Why did Christianity grow?
Christianitybeginning to grow in substantial ways by the late second and early third century precisely because it responding to some basic, deeply felt human needs. It really was probably beginning to answer the questions that people were asking, and we can see that growth in a variety of ways.
What was the message of the Bible?
One was certainly that the message that was preached here promised gifts, spiritual gifts, to people that went beyond the everyday life experience and promised also immortality, a future life which would be liberation from sickness and from disease and from poverty, and individual isolation. There is a future for the individual.
When did the Roman Empire say we have to eradicate Christianity?
The first time the empire as a whole says "We have to eradicate Christianity," is not until the year 249, 50, the persecution of Decius, … but by that time, the Christians are so numerous that they can’t possibly be eradicated; they’ve already grown that much.
Did the Roman Empire have inequality?
But it would not have been enough, because, in spite of all the glories of the Roman Empire, people lived in the world in which there was inequality, there was great poverty on the one hand and immense wealth in the hands of a very few people.
What is the emperor’s role in Rome?
The emperor is the conduit to the divine world.
Did Christianity survive the Hellenistic Empire?
Given the intersection between religion and politics that we find so characteristically in the Hellenistic Roman world and especially within these major cities, it does seem incongruous that Christianity could have survived, much less have grown to be the prominent force that it would become by the early fourth century when the Emperor Constantine would make it one of his official religions of the empire. But I think we can see several factors that contribute to that growth and development.
What is the formula for a Christian community?
Now the Christian community, as we have it particularly in the letters of Paul, begins with a formula that is a baptismal formula , which says in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, neither slave nor free. This is a sociological formula that defines a new community.
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