Chapter 13 – THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY
LESSON 1- Early Christianity
• Before the rise of Christianity, the Roman Empire controlled
Judaea and Galilee in the ancient land of Israel. The Jews
hoped a deliverer would rescue them from cruel treatment
by the Romans. They wanted to make Israel an independent
• Around a.d. 30 a young Jewish preacher named Jesus began
traveling throughout Judaea and Galilee. He gathered a
group of followers known as disciples or apostles. Jesus
used stories to teach people about God and the main beliefs
• As his influence grew, the Romans began to see Jesus as a
threat to their power. On the Jewish holiday of Passover,
Jesus was arrested, accused of treason, and sentenced to
death by crucifixion. After his death and reports of his
resurrection, Jesus’ followers continued to spread his
message. People who accepted the teachings of Jesus
gradually became known as Christians.
Lesson 2- THE EARLY CHURCH
• As Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire,
Christians came into conflict with the Romans. Because the
Romans believed the new religion was a threat, they began
to punish Christians. But Roman persecution did not stop
Christianity from growing and becoming a powerful
• Christianity spread to East Africa. The empire of Ethiopia,
also known as Abyssina, was powerful in the region. The
Ethiopian city-state of Axum adopted Christianity as its
official religion in a.d. 334.
• Almost four centuries after the death of Jesus, the Roman
emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of
the Roman Empire. Early Christians met in people’s homes.
Eventually they began to write down their beliefs and to
organize the church along the lines of a hierarchy.
• Bishops and archbishops were church leaders with the most
authority over religious matters. The bishop of Rome, or
pope, believed he was more powerful than all the other
bishops. This caused a conflict between Latin-speaking
Christians and Greek-speaking Christians, who did not
accept the pope’s authority over their churches.