School of Religion
Religion: Biblical Studies
Primary Subject Area
Religion, Biblical Studies
Roman empire, Christianity, religious laws
All of the events, authors, and purposes of the books in the New Testament occurred under the reign of the Roman Empire (27 B.C.—A.D. 476). Therefore, an understanding of the Roman Empire is necessary for comprehending the historical context of the New Testament. In order to fully understand the impact of the Roman Empire on the New Testament, particularly before the destruction of the Jewish Temple in A.D. 70, Rome’s effect on religion (and the religious laws that governed its practice) must be examined. Contrary to expectations, the Roman Empire emerges from this examination as the protector (not persecutor) of early Christianity. Scripture from this time period reveals a peaceful relationship between the new faith and Roman authorities.