Hadrian explains that, if Christians are found guilty, after an examination, they should be judged “according to the heinousness of the crime.” Yet, if the accusers were only slandering the believers, then those who inaccurately made the charges were to be punished.^37

From Hadrian’s letter we again ascertain: (1)that Christians were frequently reported as lawbreakers in Asia and were punished in various ways. (2)Like Trajan, Hadrian also encouraged a certain amount of temperance, and ordered that Christians not be harassed. (3)If Christians were indeed guilty, as indicated by careful examination, punishments could well be in order. (4)However, no undocumented charges were to be brought against believers and those engaged in such were to be punished themselves.