Products>Mobile Ed: NT201 The Cultural World of the New Testament (6 hour course - audio)

Mobile Ed: NT201 The Cultural World of the New Testament (6 hour course - audio)


Join Dr. David deSilva as he describes important cultural concepts from the first century and shows how these concepts shed light on the New Testament. Learn why the author of 1 Peter spoke to the shame Christians were experiencing, and what cultural norms they had to fight against as they sought to follow Christ. Discover how grace and gratitude were viewed differently than they are today. Learn what purity meant for Jews, how patronage and reciprocity impacted everyday decisions, how families and households operated, and more. Dr. deSilva pulls from a variety of sources to explain these concepts and uses the books of Hebrews and 1 Peter to illustrate them.

This course will give you a better understanding of the environment early Christians were in as they broke the rules of society for the sake of the gospel.

This is the audio only version of NT201 The Cultural World of the New Testament. To purchase the full course, click here.

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: Honor and Shame

  • Introduction to Culture
  • Honor, Shame, and Social Control
  • Honor and Shame in Complex Cultures
  • Competing for Honor

Unit 2: Honor and Shame: 1 Peter

  • The Experience of Shame
  • Consider the Source
  • Who’s on Trial Here?
  • Reinterpreting Experiences of Shame (Part 1)
  • Reinterpreting Experiences of Shame (Part 2)
  • Defending Your Honor
  • Using a Historical Background Collection
  • Honored in God’s Sight
  • The Social Matrix of Perseverance
  • Embodying 1 Peter

Unit 3: Patronage and Reciprocity

  • Patrons, Clients, and Brokers
  • The Social Context of Grace
  • Running a Louw-Nida Search on Charis
  • Graceful Giving
  • Graceful Receiving and Expression of Gratitude
  • An Example from the Life of Jesus

Unit 4: Patronage and Reciprocity: Hebrews

  • God as Patron
  • Jesus as Patron and Mediator
  • The Letter to the Hebrews and Its Audience
  • Summons to Grateful Response
  • Warnings against Ingratitude (Part 1)
  • Warnings against Ingratitude (Part 2)
  • Cultural Awareness and Solving Theological Problems

Unit 5: Family and Household

  • Establishing Kinship
  • Kinship Ethics
  • The Household of the Classical World
  • Women in the Household
  • Studying Sirach on the Silent Wife
  • Children
  • Analyzing Parentage and Honor (John 8:31–41)
  • Slaves
  • Reconfiguring Kinship
  • Searching for the Cultural Concept of Kinship

Unit 6: Family and Household: 1 Peter

  • New Birth into a New Family
  • Ethical Implications of the New Birth
  • Advice for Christians in Natural Households: Wives
  • Advice for Christians in Natural Households: Husbands
  • Advice for Christians in Natural Households: Slaves

Unit 7: Purity and Pollution

  • Basic Concepts
  • Clean, Unclean, Common, and Holy
  • Early Judaism’s Purity Maps (Part 1)
  • Investigating Herod's Temple
  • Early Judaism’s Purity Maps (Part 2)
  • What Makes Purity Codes Meaningful?
  • Levels of Concern for Purity

Unit 8: Purity and Pollution: Hebrews

  • Purity Regulations in a Pauline Church
  • Purity and New Group Boundaries
  • Rewriting Maps of Sacred Space and Personnel
  • Jesus’ Death as Consecration
  • Reexamining Purity Lines Today
  • Building a Sermon on Defilement (Mark 7:20–23)


  • Authentic Hearing, Authentic Following

Product Details

About David A. deSilva

Dr. David A. deSilva is the trustees’ distinguished professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio, where he’s taught since 1995. He’s written over 20 books in the areas of New Testament and Second Temple Judaism and is a leading expert on the cultural world of the New Testament.