Historically, Christianity is about 2,000 years old. It arose from the preaching, life, death, and claimed resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, a first century C.E. Jewish religious figure (hasid). Jesus preached to his fellow Jews, both in his native area, Galilee, and in other parts of the land, including Jerusalem. His disciples remembered him as having worked cures, indeed miracles, for the sick, the dying, and the possessed. We deal with the message and person of Jesus more fully in the next section. Here, the main point is that Christianity began as a messianic, sectarian Jewish movement. In the generation before the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple (70 C.E.), the followers of Jesus competed for allegiance with such other groups as the Pharisees and the Sadducees, while after the destruction of the temple their movement competed with the rabbinic movement developing to the west of Jerusalem, at Jamnia and other sites along the Mediterranean.
The principal bone of contention between traditional Jews and the followers of Jesus concerned messiahship. Traditional Jews denied that Jesus had been the Messiah, the leader anointed by God to rescue them from foreign rule and spiritual neediness. The followers of Jesus claimed that he had fulfilled the biblical prophecies concerning the Messiah by showing in his person, message, works, and resurrection from the dead a full dossier of credentials. At times this disagreement
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Publication information: Book title: Mysticism:Holiness East and West. Contributors: Denise Lardner Carmody - Author, John Tully Carmody - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 186.
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