The CHRISTIANITY PORTAL
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Christianity (from the Greek word Khristos Xριστός "Christ" or 'Anointed') is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in the New Testament, who (according to Christian scripture) lived during 4BC-30AD. Adherents of Christianity, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah prophesied about in the Hebrew Bible (the part of scripture common to Christianity, Islam (although differences are seen in the Islamic Pentateuch and the Judeo-Christian Pentateuch) and Judaism). Christian theology claims that Jesus suffered, died, and was resurrected to bring about salvation from sin. Christians call the message of Jesus Christ the Gospel ("good news") and hence refer to the earliest written accounts of his ministry as gospels. These early written accounts are the first four books of the New Testament called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Like Judaism, Christianity is classified as an Abrahamic religion (see also Judeo-Christian). Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the eastern Mediterranean, quickly grew in size and influence over a few decades, and by the 4th century had become the dominant religion within the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, Christianity lost up to two thirds of its size to Muslim military (North Africa, Middle East and parts of Europe), but also most of the remainder of Europe was Christianized. Since then, Christians have also been a (sometimes large) religious minority in the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of India. Following the Age of Discovery, through missionary work and colonization, Christianity spread to the Americas and the rest of the world. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization since at least the 4th century. As of the early 21st century, Christianity has between 1.5 billion and 2.1 billion adherents, representing about a quarter to a third of the world's population. According to The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, it is the world's largest religion.
The Sermon on the Mount
was, according to the Gospel of Matthew
, a particular oration
given by Jesus of Nazareth
around AD 30
on a mountainside to his disciples and a large Galilean
crowd (Matt 5:1; 7:28). It is thought by some contemporary Christians to have taken place on a mountain on the north end of the Sea of Galilee
, near Capernaum
. The recounting of the Sermon on the Mount comes from the Gospel of Matthew 5
The Sermon on the Mount may be compared to the similar but more succinct Sermon on the Plain as recounted by the Gospel of Luke (6:17–49). Opinion is divided as to whether they are the same sermon, similar sermons exploring the same themes, or even that neither sermon really took place but were simply conflations of Jesus' primary teachings as put together by Matthew and Luke.
Arguably the best-known segment is the Beatitudes, found at the sermon's beginning. It also contains the Lord's Prayer and the injunctions to "resist not evil" and "turn the other cheek", as well as Jesus' version of the Golden Rule. Other lines often quoted are the references to "salt of the Earth," "light of the world," and "judge not, lest ye be judged." Many Christians believe that the Sermon on the Mount is a form of commentary (midrash) on the Ten Commandments. To many, the Sermon on the Mount summarises the central tenets of Christian discipleship.
(c. 1100 – 1169) (sometimes Nigel Poor
or Nigel of Ely
) was an Anglo-Norman bishop of Ely
. He came from an ecclesiastical family; his uncle Roger of Salisbury
was a bishop and government minister for King Henry I
, and other relatives also held offices in the English Church and government. Nigel owed his advancement to his uncle, as did Nigel's probable brother Alexander
, who like Nigel was advanced to episcopal status. Nigel was educated on the continent before becoming a royal administrator. He served as Treasurer of England
under King Henry I of England
, before being appointed to the see
, or bishopric, of Ely in 1133. Following the accession of Henry I's successor, King Stephen
, Nigel remained as treasurer only briefly before his family was ousted from political office by the new king. Nigel rebelled and deserted to Stephen's rival Matilda
, but eventually reconciled with Stephen. On the king's death, Nigel was returned to the treasurership by the new king, Henry II
. Nigel's second tenure as treasurer saw him return the administration to the practices of Henry I. Most historians, then and now, have felt that Nigel's administrative abilities were excellent; he is considered to have been more talented as an administrator than as a religious figure.
A Christian martyr is a person who is killed for following Christianity, through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. The word "martyr" comes from the Greek word μάρτυς, mártys, which means "witness." At first, the term applied to Apostles. Once Christians started to undergo persecution, the term came to be applied to those who suffered hardships for their faith. Finally, it was restricted to those who had been killed for their faith. The early Christian period before Constantine I was the "Age of martyrs". A martyr's death was considered a "baptism in blood," cleansing one of sin, similar to the effect of baptism in water. Early Christians venerated martyrs as powerful intercessors, and their utterances were treasured as inspired by the Holy Spirit.
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