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The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart of Christian teaching and belief Over its 2000-year history the belief has never changed What has changed is the interpretation emphasis or the attitude Proof of this can be found in two sources scripture and tradition The belief is expressed in Pauls first letter to the Thessalonians It is also expressed in the multiply attested gospels of Matthew Mark Luke John and the Apostles Creed Also the belief is expressed in the Eucharistic celebration a ritual that commemorates our collective identity and in the role of the major Councils like Nicea Trent and Vatican II We believe that Jesus died and rose again 1 Pauls First letter to the Thessalonians is likely to be the oldest extant Christian writing It was written to answer questions about the return of Christ Paul wrote that because Jesus died and rose there is no need to grieve or mourn He said that death should be a joyful occasion you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified He has been raised 2 This quote expressing the belief of a resurrected Christ is multiply attested in the synoptic gospels Christian Creeds are a short and formal statement of religious belief written to correct any detail of the death and resurrection of Christ that may seem uncertain or unclear In the early ages a creed was used to refute the Arian Heresy Arius questioned Jesus divinity He had been preaching the Son as being inferior to the Father 3 That is the Son is of like substance homoiousion with the Father In response to this a council in 325 AD was set up to clarify church teaching and doctrine They argued Only if Christ was truly god can he unite us to god 3 In Johns Gospel we read no one can come to the Father
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