The Romans always demanded complete political submission to their military might, while tolerating the religious practices of Judaism

Christians, on the other hand, were seen as a new cult growing among Gentiles who formerly had worshiped the gods and emperors

Other ideas about the afterlife were not taken up in Judaism and Christianity, but should be mentioned here to round out the discussion.

3.1.3. Is religion worth dying for?

For the most part, Jews were challenged by Greek ideas under social pressure (peer pressure, the desire to fit in) and economic pressure (doing business with people who did things differently) rather than physical force. There were some exceptions, however, and Jews sometimes had to choose between preserving their way of life and their actual lives. Those who chose to die rather than compromise their values were considered e an issue under the reign of the foreign king Antiochus Epiphanes, and led to the Maccabean Revolt (167–164 BCE).

However, the line between religion and politics blurred with the idea that Roman emperors should be worshiped as gods. Refusal to worship the emperor looked (to the Romans) like political insubordination, and insistence on worship of the emperor looked (to Jews and Christians) like religious persecution. The Jews were often, not always, tolerated as an ancient religion and people who mostly kept to themselves. They were persecuted more. There were several responses.

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