The Successful Paul Of Tarsus
Most of the people who lived near Jerusalem1 wereJewish. The Romans were pagans2 , but they allowedthe Jews to practice their faith and did not forcethem to worship Roman gods. About A. D. 30, aholy man named Jesus began to attract a following inthe Roman province of Judea. Judea is part of themodern nation of Israel. His followers came to believethat Jesus was the son of the God of the Jews and that he performed miracles3 . The followersof Jesus angered Roman authorities because they refused to follow either Jewish or Romanlaws. The authorities arrested and crucified4 Jesus. Three days after his execution, Jesusfollowers said they saw him rise from the dead.
The followers of Jesus called him Christ5. Christ is a Greek word that means“ chosen one”,because they believed he was chosen by God to be his messenger. In time the followers ofJesus became known as Christians. The Christians taught that people’s sins would be forgiven ifthey became Christian. This message was not successful with many Jews, but many pagansresponded to the idea of Christian salvation.
Many fervent believers carried the message of Jesus throughout the Roman Empire6 . One ofthe most successful was a Greek-speaking Jew named Paul of Tarsus, known to Christians asSaint Paul. As a young man, he helped to persecute Christians, but one day he had a vision inwhich he believed Jesus spoke to him from heaven. Paul spent the rest of his life thinking andwriting about Christianity and winning new converts to the faith. Through the persistence ofPaul and other Christian missionaries, small Christian communities developed throughout theRoman Empire.
The first Christians believed that Jesus would quickly return to earth, so there was no need tocreate any written records of his life . After about thirty years, Christians began to see a needto write down an account of the life and wisdom of Jesus. About fifty years after Jesus died,Christians combined the stories of the life and wisdom of Jesus into four books known asGospels. Gospel means“ good news”. The holy book of Christianity is known as the Bible andhas two parts. The Old Testament consists of the sacred writings of the Jewish people and waswritten long before the time of Jesus. The New Testament of the Bible includes the Gospels,along with letters written by Paul and other Christian writers. The Bible has been translated intomore than 1, 000 languages and has been read by more people than any other book.
Ⅰ. Fill in each blank:
1. The Romans were pagans, but they allowed the Jews to_________ ( 实践) their faith and didnot force them to _________( 信仰) Roman gods.
2. His followers came to believe that Jesus was the son of the God of the Jews and that heperformed _________( 奇迹) .
3. The Christians taught that people’s sins would be_________ ( 宽恕) if they became Christian.
4. About fifty years after Jesus died , Christians _________( 组成) the stories of the life andwisdom of Jesus into four books known as _________( 福音) , which means “good news”.
5. The holy book of Christianity is known as the _________( 圣经) and has two parts: the OldTestament and the New Testament.
Ⅱ. Questions :
What is the holy book of Christianity and how many parts does it have ? What are they about?
Ⅰ. 1. practice / worship 2 . miracles 3. forgiven 4.combined / Gospels 5. Bible
Ⅱ. The holy book of Christianity is known as the Bibleand it has two parts. The Old Testament consists ofthe sacred writings of the Jewish people and waswritten long before the time of Jesus. The NewTestament of the Bible includes the Gospels, alongwith letters written by Paul and other Christian writers.