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The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era: Exploring the Background of Early Christianity [Paperback]

By James S. Jeffers (Author)
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Item description for The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era: Exploring the Background of Early Christianity by James S. Jeffers...

Jeffers opens the narrative of Scripture and tours everyday Greco-Roman life. Advancing understanding of the New Testament and early Christianity, he treats class and status, family and community, work and leisure, religion and organization, city and country, law and government, death and taxes, and epochal events of Roman history. Includes photos and illustrations.

Publishers Description
What was life like for first-century Christians? Imagine a modest-sized Roman home of a well-to-do Christian household wedged into a thickly settled quarter of Corinth. In the lingering light of a summer evening, men, women and children, merchants, working poor and slaves, a mix of races and backgrounds have assembled in the dimly lit main room are are spilling into the central courtyard. This odd assortment of gathered believers--some thirty in number--are attentive as the newly arrived and travel-weary emissary from Paul reads from the papyrus scroll he has brought from their apostolic mentor. But if you were to be transported to this scene you would perhaps be overwhelmed by a flood of unexpected difference. The voice of the reader recedes as through open windows the din and clamor of the city assault your ears. Hooves clunk and cart wheels grind and echo from the street while drivers shout, vendors call and neighbors gather and converse. And later, as you accompany a family through darkened and dangerous streets to their third-story tenement apartment, you might try to mask your shock at the cramped and unsafe conditions. InThe Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era James Jeffers provides an informative and scenic tour of daily life during the time of Jesus and the apostles. He affords "you-are-there" glimpses of everything from legal codes to dinner foods, from social hierarchy to apartment living, from education to family dynamics. His eye-opening book will advance your understanding of the New Testament and early Christianity and enrich your reading and application of the Bible.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: InterVarsity Press
Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 7, 1999
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830815899  
ISBN13  9780830815890  

Availability  0 units.

More About James S. Jeffers

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jeffers is Associate Professor in the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University and teaches ancient history at California State University-Dominguez Hills.

James S. Jeffers currently resides in the state of California. James S. Jeffers was born in 1956.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > New Testament Studies > New Testament Introduction

Reviews - What do customers think about The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era: Exploring the Background of Early Christianity?

Shallow Reading  Mar 23, 2007
This book was very shallow and too general. Didn't go in depth at all.
Interesting, easy to read illumination of the culture.  Aug 10, 2006
This is the most wonderful book to supplement and tie ancient Roman and Greek culture to the roots of the early Christian church. I have used it to give my middle school students a greater understanding not only of the New Testament Scriptures, but a cohesive picture of the ancient world as the forces of government ebbed and flowed into the lives of the early Christians and Jews.
Wonderful book about wonderful world  Aug 3, 2006
To understand the biblical world is important if we want to be more familiar with our Bible. But the problem is often, if not all, books about New Testament Background is not written for Christians in general. Most of them are dry or very dry to read. This one is a rare exception. You will be driven to read it from start to finish as soon as possible because EVERY chapter is ranged from good to very good, from interesting to very interesting.

If you want to have the most encyclopedic book about New Testament World what you must buy is Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 3rd ed. by Everett Ferguson. But for the rest of us, this book is the best option.
Excellent book! An easy, pleasant read!  Feb 24, 2006
This is wonderful book whether the reader is a New Testament scholar or an average lay person desiring to know more about the workings of the world during the new testament era.
A Gem for the Ages  Aug 7, 2001
As a person just starting my own exploration of the early history of the Christian Church, I found this book an absolute joy to read. Mr. Jeffers is a historical author of the highest order.

As a history major in college, I found that the greatest historians were the ones who could pull together complex themes, ideas, and stories into an approachable tome. Mr. Jeffers has done all that and more. He kindly places New Testament references in the body of his text to highlight the point he is referring to.

The effect of his writing is to give the New Testament a more "three dimensional" feel. No longer is Paul's admonition in I Corinthians 16:15-18 simply about treating a fellow named Stephanas with more respect. It is about the Church showing more appreciation for all their patron - Stephanas - has done for them. This guy wasn't just an average schmoe; he was the money guy who opened his house up for the organization.

When Paul writes to the Philippians that they are citizens of Heaven living in a foreign country, the people he is writing to know EXACTLY what he is talking about. They know the benefits of Roman citizenship (which they have been denied), and the hardships of living as foreigners inside Rome. Gems like these are laced all througout the book

Jeffers also does a tremendous job at explaining Roman governance. I now understand that the Roman Senate wasn't anything other than a group of really really rich guys who pulled the strings of the government that they set up.

It was especially gratifying to read about how certain societal customs became the undoing of the Republic, and the key to the emergence of the Empire. In fact, if I could offer any advice to a reader, I might suggest reading Appendix A right after the first chapter.

It is Appendix A that connects the dots in all that I have read. Jeffers explains (in broad terms) the rise of the Republic, the Republic as conqueror, the fall of the Republic, and the Rise of the Caesar. It was, to me, the most gripping part of the book. So many of the names, wars, events, and legends that I had bouncing around my head like pin balls, came together in one unified story. It was thoroughly enlightening.

I can tell you that The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament will be a reference book for me as long as I live.


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