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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Jesus' Teachings Spread in Ancient Rome

Jesus' Teachings Spread
Like Jewish leaders, Roman leaders also became concerned as more and more people listened to the words of Jesus. They thought that Jesus might take over the empire and set up his own kingdom. In about A.D. 30 Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea, ordered that Jesus be put to death by crucifixion (kroo»suh»FIK»shuhn). This meant that Jesus was to be nailed to a cross and left to die.

Jesus' message did not end with his death, however. On the third day after his death, Jesus' disciples reported that he had risen from the dead and appeared to them. The disciples were sure from this that Jesus was the messiah. They began to tell of Jesus' resurrection, or return from death, as well as his teachings.

Soon the Roman roads that connected the empire carried the story of Jesus and his teachings far and wide. Wherever Jesus' disciples traveled, they gained new believers. Later followers preached in Greek in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. The Greek word for messiah was christos. Jesus came to be known as Jesus Christus, or Jesus Christ. His growing number of followers became known as Christians and their religion as Christianity.

Among the first to spread the word of Jesus were the apostles, a group of twelve men who had been Jesus' closest followers, plus one who joined them later. Peter, the leader of the apostles, was very courageous in spreading the word of Jesus. He talked first to the Jews in Jerusalem and then to both Jews and non-Jews in other parts of the empire.

Paul, a later apostle, was another important teacher of Christianity. Paul was a new believer in Christianity. After he became a convert, he spent the rest of his life explaining the teachings of Jesus to others, converting both Jews and non-Jews to Christianity. Wherever he went in the empire he began Christian communities.

How did the teachings of Jesus continue to spread after his crucifixion?


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