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So Why do You Think Constantine Chose Christianity


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#1 alexander

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 05:35 PM

Christianity is pretty big these days, infact i find that americans tend to divide the world countries into "Islamic", "Not Islamic" and "The Other Ones". US being the country that is like second to Italy in association with religion controlling the state. I will give an example of that, WTH was gay marriage controversy about. I will give you another example, WTH was stem cell research controversy about? But this is another topic all together...

Back in 324 Emperor Constantine adopts Christianity as the main religion of the Roman Empire. Lets look at the facts: Constantine was a pagan, he was the head priest, because he was an eperor. He was raised a pagan, but his mother converted to christianity, christian population in rome was growing, but was far from majority, infact they were taxed more and all kinds of other fun stuff, especialy by constantine's preceeder.
When adopting christianity, constantine remains a pagan to his death bed, he also incorporates pagan symbols into christianity, and makes the figure of Christ more powerful by making him God at the Nicean Cousul in 325 to make people more willing to convert to christianity. Could he have really done it for his Mom? Was he afraid of an uprising? Or did this have something to do with business? (we can only guess)

Please educated responses with historical backup if possible, if i wanted the religious nonsense of this, i would have posted it in the appropriate section, please dont spoil the purity of history :lol:

#2 Freddy

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 06:50 PM

Christianity is pretty big these days, infact i find that americans tend to divide the world countries into "Islamic", "Not Islamic" and "The Other Ones". US being the country that is like second to Italy in association with religion controlling the state. I will give an example of that, WTH was gay marriage controversy about. I will give you another example, WTH was stem cell research controversy about? But this is another topic all together...

Back in 324 Emperor Constantine adopts Christianity as the main religion of the Roman Empire. Lets look at the facts: Constantine was a pagan, he was the head priest, because he was an eperor. He was raised a pagan, but his mother converted to christianity, christian population in rome was growing, but was far from majority, infact they were taxed more and all kinds of other fun stuff, especialy by constantine's preceeder.
When adopting christianity, constantine remains a pagan to his death bed, he also incorporates pagan symbols into christianity, and makes the figure of Christ more powerful by making him God at the Nicean Cousul in 325 to make people more willing to convert to christianity. Could he have really done it for his Mom? Was he afraid of an uprising? Or did this have something to do with business? (we can only guess)

Please educated responses with historical backup if possible, if i wanted the religious nonsense of this, i would have posted it in the appropriate section, please dont spoil the purity of history :lol:


First, Constantine the Great did not make Christianity the main religion of the Roman Empire at any time during his reign. Christianity became the official state religion in 392 CE under Theodosious. Christianity was set as an equal religion with Sun worship by Constantine. True, Constantine built many Christian churches and supported Christians with money. He also supported his Sol Inviticus pagan religion and he continued to practice it. Constantine was not a Christian, as you say, until his death bed conversion. He murdered one son and a wife, which are certainly not the acts of a true follower of Jesus.

Constantine used Christianity for one purpose only, to better organize the huge Roman Empire. One Emperor could no longer control it. The Church was highly organized at the time and Constantine used this organization to better control his empire. The main problem was the slow conversion of Roman citizens to the new faith. Giving up their pagan religion that allowed for lots of sex , promiscuity, and partying for a religion that taught sex is evil was not too appealing. Making Jesus birth December 25th, the birthday of Mithra, the God of his pagan religion helped to bring pagans into the Church. Also, the Sabbath was changed from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, to the pagan worship day of Sunday. Blending these pagan and Christian symbols did work and 70 years later Christianity becomes the official state religion. However, holding the Roman Empire together with a new religion worked for a while, but it alone could not keep it from falling in the West in 476CE and later in the East.

Constantine was not a serious follower of Christianity. Instead, he used the religion to serve his political needs. See Michael Grant, Constantine The Great

#3 alexander

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 08:04 PM

yes, sory i meant to say the other main religion, not the main one. But as you say, he does build many churches in constantinople, and send his mom on countless trips to Jerusalem, as well as cancel taxes for christians, started taxing pagan churches and compiled the first bible by excluding certain books from it and modifying content of what was in the original books to make it a) easier to convert to christianity from paganism and :lol: make people switch to one mighty powerful God....

#4 HydrogenBond

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 11:11 AM

Someone told me, a few weeks ago, the change toward Christianity in the Roman empire, had to do with the Christian Roman soldiers fairing better in battle. They were less afraid to die and would fight harder than their Pagan Roman counterparts. Constantine wanted to give his best soldiers a more prominent role, while also trying not to alienate the Pagan half. The result was a combination of both, which lead to the Catholic Church.

#5 Qfwfq

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 09:24 AM

Politics, I s'pose... :D

US being the country that is like second to Italy in association with religion controlling the state.

How about Eire?

#6 alexander

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 02:44 PM

there are others, i was talking from the bigger players.

#7 cwes99_03

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 04:00 PM

I can see that to be possibly true. Also Christians were outlaws and could not serve in the Army, if I remember correctly. Thus by recognizing Christianity, and watering it down with his Pagan beliefs he brough unity to his people, got rid of the dividing parts, invented some parts to tie the various religions together, and thus raise himself in stature among all.

There is also something to be said about the spread of Christianity. It wasn't slow. It was very quickly spreading across all the known world. Each time it would pop up, they would resist it and it would spread even more quickly (martyrdom and all). Thus by recognizing it, he no longer had to worry about his own governors becoming Christian and being outlaws, nor did he have to worry about himself being overthrown by some Christian army (which I don't think really would have happened, as early (1st century) Christians had nothing to do with the politics of their region, since they were taught to obey the secular authorities so long as those authorities did not interfere with obedience to God.

#8 Qfwfq

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 06:53 AM

I would however say that Eire (and perhaps even the US?) currently comes a bit before Italy.

#9 alexander

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 03:47 PM

i would agree, in the today world anyways, Q...

Cwes, it was the 4rth century. Also there were no secular authorities until Constantine and other emperors decided that it was needed and divised a pyramid of secular authorities, infact it was modeled after pagan power pyramid, i mean, there were monks, but there was no defined structure of the church, definitely no priests, bishops, cardinals or Pope. Just to prove my point, Roman Empire has since the berinnings of time and even Greece have been Pedrafinalistic, fathers controlled families, they had the most rights and they were to be respected the most, as well as only elder men held offices in the gov-t. The word Pope comes from latin Papa meaning father, Pope position was firse defined in 495 by the Roman Synod to define the position of Pope Gelasius I. Pope was originaly the Vicar of Peter, later for supremacy reasons the title was changed to Vicar of Christ, but he was the Father, just like in a family of that time... i can see their sales pitch... "anyone want to join our 'big family'"....

#10 cwes99_03

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 04:00 PM

i would agree, in the today world anyways, Q...

Cwes, it was the 4rth century. Also there were no secular authorities until Constantine and other emperors decided that it was needed and divised a pyramid of secular authorities,


You missed my point. 1st century christians were the model for all later christians. If the 1st century christians wouldn't have done it, then 4th century christians would not have either (at least speaking of true followers of christ, and not the paganized version that Constantine and others formed)

Let's also not forget that by paganizing the christian religion he was in effect getting them to worship him as their God. It was his form of christianity that he instituted not the original form that worshipped the Judeo-Christian god in the way set forth by the Bible.

#11 alexander

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 04:13 PM

In my opinion cwes, even the first century christians did not follow chris't teachings. Christ was a Jew, he taught pure Judaism, beleive in God and be good, Christians by definition beleived in Christ, not necessarily what he taught, not most anyways. Christ wasn't proclaimed divine until the first council of nicea, and that changed christianity into what it is today, but i beleive even after a few years after his death, christians already praised Jesus as much as they praised God, infect i think that the council made Jesus divine because people praised him more then God, and church could not allow that, now could they...

#12 cwes99_03

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:37 PM

Actually, I would say your comment here demonstrates that you know nothing about the Bible (at least of the NT) nor about christianity or the first century christians (historically speaking).
Maybe you need to do some more study.

1) Christ did not teach pure Judaism as you believe. In fact, Judaism only became a religion about the 6th century BC according to this site, which is when they returned from captivity in Babylon. The reason for this is that some who returned did not worship the same as they had before and the refugees were now all decendents of Judah, but not all worshipped the Judaic God. It would be wrong to confuse Judaism then or today with the old Hebrew beliefs as passed down through the original scriptures.
Jesus the man in fact said several times that he was the messiah and that he was there to end the Mosaic law (which is the highest part of the Hebrews religious beliefs). Thus he did not teach Judaism at all, he was there to put an end to it, which is why Jesus is not a prophet of the Jews (as they do not believe that he was the messiah). I speak broadly of the Jewish faith, realizing that there are sects (not in the derogatory sense) of that faith that believe vastly different things.

2) The divinity of Christ is precisely what you brought up in the first place. It has nothing to do with Christianity except in those christian groups that chose to follow the teaching of Constantine and others which as you so well described brought Pagan teaching into the religion. Since this happened in the 4th century, those who worshipped as Christians before then would actually be the standard not those afterwards. Christians before that time (I will use 1st century christians, as these were the first followers of the new covenant set in place by the shedding of Christ's blood) held to a very strict code of conduct, as outlined by those early apostles who wrote the books cannonized in the NT (which included loving their neighbors as themselves, and to be in subjection to secular authorities as long as it did not conflict with the authority of God).

Thus it doesn't matter what your opinion is. Opinion isn't fact. The truth is that all we know of Christs teachings is truly contained in the NT, and rarely even mentioned in other writings from the first century, other than that he existed and that he was believed to be the messiah by a large number of people who later became called christians.

Why are you arguing this point? You yourself established many of these thoughts when you started this thread. Are you a revisionist historian?

#13 alexander

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 06:19 PM

you are correct, after reading the new testament the second time i have no idea about what it is or says, so i'm shooting from the hip and let an encyclopedia do the talking for me...
Judaism perhaps became an official religion in 6th century, it was the FIRST monotheistic religion, and saying that Judaism was not that makes me wonder about how well you know the history of early western civilization...
here is a wiki exerpt on Judaism:
"It is the first recorded monotheistic faith and one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today. The values and history of the Jewish people are a major part of the foundation of other Abrahamic religions such as Christianity, Islam, as well as Samaritanism and the Bahá'í Faith. As of 2006 (cutting stuff out) making it the world's eleventh-largest organized religion.

(cutting more out) Despite this, Judaism in all its variations has remained tightly bound to a number of religious principles, the most important of which is the belief that there is a single, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, transcendent God, who created the universe and continues to be involved in its governance. According to traditional Jewish belief, the God who created the world... "

If Jesus did not teach people to beleive in a single omniscent, omnipotent, omnibelevolent, transcendent God, then I am an apple, that is about where pure judaism ends, perhaps a couple rules, but by "Pure Judaism" i define core Judaic beleifs.

Now here is where i cut the line on the NT, over the past 1600+ years the scripture of the new testament (bible) has changed drastically and is still being changed this day, and older versions of the bible have been know to be rounded up and burnt. Starting from Constantine, who has decided what gospels to put into bible and which to exclude because they wanted to make Jesus - God and any scripture that completely went against the fact was rounded up and burnt. Ones included were edited to support the new idea. There is no definite record of this however there are other times that such measures have been taken. For example the whole problem with Mary Magdalene, who was a close student of christ, then the church in 3rd and 4th centuries, who was against women and sex, decided to make mary a prostitute, and for hundreds of years bible had her, what they call confused with Mary of Bethany, who was a prostitute. In 591, her status was changed to Mary Magdalene the penitent, and finally in 1969 mary magdalene the sinner was completely taken out.

And i agree with your thought that christians before are the real christians, but common christians today are constantinian christians, and all beleive that christ is god, there is a lot more of those post 3rd century ...

And if you want further discussion of histor biblical facts, please start a corresponding thread, this thread is concerned with thoughts as to why constantine chose a less popular religion as the second major religion, and started building churches and converting people to it.

#14 cwes99_03

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 02:43 PM

And if you want further discussion of histor biblical facts, please start a corresponding thread, this thread is concerned with thoughts as to why constantine chose a less popular religion as the second major religion, and started building churches and converting people to it.


I would gladly do so, but when complete untruths are told, they must be addressed in the same thread.

First, in your previous response

Judaism perhaps became an official religion in 6th century, it was the FIRST monotheistic religion, and saying that Judaism was not that makes me wonder about how well you know the history of early western civilization

I have not said that Judaism was not a monotheistic religion. Please check all of my posts above, and all my posts period on this site or on the entire internet. You are mistaken.
Second,

Judaism in all its variations has remained tightly bound to a number of religious principles, the most important of which is the belief that there is a single, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, transcendent God, who created the universe and continues to be involved in its governance.

In and of itself, this is correct. However, the idea that this makes all Judaic-based religions/sects the same (as that appears to be what you are saying in this next quote) would be completely false.

If Jesus did not teach people to beleive in a single omniscent, omnipotent, omnibelevolent, transcendent God, then I am an apple, that is about where pure judaism ends, perhaps a couple rules, but by "Pure Judaism" i define core Judaic beleifs.

There are Jews who believe in reincarnation (the OT teaches resurrection). There are some who still follow the Mosaic law in the strictest of sense (others follow the extended written/oral tradition of the laws, while yet others have decided to only follow those parts that fit in to their schedule).
Christians obviously do not follow the Mosaic Law as LAW, but the principles found therein as related during the ministry of Christ and his first century apostles.
Your above quote is tantamount to saying every religion which believes in a 'single omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, transcendent God' is Judaic in origin which would be a grossly overreaching statement.
There are of course many core Judaic beliefs, by which you may chose define many Jewish religions/sects, but to say that anyone who shares these beliefs is a Jew would be incorrect.
Third,

And i agree with your thought that christians before are the real christians, but common christians today are constantinian christians, and all beleive that christ is god, there is a lot more of those post 3rd century

You in your own sentence there use contradictory terms. You say common christians (which would mean there are uncommon) are constantinian, and then say that they all believe christ is god (a constantinian insert). I particularly take offense at that last part, as I am a christian who does not believe Christ is god. I can show you in the KJV where it would expressly show that Jesus and God are not the same. Which brings us to the last point.

Now here is where i cut the line on the NT, over the past 1600+ years the scripture of the new testament (bible) has changed drastically and is still being changed this day, and older versions of the bible have been know to be rounded up and burnt. Starting from Constantine, who has decided what gospels to put into bible and which to exclude because they wanted to make Jesus - God and any scripture that completely went against the fact was rounded up and burnt. Ones included were edited to support the new idea.

As you can see above, I assert that part of this is wrong. I can show you from the KJV scriptures that do not agree with the teaching of the trinity, which is a constantinian creation as far as christian belief in a triune god goes. I can also cite at least 5 different reference books (encycolpedia's, dictionaries, etc.) all of which agree that no where in the Bible (NT or OT) is the word trinity or the precise teaching of it to be found, including the New Catholic Encyclopedia.

Now for the reason all of this is brought up on this thread.

Someone told me, a few weeks ago, the change toward Christianity in the Roman empire, had to do with the Christian Roman soldiers fairing better in battle. They were less afraid to die and would fight harder than their Pagan Roman counterparts. Constantine wanted to give his best soldiers a more prominent role, while also trying not to alienate the Pagan half. The result was a combination of both, which lead to the Catholic Church.


I can see that to be possibly true. Also Christians were outlaws and could not serve in the Army, if I remember correctly. Thus by recognizing Christianity, and watering it down with his pagan beliefs he brought unity to his people, got rid of the dividing parts, invented some parts to tie the various religions together, and thus raise himself in stature among all.

There is also something to be said about the spread of Christianity. It wasn't slow. It was very quickly spreading across all the known world. Each time it would pop up, they would resist it and it would spread even more quickly (martyrdom and all). Thus by recognizing it, he no longer had to worry about his own governors becoming Christian and being outlaws, nor did he have to worry about himself being overthrown by some Christian army, which I don't think really would have happened, as early (1st century) Christians had nothing to do with the politics of their region, since they were taught to obey the secular authorities so long as those authorities did not interfere with obedience to God.

Let's also not forget that by paganizing the christian religion he was in effect getting them to worship him as their God. It was his form of christianity that he instituted not the original form that worshipped the Judeo-Christian god in the way set forth by the Bible.



#15 alexander

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 09:00 PM

You in your own sentence there use contradictory terms.

I do not, you choose to missread the sentence, and that is why you have this idea tha i beleive that all christians today are constantinian, that is not the case, its a comma, not a semicolon, its the same thought continued, all constantinian christians beleive that that christ is god, because constantine defined him as that, constantinian christians make up the majority of christians on the planet today to my understanding. Or do you have some information that may say that the majority of christians today do not beleive that christ is god, which would frankly pleasantly surprise me...

There are of course many core Judaic beliefs, by which you may chose define many Jewish religions/sects, but to say that anyone who shares these beliefs is a Jew would be incorrect.

Ok, ok, lets examine this in relation to Mr. Christ...
So he lives a life of no sin, not fully according to teachings of mosaic law, but pretty darn close, he teaches people that there is one and only god, and even some major rules that fall under (at least what i define as) pure judaism. Christianity today still identifies with the "old testament bible" which was written by jews and is also identified by islam (no not all monotheistic religions derive from judaism, but i stated which major ones do, dont confuse bible-based and non bible-based religions here as i would never say that all monotheistic religions came from judaism, i may be young, but i'm not stupid)
Ok to continue my post on Jesus, lets look at his lineage: his line is traced in gospels of mathew and luke, it traces Jesus to be a decendent of king David, king Solomone and even Abraham, and traces it all the way to the last Judah king, Jeconiah... Jesus could have easily taken the throne of Jews if he wanted to...
Draw your own conclusions. Personaly if we went back in time it would not surprise me if jesus was black, looked and talked like a jew, oh and his following was mostly made of conforming jews, no? would he, like constantine, not try to teach them values that are a little different, but similar to theirs?

#16 cwes99_03

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:44 PM

I do not, you choose to missread the sentence, and that is why you have this idea tha i beleive that all christians today are constantinian, that is not the case, its a comma, not a semicolon, its the same thought continued, all constantinian christians beleive that that christ is god ...

I did not choose to do so, it was the logical conclusion from your post as I read it. Thank you for the clarification. I retract the earlier statement.

I'm not really sure how many of the modern christian religious groups subscribe to the idea that Jesus is god. Many today, including quite a large number of catholics have admited that they don't necessarily believe in the teaching, even though it is still considered a doctrine of their faith. This movement, as far as I know, began back in the 1860s, when several ministers each independently decided to go back to some of the original language texts that were available and determine if some of the doctrines were really Bible based. The trinity was something that most of them determined was not expressed in the scriptures, new or old testament.

Jesus could have easily taken the throne of Jews if he wanted to

According to his lineage, I would say yes he had a claim. I'm sure that others likewise could have as well. The important thing is that he didn't, and the Bible identifies why. It was a Jewish (1st century Judaic) belief that the messiah would come back and begin a new earthly kingdom that would rule over all the earth.
Perhaps we should explore what other teachings Jesus had that separated him from the then current religious group of Jews. But that would be off thread. I just find it very hard to believe that you would say Jesus taught Judaism not Christianity.

even the first century christians did not follow chris't teachings. Christ was a Jew, he taught pure Judaism

Now do you admit that, the quote above was mistyped, misspoken, whatever, or maybe just plain wrong.
Here let me fix it for you.
The first century Christians (the very first christians) followed christ's teachings very closely.
Jesus, the Messiah (Christ), taught that the Jews had broken their covenant with God by turning away from the teachings adhered to by Abraham and other men of God, the allmighty. He thus was there to end the covenant relationship and create a new one with renewed principles, but less direct law, to govern the lives of those who worshipped his father, God. These were the same principles that all god-fearing men in the holy scriptures had adhered to, which gained them close friendship with God. Thus he was preaching a return to the way in which God wanted to be worshipped, which was a far cry from Judaism, which historians define as a religion that began after the return of the Babylonian exiles, and was apparently different from the original worship by that named people.

Would you agree to that statement?

Now back to the topic at hand. You said.

i beleive even after a few years after his death, christians already praised Jesus as much as they praised God, infect i think that the council made Jesus divine because people praised him more then God, and church could not allow that, now could they...


Would you provide a basis for this belief? Often times people look at the effects and try to extrapolate the cause. However, when a cause and effect are already suggested before they take place (prophesied?) then wouldn't that be the more believable cause and effect relationship, than one guessed at 2000 years later?

Please educated responses with historical backup if possible



#17 alexander

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:47 PM

ok, cwes, i withdraw from my point, i wanted to change it a while ago, but no first century christians most probably did follow the teachings of Christ, well fist century christians got to actually meet him, or at least one of his close followers, infact the case is withdrawn till about 4-5 century, then i would argue again B)
Nontheless, i still stand by Jesus taught pure Judaism (pure meaning the original), , infact call it what you want, all i am saying is that he did not teach constantinian christianity... (and it is the most common form today, if you wiki jesus, there is a line there that says that most christians today beleive that Jesus is God)

Would you provide a basis for this belief?

Take it as a thought more then anything...

I just find it very hard to believe that you would say Jesus taught Judaism not Christianity

By definition,

Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life and teachings as presented in the New Testament. Christians believe Jesus to be the Messiah and God incarnate and thus refer to him as Jesus Christ.

I thought that we have established that Jesus was made divine by Constantine and New Testament has been modified by just about every generation of men since its first official version published sometime around constantine's death. Furthermore to support that Jesus was a Jew and taught pure(i really mean and meant original, because original is as pure as it gets...) Judaism, this article also found on wiki:

Jesus and his first followers were Jews and Jewish Proselytes. In his teachings he made use of the Hebrew Scriptures and other traditional writings of Judaism.

i assure you if that was wrong, theologians would not let this happen on the biggest encyclopedia in the world...
I mean draw your own conclusions, i have already stepped over the line discussing one of the 2 things i don't discuss (politics being the second), i mean i will reply, its just that i feel like I'm battling someone's deepest beleifs and obviously more time for research :lol:

I never mean to offend anyone cwes, i really like to be everyone's friend, because i feel that conflict is plain stupid, my philosophy kinda goes like this: "what does killing another man prove, but the show of weakness and unableness of resolving a problem in a more peaceful, beneficial to all way..."