Hebrew and Aramaic are picturesque languages. They are ideal for telling stories and moving emotions. However, they lack the precision of Greek and Latin. Three hundred years before Christ was born, God the Father was already priming the rise of Koine ("Common") Greek to international stature.
The sophisticated people, philosophers, and orators of southern Greece ("Achaia," with Athens and Sparta) did not respect the people of Macedonia (northern Greece). Macedonians were considered "backward.“
Amazingly, Philip II of Macedon (382-336 BC) hired Aristotle to tutor his son Alexander. Aristotle had been trained by Plato and had sat at the feet of Socrates. Alexander became Alexander the Great, who blitzed the world militarily and brought Greek culture and Koine Greeks to the Mediterranean basin, Mesopotamia, and India. Three hundred years later, "In the fullness of the time," Paul used Koine Greek to pen his penetrating defenses of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
(4) A specific degree of sophistication in technology for the speedy spread of information, enhanced by a political situation that allowed for unfettered international travel.
The rise of the Roman Empire accelerated the spread of the gospel. If Jesus had come into a world divided into thousands of closed-off, heavily fortified kingdoms, dissemination of the good news would have been painfully slow. The famous Pax Romana ("Roman Peace") was not pleasant for those it dominated, but it did provide freedom of movement across political frontiers.
Moreover, Roman industry forged great transportation systems by land and sea that made traveling relatively convenient. It you map Paul's three major missionary journeys, you will see be traveled more than 5,000 miles in 11 years (AD 47-58). These trips were possible due to well-paved roadways with mile markers, bridges over rough terrain, and Roman soldiers who kept robbers at bay.
In addition, the Roman Empire had postal routes and commercial sea travel, although the New Testament mentions neither. The apostle's epistles appear to have been delivered by fellow believers.
Perhaps the most impressive element of Roman culture in Christ's day was that it was at the zenith of its success and power militarily, politically, and culturally. Scholars refer to the first century BC as the "Golden Age" of ancient literature.
There were three major phases in Roman history:
● Monarchical Period: 753-509 BC. It had seven influential kings.
● Republic Period 509-31 BC. Powerful, wealthy families instituted Senate Rule.
● Imperioal Period: 31 BC-AD 476.
AD 312-Under Emperror Constantine, Christianity became a protected religion.
AD 476-The Western Empire fell to the Barbarians.
New Testament history falls entirely within the Imperial Period, in the aftermath of the assassination of Julius Caesar. Ironically, thought the senators plotted Julius Caesar's death out of fear of his growing power, his assassination paved the way for the strongest of all the Roman leaders, Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian. Born Gaius Octavius in 63 BC., Caesar Augustus was the emperor when Christ was born in Bethlehem.