History Questions

What were Jesus of Nazareth’s central religious doctrines, and what, so far as one can tell from the Gospel accounts, was the objective of his mission? What are some of the issues involved in trying to understand the above question from Christian and non-Christian contemporary sources? Some have argued that Jesus was a Jew preaching to other Jews and his teachings remained within the Jewish tradition, but that Paul of Tarsus founded a new religion (Christianity). Do you agree or disagree and why? Why were Christians persecuted in the Roman Empire? Discuss the rise of “heresies” in the new religion. What did the word “heresy” mean? Consider in particular Arianism. How did it differ from what became the “official” Christian doctrine? Consider the Church Council at Nicea (325 A.D.) why was it convened? Examine in particular the Nicene creed and explain its significance.

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