The New Testament in the Roman Empire

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The Major Themes in the Text

The major themes in the text range from the imprisonment of demons, Lucifer tempting people from God and sexual sin. Since the death and resurrection of Jesus, early Christian endured persecution and intimidation. However, some emperors such as Alexander the Great played a role in helping the disciples of Jesus in preaching the gospel. The Roman Empire created an enabling environment for the preachers who used a single language. All these helped in the writing of the New Testament as demonstrated by the author Barrett C.K.

The New Testament Background

The New Testament Background offers the extensive source material collection from social, political and religious landscapes as displayed in the New Testament. The text and documents shaped the cultures and history of the first century. The updated version includes revolutionary discoveries in recent decades such as Gnostic texts and Dead Sea Scrolls. The first chapter contains historical figures such as Nero, Tiberius, Claudius, and Domitian (Barrett 19). The pagan and Gnostic religious texts help in portraying the vivid picture of the first Christians.

The Book’s Thirteen Chapters

The book has thirteen chapters comprising of about 280 documents translated from the Mediterranean language which was the originally used to compose the material in New Testament. On the first section, the book deals with the Roman Empire where the poets and historians provided the content about emperors Augustus to the last one, Domitian. The powerful dynasty had unprecedented efficiency. Augustus may have been violent but maintained peace for a long time. The Pax Romana was a time of lawfulness as well stability. Rome did not want to enhance its power but to extend basic rights enjoyment to citizens. It established good communication and transport channels leading to a totalitarian state. The Roman Empire force to the spread of Christianity was positive. There was a universal language preaching and leading to acceptance of the message.

The Papyri Section

The Papyri section became the first form of epistle during the 1st century (Barrett 31). These religious texts illustrated the economic and social composition of the early Roman Empire (Barrett 38). The inscriptions mostly religious in nature elaborated on the issues relating to property, family, and lawsuits. The artifacts comprised of writings on a stone (Barrett 51). These were surviving documents from papyri period quotation of the gospel that was written in ink. Inscription on the stone was durable.

The Greco-Roman Philosophers

The Greco-Roman philosophers included Stoic, Plato, Epicurus, Aristotle as Greek playwrights who became prominent during the golden age (Barrett 58). The land of Mediterranean was under the rule of Alexander the Great. After the death of his father, Alexander took power and conquered Persia, Palestine, and Egypt. Alexander studied philosophy under Aristotle and introduced Greek religion and culture into the Mediterranean. The purpose was to conquer and subdue the enemy culturally. Subsequently, the course was crucial for New Testament. The first books of the New Testament were Written in Greek as the land around the Mediterranean were under Greek culture through Alexander’s influence.

The Hellenistic World

The Hellenistic world had sacred texts. In fact, the Greek’s long culture was based on long history rereading and regular reading of remote past. The culture expressed virtue as expressed in heroic poems of Homer. Philosophers and education of rectors played an important role in reading appropriate texts. The art of speaking and writing was imitating examples found in classical sources. The knowledge helped early writers to compile their work to form the New Testament. The event took place during the 1st century AD.

Work Cited

Barrett, C K. The New Testament Background: Selected Documents. New York: Macmillan, 1989. Print.

November 24, 2023

Literature Religion



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Book Review New Testament

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Expertise New Testament
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