Wednesday, February 01, 2017

"into Capernaum after some days" - Judaists, Romans, and Christianity

A Tokyo Street

Judaists, Romans, and Christianity

The Roman Empire destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in the Jewish-Roman War fought between 66 and 73.   And then after the Bar Kokhba revolt fought between 132 and 136, Israelites or Judaists were all expelled out of Palestine.  And then the Jewish diaspora began, leading to the tragedy of Judaists in Europe in WWII of the 20th century.

Therefore Romans were critical enemies for Judaists.  Judaists never tried to invite Romans to join their religion.  But early Christians preached to Romans and invited them to join their religion.

Even Christ Jesus, a Judaist, was killed by Roman soldiers in Jerusalem.  But, as the Gospels indicate, there were no anger, hatred, and a sense of revenge on Romans in early Christians.  Rather, early Christians made full efforts to disseminate their religion in Rome and the Empire.  And, about 300 years after the death of Christ Jesus, the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its state religion.

But how did this proceeding of  infiltration of Christianity look to the eyes of Judaists living in Rome and the Empire?

Ex-Judaists who converted to Christianity and tried to disseminate Christianity to Romans must have looked like enemies and betrayers of Judaists who must have had still hold a grudge against Romans who destroyed Jerusalem.  And eventually Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire.  It means to Judaists that Christianity became the religion of their enemies.

Later Christians in Europe blamed Judaists for having betrayed Christ Jesus and helped the Crucifixion.  But for Judaists, Romans killed so many Judaists in the Jewish-Roman Wars and the Bar Kokhba revolt.  It is Judaists that have more reasons for hating the opposite than Christians, since Christianity that had emerged among Judaists became the religion of the enemy of Judaists.

So, probably any Judaists having right sense would not accept Christianity especially after Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire.  Christianity became the religion of their enemies who had killed so many Judaists and destroyed the temple of Jerusalem.  Even today, Judaists must have this complex feelings to Christianity: Christianity betrayed Judaists and became the religion of their enemies who had killed hundreds of thousands of their ancestors and destroyed Jerusalem around the first century.

So, it must not be the matter of religious principles that Judaists even today would not accept Christianity, but it must be the historical reason that Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire that killed hundreds of thousands of Judaists and destroyed Jerusalem around the first century, forcing Judaists to suffer the diaspora.         

However, one of the critical reasons why the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the middle of the 5th century, or 200 years after the Empire adopted Christianity as the state religion must be that Christianity greatly influenced the mind sets of Romans.  The Roman Empire had been supported by a kind of militarism.  But due to penetration of Christianity, a religion of peace and love, the Empire came to be unable to maintain the strong army.  So, the Empire was forced to give up occupation of its vast territories before invasion by many and formidable foreign tribes.  

In this context, Christianity avenged the defeat of Judaists by Romans in the first century.

Therefore, if Judaists today admitted that their ancestors' enemy, the Roman Empire, collapsed due to Christianity, they might change their views and attitudes to Christianity.

Accordingly, it must be Christianity that made the Western Roman Empire collapse more than any other reasons such as a drastic climate change and great invasion by Asian tribes.

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Mar 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.