Nero, Tacitus, the Fire, and Christians

Larry Hurtado's Blog

A newly-published article addresses again the recently raised question about the reports of Nero’s pogrom against Roman Christians, blaming them for the fire of Rome:  Birgit Van der Lans and Jan N. Bremmer, “Tacitus and the Persecution of the Christians:  An Invention of Tradition?” Eirene.  Studia Graeca et Latina 53 (2017): 301-33.

A couple of years earlier, Brent Shaw had challenged the evidence, contending that the Neronian pogrom was likely a Christian invention, and that Tacitus (our primary source for the event) had unwittingly been influenced (somehow) by this tradition:  Brent D. Shaw, “The Myth of the Neronian Persecution,” Journal of Roman Studies 105 (2015): 73-100.

Christopher Jones then responded briefly to Shaw’s article, contending that Shaw’s argument was flawed and that the traditional view was still valid:  Christopher P. Jones, “The Historicity of the Neronian Persecution:  A Response to Brent Shaw,” New Testament Studies 63 (2017): 146-52.

Van der…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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