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Throughout most of it early years Christianity was simply considered by the larger population as another Jewish sect.
Its influence was limited to the area of Palestine and only within the Jewish community.
According to the book of The Acts of the Apostles in the Bible the vast majority of Christian converts believed that the religion applied only to the Jewish nation and not the rest of the Roman Empire.
However, a new Christian thinker and missionary would alter Christianity and its message forever.
Opened Christianity up to all people – no difference between Jew and Gentile –
“ Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law (Torah). Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised (Jews) by faith and the uncircumcised (Non-Jews) through faith.”
Christianity takes on a decidedly universalistic and egalitarian bent.
Christianity becomes the spiritual equivalent of Roman citizenship.
Christianity seemed to have the right mix of classical thinking and mystery religion influences to appeal to a wide spectrum of people.
Its universalist message would allow all segments of society to join.
Christianity inspired devotion which if harnessed correctly by the government could help rebuild Roman society.
In 313 CE Constantine issued the Edict of Milan – Christianity was now to be tolerated like the other accepted religions of the empire.
By the time of Theodosius I in 392 CE Christianity had become the state religion of the empire.
Christian bishops now used their new found power to begin persecuting and stamping out the old religions of the empire.
The Sacking of Rome "My voice sticks in my throat; and, as I dictate, sobs choke my utterance. The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken." Jerome, Letter CXXVII (To Principia)