World Saviors and Messiahs of the Roman Empire, 28 Bce-135 Ce: The Soterial Age

Author: Kearney, Milo and James Zeitz
This book seeks to achieve a better understanding of Jesus and of the birth of Christianity by placing them in the context of twenty-some living World Saviors and Messiahs who appeared in the first century-and-a-half of the Roman Empire (here defined as the Soterial Age or the Age of Saviors).


"There are Christians who seek to maintain an open mind in assessing the validity of the identification of Jesus of Nazareth as uniquely having the characteristics of being the savior. When those open-minded Christians had learned of the apparent close parallels between Jesus and other saviors, e.g. between Jesus and Apollonios of Tyana, they might have easily questioned whether Jesus had any more claim to being the messiah than had Apollonios – or one or other of the saviors. This book provides well argued demonstrations that Jesus uniquely possessed those soterial characteristics that the era had hoped the messiah-savior would have. Even those Christians who had not previously learned of the parallels between Jesus and other saviors might well value learning that not only religious trust, but also concrete empirical argument supports Jesus of Nazareth as the messiah-savior whom the Divine One had empowered as God’s unique savior for humankind.” – Prof. Daniel Liderbach, Canisius College

“. . . presents a convincing case for why Christianity prevailed as a world religion while the other religions, many of which influenced the Hebrews and shared similar practices, have disappeared as practicing religions . . .” – Prof. Mimosa Stephenson, University of Texas at Brownsville

". . . advances a useful study of questions concerning a culture so intent on the hopes for a savior. This study can be enlightening for our own contemporary culture wherein conceptions of sin and guilt are absent or on the wane, potentially leading to greater appreciation of ancient religious cultures and their religious conceptions."- Prof. Oswald John Nira, Our Lady of the Lake University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Prof. Daniel Liderbach
A. The Preparation for the Soterial Age
1: Why the Soterial Age Occurred When It Did
2: The Zoroastrian and Mithraic Soterial Expectations
3: The Jewish Soterial Expectations
4: The Greco-Roman Soterial Expectations
5: The Prophetic Dating of the Death of an Anointed One
6: The Prophetic Dating of the Birth of the World Savior
B. The Coming of the Soterial Age
7: The First Soterial Claimants
8: The Peaceful Claimants from Palestine in the 30s CE
9: The Peak Period of Roman Claimants
10: The Peak Period of Greek Claimants
11: Why Jesus’ Followers Prevailed
12: The Universal Setting of the Soterial Age