Roman Empire

Dr. Thomas F. Marshall

A. POLITICAL

There were three political entities in this world at the time of Christ. They were the Roman, the Hellenistic, and the Jewish states. The first two were closely tied together, and the third kept its sovereignty from the others. Let us begin with the state of the Romans.

ROMAN EMPIRE

The empire of Rome was founded in 753 BC as a small union of villages. Nevertheless, in a little over 200 years, it had a strong republican form of government. Rome became the ruler of Italy by defeating the Etruscans in 265 BC. They then conquered Carthage in 146 BC, which made them a chief maritime power. They then proceeded to conquer Achaia in 146 BC. Following the death of Attalus III of Pergamum, they acquired the territory of Asia in 133 BC. In 63 BC, they annexed Syria and Judea; finally, in 57 BC they conquered Gaul. In a period of 500 years of uninterrupted war, the empire of Rome grew from an obscure village to a ruling empire. In fact, there were constant Civil Wars until 30 BC when Octavian became Emperor.

       As we are mentioning Emperors – there are 13 that we need to stop and consider.

THE EMPERORS OF ROME

AugustusAUGUSTUS – Emperor from 27 BC to 14 AD. He was the first to be called the Princeps or first citizen of Rome. He ruled wisely and established the compromise between republicanism and a dictatorship. In 27 BC, he became the commander in chief, and in 23 BC, he was given Tribunal power for life. He is noted for many outstanding events in his life. He was responsible for having the Senate purged of unworthy members, he started the professional Army, the Julian Laws (19 and 18 BC) were established to improve family life, he organized the police and fire departments, and he boasted that he found Rome brick and left it marble. The most important event in this study is that Augustus was the ruler at the time of Christ’s birth.[1]

TIBERIUS – Emperor from 14 to 37 AD. He became emperor at 56 years of age, after spending most of his life in politics. He had been forced to marry Julia the daughter of Augustus and became very bitter about it. His reign was marked by his distant, haughty, suspicious nature. This caused him to be generally disliked. He is the Emperor that was on the throne during the ministry of Jesus.

THE NEW TESTAMENTCALIGULA – Emperor from 37 to 41 AD. Affectionately known by his soldiers as “Little Boots.” Possibly this was a nickname given to him as a child because he loved to wear military boots. He was very popular because he reduced the taxes that Romans had to pay. Nevertheless, he was mentally weak and soon demanded to be worshiped as a god. He ordered his statue erected in the Temple at Jerusalem, which did not go over very well. His reckless expenditures depleted the treasury, and he was forced to resort to violent means to restore the viability of the treasury. His life was cut short when he was assassinated by the Imperial Guard.

CLAUDIUS – Emperor from 41 to 54 AD. An early illness (possibly Infantile Paralysis) left Claudius looking idiotic. He was lame and had a stuttering problem. His redeeming virtue was that he was a brilliant scholar. He sought to restore the ancient Roman religion. The Roman historian Suetonius lists that he expelled some Jews from Rome because of riots taking place because “of one Chrestus.” It was possibly during this time that Aquila and Priscilla were expelled from Rome.[2]  He was the Emperor on the throne during Paul’s ministry.

NERO – Emperor from 54 to 68 AD. A very interesting study can be made about this man. The first five years of his reign were quiet. Then in 59 AD, to gain total control he had his mother murdered. From this point on, his reign was one of turmoil. He was an artist and not one of executive material. His carelessness and extravagance emptied the treasury of Rome. In 64 AD, a great fire swept through Rome leaving it blackened and devastated. Nero is thought to be the one behind it, because he wanted to build a Golden House, and needed to clear the way for it. A scapegoat was needed, so he accused the Christians, and many were subsequently brought to trial. It was during this persecution that Peter and Paul perished. Nero finally had to flee and was put to death by his own order to avoid being captured. We look back at Nero in New Testament study and see him as the one who started the Roman persecution of Christians and was responsible for Paul’s death.

how-to-study-your-bible1GABA, OTHO, AND VITELLIUS – three short-lived emperors. Gaba was emperor in 68 AD and was killed by his guards under the order of Otho. Otho ruled in 69 AD and was killed in battle. Vitellius also ruled in 69 AD but was unable to control his own soldiers. The troops of Vespasian sacked Rome, killed Vitellius and allowed Vespasian to come to power.

VESPASIAN – Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. After establishing his power, he proceeded to suppress the revolts in Batavia and Gaul, while his General Titus flattened Jerusalem. He established a solvent treasury by a very strict economy. With his strict economy, he was able to construct the Coliseum at Rome. He is important to students of New Testament study because he was on the throne at the time Jerusalem was overthrown and destroyed.

TITUS – Emperor from 79 to 81 AD. He was the General who led the troops to destroy the capital city Jerusalem. He was the one under whom the Temple of Jerusalem was burned and razed to the ground.[3] He was very popular with the people, mainly because he loved to provide public entertainment. One point, when Rome suffered a fire that destroyed the Capitol, Parthenon, and Agrippa’s Baths, Titus sold his private possessions to meet the general need. However, as students of New Testament study, we must remember that he is the man who destroyed Jerusalem.

DOMITIAN – Emperor who ruled from 81 to 96 AD. He was a brother to Titus. In the role of emperor, he was an autocrat. He tried to raise the public moral level by restraining prostitution in Rome. However, he soon demanded to be worshiped as a god. He was hailed as Dominus et Deus.[4] He was a good economist in the public realm. His nature was one that was hard and suspicious, making him pitiless in his revenge. He felt that he had numerous enemies so that even his own family felt unsafe and had him assassinated. He is probably the emperor that sat on the throne while John wrote the book of Revelation.

NERVA – Emperor from 96 to 98 AD. He was a man of advanced years when he came to the throne. He was considered a “safe” candidate to rule the empire. His administration was kindly and free from internal tensions.

TRAJAN – Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. He was a Spaniard by birth and a soldier by profession. He was energetic and aggressive in his temperament.

These emperors sat on the throne of Rome during the time of the New Testament. From Augustus to Trajan God used the pagan world and what it thought was its own schemes and plans to forward His great plan. The plan of the ages — that Jesus would provide salvation, and the church that He established while here on earth would carry the good news to the ends of the known world of that day.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

The Roman Empire was made up of a miscellaneous realm of independent cities, states, and territories. All except Italy was under the Provincia from which we get our word province. The provincia was a “post of command,” and it was a territory that a General had conquered.

There were two forms of government. The Proconsuls were the peaceful provinces and answered to the Roman state. The Procurator was for the turbulent provinces and was answerable to the Emperor himself. The offices of procurator were on an annual appointment basis. Pilate before whom Jesus was tried was a procurator.

THE HELLENISTIC KINGDOM

How to Interpret the Bible-1Roman culture owed its origin to the political organization of Rome and to the Hellenistic spirit of the day. The Roman conquests had absorbed the Greek colonies. This brought great treasures to Rome. In addition, the inclusion of the Greek slaves brought in many who were more intelligent than their Roman masters were. They were employed as teachers, doctors, accountants and other mentally skilled jobs. The Greek Universities were attended by the Roman aristocrats who in turn learned Greek.

The most important of the Hellenists was Alexander the Great. His father was Philip king of Macedonia. In just 20 years, Philip had succeeded in making the Greek city-states servant to Macedonia. Then Philip died in 337 BC. His son Alexander possessed his father’s aggressive military genius. He also had a good veneer of Greek culture from studying under Aristotle.

In 334 BC, he defeated the Persian forces at Granicus River. He then gained control of Asia Minor. He followed this by subduing Syria and Egypt where he founded the city of Alexandria. He spent 3 years consolidating his empire.

The luxury and revel of Babylon weakened him. It is said that he cried when he felt there were no more worlds left to conquer. He died of a fever at the age of 32 in 324 BC. He left no heirs, and so his four Generals divided his kingdom. Ptolemy took Egypt and Southern Syria. Antigonus claimed most of Northern Syria and West Babylon. Lysimachus held Thrace and Western Asia Minor. Finally, Cassander ruled Macedonia and Greece.[5]

Seleucus I in the battle of Ipsus in 301 BC took the territories of Antigonus and Lysimachus. For many years, there were constant battles between the groups.

In 201 – 200 BC Antiochus III (also known as the Great) defeated Egypt and gained control of Palestine.

His attempts to Hellenize the Jews brought about the Maccabean revolt, which we will cover in the section on the Jewish state. Their rule in Syria ended in 63 BC when Pompey made Syria a province of Rome. It was their rule in Palestine that brought the Greek language to the Jews.

INTERPRETING THE BIBLEBefore the Seleucid rule, the Ptolemies of Egypt ruled over the Jews. The death of Cleopatra in 30 BC marked the last of the Ptolemies. Rome then made Egypt her granary. Alexandria had always been a place where the Jews could live. In Alexandria, there was a great library founded to contain all the important works of the world. Under the Ptolemy Philadelphus (285 – 256 BC) the Jewish scriptures were translated into Greek. This was called the Septuagint Bible used by the New Testament writers.

The cultural effects of the Hellenistic kingdom were lasting. They introduced Greek customs and manners in the east. Their architecture prevailed. The Greek language became the language of the courts and common people.

The gospel of Christ with a Greek Bible from which to preach and with the Greek language as its universal medium of communication soon reached the outposts of civilization.[6]

THE JEWISH STATE

The Jews said to Jesus that they were not in bondage to anyone.[7] Nevertheless, the history of the nation reveals otherwise.

BABYLONIAN RULE

scrollFollowing their disobedience to God, the nation was taken away in exile. This began with the fall of Israel in 722 BC and was fully established with the conquest of Judah in 597 BC.

The nation went under Babylonian rule when Nebuchadnezzar overran Judea and captured Jerusalem. This was officially when the independent Jewish state ended. Mattaniah was renamed Zedekiah and placed as a puppet king, and the nation had a twilight existence from 597 to 586 BC. In 590 BC, Zedekiah thought he was powerful enough to rebel against Babylon, and he cast his lot with Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar did not overlook the challenge, and in 586 BC, he leveled the walls of Jerusalem and deported the population to Babylon.

The end of the Jewish state did not end Judaism. What we recognize as “orthodox Judaism” began here. During this captivity, synagogue worship began (because of the loss of the Temple), and the study of the Law replaced the sacrifices while they were captive.

PERSIAN RULE

Cyrus, king of Persia, captured Babylon by diverting the Euphrates River in its flow. As the leader of the Persians, Cyrus was a benevolent despot. It was Cyrus who decreed that the Jews could return to their homeland. He even helped to rebuild the Temple from the Royal Treasury.

Not all the Jews returned. About 42,000 from Judah, Benjamin, and Levi did — and they arrived in Jerusalem in 537 BC. They began at this time to rebuild the Temple under Zerubbabel. Facing much opposition from the people of the land, they did not complete the rebuilding of the Temple.

For 17 years, there was no further work on the Temple, until Haggai and Zechariah returned. Once again, the local opposition raised its head, but this time a request was sent to Darius — who searched the records and decreed for the work to continue. The Temple was finished in 516 BC in time for the Passover observance.

From 516 to 458 BC the records are silent. Then we have the record of Nehemiah returning, and in two months the walls and the city were intact. He also promoted social and economic reforms. Ezra was there, and he promoted knowledge of the Law.

It was during the time of Nehemiah that Manasseh, the grandson of the High Priest, was expelled to Mt. Gerizim where he established a rival cult. This became the center of the Samaritans.

During this 70 year, captivity period two aspects of Jewish life had disappeared. The monarchy and the prophets. The priesthood became more political during this time, and we find the beginning of the scribes. These were learned transcribers of the law, and they came to be held in the same plane as the Priests themselves. We also find the Great Synagogue established. It was a council of 120 men, which later would evolve into the Sanhedrin of Jesus’ day.

PTOLEMIES

During the years 322 to 198 BC, the Jews were under the heel of the Ptolemies. Comparatively little is known of this period. Under the first Ptolemies, many of the Jews were deported to Alexandria — but they appear to be a free community. The study of the Law and strict observance of the same was zealously maintained.

It was during this time that the younger Jews took on the manners and customs of the Greeks. During this time period, the Septuagint was created. Josephus speaks of a legend that says that 72 elders (six from each tribe) completed their work in 72 days, and when it was read, all the Jews approved it. This was the version of the Old Testament that Jesus and his disciples used.

SELEUCIDAE

From 198 to 168 BC, the Jews were under the rule of the Seleucidae. The first ruler was Seleucus. He died in 175 BC, and his brother Antiochus IV came to rule. The people called him Epimanes (madman) instead of Epiphanes (Manifest God).

Antiochus became embroiled in a contest with Egypt and was defeated. He then took his anger out on the Jews. On December 15, 168 BC, he set up an image of Zeus in the Jerusalem Temple and sacrificed a sow on the altar in the Temple. Judaism was forbidden at this time.

In the village of Modin, an old priest named Mattathias started a revolt against Antiochus and his forces. He was forced to flee into the wilderness region, and there he died. His successor in the revolt was a man named Judas – who would carry the nickname Maccabeus (the Hammer) because of the way that he fought.

MACCABEAN

MACCABEAN

From 168 to 142 BC The Jews under Maccabeus routed the Seleucidae and recaptured Jerusalem. They cleansed the Temple and established a new feast – Hanukkah. Soon they had conquered all of Palestine. Throughout the fighting Judas had appealed to Rome — but no help came. Judas was killed in battle, and his brother Jonathan took command. The warring drug on until 143 BC when Demetrius II of Syria granted Simon, another of the brother’s freedom.

Hasmonean Dynasty
David S. Dockery et al., Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992), 512.

 

HASMONEAN DYNASTY

Simon was then made High Priest for life. This was a happy time for the Jews, but it was short-lived. Demetrius was dethroned by the Parthians. War once again followed, and this time the Jews were victorious.

Ptolemy murdered Simon and two of his sons in 135 BC; John Hyrcanus (a son of Simon) took possession of Jerusalem before the Ptolemies could capture it. At the death of the Syrian ruler, Syria fell into civil war. John Hyrcanus went in and conquered Idumea and Samaria.

He was established as High Priest and Head of State, becoming the founder of the Hasmonean Dynasty. When John died, he left the dynasty to his wife and son Judah Aristobulus. Judah quickly imprisoned his mother and brothers to hold total rule. This did not last long for Judah died shortly after coming to power.

There was constant unrest in the region until finally, Hyrcanus II cast his lot with Caesar. Hyrcanus was made the Head of the Jewish state.  He appointed Antipater his minister to control the region. Antipater was granted Roman citizenship, and then he appointed his son Phasel as the Prefect of Jerusalem and his other son Herod the Prefect of Galilee. Thus, the Hasmonean dynasty lasted from 142 to 37 BC.

HERODIAN RULE

From 37 BC on, the nation of Israel was under the rule of the Romans. We have covered this in a previous section. Here, let us view those Kings who were directly in the Palestine region during the time of Christ.

HEROD THE GREAT – ruled from 37 to 4 BC.

He was 22 at the beginning of his rule. During the invasion of the Parthians, he hid his family and escaped to Rome. By either smooth talk or secret intrigue, he was named King of the Jews.

His first act was to name a High Priest. He named Aristobulus to this position, even though he was underage. Aristobulus was so well liked that Herod became jealous. While throwing a feast in his honor in Jericho, Herod had the servants drown Aristobulus in a bathtub. Herod was sent to Egypt to answer for his crime but was released. He then went to Rome for a conference with the Emperor Octavian. When he returned, he found his wife cold to him. Thus, he had her executed. Remorse over this act caused him to fall physically and mentally ill.

Herod did not win the friendship of the Jews. His Idumean blood made him a foreigner. He used the priesthood as a political tool, and his lifestyle was loose and immoral. The last days of Herod were filled with violence and hatred. He murdered his sons. When at one point he appealed to Augustus for permission to execute his own son Antipater, Augustus replied that he would rather be Herod’s hus (hog) than his huios (son).

Herod eventually died of cancer of the intestines, dropsy — and many believe — of a guilty conscious on April 1, 4 BC. The jealous and unscrupulous character of this man explains his treatment of the Wise Men and the slaying of the children in Bethlehem.[8]

Herod’s will left his reign to Archelaus. Archelaus, Philip, and Antipas went to Rome fighting over the rulership of this region. The Jews also went to Rome begging for mercy at Augustus’ court. The decree of Augustus set up the tetrarchy as follows:

Archelaus — Judea, Samaria, Idumea.

Antipas — Galilee and Perea.

Philip — Batanea, Trachonitus, Aurantis.

ARCHELAUS – ruled from 4 BC to 6 AD.

He promoted the building of public works in his short reign. The Jews also disliked him. Finally, Augustus banished him to Gaul in 6 AD.  The only reference to him in the New Testament is in Matthew 2:22.

PHILIP – ruled from 4 BC to 34 AD.

He was the happy exception to the Herods. He followed their precedent in building, but was fair in his dealings with people. He was married to Salome, the daughter of Herodias.

The Jewish historian Josephus has nothing but good to say about this man. He is only mentioned in the New Testament in Luke 3:1.

He died peacefully in 34 AD. In 37 AD his section of the tetrarchy was given to his nephew Agrippa I.

HEROD ANTIPAS – ruled from 4 BC to 39 AD.

He is the most prominent Herod in the Gospels. Jesus refers to him as “that fox.”[9] He built a capital city and named it Tiberius, but he had to colonize it by force because it was built on top of a graveyard. The Jews refused to enter it. His government was modeled on the pattern of the Greek governments.

Herod Antipas was a Jew by religion. He, therefore, was concerned with the Law. It was his marriage to Herodias that would cost him in many ways. It caused him to murder John the Baptist, and eventually cost him his kingdom.

Herod Antipas was the Herod that Jesus was tried before in the Gospel accounts.

HEROD AGRIPPA I – ruled from 37 to 44 AD.

He was the son of Aristobulus and Bernice who was cousins. Bernice was the daughter of Salome, the sister of Herod the Great.

Emperor Caligula gave him his appointment. He had enough sympathy for the Jews and influence in Rome to keep Caligula from erecting a statue of himself in the Temple at Jerusalem.

Agrippa was in Rome when Claudius came into power and was given all the territory that had originally been that of Herod the Great.

He himself lived in Jerusalem and worshiped in the Temple. He is one of the first persecutors of Christianity. He executed James, the leader of the Jerusalem church, and imprisoned Peter with the intentions of executing him also.[10]

His death occurred suddenly in 44 AD.

HEROD AGRIPPA II – ruled from 50 to 100 AD.

He was the son of Agrippa I and was given from Rome the rights to rule. When Festus became Procurator of Judea, Agrippa II visited with him. Thus, Paul was tried before Herod Agrippa II.[11]

Although Agrippa II had a good knowledge of Judaism, he never had any convictions toward it. In the 66 AD revolution in Israel, he openly sided with Rome.

B. SOCIAL

Both in Judaism and in the pagan world there was a class system. There were a wealthy aristocracy and a large number of poor people.

In Judaism, the aristocracy was the priests and the rabbis. They were the ones who controlled all the business traffic connected with the Temple. This business was the sale of sacrificial animals and the exchanging of the Roman coinage into Temple money. Among the Sanhedrin were the well to do. Men like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were considered to have a firm financial base.

The majority of people in Judaism were poor. Joseph and Mary were in this lower class. The one redeeming quality of the social system in Judaism was that the social divisions were restrained by the Law. All were equal in God’s sight.

Contrasted was the pagan society. The aristocracy was made up of the newly acquired landholders. They owned all the public lands and bought out the poor. They were a major discouragement to the poor. Because of these upper-class people, the middle class had almost disappeared. The hungry, idle crowds of people would vote for any candidate running for Senate whose promises sounded better than the competitors did.

The pagan world had a large number of plebs. These were the poor people, numerous and in a pitiful condition. They would follow anyone who had food and entertainment.

The largest segment of the pagan world was made up of slaves and criminals. Possibly one-half of the civilization was made up of men who were free. Of these, only a small segment were men with “full right” citizenship.[12] War, debt and the birth rate was the cause of this large section of the population. While today we use machinery, in those days they used cheap labor. Slavery was a very debasing form of life. Trickery, flattery, and fraud were the slave’s best tools.

Since the slaves were often the teachers of that day, corruption was spread, as they would instruct their charges in how to do what they were doing.

Nowhere in the New Testament is slavery directly attacked or defended. Nevertheless, Christian influence weakened it.[13] This group of despairing and disinherited people became the fertile breeding ground for criminal activity.

The ghastly picture that Paul paints in Romans 1:18-32 was not overdrawn. There were no standards in paganism to check the downward drift.

CULTURAL ATTAINMENTS

Under Augustus, there was a literary revival. Vergil, Horace, and Ovid were the prophets of their age with their different brands of poetry and storytelling. Between the time of Augustus and Nero, there was a lull in literature. Under Nero there arose the stoic philosopher Seneca who wrote essays. The literature at this time took a turn toward self-criticism of the times.

In the realms of art and architecture, we find that construction was continuous during the time of the Roman Empire. Mainly they produced utilitarian buildings. They used the arch for good effect. Bridges, aqueducts, and theatres still stand as monuments to their building skills.

Colosseum_in_Rome,_Italy_-_April_2007
Colosseum in Rome, Italy, February 06_2018 By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2067974

The realm of music and drama was one of bad influence upon the people. These forms were committed to entertaining the mob, not to intellectual thought. Presentations were shameless, course, cheap, full of moral degradation. They taught obscenity and lust.

Where the theatre taught obscenity and lust, the Arena glorified brutality. Bloody contests between men and beasts, or between men and men,[14] were promoted by the Emperor.

They were not interested in science or math to any large extent. They were mainly interested in land measurement and calculating financial transactions. Geography was heavily studied. Medicine flourished during this time period.

Compulsory education was unknown at this time. The slaves did education in the house. When there were private schools, they were dreary, with the curriculum being only reading, writing, and arithmetic. Greek and Latin were learned by rote memory. Public speaking was emphasized. Those who did well went to the Greek universities to study philosophy.

Jewish boys were somewhat the same. They learned to read and write from the Old Testament, and they were to learn large sections of the Old Testament by rote memory. They learned the traditions and rituals of their religion. A real scholar learned from a Rabbi such as Paul did under Gamaliel.[15]

LANGUAGES

There were four major languages used in that day. Latin was the language of the courts and the law system. Greek was the language of culture, used in writing and theatre. Aramaic was the chief language used in speaking and business. Hebrew used in Palestine was a dead language by the time of Jesus and was not understood by most people. The wide use of Aramaic, Latin and Greek is shown in the inscription placed over the cross of our Savior.[16]

The moral standards of the time of Jesus were low. Only crime was news, any virtue around basically went unnoticed. Moralists like Seneca had lofty ideas and words, but they went basically unnoticed. Paganism was unable to lift itself out of its moral morass — this, in turn, brought about pessimism and depression. One is forced to ask, “Does this sound like today?” Are we copying the trends of the ancient Roman Empire?

    C. REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. What are the three major political entities discussed in this chapter?
  2. How many Roman Emperors were discussed? Describe some important characteristics  of these emperors.
  3. Who was the emperor on the throne during Christ’s walk on the earth? What was the emperor like?
  4. Who was the emperor on the throne during Paul’s ministry?
  5. What is a “provincia?” What are the two types of rulers in this governmental form?
  6. Antiochus IV was called Epimanes instead of Epiphanes. What is the difference between these two words?
  7. Describe the Social World of Jesus’ day.
  8. What were the four major languages in use during the New Testament times?

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APPLYING GOD'S WORD MORE FULLY: The Secret of a Successful Christian Life [Second Edition]APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY: The Secret of a Successful Christian Life [Second Edition]

There is a genuine happiness, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we …

PUT OFF THE OLD PERSON: Put On the New Person [Second Edition]PUT OFF THE OLD PERSON: Put On the New Person [Second Edition]

THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, …

Walking With Your God_Second EditionWALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD: Putting God’s Purpose First in Your Life [Second Edition]

A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and a profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …

WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS: How Should Wives Treat Their Husbands?WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS How Should Wives Treat Their Husbands?

This book is primarily for WIVES, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO …

HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES: How Should Husbands Treat Their Wives?HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES: How Should Husbands Treat Their Wives?

This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE …

Christian Apologetics

DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and TrueDEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and True

How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis-Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars …

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of ViewUNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of View

Islam is making a significant mark in our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers …

IS THE QURAN The WORD OF GOD?: Is Islam the One True Faith?IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD?: Is Islam the One True Faith?

IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GODIs Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform …

REASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and MindREASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and Mind

If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, …

BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism?BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism

Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation …

BIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the BasicsBIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the Basics

Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical …

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of PersuasionCHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion

APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of seventy-two books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan …

REVIEWING 2013 New World TranslationREVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Examining the History of the Watchtower Translation and the Latest Revision

REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively …

CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM: Defending the Faith, Reasoning from the Scriptures, Explaining and Proving, Instructing in Sound Doctrine, and Overturning False Reasoning, [Second Edition]CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM, [Second Edition]

Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …

THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]

MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God's Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God’s Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …

YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]

The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …

THE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From WithinTHE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From Within 

The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus' Witnesses to the Ends of the EarthEARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus’ Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …

CRISIS OF FAITH: Saving Those Who DoubtCRISIS OF FAITH Saving Those Who Doubt 

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …

Investigating Jehovah's Witnesses: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s WitnessesINVESTIGATING JEHOVAH?S WITNESSES: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s Witnesses

The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …

Translation and Textual Criticism

THE COMPLETE GUIDE to BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition] 

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.

CHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation DifferencesCHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences

There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT The Science and Art of Textual CriticismTHE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …

MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" [Third Edition]MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]

Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …

Biblical Studies

HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of GodHOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God

A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & ContentTHE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded] 

The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …

THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded] 

Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …

INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical HermeneuticsINTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …

HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to HermeneuticsHOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …

THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern PeopleTHE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …

DEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in RevelationDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy ChurchesA Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …

DYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted SuicideDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …

JOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK: Experience the Ministry of Jesus in a Spiritually Captivating WayJOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK

Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …

ANGELS & DEMONS: The Bible AnswersANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers

What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …

Bible Doctrines

WHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …

IDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast RevealedIDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed

Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …

UNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithUNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …

The SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithThe SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …

WHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …

Miracles? - Do They Still Happen Today?: God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith HealingMIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing 

Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …

HOMOSEXUALITY - The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithHOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …

Christian Fiction

THE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm's LengthTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …

THE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed WrathTHE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath

Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …

SEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!

There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to  …

The Shadow Flames of Uluru: Book ONE in the CHAOS DOWN UNDER 

When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …

WRITE PLACE, RIGHT TIME: The Pre-Apocalyptic Misadventure of a Freelance Journalist 

“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.

[1] Luke 2:11

[2] Acts 18:2

[3] Matthew 24:2

[4] Lord and God

[5] Daniel 7: 1-7

[6] Galatians 4:4. This is a good verse to memorize.  It is an excellent summary of this section.

[7] John 8:33

[8] Matthew 2:1-18

[9] Luke 13:32

[10] See Acts 12

[11] Acts 25:13-26:32

[12] Acts 22:25-28

[13] The account of Philemon is an excellent example.

[14] 1 Corinthians 15:32

[15] Acts 22:3

[16] Acts 18:3