Learn the Surprising Prophecy Caesar Augustus Helped Fullfill
During the time of Jesus Christ’s birth, Caesar Augustus was the first emperor of the ancient Roman Empire, and he ruled until his death. He signed an order that he had no way of knowing would be used to fulfill a biblical prophesy that had been made 600 years before his birth.
- Also known as: Gaius Octavius
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
- Gaius Julius Caesar Octav
- The first Roman emperor and one of the most successful rulers, Caesar Augustus (63 BC – 14 AD), is well known for the following: The Roman emperor ruled for 45 years and was in power during the time of the birth of Jesus Christ.
- References to the Bible: Caesar Augustus is referenced in the Gospel of Luke 2:1
- he was a Roman general.
- Date of birth: September 23, 63 BC, Rome, Italy
- Place of birth:
- Died: August 19, 14 AD, in the city of Nola, Italy.
- Father: Gaius Octavius
- Mother: Atria
- Grand Uncle and Adoptive Father: Julius Caesar
- Father: Gaius Octavius
- Mother: Atria
- Clodia Pulchra, Scribonia, and Livia are married
- their daughter is Julia Caesaris.
- Tiberius Julius Caesar (later emperor), Nero Julius Caesar (later emperor), Gaius Julius Caesar (later emperor Caligula), and seven more were descended from Julius Caesar.
- Hometown is Rome
- occupation is military commander and emperor of the Roman Empire.
- ″But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, while you are insignificant among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be king over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times,″ the prophet Micah said.
- (Micah 5:2, New International Version) According to the Gospel of Luke, Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken over the whole Roman realm, probably for taxation considerations.
- Because Palestine was a part of that world, Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus Christ, traveled to Bethlehem with his pregnant wife Mary in order to register their birth.
- Joseph was descended from the house and line of David, who had resided in Bethlehem at the time of his birth.
- With the exception of Caesar Augustus’ order, there would have been no reason for Joseph and Mary to leave Nazareth for the birth of their son or daughter.
Who Was Caesar Augustus?
- Caesar Augustus was considered to be one of the most successful Roman emperors in history, according to historians.
- From the time of his birth in 63 BC until the time of his death in 14 AD, Gaius Octavius reigned as Roman Emperor for 45 years.
- As Julius Caesar’s grand-nephew and adoptive son, he acquired the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus to honor his ancestor (Octavian).
- He took use of the widespread recognition of his great uncle’s name in order to unite the soldiers behind him.
- Julius Caesar was slain when he was 18 years old and was studying in Greece at the time.
The fact that Octavian was Caesar’s successor triggered a power struggle for the throne.Within a few years, he was able to overcome both Cassius and Brutus, who had been the principal conspirators in Caesar’s death.The lands under Lepidus’ authority (Gaul and western North Africa) were ceded to Octavian when he was driven into retirement.At the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, he finally achieved complete control of the Roman world, defeating both Mark Antony and Cleopatra, both of whom committed suicide.
As a result of this victory, Egypt was integrated into the Roman provinces, and the Roman Empire was established with Augustus as the only emperor.In gratitude of his efforts to restore order during the Roman civil war, the Roman Senate bestowed upon him the title Augustus, which literally translates as ″reverend,″ ″the lofty,″ or ″the venerable.″ In the Roman empire, Caesar Augustus brought forth peace and prosperity through his policies.Its various provinces were ruled with a harsh fist, although they were given considerable local autonomy as a result.In Israel, Jews were permitted to practice their faith and keep their culture.
- While kings such as Caesar Augustus and Herod Antipas were mostly ceremonial figures, the Sanhedrin, or national council, exercised considerable authority over many elements of daily life in the Roman Empire.
- Ironically, the peace and order established by Augustus and maintained by his successors had a role in the expansion of Christian beliefs and practices.
- Traveling was made simpler by the enormous network of Roman roads.
- These were the paths that the Apostle Paul used to transport his missionary effort westward.
- Both he and the Apostle Peter were killed at Rome, but not before they had proclaimed the gospel across the city, leading the word to travel throughout the ancient world via Roman routes.
- The reign of Caesar Augustus gave order, stability, and structure to the Roman world.
- It was thanks to his development of a professional army that insurrections were put down swiftly and effectively.
- He modified the procedure for appointing governors in the provinces, which minimized greed and extortion in the process.
- He embarked on a massive construction spree, and while in Rome, he used his own personal money to fund many of the projects.
- In addition, he fostered the arts, literature, and philosophical thought.
The 45-year rule of Caesar Augustus is referred to as ″the Golden Age of Rome.″ When he died, the Senate formally declared him to be a deity, which he accepted.
He was a risk-taking leader who understood how to influence others. His rule was characterized by innovation, yet he also maintained enough traditions to keep the public happy and content. He was a kind man who bequeathed a large portion of his fortune to troops in the army. Caesar Augustus was a benign dictator to the extent that it was possible in a society like his.
- Caesar Augustus not only worshipped the pagan Roman gods, but he also permitted himself to be worshipped as if he were a living deity, which was a grave mistake.
- Despite the fact that the administration he established granted conquered regions such as Israel considerable local sovereignty, it was anything from democratic.
- When it comes to upholding its rules, Rome can be ruthless.
- The Romans did not originate the crucifixion, but they made widespread use of it to scare their populace during their reign.
- When ambition is channeled toward desirable aims, it may achieve a great deal.
- It is critical, though, to keep our egos in proper proportion.
- The responsibility to treat people with dignity and fairness comes with the position of power that we have been given.
- ″Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,″ the Golden Rule states, and we are expected to follow this rule as Christians.
- (Luke 6:31, New International Version)
Key Bible Verse
According to legend, Caesar Augustus decreed that an official census be conducted of the whole Roman world during those days. (Luke 2:16, New International Version)
How The World Looked When Jesus Was Born, According to Roman Geographers
- Two thousand years ago, around the time of Jesus of Nazareth’s birth, the second Holy Temple in Jerusalem was still intact and serving as a place of worship.
- The Great Pyramid of Giza had been standing for more than 2,500 years, yet the Library of Alexandria was still standing.
- The Colosseum had not yet been completed when I arrived in Rome.
- In some ways, it’s strange to think about the political geography of a time and place that’s also known throughout history as the backdrop for a timeless tale like the birth of Jesus Christ.
- Because that narrative has been recounted so many times, the setting seems comfortable.
As a result, in some ways, the finest knowledge available about the rest of the world in the region where Jesus lived was complete and accurate.However, there were significant distinctions as well: most notably, the Mediterranean Sea remained the primary point of reference for geographers, if not the geographic center of the globe.Strabo is considered to be the most authoritative academic reference to the world into which Jesus was born today.He was born in Amasia, a town in what is now Turkey’s center northern region, and grew up there.
The shapes, cities, and civilizations of the globe as it was known to the intellectuals of his time were depicted in depth in a 17-volume geography, which is considered one of his greatest accomplishments.In 64 B.C., the region in which Strabo was born had only recently been acquired by the Roman empire, indicating that Amasia was on the periphery of the empire at the time of his birth.Despite this, he was born into an affluent family and raised in the Greek academic tradition, which was a bit preoccupied with Homer (who was regarded both a poet and, according to Strabo, ″the pioneer of the study of geography,″ as the Great Books curriculum are today).Strabo would have studied rhetoric, grammar, and philosophy, which were the most regularly taught disciplines at the time; he would have read Aristotle; and he would have studied mathematics.
- Perhaps it was the fact that he lived on the periphery of the empire that made him such an enthusiastic traveler.
- He spent a few years in Egypt and then journeyed south to Ethiopia, west to Italy, and as far east as Armenia before returning to the United States.
- He was proud of the fact that he was the most widely traveled geographer of his day because of this.
- Strabo as shown by an artist during the Age of Exploration, whose work was well admired.
- (Image courtesy of the public domain/Wikimedia) According to Strabo and his contemporaries, the following was the state of the world: One area of the globe was divided into five sections, with two frigid bands on either end, two temperate bands in the middle of the globe, and one hot and ″torrid″ band in the very center.
- This huge island, which was home to the majority of the world’s population, was restricted to a northern quarter of the planet and surrounded by oceans.
- Or, at the very least, such was the assumption: no one had ever circumnavigated the whole known earth before.
It is often believed that Libya was located to the south of the Mediterranean Sea; Asia was located to the east; Europe was located to the north.Geogrpahers of the period were aware that India lay in the far east, Ethiopia in the far south, Iberia in the west, and ″Scythia″ and ″Celtica″ in the north, and that they were correct.In neither case does it appear to be a country that we now inhabit.) Britain was already well-known, and Mediterranean academics were aware of Scandinavia’s existence but were unaware of its full breadth.
- The continent of China, in addition to the continents of North and South America, was the most significant missing element of their knowledge.
- In the year 2 A.D., a census of the Han dynasty revealed that its population was around 57.5 million people.
- The Roman Empire, which had over 45 million people living in it at the time, appeared to be completely unaware of the existence of China.
- Apart from his personal trips, Strabo depended heavily on the reports of sailors, who sailed the seas by keeping coasts in sight; his information about India came from historians of Alexander the Great’s war, which had reached India around 300 years before Strabo’s time.
- Galilee in antiquity (Image courtesy of the public domain/Wikimedia) The territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, which includes modern-day Israel and Palestine, is hardly ranked in this globe.
Despite the fact that this region was neither exceptionally wealthy or accomplished, it was considered strategically located in the Greek and Roman worldviews since it provided an overland access to Egypt.Strabo’s report offers some information about the history of the Jewish people.″An Egyptian priest named Moses″ led a group of followers who thought that God is ″one thing that covers us all″ to the location where today’s Jerusalem presently stands, according to the author.
- As Strabo goes on to say, he had little trouble obtaining ownership of it because the location was not one that would arouse jealously or cause heated strife; for it is rocky, and, although well supplied with water, it is surrounded by barren and waterless country.
- This region was administered by King Herod the Great, who had been assigned by Rome as the ruler of all Jewish people not long before the birth of Jesus.
- Following his death, his three sons were bequeathed portions of his kingdom, but they failed miserably; one of them perished in exile in what is now southern France as a result (which was considered a punishment back then).
As a result of this, the order in this region of the globe had ″degenerated,″ according to Strabo.After a brief period of relative calm during the time of Jesus’ life, the territory that Herod had administered was brought more directly under Roman administration, albeit not as a full province, about 6 A.D, which coincided with the death of Jesus.(During Jesus’ lifetime, one of Herod’s sons was still in charge of the Galilee region, which included Nazareth.) The peace, on the other hand, would not continue for long.The destruction of the Second Temple occurred in 70 AD as a result of a revolution against Roman rule among the Jewish community in Jerusalem.In essence, Jesus of Nazareth lived in an unstable environment far away from any center of power–exactly the type of environment in which people may be particularly interested in a new religious vision for how to manage the volatility of the world.
Who was the Roman Empire when Jesus was born?
How old was the world when Jesus was born?
After subtracting 30 years, it indicates that Jesus was born around the first or second century BC. However, if the word ″approximately 30″ is taken to signify 32 years old, this might indicate a birth date that falls within the reign of Herod, who died in 4 BC, and so be consistent with a date of birth during Herod’s reign.
When did Christianity arrive in Rome?
Which religions believe in a soul?
The fate of the soul – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all have different views on this. It is thought that the soul continues to exist immediately after death in the Christian faith. The majority of people think it will do so intentionally (rather than in a sleep-like state).
Do all religions believe in heaven?
Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews are among those who believe in the afterlife in small numbers (about 50% or less). The notion of hell is also held by about a third or fewer of Buddhists, Hindus, and Jews, according to survey results.
Where does the soul go after it leaves the body?
Instructed to ″depart to the compassion of God″ are those who are ″good and contented spirits.″ ″They flowed as effortlessly as a drop from a waterskin″ when they exited the body; they were wrapped in a fragrant shroud by angels and sent to the ″eighth heaven,″ where the record was stored. These souls are also restored to their physical bodies at the end of the process.
Do animals go to afterlife?
Another interesting discovery was that, among the 12 distinct animals that were given to the research participants, dogs, cats, and horses were ranked as the most likely to have an afterlife by the participants. Insects, fish, and reptiles were among the animals regarded as the least likely.
Do pets go to heaven when they die?
Animals, according to Francis of Assisi, were God’s creations who should be revered and respected,″ stated Schmeidler, a Capuchin Franciscan. According to him, the Catholic Church has historically taught that animals cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
What does the Bible say about eating animals?
- Bible Gateway is a website that provides access to the Bible.
- NIV translation of Leviticus 11.
- Animals with a totally separated split foot and that chew the cud are acceptable for consumption.
- ″’There are those that simply chew the cud or have a split hoof, but you must not consume them.
- Despite the fact that it chews its cud, the camel does not have a broken foot, making it ceremonially unclean for you.
What Animals Can you not eat in the Bible?
All animals—and the products of animals—that do not chew the cud and do not have cloven hooves (e.g., pigs and horses); fish without fins and scales; the blood of any animal; shellfish (e.g., clams, oysters, shrimp, crabs); and all other living creatures that do not chew the cud and do not have cloven hooves (e.g., pigs and horses)…
What does God say about veganism?
According to this text, God advises a plant-based diet for not just humans, but also for all non-human creatures that live on land. In verse 31, Christians who practice vegetarianism or veganism point out that it was this creation, in which all animals ate vegetables, that God subsequently proclaimed to be ″very good.″
What does the Bible say about eating pork in the New Testament?
It is forbidden to consume swine, according to Leviticus 11:27, since ″it separates the hoof but does not chew the cud,″ as God explains to Moses and his people. Furthermore, the ban states that ″you shall not partake of their flesh, and you shall not touch their corpses; they are filthy to you.″ This concept is reiterated later in the book of Deuteronomy.
Is it morally wrong to eat meat?
An animal reared for food is being utilized for the benefit of others rather than being recognized for its own merits and abilities. Using philosophical terminology, it is considered a means to human aims rather than an end in and of itself. It doesn’t matter how nicely an animal is handled during the process; raising and slaughtering animals for food is still considered unethical.
Why meat should not be eaten?
According to research, persons who consume red meat are at a higher risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, or diabetes than those who do not. Meat that has been processed also increases the chance of dying from these illnesses. What you don’t consume might also have a negative impact on your health.
Why you should stop eating meat?
The fact that it is high in antibiotics and induces inflammation as well as the saturated fat in meat has been shown, and studies have shown that those who eat more red meat have a greater incidence of certain malignancies, obesity, and type 2 diabetes than those who consume less.
Who was the Roman emperor at the time of Jesus’s birth?
- As a result, the Roman Empire was established in 27 BCE, with Octavian, also known as Caesar Augustus, as its first emperor.
- Augustus was a smart ruler in his day.
- He fortified the empire’s frontiers and constructed highways to connect the various provinces.
- In a similar vein, the question is raised as to who was the ruler of Rome at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion.
- Wikipedia states that Tiberius was the Roman emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD.
His Latin name was Tiberius Caesar Dv Augustus Flius Augustus and he reigned from 16 November 42 BC to 16 March 37 AD.Tiberius Claudius Nero was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla.He was born in the Claudian city of Tiberius Claudius Nero.Which Roman ruler was ultimately responsible for the death of Jesus?
Pontius Pilate was a Roman governor.Roman prefect (governor) of Judaea from 26 to 36 CE under the reign of Tiberius, Pontius Pilate (Latin: Marcus Pontius Pilatus) presided over the trial of Jesus and delivered the order for his death.Pilate died after the year 36 CE.Who was the ruler of Rome at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion?
- The Crucifixion of Jesus.
- Pontius Pilate, as governor of Judaea, was confronted with a clash of interests between the Roman Empire and the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious council.
- When Pontius inquired as to whether Jesus was the King of the Jews, he asserted that Jesus had accepted the title, which he never had done.
The Roman Empire in the Time of Jesus
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Map of the Ancient Roman Empire (First Century A.D.)
- When Jesus Christ and his apostles lived, the Roman Empire was in full swing.
- Many factors contributed to the quick spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this vast empire, including the order that existed throughout, the excellent military highways, and the widespread use of Koine Greek as the main language of culture across the region, to name a few.
- The following were the boundaries of the Roman Empire: The North Sea, the English Channel, the Rhine, the Danube, and the Black Sea are all located in the northern hemisphere.
- The deserts of Africa, the cataracts of the Nile, and the Arabian deserts are all found in the southern hemisphere.
- The Euphrates River is located in the east.
The Atlantic Ocean is located in the west.Paul writes in Romans 1:7, ″To everyone who are in Rome, God’s beloved and called saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.″ The Smith’s Bible Dictionary defines the Roman Empire as follows: Empire of the Romans 2.The extent of the empire’s influence.- Cicero’s description of the Greek kingdoms and colonies as a ″fringe on the fringes of barbarism″ has been applied to the Roman dominions prior to the victories of Pompey and Caesar, and it is a description that is accurate.
At this point, the Roman empire was still restricted to a small strip of land surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.Pompey added the regions of Asia Minor and Syria.Gaul was an addition by Caesar.The generals of Augustus conquered the northwest portion of Spain, as well as the territory between the Alps and the Danube, during the reign of the Emperor.
- The boundaries of the empire were now defined by the Atlantic on the west, the Euphrates on the east, the deserts of Africa, the cataracts of the Nile, and the Arabian deserts on the south, the English Channel, the Rhine, the Danube, and the Black Sea on the north, and the Atlantic on the west, the Euphrates on the east, the deserts of Africa, the cataracts of the Nile, and the Arabian deserts on the south.
- In the following centuries, the only significant conquests were those of Britain by Claudius and the conquest of Dacia by Trajan.
- Parthians in the east and Germans in the north were the only two separate powers of significance during this period of time.
- It has been estimated that the empire had a population of 85,000,000 people during the reign of Augustus.
- The provinces are the third point.
- In most cases, when a nation was conquered by Rome, it became a subject province, which was controlled directly from Rome by officials dispatched specifically for that reason.
- Petty sovereigns, on the other hand, were occasionally left in possession of a semblance of independence at the borders or within the natural boundaries of a province.
Augustus separated the provinces into two classes: (1) Imperial; and (2) Senatorial.He retained control of the regions where a significant military force was required, for obvious reasons, while transferring control of the provinces that were peaceful and unarmed to the Senate.The governors of senatorial provinces are always referred to as anthupatoi, proconsuls, by the New Testament writers, who use the right title for them.
- Ac 13:7, 18, 12, and 19:38 The word hegemon (governor) is used in the New Testament to refer to the governor of an imperial province, who was properly addressed as ″legatus Caesaris.″ To benefit Rome and her residents, the provinces were subjected to a high level of taxation.
- They are claimed to have been better regulated under the empire than under the commonwealth, and under the emperor’s administration rather than under the administration of the senate.
- Article in its entirety The Roman Empire is depicted in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE).
- The Roman Empire and the Rise of Christianity (2) In the second triumvirate, Octavian (Augustus) proved to be the most potent force in the equation.
- The Battle of Actiuim, which took place on September 2, 31 BC, determined the destiny of the ancient Roman republic.
After years of civil and internecine conflict, the commonwealth had reached its limit of endurance.It was a matter of the strongest surviving the weakest.It was a time of great crisis in human history, and a great man was on hand to help us through it.
- Octavian came to the conclusion that the only option available was absolute power.
- When he returned to Rome, he immediately set about doing what Caesar had done: seizing control of the government and governing it himself.
- He achieved success with greater care and shrewdness, and he was legally recognized as the founder of the Roman empire on January 16, 27 BC, which was signaled by the bestowal of the title AUGUSTUS (which see).
Under republican forms, he governed as emperor, exercising complete power over laws, administration, and the soldiers of the empire.Throughout his reign, the Julio-Claudian dynasty, the last of whom was Nero, mostly followed his instructions (died 68 AD).Article in its entirety The Bible makes several references to ″Rome,″ including: As he slept that night, God came by his side and said, ″Be of good cheer, Paul: for just as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness of me at Rome.″ Acts 23:11 – In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with thine spirit, 2 Timothy 4:22 You have grace with you.Amen.In Acts 18:2, they came across a particular Jew called Aquila, who had just recently arrived from Italy with his wife Priscilla; (for Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome;) and they invited him to join them in their celebration.
Colossians 4:18 – The salutation, which is written by my hand, Paul.Keep in mind my ties.You have grace with you.Amen.
- Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts, according to Ephesians 6:24.
- Philemon 1:25 – May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- The provinces of Phrygia and Pamphylia in Egypt and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, as well as foreigners from Rome, Jews and proselytes, are mentioned in Acts 2:10 – Having completed these things in spirit, Paul resolved to travel to Jerusalem after passing through Macedonia and Achaia, declaring, ″After I have been there, I must also see Rome.″ Acts 19:21 – After these things were completed in spirit, Paul resolved to travel to Jerusalem after passing through Macedonia and Achaia.
- In the meantime, when we arrived in Rome, the centurion handed over the prisoners to Captain of the Guard, but Paul was permitted to live by himself with a soldier who looked after him.
- Paul writes in Romans 1:7, ″To everyone who are in Rome, God’s beloved and called saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.″ Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in spirit, as it is written in Galatians 6:18.
- In the presence of everybody, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
- Philippians 4:23 Amen.
- When we arrived, we were welcomed by brethren, and we were asked to stay with them for seven days; and so we proceeded toward Rome.
- Romans 1:15 – As much as there is in me, I am prepared to proclaim the gospel to you as well, who are in the city of Rome.
2 Timothy 1:17 – However, when he was in Rome, he looked for me with great diligence and was successful in finding me.
The Roman Empire: in the First Century. The Roman Empire. Jesus
|Painting of Jesus and his disciples|
Jesus’ brief life and violent death were sufficient to assure that his message of hope and everlasting life would spread throughout Judaea, into the Roman Empire, and ultimately over the entire globe.Judaea, located in one of the most remote regions of the Roman Empire, was a province rich in ancient customs and religious zeal.Years of Roman control had bred increasing hatred among the populace.Descendance into anarchy A family from the hamlet of Nazareth, near the Sea of Galilee, gave birth to Jesus, who was raised by them.As he grew older, Judaea was descending into complete and utter disorder.Its populace had become divided into antagonistic factions.
Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to see preachers and prophets as they traveled the countryside.One of these sects accepted Jesus into their ranks when he was thirty years old, and Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.After that, he started his own ministry, which was short-lived.
Along with many other preachers, he journeyed across Judaea, bringing his message to the homes and synagogues of some of his country’s most impoverished citizens.A new message has arrived.That there was a kingdom bigger than Rome, that God would provide, and that the weakest segments of society would find solace and hope in this message were all declared in this message.It was a radically different message, and it piqued the interest of his viewers.Despite the fact that his teaching was becoming increasingly popular, many people were outraged by the assertion made by his disciples that Jesus was the son of God.
Furthermore, his views were revolutionary, and they posed a danger to thousands of years of social tradition if they were implemented.Jerusalem is in a state of flux.Jesus journeyed to the city of Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover, which took place in the year 33 AD.There were thousands of pilgrims from all over the world, and the temple provided services for them such as currency exchange and the purchase of animals for sacrifice, among other things.Jesus erupted with rage.
He argued that such commercial activity polluted the sacred location.Following the account of St John, he destroyed the moneylenders’ booths and drove them all out of the temple complex.Are you a criminal or a martyr?
- This outburst infuriated religious authorities and constituted a serious danger to the fragile calm that had been enforced by Rome.
- Jesus was imprisoned on suspicion of treason and crucified, which was a standard method of punishment for accused criminals at the time.
- According to the Romans, Jesus was a troublemaker who had gotten what was coming to him.
- To the Christians, on the other hand, he was a martyr, and it was immediately apparent that the killing had exacerbated the instability of Judaea.
- Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea and the man who ordered the crucifixion, was obliged to return to Rome in disgrace after ordering the execution of Jesus.
- By murdering Jesus, the Romans had set the stage for the birth of a completely new religion that would soon spread throughout Rome and, eventually, the entire globe.
- Where to go from here: Religion in the Ancient Roman Empire Christians in the first century Religion in the Ancient Roman Empire The Enemies and Rebels of St.
- Paul – Josephus and Judea
Map of Roman Empire at the Time of Jesus & at its greatest extent
When Julius Caesar seized power in 49 B.C., the Roman Republic came to an end and the beginning of a new form of government was heralded, despite the fact that the Roman Empire had been in existence for some time, ever since the Republican city of Rome began to bind to itself the territories conquered in the form of provinces, the Republic was officially ended.Around the year 116 A.D., the Roman Empire reached its largest size and reached the pinnacle of its strength under Emperor Trajan.When Odoacer deposed the last emperor in 476 A.D., the Western Roman Empire officially came to an end, and the Eastern Roman Empire, sometimes referred to as the Byzantine Empire, continued to exist for another thousand years until it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 A.D., the end of the Western Roman Empire officially came to an end.As part of its conquest of Syria in 63 B.C., the Roman army under the direction of General Pompey also interceded in the upheaval and civil war in Jerusalem, extending Roman power to the land that would become Israel.The Roman Senate crowned Herod as King of Judea in 37 B.C.(Judea included the geographical territories of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea), but it was not until 6 A.D.
that Israel was recognized as a Roman province, subject to complete and direct Roman governance, as part of the Roman Empire.Rome ruled over Israel throughout the first century A.D., at the time of Jesus and his early disciples.Rome was the dominant power in the region.
Caesar Octavian Augustus came to power during a period of political upheaval and civil conflict in Rome, which followed the assassination of Julius Caesar, and he was in power throughout the time of Jesus’ conception.According to Luke 2:1, ″it came to be during those days that an edict went forth from Caesar Augustus requiring that everyone in the world be registered.″ He is also mentioned in the Old Testament.
Jesus’ Birth – Roman History
Note: The following post is adapted from the book Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Ascensions, written by Joseph Lenard and published by Harper & Row. For a summary of this intriguing study, as well as a detailed chapter listing, please see the link below.
The “Dark Decade” in History – 6 BC to AD 4
In previous posts, I have demonstrated with high certainty that Jesus was born on September 11, 3 BC, which is the most plausible date for his birth.Is it possible to obtain more confirmation of this date from secular historical records?This is the sixth component of the puzzle.However, despite the fact that the answer is ″Yes,″ secular documents from the Roman Empire during the period 6 BC to AD 4 are limited.Among Roman historians, it has been noted that ″this ten-year period (one of the most important in the history of western civilization) is riddled with numerous historical and chronological difficulties as a result of the garbled or imperfect records that have come down to us.″ Sir Ronald Syme reiterated this concern in his book The Crisis of 2 BC (1974), in which he wrote of ″…the dangers inherent in the obscure decade 6 B.C.
– A.D.4,″ a period that included the Roman conquest of Greece and the fall of Rome.Similarly, Ernest Martin observed of the famous first-century historian Josephus: ″One must use caution in the reading of Josephus—particularly in chronological issues from about 9 B.C.
to A.D.6—because he is a work of fiction.″ There is no explanation as to why Josephus did not provide cross-references to globally acknowledged periods of time during that time period; yet, he was careless!And this is precisely where we have a problem.The records of Roman historians are severely lacking during this time period (it was during the era when that dark decade was in existence), and Josephus himself fails us when it comes to providing accurate chronological clues during this time period.It is understandable that historians are perplexed over the exact date of Jesus’ birth.″ According to Martin, despite the shortcomings of secular historians who wrote during the period of Jesus’ birth, early Christian historians were remarkable in their consistency in proclaiming that Jesus was born after 4 BC, rather than before 4 BC, as is the position held so firmly by many scholars today, which is unfortunately the case.
Roman History Preceding Jesus’ Birth
It is not feasible to cover all that happened in Roman history during the years leading up to Jesus’ birth in the limited space given.I shall, however, make an effort to draw attention to a few of the more significant historical events, including, first, the period of Rome’s grandeur and the awarding of the Pater Patriae to Caesar Augustus, and, second, the census of Quirinius, which took place in 63 AD.
The Glory of Rome and Augustus
According to E.J.Bickerman’s book Chronology of the Ancient World (1968), the time between 3 BC and 2 BC was particularly critical for the Roman Empire.This was a time when the Roman Empire was at its pinnacle of splendor.The imperial lands were ablaze with festivity and celebration across the Roman Empire.As emperor of the Romans, Caesar Augustus celebrated his 25th year in office in the year 2 BC, which corresponded to the year he was declared ″Augustus″ on January 16, 27 BC.
The year 2 BC also happened to be the 750th anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome.According to Martin, Augustus was bestowed his most distinguished title, that of Pater Patriae, in the year 2 BC (Father of the Country).On February 5, 2 BC, the honor was presented by the Roman Senate (the Day of Concord).
Because of a decree issued by Augustus in the year prior to the award (3 BC), the entire Roman population was required to register their oath of allegiance to Augustus in connection with his receipt of the Pater Patriae award.This decree is significant in understanding when Jesus was born because it coincides with the year in which Jesus was born.Here’s what Luke says happened during the census: ″During those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree requiring a census to be taken throughout the whole Roman world.″ This was the first census to be conducted when Quirinius was governor of Syria…As a result, Joseph traveled from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, the town of David, since he was descended from the house and line of David.He went to Mary’s house in order to register…″ (See Luke 2:1-5a in the New International Version.) This census, oath, and registration took place in the summer to early fall of 3 BC, which corresponds to the likely date of September 11, 3 BC, for the birth of Jesus, according to tradition.
According to William Ramsay, the customary period for Roman censuses was from August to October, not in the late fall, winter, or early spring during the rainy season, as was the case previously.The timing of the census in 3 BC, which took place between August and October, provides additional evidence for the birth of Jesus in September of that year – since Luke’s Gospel clearly states that Joseph and Mary were traveling to Bethlehem in order to comply with the census at the time of Jesus’ birth.I find it fascinating that the heavenly indications understood by the Magi as relevant to the King of kings were, according to legend, interpreted in Rome as applicable to Augustus and the dawning of a new and beautiful day for the city of Rome, as described in The Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics.The planet Jupiter was revered by the Romans as ″guardian and ruler of the Empire,″ and it was believed to be responsible for determining the direction of all human events.Clearly, the Magi were not pleased with Rome’s heavenly promises, as seen by their decision to journey to Bethlehem rather than to Rome itself.
The Census of Quirinius
During the time of Quirinius (KJV: Cyrenius), who was ″governor of Syria,″ according to Luke, Jesus was born during a census or registration.This mention by Luke has generated confusion among historians, who have noted that they were unable to locate any evidence of a census by Quirinius that took place between 7 BC and 1 BC during this time period.Several pieces of evidence indicate that Quirinius (Sulpicius Quirinius) was governor of Syria for a period of time commencing in AD 6/7, at which point he conducted a census, which is mentioned again by Luke in Acts 5:37.According to Ernest Martin, ″…until to this point, no available material has been uncovered to prove that Quirinius was an administrator (as well as a census taker) in 3/2 B.C.or in prior years.″ This new historical study, on the other hand, has been able to locate the census of Quirinius in the historical records that took place at the time of Jesus’ birth.″ At first sight, it appears as though there is a significant problem with the historical documents in question.
On closer inspection, however, it appears that the uncertainty is linked to three persons who were active in the governance of Syria in various roles throughout the approximate time period around the birth of Jesus, according to the evidence.Quintilius Varus, Sentius Saturninus, and Sulpicius Quirinius were the three men in question.Quintilius Varus was governor of Syria twice, according to evidence from Roman coins discovered, Josephus’ testimony, and several other sources.
He ruled from 7 or 6 BC to 4 BC, then again from 2 BC to AD 1, according to the evidence.Sentius Saturninus served as governor between Quintilius Varus’ two governorships, from 4 BC to 2 BC, in the interim between the two governorships of Quintilius Varus (Josephus, Antiquities).Ernest Martin’s books contain the following chart, which is reproduced here.It displays the historically correct terms of governance in Syria from 7 BC to 1 AD, and it is based on historical sources.Was Sulpicius Quirinius, the ″governor of Syria″ who was mentioned in Luke’s Gospel, a historical figure?
Because there was a census taking place at the time, some have speculated that Luke got his facts mixed up with the census of Quirinius in AD 6/7.There is uncontested proof that Quirinius was governor of Syria from AD 6 to AD 7 at the time of Luke’s writing.According to the results of the investigation, an intriguing solution to the seeming difficulty exists.We learn from Josephus’ book Antiquities that the early Christian historian Tertullian said that Roman records documented censuses (plural) in Palestine around the time of Jesus’ birth, which corresponds to the period of Jesus’ birth.Tertullian said that they took place during the time of Saturninus’s governorship of Syria, which corresponded to the year 3/2 BC in the Roman calendar.
This appears to be at odds with Luke’s version of events.Josephus, on the other hand, gives some clarification.During the reign of Saturninus, according to Josephus, there were ″governors″ (plural!) in Syria, according to the historical record.
- Quirinius did, in fact, conduct a census in Judaea during the period that Saturninus was governor of Syria, as has since been shown by historical evidence.
- In contrast, according to Justin Martyr’s book Apology, Quirinius really held the position of ″procurator″ (rather than governor) in Judaea at the time of this specific census (the one that took place during the birth of Jesus).
- Procurators were appointed by the Emperor apart from governors and were not subject to the same restrictions (legatus).
- So it indicates that Luke was fully aware that Quirinius was in Palestine taking a census at the same time that Saturninus was the legitimate, formal ruler of Syria.
- So, why did Luke refer to Quirinius as ″governor″ while his official title was ″procurator″ instead?
- Rather than using the Greek term Legatus (which means ″governor″), Luke used the Greek word hegemoneuontos (which simply means ″governing″ or ″administering″) instead.
- The result is that in this instance, the title ″governor″ was wrongly employed by translators, rather than the more acceptable terms ″administration″ or ″procurator.″ In addition, there is another possible source of the ambiguity.
- Is it feasible that the census reported by Luke was primarily for taxing purposes and not for the purpose of counting people?
- If this was not the census performed by Rome for the purpose of conferring the title of Pater Patriae on Caesar Augustus, is it feasible that this was not the same census?
- That is not the case.
- According to historical records, the first and second formal censuses for the purpose of taxation were held in 28 BC and 8 BC, respectively, exactly 20 years apart.
- As a result, the census described by Luke was indeed associated with Augustus’ elevation to the position of Pater Patriae.
Having stated that, we can now better appreciate why even sceptic historians believe Luke to be a brilliant historian once everything has been said and done.On closer inspection, we can discover that Luke was correct – that in the instance of King Herod’s reign in Syria, as well as his biblical story of the birth of Jesus, all historical sources are reconciled and corroborate the proposed birth date for Jesus of September 11, 3 BC.We have finally completed the assembly of puzzle component 6.Important Note: In my next blog post, I will explore the death of King Herod in light of Jesus’ life.