Kingdoms in Conflict: The Early Church and Roman Empire

…the community articulated its faith and theology in the light of the context of the Roman Empire

While the early Christian community tried to show that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled Israel’s ancient prophecies, the community articulated its faith and theology in the light of the context of the Roman Empire.

Paul speaks of the end of “the present age,” by which he primarily means the Roman Empire, which in the first century was attempting to capitalize on the success of Augustan rule. The Caligula crisis of AD 40-41, which is reflected in 2 Thessalonian 2, seriously undermined the credibility of the Augustan myth, a myth that was further damaged in the misrule of Nero and Domitian.

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