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I. - Roman Empire
A. - Roman Empire: Political, economic, social characteristics.
a. - Many cultures under one emperor, who was powerful and supported by a large army (rule of
might). England, Italy (center), N. Africa, Palestine Turkey, Spain, France.
b. - In its administration, it was Latin, but culturally was Greek. It was built on a super cultural,
with many sub-cultural (Jewish, Egyptian, African ect.)
c. - World wide economy, which allows some to become rich (at the expense of others) and
allowed the rich to become enlightened.
i. - Roads, sea routes, (traveled by armies), postal systems.
ii. - As people travel, ideas travel, which created a cosmopolitan mentality. It makes you
aware that there is diversity, people who are different. AND, implies the thought that I can become like
others, excepting others ideas for myself, thus bettering myself.
B. - Hellenistic Culture
a. - There was a mystical characteristic mentality.
b. - Greek was the common language (for the educated).
c. - Positive view on life, a good to beauty, body, architecture, art = infinite
d. - Negative view, the suffering, the deterging, the now, death = finite
e. - The gods were infinite
f. - Plato - finite = real world, infinite = ideas, Philosophy, the idea of good,
g. - Aristotle - finite = matter (Chair), Infinite = form (material, with the plan brought into does not
make it, but the use of it as a chair finally makes it a chair)
h. - Plotinus - finite = disunity, infinite = unity. The individualism finite but the community is
infinite.
i. - The way to get from finite to infinite is through education. Once educated, one could view the
finite through the infinite.
j. - It was thought one could reach the infinite through mysticalism (dances, trances).
k. - Religion helped this process. Under the Jewish though, prophets brought forth the infinite
(through laws).
l. - When Christianity came into the Roman world, it could have been shaped by this Hellenistic
thought. Jesus takes the finite people and makes them infinite.
m. - gods of love, oceanic travel. The Greek people were very tolerant of sub-culture, as long as it
did not interfere with the super cultural.
C. - Emperor worship
a. - The Emperor was the head priest, and the governor of the total empire (genius), thus was at the
status of being divine (infinite).
D. - Early Christianity and Gentiles: crises and developments
a. - Based on the Sermon on the Mount (salt and light) dictates that Christianity had to expand to
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be Christianity. Salt had to go in to the soup and the light in to the darkness.
b. - After 49 AD, it became clear that Christianity could exceed its current Jewish boundaries, but
it was unsure if the Gentiles could become Christians without become Jewish.
c. - Thus a new religion was born separate of Judaism.
d. - Judaism, spread the OT, the idea of monotheism, the establishment of regular service, which
paved the road for Christianity.
e. - 150 AD, Christianity had spread.
f. - The original 12 were commissioned, and were responsible for the spreading.
g. - Main agent of the spreading were the common Christian (slaves, merchants, trades man).
h. - Methods - sermons, private conversation, worshiping service, lay led interposition of the
Word.
i. - The Gospel was a message of love. Christians were hospitable.
j. - Christians were accused of gross moral crimes (body and the blood, brother and sister)
k. - Believed all other religions were wrong,
l. - persecuted by the Jews and then by the local government.
m. - Stressed love and peace
E. - Christian Diversity
a. - Educated and uneducated, slave and free, man and woman.
b. - Palestine - Peter (James) - Matthews - fulfillment of Judaism - the Petri tradition
c. - Osrhoene - Thomas - Gospel of Thomas (the sayings of Jesus) (gnosticism), no congregational
development,
d. - Aegean Sea - Paul - letters of Paul, Theme was "Jesus, Savior of the world",