Saturday, March 23, 2013

How Rome Ruled

Rome ruled through a very small elite group and through alliances with local kings and leaders. The Romans controlled political, economic, and military structures to benefit themselves at the expense of others. Imperial theology contributed to this domination system. This theology, with appropriate rituals, claimed that Rome and the emperor ruled at the will of the gods. Rome's emperor manifested their presence, will, and benefits on earth.

The Gospel is a counter-narrative that helps its audience to live a counter-cultural, alternative existence in the midst of such claims and commitments. The Gospel asserts that it is God's world, not Rome's (Matthew 11:25; 28:18); that God's reign and presence are manifested in Jesus, and not in the emperor (1:23;4:17); that God's blessings extend to all people, not just the elite (5:3-12); that Jesus, not Rome, reveals God's will.
Warren, Carter. "The Gospel According to Matthew." Introduction. The New Interpreter's Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. By Walter J. Harrelson. Nashville: Abingdon, 2003. 1746. Print.

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