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Setting the Stage: Religion in Rome. The worship of Roman gods was impersonal, practiced without a great deal of emotion. Priests used sacred rituals to intercede on behalf of worshippers. . The religion Christianity , was born in Roman times as a movement

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Setting the Stage: Religion in Rome

  • The worship of Roman gods was impersonal, practiced without a
  • great deal of emotion. Priests used sacred rituals
  • to intercede on behalf of worshippers.
  • The religion Christianity, was born in Roman times as a movement
  • (or sect) within Judaism, emphasized the personal relationship
  • between God and people.
  • It would attract many Romans seeking “hope”
  • during difficult times in the Roman Empire’s
  • latter 3 centuries.

During those difficult times,

this new “faith” would spread like wildfire!

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

setting the stage jews come under roman rule

Roman power spread to Judea, the homeland of the Jews,

  • around 63 B.C. when Judea became a province of Rome.
Setting the Stage: Jews Come Under Roman Rule
  • There were many Jewish resistors fighting
  • against Roman occupation – particularly
  • violent and militant were the “zealots.”
  • Jewish kings were allowed to rule as
  • representatives of Rome. Some Jews
  • allied with the Romans and accepted their
  • plans to “Romanize” Jerusalem
  • - the Jewish holy city.
  • The ruler Herod, in Jesus’ day, for example,
  • was a “Romanized” Jew.

His loyalites were divided between Rome

and the Jewish people, but he ruled with

an iron hand and angered many Jews.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

setting the stage jews come under roman rule1

Jewish resistance against Roman occupation was strong and

  • a constant nuisance to the Romans.
  • The zealots were a militant group of Jews
  • who wished to rid their homeland
  • of Roman occupation.
  • Many devout Jews believed that
  • the Messiah, or Savior sent by God,
  • would be coming soon to save them
  • from this Western Empire
  • that was defiling their holy places.
  • According to their Biblical tradition,
  • God had promised such a Messiah would
  • come to restore the kingdom of the Jews.
Setting the Stage: Jews Come Under Roman Rule

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” which means: God is with us.”

(Isaiah 7:14)

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

slide4

CH 6: Rome – Section 3, “The Rise of Christianity” Textbook, p. 153; Packet p. 11

How did each of the following influence the development of Christianity?

1. Jesus of Nazareth

He was a Jew. Became a rabbi, or Jewish teacher, at 30.

During his 3 – year ministry, he:

Preached a message,

emphasizing a personal relationship to God;

did good works;

purportedly performed miracles;

gained a large following because his message appealed

to the poor and outcasts in Roman society;

Gathered around him 12 special disciples, or students.

Many began to suspect he was the

long-awaited “Messiah” (saviour).

Ca. 6 B.C. – 30 A.D.

“Blessed are the poor,

for they shall inherit the earth…”

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

slide5

CH 6: Rome – Section 3, “The Rise of Christianity” Textbook, p. 153; Packet p. 11

How did each of the following influence the development of Christianity?

He was a Jew. Became a rabbi, or Jewish teacher, at 30.

His ideas contained Jewish teachings – monotheistic, emphasized the 10 Commandments and other ethical guidelines to living one’s life.

Jesus sought to reform the Judaism of his day -

which he believed to be too legalistic -

he never indicated a desire to start a “new” religion.

2. The Jews

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

slide6

Jesus’ growing popularity concerned both Roman and Jewish leaders.

They said his teachings were blasphemy, or contempt for God.

In a day when Roman Caesars were demanding “emperor-worship,” Jesus’ message appealed to large crowds in the cities to which he traveled and spoke. There was widespread resentment among many Jews toward the seemingly increasing secularism in society and apathetic acceptance of the Roman presence.

Those in power were afraid the type of “discontented” crowds Jesus attracted might be easily incited to mob behavior or rebellion…leading to a brutal response from Rome.

For this reason, it was believed he needed to be silenced.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

slide7

CH 6: Rome – Section 3, “The Rise of Christianity” Textbook, p. 154; Packet p. 11

How did each of the following influence the development of Christianity?

He was the Roman governor to whom Jesus was brought and accused of blasphemy.

Pontius Pilate, after questioning Jesus, decided that, indeed, Jesus was challenging the authority of Rome.

Pilate sentenced Jesus tocrucifixion – a form of capital punishment in Roman times where an individual was nailed to a cross.

After Jesus’ death,

his body was removed

from the cross

and placed in a tomb.

3. Pontius Pilate

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

slide8

According to the Gospels, three days later his body was gone,

  • and rumors spread that a living Jesus was was appearing
  • to his followers. Today, Christians believe he was
  • “resurrected” – or, rose from the dead.
  • The apostles were more than ever convinced that Jesus
  • was the Messiah.
  • Out of this belief, Jesus came to be called by them –
  • Jesus “Christ”
  • “Christos” is the Greek word meaning “Messiah”
  • or “savior.”
  • The name “Christianity” was derived from this Greek title given to Jesus.
          • The cross on which Jesus had been crucified
          • became a symbol of this new religious sect as
          • well as the sign of the fish…
          • “I will make you fishers of men…”
          • Matthew 4:19

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

slide9

REASONS FOR CHRISTIANITY’S WIDE APPEAL

Textbook, p. 156

  • embraced all people (universal) –
  • men, women, and slaves, the poor, and nobles.
  • gave hope to the powerless.
  • appealed to those who were repelled by the extravagances of imperial Rome.
  • offered a personal relationship with a loving God.
  • promised a life after death – a promise that gave much hope to those living
  • under harsh circumstances in Rome at the time

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

slide10

CH 6: Rome – Section 3, “The Rise of Christianity” Textbook, p. 156; Packet p. 11

How did each of the following help to promote the spread of Christianity?

Period of peace provided ideal conditions for travel and exchange of ideas.

4. Pax Romana

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

jewish rebellion
Jewish Rebellion
  • In 66 A.D., a band of Zealots rebelled against Rome.
  • In 70 A.D., the Romans stormed Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple complex.
  • All that remained was a western portion of the wall, which today is the holiest Jewish shrine.
  • The Jewish fortress near Masada held out until 73 A.D.
  • About a half million Jews were killed in the course of this rebellion.
  • Most Jews were driven from their homeland into exile.
  • This dispersal of the Jews is called the Diaspora.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

persecution of the christians
Persecution of the Christians
  • Christians also posed a problem for Roman rulers because Christians refused to worship Roman gods.
  • This refusal was seen as opposition to Roman rule.
  • In A.D. 64, for example, when the emperor Nero was blamed for a disastrous fire in Rome, he said Christians were responsible and ordered them to be persecuted.
  • Both the apostles Peter and Paul were put to death in Rome some time after A.D. 60.

Emperor Nero

persecution of the christians1
Persecution of the Christians
  • Thousands were crucified, burned, or killed by wild animals in the circus arenas.
  • Other Christians and even some non-Christians regarded persecuted Christians as martyrs.
  • Martyrs were people willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of a belief or a cause.
  • Despite persecution, Christianity became a powerful religious force.
  • By the late third century A.D., there were millions of Christians in the Roman Empire.
slide15

CHURCH HIERARCHY

Pope

Archbishop

Bishops

Priests

Lay people (Laity)

constantine accepts christianity
Constantine Accepts Christianity
  • The Roman emperor Constantine was fighting three rivals

for his title.

  • On the day before a major battle

Constantine prayed for divine help.

  • He reported that he then saw

a cross of light in the heavens

bearing the inscription,

“In this sign, conquer

  • Constantine and his troops were victorious in battle.

In the next year, A.D. 313, Constantine announced

an end to the persecution of Christians.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.