Books about Christianity
Christianity (from the Greek word "Christ", anointed one) is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in the New Testament. The Christian faith is essentially faith in Jesus as the Christ (or Messiah), the Son of God, the Savior, the manifestation of God to humankind (Immanuel), and God (Yahweh or the "Lord") himself.
Adherents of the Christian faith, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible (the part of scripture common to Christianity and Judaism). Christian theology, as expressed in the early Christian ecumenical creeds claims and predominantly accepted by followers of the Christian faith, holds that Jesus suffered, died from crucifixion, buried, and was resurrected from the dead to open heaven to those who believe in him and trust him for the remission of their sins (salvation). They further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven where he rules and reigns with God the Father. Most denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge all humans, living and dead, and grant eternal life to his followers. He is considered the model of a virtuous life, and both the revealer and physical incarnation of God. Christians call the message of Jesus Christ the Gospel ("good news") and hence refer to the earliest written accounts of his ministry as gospels.
Christianity began as a Jewish sect and is classified as an Abrahamic religion. Originating in the eastern Mediterranean, it 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, most of the remainder of Europe was Christianized, with Christians also being 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. More »