Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"seek not ye what ye shall eat" - Difference between Us and Roman Believers

Tokyo Station

Difference between Us and Roman Believers

How did people in the Roman Empire come to accept Christianity between the fall of Jerusalem in the late first century to the fall of the Roman Empire in the late fifth century?

What messages and contents of the teaching of early Christianity and the Bible appealed to the minds and hearts of the ancient Romans?

First of all, till Christianity prevailed, the Roman citizens had been living in the society of polytheism.  Many gods and deities had been revered in the Empire, though Judaists believed in only one God of their own.  Therefore, the concept of the only one god over mankind was so remote to them.  If any Christian had told them the theory of the one and only God, Roman citizens should not have accepted it easily.

But, as a matter of historical fact, they eventually accepted the idea of the one and only God over mankind.  But how did early Christians persuade Roman citizens to believe their God?

One of keys is the Bible.  The Gospels were not complied after Roman citizens accepted the faith in Christ Jesus.  It was compiled prior to the large-scale conversion of Roman citizens to Christianity.  The Gospels were written in Greeks so that Roman citizens could read and understand, since Greek was the common language in the Empire.

Whatever a strange early Christian told to Roman citizens, they would soon forget it.  But, if a document containing the work by Christ Jesus was presented or read to Roman citizens, they would rather take it more serious.  As result, some of them came to believe Christ Jesus and the only and one God.

Of course, in addition to the existence of the Bible, behaviors and deeds of early Christians must have also appealed to Roman citizens.  As early Christians lived honest and moral living, some of them must have acquired respect from Roman citizens.  Many of Roman mothers must have taught their children to learn from early Christians in the Empire.  However, there must have been a great gap between respect for early Christians in terms of morality and total conversion to Christianity.  Romans who wondered if they should join early Christians must have needed some evidence on the one and only God.  And, the Gospels played a role of that evidence.

After reading the Gospels, Romans got confidence that there is the only and one God over mankind.  But why?

Or conversely, the Gospels had been compiled so that Romans would come to believe in the one and only God.  Christ Jesus in the Bible was depicted as the one who had been chosen by the one and sole God.  He only prayed to the one and only God.  Christ Jesus had been depicted as one who believed in the one and only God.  So, Roman readers would try to know how deeds and words of Christ Jesus had been fit for the theory of the monotheistic teaching of early Christians.  And consequently, they confirmed that Christ Jesus was the Son of the one and only God.

Though Christ Jesus was crucified and killed by Roman soldiers, Roman citizens who read the Bible eventually came to believe Christianity, Christ Jesus, and the God of Christ Jesus.  It looks like a great mystery for us living in the 21st century or in the world 2000 years after the holy mission of Christ Jesus on the earth.

At least, in this context, it must have been very important that Christ Jesus had resurrected after the Crucifixion for Romans.  But, more importantly, the words of Christ Jesus written in the Bible must have significant influences on Romans.  Probably, even miracles should have happened around those sincere Bible readers in their daily lives.  The words contained in the Bible must have worked as the spirit of Christ Jesus on Roman readers.  You may wonder specifically what words in the Bible moved the souls of Romans.  However, it looks most likely that all the words of Christ Jesus in the Bible functioned well for this purpose.

But there is a question.  How differently Roman citizens read the Bible from people today living.  Everything is so different between situations where citizens of the Roman Empire were living and those where we are today living.

Or we might have lost some crucial ability to understand the words of Christ Jesus while ancient Romans had it.

Then, there might be a need for a new Bible to be compiled today.  But who could write it based on his observation of holy work by Christ Jesus who left this world 2000 years ago in the historical term?  

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Luk 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.