Meanwhile, in other news; Imperial China to Peru, India to Nubia
The Beginning of Christianity and the Second Diaspora
“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”
“When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”
“34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
Briefly, let us discuss the Feudal Age of China. This period is said to have lasted from 770BC to 255BC, according to Durant’s work, “Our Oriental Heritage” from his series “The Story of Civilization”. During this time we have several persons of importance to note. The first one is named Kuang Chung, the prime minister of Ts’i. He was the organizing genius of this most important of the original 55 provinces of China, consisting of a type of city-state as in Canaan and Greece with a walled town and farmland and small walled villages or suburbs, as recorded in the Bible, surrounding it. Kuang Chung or simply Kuang replaced bronze tools with iron and established a government monopoly or control of iron and salt. He taxed money, fish, and salt. As the advisor to Duke Huan, not the political leader himself but much like Joseph, the second in command, he made his little country a well ordered state which became the basis for Chinese government. He was applauded later by Confucius for giving order to the state. He served from 683BC to 640BC.
There was a great struggle in China between those who believed that the proper order of society was best served by following local customs and practices thought to have come from above and those who wanted the state to codify laws issued by state. The legal codes, which were usually beneficial to the aristocracy, came into being in the duchies or provinces of Cheng and Chin about 535BC and 512BC respectively. Custom and law found a compromise and this resulted in the Chou-Li. This Law of Chou set for two thousand years the Chinese government with an emperor ruling as the vicar and “Son of Heaven” and, as Durant says, “holding power through the possession of virtue and piety; an aristocracy, partly of birth and partly of training, administering the offices of the state; a people dutifully tilling the soil, living in patriarchal (father or elder brother governed) families, enjoying civil rights but having no voice in public affairs; and a cabinet of six ministries controlling respectively the life and activities of the emperor, the welfare and
early marriage of the people, the ceremonies and divinations of religion, the preparation and prosecution of war, the administration of justice, and the organization of public works.” You will note that in China, as well as elsewhere, the union of church and state, of religion and government, is complete from the start and there is little discussion of freedom of conscience, freedom of association, or freedom of religion.
From about 604BC to 517BC we have Lao-tze. The dates, of course, are questionable but widely accepted as being reasonably accurate. He ran the Royal Library of Chou, according to historian, Szuma Ch’en, and disgusted with politicians was determined to go live in seclusion. When requested, since he was going into retirement, to write a book, he consented to write a book in two parts; one called Tao and one called Te. Lao-tze was his title, The Old Master, and it is said that his real name was Li, meaning; the Plum. The book is now known as the Tao Te Ching or Book of the Way and of Virtue. It is the primary book of the religion known as Taoism. In Taoism one must follow the path of nature. The Tao, like Einstein’s god, is an impersonal force that operates the universe. Like Allah, it doesn’t love its adherents and like Brahma, it is unknowable. In fact, in Taoism, knowledge is not virtue, in fact, it is a problem, for it leads to trouble and sorrow. But, King Solomon already had that figured out hundreds of years before the Tao Te Ching, which many Chinese scholars say was not written by Lao-tze but was written before he was born.
“For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” Ecclesiastes 1:18
Lao-tze believed, among other things, that the worst possible leader of a state would be a philosopher.
From about 551 to 478BC we have Confucius or K’ung-fu-tze, meaning K’ung the Master. Born in Shantung province, he was China’s most famous philosopher. His work remains today in The Analects of Confucius. He, like all other deluded and deceived leaders of philosophy and religion denied the Bible’s one path to God without even ever seeing a Bible perhaps. A famous statement of his was, “all the rivers of righteousness flow into the lake of heaven”. He would fit right in with today’s universal religionists. According to legend, Confucius began his career as a teacher at age 22 teaching out of his home charging whatever modest fee his pupils could pay. Like the ancient Greeks, the Chinese were always looking to learn something new.
“(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) “ Acts 17:21
Like the Greek philosopher, Socrates, whom we did not mention in our class on Greece, he taught by asking questions. Socrates wrote nothing down and we are dependent upon his student, Plato, for most of our information on him. Both Confucius
and Socrates taught in this fashion, asking pointed questions of their students, supposedly to lead them closer to the truth. Socrates was finally condemned by an Athenian court and sentenced to drink poison for his disturbances. Confucius, on the other hand went on to hold several offices for the Duke of Lu and legend has it that he was so wise that when he was Minister of Public Works, everything went smoothly, and when he was Minister of Crime, crime disappeared. Resigning his position eventually over his disapproval of his employer’s worldliness and lack of virtue, he wandered homeless for many years with a few faithful disciples. He wrote on many topics regarding everything from good government to the proper family life and set the example for Chinese philosophy and ideal government as well as personal virtue and home life for over 2.000 years.
Confucius also left behind five books known as Five Ching by the Chinese. To this they added four books or Shu of the philosophers and this became known as The Nine Classics. Confucius was an agnostic, a term coined by Thomas Huxley, Charles Darwin’s biggest supporter. Basically, it means that the person doesn’t profess to believe in God or not to believe in God as he simply doesn’t know. I would say to you that an agnostic is an atheist who is too afraid to admit it just in case God is listening. Confucius’ greatest passion was for morality, not religion.
The period of time from 403BC to 221BC is known as the Period of Contending States in China, a time of chaos, disorganization, and much war. The man who unified China was known as Shih Huang-ti or Ch’in Shih Huang-Ti from the dynasty, Chin, from which we get the name for the country. He was the illegitimate son of the Queen of Ch’in and a minister named Lu. Shih forced his father to commit suicide and persecuted his mother, assuming the throne at the age of 12, according to historian Szuma Ch’en. When he was 25 he began to conquer the petty states into which China was divided. In 230BC he conquered Han; in 228BC, Chao; in 225, Wei; in 223, Ch’u; in 222, Yen, and then the important state of Ch’i in 221BC. China was finally under one rule.
He then pieced together many walls on the northern frontier designed to protect China from barbarian attack, thus creating the 1500 mile long Great Wall. This is the largest structure ever built by mankind. Although this wall did not keep out barbarians it did slow them down. Durant says that it slowed the Hun attack down so much that they chose to attack to the west and he goes on to say that Rome fell because China built a wall. An 8th century Arab chronicle is reported to have called the wall, ‘The Ramparts of Magog’. Remember that when you read Ezekiel and Revelation about the end times. He moved China away from rule by custom to rule strictly by law and a strong central government. He destroyed the power of local warlords or feudal barons and replaced them with a nobility of civil servants placed in each province. He, in other words, gave an order and a structure to Chinese government and therefore society that it had not had. He was, however, the enemy of scholars and particularly hated Confucian scholars, ordering all copies of Confucius’ books burnt. The scholars saw that under one supreme government they would not have the freedom of thought and liberty of conscience that they had when
things were more disordered. It is an historical fact that as power is concentrated into the hands of a very few and then perhaps one, individual freedom is set aside. The emperor
burnt many books of philosophy and consigned those who hid those books to forced labor on the Great Wall where most died.
Shih Huang-Ti spent his final years paranoid and trying to find an elixir for immortality. He was buried in a tomb with several hundred young girls who were buried alive to keep him company in eternity, behind hidden traps to kill intruders, and even the workmen were killed to keep the secrets of his tomb from the world. Chaos again reigned at his death.
The Han dynasty followed after Wen Ti restored order. He permitted freedom of speech and writing once again. Also, he permitted criticism of the government which had been outlawed by the previous emperor. The Han ruled China for 400 years and the Chinese who claim to trace their roots to this dynasty are proud to call themselves Han Chinese today to separate themselves from what they consider to be inferior Chinese. The greatest of the Han emperors was Wu Ti, who reigned over a half a century, from 140BC to 87BC. He successfully fought barbarians and made China master over Korea, Manchuria, Annam (a kingdom in Central Vietnam), Indo-China (loosely defined, the area of current day Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), and Turkestan in central Asia.
Wu Ti would be considered today a socialist as he established national ownership of China’s natural resources to prevent private monopolies and wealth gained from manipulation of these resources by private individuals. Even the production and sale of alcoholic beverages was a state run industry. He nationalized export and trade and tried to stabilize the way prices were established. The system flourished for a time and trade grew as he ruled from his capital at Lo-yang. Scholarship and poetry abounded and pottery was beautiful, Szuma Ch’en tells us through Will Durant. The imperial library had nearly 10,000 books and no one came to public office without passing the national examinations, which were open to all. China had never been so prosperous.
Natural disasters such as great floods and droughts ruined his price fixing scheme making food and clothing in such short supply that prices skyrocketed. Businessmen complained that state control had destroyed competition and incentives to produce anything for sale. After the death of the emperor, court intrigue, corruption, and exploitation of the mass of people by unethical businessmen and politicians became the norm until a new reformer arose named Wang Mang in 5AD.
Japanese origins are lost, like many others. A primitive strain of Japheth (Caucasian) entered the islands and they were followed by a Shemitic strain coming from Korea (or Hamitic depending upon which Bible scholar you read as some claim a descent from Shem for the Asian races while others insist upon Ham as their progenitor). The Mongol strain coming in from the north was added to a darker Malay and Indonesian group from
the south. This unique mixture resulted in a unique culture, language, and appearance.
The Chinese dismissed the Japanese as “dwarf people” in the 4th century and had little
respect for their early culture. Contrast this Chinese report with the urbane, sophisticated Japanese corporate culture we know today; “they have neither oxen nor wild beasts, they
tattoo their faces in pattern varying with their rank; they wear garments woven in one piece; they have spears, bow and arrows tipped with stone or iron. They wear no shoes, are law abiding and polygamous (have multiple wives), addicted to strong drink and long lived…The women smear their bodies with pink and scarlet paint…..There is no theft and litigation is infrequent”. (This comes from H.H. Gowen’s ‘Outline History of Japan’ as reported in Durant’s ‘Our Oriental Heritage’). We will have much more to report on Japan later. The Yayoi culture in Japan, around 300BC, introduced rice farming, according to some sources. The Kofun period then marked the rise of strong military clans. The Japanese did not even start writing their own histories until the 5th and 6th centuries after Christ (AD or anno domini, ‘the year of our Lord’). According to Japanese mythology the 3,000 island culture was founded by the Emperor Jimmu in the 7th century BC, a descendant of the god, Ameratsu, daughter of Izanagi. She became the ruler of the High Celestial Plain, called Takamagahara. While commonly thought of as female other Japanese works, such as the Hotsuma Tsutae regard her as a he. I refer you to the Ancient Near Eastern concept of a he/she-god/goddess who is, as Madame Blavatsky would have put it, the same god, Lucifer, the celestial virgin, at once, god and goddess, Satan and Ishtar, so predominant in so many forms throughout human history.
To quote one pagan website from the 21st century, this understanding of the identity of female deities from other cultures with the Babylonian Ishtar is well known. I am quoting a website called ‘The Divine Feminine’;
“From Ameratsu and Cannon in Japan, to Quanyin in China, to Tara in Tibet, to Shakti in India, to Akua'ba in Africa, to Isis in Egypt, to Ishtar and Astarte in the Middle East, to Demeter, Aphrodite and Venus in Greece and Rome, to the Great Goddess of Willendorf and Laussel, to Freya in Scandinavia, to Spider Woman and Ixchel the Weaver in North America, the Divine Mother has a long tradition in the history of the planet's consciousness.”
Across the Pacific Ocean in Peru, from about 850BC to 300BC we have the Chavin period as termed by archaeologists. It is also known as the middle formative period and is characterized by its pottery which still has its effects seen today in pottery of indigenous (native) cultures around the area. This culture, according to archaeologists, mysteriously disappeared, which means they can’t find evidence that fits their theories, and from this perspective nothing much of significance happened for another 500 years. This period represents the earliest culture in Peru and shows the beginnings of basket weaving, textiles, and other industry that shows the people were doing things other than merely trying to survive from day to day. The Andes Mountains are the primary geological
feature of Peru and the Andean terrain is a very difficult one in which to survive. The next significant period in Peru’s history doesn’t start until about 100AD.
While there is no written history of BC North America, there are many archaeological designations for cultures that have been uncovered there. One of the most interesting is the Adena culture of Ohio. They lived in villages and by hunting and gathering, as well as
fishing from about 500BC to 100BC, according to archaeologists, but most of what we know about them comes from studying the mounds they left behind. Adena artifacts have been found from New York, to Pennsylvania, to Southern Illinois. Their mounds started out as simple burial sites but were probably used for other religious purposes as well as most of the common people appear to have been cremated. One of the most interesting thing about the Adena people was their unusually large size and strong or robust frames. All of them, men and women, appear to have been over six feet tall, which is very strange for that time. The most famous of the mounds is the Great Serpent mound featuring a serpent swallowing a round object like the sun, which archaeologists tell us was related to one of their myths.
The Hopewell culture of the Eastern woodlands is another culture of interest. It lasted from 200BC to 400AD, we are told. They were supposedly the first fully committed farmers or what scholars call agriculturalists. As with the Adena, they are distinguished by their massive burial mounds.
There are many people who contend that travelers from the Old World or Europe, Africa, and the Near East sailed by sea to the various locations of communities in the New World, the Americas. One such book about the possible interaction between populations is called America BC by Barry Fell. The problem with scholars who do not accept the Bible narrative is that they cannot understand how cultures around the world can be so different and yet have such fundamental similarities because they can’t see the common origin of human society in the pre-flood culture passed on through Noah’s sons. In any event, the oldest human remains found in North America, called Kennewick Man, dated by conventional scholars at 9,000BC, are Caucasian not Amerindian.
We have previously mentioned the Olmecs of the East Mexican lowlands in Central America. Their culture lasted from about 1300BC to 400BC and this culture is often referred to as the mother of Middle American cultures. They are known for leaving behind statues of colossal, deformed heads. Some researchers say they came from Asia and some from Africa. It is likely that they were part of that slow migration from the Ancient Near East through western Asia to Eastern Asia and across what was thought to be the land bridge that is now the Bering Straits separating Alaska from eastern Asia. But, it is also possible that they came by sea from across the Atlantic. They had an advanced calendar and their writing is similar to that of certain West African tribes.
When Mayan hieroglyphs were examined it was found that they resembled North African and Near Eastern glyphs.
The Mayan culture lasted from 500BC to around 1200AD scholars tell us. The Mayans are in the news today because of the great tragedy of many of their villages becoming mass graves due to the impact of Hurricane Stan in 2005. These people have had a long
and tragic history, carving out an advanced civilization in the jungles of Central America and then declining into the poor and often remote subsistence farmers we know today. They are also famous for their advanced calendar consisting of cycles that end mysteriously in 2012. Many end time prophecy buffs insist that this means something about the end of history; however, could it not also mean that that was as far as they
could mathematically project with their system? Still, a study of the Mayan Calendar, the year, 2012, and end time prophecy buffs can be very interesting as long as we remember the Biblical admonition that we cannot know the exact date of either the Rapture or the second advent of Christ. In addition, Mayan pyramids, while not as famous as pyramids from Egypt and the Far East, are very impressive. The high point of the Mayan civilization comes later than the focus of this particular session so we will save information about them for later unless you do your own study of their culture from beginning to end for your class assignment.
Moving to India we find that from 599BC to 527BC we are told that Mahavira, the founder of the Indian religion known as Jainism lived. His parents believed that the rebirth of Hinduism was a curse and the religious sect they belonged to valued suicide. When Mahavira reached the age of 31, his parents did just that by starving themselves to death. Distraught over his parents’ suicide he renounced the world and wandered for 13 years, finally being declared a Jina or conqueror by his disciples who followed him. The Jina, like Alice Bailey’s new age doctrine, The Coming One, was someone who regularly came throughout history to enlighten the world in some way. Mahavira’s followers called themselves Jains and before he died at the age of 72 they had created a celibate (stayed single and did not marry) clergy and an order of nuns.
Jainism started out logically according to modern thought, that there is no absolute truth in that all truth is relative to someone’s opinion. What is true to me might not be true to you. Absolute truth only came to those rare Jinas who came to teach mankind. They went on to deny the existence of God because it was just as hard for them to accept a creator without a beginning as it was for them to accept that things never had a beginning. They believed in the eternal pre-existence of the universe, much like the Greek Aristotle and many modern scientists who look to the Big Bang’s singularity as being eternal. But, it wasn’t long before the Jains, after emptying heaven of God, began to people it with deified saints of Jain legend. These were worshipped as gods with great devotion and ceremony. They even believed that stone and metal had souls. If one achieved a sinless life he or she became a supreme soul and was spared reincarnation. In other words, like many other manmade and Satan inspired religions and science they simply made it up as they went along. The road to this supreme state of being was by
complete ahimsa or abstinence from injury to any living thing, even an insect. Suicide, though, is approved of as the only killing permitted is the killing of oneself. Eventually, they split into different sects with varying beliefs but in a land where life can be so hard and so short, they have always had a following.
From 563 to 483BC we have the life of Buddha. The religion named after him has found a great many adherents in the Far East but also a great many followers in the west, particularly since the late 1800’s when Buddhism became more known to England due to England’s rule over India. Buddha was born into a wealthy family, was married, and was living a happy, prosperous life when he saw suffering and it had a great affect on him. He realized that traditional Hindu philosophy didn’t answer the questions these scenes of
sickness and poverty laid on him so he began to pursue an introspective search for truth. He left his wife and newborn son and became an ascetic or one who renounces possessions and comfort, living in the desert. When he leaves, legend tells us that Mara, prince of evil, tries to tempt him but he refused and rode on not looking back.
Eventually, Buddha reached a state of enlightenment, according to that religion’s traditions, after sitting for a long time under the Bodhi-tree. He came to the conclusion that birth is the beginning of all evil and that if a man could live a life of perfect justice, unvarying patience, and kindness to all, he could avoid being reborn. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is Nirvana, where all cravings and desires have ended and the mind and soul have merged with unconscious infinity losing all personality and self-awareness. This God denying and Bible rejecting religion is believed in a sort of hybrid way with many pagan beliefs in the modern New Age movement.
Alexander the Great of Macedon, the Greek general, conquered Persia entering India in 327BC, by Durant’s reckoning. Early in 326BC he crossed the Indus River and began a three year campaign that resulted in his claiming western India as a tributary of Macedon. Among other things he brought knowledge of a Greek combat sport called Pankration, or
“all powers” similar to the brutal combat sports one can see on television today. This became the Indian fighting arts of Kalaripayat and Vrajmushti which were later taken into China by the monk, Daruma, and became Kung Fu and other Shaolin arts. It finally reached Japan by way of Okinawa and changed into the many forms of Karate we know today.
It only took about 7 years for Macedonian authority to be removed from India by the great Indian ruler, Chandragupta. He was a young noble of the Kshatriya or warrior clan. Chandragupta organized a small army and overthrew the Macedonian garrison left to rule India and freed the natives from the Greek bondage. He then conquered what was called Hindustan and Afghanistan, creating the Mauryan Dynasty that ruled for over a century.
The ruler, Ashoka, a successor to Chandragupta, was known as the philosopher-king. He ruled Afghanistan and all of India except for the very remote southern portion called Tamilakam, or Tamil Land beginning in 273BC. He was a cruel ruler and the Chinese
related how a prison he kept in Northern India was still known even 900 years later as “Ashoka’s Hell”. Eventually, he had a religious conversion and abandoned his cruelty, demolished his prison, and began to rule like some sage or philosopher, calling his citizens, his children.
The so-called Golden Age of India, from the death of Ashoka until the Gupta Dynasty, a period of about 600 years, was characterized by great universities, Persian and Greek influence in art and architecture, and a flourishing civilization although very little written contemporary records have been found. Greeks and Syrians did conquer the area known as Punjab and established a Greco-Bactrian culture there. The Kushans, related to Turkish people, conquered what is now called Afghanistan. Their greatest king, Kanishka, ruled a kingdom producing magnificent architecture at Peshawar, Taxila, and Mathura which was a combination of Greek and Buddhist. He permitted religious freedom but himself worked toward the spread of Buddhism.
Now, to Africa where bordered by the first cataract of the Nile and the 6th cataract there was the country of Nubia. A cataract is a large waterfall. It extended then from around the Nile town of Elephantine southward to just above Khartoum, Sudan. Through much of history it was dominated by Egypt but when internal troubles kept Egypt within its borders Nubia flourished. Modern people in Southern Egypt and the Sudan still refer to themselves as Nubian and even speak Nubian.
By 800 B.C., Egypt had fragmented into rival states. In 747 B.C., the city of Thebes in southern Egypt was threatened by northerners, and the Egyptians called upon the Nubian king for protection. The Kushite king, Piye, marched north from his capital at Napata, rescued Thebes and reunified Egypt. For the next 100 years, Kushite kings ruled both Nubia and Egypt. This era was brought to a close by the invasion of Assyrian armies in 663 B.C., and the Nubian king fled south to his capital at Napata.
By 200 B.C., the capital had shifted yet farther south to Meroe, where the kings continued to be buried in pyramid tombs and to build temples to Nubian and Egyptian gods in a hybrid Egyptian Roman-African style. Roman historians record the skirmishes and treaties which marked the relation ship of Roman Egypt and Nubia.
Meroe had existed as the capital of Cush since the 4th century. It is possible that the kingdoms of Cush and Nubia were one and the same as there seems to be some confusion among historians as to whether there is a distinct identity for each. Cush/Nubia was one of the oldest, if not the oldest kingdom of the Nile River. Cush was the name of one of the sons of Ham, brother to the founder of Egypt, Mizraim. Although Meroe was an important city in ancient times it was mentioned, but not visited by, Herodotus. The only things that remain today are ruins of temples and many pyramids.
In the Ethiopian highlands bordering the Red Sea was the kingdom of Axum from about 500BC. This was a fabulously wealthy trading center for Africa, India, and the
Near East. Historians believe that the Axumites were a mixture of Cushites and Arabians. You will find Axum also spelled Aksum.
As there is little, if any, evidence of advanced civilization in sub-Saharan Africa, at this time, it is most likely that the movement of people into the jungles of Africa was a slow process due to the diseases of such a hostile environment. But, many legends state that King Solomon had mines in central Africa and, of course, we have the account in the Bible of his ships bringing gold and apes and peacocks in 1 Kings 10:22 and 2 Chronicles 9:21. In Northern Africa we have many tribal peoples living along the shores of the Mediterranean, one of the most noteworthy are the Libyans also called Cyrenians.
Although populations had long been moving into the South Pacific islands, there was still not established civilization there at the time of this time of study. Some historians even state that the Maori didn’t enter New Zealand until 1000AD or thereabouts so there is little to mention other than archaeological classifications of primitive hunters, fishers, and primitive farmers.
Let’s move to the Middle East with the revolt by the Maccabees, Jewish rebels who overthrew one of the successors to Alexander’s empire, Antiochus IV. The Jews had fully established their independence by 143BC. The Seleucid Empire was named after one of Alexander’s generals, Seleucus, who established his own empire from Babylon in 312BC. In the time between the Old and the New Testament, this empire slowly waned until the Roman leader, Pompey, made what was left of the Seleucid Empire the Roman province of Syria in 63BC. Egypt, which had been ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty of the descendants of Alexander’s general, Ptolemy, also became an Roman tributary. Its most famous ruler, Cleopatra IV, has been the subject of many works of fiction as the seductress who knew Julius Caesar.
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Luke 2:1
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,” Luke 3:1
Who was Caesar is the question that starts our study of Christianity’s beginnings? Who was the ruler of the empire that provided a contradictorily safe and yet perilous environment for the faith to grow and yet was the legal authority under which our Lord was executed?
Caius Julius Caesar, according to Durant in his 3rd book in the series ‘The Story of Civilization’ called ‘Caesar and Christ’, traced his pedigree to Iulus Ascanius, son of Aeneas who had escaped from Troy, son of Venus or Ishtar, who may be the feminine counterpart to Satan, as we have previously discussed. If you remember, some early gods
were possessed of feminine and masculine identities. In any event, Caesar, a person’s name, is the name from which words for leaders like the Tsar or Czar of Russia were derived. He personally believed that his ancestry began with Jupiter, Venus’ father, the Roman derivation of the name, Zeus, whom I have stated is the same god as Odin in Norse mythology, Viracocha in Peru, Quetzlcoatl in Mexico, and many others but also
Baal in Canaan, Bel in Babylon (according to Herodotus) and as per the words of Christ Himself, Baal is Satan. Of course, we don’t know if he truly believed this claim or if it was, as Plato had said of his own leaders, a political ploy to claim legitimacy by descent from the gods themselves.
Theodore Ayrault Dodge, in his book, “Caesar”, states that Caesar came from an old patrician family that had moved to Rome from Alba under the reign of Tullus Hostilius and had held many public positions through the years. His father, a public official, had died when he was about sixteen. His mother, Aurelia, was of plebeian origin but was a woman of fine character. Caesar was very, very proud of his ancestry and brought it up quite frequently, particularly at a famous funeral oration for his aunt.
Aurelia devoted her life to her son’s education which Dodge claims was the foundation of his success. Michael Grant, in his work entitled “The Twelve Caesars” quotes a more ancient work by Roman biographer Suetonius who wrote “Lives of the Caesars”, when he tells us how Caesar’s aunt was the wife of the great general Marius and that Caesar himself married the daughter of Marius’ successor Cinna. We are told that his first great success was his appointment as Chief Priest or Pontifex Maximus, a title the Pope, head of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church, is known by today. This was in 63BC. Three years later he was snubbed for his bid to be the governor of Spain and he formed
an alliance with the Roman general and political leader, Pompey, and the wealthy Crassus. In 59 he became Consul in a ruthless power drive. Then, between 58 and 51 he conquered the whole of central and northern Gaul as far as the Rhine River, which he briefly crossed. In 55 and 54 he entered Britain unsuccessfully and left us a vivid description of the Celtic warriors he found there. The union between the three powerful men broke down and as Rome’s democracy was a hotbed of corruption and chaos, it was inevitable that a civil war would ensue. Caesar came out on top in that conflict and became absolute dictator of Rome.
One side issue of note is that the decaying Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt was ruled by a queen named Cleopatra, who Durant tells us, was by origin a Macedonian Greek and was therefore probably a blonde and not the raven haired brunette of movie fame. Caesar’s relationship with her was disastrous and has been the subject of many soap opera style movies but in the grand scheme of human history is practically irrelevant. So, we move on.
Grant calls Caesar’s conquest of Gaul a decisive act in world history, by which central Europe was opened up to Mediterranean civilization. He also goes on to quote the Roman, Cicero, that Caesar’s conquests were a disaster for Rome. Grant tells us that “His
army was the most potent, effective, responsive martial instrument the world has ever seen.” Dodge has written a nearly 800 page book on Caesar’s military successes and Caesar himself authored books relating his successes. In fact, there are countless books on the subject of his military victories and how they affected world history.
Eventually, he was assassinated by his political rivals, even some he thought to be friends, for his arrogance and his assumption of all power in Rome.
Gaius Octavius, who became the Caesar Augustus spoken of in Luke 2:1, was known as Octavian during his rise to power. Julius Caesar sponsored his career and adopted him. Octavian pursued a 14 year struggle after the dictator’s death for power and eventually became emperor of Rome finally defeating Caesar’s friend Marc Antony through Octavian’s own ally, Agrippa, in 31 BC. The struggle which had lasted since Julius Caesar’s murder in 44BC was destined to come to an end with Antony’s defeat. The next year, Antony and Cleopatra, who had become his lover also, committed suicide. Augustus received the title of Chief Priest in 12BC and “Father of the Country” in 2BC. . He continued to rule until his death in 14AD with his handpicked successor, Tiberius, exercising most of the real power, or so Grant tells us.
The Tiberius of Luke 3:1, was in his mid-50’s when he finally assumed power although he had been, in fact, if not in name, ruler for some time. These rules overlap as an old (Augustus was 76 when he died) Caesar looks to his successor for carrying on the more difficult duties of office. But, one would assume that the events of Luke 3:1 would have occurred 15 years after his official taking of office as emperor. This would fit in with Christ’s age, as understood by both theologians and historians.
To God, these important men in secular history deserve only a footnote and His appearance with mankind, living as a man, suffering temptation, hunger, thirst, and eventually death, as men do, is the most important event in human history. The birth, life, death, and resurrection represent the hinge upon which all human history swings. You won’t find Christ mentioned in contemporary secular writings during his life or even just after it, as to the world’s way of thinking, He was just another insignificant person. He did not lead armies, conquer territories, or slaughter millions of people but more has been written about Him than about any other man in history. As the Christian movement grew, from what was thought to be a mere sect of Judaism, to a religious annoyance to Rome, to finally the state religion of declining Rome, it filled the earth, like the mustard seed of Matthew 13, that grew to a great size, only to have the birds of the air, a reference to Satanic entities, lodge in its uppermost branches. Still, as God showed Elijah in 1 Kings 19:18, God has always kept a remnant to Himself.
The events after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection in about 33AD are dominated by the Jewish war of rebellion against Roman authority and such events as the destruction of Jerusalem and other events such as the mass murder and suicide at the hilltop fortress of Masada. Josephus, a priest and a Pharisee, was put in charge of the Galilean resistance
and was eventually captured by the Romans. He then chronicled the destruction of Judea and the city of Jerusalem in his writings which are still available today. By many, he is not considered to be an impartial historian, given to exaggeration and the peculiar kind of fancy that comes when one is passionate and personally involved in the historical events about which one is writing. But, he gives a dramatic account of the way the Jewish
nation, subservient to Rome, turned in on itself and destroyed many of its own. Their appears to have been both a war of rebellion against Rome and a civil war among the various Jewish groups themselves. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple are foretold by Jesus Himself, as you will read. Josephus speaks about Jesus as being Christ and tells of His resurrection so that it must have been common knowledge due to the statements of Christians. His reference to Jesus, as quoted by Eusebius, and found in extant (currently existing) copies of his work, is highly controversial and many consider it to be a later interpolation (addition) but others point out that it does not imply that Josephus was a believer but rather mocking the belief that Jesus is the Messiah.
The historian, Suetonius, writing nearly a century later, mocks the whole belief of the resurrection as mere superstition, certainly after he sacrificed a chicken to one of his own deities. Pliny the younger refers to early Christian worship in one of his letters to the Emperor Trajan and Lucian of Samosata mocks the faith of Christians in his extant writing. So, there is clear historical reference to the existence of the Christian faith in the first and second centuries and it is therefore certain that it was not, as some liberals say, an invention of the early third or late second century.
In Josephus’ work, “Antiquities”, he details the war between the Jews and Rome that led to Jerusalem’s destruction in which more than a million Jews were slaughtered and again they were dispersed in what is known as the second Diaspora, all over the world.
As we have previously stated, in 143BC Simon Maccabee secured the independence of Judea, the area that was formerly part of the ancient state of Israel, from the Seleucid king. He was named general and high priest of the Second Jewish Commonwealth by a popular assembly which also made his office hereditary in his Hasmonean family. Judea became a theocracy or a union of state and religion under this dynasty of priest-kings. His family spent two generations trying to strengthen the borders of this militarily weak kingdom by conquering or absorbing Samaria, Edom, Moab, and Galilee among other areas. This dynasty, whose forbears had fought so hard to have religious freedom under the tyranny of the pagan Greek Seleucids now used the sword to enforce the dictates of Hebrew law on the conquered. Eventually, they lost their religious zeal as well, though, and reverted more and more back to the Hellenized pagan habits of their former conquerors. Finally, when a dispute over rulership occurred both parties appealed to the superpower, Rome, under the general Pompey, for support. In 63BC he made Judea a part of the Roman province of Syria. In 54BC Crassus robbed the temple of the treasures that were left.
Herod was installed by Rome, according to Durant, in 37BC. He was by all accounts an evil man, a despotic ruler. He killed entire families if one was accused of conspiring against him and even imprisoned and killed members of his own immediate family. He tore down the Temple of Zerubbabel and built the one that would later be destroyed by Rome. When Herod died his will divided his kingdom between his three remaining sons. There was a tremendous tension between the pagan Greek inhabitants of this small
country and the devout Jewish population. Most people were peasant farmers so successful that in the time of Christ they raised enough wheat to export a surplus. The Temple itself was the national bank where the Sanhedrin or the Great Council of the Elders of Israel met. This institution might have arose under the Seleucids to replace the Biblical advisors to Moses in Numbers 16 but we aren’t sure. A group of Israeli dissidents against Prime Minister Sharon’s government reinstituted a version of the Sanhedrin in October, 2004 and challenged the secular government’s authority. The Sanhedrin of the first century BC or AD could command a punishment of death for a religious offense but could not carry it out without the consent of the civil power. The two main factions were the Pharisees and the Sadducees mentioned in the Bible.
The conflict between pagan authority and Jewish worship came to a head under the emperor Caligula who wanted to make the worship of the emperor the unifying religion throughout the empire. This took place after Christ’s resurrection, with Caligula acclaimed emperor in 37AD according to Grant. To sum up his reign one can easily say that he was a monster; perverse, cruel, hateful, and completely demented. Caligula had insomnia, was plagued by nightmares, and was called everything from schizophrenic to a chronic alcoholic. He was mocking and cruel to the Jews, particularly.
Jewish rebellion was constant and getting worse as each Roman puppet ruler over them increased their misery by misrule. The Jewish expectation was for relief at the hand of a military messiah who would throw off foreign yokes and reinstitute the glory of Solomon’s reign. There was no room in their theology for a suffering Messiah, come to save them from their sins, to die, and then to return to save them from the world or Hell. The verses in the prophets concerning the suffering of the Messiah were completely ignored in favor of those verses that predicted victory. The two advents of Christ were completely misunderstood, even when He Himself made the distinction clear to them. Bands of Zealots would assassinate disloyal Jews and Roman retribution was violent and merciless. While older Hebrews argued that revolt against the world’s greatest empire would be national suicide the younger, hot-heads reacted violently to the Roman crucifixions of rebels and the theft of their families’ property. Two factions, one wanting to fight Rome and one resisting that effort, fought a bloody civil war. In 68BC a pitched battle was fought and the radicals won. Josephus said that it was not uncommon to see towns filled with corpses from the fighting. The gentiles of Caesarea rose up and killed many Jews and sold others into slavery. The Jewish radicals destroyed many towns in Palestine in their rage.
When Josephus was defending Jotopata under siege by Vespasian, he was captured. He then made the statement that Vespasian was destined to be emperor. This resulted in his release and then his job as an advisor to the general in the war against the Jews, making Josephus a traitor. When Vespasian left for Alexandria, Josephus stayed and accomp-anied Vespasian’s son, Titus, to Jerusalem to lay siege to that city. Tacitus, Roman historian, claimed that 600,000 rebels were held up in Jerusalem. When the inhabitants of Jerusalem were starving they made forays for food and thousands of them were crucified when caught by the Romans. The siege lasted for five months and the streets were clogged with corpses. Over a hundred thousand bodies were thrown over the walls. Some Jews swallowed gold coins and tried to escape only to be captured and to have their bellies slit open to retrieve the money. When Titus took half the city he offered liberal surrender terms but they were rejected. Against his express orders soldiers set fire to the Temple and burned the wooden part of it completely. No quarter was given and over a million Jews were slaughtered. Some rebels fled to the hilltop fortress of Masada, where they committed suicide en masse after killing their families before they could fall to the Romans.
There was then scattered rebellion here and there but for the most part Rome was completely victorious. 70AD marked the Temple’s destruction. The high priesthood and the Sanhedrin were abolished. Another million Jews fled and spread around the empire, the first dispersion or Diaspora being six centuries or more before with the Babylonian Captivity. There were already many Jews scattered around the empire, so much so, that nearly 50 years previous to this Strabo announced that they were everywhere but this resembled a flood of refugees to every part of the empire. There was another revolt in 115AD and thousands of Jews were once again slaughtered in Egypt and Cyrene. But, the
last effort was under the leadership of Simeon Bar Cochba in 132. When that, too, failed it was said that so many Jews were sold into slavery that the price of a Jew was less than that of a horse. Jews hid in the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and within a hundred years it was said that only Jews lived in Babylon. But, unlike virtually all ancient people, the Jews did survive as a people for 2,000 years, being harassed and murdered by nearly everyone they came into contact with, more proof of God’s providence in keeping them intact in spite of their rebellion. The Bible is replete with prophecies that God is not yet done with the Jewish people and at the end of history they play an important role.
The Jewish race has long been very involved in the history of the world and as a dispersed people, with no homeland, they were everywhere, bringing intellect and vitality to every culture in which they resided. It has been said that if seven men were involved in some important event in human history that at least three of them had to be Jews. They hold positions of influence all out of proportion to their numbers in medicine, finance, entertainment, and all other fields of human endeavor. It has been said that when a French king asked for proof of God’s existence, an advisor offered him, “The Jew”.
According to Carsten Thiede, as revealed in his book, ‘Eyewitness to Jesus’, the earliest known papyrus that exists containing a small part of the gospel of Matthew is
from just before the fall of Jerusalem. It may well have been that the apostle Matthew was still alive when this copy was made. Other scholars insist that this scrap of papyrus is much older than the 60’s AD date that Thiede ascribed to it. It is called the Magdalen Papyrus.
The oldest thing that traditional historians are certain of in regard to Christianity is not the existence of Christ Himself but the existence of Christians. There are references to their persecution written early in the second century. However, in Josh McDowell’s ‘ The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict’ he outlines several extrabiblical sources for
Christ’s life. These are pagan, non-Christian, non-Jewish sources. One is Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian who lived from 55 to 120AD. His most famous works were the Annals and Histories He has been considered Rome’s greatest historian, a man known for his integrity and truthfulness. He refers to Christ’s death when talking about the persecution of the Christians by Nero. He is also the only pagan historian who mentions Pontius Pilate by name.
As previously mentioned, Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist of the latter half of the second century, mockingly speaks of Christ’s crucifixion and the Christian’s worship of Him in his work, The Death of Peregrine. Suetonius, historian from which Michael Grant’s “The Twelve Caesars” derives much of its base information, writing in his Life of Claudius speaks of the Christians being expelled from Rome and speaks also of Christ Himself. This reference places Christians in Rome less than twenty years after the crucifixion. Around 52AD a Roman writer named Thallus wrote about Christ, but this is found only in a reference by Julius Africanus in 221AD. Phlegon, in his history called Chronicles is also referred to by Africanus in his Chronography. Mara Bar-Serapion, a Syrian stoic philosopher, writing about 70AD, pens a letter from prison to his own son comparing Jesus to Socrates and Protagoras, two Greek philosophers.
In addition, there are Jewish references to Christ’s crucifixion in the Babylonian Talmud. Then we have the disputed testimony of Josephus. All of these references and many more waiting to be found can be added to the testimony of the early Christian leaders called the Ante-Nicene (before the council of Nicea in the 300’s AD) “Fathers”, a term Jesus Himself forbade the use of when referring to religious leaders in Matthew 23:9, to give a full picture of the reality of the historical Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many historians, inspired by the doubts of so-called professing Christians of the German “Higher Criticism” of the late 18th and the 19th centuries tend to doubt whether or not Jesus even existed.
A Christian is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ according to Acts 11:26 and a disciple in Luke 14:26,27, & 33 is someone who has put all else aside to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. So, who were these disciples? Well, in the early church they, with few exceptions such as Paul, the physician Luke, and perhaps the Theophilus that Luke writes to in Acts, chapter one, common, ordinary people. We have several fishermen listed in the Bible, of which Simon Peter was one, a tax collector named Matthew also known as Levi, and in
Paul’s letters mention is made of a Quartus, a common numerical designation for a slave (Romans 16:23), Lydia, a business woman engaged in selling purple dye (Acts 16:14), and others who are anonymous people with no fame or celebrity attached to them. For the first century, at least of the Christian faith it was populated by people who would not have been considered important at all by the Romans, outside of the occasional runaway slave like Onesimus of Colossians 4:9 and the Book of Philemon.
The apostles, according to atheist Durant, and I quote, “were apparently unanimous in believing that Christ would soon return to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth”.
This expectation of Christ coming to set up His literal Kingdom of Heaven, spoken of in many verses in the Old Testament as an everlasting kingdom that would physically crush all others and one which Jesus Himself said was not now of this earth (John 18:36; Acts 1:6,7; Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15) is in contrast to the spiritual Kingdom of God which we are told in Luke 17 is invisible and lies within each believer (Luke 17:20,21) and consists of righteousness and peace according to Paul in Romans 14:17 and is present now. Durant makes his statement ignoring the rather obvious statements by the apostles that even though the Christian was to be in constant watchfulness for Christ’s imminent return that God’s sense of time and ours were completely different and what we might expect to be a short time could indeed be thousands of years (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8). Each generation is told to be looking up, waiting expectantly for Him to come back to claim the earth’s kingdoms. Later, when Rome began to become melded with Christianity and to some the state and the church were one unified entity it began to be believed by politically minded and powerful Christians that they were living in the millennium of Christ’s reign on earth which was now and not in the future and which was changed from being the thousand year period literally spoken of in the scripture to simply being a long period of time. This belief that Christ instituted both the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God led the political state church of later years to believe that it was a
spiritual entity ruling a temporal entity that controlled spiritual matters and that much of prophecy was not literal but merely an allegory. This is the basis for crusades, inquisitions, and untold slaughter for two millennia, down to the present day. Eventually, a belief even arose that Christ already returned at the destruction of Jerusalem and to justify the belief in the presence of both kingdoms that He was even ruling in a spiritual dimension right now, pleased with crusades and inquisitions, done in His name. Even today, most Protestant and Catholic thinkers believe that both kingdoms are one and the same. But, it was not so with the early Christians.
The early Christians continued to live under Judaic religious practice as we are told in the book of Acts that they went regularly to the Temple and observed the dietary and ceremonial laws. Christianity itself was viewed, at first, as merely a sect of Judaism, the Nazarenes after Jesus of Nazareth, like one would look at a Pharisee or Sadducee or the Essenes, a sect that withdrew itself from society and lived in isolation. At first, they proclaimed their faith mostly to Jews, even preaching in the Temple itself. After the martyrdom of Stephen in Acts 7 Greek converts fled to Samaria and Antioch, establishing strong Jewish communities there. It is at Antioch where they were first called Christians.
Apostles and disciples spread the Gospel from Damascus to Rome. Paul himself was converted on the road to Damascus on a mission to arrest and imprison Christians. The believers met in private houses or rented rooms and modeled themselves on the synagogue. The term ekklesia which was the term for a popular assembly of municipal government was used to describe their gatherings. It has come to us as the church, when referring to the people. We have also come to refer to the building that Christians assemble in as a church. The Christians admitted slaves and were mostly lower class people with a sprinkling of the rich and powerful. Women were also admitted to the congregation and some became important figures in the early church.
Tacitus, the Roman historian, was no fan of the Emperor Nero, and in his Annals he blames the great fire that destroyed much of Rome between 64AD and 67AD (depending on which historian you read) on that evil tyrant. He then tells how Nero blamed the fire on the unpopular Christians and how this led to the first great persecution by Rome. I am including a translation of this famous passage from Tacitus made by Richard Hooker;
“Yet no human effort, no princely largess nor offerings to the gods could make that infamous rumor disappear that Nero had somehow ordered the fire. Therefore, in order to abolish that rumor, Nero falsely accused and executed with the most exquisite punishments those people called Christians, who were infamous for their abominations. The originator of the name, Christ, was executed as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius; and though repressed, this destructive superstition erupted again, not only through Judea, which was the origin of this evil, but also through the city of Rome, to which all that is horrible and shameful floods together and is celebrated. Therefore, first those were seized who admitted their faith, and then, using the information they provided, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much for the crime of burning the city, but for hatred of the human race. And perishing they were additionally
made into sports: they were killed by dogs by having the hides of beasts attached to them, or they were nailed to crosses or set aflame, and, when the daylight passed away, they were used as nighttime lamps. Nero gave his own gardens for this spectacle and performed a Circus game, in the habit of a charioteer mixing with the plebs or driving about the race-course. Even though they were clearly guilty and merited being made the most recent example of the consequences of crime, people began to pity these sufferers, because they were consumed not for the public good but on account of the fierceness of one man.”
John Foxe in the famous Foxe’s Book of Martyrs describes Nero’s persecution as such;
“The first persecution of the Church took place in the year 67, under Nero, the sixth emperor of Rome. This monarch reigned for the space of five years, with tolerable credit to himself, but then gave way to the greatest extravagancy of temper, and to the most atrocious barbarities. Among other diabolical whims, he ordered that the city of Rome should be set on fire, which order was executed by his officers, guards, and servants. While the imperial city was in flames, he went up to the tower of Macaenas, played upon
his harp, sung the song of the burning of Troy, and openly declared that 'he wished the ruin of all things before his death.' Besides the noble pile, called the Circus, many other palaces and houses were consumed; several thousands perished in the flames, were smothered in the smoke, or buried beneath the ruins.
This dreadful conflagration continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast upon him, determined to lay the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse himself, and have an opportunity of glutting his sight with new cruelties. This was the occasion of the first persecution; and the barbarities exercised on the Christians were such as even excited the commiseration of the Romans themselves. Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for the Christians that the most infernal imagination could design. In particular, he had some sewed up in skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs until they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to illuminate them. This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman Empire; but it rather increased than diminished the spirit of Christianity. In the course of it, St. Paul and St. Peter were martyred.
To their names may be added, Erastus, chamberlain of Corinth; Aristarchus, the Macedonian, and Trophimus, an Ephesians, converted by St. Paul, and fellow-laborer with him, Joseph, commonly called Barsabas, and Ananias, bishop of Damascus; each of the Seventy.”
In spite of the fact that Roman politicians would lament on how Christian congre-gations not only took care of their own poor but the pagan poor around them as well, in spite of statements about how exemplary and virtuous Christian women were thought to be, and in spite of the Christian habit of hanging around garbage dumps to save and raise discarded Roman children, unwanted by their parents, the second great persecution occurred around 81AD and performed by the Emperor Domitian Christians were accused of everything from cannibalism from a misunderstanding of the Lord’s Supper to hatred of humanity by the doctrine that people are not born good but bad and must be saved. Of course, there was also the refusal to worship the emperor, which was the chief source of resentment toward them by the civil authority.
The second great persecution of the Christians was under Domitian in or about 81AD and is described by Foxe in this way;
‘The emperor Domitian, who was naturally inclined to cruelty, first slew his brother, and then raised the second persecution against the Christians. In his rage he put to death some of the Roman senators, some through malice; and others to confiscate their estates. He then commanded all the lineage of David be put to death.
Among the numerous martyrs that suffered during this persecution was Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, who was crucified; and St. John, who was boiled in oil, and afterward
banished to Patmos. Flavia, the daughter of a Roman senator, was likewise banished to Pontus; and a law was made,
"That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, should be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion."
A variety of fabricated tales were, during this reign, composed in order to injure the Christians. Such was the infatuation of the pagans, that, if famine, pestilence, or earthquakes afflicted any of the Roman provinces, it was laid upon the Christians. These persecutions among the Christians increased the number of informers and many, for the sake of gain, swore away the lives of the innocent.
Another hardship was, that, when any Christians were brought before the magistrates, a test oath was proposed, when, if they refused to take it, death was pronounced against them; and if they confessed themselves Christians, the sentence was the same.
The following were the most remarkable among the numerous martyrs who suffered during this persecution.
Dionysius, the Areopagite, was an Athenian by birth, and educated in all the useful and ornamental literature of Greece. He then travelled to Egypt to study astronomy, and made very particular observations on the great and supernatural eclipse, which happened at the time of our Savior's crucifixion.
The sanctity of his conversation and the purity of his manners recommended him so strongly to the Christians in general, that he was appointed bishop of Athens.
Nicodemus, a benevolent Christian of some distinction, suffered at Rome during the rage of Domitian's persecution.
Protasius and Gervasius were martyred at Milan.
Timothy was the celebrated disciple of St. Paul, and bishop of Ephesus, where he zealously governed the Church until A.D. 97. At this period, as the pagans were about to celebrate a feast called Catagogion, Timothy, meeting the procession, severely reproved them for their ridiculous idolatry, which so exasperated the people that they fell upon him with their clubs, and beat him in so dreadful a manner that he expired of the bruises two days later. “
We have gone on beyond the intended timeline scope of this class and we will return to the development of Christianity in another class. But, for the next class we will examine what life was like in the Roman Empire of the first century.