What factors accounted for the rapid spread of Christianity? Christianity stared in Jerusalem, where the Romans killed Jesus trying to stop his teaching from spreading. A persecution broke down against the Jewish Christians or ingrains who were Jesus followers, causing them to run out of Jerusalem into Syria and other countries making them spread. These persecutions were one of the causes why Christianity begins to spread a few hundredth miles from the city and the establishments of churches.
Paul of Tarsus a Hebrew who at first persecuted the followers of Jesus of Nazareth and violently tried to destroy the newly forming Christian church turned a missionary who evangelize the gospels of Christ. This happened after he saw the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul traveled the Mediterranean world, establishing churches around different cities, and persuading others about Jesus. Paul went to the Jewish in the synagogues and used their scriptures to explain the Jewish with Jesus was the messiah. He also went to the non- Jewish or gentile making a more rational emphasis with the idea of the resurrection.
After these gospels provided by Paul, Peter and others, majority of gentiles started to believe in Christianity. The idea being spread in the gospel was that by the believing in Jesus you could restore to God. This was transmutable because people didn’t need to be Jewish to become Christian, making Christianity more available to gentiles. Christianity was also universal; there were no restrictions to become a Christian. People could be rich, plebian, uneducated, educated, poor, Chinese, privileged class etc. Still could become Christians. They had to believe that Jesus arose from the dead.
If you wanted to become a Christian, you had to renounce to Judaism. In some senses to be Christian was to be anti Jewish. When write about why Christianity spread, we also have to mention why roman paganism was declining in its popularity. One of the reasons of this was the positive appeal of Christianity. It teaches about hope, purpose, love, community, it provides a moral structure; it describes what is right or wrong, good and bad and roman paganism does not. Christianity elevated the role of women by saying that they were equal to men and God loves them equally.
Everybody is equivalent. It also taught women that they were in charge of their own souls and they could escape miserable marriages by pledging their bodies to God. As an effect of this more women than men became followers of Jesus. Christianity met the needs of people in this period in a way that was significantly different from roman paganism. People who physically knew Jesus could also talk about Christianity because it was a historical contest. Those who witnessed Jesus resurrection could tell their following generation about it.
And for example their grand children would be able to say my grandfather knew Jesus. This shows the connectedness to the parade of Christianity through people who witnessed the resurrection. Romans believed that people who disrespected the Roman gods were disrespecting the Roman state, since the wellbeing of the state depended upon the gods and Christianity became illegal. Another factor that influenced in the spread of Christianity was the revolt of Bar Kobo, where the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem in order to suppress the rebellion against them.
Jewish tried to ask the Christians for help, but they didn’t get it and became a persecuted religion. A lot of Jewish were killed and every aspects of the Jewish religion were prohibited. Roman wanted to assistant themselves from them. After this the Jewish started saying they were followers of Jesus. 2. How did Christians relate to the Greece-Roman world? Clearly Christianity has to be studied in the contest of Judaism or Greece-Roman religion. Not to far ago we learned about Alexander the Great and the beginning of Hellenizing or exaggeration of the eastern part of the ancient Mediterranean.
As we know, Philip II, Alexander father, defeated the Athens and its allies conquering different city-states. Alexander, who was made king after the assassination of his father, defeated the Persian army, which at that time controlled the entire Asia Minor. This made him and his Macedonian army in charge of both Greece and Asia Minor. Alexander took the kings title, which was great king. After this Alexander pushed his army to the west his army forced him to go back. He died at the age of 33 years old in Babylon. After his death, his empire was divided among his generals.
After some fighting and maneuvering, and negotiations, four successors finally ended up splitting his empire into four smaller empires called the dyadic. These four different kingdoms where were we now have Syria, one in Egypt, one in Greece, and other further north. Even though all of these kingdoms were Macedonian and spoke Macedonian, they had adopted Greeks language, culture educated their children in Greek ways, and Aristotle of course had educated Alexander when he was young, helping him to adopt Greek literature in many ways.
What Alexander wanted to do was to take all the people that spoke different languages and had different costumes and use a Greek layer to sort of unite his empire making it universal. Alexander did not care much about the lower class but he still wanted the elites. He planted Greek cities and settled his veterans in different parts of his empire. Those cities were Just like big cities back home and they all spoke what developed to be a common form of Greek slightly different from classical Greek called Coined.
The bible is actually written in Coined Greek, because this was the Formal Greek that spread around the eastern Mediterranean by the time the Hebrew Scriptures were translated them and the New Testament writings were written. The Greek polis or cities had several things. In the center of the polis was where the institutions, government, and others would be. The polis also included the surrounding areas and the villages. They all practiced some sort of Greek education or formation of the young men culturally and military. This polis followed different assignations and traditions such as ecclesia or church.
This was a city place where people gathered together where the Athenians voted on things. Ecclesia was very important because in the bible it means church and the early Christians decided to call themselves the town assemblies. Romans started to include a lot of the Greeks institutions into their societies. As a method of conscious propagandistic decision Alexander and his generals started to use religious wintertime to bind together their kingdoms. As the roman moved into the eastern Mediterranean, they adopted the Greek system without trying to make it roman.
By that time all roman educated men were expected to speak Greek. Greek language, culture, religions, polis structures, synthetics, education remained in the east thought the roman’s rule. The household of the roman was divided into rich people or paterfamilias, free men, and slaves. Christianity started out as house churches that fit sometimes the model of the Greek ecclesia and assemblies but sometimes as the model of the Roman’s house hold. So the Roman’s household structure became really important for the growth, theology, and structure of Christianity.
Tax collection by the Romans can also be related to this question. Romans had local tax collectors and the way they made profits was by charging the people more taxes than what they were supposed to. This is why the Hebrew did not like tax collectors and senators, because they were robbed them. Also the Romans made travel easier. They build roads, maintain some communication, they had a mail service; soldiers were expected to travel 30 km a day. This was possible because the Romans maintained odds for their army but of curse other people used the roads too.
This is one other reason why Christianity spread so easily. Romans were really tolerant about religion and honor local and other people’s gods. Romans were concern about religion when they could cause rebellions. 3. What developments accounted for the rise of Monasticism? The term monasticism refers to a live of separation, abstinence from things of the world, devotion to the next world, sexual abstinence, etc. It started in the post- Constantine era. After Constantine legalized Christianity, Christians in the Rome Empire received tax breaks and were the only people eligible to run for office.
Some of the Romans would Join Christianity for the benefits, not because they actually believe in Christianity. This angered the Christians, so they withdrew themselves from the world, and Christian monasticism began. Monasticism was built on the desire to live within structure and severe self-discipline in order to gain a continual awareness of the presence of God. Monasteries sought to bring Christian morals and virtues to the forefront; they also brought cultural and technological advancements in the areas of art, education, medicine, and other.