How did Christianity first spread and become popular all over the Roman world?
i read that it spread very very slowly, since whenever the Jewish revolt was in 67? a.d. and then the diaspora spread jews out around the Mediterranean and into provinces of the Roman Empire and THEY? spread the new belief in Jesus? why they would do that and how?
& did Christianity really not spread until the printing press came out? or how it spread before?
Christianity did indeed spread slowly throughout the Roman world and Europe. it started, as you note, as a Middle Eastern religion. It had certainly spread to almost all of Europe by the time that printing became a method of communication. But printing enabled the rapid spread of Protestantism in its various forms. Previously the version of Christianity in western and central Europe had been solely Roman Catholicism.
A religion which spread much faster was Islam. Within about 200 years of its beginning it was all across Arabia, and the Middle East, and all across North Africa, and most of Spain. Not much later it was well-established in many parts of Asia, especially south-east Asia, and in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
There were a number of disciples spreading the word for hundreds of yrs. but the single most influential event was Constantine converted.
"During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 306–337), Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Under Constantine's rule, Christianity expanded throughout the Empire, launching the era of the Christian Church's dominance under the Constantinian dynasty."
Once it spread to proliferation, the church resorted to convincing measures to maintain the fold including the Inquisition.
Christianity was spread by missionaries such as Paul. They traveled around, spreading the "good news" of Christ's Resurrection. Those who chose to believe often did so in secret because it was in defiance of Roman Gods.
By the time of Constantine, Christianity had become so widespread that he had no choice but to support it, Some suggest he was never truly a Christian himself so you cannot impugn Christianity on the basis of his actions. He was, after all, a Roman Emperor who like all his predecessors, struggled to keep power and maintain the support of the people.
Paul speaks of some 500 brothers to whom the risen Christ appeared, most still being alive when he wrote that around 55 AD (1 Corinthians 15:6). Further, Paul adds that they were witnesses of the risen Christ before his own Damascus road conversion. This means that, before that day of Pentecost in A.D. 33 when the witness of the new church kicked off Big Time, there were over 500 Christians, at the very least. But all the believers who were daily in Jerusalem’s temple waiting on the promised outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost numbered 120. (Acts 1:12-14, 2:1) Then, the very day the Spirit was poured out on them, Peter’s preaching resulted in about 3,000 converts that same day! (Acts 2:41) Here’s a list of Acts references of more converts:
2:47 – Daily conversions.
3:4 – Total now about 5,000 men but not including women and children. Perhaps 10,000 total?
5:14 – More and more believed and were converted.
5:42 – What converted people was the message, “Jesus is the Messiah”.
6:1 – The believers “rapidly multiplied”.
6:7 – The believers “greatly increase” in Jerusalem and MANY Jewish Priests converted too before Stephen was martyred. Then began great persecution and the believers were scattered.
8:4-7 – Philip in Samaria city – MANY converted.
8:12 – MANY men and women were baptised.
8:36 – The Ethiopian chancellor was converted, baptised and went to Ethiopia.
8:40 – Philip then preached from Azotus to Caesarea.
Ch. 9 – Saul converted – days later preached Christ in synagogues, could not be refuted (9:22).
9:31 – The Church had peace, growing stronger in numbers and in faith.
9:35 – Peter in Lydda & area – HUGE NUMBER of conversions.
9:42 – In Joppa, the WHOLE TOWN believed in Jesus.
10:47 – Cornelius and his household believed and were baptised.
11:21 & 24 – Peter again, MANY people believed and were baptised.
Ch 12 – Persecution in Jerusalem.12:24 – “MANY new believers”.
13:12 – Governor Sergius Paulus of Paphos became a Christian.
13:43 – Antioch (Pisidia) MANY believers.
14:1 – Iconium – a GREAT NUMBER of Jews and Greek believers.
14:21 – Derbe – MANY disciples made.
16:5 – The churches grew larger EVERY DAY.
16:14 – Philippi – Lydia and her household converted.
16:31-34 – Philippi jailer and his household believed and baptised.
17:1-4 – Thessalonica – some Jews, MANY Greek men and prominent women converted.
17:10-12 – Berea – MANY Jews and MANY prominent Greek men and women converted.
17:22-34 – Athens – “Some”, including Dionysius and Damaris and others.
18:1-3 – Corinth – Priscilla and Acquilla, Jews.
18:7-8 – Crispus, a Jew; his household and MANY others.
18:9-11 – After 18 months ministry, MANY converts.
18:24 – Ephesus – Apollos’s preaching – 12 men converted (19:1-7).
19: 8-10 – Asia – 2 years ministry.
19:18-20 – MANY became believers due to powerful effect of the preaching. [20:7 met on Sunday]
21:20 – “How many THOUSANDS OF JEWS have also believed”.
28:17-31 – Paul in Rome with a church already established there plus some Jewish leaders believed, then 2 year’s ministry.
One year into Christianity, the believers had increased from around 1000 to 10,000.Perhaps by AD 60 there were 100,000.
Many of them were in the Roman army and so they took the Christian message with them all over the Empire. Then came persecutions of the Christians, which caused many of the survivors to scatter, to escape it. There were 40,000 martyrs that died in the year 95 A.D. alone, but that left very many more Christians who escaped. Halleys Bible Handbook (Henry Halley) Zondervan reprint 2012 heading: The Age to Come (page 843): “The second Imperial persecution was under Emperor Domitian (A.D. 95). It was short but extremely severe. More than 40,000 Christians were tortured and killed.” McClintock & Strong Biblical Cyclopedia (online) confirms this.See also “History of the Church” by Eusebius and his description of early persecution of Christians under Domitian.Then, in the province of Egypt, there were 144,000 Christian martyrs during one of ten bouts of persecution. Another 700,000 died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.
Converts to Christianity in those times were never forced. It was only much later, after the Church got mired in politics that the sword was used to threaten people's lives if they didn't convert - utterly against everything Jesus said and stood for. The printing press was not used in Europe until the late 1400s, by which time there were many millions of Christians all over the world.
How did Christianity first spread and become popular all over the Roman world?
- They killed you if you did not convert.
It iswritten in the Bible how Christianity spreadin first century.
Study the Bible and find the truth.
The Christian faith had begun to spread prior to 67 AD.All of Paul's writing except for 2 Timothy (his last letter) were penned before 67 AD.With his earliest letters be written and 50 or 51 AD.(Note that Paul also quotes from the gospels as early as 55 AD, meaning that they already existed before that time.)
There was a persecution against Jewish Christians in Israel between 48 AD and 52 AD which caused them to leave Israel.The largest group formed the Coptic church in Egypt and began to spread the Christian faith from there.Especially across northern Africa as it was not under the control of Rome at that time.
By 55 AD, the majority of the church had already changed from Jewish believers to gentile believers.The influence of Christianity was already high enough that when Rome burned in 64 AD, the officials under Nero blamed it on the Christians.If they were no already a growing influence then (well before 67 AD) no one would have known who they were to blame them.The first persecution against the Jewish faith happened BEFORE 67 AD under Nero.
How did it spread?By word of mouth.Those who were converted told their families, friends and neighbors.Before there was any social media or instant communication, the message when across the Roman Empire (and much of Africa, and into India and China) in a single generation.A remarkable feat.
The major event that "Christianized" the word was the Edict of Milan issued by Constantine in 313 AD which made it legal to practice the Christian faith.While his son would outlaw the Christian faith again and conduct the largest persecution against Christians in history.The next generation would make Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire.
Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity in order to hold the remains of the Roman Empire together, and imposed it by decree and by force.
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