2024-06-11 08:17:00来源:网络




  Christianity began life as a Jewish sect. Far fromattempting to find a new religion, the first Christiansviewed themselves as Jews following the teachings ofthe Jewish Messiah . It was only later, after manynon-Jews converted, that Christianity became areligion distinct from Judaism.

  Although Christianity shares much with Judaism,these two faiths differ significantly with respect to such fundamental issues as God’srelationship with humanity. The central motif through which this relationship has beenunderstood in both traditions is that of a covenant or contract. In Hebrew scriptures ( the old Testament) , God offers a special relationship with his chosen people — the Jews through acontract that specifies the terms of this relationship . The details of this arrangement havebeen modified and expanded from time to time, in a series of covenants with Noah, Abraham,and Moses. The most well known of these contracts is God’s agreement with Moses on Mt.Sinai, the Ten Commandments5.

  In the Christian understanding of covenant theology, God offers humanity a new contract —the New Testament6— as revealed in the person and teaching of Jesus. Unlike previouscovenants, the new covenant refers to the eternal fate of individuals rather than to theworldly fate of the nation of Israel. Also, rather than being offered only to Jews, the newcontract is offered to humanity as a whole . Individual salvation and the question of howthat salvation can be achieved is a dominant theme of traditional Christianity.

  Salvation, according to this tradition, is necessary because otherwise the individual iscondemned to spend eternity in hell8 , a place of eternal punishment. Born into sin, thesentence of eternal damnation is the fate of every person unless she or he is saved from thisfate by being“ born again ”through faith in Jesus Christ. All other doctrines are built around awarning of condemnation and a redeeming message of redemption. As the core doctrine, itwould be natural that arguments over soteriology ( one’s theory of redemption) would lead toreligions schisms. Disagreement over competing notions of salvation led to the split betweenCatholicism and Protestantism.

  Given the stark contrast between heaven and hell as eternal abodes of the soul, seriousthinkers have had to grapple with the question —What happens to people who, while notsaints, nevertheless are generally good people who have never committed any major sins intheir lives? Reflection on this problem led to the development of purgatory, an intermediaterealm between heaven and hell. In purgatory, souls are tortured for their sins, but areeventually released and allowed to enter heaven.


  Tra nslate Chinese in to English, to lea rn more a bout th e or igina l sin: God created theheavens, earth and all kinds of animals, including two men —Adam and Eve. They could eat fromany tree, except one, in the Garden of Eden. _____________( 在上帝创造的所有动物之中, 毒蛇是最狡诈的。)“Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?”The serpentasked Eve .“We may eat the fruit of any tree _____________( 除伊甸园中间那棵树上的果实之外) .God had even said,‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, otherwise you die. ’”But the serpenttold Eve ,“Of course you will not die! God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyeswill be opened and _____________( 你们就会像上帝一样区分出善恶) . ”Eve saw the tree was goodfor good, pleasing to the eyes and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruitand ate it. Then she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it, too. Then,the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked._____________( 于是他们就把树叶缝在一起, 制成衣服。) When God came, they hid themselves among the trees of thegarden.“Where are you?”the God asked.“ I heard you in the garden; but I am afraid. _____________( 因为我没有穿衣 服, 所以我躲了起来。) ”answered Adam. It was just then Godlearnt that they had eaten the fruit of the tree in the middle . God was very angry and banishedthem from the Garden of Eden.


  Of all the animals that God had made, the serpentwas the most cunning. except the fruit of the treein the middle of the Garden of Eden you will be likeGods who know what is good and what is bad Sothey sewed leaves together and made clothes forthemselves. Because I was naked, I hid myself.



  基督教开始的时候只是犹太教的一个分支。zui早的基督教徒根本没想过创办新的宗 教, 他们自视为追随犹太教弥赛亚的教义的犹太人。只是后来在许多非犹太人改变信仰之 后, 基督教才脱离犹太教, 自成一体。

  尽管基督教与犹太教具有很多共同点, 但这两个宗教在像上帝与人的关系等基本问题 上差别明显。在基督教和犹太教这两种传统中, 理解上帝与人的关系需要依赖圣约, 或“ 约 书”中的主旨。在希伯来人的经典著作《旧约全书》里, 上帝与他的选民——— 犹太人之间通 过约书保持着特殊的关系, 这本约书详细说明了这种关系的条件。这一安排的具体内容在 一系列与诺亚、亚伯拉罕和摩西达成的圣约里不时地被更改和扩充。这些约书中最出名的 是上帝与摩西在西奈山上达成的协议———《十诫》。

  基督教徒对圣约神学的理解是, 上帝赐给人类一份新约书———《新约全书》, 该约书通 过基督本人以及他的教诲得以昭示。不像从前的圣约那样,《新约》讲述的是个人永恒的 命运, 而不是以色列国世俗的命运。同样, 新约的接受对象不再只是犹太人, 而是全人类。 个人的救赎以及灵魂如何能被拯救是传统基督教的主题。

  按照这一传统, 救赎对基督教教徒非常必要, 因为如果不对灵魂进行拯救, 人就会被打 进地狱, 永世不得超生, 在地狱永远都要受到惩罚。人生下来就有罪过, 每个人都注定要永 远受到惩罚, 除非我们信仰基督耶稣, 才能获得“ 重生”, 摆脱这种命运。所有其他教旨都 是围绕惩罚的警告和救赎的启示展开的。“ 耶稣救世学”被作为核心教旨, 对耶稣救世学 的争论必然导致教会的分裂。对不同救赎主张的争执导致了天主教和新教之间的决裂。

  考虑到作为灵魂永久居所的天堂和地狱之间鲜明的对比, 一些严肃的思想家只得努 力解决以下问题: 对于那些既非圣人、一生中又没犯过什么大的过失、本性善良的人来 说, 他们怎么办? 对该问题的反思导致了炼狱理论的产生, 炼狱是介于天堂和地狱之间 的中间地带。在炼狱里, 灵魂因人的罪恶受到折磨, 但人最终还是得以赦免, 从而进入 天堂。



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