A Week in the Life of Rome, By James L. Papandrea alt
A Week in the Life of Rome
  • Length: 223 pages
  • Published: February 19, 2019
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 7261
  • ISBN: 9780830872619

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In first-century Rome, following Jesus comes at a tremendous social cost.

An urbane Roman landowner and merchant is intrigued by the Christian faith—but is he willing to give up his status and lifestyle to join the church? Meanwhile his young client, a catechumen in the church at Rome, is beginning to see just how much his newfound faith will require of him.

A Week in the Life of Rome is a cross section of ancient Roman society, from the overcrowded apartment buildings of the poor to the halls of the emperors. Against this rich backdrop, illuminated with images and explanatory sidebars, we are invited into the daily struggles of the church at Rome just a few years before Paul wrote his famous epistle to them. A gripping tale of ambition, intrigue, and sacrifice, James Papandrea's novel is a compelling work of historical fiction that shows us the first-century Roman church as we've never seen it before.

"A marvelous read!"

Rodney Stark, codirector, Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University

"Jim Papandrea has done it again. An eminent scholar and theologian of the church fathers, who has also written about Christianity in popular cinema, blends his love of history with his passion for narrative tales. This unique work punctuates a wonderful fictional story with pithy lessons about the life of early Christians. Dr. Papandrea's style makes this a great read for anyone from age twelve to 112. Bravo!"

Anthony Gill, author of The Political Origins of Religious Liberty

"James L. Papandrea's imaginative narrative builds on a substantial amount of strong historical scholarship, yet it is presented in a fresh and unique way. Contemporary readers will sense both continuity and discontinuity between the earliest church and their own lives. When looking back at first-century Christians in Rome, current practices of the faith amid modern cultural challenges appear both familiar and strange at the same time. One does not need to agree with every aspect of Papandrea's imaginative narrative to benefit greatly from his historical recreation. I occasionally teach a course in Rome and this is now a required textbook; any Christian visiting this great city should read this book before they go!"

Kelly M. Kapic, professor of theological studies, Covenant College


The Main Characters
1 The Day of the Moon
2 The Day of Mars
3 The Day of Mercury
4 The Day of Jupiter
5 The Day of Venus
6 The Day of Saturn
7 The Day of the Sun
Map of First-Century Rome


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James L. Papandrea

James L. Papandrea (PhD, Northwestern University) is a teacher, author, speaker, and musician. He is professor of church history and historical theology at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary at Northwestern University, as well as a consultant in the area of adult faith formation and a regular speaker in parish and lay formation programs in the Chicago area. He is the author of The Earliest Christologies, The Trinitarian Theology of Novatian of Rome, and Reading the Early Church Fathers. Also a published songwriter, professional musician, and teacher of songwriting, Papandrea has written and arranged music for church choirs and has written two musicals.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in music and theatre arts, Papandrea received his MDiv degree from Fuller Theological Seminary with a concentration in youth ministry, then spent several years in full time youth and music ministry. He went on to receive a PhD in the history and theology of the early Christian church from Northwestern University, with secondary concentrations in New Testament interpretation and the history of the Roman Empire. He has also studied Roman history at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. Papandrea is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the North American Patristics Society, and the Catholic Association of Music.

When he's not teaching or performing music, he can be found traveling with his wife, Susie, taking photographs, and making pilgrimages to places like Rome and Assisi.