Hellenization and Its Affects on the birth and spread of Christianity

What is Hellenization?

Hellenization is a term that is commonly used in describing the spread of the culture of the ancient Greeks as well as, to a smaller degree, the Greek language in particular. This issue includes the indication of the rate at which the culture spread was the highest among all the foreign nations conquered by Greece or within its sphere of influence.

It is worth noting that Alexander the Great is the historical figure who can be largely linked to the spread of Hellenization. His contribution to the development and promotion of the Greek culture and language is done through his conquests of the new lands and other cultures, thus enabling the spread of Hellenization within the period of his life, which was the fourth century BC (Eraman 34). The whole concept of this is what has been referred to as Hellenism, a study of ancient Greece, in modern days.

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In what ways do you think it might have affected the birth and spread of Christianity?

As it is evident from most of the scholarly articles studying and examining Greek philosophy, Hellenism was a cultural force that significantly affected many lands and countries within the Mediterranean region.

Furthermore, basing on the fact that Christianity arose, developed and received a wide spread in the countries along the Mediterranean area, there are a lot of reasons to believe that Hellenism contributed much to its growth and consequent spread. In his book, Brief Introduction to the New Testament, Bart Ehrman (45) argues that the majority of the early Christians insisted on borrowing some ideas from the Greek cultural world as well as church terms are derived from the Greek language.

The factors that made the early Christians address to the Greek culture and language may be explained in the following way. In order to help the first missionaries communicate and spread the gospel to those who surround them, they decided to use the language that would be understood by a wide majority of people who may be viewed as a future congregation of a new developing religion. Moreover, to attract more church members, the early Christians used to implement some views and ideas of Greek culture to their propagation.

Thus, they made the alien religion become closer and more understandable to the people with the Greek influenced vision of life. As such, Hellenistic ideologies gradually infiltrated into the Christian setting. As a matter of fact, Bart Erman argues that the outstanding and well-known Greek philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, as well as some others, greatly influenced on as well as remarkably contributed to the development of the ideologies that are represented in the New Testament (78).

Works Cited

Ehrman, Bart. A Brief Introduction to the New Testament. Oxford: Oxford University
Press. 2009. Print.

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