Combining carefully researched material with acute analysis and presented in an engaging popular style for a non-academic readership, this guide explores how the Roman world formed the essential social and cultural backdrop to the emergence of the Christian movement and how that has in turn deeply influenced the world we live in today. The guide explores the early Christians' day-to-day activities-such as where they lived, what they ate, the kind of work they did, and how they spent their time off-as well as their social relationships to the world, themselves, and the gods. Through this exploration, it explains how a marginalized, oppressed Jewish renewal group became one of the fastest-growing urban movements of the first century and became the dominant social, intellectual, and cultural influence throughout the Roman Empire within 300 years.
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Customer Reviews for The World of the Early Church: A Social History
Review 1 for The World of the Early Church: A Social History
"The World of the Early Church" provides the social background information that will help you more fully understand the New Testament--mainly Acts and the letters to the churches. The author explained a lot of interesting information in an easy-to-understand way. He also did an excellent job of giving us a balanced view of what life was probably like while also acknowledging the various views out there.
He used archaeological findings and writings from the time to help explain what life was like, and he quoted some of the Roman writers on what life was like from their viewpoint. The text was illustrated with interesting full-color pictures of archeological finds and remains of ancient buildings, paintings, illustrations, reconstructions, and more.
The author also referred to passages in the New Testament that can be confusing and explained how the social context of the time helps to make sense of it. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book. I'm very impressed by it, enjoyed reading it, and plan to immediately read through it again.
Topics covered: city life, homes, work, food/eating, entertainment, social position, the family, Roman religion, and more.
I received this book as a review copy from Kregel.