I'm talking about official Roman persecution by a governor with the power to put people to death and interrogate under torture, such as I think is implied by Mark 13.12-13:
"Mark 13.12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."
I don't get that impression from Mk. 13:12-13 but I suppose it is possible. To me it sounds more like what Josephus says about the Fourth Philosophic climate in Ant. 18.1.1 and War 2.13.3:
... there were also very great robberies and murder of our principal men ... murders of men, which sometimes fell on those of their own people ... the infection ... spread thence among the younger sort, who were zealous for it ...
... there sprang up another sort of robbers in Jerusalem, which were called Sicarii, who slew men in the day time, and in the midst of the city; this they did chiefly at the festivals, when they mingled themselves among the multitude, and concealed daggers under their garments, with which they stabbed those that were their enemies; and when any fell down dead, the murderers became a part of those that had indignation against them; by which means they appeared persons of such reputation, that they could by no means be discovered. The first man who was slain by them was Jonathan the high priest, after whose death many were slain every day ... the fear men were in of being so served was more afflicting than the calamity itself ... every body expected death every hour ...
Also, you skipped the explicit prediction of the destruction of the temple in Mark 13:1-2.
I see this as happening after the above signs, since 13:4 says, "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
I'm not talking about local persecution or even imprisonment by Roman authorities (perhaps on local complaints) but capital cases. Paul says he has been exposed to death again and again and that he's faced danger from various sources, including shipwreck. Are you taking this as evidence that Christians were brought up on capital charges and put do death by Roman governors in Paul's time? Does Paul mention that Christians who have actually been put to death by the Roman authorities? What would suggest a situation such as that described in Mark 13:12-13?
I see Paul's imprisonment and flogging and escape from Aretas as relating to Mk. 13:9-11 rather than to 13:12-13. So for me the latter has nothing to do with being "brought up on capital charges and put do death by Roman governors in Paul's time," but rather it refers to the Fourth Philosophic climate of murder that Josephus describes.
You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Paul does talk about various hardships, among which are being imprisoned and being flogged with forty lashes minus one (which is a judicial punishment based on Dt. 25:3: "but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes"). And Paul arguably wasn't the only Christian punished this way, since he says in 2 Cor. 11:22-23, "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently
, been flogged more severely
Ken wrote regarding James 2:6-7:
Again, any evidence of Christians being put to death here? (Actually, I'd want to see some evidence that this is a pre-70 text as well).
Well, not there, but I don't think it is necessary given my understanding of Mk. 13:12-13 above. However, James 5:6 does say, "You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you." And this seems in keeping with what Paul says in Gal. 1:13, that he had persecuted the church "intensely" and tried to "destroy" it before his conversion ("For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it").
And I don't think it can be proven that the Letter of James is pre-70 CE. It is only my opinion, which is based on the content of the letter and what we do know about it. That it was not cited until Origen does not seem like an issue to me, since I take James to be a Jewish Christian writing, one that, in any event, is addressed solely to Jewish Christians (unlike Paul's letters). That it is apparently very anti-Pauline may have also contributed to its late acceptance among the orthodox. And while it cannot be proven, I have the impression that prior to this Hegesippus was aware of the Letter of James. I think what he says is at least in keeping with what the letter says.
I come in from Memphis where I learned to talk the jive.