Christianity from Judaism to Constantine: Crash Course World History #11


Hi there my name’s John Green; this is Crash Course
World History and today we’re going to talk about Jesus. So this is a Roman coin from around the time
Jesus was born in the Roman Empire, and it calls Augustus, the emperor, the son of God.
So let’s just state at the outset that in 4 BCE, being the son of God, or at least being
the son of a god was not such an unusual thing. But a poor Jew being the son of God — that
was news. [Theme Music] Any understanding of Christianity has to start
with Judaism, because Jesus was born a Jew, and he grew up in the Jewish tradition. He
was one of many teachers spreading his ideas in the Roman province of Judea at the time,
and he was part of a messianic tradition that helps us understand why he was thought of
not only teacher but something much, much more. Let’s go straight to the Thought Bubble
today. The people who would become the Jews, were
just one of many tribal peoples eking out an existence in that not-very fertile crescent
world of Mesopotamia after the agricultural revolution. The Hebrews initially worshiped many gods,
making sacrifices to them in order to bring good weather and good fortune. But they eventually
developed a religion centered around an idea that would become key to the other great western
religions. This was monotheism, the idea that there is
only one true god (or at least that if there are other gods around, they are total lameoids).
The Hebrews developed a second concept that is key to their religion as well: the idea
of the covenant, a deal with God. The main man in this, the big macher was Abraham.
Not to make this too much of a scripture lesson, but it’s kind of hard to understand the
Jews without understanding Abraham, or Abram as he was known before he had his big conversation
with God. Recorded in Genesis 17: “When Abram was ninety years and nine, the LORD appeared
to Abram, and said unto him, ‘I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.’
” And I’m a make a covenant with you and a bunch of cool things will happen like you’re
gonna have kids and your descendants will number the stars and you can have all the
land of Canaan forever, it’s gonna be awesome. I’m paraphrasing by the way, Thought Bubble. So God promised that Abram would have kids
with his wife even though the dude was already like 99, but there was a catch: “This is my
covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; every man
child among you shall be circumcised.” Keep it PG-13, Thought Bubble. Now that is asking a lot from a guy, especially
a 99-year-old geezer like Abram living in a time before general anesthesia. But those
were the terms of the deal, and in exchange God had chosen Abraham and his descendants
to be a great nation. From this we get the expression that the Jews are the Chosen people. Thanks for keeping it clean, Thought Bubble. So, some important things about this god: One, singularity. He — and I’m using the
masculine pronoun because that’s what Hebrew prayers use — does not want you to put any
gods before Him. He is also transcendent, having always existed
and he is deeply personal – he chats with prophets, sends locusts, etc. But he doesn’t
take corporeal form like the Greek and Roman Gods do. He is also involved in history, like he will
destroy cities, and bring floods, and determine the outcome of wars, and possibly football
games. Stan, no! FOOTBALL games! Probably most important to us today, and certainly
most important to Jesus, this god demands moral righteousness and social justice. So,
this is the god of the Hebrews, Yahweh, and despite many ups and downs, the Jewish people
have stuck with him for- according to the Hebrew calendar, at least- over 5700 years. And He has stuck by them too, despite the
Jews being, on occasion, something of a disappointment to him. Which leads to various miseries, and
also to a tradition of prophets who speak for God and warn the people to get back on
the right path lest there be more miseries. Which brings us back to our friends, the Romans.
By the time that Jesus was born, the land of the Israelites had been absorbed into the
Roman Empire as the province of Judea. At the time of Jesus’s birth, Judea was under
the control of Herod the Great, best known for building the massive temple in Jerusalem,
that the Romans would later destroy. And by the time Jesus died, an expanded Judea
was under the rule of Herod Antipater. Also, unhelpfully, known as Herod. Both Herods ultimately
took their orders from the Romans, and they both show up on the list of rulers who are
oppressive to the Jews, partly because there’s never that much religious freedom in an empire. Unless you are, wait for it… The Mongols
[Mongoltage] or the Persians. Also, they were Hellenizers,
bringing in Greek theater and architecture, and rationalism. And in response to those
Hellenistic influences, there were a lot of preachers trying to get the Jews to return
to the traditions and the godly ways of the past, including the Sadducees, and the Pharisees,
and the Essenes, and the Zealots. And one of those preachers, who didn’t fit
comfortably into any of these four groups, was Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was a preacher
who spread his message of peace, love and, above all, justice, across Judea over the
course of his actually average-length life for his time. He was remarkably charismatic, attracting
a small but incredibly loyal group of followers, and he was said to perform miracles — although
it’s worth noting that miracles weren’t terribly uncommon at the time. Jesus’s message was particularly resonant
to the poor and downtrodden and pretty radical in its anti-authoritarian stance. He said
it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get
to heaven, he said the meek were blessed, that the last would be first and the first
would be last — all of which was kind of threatening to the powers that be, who accordingly
had him arrested, tried and then executed in the normal method of killing rebels at
that time: crucifixion. Also, just to put this question to bed, the
Romans crucified Jesus, because he was a threat to their authority. Later traditions saying that the
Jews killed Jesus? Very unfortunate, also, very untrue. We’re not going to discuss Jesus’s divinity,
because: 1. This isn’t a theology class, and
2. Flame wars on the Internet make me so uncomfortable that I have to turn to camera 2. Hi there camera
2, I’m here to remind you that 3. Fighting over such things, like fighting
over whether the proverbial cake is a lie, rarely accomplishes anything, plus
4. What matters to us is the historical fact that people at the time believed that Jesus
was the Messiah, the Anointed One, the son of God. And they believed that he would return
some day to redeem the world. Which leads us to two questions about Christianity: First, Why did this small group of people
believe this? And second, why and how did that belief become so widespread? So why would people believe that Jesus was
the Messiah? First. The Jews had a long tradition of believing
that a savior who would come to them in a time of trouble. And Judea under the rule
of Herod and the Romans… definitely a time of trouble. And many of the prophecies about this savior
point to someone whose life looks a lot like Jesus’s. For instance, Isaiah 53 says the
person will be misunderstood and mistreated, just like Jesus was: “He was despised, and
rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide
their face he was despised; and we didn’t respect him.” And a lot of the prophecies like Daniel 7:14,
for instance, explained that when the Messiah comes there will be this awesome, new, everlasting
kingdom. And that had to sound pretty good to people who’d had their autonomy taken
away from them. So some religious Jews saw Jesus in those
prophecies and came to believe either during his life or shortly thereafter, that he was
the messiah. Most of them thought the new everlasting kingdom was right around the corner,
which is probably why no one bothered to write down much about the life of Jesus for several
decades, by which time it was clear that we might have to wait a bit for this brilliant
new everlasting kingdom. I should note, by the way, that the idea of
a messiah was not unique to the Jews at the time. Even the Romans got in on the action,
for instance, the Roman poet Virgil wrote of a boy who: “Shall free the earth from
never-ceasing fear, he shall receive the life of gods, and see Heroes with gods commingling.”
Sound familiar? But Virgil was writing about Emperor Augustus
in that poem, not Jesus, which points again to the similarities between the two. Both
called sons of God. Both sent to free the earth from never-ceasing fear. But one ruled
the largest empire in the world; and the other believed that empire, and the world, needed
to change dramatically. So why did the less wealthy and famous son
of God become by far the more influential? Well, here are three possible historical reasons: Reason #1: The Romans continued to make things
bad for the Jews. In fact, things got much worse for the Jews, especially after they launched
a revolt between 66-73 CE, which did not go well. By the time the dust settled, the Romans had
destroyed the Temple and expelled the Jews from Judea, beginning what we now know
as the Jewish Diaspora. And without a Temple or geographic unity,
the Jews had to solidify what it meant to be a Jew and what the basic tenants of the
religion were. This forced the followers of Jesus to make a decision: were they going
to continue to be Jews following stricter laws set forth by rabbis, or were they going
to be something else. The decision to open up their religion to
non-Jews, people who weren’t part of the covenant, is the central reason that Christianity
could become a world religion instead of just a sect of Judaism. And it probably didn’t
hurt that the main proponent of sticking with Judaism was James, Jesus’s brother, who
was killed by the Romans. Reason #2: Is related to Reason #1 and it’s
all about a dude named Saul. No, not that Saul. Yes, Saul of Tarsus, thank you. Saul, having received a vision on the road
to Damascus, became Paul and began visiting and sending letters to Jesus followers throughout
the Mediterranean. And it was Paul who emphatically declared that Jesus followers did NOT have
to be Jews, that they did not have to be circumcised or keep to Jewish laws or any of that stuff. This opened the floodgates for thousands of
people to convert to this new religion. And the other thing to remember about Paul is
that he was a Roman citizen, which meant that he could travel freely throughout the Roman
Empire. This allowed him to make his case to lots of different people and facilitated
the geographic spread of Christianity. Oh, it’s time for the open letter? Alright.
An open letter, to the fish. But first, lets see what’s in the secret
compartment today. Oh, Stan. It’s my favorite album Jesus Christ Superstar, finally available
in my favorite format, the cassette. Did I color-coordinate my shirt to Jesus Christ
Superstar? Yes. Dear Ichthys, So check this out: In the first
century when it was still super underground and hipster to be a Christian, you were a
secret symbol of Christianity, used to kind of hide from the Romans. Ichthys, the Greek
word for fish, was an acronym and it was a super clever way to talk about religion without
anyone knowing that you were talking about it. But you’ll never guess what happened – even
in places where it’s completely fine to talk about Christianity now and to use, you
know, regular Christian symbols, like the cross, you have had a huge resurgence thanks
to the plastic automobile decal industry. I mean seriously, Ichthys, I haven’t seen
a comeback like this since Jesus. Best wishes, John Green And lastly, Christianity was born and flourished
an empire with a common language that allowed for its spread. And crucially, it was also
an Empire in decline. Like even by the end of the first century
CE, Rome was on its way down. And for the average person, and even for some elites,
things weren’t as good as they had been, if fact they were getting worse so fast that you
might have thought the end of the world was coming. And Roman religion offered no promise of an
afterlife, and a bunch of squabbling whiny gods – sorry if I offended adherents to Roman
religion, but seriously, they squabble. So even though early Christians were persecuted
by the Roman Empire and sometimes fed to the lions and other animals, the religion continued
to grow, albeit slowly. But then as the Roman decline continued, Emperor
Constantine allowed the worship of Jesus and then eventually converted to Christianity
himself. And then the religion really took off. I mean, Rome wasn’t what it used to
be, but everybody still wanted to be like the Emperor. And soon enough there was a new
son of God on coins. Thanks for watching. See you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
Muller, our script supervisor is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history
teacher Raoul Meyer and myself and our graphics team is Thought Bubble. As only 62 million of you guessed last week,
the Phrase of the Week was “Chipotle Burrito”; if you want to guess at this week’s Phrase
of the Week or suggest future ones, you can do so in Comments where you can also ask questions
about today’s video that will be answered, hopefully, by our team of historians. Thanks for watching Crash Course, and as we
say in my hometown, Don’t Forget To Be Awesome. Ow… again.

100 Replies to “Christianity from Judaism to Constantine: Crash Course World History #11

  1. Why would you taint the Crash Course channel with opinionated indoctrination tactics…..??? Why? This is not history…This is an extremist take on history prescribed by a socialist psycopath..

  2. I think it's wrong that religion paints "god" as an man. You think of it a being that creates be a man ? Ha "god." Is a women

  3. Rather than argue about what may or may not be… Why not make what we would rather come of it. Academics, rather than needless argument, or displaying faith of intervention from a metaphysical figure, that's probably already busy. Personally I'm something of a pantheistic as natural human nature. Even if Stargate is one of my favorite shows, that doesn't mean I can't be opposed to %80 of the decisions made by the governing/ directing factors.

  4. You will not get an education on Christianity from this vid. Go to Sunday school or do a catechism course at tour local church or place of worship. This video is extremely secular and disinformative.

  5. Many scholars don't believe that Jesus even existed but this guy knows for certain that the )ews had no part in his crucifixion? Right.

  6. A few other less-commonly-cited historical reasons why Christianity beat out the many other popular Roman sects: 1) Besides being a Roman citizen with travel rights, Paul was a businessman who sold tents – very useful for newcomers to the many Jewish-Christian communities that Paul visited and wrote to. Converting non-Jews vastly increased his customer base. 2) caring for the sick, the poor, the elderly was unique amongst the many sects and priestly orders of the traditional gods and was widely noticed as the Empire became increasingly unstable; very appealing to the down and out, and 3) as the scholar Amanda Porterfield claims in her book, "Healing in the History of Christianity", healing in the name of Jesus was practiced amongst early Christian communities and if only by placebo effect – gave Christianity yet another advantage.

  7. A few other less-commonly-cited historical reasons why Christianity beat out the many other popular Roman sects: 1) Besides being a Roman citizen with travel rights, Paul was a businessman who sold tents – very useful for newcomers to the many Jewish-Christian communities that Paul visited and wrote to. Converting non-Jews vastly increased his customer base. 2) caring for the sick, the poor, the elderly was unique amongst the many sects and priestly orders of the traditional gods and was widely noticed as the Empire became increasingly unstable; very appealing to the down and out, and 3) as the scholar Amanda Porterfield claims in her book, "Healing in the History of Christianity", healing in the name of Jesus was practiced amongst early Christian communities and if only by placebo effect – gave Christianity yet another advantage.

  8. I am told (so don't take my word for it – pls research this yourself) Judaism and all the extra books that go with it came later and is an addition to what the original Israelites practiced – Judaism is a branch off at a tangent with it's own new set of rules and teachings. Of course feel free to correct me – glad to learn.

  9. Believe in one God: Islam:Yes, Christianity:No, Paganism:No

    Human sacrifice: Islam:No, Christianity:Yes, Paganism:Yes

    Consuming pork: Islam:No, Christianity:Yes, Paganism:Yes

    Consuming alcohol: Islam:No, Christianity:Yes, Paganism:Yes

    Easter: Islam:No, Christianity:Yes, Paganism:Yes

    Cannibalism: Islam:No, Christianity:Yes, Paganism:Yes

    Alcohol: Islam:No, Christianity:Yes, Paganism:Yes

    Homosexuality: Islam:No, Christianity:No, Paganism:Yes

    Drugs: Islam:No, Christianity:No, Paganism:Yes

    Idols: Islam:No, Christianity:Yes, Paganism:Yes

    Similarity between Christianity vs Paganism: 70%

    Similarity between Islam vs Christianity: 20%

    Similarity between Islam vs Paganism: 0%

    Please copy and paste. Peace.

  10. I hated this, you found a way to insert your biased, non-belief in Jesus to kids, so that they will think of him as just some joke and Christianity as a false "religion." I seen in your video on Islam after seeing this one too, and you project it as truth as to where you teach that Jesus as a lie. Too bad Jesus and the Bible proves you to be wrong and an Anti-Christ follower. Parent's be careful of who you allow to teach your children. Satan is everywhere now!

  11. Sadly, the argument in the video above is based upon evolutionary assumptions which were neither disclosed nor argued for… They skip theology altogether and while the Romans were the authority — it was the Jewish religious elite who sought for Christ's crucifixion… Of course the bottom line is: What is true about all this? Either God exists or God does not. Does the truth itself matter? Not if Christianity is false! Who can argue rationally against the principles of Jesus' teachings? (Which led to the rise of the West.) If none can, then I think that is pretty much… 'nuff said.

  12. Evidence shows that Jesus was NOT POOR.
    He was a RICH KID basically from the major construction-family of the government over the region, that built the PALACES of the time. .
    As a result, Jesus was HIGHLY educated, and he went from a successful carpenter into politics to protect the corruption in the Jewish church, likening it to "a house built on the sand,;" i.e. as a carpenter, he likened the Church to a building, that was only as sound as its foundation… and the Sanhedrin was SELLING OUT the fundamental principals of Judaism.

    Romans later adopted these principals due to the population-gaps of the Roman Empire, and the need to unify the populace and change the focus from industry and expansion to loyalty and propagation.
    But these videos will NEVER TELL THIS; because it doesn't suit their narrative, and they DON'T KNOW>

  13. Okay, so what is the CONNECTION between circumcision and the Convenant?
    SIMPLE: DUMMY: circumcision leaves a man functionally intact for REPRODUCTION– but NOT MUCH ELSE.
    No butt-sex, no spanking, none of that stuff that depletes sperm-counts and keeps populations LOW.
    Meanwhile women HAD to get married before sex, and couldn't have sex on her period– or REFUSE her husband any other time.
    This naturally SKYROCKETED the population.
    And so when Jesus was born in a barn during the Roman CENSUS (since all the hotels were booked, since everyone had to return HOME for the census), Romans realized that the Jews were doing SOMETHING right– and THAT'S HOW CHRISTIANITY HAPPENED, when they adopted Jewish principles to expand the Roman Empire.

  14. I believe in the Power of the Son of God and worship his Heavenly High Father.

    But I am APPALLED that Crashcourse is representing biblical accounts and verses as credible? Reliable? Valid? Idek what to call it
    Some kind of fact-aligned information.

    You just lost some historicity trustworthiness in my camp.

  15. Miss interpretation of the children of Adam Son of god is the translation of barrabas the son of the father jesus barrabas the one the cross the marther of the real masias the soldjer of the masias

  16. Actually, the early Christians never called themselves Christians. They were called saints. Also, Abraham was not a Jew. He was Hebrew. You can’t be a Jew if you predate a man from whose name the word Jew is derived.

  17. The Bible literally says the Jews killed Jesus 3 times. How is that a “later idea” it was the original, and correct observation.

  18. I still don't know why Christians are criticizing Atheists. I mean, (based on your belief) it's not like we're gonna go to hell soon or whatever, so why even bother right?

    P.S I'm not trying spark a war here okay

  19. Crash coursing Christianity isn't possible. You do that, and you end up with half of this, or some of that… which is DANGEROUS. It's like Mr Miyagi always said "Karate yes, or Karate no… Karate so, so… SQUISH like grape!" I also like the Yoda spin… "do or do not, there is no try"

    This channel has over 10m subs, is very well promoted, and uses the apple as their icon.

    Don't take anything from this channel at face value. I can warn you because i have the eyes to see, and ears to hear. Seek out god with all your heart.

  20. Wow just read the gospel. Totally inaccurate. Jesus preached salvation through him as loving King saving us from our sin. Shame to see John G totally misunderstand this.

  21. To say the Jews did not have Jesus crucified is just silly. I guess anyone can rewrite the Bible these days

  22. This is incredibly biased. How can you call Abraham an "Old geezer" without showing bias? This is not appropriate for classroom use.

  23. Lame course. Don't go divinity of Jesus. Not even mention, the virgin birth, Resurrection. and so many things. But still, thanks for the effort. Jesus bless you , brother.

  24. The idea that "Romans killed jesus because he was che Guevara" is ridiculously unscientific.
    I can't even.

    Do you have a single evidence for that boy?

    That was the accusation by the Pharisees

    "My kingdom is not of this world"

    Not a threat to Rome.

  25. Jesus and his first followers were Jews who observed the normal Jewish way of life.
    Question is are they descendants still considering themselves as Jewish or Christians?
    Its possible there where Jewish citizens among the Romans an example is Saul who became Paul. immigrants from other countries Their legions contained Greek. African, Celtic, Egyptian, German and Jewish people amongst its populations.

  26. It's funny, if Jewish says they are chosen people by God, it's ok, but if white person says his/her nation is chosen by God, he/she is a Nazi

  27. One man to say who is right, who is wrong is a total dictatorship for all time. It is not even certain if he was ever born! Even if he was no intelligent being has any obligation to obey! To anyone or anything!

  28. completely missed the resurrection which was marked by hundreds of eyewitness testimonies! which basically confirms christianity

  29. All this is assuming that Jesus was a real person who existed, for which there's not really good evidence for that… I'm still undecided as to whether there was a real single Jesus, or if its more like the stories about Zeus, Hercules, Thor, etc.

  30. The Roman's Empire would also feed Christians to the Lions after Christ Resurrection and heartless Mary stayed and watched after visiting subliminal Satan. The Roman's would worship the Virgin Mary before and after Christ Resurrection without a Thorn Crown. Our Heavenly Father told us about that forbidden knowledge 🌳 came with more rotten angelic beings he called them false gods in his commandments under his Covenant. Mary didn't just deny Christ teachings but also his prophet Moses purpose after delivering Moses out of Egypt and wrote the commandments with his own hands. Was it not Christ who told us of Our Heavenly Father and his Holy Spirit and when we pray and within that prayer we ask Our Heavenly Father for forgiveness under his Covenant.

  31. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy of Our Heavenly Father commandments and Christ prescribed Saturday to be the Sabbath day in full filling that law of his Covenant. Our Heavenly Father directly took his prophets directly after their life end. Our Heavenly Father left Mary in her tombstone investment unlike Moses Noah Abraham Christ Enoch Sara etc. Mary was compromised something like Eve in the Garden of Eden🌳and twinkling angelic rotten apples of the archangel Gabriel and subliminal Satan kept visiting Mary before and after Christ Resurrection, she wanted to be worship as a God in the Roman Catholic synagogues and St branches thereof.

  32. Have you heard that the Messiah is coming , many have except Mary who took counsel from rotten angelic beings and rename the son of God Messiah to born Jesus Christ without authority from Our Heavenly Father. The Messiah will return for his Covenant

  33. Let not Romans , angels , hybrid nor beast come between serving Our Heavenly Father and his commandments under his Covenant.

  34. Paul is a Pharisee..teacher of jus..Jesus said they sit in Moses seat but not to do as them..Paul is a Pharisee Google it in Bible turn to your Bible and study stop following man religion

  35. Jesus: preaches love and forgiveness

    Christians: find ways to viciously hate people that don't conform to their exact set of beliefs, and use religion as an excuse to break commandments like thou shalt not kill

  36. Average age 🤔🤔🤔 in a time when people were crucified and war is everywhere and childbearing cause death of the one giving birth or and babies often die and there wasn't much in the way of medicine🤔🤔🤔

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