What’s New for March, 2009
First, I am adding the epistles of the younger Pliny to this site, as a resource for others. I have benefited so much from the ancient authors who have already been published online, that it seems only right that I give something back. I believe that the Hardy and Melmoth translations are both public domain, and they are both currently available as Google books in a ‘pdf’ format. But it might be worthwhile to have these translations available as searchable text, thus providing a more usable resource for research. If anyone has thoughts on this, I would appreciate the feedback. These epistles may be found under the tab ‘Lagniappe’. Just use the dropdown to go to ‘Pliny II’.
Also, I have collected most of the research material for the new essay treating the use of written materials by the early church. The research is not yet complete, but I am working on it as I may. As we discussed in January, we are trying a different approach with this essay:
(Excerpt from Chapter VI of How to Live Forever)
…It turns out that Christians were still being tortured to deny Christ through the first decade of the fourth century. Then in 313 AD, Constantinus Augustus (Constantine) and his brother-in-law, Licinius Augustus, issued
Henryk Siemiradzki. Leading Light of Christianity. Nero's Torches. 1876. Oil on canvas. National Museum, Krakow, Poland.
the Edict of Milan. With this decree, for the first time in its nearly three-hundred year existence, Christianity was formally recognized as a legal religion within the Roman Empire.
We have previously shown that cessation of testimony was sufficient to save a Christian from the Jewish persecution. Now it appears that simple repentance granted immunity from Roman capital punishment as well. It is logical to conclude that the many Christians slaughtered during the church’s first three-hundred years believed their message was worth dying for.
2. The Witnesses to the Witnesses
In reference to the stated goals of this book, we are very fortunate to possess the written transcripts of these earliest Christians’ message today. The pages of these documents contain the most graphic eyewitness accounts of resurrection ever recorded. All of these writers risked their personal safety, and many sacrificed their lives rather than renounce their beliefs, thus providing compelling evidence of their sincerity. Read more…