Joshua Pontipiedra Religion in Roman Society
Within the Roman Empire, religion was a major part of the people’s lives. They were polytheistic, wherein they believed in many different gods. Some of these gods were adapted from other religions or places that were conquered by the Romans that they had liked. Many of the Romans believed that disrespecting traditions of religion would harbor some sort of punishment equal to the disrespect done, like when Pubulius Claudius Pulcher, a roman commander threw some sacred chickens overboard, and then suffered through a major defeat in his upcoming battle, and a hefty fine after. When the Romans heard of something called the Jesus Movement, they didn’t know what to think of it. Many of these people didn’t like it, and would not accept it. In the beginning, these Christians were persecuted, so they had to practice in secret. Eventually, the Jesus Movement became what is today known as Christianity, and the official religion of Rome.
The Jesus Movement started by a man donning the same name. Growing up, this man named Jesus, the acclaimed son of God lived in a region of harsh Roman rule in a place called Judea and had a Jewish background. During the start of his career, he was a teacher and a healer. Due to the fact that he never wrote anything down, the accounts of his deeds have become inconsistent, only relying on word of mouth and written stores made by other people. This man, taught through captivating stories and parables that would leave the listener reflecting on their meanings. Jesus’ goal for the people listening to him was to spiritually prepare them for God’s kingdom in heaven. This was a place that was open to all people of every social class. His teachings became a sensation to people everywhere, and his teachings became a sort of sect of Judaism, which people named the Jesus Movement. During his lifetime, he acquired twelve disciples from all different walks of life, who followed him faithfully, and preformed many miracles with him according to witness testimony.
As much as a sensation as he was, Jesus also had people who despised of him. Many Jewish leaders had sentenced him to death. Most, if not all of those accusations were on heresy claims and also out of fear of replacement. After his death, Jesus was apparently sighted by his followers, who told people that he was raised from the dead by God himself. This lead people to believe that the judgment day was approaching and God’s kingdom would begin soon after. Jesus’ twelve disciples, now apostles, continued to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Their leader, Peter, known for his loyalty to Jesus and his teachings became the first bishop of Rome. As decades passed, and judgment day not occurring in the foreseen future, the Jesus Movement slowly became what we know today as early Christianity.
Seeing that this new sect of Judaism began to form its new own religion, it was still widely unaccepted by many people. It was not until one man, Paul...