How did Nero Spread Christianity?
Help me please.
- By FaithLv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
Nero Persecutes The Christians, 64 A.D.
A generation after the death of Christ, Christianity had reached Rome in the form of an obscure offshoot of Judaism popular among the city's poor and destitute. Members of this religious sect spoke of the coming of a new kingdom and a new king. These views provoked suspicion among the Jewish authorities who rejected the group and fear among the Roman authorities who perceived these sentiments as a threat to the Empire.
In the summer of 64, Rome suffered a terrible fire that burned for six days and seven nights consuming almost three quarters of the city. The people accused the Emperor Nero for the devastation claiming he set the fire for his own amusement. In order to deflect these accusations and placate the people, Nero laid blame for the fire on the Christians. The emperor ordered the arrest of a few members of the sect who, under torture, accused others until the entire Christian populace was implicated and became fair game for retribution. As many of the religious sect that could be found were rounded up and put to death in the most horrific manner for the amusement of the citizens of Rome. The ghastly way in which the victims were put to death aroused sympathy among many Romans, although most felt their execution justified.
Beginnings of Christian Martyrdom
The following account was written by the Roman historian Tacitus in his book Annals published a few years after the event. Tacitus was a young boy living in Rome during the time of the persecutions.
"Therefore, to stop the rumor [that he had set Rome on fire], he [Emperor Nero] falsely charged with guilt, and punished with the most fearful tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were [generally] hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius, but the pernicious superstition - repressed for a time, broke out yet again, not only through Judea, - where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and disgraceful flow from all quarters, as to a common receptacle, and where they are encouraged. Accordingly first those were arrested who confessed they were Christians; next on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city, as of "hating the human race."
In their very deaths they were made the subjects of sport: for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights. Nero offered his own garden players for the spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game, indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the dress of a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot. For this cause a feeling of compassion arose towards the sufferers, though guilty and deserving of exemplary capital punishment, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but were victims of the ferocity of one man."
Carrington, Phillip, The Early Christian Church (1957); Davis, William Stearns, Readings In Ancient History (1913); Duruy, Victor, History of Rome and the Roman People, vol V (1883).
- KeithLv 76 years ago
Nero spreading Christianity, is like saying Rosa Parks was a hero. Bitter Sweet. Nero did not wake up one morning and stretch and said "this is the day, I am going to witness about Christianity". Nero inadvertently spread Christianity, due to the fact, that the shed blood of the Christians, because of his 'serial killer' attitude against Christians, which were targeted, that the growth of Christianity came about. If you were to go to the First Epistle of Peter, which historical setting is outside of the background of the Book of Acts, early in the period between the close of Acts and John's exile on the Island of Patmos. The author writes to persecuted Christians (1:6; 2:12, 15; 4:12, 14-16; 5:8, 9), and the identification of the persecutions involved is crucial to the historical setting of the epistle. Three periods of persecution are suggested (1) Under Nero (A.D. 65); (2) under Domitian (90-95) and (3) under Trajan (early in the second century) The last two are preferred by those who reject Petrine or Peter's authorship of the epistle. If Peter is the author, then the only persecutions are in view is difficult, because the surviving records come from those who were persecuted, and it was unusual for the Record of any persecution to survive. Christians were savagely treated in Rome, and this policy was probably reflected throughout the empire. Nothing in the epistle prohibits the hypothesis that Peter may have been anticipating an extension of the persecutions he knew to exist in Rome. Further, the persecutions in 1 Peter are probably not governmental in nature. The latter part of Peter (4:12) seems as if these persecutions grew more fierce. There is much to be said for the view that the sufferings are not the Martyrdoms under Nero, Domitian, or Trajan, but rather are the reproaches that fall on Christians because they were considered to be odious in the eyes of their neighbors. The "fiery trials" of 4:12 may indicate some form of incendiarism, which would be strikingly parallel to the Neronian persecutions, or it may be understood metaphorically to refer to any trial that has the effect of a refining fire on the believer's life. While there is no indisputable conclusion, at least nothing in the epistle prevents understanding the references to persecution as being the Neronian persecutions which took place in the lifetime of Peter.Source(s): The Bible KJV
- 6 years ago
Nero tried to destroy Christianity. He killed two apostles: St. Peter and Paul in the Christian persecutions among with many Christians that knew Jesus. In fact, it's amazing that Christianity spread in Rome even after repeated attempts to destroy it. That my friends, is a miracle.
The Vatican (Catholic headquarters) was built on top of Circus of Nero, the same place CHristians were tortured in 64 AD. The very spot that St. Peter and Paul were killed and where Christians faced death and persecution in 64 AD.
- Anonymous6 years ago
If, as Tertullian famously posited, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church", then Nero indirectly spread Christianity by convicting its witnesses.
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- Anonymous6 years ago
Nero helped Christians rotfl... yeah and Hadrian liked Israel enough to not disrespect Israelis by renaming Israel "Palestine" during his reign and Domitian loved John of Patmos so much he didn't have to change his name to Theophilus in order to keep from being beheaded... rotfl... atheists searching for fresh material I see...rotfl
- 6 years ago
Persecution actually helped the church spread because many onlookers saw how they held up.
- ?Lv 76 years ago
He burnt down Rome and blamed it on the Christians. Thats how.