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Introduction

Christianity (/krɪstʃiˈænɪti/ or /krɪstiˈænɪti/) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is the world's largest and most widespread religion with roughly 2.4 billion followers, comprising around 31.2% of the world population. Its adherents, known as Christians, are estimated to make up a majority of the population in 157 countries and territories. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible (called the Old Testament in Christianity) and chronicled in the New Testament.

Christianity remains culturally diverse in its Western and Eastern branches, and doctrinally diverse concerning justification and the nature of salvation, ecclesiology, ordination, and Christology. The creeds of various Christian denominations generally hold in common Jesus as the Son of God—the Logos incarnated—who ministered, suffered, and died on a cross, but rose from the dead for the salvation of humankind; and referred to as the gospel, meaning the "good news". The four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John describe Jesus's life and teachings, with the Old Testament as the gospels' respected background.

The six major branches of Christianity are Roman Catholicism (1.3 billion people), Protestantism (900 million), Eastern Orthodoxy (220 million), Oriental Orthodoxy (60 million), Restorationism (35 million), and the Church of the East (600 thousand). Smaller church communities number in the thousands despite efforts toward unity (ecumenism). In the West, Christianity remains the dominant religion even with a decline in adherence, with about 70% of that population identifying as Christian. Christianity is growing in Africa and Asia, the world's most populous continents. Christians remain greatly persecuted in many regions of the world, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia, and South Asia. (Full article...)

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An illuminated manuscript
Epiphanius of Salamis' book the Panarion is the main source of information regarding the Gospel of the Ebionites.

The Gospel of the Ebionites is the conventional name given by scholars to an apocryphal gospel extant only as seven brief quotations in a heresiology known as the Panarion, by Epiphanius of Salamis; he misidentified it as the "Hebrew" gospel, believing it to be a truncated and modified version of the Gospel of Matthew. The quotations were embedded in a polemic to point out inconsistencies in the beliefs and practices of a Jewish Christian sect known as the Ebionites relative to Nicene orthodoxy.

The surviving fragments derive from a gospel harmony of the Synoptic Gospels, composed in Greek with various expansions and abridgments reflecting the theology of the writer. Distinctive features include the absence of the virgin birth and of the genealogy of Jesus; an Adoptionist Christology, in which Jesus is chosen to be God's Son at the time of his Baptism; the abolition of the Jewish sacrifices by Jesus; and an advocacy of vegetarianism. (Full article...)
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"American Dream" is a song recorded by Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall and produced by Mark A. Miller and Steven Curtis Chapman, the song was included on the band's 2003 self-titled debut album. A rock song, "American Dream" features loud electric guitars similar to those on Chapman's 2001 album Declaration. Lyrically, the song discusses how fathers caught up in advancing their career can neglect their family responsibilities. It received mostly positive reviews from critics, many of whom praised its lyrics; several critics felt the song's instrumentation was average or mediocre, however.

"American Dream"'s accompanying music video, the band's first, depicts the deterioration of a relationship due to a man's neglect of his family. The song received nominations for Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year and Short Form Music Video of the Year at the 36th GMA Dove Awards, but lost in both categories. Although it was not officially released as a single, it was sent out to Christian rock radio between the release of the album's second and third singles; although it received airplay on that format, it failed to chart. "American Dream" was later included on the band's 2004 live album Live from Atlanta, and was re-recorded and released in an acoustic form on the band's 2013 album The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One. (Full article...)
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A rendering of the Last Supper made from salt, Wieliczka salt mine, Poland
A rendering of the Last Supper made from salt, Wieliczka salt mine, Poland
Credit: User:Akumiszcza

A rendering of the Last Supper made from salt, Wieliczka salt mine, Poland

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Selected scripture

The Tribute Money by Titian depicts Jesus being shown the tribute penny
Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entrap him in his talk. They sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are honest, and teach the way of God in truth, no matter whom you teach, for you aren’t partial to anyone. Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? Show me the tax money.”
They brought to him a denarius.
He asked them, “Whose is this image and inscription?”
They said to him, “Caesar’s.”
Then he said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
When they heard it, they marveled, and left him, and went away.

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This page was last updated at 2024-04-17 16:24 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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