Jesus was born in the backwater province of Judea during the reign of Augustus. He
was no more than an insignificant census statistic hardly worth noting compared to
the grandeur of the Augustan age of imperial Rome. Yet in 300 years Christianity
would become the state religion of a divided Roman Empire. In 400 years, while the
Roman west lay crumbling, Christianity would lay the foundation of a new Western
The turn to Europe was a crucial turning point in Christianity. By God’s Providence,
with Jesus at His Right Hand leading it, Apostles remained in Roman territory. Peter
went to Rome where he was later known as the first Pope. Paul had a dream that
called him to Macedonia. In the turn to Europe, was God protecting Christianity from
more sophisticated civilizations in the east? So they could start a new Western
Civilization in Europe on a solid Christian foundation?
The poor persecuted Christians and those fed to the lions may have doubted the
providential blessing of Christianity’s move to Rome and to Europe. The bleak times
became even bleaker when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. After
another insurrection in 135, the Jews were dispersed and Judea was renamed
Palestine. Romans were always quite thorough when provoked a third time.
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