What was it that enabled a few thousand "e;Jesus followers"e; to win hearts and minds in an empire entrenched with pagan gods and temples? Why did the Jewish authorities continue to persecute the apostles after Jesus? What forced the Jews into a suicidal rebellion against Rome and why did it allow the Christians to shed their Jewish identity? The years A.D. 31-71 were among the most turbulent in human history, and The Faith and the Power is the most complete account ever assembled of how the Christians challenged the Roman world -- and why the degeneracy of their political overlords paved the way. In the process, it reveals the roots of tension and terror in the Middle East that afflict the world today. But the victors in this case were a revolutionary religion that preached the gospel of man's mercy and God's grace. The Faith and the Power is a factual, riveting history that enables the reader to dig into the bedrock of early Christianity - before the existence of popes, crusades and cathedrals -- to the struggling apostle's world of Olympic gods, rigid aristocracy and tormented masses. The result is a griping, inspiring tale of courage and compassion in a world of despotism and depravity. Indeed, the strength of The Faith and the Power is its ability to clarify a forty-year period that was as confusing as it was critical to building the traditions that endure today in churches of all denominations. Author-journalist Snyder aids the reader by: Including 41 pages of endnotes, original maps, and illustrations of people and places of the mid-first century. Organizing chapters into the most detailed chronology of the period ever compiled. Casting new light on the close interaction between Roman, Christian and Jewish societies and showing how profoundly each one influenced the fate of the other. Thus, one learns, for example, how the debaucheries of emperors Caligula and Nero depleted the Roman treasury, why this caused a "e;raid"e; on the Jewish temple treasury, and why desperate Jewish authorities felt compelled to crack down on the newly-emerging "e;sect"e; called Christians. And as readers come to understand why the Jews rebelled against Roman oppression, they learn why and how the Christians went their separate way.