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Early Christianity

How did Christianity evolve to become the world’s most widely practiced religion, with some 2.1 billion followers world-wide? Originally a sect of Judaism, the true origins of Christianity has long been debated by a host of religious academics and followers. What most adherents to the religion might now be aware of, however, is that Christianity as it is known to today was not known as such until after the death of Jesus Christ, founder of the faith.

In fact, the religion as it is currently practiced is actually a fusion of the teachings of Jesus himself (as well as their interpretations by his followers), Judaism, paganism, Greek thought, and even mystical religions. To begin, get the basics on the Judeo-Christians, and their contribution to the development of Christian thought. Then read about the Nazarenes and the Ebionites, two Judeo-Christian sects that were arguably the earliest followers of Jesus - although each enjoyed divergent legacies within the context of Christian history.

Next, learn about the Gnostics, the Essenes, and the Gentile Romans - all of whom have been at the center of debate at some point during the evolution of the Christian faith. Also, read about Rabbinic Judaism and their beliefts and practices.

Finally, trace the etymology of the term Christian and explore the different cultures and languages which have added layers of meaning to the name given to one of the central figures of the Christian faith.

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