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Paper Topic:

Western Religions

Essay Questions - Early Christianity

Outline the major theological issues that were extensively debated and eventually

formulated into the creedal statements of the early Christian church (325-681 C .E

The Bible is a fundamental aspect of Christian faith . Yet , its teachings leave some ambiguity . A belief in the Bible can be manifested in many ways . People may feel that organized religion itself is not consistent with the Bible . Some may believe that a belief in the Bible means avoiding modern conveniences or following dietary restrictions

Jewish tradition heavily influenced early Christianity . The

Old Testament of the Bible is accepted as scripture by both faiths Christianity differs from Judaism in its ' interpretation of Old Testament passages , and in its ' acceptance of the New Testament as authoritative . The new Christians needed a way to set their religion apart from Judaism in a clear and concise way

The early Christians struggled with many questions of interpretation Many heresies , or offshoots , of Christianity began to develop . They had differing ideas about the central figures and tenets of the faith

The creedal statements of the early Christian church are intended as a reflection of the revelations provided by God . They are statements of belief , and an outline of the Christian faith . The creeds historically codified the events of Jesus and the early Christians . Early church leaders were seeking common definitions and answers to the basic questions of the faith . What are the natures of man and God ? What role should Jesus play in faith ? What is the Holy Spirit ? How do they relate to each other

Jesus is a central figure in the creeds , because he is what makes the religion unique from others

Many other religions of the day were polytheistic . The creeds made it clear to worshippers and observers alike who was being worshipped and why

Early leaders struggled to define Jesus . Although Judaism recognizes the existence of Jesus , he is elevated to a higher level of divinity by the Christians . Still , the various Christian churches debated the exact meaning and nature of Christ among themselves

To some believers , the accounts of Jesus and his actions on earth were written in a symbolic way . For other groups Jesus was the same the same thing as God . Still others saw him as an earthly prophet . Church leaders realized that a statement of clarity was needed . The resulting creedal statements are very specific as to the relationship between God , Jesus the Holy Spirit and Man . The goal was to remove the doctrinal ambiguities that had resulted in heresies

The existence of Jesus as a historical fact is stressed . This forms the bedrock of truth for the faith . Jesus was God 's representative on earth He was sent by God as a savior

At the end of the first century the creeds , such as The Apostles ' Creed had organized and codified the religion . It is still recited in churches this day . The creeds laid down the official position of the church , and told potential converts what would...

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