Lost Letters of Pergamum Review - 1 The role of honor and...

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1.The role of honor and benefaction in the 1stcentury was that of the elite, a noble man, a person of considerable wealth, or high society who has been accepted by birth. To be considered honorable was per the social status achieved by those who did come from wealth and considerations by those in the higher elite status. Those who held such honors were accepted and valued among their peers and were held in high esteem by the lower class who did their bidding. Benefaction was looked upon as those who donated money to embellish or enhance the cities they lived in with such lavish items as ornate pavements, fountains, baths and statues or made donations to high civic leaders’ organizations. It seemed the more you gave, the more you were accepted into high society status. To keep the status of honor and benefaction was perceived as highly important to the upper crust. Social status was highly valued amongst the elite and they strove to maintain their social standings to be identified as such. Those who were considered dishonorable were the insecure, those who were peasants, merchants, the unclean, and most artisans who were considered expendables. The consequences of beingof the “underbelly of society,” were that they could, at any time, be useful in only one way, being used as entertainment in the gladiator games.
2.The Roman empire and way of life is contrasted with the kingdom of God and the Christian life in who they proclaim to be their Lord. While the Romans hold their emperor in high esteem as their Lord and were more concerned with ensuring their emperor wanted nothing, Christians are more concerned in ensuring all Christians have what they need, which with Christians is not materialistic things but basic needs. Romanemperors are interested in their own selves instead of their subjects. One emperor, Nero, was said to use Christians as scapegoats and use them as human torches to light the way for his night time games. Christians would endure much for their loyalty to Jesus Christ.

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