Achaia (where Corinth is located) was conquered in 146 B.C.
Asia (Ephesus was the capital) was conquered in 133 B.C.
Pompey took Syria in 66 B.C. (This included the lands of Galilee and Judea). The capital was Antioch.
Julius Caesar almost united Rome in 4 B.C.
Octavian (Caesar Augustus) rose out of the political climate to be the emperor when Jesus was born (Lk 2:1)
Tiberius (A.d. 14-37) took the reigns next.
Gaius (Caligula A.D. 37-41) played a major role in the early church period.
Claudius was Caligula’s uncle who evicted the Jews from Rome (A.D. 49)
Nero (A.D. 54-68)
Domitian (A.D. 81-96)
“ Historians have long observed that conditions in the first century were just right for the spread of Christianity. There was relative peace, a common language (Greek), some level of social order enabling safe travel, and an increasing network of roads and sea routes.”
Julius Caesar was the first to be deified by his Son Augustus after Julius’ death (27 B.C.).
Augustus’ son Tiberius also deified Augustus upon his death (A.D. 14).
Gaius Caligula (A.D. 37-41) sought acclamation as a god.
Nero (A.D. 54-68) sought the worship of himself close to the end his life.
Domitian (mid 90s) tried to establish himself as a god on a large scale. Calling himself “lord and God.”
Christianity held these philosophies in check by saying that there was a norm and standard to life, and that was modeled by the life of Christ. Freedom is only found in Christ not in experiential self-expression; furthermore, truth is rooted in God’s creative mastery over the universe.
They agreed with the Jewish understanding of who God is. (One God, the Creator, who is holy, loving, just and true.)
They believed in life after death, bodily resurrection, coming of the end of the age, last judgment, eternal consequences for actions on earth in the form of heaven or hell.
The uniqueness of Jesus. The difference between Christianity and Judaism was their belief in who Jesus is. Jesus is God himself taken in human form, God was more than one person (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)…doctrine of the Trinity. Phil 2. Col 2:9
Death and resurrection: everyone agreed that Jesus died, but the Christians believed that he also rose from the dead. Jesus’ death was for the sin of the world, so that God’s people might be saved through him. (Rom 10:9)
The desperation of ancient and modern culture and the answer to the world’s vacuum is Christ.