HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Fragrant Church

The city of Smyrna was located approximately thirty-five miles north of Ephesus. It was a prosperous city with a population of over one hundred thousand in John’s day (c. A.D. 95). That location had been inhabited for over three thousand years, and no one knows for sure who founded Smyrna or exactly when it was established.

Introduction to First Century Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37–c.100)

Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37–c.100) is the author of what has become for Christianity perhaps the most significant extra-biblical writings of the first century. His works are the principal source for the history of the Jews from the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes B.C. 175–163) to the fall of Masada in A.D. 73, and therefore, are of incomparable value for determining the setting of late intertestamental and New Testament times.

Clash of Culture Christianity vs Rome

First Century AD Christianity found itself at odds with the culture, which dominated the Roman Empire at the time.  Just as the Jewish Maccabees rejected the Greek culture two centuries before, so did the early Christians, who would not pay homage to other gods or to the Roman Emperor.

PREPARING FOR CHRISTIANITY: Heathenism

Heathenism is religion in its wild growth on the soil of fallen human nature, a darkening of the original consciousness of God, a deification of the rational and irrational creature, and a corresponding corruption of the moral sense, giving the sanction of religion to natural and unnatural vices.

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