Christianity is centred around the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The primary source of information about the life of Jesus are the Gospels, four books written by different authors 30-100 years after Jesus’ death. The Gospels eventually became the first four books of the New Testament.
Jesus is the Son of God, fully divine and fully human, and the saviour of humanity whose coming as Christ or the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins. Jesus bodily ascended into heaven, where he reigns with God the Father, and he will return to judge the living and dead and grant eternal life to his followers. His ministry, crucifixion and resurrection are referred to as “the gospel”.
Jesus’ teachings focused on the themes of the kingdom of God, love of God and love of neighbour.
Early Christianity spread from city to city throughout the Hellenized Roman Empire and beyond into East Africa and South Asia. The Christian Apostles, dispersed from Jerusalem, travelled extensively and established communities in major cities and regions throughout the Empire. The original church communities were founded in northern Africa, Asia Minor, Armenia, Caucasian Albania, Arabia, Greece, and other places by apostles and other Christian preachers.
The Twelve Apostles were the direct followers of Jesus, the primary disciples, who became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus.
The greatest theologian of the Christian faith, the Apostle Paul was perhaps the most influential early Christian missionary. Paul’s influence on Christian thinking is more significant than any other New Testament author.
All but one the Twelve Disciples were martyred.
– The St. Peter’s Basilica Vatican, Rome, Italy was built on the burial site of Peter the Apostle.
– Basilica of St. Andrew at Patras, Achaea, Greece where the relics of Andrew the Apostle are kept, said to be erected over the place of his martyrdom.
– Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Galicia, A Coruña, Spain houses the tomb of St. James son of Zebedee.
– The tomb of John the Apostle is located at Ephesus, near Selçuk, Turkey.
– The Santhome Basilica, Santhome, Chennai, India, houses the tomb of Thomas the Apostle.
– St. Philip Martyrium, Hierapolis, near Denizli, Turkey.
– St. Bartholomew Monastery near Başkale, Turkey. The Monastery was built on the traditional site of the martyrdom of Bartholomew the Apostle.