25

The branches come from difference in opinion. Here is a diagram showing where Christianity diverged. Image source From the beginning Christianity diverged from Judaism1: where Christianity emphasizes correct belief (or orthodoxy), focusing on the New Covenant as mediated through Jesus Christ, as recorded in the New Testament. Judaism places emphasis on ...


23

It's not even a Christian perspective that's needed. It's a historical one. Christianity sprang from Judaism, and Judaism and Islam share common roots. All three are known as "Abrahamic religions" because they trace their history to the covenant God made with Abraham in the Hebrew Bible. All of the events you listed were from before Abraham. Talmudic ...


23

That Christ's hands were nailed to the cross is firmly established by Scripture. Following the Resurrection, the Apostle Thomas doubted that Christ was alive: So he [Thomas] said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." (John 20:25, NKJV) ...


17

Such a simple question, and so difficult to provide a simple answer! Probably the main reasons for Christianity dividing into branches and sects are: (a) issues of dogma: disagreements about points of doctrine some of which seem with hindsight to be incredibly hair-splitting, such as the precise relationship between Jesus' physical nature as a man and his ...


14

Another "historical approach" remark - there were some Christians in Arabia in Muhammad's times, so even if Muhammad was illiterate, he could ask some of his Christian neighbors and listen to the stories. But most of these "Christians" were not orthodox and many of them belonged to sects today refered to as gnostics, not Christians. Bible as we know it wasn'...


13

To answer your first question, yes, the total Christian population is growing, by about 1.5% per year. This number comes from one of several excellent studies of Christian populations, a 2013 report published by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. (full report) This particular study focuses on the growth ...


12

I tend to agree with Marc Gravell's answer on this, but I would like to add that I don't think that any religious influence or moral framework could make a true democracy work. True democracy, history has shown, always degenerates into what Lord Acton described as "the tyranny of the majority" in which the rights of the minority get trampled by the opinion ...


11

Prepare for your mind to be blown Mohammedanism was a heresy: that is the essential point to grasp before going any further. It began as a heresy, not as a new religion. It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy. It was a perversion of Christian doctrine. It vitality and endurance soon gave it the appearance of a new ...


11

The other answers here are good, but I'll try to directly address some questions with more detail. And this is the sort of question where a lot of answers are "it's complicated, and no one perspective is correct." As you stated, there are three "main branches" of Christianity, with most branches and sub-branches claiming to be the one, holy, catholic, and ...


9

Muhammad had most likely been in contact with Christian and Jewish influences As a child/young man, Muhammad, whilst traveling on trading missions with his uncle to Syria, would have no doubt come into direct contact with Christians and Jews, or at the very least those who knew the traditions of those two religions in that part of the world at that time. ...


9

This type of research would be incredibly hard to get accurate data about. But we can still get a good idea of what the most used languages are. I have taken the spreadsheet of data from the Joshua Project and put it in a Google Doc. Google Docs has some nice data processing tools! The first set of statistics is the number of Christian adherents per ...


8

Below I have reproduced a table from a 2011 Pew study on Christian Movements and Denominations which used data from the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Center for the Study of Global Christianity. +-----------------------------------------------------+-------------------------------+ | Denominational family | Percentage of ...


7

Heresy (αἵρεσις) means "choice," and "a heretic is one who chooses what he wants according to his own ideas and opinions, selecting certain parts of the Christian Tradition while rejecting others" (OCA). Some additional insight from this article: By his actions, a heretic not only destroys the fullness of the Christian truth but also divides the life of ...


7

He was tested The Jews living in the time of Jesus did try to discern whether Jesus was the real Messiah that they had been yearning for, because they disliked living under Roman rule and wanted to go back at least to the Hasmonean period, or better yet, to the David & Solomon period (the golden age). They were waiting for God to provide them with ...


6

I think you've missed some key points in your imagined scenario. It wasn't "a simple message of love" spread by a few ordinary fisherman. Jesus wasn't some hippie revolutionary who got a bunch of followers to parade around telling everybody they should just love each other. What made Christianity appealing was that it was true. This would have been much ...


6

All Men Are Sinners After Adam sinned, the human race was corrupted, and everyone born was born separate from God. (Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-24, 8:21, Romans 5:12, 3:10-18, James 2:10-11) Even a man's "righteous" deeds, prayers, sacrifices, etc. are offensive to God in that state! (Isaiah 64:6, Isaiah 59:1-2, Proverbs 28:9, 15:8) NOTE: Christians generally ...


6

There are a few problems with this approach; firstly, democracy cannot make sense if there is something with a super-vote; if we ignore the Christian hot-points, and say that (silly example) there's a religious law that says "chairs must be blue". At this point, it doesn't matter if 95%+ of the population wants to use different colour chairs - they are ...


6

No. The word translated 'nations' is ἔθνος (ethnos), from which we derive the word 'ethnic'. It is talking about ethnic communities, which we might call people groups today, not political states. The Joshua Project estimates that there are 16,825 people groups in the word. Of those, 7,287 are unreached, by which they mean "less than 2% Evangelical ...


6

Interesting question, but where to start? It’s a big ask! The Wikipedia diagram provided by depperm is a very useful illustration showing the timeline and emergence of the different major branches within Christianity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations_by_number_of_members However, if “all” you want is a brief, easily ...


5

It really depends on which branch of Christianity you're asking about. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) recognize the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants. They also believe in continuing revelation. Jehovah's Witnesses use the periodic publications of the Watchtower as authoritative. The ...


5

Here is some ad-hoc information about the church in the US: http://churchformen.com/men-and-church/where-are-the-men/ According to these numbers, and if we assume Christian activity is a reasonable estimate of the probability of being a Christian, then there are more Christian women than men and the difference is probably quite significant. The author's ...


4

I would suggest it's impossible to know how many Christians there are in the world. Slightly easier would be the number of people claiming to be Christian - a look at Census data in a lot of countries will tell you this information. The Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that more percentage wise more women than men claim to be Christians (http://www....


4

Well, there were the Shakers, who didn't believe in procreation, but they've pretty much all dwindled out by now. Not much of a surprise there. Whether or not it contradicts the Bible or not to restrict procreation is a matter of interpretation for that particular denomination. The Shakers didn't seem to think it did, but the Catholics would disagree. ...


4

In 70 CE, Second Temple Judaism came to an abrupt and traumatic end, with the destruction of the Temple and the enslavement of many leading Jews. Randall Price says in The Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls, page 137 (citing Dr. Lawrence Schiffman): Second Temple Judaism can now be seen as a transition period in which the sectarianism and apocalypticism of ...


4

The best data on this topic that I'm aware of comes from the Atlas of Global Christianity, which describes how Christian missions has changed between 1910 and 2010 (unfortunately, if it does include tradition-level data, I don't have access to it). An overview report summarizes its findings: The growth in missionary sending from the Global South is ...


4

I’ve done my best to address three of your sub-questions: Why do we have Christianity if Jesus was a Jew? God has always called prophets to teach the inhabitants of the earth (His children). These teachings always focused on Jesus Christ (the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New Testament) because only through Jesus Christ can we be saved ...


3

The term "democracy" comes from ancient Greece, where what is generally considered the first democracy was established in Athens in 507 BCE. Democracy thus predates Christianity by a significant margin. As for "Christian values" having an influence on the success of democracies, note that many of these democracies, especially in Europe, were created by ...


3

Read Rodney Stark's The Victory of Reason. His entire book is an argument that says the answer is yes. From respect for humanity's images dei to an understanding of property rights being grounded by a common transcendent God, he makes the argument you're looking for.


3

I think there is general agreement on terms. Preaching the gospel can be verbal and does not require the Bible to be published in every language and dialect. Mark 13:10 was a command to the apostles decades before the gospel first appeared in written form. The apostles did not understand this command to mean 'published', or they would have rushed out and ...


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