“Imagine this question. There was a human being in the first century who was called ‘Divine,’ ‘Son of God,’ ‘God,’ and ‘God from God,’ whose titles were ‘Lord,’ ‘Redeemer,’ ‘Liberator,’ and ‘Saviour of the World.'” Who was that person? Most people who know the Western tradition would probably answer, unless alerted by thequestion’s too obviousness, Jesus of Nazareth.
And most Christians probably think that those titles were originally created and uniquely applied to Christ. But before Jesus ever existed, all those terms belonged to Caesar Augustus.”
-John Dominic Crossan (Prominent New Testament scholar/historian), God and Empire, 2007, p. 28
This is why some early Christians were persecuted, for they were seen as a political movement, as Marcus Borg puts it “In Paul’s world … Caesar was ‘Lord’ – and ‘Son of God,’ and the savior who had brought peace on earth. So when Paul and other early Christians proclaimed ‘Jesus is Lord’ (and the Son of God and the savior who brings true peace on earth), he and they were directly challenging Roman imperial theology and the imperial domination system that it legitimated.”