...