Roman Influence on the Birth of Christianity

I Was a Sunday-School Spy

  • A study was performed to investigate modern-day perceptions of events versus written documentation of those events.

  • Several people from different Christian backgrounds (Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Non-Denominational) in different settings (Sunday-school class, Bible study forum) were tasked to write paragraphs regarding the crucifixion event.

  • 100% mentioned nails being used to hold Jesus to the cross.

  • Roughly 50% to 60% emphasized the nail issue:

    • Explained details, and/or

    • Described “pain” Jesus felt.  Some of these described excruciating emotions of pain, although three wrote Jesus took the pain without expression.

  • How are these accounts different from the original written accounts? None of the original accounts in the New Testament say anything about Jesus being nailed to the cross.

  • When confronted with this, almost all of the participants were surprised.

  • Why the difference in the modern-day written accounts versus the original written accounts?

    • People today are fundamentally different? – Probably not to that level.

    • Not an important aspect of the crucifixion and, therefore, left out in original accounts? – If this is true, then why is it emphasized so much today and why did every modern-day writer include it?

    • Neglected to include it? – How can this be true for all four original accounts (presuming they were from different writers), while none of the modern-day accounts neglected to include it?

    • Some of the original accounts may have been based on hearsay and not personal witness? – True, but all of the modern-day accounts are based on hearsay.

  • Is it possible the word-of-mouth perceptions of the crucifixion are different from the original event?


Historical Discussion
In Depth

Historical Context

Dating the Gospels


The Crucifixion (animation)

Post Appearance of Jesus

Who Did Jesus Curse-Praise

Taxes to Rome

Submissiveness to Oppression

John the Baptist

Admirable and Amazing Works

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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