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Video transcript

we're now going to talk about the beginnings of one of the most important religions in human history and even today the largest religion on earth and that of course is Christianity and the central figure in Christianity is Jesus Christ and the term Christ is given to him it is Greek for Savior or for Messiah because his early followers view him as the prophesize Messiah Savior for the Jewish people and his followers today view him as the Savior the Messiah for all humankind so we have over 2 billion Christians who view him central to their faith who view them him as their God but above and beyond that you also have over a billion Muslims who view him as a significant profit now just to get some context on the life and times of Jesus most of our about the accounts we have of him come from the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible called the Gospel of Matthew Gospel of Mark Gospel of Luke Gospel of John sometimes it's the Gospel according to Matthew Mark Luke or John and the term gospel today often refers to the idea of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ so you could view it as a life and teaching of Jesus Christ according to Matthew according to Mark according to Luke according to John but it really comes from Old English for good news good news and there's a related term Evangel you might have heard evangelical or evangelize also referring to good news now the reason why it was considered good news is his message then we're going to have some examples of it in a few minutes really talks about this idea that the poor have the Kingdom of Heaven waiting for them that there's this forgiving God that you can have a close connection with and for a lot of people remember this was in the time of the Roman Empire most people were downtrodden there was slavery people were poor and this idea that even the poor could go to the Kingdom of Heaven and and and in some ways have better access to it than the rich and the powerful was good news to a lot of people now it's worth noting that these Gospels were written several decades after the depending what you view the death or an or ascension of Jesus Christ according to Christian belief as you can see Jesus was born slightly before the year one most historians put his birth that around four to six BCE before the Common Era and they put his death around 30 to 33 C II in the Common Era you could also use the original terms before Christ and anno domini in the year of our Lord our modern calendar system is really uses the the the original view of the birth of Jesus as where we start anno domini verses before Christ or the Common Era versus the before the Common Era now it's interesting that it turns out that Jesus was likely born slightly before slightly before the purported the original view on the birth of Christ now his birth would have been right around the time or it would have been under the reign of Emperor Augustus as we talked about in in other videos and his death would have been under the reign of emperor Tiberius and these Gospels mark Matthew Luke and John these are written during really hard time for the Jewish people and for the early Christians you have the Jewish rebellion where the Second Temple is destroyed by Rome you have the significant Christian persecution especially by folks like Emperor Nero where he blames the fire in Rome on Christians and then he just essentially kills them for fun for you know just really just to purge them to persecute them and just to understand where all of this takes place the life and times of Jesus takes place it is in the Roman Empire we're in on the eastern edge of it at the eastern Mediterranean right over here this would be modern-day Israel and Palestine for the most part this is a zoomed in version and Jesus is born in Bethlehem and this is a scene I'm going to show you a lot of paintings as you could imagine he's a figure that has inspired a lot of paintings this is a figure of the Three Magi giving visiting and giving their gifts to the infant Jesus Magi famously the Zoroastrian priests coming from Persia to visit Jesus according to biblical accounts and he is raised in Nazareth and that's why he's oftentimes referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospels don't talk a lot about his early life they start to talk a lot about his life in his once he hits his late 20s or early 30s and the first really significant account after his famous birth to the Virgin Mary his purported father he has Joseph was Mary's husband but that the Holy Ghost or God was the actual father making this a virgin birth but after that the first significant event is really his baptism by John the Baptist John the Baptist was another preacher prophetic figure of that time a significant one he had a lot of followers and he was baptizing people in the Jordan River right in that region this is Jordan River right over here and this is a depiction of the famous baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and famously John the Baptist said no you should be baptizing me but then after you said no no you baptize me and after Jesus was baptized famously kind of the Sun shines on Jesus and God speaks that this is my son according to once again biblical accounts and John the Baptist shortly after that gets arrested by King Herod of Galilee remember Galilee is the home region of Jesus where he will eventually do his most of his preaching and after that Jesus starts to really go full into fact in his ministry and while he's doing that he's performing all of these miracles he's healing people turning water into wine walking on water bringing people back from the dead and this is of course according to biblical accounts you can decide if you believe these or not and he does most of that in Galilee and eventually he makes his way down to Jerusalem to meet his fate he tells according to the gospel his followers his disciples and there's 12 in particular that are called out but he has many many more than that that look I am going to meet my my fate there but I'm going I'm doing it willingly but more than his miracles it's interesting to look at some of what he preached and this might give you a little bit of a sense why many people would have called this good news so this is from the Gospel of Matthew that I'm going to quote right over right over here and this first part it comes from his sermon of the mount or sermon of well he goes to the top of mountain and he gives this sermon and blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God so all of that if you're you know if you're a peasant if you're someone with not a lot your downtrodden hard life you're like look blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven you could view this as good news ye have heard that it was said an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth but I say unto you resist not him that is evil but whosoever smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also even in modern times this is not an easy way this is not an easy way to live someone who's doing something to you don't try to seek revenge and this is a very different tone than a lot of what you might get in the Old Testament ye have heard that it was said thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate that enemy but I say unto you love your enemies and pray for them that persecute you once again not an easy thing to do and even in modern terms what you could view this is a very forward a very advanced way of thinking about the world he also beyond this idea of kind of embracing even your enemies and not seeking revenge and that the poor can have access to this kingdom of heaven he really also like to take it to the hypocrites especially those who viewed themselves as the bearers of the religion in particular he picks on the Pharisees which was a sect of Jews at the time who viewed themselves very ritualistic remember Jesus himself is a Jewish preacher he's a Jewish teacher he is viewed as a rabbi himself and when ye pray ye shall not be as the hypocrites for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the street that they may be see of men so these hypocrites they pray just so other people can see how religious they are verily I say unto you they have received their war they've already gotten the credit for people for praying but thou when thou prayest enter into thy an inner chamber and having shut thy door pray to thy father who is in secret and thy father who see it in secret shall recompense these so don't make a big deal about your prayer do it in private and then have this personal connection with God now it's worth noting that even though he preached a lot about about the Kingdom of Heaven for the poor that you know prayer is a private thing that you should you shouldn't try to seek revenge you should be very conciliatory to your enemies he did take a strong stance on what he was preaching he did say look you got to be with me if you want to enter into this kingdom of heaven he took some strong stances that this isn't going to be an easy thing and this is going to cause a lot of tension this is one quote that you could view that way once again from the Gospel of Matthew think not that I came to send peace on earth I came not to send peace but a sword for I came to set a man at variance against his father and the daughter against her mother I would interpret this as saying this is gonna cost a lot cause a lot of divisive 'no sand the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and a man's foes shall be they of his own household he that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and he that dot does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me he that findeth his life shall lose it and he that Luther loses his life for my sake shall find it so he takes a pretty strong stance that you look you you really need to follow me but if you follow me there's some very I guess you say good things that are waiting for you but eventually he does make his way he tells his there's other you know these miracles he's performing this is the famous Transfiguration of Christ where he makes it apparent to his followers he kind of becomes Lumet luminescent and and he becomes apparent to his followers his disciples that he truly is the Son of God and then he makes his way now this is now the year depending on whether you think it's thirty thirty-one thirty-two thirty-three see he makes his way to Jerusalem to meet his fate that he's already prophesized to his followers that this is going to be a tough fate that he's going to meet he's going to die there and this is a very important week in Christianity it's referred to passion referred to as Passion Week and the term passion has a different connotation it really means the suffering of Christ this is the week that he suffers it's the week that he gets crucified and resurrected so he goes to Jerusalem on Sunday and this is around the time of Passover a very important a religious period for the Jewish people and he comes to Jerusalem the time of near Passover that Sunday that he comes is now celebrated as Palm Sunday this is imagery of it where he's coming and some people are greeting him to Jerusalem is kind of a king they're laying down these palms before his path then this is the famous where he goes to the the main temple at Jerusalem and he cleanses it of the moneychangers he's like hey by doing these money transactions here you are defiling the temple then on Thursday of that week he has the famous Last Supper some people believe this is the Passover setter or seeder most historians don't think it is but he's meeting with his 12 disciples and he's saying one of you is going to betray me and it's Judas Iscariot who does and he goes to the the religious court and he says hey I have this guy who you guys don't like remember this whole time that Jesus is doing his ministry he's really he's sticking it in a lot of ways he's calling out the these Pharisees and these these these religious officials as hypocrites he's getting all of these followers a lot of these traditionalists are saying this guy is blaspheming he's saying he's the son of God he's saying all of these things he's doing these miracles on the Sabbath when you're not supposed to be doing anything and so Judas Iscariot goes to the the Sanhedrin and says hey I have this guy come and get him and they get Jesus and this is the famous trial of Jesus by the Sanhedrin and they say hey you've been saying all these things we think you're blaspheming and Jesus stays silent for the most part so they deem him guilty and they hand him over to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and they say hey like this guy is trying to create an insurrection against Rome which the Romans take very seriously and in the Bible it looks they have him seeing seeming somewhat reluctantly saying okay do we really need to do this but then he says all right if that's the way L want it and so the Romans crucified Jesus and this is what is now viewed as Good Friday the crucifixion of Jesus and then on Sunday and this was predicted by Jesus to his followers he he is resurrected he leaves the tomb where he was where he was and this is a very important week if Palm Sunday you have Good Friday and then you have the resurrection and then another very very important event to Christians is 40 days after the resurrection so after 40 days he's over that forty days after the resurrection he's seen by his followers he's seen by many people he continues to preach and then you have the Ascension where he goes to the kingdom of heaven now I'm going to leave you with a quote by a famous Christian historian and it's a fascinating one it says and it's very clear because we ready just talked about the crucifixion and you see a cross at every Church Christianity is the only major religion to have as its central event the humiliation of its God as dr. Bruce Shelley and whether you believe in Christianity or you don't believe whether you're an atheist whether you believe in the miracles or you don't it's worth pointing out the Christianity has grown from this religion that started around this preacher in in Galilee and Judea and now has over two billion adherents and what was it about this religion and the central event being the humiliation of its God that made it so appealing to many especially in that early Roman Empire both to Jews and to non-jews to Gentiles and has made it such a significant religion
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