The Conversion of Cornelius, seen against the Political and Social Background of the Roman Empire

Posted: May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Conversion of Cornelius, seen against the Political and Social Background of the Roman Empire

Lee, Min

Degree of Master of Philosophy, University of Birmingham (2011)

Abstract

The basic framework of Roman policy towards the Jews and Judaism, initiated at the time of Julius Caesar, until before the time of Claudius, was quite permissive, allowing the Jews considerable religious freedom and privileges. There were of course occasional different applications of the policy depending on the Emperors or procurators in the regions. Nonetheless, Judaism in the first half of the first century to some degree infiltrated into the Roman Empire and the range of the social status of the constituents was wide, from low class to high. There were considerable numbers of gentile adherents to Judaism and also of proselytes: among them were Roman adherents and proselytes and some of them were even members of the royal house. The pragmatic policy of Rome towards the Jews and their religion, the wide range of Jewish infiltration into various classes of people, and in particular the numerous cases of conversion among the Romans do not exclude the possibility of the conversion of a Roman officer, despatched to the province in approximately AD 39, to a sect of the Jewish religion.

Click here to read this article from the University of Birmingham

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