Rome and Christianity

While Rome was being assailed from without, a new movement from within seemed to threaten the imperial government

The New Testament
Pauline letters, general letters, gospels, Acts, Apocalypse

Patristic Writings
Apostolic Fathers: Didache, Shepherd of Hermas, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr Greek and Latin Fathers: Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian

Eusebius, History of the Church Classical Sources
Tacitus, perhaps Suetonius, Pliny the Younger

Early Christian art and items, catacombs, later churches


165 = packet.Diffusion of Oriental Religions Failure of the old systems did not seem adequate in a time of great change and upheaval New religions. particularly from the East.” and “Paul as the Founder of Christianity” Sectarian lenses 2 .g. Eusebius not always reliable sources Roman point of view not fully explicated Romans were not fully aware of Christians at first Misperceived them later Modern views and interference Hollywood! Scholarly debates and theories: e.. spread rapidly Tolerance of the government Political unity Freedom of movement Cosmopolitanism and individualism Breakdown of rationalism Some prominent cults (see LR II no. 7–9) Classical mystery cults Isis Cybele Mithraism Early Christianity: An Unclear Picture Christianity in context A mystery religion with a dying god offering salvation Bias of sources Most later and Christian Bible gives little insight on Roman relations Apostolic Fathers Greek and Latin Fathers—apologists! Josephus and esp. “The Jesus of History as Opposed to The Jesus of Faith.

until A. when the church fled to Pella across the Jordan Leaders: Peter and John. 70. perhaps the earliest Christian writings Starts “Third” Missionary Journey A. Simeon. minor equestrian province of Judea Perceptions: Jewish itinerant preacher.D.D.D. Philemon) 3 . 49 Increasing Importance of Paul “Second” Missionary Journey AD 49–52 Writes 1 and 2 Thessalonians. son of God Jerusalem Church Sources: Acts 1–7 Dates: Pentecost (50 days after Jesus’ resurrection) until shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem in A. Messiah. 14) and Tiberius (A. Josephus) “First” Missionary Journey with Barnabas. 62. 53–58 Writes Gal. 37–41) and Claudius (A. 14–37) Life of Christ Sources: Mark.Augustus (27 B. James the Just.D.D. Rom Perhaps early imprisonment letters (Philippians. Luke.D.C. John Dates Traditional: A.D. brother of James Gaius (A.C. A.D. 1 and 2 Cor.–A.D. Matt. potential revolutionary. 1–33/34 Probable historical: 4 B. brother of Jesus. 41–54) Gaius’ plans to install a statue of himself in the Jerusalem temple almost leads to a Jewish Revolt (Philo. 29 Setting: tetrarchy of Herod Antipas.–A.D. AD 45–47 Council in Jerusalem defines status of Gentile Christians.

A. 64) 1 and 2 Peter written by this time Mark. Titus) Paul’s death in Rome (traditionally A. 54–68) Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem. voyage to and two-year imprisonment in Rome (A. A.D. 58–60).D. 1 Timothy. A. Flavius Clemens and Domitilla) associated with Christianity More extensive local persecutions? Late dating of Revelation Late dating of the Gospel of John in 90’s 1.g. 60–63) Later imprisonment letters (Colossians.Nero (A. 69–79.D. 79– 81.D. Ephesians. 63 or 64) Peter’s death in Rome (traditionally A.” may have written the Gospel of Mark shortly after this time Nero as Antichrist? Fire at Rome in A. based on Mark. Peter’s “interpreter. 2.D. 81–96) Destruction of Jerusalem weakened the influence of Jewish Christianity Hebrews written? Tradition places John in Ephesus Matthew and Luke. Titus. two-year imprisonment in Caesarea (A. Domitian.D. are written in 70’s Domitian—perhaps a persecution of Roman aristocrats (e.D. and 3 John in 90’s or 100’s “Transfer” of John—disappearance of the last apostle 4 .D.D. 64 leads to a local persecution of Christians 666 = Nerōn Kaisar? Early dating of Revelation in the 60’s Flavians (Vespasian.

167 = packet 9–10) Problems with Christians Christian eschatology Christian associations—look like collegia Christian monotheism—the demands of Imperial Cult Christian world view—city of God above all.The High Empire (Adoptive Emperors.D. 155/156 massacre at Lyon (Eusebius Eccl. disciple of John Clemens. 161–180) A.96-97. 170 = packet 13–15) Additional persecution under Severus. 96–180) Trajan (A.1. see LR II no.D.D. 96–117) Correspondence of Pliny reveals a “don’t ask.D. 249–251) The Post Apostolic Church Increasingly a gentile church Jesus is often interpreted. even state Marcus Aurelius (A. A. don’t tell policy” (see Pliny Epistle 10. see LR II no. Hist. groups 5 .D. systematic persecution “for being a Christian” until Decius (A. 5. but no empire-wide. as a Greek or Roman Apostolic Fathers who knew apostles Polycarp. successor to Peter? Questions of authority and government Developing liturgies and iconography Greek and Latin Fathers Increasingly well-educated thinkers become leaders of the church The issue of the “synthesis with Neoplatonism” The Church underground Increasing persecution Increasing penetration of all classes. and depicted.

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