Roman Influence on the Birth of Christianity

Admirable and Amazing Works

  • Public miracles were a noted aspect of Jesus’ ministries.

  • The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, writes in The Antiquities of the Jews:

“…he performed admirable and amazing works.”

  • It is reasonable to assume that this reference and the numerous references in the New Testament have some basis in human events.

  • Few consortiums in the region had the means and ability to orchestrate the documented miracles.

  • Probably only one consortium had the means and ability to feed four and five thousand people[1] in remote areas.

  • Rome was well versed at feeding legions in the field.

  • One miracle directly involves and was initiated by a Roman centurion.[2]

  • Could one man alone pull off numerous and sometimes complicated miracles? – Highly doubtful.

  • Could such miracles be orchestrated with the backing of a powerful organization? – Yes. Some may not like this answer, but with Rome’s power and human ingenuity, such feats could have been possible. There are countless modern-day examples where thousands of people fall for orchestrated miracles.

  • Were the people of Judea hungry for miraculous works from God (i.e. vulnerable to believing godly explanations)? – Yes. They were an oppressed people searching for deliverance from Roman occupation. It is well documented that numerous messiahs came and went during that time period.

  • Was Rome shrewd enough to take advantage of such vulnerability? – Unmistakably, yes.

[1] Matthew 14:19-21 15:35-38, Mark 6:39-44 8:6-9, Luke 9:14-17

[2] Matthew 8:5-10, Luke 7:2-10


Historical Discussion
In Depth

Historical Context

Dating the Gospels

I Was a Sunday-School Spy

The Crucifixion (animation)

Post Appearance of Jesus

Who Did Jesus Curse-Praise

Taxes to Rome

Submissiveness to Oppression

John the Baptist


The Term Gospel

Jewish Judgment

Pilate's Defense (animation)

Roman Soldiers at the Tomb

Migration of Christianity to Rome

Irony of Faith

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