How many Christians were killed during the Nero's persecution & How many Jews were killed during the Jewish Revolt?


#1

Anybody know how many Christians were killed during Nero’s reign of terror and his successors? As well as the number of Jews killed during the Jewish Revolt?


#2

Actually, no one knows the exact number of Christians killed during Nero’s persecutions. Accounts by ancient historians like Tacitus are not very helpful as far as accurate numbers of casualties are concerned though his history is often cited as the first time any mention of Christians were made by a secular/pagan historian, as the following passage shows:

“Therefore, to put an end to the rumor Nero created a diversion and subjected to the most extra-ordinary tortures those hated for their abominations by the common people called Christians. The originator of this name (was) Christ, who, during the reign of Tiberius had been executed by sentence of the procurator Pontinus Pilate. Repressed for the time being, the deadly superstition broke out again not only in Judea, the original source of the evil, but also in the city (Rome), where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and become popular. So an arrest was made of all who confessed; then on the basis of their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of arson as for hatred of the human race.”

“Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames. These served to illuminate the night when daylight failed. Nero had thrown open the gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or drove about in a chariot. Hence, even for crimnals who deserved extreme and examplary punishment there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being punished.”

(Tacitus, Annales, 15, 44)

As for the Great Jewish revolt of 66-70 A.D against Roman rule, an estimated one million Jews were killed (both by Roman arms and even by fellow Jews) according to some estimates, perhaps the worst disaster to strike the Jewish nation prior to the Nazi holocaust.


#3

What book has that quote, Robed?

BTW…love your signature!


#4

Hi Mannyfit,

A couple of years ago I took a course in Church history, and our professor, after reviewing various sources put the number of martyrs in the first century at between 3000 and 5000. Total number from the first to the third century is estimated at 100,000.

Numbers tended to increase as time went on because of the growth of Christianity itself.

Verbum


#5

There were three major Jewish revolts against Rome between 70 c.e. - 135 c.e. Some 1,750,000 Jews were killed and tens of thousands sold into captivity.


#6

there is a current discussion on the spirituality forum (where saints are usually discussed) on martyrs

this article describes early persecutions of Christian martyrs. there are also articles in the same source, Catholic Ency, that critically analyze the early sources we have for accounts of martyrs, if you are interested in that question as well.
catholicity.com/encyclopedia/m/martyr.html

Most Jewish history sources conclude previous posters are correct, but the lower number 1 million is probably more accurate, if you include all Roman persecutions, and it might be more if you include the pre-Roman persecutions such as that described in Maccabees. That figure would have to include Jewish martyrs in the diaspora as well, as the whole population of the Palestine area in the 1st century would not be great enough to make a figure of 1.7 million credible. Rather than raw numbers, look at effect, in that like the Holocaust, it was not casual sporadic sniping at Jews but government sponsored, methodical planned tactics to destroy an entire people.


#7

The Jews made up one tenth of the population of the Roman empire estimated at this time to be about 45 million - therefore the figure of 1,750.000 Jews killed in revolts against the Romans throughout the Roman empire in this time period is seemingly both logical and accurate.

An interesting point, whenever God has led his led His chosen people to a major change in relation to their homeland this has always been preceeded by a major traumatic upheaval.

In leaving Egypt and coming to their homeland the Jews wandered in the desert for forty years. This had the effect by natural attrition of wiping out all the Jews who had known and experienced slavery. Even Moses did not enter into the promised land.

Before being dispersed for some two millenium to the diaspora one third of the Jewish population was destroyed by the Roman empire during the revolts.

Some two thousand years later, on the eve of the Jewish people regaining sovereignty in their homeland, the descendants of these Roman pagans again wiped out one third of the Jewish people in the holocaust.


#8

Shalom elechim.

Thank you for offering this. It’s good to have someone here to balance things out. :slight_smile:


#9

Interesting

what about the reverse if thats a good term? I was thinking when disaster was averted like in Ester?


#10

Of course. God has constantly protected His chosen people from the full ravages of fatal epidemics and plagues visited on others.

Here are three examples:

The plague of the first born: The Bible recounts how the first born in every household in Egypt died but the plague passed over the Jewish households.

The black plague: Jews due to their religious practices suffer only fractionally in relation to the general population.

Aids: Research now indicates that Jewish circumcision may reduce the contraction of Aids through heterosexual contact by as much as 63 per cent. Geneticists are investigating why as many as fifty per cent of Ethiopian and European Jews are immune to the Aids virus.


#11

during the revolt most estaminets put Jewish loses at approx 1 million . However what is not commonly know is that corresponds to approx 2/3 of the Jewish population com-paired to the nazi’s who killed 6 million or about 40-50 % of the world wide Jewish population.


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.