Christianity In Larry Hurtado's 'Destroyer Of The God'

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The death of the gods at the hands of a carpenter would forever change the world. In Larry Hurtado’s “Destroyer of the gods” he argues that Christianity presented a cataclysmic shift in Roman culture. This shift would shape not only the identity of Rome but of the entire western world. Christ’s death and the following movement that arose out of His resurrection made way not only for the altering Roman society and culture but also the downfall of Roman paganism. One of Hurtado’s first arguments is based on how early Christianity was viewed by the pagans and Jews of Rome. He writes that as early as Paul/Saul, the early Jesus movement and what would become known as Christianity was viewed in a hostile light because of improper reverence for Jesus, stating, “Paul’s zealous ire was probably provoked at least in part by what he regarded as inappropriate reverence for Jesus.” Hurtado states that residents and officials of Rome had already categorized Christians in their own views and writings about Christians. Hurtado writes that the pagan outlook against Christianity was overtly hostile. Flagrant rumors about Christian orgies and cannibalism spread through the empire like a wildfire. Hurtado refers to the writing of Tacitus in the 2nd century recalling Nero’s persecution of Christians stating the they were “hated for their abominations” and that they were charged for “hatred of the human race.” Hurtado argues that this quote shows that by Nero’s persecution in 64 AD and
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