So Rome created Christianity to suppress the Jews and then spent the next 300 years trying to kill it off? Sounds reasonable.
That, and the fact that there were people like St. Paul, and the Apostles who were Jews themselves.
As Bart Ehrman said: "No serious scholar thinks that Paul didn't write" the Pauline Epistles. Obviously there are some in dispute like Hebrews and Ephesians.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9CC7qNZkOE
Is he implying that the first century documents are untrustworthy and all lies? If Josephus is all we have as a source for the 1st century, there isn't much credibility. Or much to suggest that first century Palestine ever existed. Oh, the Dead Sea Scrolls also!
Outside of the New Testament, and the questionable accuracy of Josephus, the first century is unknown to us.
I also wonder how the Romans were so knowledgeable about the Messiah and Hebrew Linguistics. Matthew 2 uses the prophecy "He shall be called a Nazarene" which doesn't exist. However, the word 'Nazarene' נצר in Hebrew, is linguistically related to the Messianic Branch of David (Isaiah 11:1) which has the same root word. How would Romans know Hebrew Linguistics? And how could they know Jesus' veiled reference to Isaiah 42 and Isaiah 61 in Luke 7:22, and Matthew 11:5, as well as his direct reference to it in Luke 4:16-21 and his saying "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.")
The Romans must have read up on Jewish Messianism and Hebrew Linguistics before they fabricated it. Or they paid someone shrewd to do it, seeing as how almost NOBODY knew how to read in the 1st Century, it must have been from the very HIGHEST AUTHORITIES in Palestine. Maybe even the High Priest Caiphas himself!
Maybe they took a page out of the Essenes Messianic views, which also happen to be completely in line with Christian views on the Messiah being a Suffering Servant and being a healer, liberator to the oppressed and the imprisoned, and a preacher of good news to the poor. Of course,
the 1st century Essenes having an almost exact understanding of the Messiah as Christians do is also a Roman invention. Or it's a coincidence.
Japan has roughly a 1% Christian population. Out of 128Million population. There an estimated 3Million Christians, and thats kind of a generous Estimate.
I've spent most of my life in love with the culture over there, I love the language too. There are between 15,000 and 30,000 Orthodox currently living in Japan. I haven't been able to find any missionary efforts headed there. At least not in the Orthodox church. Its become my dream to at least make the attempt to make Christianity accessible over there. I want to translate Orthodox Books into Japanese.
If you meant why do I find it strange, Its just I keep running into things that seem to say Japan has an interesting relation ship with the church. The fact that the author of that article went to school there just seemed an interesting coincidence.
Missionary work is always something on my mind. I know Japanese... just can't read all of the Kanji. I also know Spanish, so I could go to Latin America...