Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity and Contemporary Culture Series 1, No.2

Mary Magdalene has been so maligned that Bruce Chilton, in Mary Magdalene – A Biography writes:

“This Mary becomes the great untold story of Western Culture, a figure who has been both reviled and revered, a goddess who has taken many forms – witch, heretic, tarot priestess, holy whore, the incarnation of the eternal feminine, her womb the chalice that bears God’s Child” Unquote.

Contrary to popular opinions, my research on Mary Magdalene convinced me that Christianity holds Christian Faith to her. However, the Church was built on Peter the ‘Rock.’ Mary was the only disciple of Jesus that appreciated his visionary teaching of resurrection, which made her ‘the apostle to the apostles.” It is not by accident that Jesus revealed himself to Mary First; neither was it an accident that she was sent to proclaim the good news about the resurrection to the other apostles.

Jesus had a purpose in mind in sending her to tell the apostles that He (Jesus) had been raised from the dead. The risen Jesus chose Mary Magdalene as the first female Apostle to the rest of the Apostles. It is not coincidental that Mary saw the risen Jesus first. It was part of Jesus’s plans to make a point. Mary departed from the tomb to announce the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the eleven male Apostles. Despite Mary Magdalene’s significant contribution to Christianity, she was nearly written off the record of Christian memory. My research is therefore meant to revive her role in the memory of the Saints. The Apostolic fathers and Jewish ambivalence about women lie at the source of the near erasure of Mary Magdalene. She was denigrated because she was a woman. I aim to assert Mary Magdalene’s importance and reveal her historical identity as a chosen Apostle by Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is gender-friendly; male and female; He created humanity as part of the Trinity; so also male and female He chose His disciples while on earth. In conformity with Hebrenic culture, He chose 12 all male-disciples called Apostles, knowing that one of them (Judas Iscariot) would become a son of perdition by betraying Him and leaving a vacancy to be filled, especially by the first female Apostle.

Jesus’s encounter started the pattern and acceptability with the Samaritan woman. Yet, the male Apostles did not comprehend like they did not understand many of Jesus’ sayings that He took pains to elaborate on and decoded for their understanding. The risen Jesus made His choice of replacement for Judas by sending Mary Magdalene to the rest of the Apostles.

My research on Mary Magdalene examines the various relational connections between Apostle Mary Magdalene and our Lord Jesus Christ in lively discourse. In the Non-Canonical Literatures, the name Mary Magdalene is credited to the Gospel of Mary. Among Jesus’ disciples, Mary Magdalene is the most prominent female disciple. Therefore I shall attempt to look beyond ordinary involvement to the Nature and Extent of Mary’s relationship with Jesus Christ.

A relationship is described as a friendship between people or the state of being of the same family. When used by people, a relationship suggests a close connection with strong feelings. Here we are looking at that close connection between Mary Magdalene, a disciple of Jesus Christ, and her Master, Jesus Christ. It takes two persons to form an interpersonal relationship. Still, it takes two cooperating persons to make a relational connection with deep love in their hearts, like Mary and Jesus Christ. Intimacy can be elusive, but we indeed witness optimal intimacy between Mary and Jesus, not born out of flesh but the Spirit.

T. Dave Matsuo said, “Intimacy is a relational experience which certainly includes our senses, but more importantly must involve our total person.” In appreciating this close relationship, it is pertinent to understand the profile, personality, character, attributes, and nature of the two people: Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. We need to focus intensely on their persons and activities. Examining the person of Jesus Christ and his words are the keys to understanding his interpersonal relations with the disciples, especially Mary. Relationships are exciting not only because God created relationships in general and created us for an intimate relationship with Himself specifically. Relationships are exciting because of their dynamic nature. That is what God designed for us; to be intimate with Him, our Creator.

***join me on Sunday for the 3rd in the series no. 1


Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity and Contemporary Culture Series 1, No.1


Mary Magdalene Amid Two Other Female Disciples And Jesus Christ

One of my favorite Biblical Personalities is Miriam of Magdala, popularly referred to as Mary Magdalene. Biblical Scholars failed to examine Mary Magdalene’s influence on the Gospels with the same vigor that they investigated Peter’s, Paul’s, John’s, and James’. These Biblical Scholars persistently ignored or downplayed Mary’s connection with Jesus Christ and discarded evidence that proves that Mary shaped and conveyed the stories of Jesus’ exorcisms in the Gospels.

Mary Magdalene has been portrayed with many faces in history due to her closeness to Jesus Christ. The insinuations of Margaret Starbird in her published books and recorded lectures on Mary Magdalene, Bride, and Beloved in the line of the DA VINCI CODE stirred my desire for thorough research and scholarship about Mary Magdalene; a highly misrepresented woman.

I intend to prove that Mary Magdalene is nothing like she has been portrayed. Still, Jesus Christ chose an Apostle of the Apostles an Apostolos, a well-trained disciple and follower of Christ till his crucifixion and beyond. Before this write-up, I critically examined Mary’s varied representations in Religion, Literature, and the Arts. The central question for me is not “Who was Mary Magdalene?” but how can we read the images of the Magdalene as reflections of varying Religious, Social, and Cultural Norms? The figure of Mary Magdalene will serve as a lens through which we shall examine various issues and themes, including Sexuality, Gender, Spirituality, the Body, Authority, Sin, and Salvation.

Most importantly, I want to prove that Miriam of Magdala, popularly called Mary Magdalene, was an Apostle of Apostles, purified by Christ to serve as an Evangelical Apostle and an example of the type of Disciple Jesus wants us to become.

Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Certain acts are directly recognized as universally and unconditionally wrong. Falsehood, for example, is known to be wrong, not from its incompatibility with social well-being but its very nature. Honesty is seen as right in itself and not because of its economic and social results. Evil is wrong by its perceptions and inner composition. Mary Magdalene, over the centuries, has been misrepresented. Therefore, it is suitable for some of us who are convinced of her unique role in shaping Christianity to speak up and write convincingly in her favor.

Even though she may not be a recognized biblical apostle, she was an apostle to us females! Female workers in the Lord’s Vine Yard are the seal of Mary Magdalene’s apostleship. It is then imperative for Mary Magdalene to take her rightful place beside the apostles, who also influenced how the message about Jesus was preached and taught. To me, Mary Magdalene was an architect of modern Christianity. Her displaced position in history was due to the Male overriding ego. Women have forever been disadvantaged in contrast to men. The only female revered is Mary, the mother of Jesus, for obvious reasons that she gave birth to the Messiah. She is the only one that they idolized to the extent of making supplications to her, which is actually against the teaching of Jesus that prayers should be offered only in His Name to God the Father.

***join me on Saturday for the second in the series No. 1

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Christianity within the Context of Historical and Contemporary Expansionism (4)

The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark

Conclusion and Inter-Faith Issues:

Some verses in the Qur’an call for treating Christians and Jews with respect as recipients of God’s divine message. In reality, many Muslims found it difficult not to see Christians as polytheists because of the doctrine of the Trinity. Some Christians, traditionally view the Qur’an as fraudulent and Muhammad as an impostor. Old sectarian rivalries play out with severe consequences for minority groups, both Christian and Muslim.

Conflicts in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere for much of the 20th century were often labeled as ethnic, political, or ideological perpetuations of long-standing struggles over land, power, and influence. These conflicts tend to be labeled in agreement with the explicitly religious affiliation of their participants. It is difficult to imagine a time when there was a greater need for severe interfaith engagement than now. It is also essential to understand how members of the two communities experience each other in specific areas of the world today, including the United States, taking note of efforts currently underway to advance interfaith understanding and cooperation.

The events of September 11, 2001, and the resulting American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have led to ugly commentary reminiscent of medieval hyperbole. Right-wing evangelical rhetoric in the United States against Islam has been fueled by incidents of international terrorism involving Muslims. The well-funded Islamophobia industry in the United States has produced and distributed large amounts of anti-Muslim materials. Since the events of September 2011, American Muslims, caught in a painful position, have decried the acts of the 9/11 terrorists and defended Islam as a religion of peace.

By the close of the Middle Ages, hostilities between Islam and Western Christendom were intense, with active warfare for several centuries. Some events served as a transition from the Middle Ages to a new era of international engagement. The fall of Constantinople in the middle of the 15th century and the final expulsion of Muslims from Andalusia at the end of that century illustrate the transition. For some eleven centuries, Constantinople stood as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Its fall to the invading Turks in 1453 signaled a dramatic change in the power relationships between Islam and Christendom. The specter of a Muslim takeover of all of Europe was raised anew.

Initially, under Christian rule, Muslims were the recipients of a policy of toleration. However, the two communities gradually became segregated entirely, and a rising tide of anti-Semitism had consequences for both Muslims and Jews. The rise of rationalism, a fascination on the part of the West with the cultural trappings of the East, and the necessities of international political and economic exchange soon drew the worlds of Islam and Christendom closer together. At the same time, under the influence of Western missionary agencies, a very negative perception of Islam continued to develop in Europe. For an extended period, Western scholarly research on Islam was dominated by the desire to convert Muslims to Christianity, resulting in analyses of Islam that were apologetic and highly polemical. It is only in the 20th century that more objective scholarship emerged, especially efforts launched following the publication of Edward Said’s epic Orientalism. Umar Habila Dadem Danfulani, in his article[1], highlighted some of the early conflicts in Nigeria. The struggle for political power entails the manipulation of the symbols and beliefs of Islam and Christianity. August 26, 2011, was a sad day for Nigerians as it went down in history as a day that suicide bombing brought the country to international prominence and focused the world on the giant of Africa. [2]

Danfulani quoted[3] that: “It is axiomatic that Christianity and Colonialism introduced values, institutions, and worldviews that were at variance and, therefore, bound to conflict with traditional ones in most of Africa.”

The fundamentalists within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam cause religious conflicts. Therefore, it is crucial to decode the fundamentalist imagery so that one can understand what fundamentalists in all the three ‘Faiths’ are trying to express because these movements express anxiety and disquiet that no society could safely ignore. In conclusion, these conflicts/persecutions that lead to the dispersal of people have a positive effect on expansionism, the primary key to spiritual growth. Christendom has benefitted.

[1] Written in Swedish Missiological Themes, 89, 1 (2001) on Religious Conflict on the Jos Plateau: The Interplay between Christianity and Traditional Religion During the Early Missionary Period

[2] Josephine Olatomi Soboyejo, “A Theological Study of Jesus’ Responses to Conflicts With Select Ethno-Religious and Political Conflicts In Contemporary Nigeria,” Ph.D. Thesis in Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary, April 2014, 1

[3] cf. Nengel 1999,19

[4] see Ruth Marshall, “God is not a Democrat: Pentecostalism and Democratisation in Nigeria,” In The Christian Churches and the Democratisation of Africa, Paul Gifford, ed. (New York: E. J. Brill, 1995) cited in Sunday Babajide Komolafe, “Missiology: An International Review,” Vol. XXXII. No. 2, April 2004, 226

Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Churchby Michael kruger

Christianity within the Context of Historical and Contemporary Expansionism (3)

A Brief History of Christianity

Christianity started as an offshoot of Judaism in the first century A.D. Christian Church owes much to the social and religious culture of the Jewish nation in her emergence. Until emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 324 A.D., early Christian communities were often persecuted. It was then that the Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire, and its capital relocated from Rome to Constantinople (formerly Byzantium and now Istanbul). The development of Christian groups derived from primary and minor splits. The Orthodox Church and its patriarch split away from the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope in 1054 C.E. because of political and doctrinal differences. In the 16th century, Martin Luther, upset at the corruption of the Catholic papacy, spearheaded a reformation movement that led to the development of Protestantism.

Christian missionaries proselytize worldwide, and there are significant populations of Christians on every continent on Earth, although the forms of Christianity practiced varying. Today, Christians in the Middle East include Copts, Maronites, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholics, Assyrians, and Protestants. These groups have different liturgical languages, rituals, and customs and different leaders who direct their faith. There are Christian communities of different sects living today in Syria (10 percent of the population), Jordan (6 percent), the West Bank (8 percent), and Iraq (3 percent), with smaller percentages in other Middle Eastern countries. [1] In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many Christians from what is now Syria and Lebanon (then the Ottoman Empire) emigrated to the United States and other countries. Although Christians are a minority in the Middle East today, more than 75 percent of Arab descent are Christian.


Jewish Socio-Cultural Influence on Christianity:

The Jewish home was religious from all perspectives. Jewish spiritual life can barely be separated from social, economic, and political life. The Jewish religious activities were not limited to the Temple or Synagogues. But some religious practices were also carried on in their houses. In the tenth century, King Solomon built the first Temple, known as the Golden Temple (c.960 – 950 B. C). Phoenician skilled workers built the magnificent. Temple for good seven years was looted and ravished by the Babylonians in about 587 B. C. There were also other Temples like Zerubbabel’s Temple and Herod’s Temple. The Temple at Jerusalem provided an excellent meeting point for Jesus to propagate His Message to the house of Israel, especially during the annual nation feasts and festivals. In the New Testament, the Christian community as the eschatological congregation of Jesus Christ is described as God’s “new Temple” [1]. More than any other institution, the Synagogue gave character to the Jewish Faith and, above all, set the phase for Christianity. [2]


Historical and Contemporary Expansionism of Christianity:

The Apostles were the great promoters of the spread of Christianity, in obedience to Christ’s commandment to proclaim the gospel to all nations. The earlier bearers of the gospel were ordinary, humble people like civil servants, soldiers, enslaved people, and people in business. By the time the Church obtained its freedom in the 4th century, Christianity was deeply rooted in many parts of the near east: Syria, Asia Minor, and Armenia; and in the West, Rome and its surrounding area in Latin Africa. The gospel also had a considerable presence in the Nile valley and various parts of Italy, Spain, and Gaul. [3]. St. Paul’s missionary journeys took the gospel to Asia Minor and Greece, where he founded and directed many churches. Paul’s long captivity allowed him to bear witness to Christ before the Sanhedrin, the Roman governors of Judea, and King Agrippa 11. When Paul was taken to Rome, he was set free by Caesar’s courts and probably made a missionary journey to Spain during this period. Paul was imprisoned for a second time when he was found guilty and died as a martyr in the imperial city. Christianity spread by way of four tactics that are still effective today:

1). Conversion of people from their former religions to Christianity. The conversion started with the people of Palestine and then in Rome. The conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine (306-337 A.D.) made Christianity a legal and State religion. Rome was converted and set the spawn of conversions over Europe and the rest of the world. Ancient Persia was converted, but the Islamic whirlwind wiped out all the gains. Converts are of two types: Direct converts and Crypto-Christians. Crypto-Christians are secret converts to Christianity and are found mainly in (a) scheduled caste converts, (b) tribal converts, and (c) Socially well-placed converts. The scheduled cast converts lost their constitutional rights to reservations on open conversion and sustained campaigns to extend reservations to “scheduled caste” Christians. The tribal converts are seen where there is a strong and violent reaction within the particular tribes to conversions. The conversion is hidden until the converts achieve enough numbers to come out openly. The socially well-placed feel they serve the cause better by remaining crypto-Christian and working in secret than declaring their conversion openly.

2). Military Strategy: This strategy sees conversion as a perpetual war carried out on war tactics with complete military precision. International Bodies serve as think tanks with multi-billion dollar budgets, which plan and execute the conversion campaigns in different countries with armies of foot soldiers of Christ. Their budgets and strategies are not secret documents or products of the fevered imaginations of opponents: they are set out in detail in black-and-white in their publications and are referred to and quoted by opponents. [4]

3). Hidden Indoctrination: This is hidden indoctrination through educational institutions. A significant proportion of the white-collar and the upper crust segments of society are educated in English schools, and Catholic or other Christian organizations run most of them. An increasing number of educational institutions run by Christian organizations also give education in regional languages, particularly in semi-rural and tribal areas. These educational institutions turn out ex-students in the millions who occupy positions of importance in all fields of society.

4). Popular Perception-Building: This tactic builds up a popular image and perceptions that neutralizes public opposition to Christian expansionism. This took Christian influence beyond its converts and strategic allies and indoctrinated students into the domain of ordinary people not otherwise influenced by Christianity in general. The people are attracted to Christianity due to the communistic life. Christians’ houses were a sort of hospital in which all the poor and the forsaken found asylum and assistance. Christianity expansionism was indeed a great blessing to the world. Along with Judaism, Christianity was instrumental in spreading a higher conception of God and Purer moral standards. Many people learned about the Trinitarian God: God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit from Christianity. Christianity is the only religion that deals effectively with humankind’s sins. Jesus Christ is the central focus in the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. To believe in Jesus Christ in the Biblical sense is an act of the will of God and not of the intellect. To have eternal life is to come directly and personally to Jesus Christ and believe that He died for human sins. His death, resurrection, and coming again are the triangular anchor of the Christian faith.

Christianity’s view of salvation encompasses the past (Adamic sin), the present (present depravity), and the future (eternal life). Past deliverance points forward to present and future deliverances that, in turn, look back to past deliverance. The death and resurrection of Jesus are the focal points. ‘Being saved from sin to righteousness, therefore comes about through calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ – (Rom. 10:9-13). And the name of Christ involves entrance into the kingdom of God (Mark 10:23-27) and the Church as the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:26-28).

Today, no legitimate scholar denies that Jesus is a historical figure who walked on this Earth over 2,000 years ago. He did remarkable miracles and acts of charity. He died a horrible death on a Roman cross just outside Jerusalem. The emotionally charged dispute focuses specifically on whether Jesus was God incarnate who rose from the dead three days after His Crucifixion. Many people have dealt with this “spiritual” dispute by intellectually accepting Jesus as a great man, teacher, or prophet. However, Jesus and His inspired followers didn’t mince words when they declared Him God (John 1:1-3, John 10:30-38, Matthew 16:13-17, Mark 14:61-64, John 14:6, Hebrews 1:8, Colossians 1:16, John 12:40-41 (Isaiah 6:1-10). Therefore, any intellectual compromise calling Jesus a “good man” is logically inconsistent. Jesus himself claimed to be God when he said, “The Father and I are one”- John 10:30. Christianity’s encounter with early philosophers formed the bedrock of significant scholarly works and scientific fields: philosophy, chemistry, medicine, mathematics, arts, and music.

[1] See 1 Cor. 3:16f; 2Cor. 6:16, 17; Eph. 2: 19-22; 1 Peter 2:5; cf. 1 Cor. 6:19f

[2] S. A. Fatokun, and Tiwalola A. Falaye, “Jewish Socio-Cultural Influence on The Rise of Christianity” in Transformation: Crowther Journal of Theology and Missions, Vol. 1. No. 1. November 2016, Abeokuta: Crowther Publishers Nigeria, 2016, 31

[3] Jose Orlandis, A Short History of the Catholic Church, 2001

[4] In India, notably in the writings of Ram Swarup and in related Voice of India publications



Christianity within the Context of Historical and Contemporary Expansionism (2)

A Brief History of Judaism

Judaism is the oldest surviving monotheistic religion, arising in the Eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium. Abraham is traditionally considered the first Jew to have made a covenant with God. There was a small community of Jews in historic Palestine, but in 73 A.D., the Roman Empire dispersed them after an insurrection against Roman authority. Most Jews later lived in Diaspora[1]as minorities in their communities until the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. When Jews from all over the world came to settle in modern Israel, they found that various subcultures had developed in different areas with unique histories, languages, religious practices, customs, and cuisine. Judaism is more concerned with actions than dogma. In other words, observance of rules regulating human behavior has been of more concern than debates over beliefs in the Jewish tradition. According to Orthodox Judaism, Jewish law, or Halakhah, includes 613 commandments given by God in the Torah and rules and practices elaborated by scholars and custom. Jewish law covers prayer and ritual, diet, and rules regulating personal status (marriage, divorce, birth, death, inheritance, etc.). It also covers observance of holidays (like Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and Passover, the feast celebrating the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt). Jews do not believe in the prophets after the Jewish prophets, including Jesus and Muhammad. Therefore, they do not subscribe to the idea that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, nor do they believe in the teachings of Islam.


Expansion of Judaism and the Role in History:

There were much more Jews outside Palestine than there were in it. Deportations of prisoners of war, but especially the interest of commerce, spread Jews in all directions from Palestine. It is estimated that during the time of the early Roman Empire, there were about two and one-half million Jews in Palestine. There were one million in each of the areas of Egypt. Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, and about one hundred thousand in Italy and North Africa. Smaller colonies were scattered throughout the empire. [1]. The New Testament reference to the Dispersion is impressive: John 7:35, Acts 2:5-11, with many other references throughout Acts, James 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1. Inseparable from the Dispersion was the Synagogue. Together they established a natural base outside Palestine for the missionary proclamation of the gospel. The most important center of the Dispersion was Alexandria, Egypt. There the Jews occupied whole quarters of the city. The Old Testament was translated into the Greek language in 250B.C, thus making it available to the Greek-speaking world. Several Levitical rules and regulations restricted the foreign intercourse of Judaism. It looked as if the heathen were to be excluded from having any share in the religious truth revealed to Israel and which Israel was so precious. On the one hand, the heirs of the prophets were not persuaded to share their holy inheritance with the unclean heathen. 


For centuries the Jews had been spreading beyond Palestine. There was a constant stream of emigrants overflowing its boundaries in all directions. Jews were in almost all cities of the world. There were significant numbers of them in the Tigris and Euphrates; and Asia Minor. Alexandria in Egypt was divided into five districts, two occupied by Jews. In the Nile Delta, it was estimated that there were more than a million Jews. [2]. The Jews were along the coast of North Africa. The towns and cities of Macedonia and Greece contained Jewish colonies. In Rome, there were about 30,000 Jews. They had undergone a substantial change in their wanderings and long residence in foreign lands. They produced a new culture, modern civilization, composed of the best elements of Judaism and Hellenism. Judaism’ Ideal was the knowledge and perfect obedience to the law of God in the O.T. It was monotheistic and intensely religious. The Greek civilization was far under and more varied than it. The new Hellenistic civilization was a union of the two. It got its religion from Judaism, its philosophy, and its learning from the Greeks. [3]. There was no difference between them and their brethren in Palestine, and they kept their ties with the Holy Land. They met every Sabbath to study their law. Synagogues were established wherever they were Jews. They upheld the truth of their religion. They tried to keep the law, but they couldn’t remain Pharisees. A liberal movement was started among the Jews in the Diaspora, which was different from the Phariseeism of Palestine. It was a movement from the letter to the spirit, from the form to the contents, of the religion of rites and ceremonies to a religion of the heart. [4] The zeal of the ‘Diaspora Jews’ for God led them to become missionaries to the heathen living around them. For some centuries, Judaism made earnest efforts to become a universal religion in an attempt to convert the world. But Christianity, which proved to be a powerful rival, drove Judaism from the mission field. Judaism drew back from the free movement and settled into a rigid, legal orthodoxy.


The desire to convert people led them to present only the most attractive features of Judaism to their hearers. They took from the O.T. a few great ideas and laid all emphasis on the essentials of their religion. They used all forms of literature to recommend Judaism and make its teachings known. They produced a rich and varied missionary literature for three centuries. They translated the O.T. from Hebrew into Greek. They omitted or altered some expressions that would have been offensive to Greek taste and conceptions. They made various changes because of their desire to make Judaism more attractive to the heathen. They wrote commentaries on the Scriptures, by the best teachings of the philosophers to please the Greeks. They also used epic poetry and drama to explain Judaism to the heathen and fill them with a keenness for Judea’s history and religion. The Sibyls were mysterious prophetesses at the time and were held in high reverence by the heathen. Judaism missionaries used the name of the Sibyl to propagate the Jewish Faith. In the 2nd Century BC, some religious Jews wrote work purported to be by a Sibyl. In the prologue, she was made to say that she was a daughter of Noah and had been with her father in the Ark at the time of the Flood. She had moved from Babylon, and the Greeks had given her a false name. Sibyls foretold many prophecies that were widely read and significantly influenced the people. 


Vergil and Tacitus knew the prophecy and used them in their writings. Under the names of the most celebrated Greek poets and philosophers, they were alleged to have forged poems and histories in which these are made to teach the purest Jewish Doctrines and sound forth the praises of the faithful people of God. [1]  It is indubitably enough to show that the Jews were severe in their efforts to convert the world. The influence of Judaism was far more significant than has been believed. Many heathens became proselytes. They were circumcised, observed the law, and lived entirely as Jews. More people were influenced by their religious teachings but wavered between taking the vital step. These people are willing to observe some of the laws but not in their entirety, which they found exacting and burdensome. One can establish that these people learned much from Judaism. They got the true religion from the Jews, receiving the truth and framing their lives by it. The ceremonial part of Judaism was repellent to many people, and they thought it was unnecessary.


The scattering of the Jews activated the expansionism of Judaism. Expansionism was a blessing, and it was instrumental in spreading a higher conception of God and Purer moral standards. Many people learned about God and His Character from Judaism and in religious education and the development of the world and reception of Christianity.


  [1] Oliver J. Thatcher, 106, 107

  [1] Harry R. Boer, A Short History of the Early Church, Daystar Press, Christian Council of Nigeria, 1976 Copyright, Michigan: Win B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1976; Reprinted 1983, 2003, 7

[2] Oliver J. Thatcher, “The Expansion of Judaism,” The Biblical World, Vol.1, No.2 (Feb.1893), Chicago: The University of Chicago Press Stable, 99.

[3] Oliver J. Thatcher, 100

[4] Oliver J. Thatcher, 101

Christianity within the Context of Historical and Contemporary Expansionism (1)

Historical Wars of the Empires

Historical wars of the empires, violent religious and political conflicts, and persecutions of religious adherents inaugurate expansionism and enable the spread of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. One cannot discuss the expansion of Christianity without the Western-initiated missionary movement. The explosion of Christianity in the twenty-first century is a profound development that has transformed the world’s largest religion. It calls for a paradigm of the hegemonic view that perceives Christianity as a product of imperialist expansion. I examined the role played by the three religions in contemporary expansionism to discuss the critical factors to the massive growth of the universal church. Their roles activate the desire for spiritual, moral, and cultural influence over the entire world. Their theologies show God and His Character to the whole world. The expansionism of these religions could have established sustainable peace in the world, but the contrary is the case.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all born in the Middle East, called “Abrahamic religions,” because they trace their history to the Biblical Abraham and are inextricably linked. Christianity is born from the Jewish tradition, and Islam developed from Judaism and Christianity. The three religions are the most influential in world history, and they all claim Jerusalem to be the holiest city in the Holy Land. While Judaism is not as large as Christianity and Islam, its impact on the world is still profound.

Palestine is home to the Jews and Judaism, Christians, Christianity, Muslims, and Islam. Palestine is situated at the hub of three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. It covers a region of the Eastern Mediterranean Coast from the sea to the Jordan valley and from the southern Negev desert to the Galilee lake region in the north. Palestine though small was an important one that every power wanted to control: powers like Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Rome wanted to control Palestine. Consequently, Palestine was involved in political and religious conflicts.

Jesus was born at this time in a fractured and fractious political and religious environment in Palestine. The Jews believed God was about to fulfill the messianic prophecies by sending the ‘Messiah’ to sweep away the wicked kingdoms of human sovereignty and fill the earth with righteousness. The people anticipated fierce conflicts with those in power, but Jesus said he did not come to destroy the wicked kingdoms of this world but the Kingdom of Satan.

Amid Jesus demonstrating and declaring his mission, there was an inevitable conflict with the Palestinian leaders’ culture, religion, and politics. With the inception of Islam in the 7th century A.D, the earliest community of Muslims saw itself in continuity with Jews and Christians. The Ottoman Turks, non-Arabs but religious Muslims, ruled the area for 400 years (1517-1917). Under Ottoman rule, the Palestine region was attached administratively to the province of Damascus and ruled from Istanbul. The name Palestine was revived after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and applied to the territory in this region that was placed under the British Mandate for Palestine. [1] The name “Falastin” that Arabs today use for “Palestine” is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Roman “Palaestina.” [2]




Prime-Time Principles: 6 (The Final)

The Joy of The Lord Principle

Luke 2:10: According to the angels’ announcement at Jesus’ birth, what did He come bringing?

The Bible describes Jesus as being full of what? (Luke 10:21)

In Hebrews 12:2, what did joy help Jesus go through with victory? – The gift of joy

According to Nehemiah 8:10,
1. What is prophesied that we will have?
2. What is one of the reasons the Bible is written, according to I John 1:4?
3. What does the psalmist in Psalm 16:11 teach us about where we could find joy?
4. Share ways that you come into the presence of Jesus and have your joy refilled.

When we are in fellowship with Jesus, the joy of the Lord becomes our strength. Don’t let the devil rob you of your joy.

1. Who is the thief in John 10:10 that is out to rob you, kill and destroy your joy?
2. What are some ways that Satan tries to rob you of your joy?

Talk about this statement: It’s the little things that get our joy. (List some of the little things that have taken your joy in the last two weeks.)

1. Why does the devil want to get your joy?
2. What happens to you if you lose your strength?
3. What can the devil do then?

In Philippians 4:4,
1. What do we learn?
2. When are we to do this?
3. What if I don’t feel like it? What is the result?

I will start tomorrow another series titled: “Christianity within the Context of Historical and Contemporary Expansionism.” Join me as usual and share my website.

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