Biblical Geography and History

By Charles Foster Kent | Go to book overview

XXV
THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY THROUGHOUT THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Original Centre at Jerusalem . The spread of Christianity throughout the civilized world bears conclusive testimony not only to the life-giving truth of Jesus' message, but also to the supreme wisdom of his method. His heroic death at first daunted, but the vision of his living presence, which, according to the oldest records, came to his disciples amidst the familiar scenes on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee, quickly inspired them to take up the mission which he had left them and to proclaim abroad the good tidings of God's love for men. Strangely enough, Galilee, which had been the scene of the call, the training, and the sending forth of Jesus' disciples, again sinks into oblivion. Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida had failed to respond to their great opportunity. In accordance with the implied, if not the expressed, commands of Jesus, his disciples soon transferred their homes and work to Jerusalem, the religious home of the Jewish race, to which they, as well as their Master, at first alone appealed. Here it was possible at the great annual festivals, when the pilgrims streamed to the temple from all parts of the Roman empire, to touch the entire Jewish world. Following the example of the Great Teacher, his disciples took up the task of teaching and preaching within the precincts of the temple and especially at Solomon's Porch on the eastern side, where he had often walked and talked.

Spread of Christianity Outside Judea . The stoning of Stephen, which was outside the city and probably in the deserted

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