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===The emergence of a new religion===
Many scholars in Christian history debate about the exact time when Christianity became distinct from Judaism. As a Jew himself, Jesus’ teaching and preaching could be understood as a reform movement within the Jewish tradition. Jesus’ twelve apostles whom he instructed to begin the Church, “spreading the news to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” were also Jews (Mt 28:19). And thus, the first and biggest questions facing the followers of Christ was what their relationship to the Mosaic Law was. What did it mean to be a “follower of the way” or a member of the New Covenant in Christ? Did gentiles need to become Jews before being admitted into this new community? These questions are debated by the early Christians in what the Book of Acts describes as the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15).
===How did they worship?===
Firstly, before we discuss how Christians worshiped, it might be helpful to discuss where they worshiped. Because Christians were mostly lower rank and heavily persecuted up until the reign of Constantine, they typically worshiped in what is described as a domus ecclesiae, latin for “house church.” These were small rooms located in the basements of houses, owned by a member of the congregation who served as a patron.<ref>White, L. Michael, Building God's House in the Roman World: Architectural Adaptation among Pagans, Jews, and Christians. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), pg. 106-109.</ref>
===Who was in charge?===
There is substantial debate on what the earliest hierarchical structure of the Church looked like. Roman Catholics assert that Peter was designated a special leadership role (the Petrine function) among the Apostles and is believed to be the first pope. Catholics of the Roman rite point to Matthew 16 to demonstrate this: “And I tell you, you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19). In addition, they assert the bishopric of Rome has an unbroken line of succession from Peter until the present day. Even if Peter did have the main leadership role in the early church, it is clear that both James and John were highly regarded authorities as well. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians he refers to these three (Peter, James, and John) as the “pillars” and expresses a need to present them with his Gospel to ensure it’s veracity and sincerity (Galatians 2:1-10).
All of this being said, it is important to note that the early Christian church was far from monolithic. During the first few centuries of Christianity, the New Testament canon had not yet been compiled and the hierarchical structure of the Church was still in flux. What would eventually become the systematization of the medieval Church was part of an evolutionary process that has its beginnings here in antiquity.