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Portal:Christianity

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Common symbol of Christianity

Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, known as Christians. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament.

Christian theology is summarized in various creeds. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and rose 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. The creeds further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven, where he reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, and that he will return to judge the living and the dead and grant eternal life to his followers. His incarnation, earthly ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection are often referred to as "the gospel", meaning "good news". The term gospel also refers to written accounts of Jesus's life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are considered canonical and included in the Christian Bible.

Christianity began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century. Throughout its history, the religion has weathered schisms and theological disputes that have resulted in many distinct churches and denominations. Worldwide, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the various denominations of Protestantism. The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches broke communion with each other in the East-West Schism of 1054; Protestantism came into existence in the Reformation of the 16th century, splitting from the Catholic Church.

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RSV Bible.jpg
The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is an English translation of the Bible that was popular in the mid-20th century and posed the first serious challenge to the King James Version (KJV) owing to its aim to be both a readable and literally accurate modern English translation of the Bible.

The RSV is a comprehensive revision of the King James Version of 1611, the English Revised Version of 1881-1885, and the American Standard Version of 1901, with the ASV text being the most consulted. It sought not only to clearly bring the Bible to the English-speaking church, but to "preserve all that is best in the English Bible as it has been known and used through the centuries."

The copyright to the ASV was acquired by the International Council of Religious Education in 1928, and this Council renewed the ASV copyright the next year. In 1935, a two-year study began to decide the question of a new revision, and in 1937, it was decided that a revision would be done and a panel of 32 scholars was put together for that task. The decision, however, was delayed by the Great Depression. Funding for the revision was assured in 1936 by a deal that was made with Thomas Nelson & Sons. The deal gave Thomas Nelson & Sons the exclusive rights to print the RSV for ten years. The translators were to be paid by advance royalties.

Selected scripture

The Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha is the site where some Christians believe the feeding of the five thousand to have taken place
Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?”
This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may receive a little.”
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these among so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
Now there was much grass in that place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
Jesus took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to those who were sitting down; likewise also of the fish as much as they desired.
When they were filled, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the broken pieces which are left over, that nothing be lost.”
So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten.
When therefore the people saw the sign which Jesus did, they said, “This is truly the prophet who comes into the world.”
Jesus therefore, perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
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Did you know...

...that there are approximately 2.5 billion Christians worldwide?
...that there are usually 66 books in the Protestant Bible, and 73 in the Catholic Bible, and 75 in the Eastern Orthodox Bible?
...that there are over 33,500 Protestant denominations in 238 countries worldwide?
...that during the Avignon Papacy from 1305 to 1378, several medieval popes lived/resided in Avignon and not in Rome?


Selected biography

Gregory of Nazianzus was a 4th century Christian bishop of Constantinople. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. As a classically trained speaker and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials. Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology among both Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking theologians, and he is remembered as the "Trinitarian Theologian". Much of his theological work continues to influence modern theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three persons of the Trinity. Along with two brothers, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, he is known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers. Gregory is honored as a saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity. In the Roman Catholic Church he is among the Doctors of the Church; in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eastern Catholic Churches he is revered as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Basil of Caesarea and John Chrysostom.

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Saint Paul Writing His Epistles
Credit: User:Mathiasrex

The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul (Παῦλος) as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents. They provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity and as part of the canon of the New Testament they are foundational texts for both Christian theology and ethics.

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