From the Author
One of the stunning facts of Christianity is the historical significance of events that occurred during the first century. At the time that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem and proclaimed that He is the Messiah, the world was uniquely prepared for his arrival. In order for the news of God's Messiah to be distributed throughout the world, there would need to be certain essentials that were present. If Jesus had arrived before man had the ability to distribute the news of His coming, it is not likely that the early Christian church would have grown so rapidly. By the end of the third century, nearly sixty percent of the people on earth knew about Jesus and believed in Him.
It could be assumed that this was simply a coincidence, but what would be the chance that all of the factors necessary to make Jesus known to the world, would exist at precisely the same moment that Jesus entered history?
At the time that Jesus appeared before the leaders of Israel and began to accomplish all of the things that were required of the Messiah, the Roman government had conquered the world. Because the Romans adapted a policy that allowed the nations whom they subdued to retain their customs, rituals, religion, and identity, the Jews were able to maintain their relationship to the God of Abraham. If Jesus had appeared in Israel during a period of history when the Jewish nation did not exist, there would be no chance that the people of Israel could recognize Him as their Messiah. As it was, even though there was great anticipation that the arrival of the Messiah was imminent during the time that Jesus revealed Himself; the majority of people in Israel did not receive Him.
When Caesar Agustus began his reign, he instituted the "pax romana," Roman peace. For nearly two hundred years, the nations that were conquered by the Romans, experienced a great period of economic growth and peace. Because of this stability in the world, people were able to travel and move throughout the known world. The distribution of news and information was possible, because of the tranquility created by Roman force.
The Romans built thousands of miles of roads that connected major cites and made travel, trade, communication, and the distribution of literature, possible. Many of the soldiers who built these roads were Christians. As they traveled from place to place, they shared the Good News of Jesus death and resurrection with thousands of people who also believed. As these soldiers shared the Gospel, many people had become discouraged in worshipping their former gods and idols. The presence and power of the Romans caused many people to believe that the god's they had been worshipping were weak and unable to deliver them from their enemies. In following Jesus and becoming a part of a very large family, people felt a sense of belonging and purpose. The world quickly became aware that this was no conventional religion of man. The leader of this new church was reported to have raised people from the dead, and finally raised Himself, after the Romans crucified Him.
As the government of Rome absorbed the cultures and people's of many other nations, the Romans also adapted many of the characteristics of these cultures. In order to communicate, the nations that were a part of the Roman empire, adapted Greek as the one language that could united the world. Even the ancient Hebrew scriptures were translated into Koine Greek so that Greek speaking Jews living in various places around the world could read their own scriptures. This universal language, further facilitated a rapid spread of Jesus Gospel to the whole world.
As roads and language enabled the movement and communication of people; the universal use of the Greek language made it possible for the world to read the Bible. When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek, about 300 years before Jesus was born, the laws of God, had become well known throughout the world. Very quickly, the ten commandments became a basis of moral law that was adapted by many civilized cultures. Although not every nation adapted the religion of the Jews or the Christians, they did access the principles of God's moral rule in instituting their own laws.
One of the remarkable facts of the first century is the change in writing that took place as a result of Jesus' presence here on earth. Prior to the death and resurrection of Christ, the Jews had made use of animal skins as parchment, rolled into scrolls, as a method for preserving and making available, the word of God. Beginning shortly after Paul began to write and distribute his letters to the Christian churches in Asia, scribes began to use the codex method to preserve their writing. The codex takes the same animal skin parchments, and instead of creating long scrolls, the parchment is cut into pages and bound together as a book. The Christian church of the first century, used this method--almost exclusively to write, copy, and distribute the New Testament scriptures. The existence of the codex at such an early date, corroborates the existence of Jesus in Israel, dying on a cross, risen from the dead, necessitating the massive distribution of these incredible facts to the world. Had Jesus not existed, or risen from the dead, it is impossible that the codex would have been created so early in history, as a method to preserve and distribute literature.
God waited until the perfect time in the history of man, when everything was ready, before sending His Son into the world. The presence of these extraordinary circumstances: The Roman government, road systems, universal language, existence of peace in the world, and the beginning of an effective new writing method, all at the same time in history; contributed tremendously to the rapid distribution of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to the whole world.
These accounts are not mere myth or allegory; these are the stories from where truth originates.