Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pliny to Trajan on the Christians




Pliny was a governor of a Roman province at the beginning of the Second Century.  He was monitoring those who identified themselves as Christians in order to make report to the Emperor Trajan.  He wrote the following to Trajan around 100 AD.

They also declared that the totality of their guilt or error amounted to no more than this: they had met regularly before dawn on a certain day to chant verses antiphonally amongst themselves in honor of Christ as if to a god, and also to bind themselves with an oath, not in a criminal conspiracy, but to abstain from fraud, banditry, and adulteration, to commit no breach of trust, and not to renege on a deposit. After completing this foolishness, it was their custom to disperse and reassemble later to take food of an common and innocuous type; but they had in fact given up this practice since my edict, issued on your instructions, which banned all associations.

Interesting description, don't you think?  

4 comments:

Zach said...

I think we should bring back the weekly oath to abstain from banditry.

Woody Woodward said...

With this same thought in mind, I find it most providential the change that I have slowly witnessed in the leadership of those in charge of the tiny county of Moldova. The government leaders are still very much communist in their thinking, but what’s most fascinating is those whom they have chosen to be surrounded by. They are selecting and hiring Christians to be their support staff. They well remember the corruptness of the former Soviet Union leaders, so in hiring Christians to be their liaisons between the people and the government they are becoming better leaders. Those in charge have seen the way Christians live, how they give sacrificially to others, they know Christians will not steal, won’t lie, the will never miss use their power and authority. Christians working in government there find ways and suggest new ideas in how the leaders can be better serve the people. Isn’t amazing how God works? Moldavian government leaders are embracing Christian involvement while our government leaders mandate that the Name of Christ or any Christian influence be totally removed from any government affairs.

Reepicheep said...

We recite the decalogue once a month...do you think changing the words of the 8th commandment to be "thou shall abstain from banditry" would rile anyone?

Zach said...

Methinks it might.