Nero Roman Persecution
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Nero Roman Persecution (Revelation 17.8)

"The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come." (Revelation 17.8)✞

Beast will Come

scapegoatThe Emperor Nero wanted to rebuild a rundown part of Rome built in timber to become a palace for himself in stone and marble. He had to find a scapegoat to divert suspicion from himself, and so he fixed his attention on the Christians. The Nero Roman persecution was the first great persecution and in many ways the most savage of all.✞

The Name Christian

Rome BurningEmperor Nero blamed the followers of Jesus Christ according to the Roman historian Tacitus (54-117 AD) who wrote in his Annals 15.44, "Christus, from whom the name Christian had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius, (BC 42-37 AD) at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, (Prefect of the Province of Judea 26-36 AD) and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular." Tacitus then speaks of the Nero persecution of the Christians in Rome, "Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty, then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred of mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. They were covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs, and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burned to serve as a nightly illumination when daylight had expired." Tacitus's description of Nero's persecution of Christians is one of the few passages in pagan literature where the name of Christ independently occurs and which describes the terrible persecution the Christians suffered.✞

"Nero Roman Persecution"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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