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Nero Became Demon Possessed After Paul's Testimony?

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  • Nero Became Demon Possessed After Paul's Testimony?

    I'm listening to a commentary by Chuck Smith on Philippians 1.

    Chuck makes a comment about Paul's first appearance before Nero, in which Paul was set free, then a subsequent appearance 2 years later, where Paul was martyred.

    He didn't say it exactly like that, but that's not the point....

    He suggests that, following Paul's presentation of the Gospel in his defense before Nero, Nero became a "mad man". That PRIOR to this, Nero was a fairly decent ruler.

    I've just googled some sources that tend to agree that there was a drastic change in Nero, but they attribute it more to the death of his mother, or the death of Agrippa, or some other event.

    Comments?
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    Supernatural intervention would explain why Nero took such an interest in a small religious group that should not have seemed to be that much of a threat to the order of the empire.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      I'm listening to a commentary by Chuck Smith on Philippians 1.

      Chuck makes a comment about Paul's first appearance before Nero, in which Paul was set free, then a subsequent appearance 2 years later, where Paul was martyred.

      He didn't say it exactly like that, but that's not the point....

      He suggests that, following Paul's presentation of the Gospel in his defense before Nero, Nero became a "mad man". That PRIOR to this, Nero was a fairly decent ruler.

      I've just googled some sources that tend to agree that there was a drastic change in Nero, but they attribute it more to the death of his mother, or the death of Agrippa, or some other event.

      Comments?
      I've read somewhere that he seemed to go off the rails around the time of the death of Seneca, who was one of his chief advisors.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        I've read somewhere that he seemed to go off the rails around the time of the death of Seneca, who was one of his chief advisors.
        Would the timing of that be near Paul's first trial, I wonder?

        ETA: Not his FIRST trial - his first appearance before Nero at Rome.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
          Supernatural intervention would explain why Nero took such an interest in a small religious group that should not have seemed to be that much of a threat to the order of the empire.
          Chuck is suggesting that Nero had the Gospel presented to him in such a powerful way, but because he was all about "Nero is Emperor supreme", it only enraged him as he thought about it, and literally drove him mad. Possibly even demon possessed.
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

          Comment


          • #6
            By the way, thanks for the serious responses -- let's PLEASE not let this go to spam or goofy nonsense, OK?
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
              Chuck is suggesting that Nero had the Gospel presented to him in such a powerful way, but because he was all about "Nero is Emperor supreme", it only enraged him as he thought about it, and literally drove him mad. Possibly even demon possessed.
              Is part of his argument based on the strong impact that Paul's gospel presentation had on Felix?
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                Is part of his argument based on the strong impact that Paul's gospel presentation had on Felix?
                He seems to focus more on --- paraphrasing --- "I finally have an opportunity to speak to CAESAR - imagine if CAESAR became a Christian", and that Paul put everything he had into that presentation - more than ever before....

                Sure, supposition on Smith's part, but not unreasonable.
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is it a common orthodox belief that Paul in fact faced Nero two times? Personally, I believe it to be true, but from what I remember in my apologetic days it's a pretty controversial idea and I didn't think it was that common in Christian circles.
                  "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by seanD View Post
                    Is it a common orthodox belief that Paul in fact faced Nero two times? Personally, I believe it to be true, but it's pretty controversial idea and I didn't think it was that common in Christian circles.
                    Hmmmm.... I don't think I've ever run into anybody who has disputed two trials or hearings before Nero. Apparently, it's pretty common in MY circles.

                    But that's why I like to ask.
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanD View Post
                      Is it a common orthodox belief that Paul in fact faced Nero two times? Personally, I believe it to be true, but from what I remember in my apologetic days it's a pretty controversial idea and I didn't think it was that common in Christian circles.
                      Been checking into that, and found this...

                      During Paul’s first imprisonment, he awaited trial before Roman governors Felix and Festus (Acts 24–26). He then was under house arrest in Rome for two years (28:30), awaiting an appearance before Nero. Scholars believe Paul was released sometime in AD 62 because the Jews who had accused him of being “a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension” (24:5) didn’t press their case before the emperor. However, during Paul’s second imprisonment in the Mamertine dungeon, he had apparently received a preliminary hearing and was awaiting a final trial (2 Timothy 4:16). He didn’t expect acquittal; he expected to be found guilty, in all likelihood, for hating humankind. From there, Paul believed only his execution would be left (4:6–7), which was probably carried out in AD 68.3


                      It triggered a memory from Seminary WAY back in the day.... one of the points being that Paul's imprisonment in Rome was 'house arrest' where he was allowed to rent his own quarters, but the second imprisonment was not so cushy.
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                        Been checking into that, and found this...

                        During Paul’s first imprisonment, he awaited trial before Roman governors Felix and Festus (Acts 24–26). He then was under house arrest in Rome for two years (28:30), awaiting an appearance before Nero. Scholars believe Paul was released sometime in AD 62 because the Jews who had accused him of being “a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension” (24:5) didn’t press their case before the emperor. However, during Paul’s second imprisonment in the Mamertine dungeon, he had apparently received a preliminary hearing and was awaiting a final trial (2 Timothy 4:16). He didn’t expect acquittal; he expected to be found guilty, in all likelihood, for hating humankind. From there, Paul believed only his execution would be left (4:6–7), which was probably carried out in AD 68.3


                        It triggered a memory from Seminary WAY back in the day.... one of the points being that Paul's imprisonment in Rome was 'house arrest' where he was allowed to rent his own quarters, but the second imprisonment was not so cushy.
                        Maybe I'm getting this confused with the other side. Skeptics definitely discount this idea and believe that Paul's first imprisonment was his final, so I'm probably mixing the two up. It's been awhile.
                        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by seanD View Post
                          Maybe I'm getting this confused with the other side. Skeptics definitely discount this idea and believe that Paul's first imprisonment was his final, so I'm probably mixing the two up. It's been awhile.
                          Yeah, it's been ... 40+ years? ... for me.

                          “after defending himself successfully, it is currently reported that the Apostle again went forth to proclaim the Gospel, and afterwards came to Rome a second time, and was martyred under Nero.”

                          (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 2.22).
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Whether he was demon possessed or not Nero had a particular skill in killing people in cruel and unusual ways. His name can also be 666. Honestly, this guy is one of the scariest historical figures that I know. I still think Czar ivan might be a little more terrifying.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                              It triggered a memory from Seminary WAY back in the day.... one of the points being that Paul's imprisonment in Rome was 'house arrest' where he was allowed to rent his own quarters, but the second imprisonment was not so cushy.
                              The second one being when 2 Timothy was probably written? (Since it appears a lot more pessimistic about his situation on earth).
                              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                              Comment

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