Pax Romana simply means “Peace of Rome” and refers to the tranquility and security that the Roman Empire brought to the Mediterranean world. The Pax Romana lasted from the reign of Caesar Augustus (27 BC–AD 14) to that of Caesar Marcus Aurelius (AD 161–180). At the time of Christ and during the first generation of the church, much of the world was unified under Roman authority and enjoyed a relative peace. (gotquestions.org)
The above is from one of my favorite study sites. Pax Romana, came across it while doing research for another project and wrote it down to come back to later.After reading it again I had an idea that it could plausibly be linked to an often repeated phrase. We often in times of stress and difficult situations will find comfort in saying, God is in control. While we may apply this to these days and times, I believe we often forget that and allow the culture of the day to overpower our faith. This Pax Romana is important to the history of the early church because all of the land surrounding the Mediterranean was at peace because everyone was under Roman Law. So at the time of Christ and during the first generation of the church, the world as understood to be then, was under Roman authority and was pretty much at peace.
While it is perceived that Christians were persecuted for their refusal to worship the emperor that was not the case. A general dislike or distrust of Christians was most likely due to their refusal to worship the gods or take part in sacrifice, which would be expected from anyone living in the Roman Empire. God could have chosen to spread the gospel in many different ways or forms but He chose ordinary people, empowered by the Spirit to spread the message. So out went the gospel on the feet of spirit led people who had become God’s messengers. Consider if you will these facts.
–Pax Romana provided an environment that allowed safe travel throughout the Roman Empire.
-Roman discipline cut down on crime on the roads and piracy on the Mediterranean Sea, making travel safer.
These are just a couple of the results of this Pax Romana. A better system of roads over time improved the ease of travel for missionaries, improved business between towns and many Christian business men took the gospel with them on their commercial trips. The largest impact may have been in language. Greek became the common language used throughout the Roman Empire. All throughout the empire people could still communicate with each other, and Paul’s epistles could make their rounds to the churches and be understood by all. It gets even more amazing when you consider that Roman Justice protected Paul many times in his ministry. Pax Romana was really simple. Citizens and residents of the empire, as long as they were not considered a threat to Pax Romana, were quite safe in sharing an unpopular message. We know that over time Paul was accused of disturbing the peace, endangering this Pax Romana but was protected by the Roman Authorities. All of these things allowed the gospel to spread quickly among those people in the civilized world of Pax Romana.
Now none of this is to say that God’s people had it easy, we know different. God was in control, God had a plan! Today more than ever we must believe that God has a plan, He is in Control.
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