Paul's epistle to Philemon is one of the shortest books in the entire Bible, and it certainly leaves plenty to the imagination. From the pen of an accomplished New Testament scholar, this vivid historical fiction account follows the slave Onesimus, fleshing out the lived context of first-century Ephesus and providing a social and theological critique of slavery in the Roman empire.
Who was Priscilla? Ben Witherington combines biblical scholarship and winsome storytelling to give readers a vivid picture of this important New Testament woman. In this work of historical fiction, Priscilla's story makes the first-century biblical world come alive as she looks back on her long life and remembers the ways she has participated in the early church.
Around 56 AD, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. He entrusted this letter to Phoebe, whom he describes as the deacon of the church at Cenchreae and a patron of many. But who was this remarkable woman? Biblical scholar and popular author and speaker Paula Gooder imagines Phoebe's story—who she was, the life she lived, and her first-century faith—and in doing so opens up Paul's world.
From the overcrowded apartment buildings of the poor to the halls of the emperors, this gripping tale of ambition, intrigue, and sacrifice is a compelling work of historical fiction that shows us the first-century Roman church as we've never seen it before. 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.
Did Mark write his Gospel in response to Roman imperial propaganda surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem? Adam Winn helps us rediscover how Mark might have been read by Christians in Rome during the aftermath of this cataclysmic event. He introduces us to the imperial propaganda of the Flavian emperors and excavates the Markan text for themes that address the Roman imperial setting.
We know that the earliest Christians sang hymns. But are some of these early Christian hymns preserved for us in the New Testament? Matthew Gordley takes a new look at didactic hymns in the Greco-Roman and Jewish world of the early church, considering how they might function in the New Testament and what they could tell us about early Christian worship.
Thomas C. Oden reaches back to the earliest days of Christianity to uncover a fertile North African community nearly lost to posterity. Set against this vibrant scene in Libya, well known figures like Tertullian and Sabellius are seen in a new light while lesser known martyrs and bishops find their rightful place in Christian history.
It's AD 70, and Jerusalem is falling to the Romans, its temple being destroyed. As Jews and Christians try to escape the city, we travel with some of them through an imagined week of flight and faith. In this imaginative and entertaining narrative, Ben Witherington leads us behind the veil of centuries to experience the historical and social realities of this epochal event.
This volume brings together respected biblical scholars to evaluate the turn toward "empire criticism" in recent New Testament scholarship. While praising the movement for its deconstruction of Roman statecraft and ideology, the contributors also provide a salient critique of the anti-imperialist rhetoric pervading much of the current literature.
Laurie Guy provides an illuminating, broad-brush survey of the early church in its first four centuries. Readers get to witness the emergence of Great Tradition Christianity as themes unfold over time regarding women, persecution and martyrdom, asceticism and monasticism, eucharist and baptism, doctrine and the ecumenical councils.
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