The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.This quote from the novel "Go Between" just came to my attention this morning. I think it is profound. I was just sharing, a few days ago, with a discussion group I lead, how difficult it is to understand the first century. We cannot really go there sufficiently to see as those who were there saw. Hence, today we see widely and wildly divergent opinions of whatever we focus upon in the past. Even the recent past falls prey to this because things are changing so fast and are under the influence of dishonest spinners.
Try to imagine it. In Palestine there was something like 95% iliteracy, and about the same over the Romanworld, maybe up to 92% in some areas. It was less in Galilee. Modern logic had not been created. Science was primarily superstition. God or gods punished or rewarded with weather, health, prosperity, etc. Women's wombs were opened by gods or God to incubate the man's seed. Bare subsistence was the life of most people. The Romans ruled with no tolerance for resistance, think of the thousands upon thousands who were crucified for sedition. Life expectancy was in the 30's.
Such would be your life under Roman rule. You couldn't read or write. You were very superstitious, hungry, tired, worried and so poor it is hard to imagine.
Many people try to look at the first century, or any time past, by overlaying current knowledge, systems and values. This can only get a skewed result, even crazy theories. Some young people are so distorted in their thinking, primarily because of being taught spin and abhorance and distrust of discussion to find truth. Free thinking and logic are under attack in such a way that could lead to first century thinking returning, thinking that is stifled by not having logic, scientific method, or ethics.
The old saying comes to mind, my mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts.
Let us quest for truth in all ways, about all things, always. Jesus told us the truth will set you free.
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