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Christians were not targeted for their belief in the resurrection by imperial Rome.

Discussion in 'Christian Debate Forum' started by shnarkle, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. shnarkle

    shnarkle Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    There is a bit of historical evidence pointing to Christian persecution in the Roman empire for the first few centuries of this new sect of Judaism. One thing that is conspicuously absent is any evidence that they were persecuted for believing in the resurrection. The Roman empire didn't have a problem with that tenet of their faith specifically.

    The claim that they died for this belief is a complete fabrication. It simply never happened.

    Instead they were persecuted for a number of other reasons:

    1.They were easy to identify; simply for identifying as Christians.

    2.for not observing or recognizing Caesar as a god, and worshipping him which was a violation of the first commandment.

    3. the economic problems they were causing by not purchasing meat for sacrifice.


    A number of apologists have claimed that the early church died because of their belief in the resurrection, but they never offer any real evidence that the early church believed in a physical, bodily resurrection. So they beg the question, then offer a Non Sequitur as proof that Christ's corpse was resurrected.
     
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  2. CharismaticLady

    CharismaticLady Well-Known Member

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    #1. Is wrong in the beginning. They called themselves The Way, and "Christians" was at first a derogatory name placed on them.
     
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  3. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    I imagine most of us already knew this.
     
  4. shnarkle

    shnarkle Well-Known Member

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    True, but beside the point. There is no mention of "the way" at all in any secular writings, and Christians aren't mentioned until nearly the end of the first century.

    Yes, they were "dead named", but again, this is beside the point.
     
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  5. shnarkle

    shnarkle Well-Known Member

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    Then you're considerably farther ahead of the curve than most Christians because I've posted this elsewhere, and found quite a few people disagreeing. A number of apologists seem to believe that Christians died for their belief in the physical bodily resurrection of Christ.
     
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  6. CharismaticLady

    CharismaticLady Well-Known Member

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    Acts 9:1-2
    Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

    Acts 11:25-26
    25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
     
  7. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    It was mainly because they didn't put Caesar first. The Roman government really didn't care how many other gods got worshiped, or what "beliefs" were expressed, as long as the Caesar got top billing... AND the full tribute ($) they demanded.
     
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  8. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    It's been over a year since I read anything about early Christian history. But since we are talking about the first few centuries (possibly until 325 AD, and things were brutal in the latter tears), I think the title of Christian was established, embraced by Christian's, and despised otherwise. Though I could be wrong.

    But point one is clearly true... Perhaps they were not calling themselves Christian's, but they were pretty steadfast in their beliefs. So much so they literally begged to be Matty's at times, according to the last book I read.

    Point two is perhaps the strongest reason, and the same reason Jews were persecuted. The law of our God dictates not to even acknowledge other Gods (Caesar, Jupiter, Zues or otherwise). Jews and Christian's shared a common belief:. There is only one God.

    The Romans, like Alexander the Great, were very tolerant of other religions. They only asked that other people acknowledge their God's. That's easy to do when you have a Sun God, A Hell God, a Sea God, a love God, a harvest God, a wine God, etc...it's easy to say well, you call the head honcho Zues, and we call him Jupiter.... You have Venus and we have Helena... You have Mars and we have Aries... On down the line. But when a couple of folks (Christian's and Jews) say, "No, their is only one and all your God's at B.S.... they got offended.

    So in short, Christian's and Jews refused to acknowledge other Gods. The Romans didn't have a problem acknowledging Jehovah, but with the practice of "spitting" on the belief that other Gods.

    As for the third part being an economical problem... I don't think so. Not in the way it is presented. I think it was a problem that they WEREN'T sacrificing (when the Romans wanted them to). The Romans were also probably offended that Christian's were vocal in their disapproval.

    But there weren't that many Christian's in that day. Not enough that it would sent the economy of meat sells for sacrifice.

    Idols, maybe... Paul preached against them and the makers were so outraged they had him arrested.

    There is another theory, and that is the bizarreness of Christendom and misunderstandings. I have read that many believed Christian's were into human sacrifice, cannibalism and blood drinking. Well... There is reasons for these misconceptions. But rumor Mills tend to distort truth.
     
  9. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    The fact that the resurrection proved that Jesus is God, and Christians rejected the emperors as gods, are related.

    Here is what Gibbon said: "By embracing the faith of the Gospel the Christians incurred the supposed guilt of an unnatural and unpardonable offence. They dissolved the sacred ties of custom and education, violated the religious institutions of their country, and presumptuously despised whatever their fathers had believed as true, or had reverenced as sacred."

    This is more or less repeated by others: "Pagans were probably most suspicious of the Christian refusal to sacrifice to the Roman gods. This was an insult to the gods and potentially endangered the empire which they deigned to protect. Furthermore, the Christian refusal to offer sacrifices to the emperor, a semi-divine monarch, had the whiff of both sacrilege and treason about it."

     
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  10. shnarkle

    shnarkle Well-Known Member

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    Why are you continuing to post this? No one is denying these facts. What's your point?
     
  11. shnarkle

    shnarkle Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that resulted in reduced revenue not just for the government, but for merchants who sold meat for sacrifice as well as the idol makers. When your loyal customers start converting to Christianity or Judaism, it cuts into your profits.

    They wouldn't have cared if it was having no effect, but that wasn't the case.

    This was the case for the first century after Christ, but not afterwards. Christianity began to spread quite rapidly after the first century.

    Idols, maybe... Paul preached against them and the makers were so outraged they had him arrested.

    What do you expect when they're explicitly claiming that they meet to "partake of the body and the blood"? Catholics to this very day make the same exact claim, i.e. that they are eating from Christ's body and drinking his blood. Jesus was a human being who was sacrificed. It's not just that, but the fact that Christians were easy to identity, and scapegoat for whatever problems they were having. This was especially the case when it was still a Jewish phenomenon.

    It's ironic in that Judaism was becoming popular. There were a lot of wealthy and civic minded Jews living after the diaspora. They built synagogues everywhere (which facilitated the spread of Christianity!), and were big contributors to government projects.
     
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  12. CharismaticLady

    CharismaticLady Well-Known Member

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    #1
     
  13. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    i guess "atheism" was the charge most often levelled?
    didnt Christian mean "Zionist" to them? Hence the attempts to crown Jesus?
     
  14. shnarkle

    shnarkle Well-Known Member

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    This isn't a defense for whatever you think you're presenting. if you don't see any need to defend your position, whatever it is; then why are you even bothering to post anything here at all? If you don't care to engage in actual debate, then plan on being ignored.
     
  15. Philip James

    Philip James Well-Known Member

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    Hello shnarkle,

    While I'm not sure which apologists you were referring to, it is indeed faith in the ressurection that empowered many martyrs to endure the peresecutions.
    The reason behind the persecutors calling for and putting them to death were surely many: pride, greed, envy, fear... But mostly because those in darkness often hate the light for it exposes their shameful deeds..

    If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised.

    And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith


    Peace!
     
  16. CharismaticLady

    CharismaticLady Well-Known Member

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    I just defended my observation that your #1 was wrong. I couldn't care less if you ignore me, as you don't seem very nice.
     
  17. shnarkle

    shnarkle Well-Known Member

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    William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, etc.

    Perhaps, but this isn't why they were persecuted, nor does it prove what is meant by "the resurrection".

    The resurrection was a common belief, and right in line with the belief in an afterlife. Christianity in the first century was different though. Christ's central tenet was one of self denial/self sacrifice. It was a life completely dependent upon the providence of God.

    Paul defines his terms though. He explicitly points out that it is Christ who lives in him. e.g. "not me, but Christ in me"; "Christ in you, your only hope of salvation", etc. This is right in line with the gospel acconts as well. It is Christ who is alive, Christ who gives life in a world that is quickly passing away.
     
  18. shnarkle

    shnarkle Well-Known Member

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    You didn't defend anything. You never presented an argument, a point, or anything. You just posted some quotations with no explanation at all. Then you just post #1. That doesn't explain anything either. I'm just asking you for an explanation, and you accuse me of not seeming nice? Obviously you have nothing to contribute by way of debate or discussion. Ignored.
     
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