Apr 3 2018
The late first to early fourth century were particularly challenging for Christian faithfuls in the manner in which they were universally persecuted across the Roman world. The christian claims, particularly of a resurrected Christ/Massia, were considered absurd to be true. But absurdity would be laughable at best, its consequent attraction of severe threats and persecution is what is rather absurd. The second century Roman senator, orator and historian Cornelius Tacitus appropriately captured the word probably used by most Roman elites, which group he was part of.
“Neither human effort nor the emperor’s generosity nor the placating of the gods ended the scandalous belief that the fire had been ordered [by Nero]. Therefore, to put down the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits and punished in the most unusual ways those hated for their shameful acts … whom the crowd called “Chrestians.” The founder of this name, Christ [ Christus in Latin], had been executed in the reign of Tiberius by the procurator Pontius Pilate … Suppressed for a time, the deadly superstition erupted again not only in Judea, the origin of this evil, but also in the city [Rome], where all things horrible and shameful from everywhere come together and become popular’- Annals of Rome imperial Rule.More