Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
The beliefs, practices, and socio-cultural expressions of the Jesus community and the wider Christian religion and culture. The key phenomenon of Christianity emerged from the early beginnings of the Jesus movement to the subsequent formation of Eastern and Western Christendom and its broader impacts on society and culture.This article discusses key characteristics and defining features of Christianity from the first century to the early third century, including the teaching and healing activity of Jesus Christ, the significance of his death and resurrection, the parting of ways with Judaism, and some distinctively Christian beliefs and practices.
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Christianity The beliefs, practices, and socio-cultural expressions of the Jesus community and the wider Christian religion and culture. The key phenomenon of Christianity emerged from the early beginnings of the Jesus movement to the subsequent formation of Eastern and Western Christendom and its broader
Christianity, Overview of Early
Christianity, Overview of Early Overview of Early Christianity. A survey of the practices and teachings associated with Christianity in the first and second centuries ad, exploring how the movement founded by Jesus started as a sect of Judaism based on faith in him as Israel’s messiah and unique Son
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
CHRISTIANITY. This entry consists of eight separate articles covering various aspects of the emergence of Christianity in the various regions of the Mediterranean world. The first entry explores the early social life and organization of Christianity, and the second deals with early Jewish Christianity.
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
CHRISTIANITY. The religion founded by Jesus Christ. Following His ascension, the apostles in the power of the Holy Spirit preached in His name. They taught that He was God’s Son, the Messiah; they gathered a community of believers; and they exhorted all to a holy life.There is both continuity and a
Faith, the Christian
FAITH, THE CHRISTIAN. Christianity is that interpretation of existence which, as a thoroughgoing system of supernaturalism, stands in polar antithesis to atheistic naturalism. A radical monotheism, it is also the polar antithesis of polytheism. Teaching that God is selfsubsisting, personal, living, ethical,
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Africa, Christianity in
Africa, Christianity in. Apart from Egypt and the Mediterranean coast (Roman ‘Africa’, on which see the following entry), Christianity had by the 4th cent. penetrated to *Nubia, where it died out in the 16th cent., and to *Ethiopia, but it did not spread further south until the era of Portuguese
Albania, Christianity in
Albania, Christianity in. Christianity probably reached what is now Albania at an early date through traders from Epirus and Macedonia, but with the fall of the W. Empire in the 5th and 6th cents. its influence was largely destroyed. In the Dark Ages, the native Illyrians, who later became known as Albanians,
Angola, Christianity in
Angola, Christianity in. The *Portuguese colony of Angola, developing from the port of Luanda, dates from 1576. From 1596 it was placed within the newly established (RC) diocese of San Salvador, comprising the *Congo and Angola. The bishop’s residence was soon moved from San Salvador, within the independent
Argentina, Christianity in
Argentina, Christianity in. Argentina, originally a Spanish colony, obtained its complete independence in 1816 after the revolution of 1810. The first missionaries, who arrived in 1539, were *Franciscans, followed by the *Jesuits some 40 years later. The RC Church claims a membership of 25 million—
Armenia, Christianity in
Armenia, Christianity in. The Armenians were the first nation to embrace Christianity officially. They were converted by *Gregory the Illuminator, who was consecrated bishop by the Metropolitan of Caesarea in Cappadocia in 314, and who baptized their king Tiridates III (or IV) (reigned 298–?330). Gregory
Australia, Christianity in
Australia, Christianity in. When the British Government founded a convict colony in New South Wales in 1788, the C of E was given land for schools and churches and in many ways enjoyed official status. In 1836 W. G. Broughton (1788–1853), Archdeacon of New South Wales since 1829, was consecrated the
Belgium, Christianity in
Belgium, Christianity in. The history of Belgium as an independent country dates only from 1830, but Christianity can be traced back to the mid-4th cent., when Servatius, the first Bp. of Tongres and a strong opponent of *Arianism, attended the Councils of *Sardica and *Rimini. The area was more
Brazil, Christianity in
Brazil, Christianity in. The conversion of Brazil was effected by the major orders of friars (*Franciscans, *Dominicans, *Augustinians), but principally by the *Jesuits, who founded the city of São Paulo in 1554. They mastered the native languages and were pioneers in education; they worked with the
Bulgaria, Christianity in
Bulgaria, Christianity in. The official introduction of Christianity into Bulgaria occurred in 864–5, with the baptism of the Prince, Boris. Both Byzantine and German missionaries were at work in the country, and Boris wavered for a time between Constantinople and Rome, finally deciding c. 870 in favour
Burma, Christianity in
Burma, Christianity in. Burma, formed from the Kingdoms of Ava and Pegu, came under British rule during the 19th cent. Though Ludovico di Varthema at the beginning of the 16th cent. states that there were Christian soldiers in service of the King of Pegu, it was the arrival of *Portuguese merchants
Canada, Christianity in
Canada, Christianity in. First brought to what is now Canada by Norse colonists from Greenland c. 1001, Christianity took permanent root with the arrival of French settlers in Acadia in 1605. They soon set about evangelizing the aboriginal people. The Indian missions of New France (begun in 1610) engaged
Channel Islands, Christianity in the
Channel Islands, Christianity in the. Christianity was apparently introduced into the Channel Islands about the 5th–6th cent., largely by the saints who are commemorated in many of the place-names of the islands. In 933 the islands became the property of the Dukes of Normandy, but after the Norman
Chile, Christianity in
Chile, Christianity in. The Spanish invasion of Chile, which began in 1535, was followed by the arrival of the first missionary priest in 1541 and the establishment of the first RC diocese (Santiago) 20 years later. The conversion of the country, carried out initially by the *Franciscan friars and
China, Christianity in
China, Christianity in. Legend has it that St *Thomas the Apostle preached in China as well as in India, but there is no historical evidence of this. The *Sigan-Fu stone, dated AD 781, shows that *Church of the East missionaries reached China in the 7th cent. Syriac Christianity survived till the
Congo, Kingdom of, Christianity in
Congo, Kingdom of, Christianity in. A *Portuguese expedition reached the ancient Congo kingdom in 1483. In 1491 the king, Nzinga Nkuvu, was baptized, receiving the name of João, that of the reigning king of Portugal. One of his sons, Mvemba Nzinga, governor of the province of Nsundi, was baptized as
Cyprus, Christianity in
Cyprus, Christianity in. Cyprus was evangelized by Sts *Paul and *Barnabas (Acts 13). The many Cypriot saints mentioned in Byzantine *Synaxaria point to the firm hold Christianity secured in the island at an early date. At the Council of *Nicaea (325), Cyprus was represented by three bishops, including
Denmark, Christianity in
Denmark, Christianity in. After one or two unsuccessful missions to Denmark, the Christian faith gained a firm footing in the 9th cent., when the Danish chief, Harold, was baptized on a visit to *Louis the Pious, the Frankish king, and on his return brought with him St *Anskar. Under Sven I (985–1014)
Finland, Christianity in
Finland, Christianity in. The origins of Christianity in Finland are obscure. It seems clear, however, that by the 12th cent. Finland had received Christianity from *Sweden and *Russia. Henry, Bp. of Uppsala, an Englishman murdered c. 1160, took part in the conversion of the Finns. In 1220 an independent
France, Christianity in
France, Christianity in. Christianity appears to have been introduced into Gaul as early as the 2nd cent. by missionaries from Asia Minor. The Christian community at Lyons suffered persecution in 177 and St *Irenaeus, its bishop, was a man of more than local stature as an apologist and theologian.
Freemasonry, Christianity and
Freemasonry, Christianity and. The origins of the Freemasons go back probably to the 12th cent., when the English masons established a religious fraternity under the protection of St *John the Baptist, to guard the secrets of their craft. In the later Middle Ages this brotherhood came to be concerned
Ghana, Christianity in
Ghana, Christianity in. The name ‘Ghana’ was taken on independence in 1957 by the former British colonial territory of Gold Coast in W. Africa. This had been constituted by successive 19th-cent. annexations: the coastal Fante states, the inland confederation of states known as Ashante, and various
Greece, Christianity in
Greece, Christianity in. Christianity was first preached in Greece in the 1st cent., principally by St *Paul, whose main centre was *Corinth. Under the Christian Empire the Greek clergy won favour with their people by their general support of the popular cause, often against the Byzantine court and
Hungary, Christianity in
Hungary, Christianity in. Christianity was first preached in what is now Hungary in the 4th cent., but made no permanent impression. In the 9th and 10th cents. more successful missionaries arrived, and Christianity spread in both its E. and W. forms; ultimately the W. Church prevailed. In 1001 a formal
Iceland, Christianity in
Iceland, Christianity in. Christianity reached Iceland from *Norway c. 980 and was accepted by the Althing (the ruling council) in 999/1000. The medieval Church had two bishoprics, Skálholt and Hólar, and was at first under the administrative jurisdiction of Bremen, then of Lund, and finally of Trondheim
India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Christianity in
India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Christianity in. There are some ambiguous references to Christianity in India (and conceivably Pakistan) in the 4th cent., but the earliest clear testimony is the assertion of *Cosmas Indicopleustes that there were Christians, believers and clergy, in India before 550.
Indonesia, Christianity in
Indonesia, Christianity in. Christianity was effectively brought to Indonesia through the Portuguese maritime trading empire in the early 16th cent. Its main religious rival was *Islam, which had been expanding through the region from Sumatra since the 13th cent. Apart from the *Church of the East
Ireland, Christianity in
Ireland, Christianity in. Christianity began to spread to Ireland through trade with Roman Gaul and Britain in the 4th cent. Whether there were deliberate missions is unclear. The first firm date is the statement in the Chronicle of Prosper Tiro for AD 431 that Pope *Celestine I sent *Palladius ‘as
Japan, Christianity in
Japan, Christianity in. St *Francis Xavier first brought Christianity to Japan in 1549, and he and his successors gained many converts. In 1587, under the suspicion that the missions were merely preparing the way for a coming conquest of the country, Christianity was proscribed, but still made progress
Scandinavia, Christianity in
Scandinavia, Christianity in. See denmark; norway; and sweden, christianity in.
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
CHRISTIANITY. The body of doctrine that consists of the teachings and way of life made possible by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and the giving of the Holy Spirit. These teachings were committed by Christ to His disciples and particularly by special divine revelation to the apostle Paul,
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
CHRISTIANITY — the Christian religion, based on Jesus Christ, the only Savior and Mediator between God the Father and sinful humankind.Christianity is unique among all the religions of the world. Most of them emphasize the life of the founder, but Christianity is based on the death of Jesus Christ.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
CHRISTIANITY<kris-chan’-i-ti>, <kris-chi-an’-i-ti>, <kris-ti-an’-i-ti> ([Χριστιανισμός, Christianismos]):
A Catholic Dictionary
Christian Doctrine: Fathers and Confraternity of the
christian doctrine: fathers and confraternity of the. Ignorance of their religion being seen to be one of the chief causes of the terrible instability which caused whole populations in the sixteenth century, confounded by the harangues of Protestant preachers which they knew not how to answer, to lapse
Compton’s Encyclopedia
ChristianityThe beliefs and practices of Christianity are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christianity is divided into three main denominations: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. There are more Christians in the world (some 2 billion at the beginning of the 21st century) than
ChristianityThe earliest Christians lived in an entirely Jewish environment and readily absorbed a similar passion for education. The traditional worship service, called the mass, was itself partly an educational tool. It was divided into two sections, the first of which was called the mass of the learners.
Ecclesiastical Dictionary: Containing, in Concise Form, Information upon Ecclesiastical, Biblical, Archæological, and Historical Subjects
Christianity (Christendom, the totality of the Christian nations).—The four Gospels, written according to St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John, give us the details of the divine mission of the Saviour from His birth to His passion, death, and resurrection. This is the basis of Christianity,
Austria, Christianity In
Austria (Christianity in).—Christianity was introduced into Austria in the fourth century. The Roman colony of Trent had a bishop as early as a.d. 381, named Abundantins. His successor, Vigilius, among other extant works, left a letter addressed to St. Chrysostom. But the real apostle of Southern Rhætia,
Bavaria, Christianity In
Bavaria (Christianity in).—The Baioarii, or Bavarians, in Northern Rhætia, were chiefly converted to Christianity by the Frankish bishops, St. Rupertus and St. Emmeramnus. St. Rupertus, who was bishop of Worms, baptized the Duke Theodon of Ratisbon, restored the Bishopric of Salzburg, and founded the
Belgium, Christianity In
Belgium (Christianity in).—St. Amandus of Aquitaine, after a pilgrimage to Rome, where he was consecrated missionary bishop, preached the Gospel with much success in modern Belgium. The principal scene of his missionary labors was the neighborhood of Antwerp and Ghent. About the year 646, he was appointed
Christian.—It was about the year 40 a.d. when the first Pagano-Christian community was formed at Antioch on the Orontes, and it was also there, about the year 43, that the Faithful were first called Christians. The Acts of the Apostles relate this fact (Acts 11:26), and it is evident that the Christianoi
Christians of St. Thomas
Christians of St. Thomas.—Name given to the ancient Christians which the first Portuguese conquerors found spread around Calicut, and who pretended to be descendants of the people whom St. Thomas converted in his apostolate of the Indies. They are Nestorians of the Chaldean rite and belong to the Nestorian
Iceland.—Iceland, which was discovered by the Norwegians in 861, is indebted to King Olaf I. of Norway, for the introduction of Christianity. In the year 1000, the Christian religion was universally received in Iceland by a popular assembly. In 1056, Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen, by order of the Pope,
Japan (Christianity in).—Francis Xavier went to preach the Gospel in Japan. In 1582 the number of Christians already reached 200,000 and 200 churches were enumerated. In 1587 the missionaries were expelled, the converts were persecuted, and Japan closed to foreigners. However, in spite of all persecutions,
Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy & Worship
deiknymena. A Greek term meaning “things explained, brought forth.” In ancient Greek religion it is often the culmination of a ritual process following the *legomena and *drōmena. *Mystagogy fulfills a similar role in Christianity, and the Christian *homily or *sermon is analogous, being the exegesis
Key passages
Ac 15:1–41

And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after there was no little strife and debate by Paul and Barnabas against them, they appointed Paul and …