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The Empire And The Kingdom
series: Peter And Paul And The Christian Revolution
air date: 3/11/13 3:29 AM
Spread outside Judea by missionaries likePeter and Paul, the Jesus movement caught on quickly among Jews and non-Jews around the Roman Empire. With success, however, came challenges: challenges from hostile locals, imperial forces and from conflicting ideas within the movement itself. Paul -- adamant that there was no time for conversions -- fell into open and angry confrontation with some of the oldest Jesus followers. Peter, it seems, tried to mediate the conflict. "The Rock" became a stepping stone between the camps and, for a crucial period, helped keep the movement together. But the center could not hold. Paul struck out on his own, planting churches in his image around the Mediterranean and writing letters that would become central to all later Christian theology. Finally, in 70 AD, disaster struck the headquarters of the Jesus followers. After decades of rising tension, Judea erupted in revolt against Rome. War had been raging for four years. And when Rome finally established control, it destroyed much of Jerusalem; it torched the sacred Temple and enslaved the population. The scorched ground of Judea could no longer nurture a Jewish Jesus movement. And in the end, it was Paul's communities that would grow and change into the churches we know today.
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