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Understanding the Roman Empire

Video 1: Introduction to the Roman Empire Series

Video 2: The Roman Republic

Before the Roman Empire there was the Roman Republic. The Republic bequeathed to the Empire social values that are important background to the New Testament.

Video 3: Republic to Empire

Right before Jesus was born, the Roman Republic was convulsed politically and militarily. The man who finally brought a measure of peace, perhaps the greatest Roman Emperor ever, is also noted in the Bible.

Video 4: Allies of Rome: the Herod family

Various King Herods show up often in the New Testament. Why? What power did they have, and why did they have it? This video explains the importance of the Herod Family to the Emperor, the Empire, and the Jews.

Video 5: The Trouble with Rome

This video discusses common misperceptions of the Roman Empire. Did you think Rome exercised tight control over every corner of their Empire? Wasn't the Roman military huge? If we learn something about one region in the Empire, can we assume other regions were similar?

Video 6: Rome When Jesus Was Born

What was Rome like when Jesus was born? In the midst of an Empire built on power, violence, glory, and greed, was born a small baby who also happened to be the King of the world! Also in this video: the Bible proves accurate . . . again!

Video 7: Rome in Israel

In the last video Rome was described as powerful and coercive. How did Jewish leaders deal with this? Effectively, actually! And yet, Jews felt Roman oppression acutely. This video discusses Roman officers, including the Roman centurions, Pilate, Jerusalem, Zacchaeus and Matthew and publicans, and others.

Video 8: God's Kingdom and Jesus's Followers as "Romans"

In this video Luke uses Roman social structures to explain concepts in the Gospels.

Video 9: Studying Rome

Luke leaves us with some tips for how to study and interpret Roman history.

During the time of the early church


This video is part 1 of a series on the Roman Empire as background to the Book of Acts and the Epistles. It begins with Emperor Tiberius of Gospel fame and ends with the unstable Emperor Caligula. This video helps us understand the Roman reasons for persecuting the Early Church.


This video begins with Emperor Nero, infamous for his brutal treatment of Christians and others, and ends with Emperor Nerva, whose reign reflected some Christian ideals.


Have you heard of the argument that the peace and prosperity of the Roman Empire contributed to the expansion of the Church? Emperor Trajan's reign exemplified this. So why did Roman leaders not like Christians? This video views the persecution of Christians from a Roman perspective and, given that persecution, suggests why Christianity grew.


This video continues the theme of church growth and persecution. Against incredible odds, Christianity battled the might Roman Empire and won. Prepare to be inspired!

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