Christianity

Jesus Christ

(c. 4 BC - between AD 29 - 33 - death on cross/resurrection)

 

"If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me… Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them… I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

 

It is claimed that Jesus was born of a virgin, a Jewish carpenter who became a traveling preacher and taught God’s redeeming love of man. His number of followers escalated as he became known for his effective teaching, his message of God’s love for every person, and his help to the poor. He performed many miracles including healing the sick, the blind, feeding thousands, calming storms, walking on water, and bringing people back from the dead. He stood up against the hypocrisy of religious leaders and defended those who were caught in sin, claiming that he was the way to their freedom. When he would not renounce the claim that he was the promised Messiah that would save God's people, he was mocked, beaten, whipped, tortured, and crucified. When he died on the cross, an earthquake erupted, tearing the temple curtain in two. After three days, he rose from the grave, and appeared to over 500 people in different ways showing them that he was alive. He commanded his disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to all humanity, promising that his followers would be able to have a personal relationship with Him through the power of the Holy Spirt after he was gone. Later, he was taken up into the sky while his followers watched and it was promised that one day he would return just as he left. All but one of his apostles were crucified, stoned, or beheaded rather than deny their faith in Christ.

 

Jesus referenced many of the Old Testament scriptures. Moses was the first of many authors who wrote about God and His interactions with people throughout history. He wrote the first five books of the Bible (also known as the Torah of Judaism, and the Tawrat of Islam).

Moses 

(c. 14th-13th Century BC)  

 

"…be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left."

 

Moses was a very important prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He was born a Hebrew slave but was rescued from death when an Egyptian royal family adopted him after he was found in a basket. When he was older, he learned of his family history and later killed an Egyptian slave master who was beating a Hebrew slave. He fled his royal lifestyle and became a shepherd and married in the land of Midian. Years later, while tending sheep, he claimed to have experienced direct communication with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through a burning bush. He was called to return to Egypt and deliver the Hebrew people from slavery. He felt he could not speak well so God allowed his brother Aaron to go with him. After ten plagues, Moses fled with the slaves out of Egypt, escaping through the parting of the Red Sea. The Hebrews escaped safely while the Egyptians drowned. Later, Moses received the Ten Commandments, a system of law, and many ritual regulations from God at Mount Sinai. After wandering in the desert for forty years, he died within sight of the land God had promised him.

 

Moses wrote about Abraham, the claimed Patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

 

Abraham

(c. Second Millennium BC)

 


    

"Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, 'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.' " - Genesis 17:3-6

 

Abrahamclaimed to be called by God to leave his country to become the founder of a new nation. His story is an important part of history in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He obeyed God without question, and listened to the promise that he would father a large nation even though his wife, Sarai (later called Sarah), was barren. Sarai, knowing she could not bear children, told him to father a child through her maidservant Hagar; this child was Ishmael. Later, he fathered Isaac, through Sarah as God had promised. Even though Abraham had many of the normal human weaknesses he was known for being a man of peace and compassion, a strong warrior, and most widely recognized as a righteous man committed to God no matter what the cost.

 

 

CHRISTIANITY: A monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior.

 

Followers of Christianity: Close to 33% of the world's population.

 

Authoritative Text: The Holy Bible

Authors: Many different authors from all types of backgrounds (see listing below).

 

The Bible is a collection of 66 books written over a 1,500 year span with one common theme, God's redemption of man. The Old Testament includes the same books as the Jewish Tanakh with minor differences. It contains:
• Accounts of personal interactions with God written in journal-like form of triumphs and defeat
• Accounts of conversions of those who did not believe
• Prayers and answered prayers
• Poems and songs of worship
• Prophecies fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled
• Miracles
• Responses to other belief systems
• Laws and guidelines for living
• Instructions for building
• Parables (stories to teach moral lessons)
• Eyewitness accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus
• Letters of encouragement and instruction

 

 

THE OLD TESTAMENT

 

Books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy - Christianity

(Bereishith, Shemoth, Vayiqra, Bamidbar, Devarim - Judaism; Tawrat - Islam)

Author: Moses: prince, shepherd, leader of the Israelites
 

Book: Joshua - Christianity

(*Yehoshua - Judaism)

Author: Joshua: special assistant to Moses, warrior, leader
 

Book: Judges, I Samuel, Ruth - Christianity 

(Shoftim, Shmuel, Ruth - Judaism)

Author: Samuel: judge, priest, prophet, counselor, first king of Israel
 

Books: II Samuel, *I & II Chronicles - Christianity

(Ezra, *Shmuel, Divrei Ha-Yamim - Judaism)

Author: Ezra: scribe among the exiles in Babylon, king's envoy, teacher
 

Book: Nehemiah - Christianity

(Nechemyah - Judaism)

Author: Nehemiah: king's cupbearer, city builder, governor of Judah
 

Book: *Esther - Christianity

(*Esther - Judaism)

Author: Mordecai: Jewish official who became second in rank to Xerxes
 

Book: *Job - Christianity

(*Iyov - Judaism)

Author: Job: wealthy landowner and livestock owner
 

Book: Psalms - Christianity

(Tehillim - Judaism; Zabur- Islam)

Authors: 

David: shepherd, musician, poet, soldier, king
Asaph: one of David's chief musicians and leader of the temple choirs
Sons of Korah: Korah was a Levite and tabernacle assistant
Ethan: a Levite leader and possibly on of the head musicians in the temple
Heman: son of Korah
Some unknown authors

 

Book: Proverbs - Christianity

(Mishlei - Judaism)

Authors: 

• Solomon: king of Israel

• Lemuel: king

• Agur: a wise teacher who may have come from Lemuel's kingdom
 

Books: Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes - Christianity

(Shir Ha-Shirim, Qoheleth - Judaism)

Author: Solomon: king of Israel
 

Book: Isaiah - Christianity

(Yeshayah - Judaism)

Author: Isaiah: scribe, prophet
 

Books: *I & II Kings, Jeremiah, Lamentations - Christianity

(*Melakhim, Yirmyah, Eikhah - Judaism)

Author: Jeremiah: prophet
 

Book: Ezekiel - Christianity

(Yechezqel - Judaism)

Author: Ezekiel: a priest, a jewish street preacher, and a prophet to the captives in Babylon
 

Book: Daniel - Christianity

(Daniel - Judaism)

Author: Daniel: a captive from Israel who became an advisor of kings

 

Book: Hosea - Christianity

(Hoshea - Judaism)

Author: Hosea: prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel
 

Book: Joel - Christianity

(Yoel - Judaism)

Author: Joel: prophet
 

Book: Amos - Christianity

(Amos - Judaism)

Author: Amos: shepherd

 

Book: Obadiah - Christianity

(Ovadyah - Judaism)

Author: Obadiah: little is known about this man, his name means "servant (or worshiper) of the Lord"
 

Book: Jonah - Christianity

(Yonah - Judaism)

Author: Jonah: prophet
 

Book: Micah - Christianity

(Mikhah - Judaism)

Author: Micah: prophet
 

Book: Nahum - Christianity

(Nachum - Judaism)

Author: Nahum: prophet

 

Book: Habakkuk - Christianity

(Chavaqquq - Judaism)

Author: Habakkuk: prophet

 

Book: Zephaniah - Christianity
(Tzefanyah - Judaism)

Author: Zephaniah: prophet

Book: Haggai - Christianity

(Chaggai - Judaism)

Author: Haggai: prophet
 

Book: Zechariah - Christianity

(Zekharyah - Judaism)

Author: Zechariah: prophet

 

Book: Malachi - Christianity
(Malakhi - Judaism)

Author: Malachi: prophet

 

 

 

THE NEW TESTAMENT

 

Book: Matthew - Christianity

(**Injil - Islam)

Author: Matthew: tax collector, disciple of Jesus
 

Book: Mark - Christianity

(**Injil - Islam)

Author: John Mark: missionary in training, traveling companion

 

Books: Luke, Acts - Christianity;

(**Injil - Islam)

Author: Luke: doctor, historian, traveling companion

Books: John, I , II, & III John, Revelation - Christianity;

(**Injil - Islam)

Author: John: apostle, fisherman, disciple of Jesus

 

Books: Romans, I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon -Christianity

Author: Paul: trained as a Pharisee, persecutor of Jesus' followers, learned the tentmaking trade, served as a missionary

 

Book: *Hebrews Christianity

Author: Unknown; Some say Apollos: traveling preacher, apologist

 

Book: James Christianity

Author: James: brother of Jesus, leader in the Jerusalem church, fisherman, disciple

 

Book: I & II Peter - Christianity

Author: Peter: fisherman, disciple

 

Book: Jude - Christianity

Author: Jude: brother of Jesus and James

 

*Authors are suggested because of setting, writing style, eyewitness accounts or internal evidence.  Also, 51 psalms are anonymous.

**Islam's Injil includes the four gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Note: There are ancient non-Biblical authors who describe the life of Jesus without reference to the Bible: Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, Phlegon, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Emperor Hadrian, Emperor Trajan, Lucian of Samosata, and Mara Bar-Serapion.

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