Jesus lived in a time period called second temple Judaism. During the lifetime of Jesus, Judea, where Jerusalem was located, and Galilee, where Jesus lived and taught, were separate countries under Roman rule. Though dominated by Rome the Jews in those countries had a certain amount of autonomy and religious freedom. The temple in Jerusalem provided a focus for religious worship, and the priesthood there had the power to enforce religious law.
In the second part of the first century some Jews in these areas rebelled against Rome. In 70 C.E. the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Jews in those areas fled to other countries in as scattering called the Diaspora. After the destruction of the temple, Judaism began to revolve around the teachers or rabbis, and the Rabbinic Judaism we are familiar with today was born. Rabbinic Judaism would thrive and evolve in Galilee over the next several centuries.
[...] Conclusion These examples demonstrate that the Christian understanding in the early centuries about the nature of Jesus and the purpose of his life was consistent with the ideas of their contemporaries in the wider Roman Empire. Christian thought was consistent with some first-century Jewish thought in beliefs about Jesus as a suffering Messiah, the imminent end of the world, the value of communal ownership, and a hierarchal religious structure based on the image of twelve leaders making up a whole. [...]
[...] While we cannot say for certain which of the first- and second-century groups did the borrowing or explain all the similarities among these groups, we can see that Christianity as it developed in the wider Roman Empire was influenced by ideas other than those that existed at the time the man Jesus lived and taught. Bibliography Baukham, Richard J. Peter” in Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, The Oxford Companion to the Bible, 586–588. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press Fraser, James G. [...]
[...] Therefore, the religion that became Christianity did not arise in the milieu of Jewish culture in which Jesus lived and taught. Instead, it evolved, developed, and was taught in the greater Roman Empire that was dominated by Roman religious thought. II. The Evolution of Christian Ideas The New Testament claims that people proclaimed Jesus the Messiah during his lifetime, but if that was true, what did it mean? A brief review of Jewish scripture shows that there was no single idea of what a Messiah would look like or how he would act. [...]
[...] Mystery Religion Influences As Christianity gained more Gentile converts, the other religions of the Greco-Roman world appear to have influenced the development of Christian thought. A group of religions, called oriental religions or mystery religions, appear to have had an impact. Christianity had three major competitors among these religions in the first-century Roman Empire Cybele and Attis The first of these was the religion of the Great Mother, most often called Cybele (though she had other names). This religion was extremely popular in first-century Rome and throughout the Empire. [...]
[...] The flow of blood produces either an almond tree or flowers. The river's daughter, Nana, eats the almonds or tucks the flowers in her bosom and experiences a virginal conception. Her father does not believe she is a virgin, though, and when she gives birth to Attis, he leaves the baby exposed among the reeds by the river. Shepherds find the baby and raise him. Cybele sees Attis as he is growing up, and, struck by his beauty, she falls in love with him and becomes wildly jealous of other women. [...]
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