According to the Bible and church history, at the Pentecost the 12 apostles and other Christians that were assembled in an upper room in Jerusalem received the Holy Spirit for the first time. This caused them to be able to speak in tongues, which meant that pilgrims from many nations gathered in the city simultaneously understood them in their own languages.Continue Reading
After Jesus was gone, his apostles and other close followers waited in prayer in a large room for a sign he had promised them. On the day of the Jewish feast called the Pentecost, which yearly occurred 50 days after the Passover, the sound of a strong wind filled the room where the Christians waited, and flames in the shape of tongues rested on each of them. Following this anointing, they lost the fear of persecution that had been oppressing them and went out and preached to the gathered crowd. This marked the beginning of the expansion of the Christian faith.
Christians throughout the world celebrate the Pentecost 50 days after Easter, though because of the difference between western and eastern calendars, Easter and Pentecost are celebrated on different days in the West and the East. Because Pentecost always falls on a Sunday, it is a holiday in Christian countries, and in many European countries the Monday after Pentecost is a holiday as well.Learn more about Christianity
Jerusalem is most significant to Christians because in their beliefs it is the location of Christ's crucifixion, death and ultimate resurrection. It was also the site of other significant episodes of Jesus' life. Additionally, the city is home to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, perhaps the most sacred place in the entire Christian world.Full Answer >
Biblical scholars believe that the 12 apostles symbolically represent the 12 tribes of Israel, signifying the renewal of the covenant between God and humans. The 12 apostles were the original students and missionaries of Jesus' teachings and formed the beginnings of the new Christian church.Full Answer >
Pentecost originated as a Jewish holiday that fell 50 days after Passover. Its purpose was to thank God for the harvest. Members of the Christian religion mark Pentecost as the day when the Holy Spirit came to Earth, 40 days after Easter Sunday.Full Answer >
Acts 1:15 notes that there were approximately 120 people present in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. Jesus and his disciples accounted for a dozen with the rest being believers. According to the Bible, some of the female followers of Jesus and his mother were also present.Full Answer >