Christianity, at least the practice of religious faith and history that has been handed down to us by Ecclesiastical Church fathers and biblical historians covering roughly the past two thousand years ago, doesn’t tell the whole story. To begin with it did not have its beginnings in Rome, Italy of Western Europe. To make a long story short, Christianity, as it pertains to non-native Jews and Gentiles outside of Judea, began in the country of Syria. In fact, the Church at Antioch, where believers were first called “Christians” was west of the town of Aleppo, where some of the fighting between the military of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and rebel anti-government had been taking place in contemporary times. This Antioch Church became headquarters for the great missionary expedition of Barnabas and Saul [Apostle Paul]. The Holy Spirit commissioned the two church leaders to the work and this is the first time in the entire Bible that the Holy Spirit is recorded to have spoken audibly to anyone. The places that were evangelized are located in Turkey mostly, with Eastern Europe next, and lastly, a few places in Western Europe, including Rome and Greece/Achaia.
This will probably come as a surprise or shock to most readers of this article. In order to verify whether this is true or not, start with the place names in Acts 2: 19 all the way through Revelation 3: 14 and reference them in a current Bible Dictionary [HOLMAN]. Afterwards, use the Bible map of the Roman Empire that is included at the back references in most bibles and compare the geographical shape and boundaries to Google maps of Northern Africa and the Middle East, and also Europe. The Apostle Peter, who is traditionally considered the first Bishop of Rome doesn’t seem to have visited Rome, but the closest he may have gotten was Corinth, which in Achaia, south of Greece (1 Corinthians 1: 12; 9: 5). As far as correspondence to believers, in his epistles or letters, the recipients were located in parts of Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Serbia, or Bulgaria (1 Peter 1: 1). As a final point, Christianity is NOT a separate, exclusively non-Jewish religion but rather the opposite; it is a part of the Jewish faith or rather, the fulfillment or culmination of it through Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Jewish Messiah (Romans 11: 1-32; Ephesians 2: 11-16).
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October 17, 2013