Jewish faith in the first-century was defined by belief in one god (monotheism), Yahweh, whose presence was in the Temple, which was surrounded by the Land that had been promised to Israel. The five symbols: monotheism, election, Land, Torah and Temple, were “a common and a unifying core for second Temple Judaism.”
Every king of Israel and Judah was known as “anointed one”, which in Hebrew is “messiah”, because the prophet or high priest anointed him, usually with olive oil, at the time of his enthronement. However, the Old Testament writers had different ideas as to what sort of saviour this messiah would be.
Constantine was the first Roman emperor to be baptized as a Christian. The story of how he converted to Christianity and the impact that this had on Christianity has provided much debate ever since.
Monasticism can be traced back to the fourth century and over the centuries there were several attempts to write a Rule by which the lives of monks would be ordered. In the sixth century Benedict took one such Rule by an Italian monk known as the Master and developed it into, as Carolinne White comments, […]