Churches in Context

Daniel N. Schowalter

in The Oxford History of the Biblical World

Published in print December 1998 | ISBN: 9780195139372
Published online April 2009 |
Churches in Context

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This chapter explores the evolution of Jesus movement, from its beginnings up until the middle of the second century CE. By then, many changes had occurred in the movement, and several characteristics of later Christianity had begun to develop. The reigns of Augustus Caesar, Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian are discussed. It is shown that by Hadrian's time, Christianity had begun to assert itself as an increasingly significant social force, and reaction against the churches had grown correspondingly. The monotheistic belief system of Jews and Christians set them apart from the rest of the Greco-Roman world, and by the mid-2nd century the Jesus followers had broken ties with their roots in Judaism. From the Roman perspective the Christians were an unconventional group, outside any long-standing tradition. As such they were potentially dangerous and subject to a variety of criticisms.

Keywords: Jews; Romans; Christians; Christianity

Chapter.  17804 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Biblical Studies

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