The First Century Spread of the Gospel

The story of the spread of the gospel after the resurrection is intriguing. First, it exploded in Jerusalem and throughout the country.

The Acts of the Apostles portrays the dispersal. After His resurrection, Jesus sent eleven of them to spread His teachings to all nations. This event has been called the Dispersion of the Apostles. They were not the only ones involved in the spread. 

Before the birth of Jesus God was at work in order that things might be ready in the fullness of time.

Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world. He had developed the Koine (common) Greek language throughout, making it easy to communicate in various cultures.

Greece was conquered by Rome, but Rome stole, copied, and borrowed much of the Greek culture, including the Koine Greek which was spoken in much of the world. Some have said that Greek civilization conquered Rome. Thus, Koine Greek became the commercial language of the Roman Empire. This provided the early Christian missionaries with an open door to preach in the common language of the people of the Empire.

Rome established law throughout the Empire. The political unity of the Empire and the long peace had fostered commerce, which in turn sent Christian  businessmen all over the Roman world. This great empire prepared the physical scene for the spread of the gospel in the following ways: 1) it gave peace in place of constant tribal warfare; 2) it built a great network of roads and bridges that made travel possible all over the then known world; 3) it cleared the sea of pirates so that trade by sea and travel by ship became common practice; and 4) it protected its citizens from robbers and rioting. These means of communications were set up by Rome to move her armies, but God used them to spread the gospel of peace throughout the world. Many Roman soldiers became saved and shared the gospel as they traveled.

Roman Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity in 312 and throughout the empire thousands followed their Emperor in converting to his new faith.

A large population of early Christians were travelers or merchants, and they went to various places including Asia Minor. They spread the word broadly.

Many Jewish slaves on ships were Christians and they were popular agents of spreading the gospel in port cities.

By the year 100 AD, there were more than 40 communities of early Christians established, and most of these were in Anatolia. This place was also regarded as Asia Minor, and it was where the Seven Churches of Asia was found. Afterward, also the Greek New Testament was written in Koine Greek. Christianity spread in other places including Syria, Greece, Armenia, Africa, Arabia, India and Rome. These places served as the foundations for the spread of Christianity. Christianity had become viral. 

It is up to the present generation to continue the spread.