The CHRISTIANITY PORTAL
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.
Christianity began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the 1st century in the Roman province of Judea. Jesus' apostles, and their followers, spread it around Syria, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Asia, despite initial persecution. It soon also attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, and the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. Emperor Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and decriminalized it in the Roman Empire by the Edict of Milan (313), later convening the Council of Nicaea (325) where Early Christianity was consolidated into what would become the state church of the Roman Empire (380). The early history of Christianity sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united communion of the "orthodox" Christian churches before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon (451) over differences in Christology, while the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism (1054), especially over the authority of the Bishop of Rome. Similarly, Protestantism split in numerous denominations from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation (16th century) over theological and ecclesiological disputes, most predominantly on the issue of justification and papal primacy. Following the Age of Discovery (15th–17th century), Christianity was spread into the Americas, Oceania, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world via missionary work.
Christianity remains culturally diverse in its Western and Eastern branches, as well as in its doctrines concerning justification and the nature of salvation, ecclesiology, ordination, and Christology. The four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church (1.3 billion), Protestantism (920 million), the Eastern Orthodox Church (260 million) and Oriental Orthodoxy (86 million), amid various efforts toward ecumenism Their theology and professions of faith, in addition to the Bible, generally hold in common that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, descended into the grave and rose from the dead to grant eternal life to those who believe in him for the forgiveness of their sins. His incarnation, earthly ministry, crucifixion and resurrection are often referred to as the gospel, meaning the "good news". Describing Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, with the Jewish Old Testament as the Gospel's respected background.
(c. 1100 – 1169) (sometimes Nigel Poor
or Nigel of Ely
) was an Anglo-Norman bishop of Ely
. He came from an ecclesiastical family; his uncle Roger of Salisbury
was a bishop and government minister for King Henry I
, and other relatives also held offices in the English Church and government. Nigel owed his advancement to his uncle, as did Nigel's probable brother Alexander
, who like Nigel was advanced to episcopal status. Nigel was educated on the continent before becoming a royal administrator. He served as Treasurer of England
under King Henry I of England
, before being appointed to the see
, or bishopric, of Ely in 1133. Following the accession of Henry I's successor, King Stephen
, Nigel remained as treasurer only briefly before his family was ousted from political office by the new king. Nigel rebelled and deserted to Stephen's rival Matilda
, but eventually reconciled with Stephen. On the king's death, Nigel was returned to the treasurership by the new king, Henry II
. Nigel's second tenure as treasurer saw him return the administration to the practices of Henry I. Most historians, then and now, have felt that Nigel's administrative abilities were excellent; he is considered to have been more talented as an administrator than as a religious figure.
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