Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
March 9th, 2017 by Joel Watts

the Christians of first century Rome put you to shame

I was reading this today…

55.1 But moreover let us also bring forward examples of the heathen. Many kings and rulers who, being in times of pestilence, following some oracle, have given over themselves to death so that they might rescue their citizens by their own blood. Many have departed their own cities so that they might not rebel any more. 1 2 We know many among us have given themselves over to imprisonment so that they might ransom others. Many have given themselves over to slavery and having received their price used the proceeds to feed 2 3 others. 3 Many women, being strengthened by the grace of God, have accomplished many manly deeds. 4 The blessed Judith when her city was under siege, asked of the elders to permit her to go out into the fortified camp of the foreigners. 4 5 Therefore, giving herself over to danger, she went out because of love for her country and for the people who were under siege, and the Lord delivered Holophernes into the hand of a woman. 6 Not less also did Esther, perfect in faith, put herself in danger so that she might rescue the nation of Israel, which was about to be destroyed. For through fasting and her humiliation she beseeched the all-seeing Master of the ages, who upon seeing the humility of her soul rescued the people for whose sake she put herself in danger. 51

Christians… stood in the place of slaves that they may be free, in the place of prisoners, that they may be free… and sold themselves that others may be fed.

If that was truly a requirement, I couldn’t be a Christian.


1  Literally “against more”

2  Literally “have fed”

3 1Co 13.3

4 Jdt 8

5 Est 2–6

  1. Rick Brannan, trans., The Apostolic Fathers in English (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012).
Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


One Response to “the Christians of first century Rome put you to shame”
  1. Way off your main point (which is both terrifying and challenging/encouraging) but interesting testimony to the inclusion of at least one apocryphal work in the life of the church.

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