Ce common era

28 Ministry of John the Baptist

30 Crucifixion of Jesus (probable)

34/37 Conversion of Saul/Paul (probable)

49-64 Active ministry and letters of Paul; other epistolary literature

6 4 Nero burns Rome, punishes Christians

66 Start of Jewish War against Rome

68 Death of Paul (and probably also of Peter)

70 Destruction of Jerusalem Temple by Romans; Gospel of Mark

85 The Birkat Ha Minim; Gospels of Matthew and Luke

90 Gospel of John

95 First Letter of Clement

107 Death of Ignatius of Antioch

122-135 Final Jewish revolt against Rome

135 Destruction of Jerusalem by Romans

135/6 Valentinus in Rome

155 Martyrdom of Polycarp

160 Death of Marcion

165 Martyrdom of Justin

156/170 Ministry of Montanus (approximate)

200 Death of Irenaeus

203 Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity

313 Edict of Milan (Constantine)

325 Council of Nicaea

Acts of the Apostles (also Acts): The second volume of the Gospel of Luke, which, by providing a narrative account, is the most important source for Christianity's first expansion.

Apocalyptic: A view of history as tending toward a (divinely appointed) goal, usually in two stages. A present age of oppression is to be followed by an age of triumph for the righteous. Also, the visionary literature containing such views.

Apocryphal: Either Jewish or Christian literature that was not included in the canonical collections.

Apostle: From the Greek word meaning "sent out with a commission," the term used in early Christianity for representatives of the risen Christ.

Baptism: The Christian ritual of initiation, carried out in public (probably) by means of immersion in water.

Canon: The official collection of literature regarded as authoritative (and often as divinely inspired) by religious tradition.

Charismatic: From the Greek word for "gift," either an expression of the Holy Spirit's activity or a person whose authority is based in such activity.

Christ/Christianity: The Hebrew term Messiah is translated into Greek as Christos, which becomes the basis for the religion in which Jesus the Messiah is the central symbol.

Circumcision: The Jewish ritual of initiation into the people of God through the removal of the foreskin of the penis. For adults, circumcision signifies acceptance of the obligation to observe Torah.

Covenant: A binding treaty between two parties. In the biblical tradition, such a treaty sets out the relationship between the one God and the people of Israel.

Diaspora: Any place Jews lived that was not Palestine. In the first century, more Jews lived in the Diaspora than in the land of Israel.

Doctrine: That aspect of a religion that contains its authoritative teachings; some traditions, such as Christianity, are rich in doctrine, while others, such as Judaism, are less so.

Ekklesia: The Greek word means "assembly" and is used both for the synagogue in the Diaspora and for the earliest Christian gatherings; usually translated as "church."

Emic: A technical term in anthropology for participant perspective or witness. Paul's letters are an example of emic discourse. The opposite of etic.

Epicurean: One of the major schools of philosophy, founded in the fourth century b.c.e. by Epicurus and characterized by tight-knit communities.

Eschatology: Any understanding of the "end" of history—the term derives from the Greek eschatos, which means "last" or "end."

Essenes: One of the "sects" in Judaism in Palestine in the first century. Members are most often identified with the community at Qumran but probably lived elsewhere as well.

Etic: A technical term in anthropology for the perspective or discourse of a nonparticipant, especially with respect to the scientific analysis of social realities. The opposite of emic.

Eucharist (see also Mass and Lord's Supper): From the Greek word for "thanksgiving," the term used for the fellowship meals among early Christians celebrated in the name of Jesus.

Gentile: The term can be used for "the nations" that are not Israel or individuals who are not Jews.

Glossolalia: One of the spiritual gifts in early Christianity, consisting in an ordered form of babbling; also "speaking in tongues."

Gnosticism/Gnostic: Terms used to designate groups in the second century who claimed the name of Christian and understood it in individualistic terms as a religion of enlightenment.

Greco-Roman: The name used to identify the cultural mix of the first-century Mediterranean world, which had a Greek civilization that had been taken over by Roman rule.

Hellenism: The cultural reality that resulted from Alexander the Great's attempt to universalize the classical Greek culture of Athens.

Lord's Supper: See Eucharist.

Magic: From one perspective, the term used to deprecate a religion not one's own. From another perspective, a relationship to transcendent power that is fundamentally manipulative.

Mantic Prophecy: A much respected form of prophecy in Hellenism, because of the conviction that the god inhabited the speaker, as Apollos did the prophetesses at Delphi (mantic = mania).

Mishnah: The authoritative collection of Jewish law derived from Torah by midrash, compiled by Judah the Prince ca. 200 C.E.

Monotheism: The distinctive tradition of Judaism that God was a name attributable only to one being, the creator, sustainer, and judge of the world. In Greco-Roman culture, some thinkers were moving to some version of this.

Montanus/Montanism: From the middle of the second century c.e., a prophet and his movement located in Phrygia.

Morality: That element of a religion in which religious experience is given expression through patterns of behavior having to do with good and evil.

Mystery: In this context, the name for religious cults that developed in Greece (as at Eleusis) and, in the Hellenistic era, proliferated in honor of different gods and goddesses.

Mysticism: That element of a religion in which an adherent seeks not a mediated but an immediate experience of the divine, through prayer or some other practice.

Pagans: Slighting term used for Gentiles and especially by Christians for Greco-Roman folk who remained unconverted to Christianity.

Patristic: From the Greek "father," the term used for ecclesiastical literature after the time of the New Testament up to the medieval period.

Pentecostal: Christians who take their distinctive stand on the exercise of the spiritual gifts (thus, Pentecost), especially prophecy and glossolalia.

Pharisee/Pharisaism: One of the sects in Judaism in first-century Palestine, characterized by deep devotion to Torah and destined to become the main surviving rival to Christianity after the destruction of the Temple.

Phenomenology/Phenomenological: In the strict sense, a form of idealist philosophy associated with such thinkers as Merlau-Ponty and Husserl; in a looser sense (used in this course), a way of looking at things (phenomena) to learn as much as possible about their nature without determining their causes.

Polis: The Greek city-state, one of the instruments by which Alexander hoped to create a pan-Hellenic world.

Polytheism: The religious system that finds the divine power or energy distributed among many gods, often envisaged in terms of an extended family (as the Olympians).

Proselytes: Literally in Greek, "those who have come over"; used for converts to Judaism.

Pythagorean: One of the major schools of philosophy, stemming from the sixth-century b.c.e. sage Pythagoras. Members lived in communities and shared possessions.

Rite de Passage: Technical term for rituals of initiation, consisting of three stages: withdrawal, liminality, reconnection. Such rituals lead to status enhancement. A Christian example is baptism.

Ritual: A pattern of repetitive behavior to which meaning is attached.

Sadducees: One of the first-century Palestinian Jewish sects, closely identified with the Temple and the high-priestly aristocracy.

Septuagint (also LXX): The translation of Torah into Greek carried out in Alexandria ca. 250 b.c.e.; the tradition was that seventy translators were involved, thus the name and abbreviation.

Stoic/Cynic: The combination of philosophical traditions found in such figures as Epictetus. Stoicism was the most popular philosophy of the Roman Empire, but it was strongly influenced by the individualism and asceticism of the Cynic movement.

Symbolic World: Social structures and the symbols that express and support them; roughly equivalent to "culture." Syncretism: The merging of things, specifically the merging of polytheistic families.

Talmud: The final authoritative collection of rabbinic lore, found in a Palestinian and in a Babylonian version, both completed by the sixth century c.e.

Tanak: The Jewish name for scripture, an acronym constructed from the three constitutive parts: Torah (first five books), Nebiim (prophets), Ketubim (writings).

Transcendent/ence: Literally "a going beyond," the term used in religion for power or value that is not definable in empirical terms; thus, something that is "greater than" the beautiful, the useful, or even the good.

Xenoglossa: Literally "strange tongue," the term used for speaking in languages that one has not learned.

Zealots: The Jewish sect in first-century Palestine that most strongly identified with the symbol kingship and sought actively to overthrow Roman rule.

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