By Ann Marie B. Bahr

* available and actual surveys of mainstream religions * All facets - together with roots and founding, basic bellefs, and cultural actions, the ways that the faiths are perceived by means of the remainder of the area, and the event of growing to be up as a member of the faith - are tested * very good introductions to the world's significant faiths An ancient survey of the world's biggest religion.

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Though they have many elements in common, they are not the same. Each Gospel begins and ends in its own way, and each offers a unique selection and arrangement of stories about Jesus. The stories themselves had been treasured and passed on orally for a generation or more before becoming incorporated into one or more of the Gospels. Each of the four Gospels paints a unique portrait of Jesus by weaving together different parts of the oral tradition. Although they are usually referred to as “the Gospel of Mark” or “Luke’s Gospel,” the Gospels are actually anonymous writings.

Q 1/3/04 3:08 AM Page 21 Jesus of Nazareth ROMAN OCCUPATION esus was born when Rome ruled the world. At the time of his birth, the Roman Empire included all the areas bordering the Mediterranean Sea, plus all of Western Europe except the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Germany. Judaea (part of ancient Palestine) was a tributary when Jesus was born. D. 6. Although Rome boasted military, political, and economic dominance, the culture of the Roman Empire was still Greek. Rome had been a republic until just a few decades before the birth of Jesus.

Luke also mentions the power of the Holy Spirit far more than does any of the other evangelists. , Stephen in Acts 7:55), includes the famous account of the Holy Spirit descending upon some of Jesus’s closest associates at Pentecost (Acts 2). Luke’s Gospel emphasizes Jesus’s compassion. All of society’s marginalized—women, the diseased, Samaritans, Gentiles, sinners—beseech Jesus at every turn for help. Some of their problems are physical, some social, and some psychological. No matter what the nature of the complaint, Jesus can and does try to heal it.

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