The expansion of the Roman Empire brought with it

The expansion of the Roman Empire brought with it, many new concepts that were able to change; not only the concepts itself, but also the people of that era. Christianity, for example, was one of the life altering concepts. Christian beliefs go back many centuries to the time of Jesus. The basis of Christianity was formed primarily by him and Saint Paul, and surely gained followers thereafter. This belief came about in Rome during a chaotic time, when people were desperately searching for a form of salvation, and Christianity was the perfect solution. Who would have thought that centuries later Christianity would become the major religion of the Roman Empire.
Jesus of Nazareth was born in Judea, sometimes around the beginning of the Christian era. He lived during an extremely chaotic time, when people were bombarded with many religious concepts, and were filled with discontent toward the political system. There were groups of people who focused on preserving Jewish laws and concepts and predicted the coming of a figure who would rescue the Jews for Tome. They were known as the Pharisees. The Zealots, who wished to destroy the Romans by armed forces, were also in existence. The Essences, who practiced asceticism, was another group that had influence among the people of that era. In addition to these influential groups of religious figures, the preaching of Jesus had taken such a place during these times as well.
“Believing he had a mission to save humanity from sin, Jesus denounced greed and licentiousness and urged the love of God and thy neighbor” (Lerner 195). Jesus and his twelve disciples preached among the land of Judea, speaking against the beliefs of the Pharisees. The preaching of his beliefs began the spread of Christianity. At this time, Jesus was regarded as the Messiah. However, He was not the kind of messiah that would save the Jews from Rome, but the Son of God that would bring with him the opportunity of the living in an eternal heaven after death. Jesus and his twelve disciples gained followers and converts very slowly, but surely.
Not all His preaching and influence affected the people in a positive way. His concepts and actions had angered the Pharisees and had caused great disorder among the people. Jesus was tried by the Roman official, Pontius Pilate, and charged with blasphemy and treason. He was sentenced to death and was crucified in front of the townspeople to avoid riots and demonstrations. Though He suffered a terrible death for the good of his people, it is believed, by the Christian faith, that after his burial, he ascended into Heaven, and vowed to return to all on Judgment Day. All though the death of Jesus ended a life, it did not end the beginning of the spread of Christianity.
Ironically, Christianity continued to be preached by a Pharisee. Saul of Tarsus was a man who had previously punished the followers of Jesus. After his death, he had a revelation, started to preach the concepts of Christianity, and changed his name to the Roman form, Paul. Spreading Jesus” word throughout the world of the Romans, Paul gained major influence by “emphasizing faith over the minute observance of the law” (Hause 102). Not only did he make the people aware that the concepts of law were worthless in reaching eternal salvation, he “denied that Jesus was sent merely as the redeemer of the Jews and proclaimed Christianity to be a universal religion. He placed major emphasis on the ideas of Jesus as the Christ, the anointed for God – man whose death on the cross was an atonement for the sins of humanity” (Lerner 196). These words of wisdom and amazing concepts were what had influenced the people to follow him and his preaching. He preached all over Rome, and this in turn, resulted in many congregations and organizations that had gone against Jewish law. As Christianity spread, the more congregations were formed. Paul traveled to each one and preached the words of Jesus. If he was unable to reach people in person, he wrote them letters, providing answers to specific questions that people might have. Paul laid the foundation for a religion of salvation through the belief of Christ and the ministry of the Church.
In its early stages, Christianity had appealed mostly to women, slaves, and any people who withheld a common social standing. All though this new religion borrowed concepts from older religions, such as Judaism, it was brand new and possessed a certain mystery about it. People during this era found this monotheistic religion extremely appealing and were ready to receive its new concepts. Not only did it offer explanation as to why there was evil on earth, it had an extraordinary view of salvation, different social dimensions and a unique organizational structure. The church and the Christian community were able to provide social security and comfort during extremely confusing and chaotic times.
“The members of the Christian faith were bound together not only by common rites, but by a common way of life, and by their common danger” (Sherman 120). The Christians had to bond and rely on their strong organizational structure to protect themselves against those who possessed a certain hatred for them. This newly found religion had posed a threat to the world of the Romans. Many of the Jews felt as though Christianity weakened and separated their communities. The Jews did not hesitate in bad mouthing the Christians to the Roman authorities. The authorities had problems of their own, however, that they needed to address. The Christians had refused to sacrifice to the official Roman gods. This prevented the acceptance of official rituals, and this, to many people, demonstrated religious and political rebellion. “Many Romans feared that Christian exclusiveness masked a certain hostility to the state” (Hause 103). The bond that the Christians had together posed a threat to the Romans; they feared this new group of people would conspire and plot against the current government. However, how did the Romans handle the threat that was posed by the Christians? The Christians were conveniently blamed for everything that went wrong, and they were also persecuted. The Romans felt that they could be eliminated that easily. However, persecution failed, because more and more generations of people replenished the people who were persecuted previously.
One could see how the spread of Christianity increased rapidly after the death of Jesus. Centuries had passed, and it had become the major religion of the Roman world. All though set in competition with many other religions, Christians held firmly to its beliefs, and wouldn’t let anyone take away their principles. Since then, Christianity has gained many more followers, and has increased the strength of the faith of the religion.