1 BC

1 BC, the Middle East

The Roman world was sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Hundreds of faiths and thousands of people competed for attention. The practical Roman civilization was little concerned with the spiritual needs of its populace. Except for the privileged, the masses of people were cut adrift from ancient gods and holy places. Old values seemed inadequate or only valid for a few.

Great thinkers were searching for an answer. Philo of Alexandria was writing of the underlying truths behind Jewish monotheism and law, and Greek science and its search for truth. In Palestine, the Rabbi Hillel taught a deeply human interpretation of ancient law and became famous for his statement of Jewish morality: "Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you."

The people of the wide world were prepared to accept a higher, all-encompassing faith if one should appear.

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