THE BEGINNINGS OF CHRISTIANITY

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Although Jesus was executed by sentence of a Roman judge on a charge of encouraging rebellion, his followers, and particularly Paul, found many Roman authorities treated them quite fairly. During Paul’s stay in Corinth (AD 50–52), Gallic, proconsul of Acbaia, gave a ruling which in practice declared Christianity to be part of the Jewish religion; as such it shared the permission which Roman law granted for the practice of that religion.

Paul’s Journey to Rome AD 59 to 62
Image source: © Carta, Jerusalem

Paul profited by Gallio’s ruling for ten years, even in Rome itself, where he spent two years under house-arrest waiting for his case to come up for trial and preaching the gospel freely to all who cared to visit him. At last, however, the difference between Jews and Christians was plain for all to see, and Christianity was no longer protected by law

When the Emperor Nero looked around for scapegoats to bear the blame for the great fire which ruined much of Rome in the summer of AD 64, he found it easy to divert the popular indignation against the Christians of the city. In the resulting persecution, according to tradition, both Paul and Peter were put to death.