When was christianity invented...

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Randy the Atheist's picture
When was christianity invented...

...and how long did it take to reach Japan?

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LogicFTW's picture
I would say it more evolved

I would say it more evolved (a lot like evolution really,) and so it does not have a real start date. Christianity also mostly evolved through plagiarism, and continues to evolve as people general education and access to knowledge change as well as the needs to convince people to give money and frequently in the past their lives to the "cause."

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Randy

@ Randy

Impossible to answer your first question,as, The Pauline church systematically destroyed any competing gospels and writings that may have existed before its chosen few writings, with the alterations and interpolations that made up the Roman "bible"

Japan's christianity was brought in by the Portuguese, in the 15th Century using their tried and true methods of domination, Unfortunately for them Japan had a very sophisticated feudal society and the portuguese found themselves limited to a single point of entry and the Dominican priests/monks they brought with them outlawed and in some cases crucified to discourage others from joining. There was a large Japanese contingent in Goa, many of whom converted to christianity.
It makes fascinating reading, especially when the Dutch and later the English were added to mix with their brands of protestantism and the Jesuits made a large power play there as well. The actual history is brilliant reading, but James Clavell's novel "Shogun" has some well researched references if you prefer a lighter read.

algebe's picture
@Old man shouts:

@Old man shouts: Unfortunately for them Japan had a very sophisticated feudal society

Yes. And the samurai were very sensitive about words like "master" and "lord", which feature prominently in Xtian twaddle.

After they banned Christianity, any Westerner who wanted to trade in Japan, or any Japanese suspected of being Christian, had to be tested using a ritual called "fumi-e", which means trampling an image of Jesus or Mary. It's mentioned in Gulliver's Travels.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Algebe

@ Algebe
Bloody hell, I had forgotten about that trampling on the picture. The traders were willing to do it of course and given special dispensation to do so. I also remember reading of a mass crucifixion event in sight of the portuguese ships, just to make the point about (not) converting the local populace! Does my old memory fail me there? I thought it was a particularly effective way of bringing home a message to the missionaries.

algebe's picture
The mass crucifixion happened

The mass crucifixion happened after a Spanish ship was wrecked on Shikoku at the end of the 16th century. The Japanese seized the ship and crew and took the captain to meet the ruling warlord, Hideyoshi. During the interview, the captain threatened Hideyoshi with dire consequences if he and his crew weren't treated well. He also told him that the Spanish strategy was infiltrate countries with Christianity first, followed by military conquest, as in the Americas.

So Japan got 26 martyrs at Nagasaki. I'm not sure whether the Portuguese witnessed it though.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Nah, not that one, I thought

Nah, not that one, I thought there was one where they crucified at least 200 local converts and their spanish priest for the education and edification of other missionaries...but maybe my memory is playing tricks.

Sushisnake's picture
Is that the one the film

Is that the one the film "Silence" was based on?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Nah I had confused a single

Nah I had confused a single event with the Beatification of the 188 "martys" celebrated by Pope John. This 188 were spread over a period of about 90 years.
Also confused in my mind with the killing of the two Franciscan priests and the later massacre of the Philipinos. The Japanese pre Meiji didn't have a lot of time for the domination ambitions of the religious.

Cognostic's picture
It depends. If you mean the

It depends. If you mean the worship of Jesus, that happened 100 years prior to the birth of Jesus and we have evidence in the Old Testament as well as on urns uncovered in archaeological excavations. (Richard Carrier) Books and lectures.

In 1543 the first Europeans arrived in Japan. Two (maybe three) Portuguese merchants aboard a Chinese ship were blown off course and forced to land on the island of Tanegashima, just south of Kyushu. Only six years later, the first Christian missionary came to Japan. What followed was, what some historians call, Japan’s “Christian century.”


Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog
Thanks, filling in some gaps!

RedleT's picture
33 AD is about when

33 AD is about when Christianity (Catholism in my opinion) started. Early Church fathers like Ignatius of Antioch not mention scripture show that Christianity was developed quickly in its basic form.

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