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A Short History of Early Church Persecution
I’d like to give you a sanctified mind’s analysis of Church History: something that they could never get on Google.
The reason I share with you the background details of each passage we study is to show it to you through the lens of Scripture, and with my own lifetime analysis of these facts, what is vital to increase our understanding. That is actually one of the elements of expository preaching, which is my lifelong pursuit.
Church History records three notable waves of persecution from the Roman Emperors:
Wave #1: Emperor Nero (54-68 AD) This persecution was sporadic and limited mainly to Rome, sweeping up Paul and Peter to execution.
Wave #2: Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) This persecution was wider than Nero’s, across some of the Roman Empire’s provinces, and hitting both the church at Smyrna and exiling John to Patmos.
Wave #3: Emperor Diocletian (284-305 AD) This persecution was the greatest of any Roman Emperor against Christ’s Church. Diocletian, who was one of the most administrative of all Rome’s rulers, began a systematic purge of Christianity, through an Empire-wide eradication of the Church, and he almost succeeded
Nero, (54-68) (Paul beheaded; Peter crucified upside down.)
(10 total: 250 years!)