The first Christians were weird. Within Roman society, they stood out for the oddness of their beliefs and practices. A New Testament teacher traces the emerging Christian faith against its Roman context to offer today’s believers encouragement and hope.
The first Christians were weird. Just how weird is often lost on today’s believers.
Within Roman society, the earliest Christians stood out for the oddness of their beliefs and practices. They believed unusual things, worshiped God in strange ways, and lived a unique lifestyle. They practiced a whole new way of thinking about and doing religion that would have been seen as bizarre and dangerous when compared to Roman religion and most other religions of the ancient world.
Award-winning author, blogger, speaker, and New Testament teacher Nijay Gupta traces the emerging Christian faith in its Roman context in this accessible and engaging book. Christianity would have been seen as radical in the Roman world, but some found this new religion attractive and compelling. The first Christians dared to be different, pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable, transformed how people thought about religion, and started a movement that grew like wildfire.
Brought to life with numerous images, this book shows how the example of the earliest Christians can offer today’s believers encouragement and hope.
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Nijay K. Gupta (PhD, University of Durham) is Associate Professor of New Testament at Portland Seminary, George Fox University, Oregon, and author of Worship that Makes Sense to Paul: A New Approach to the Theology and Ethics of Paul’s Cultic Metaphors (BZNW 175; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010), Colossians (Smyth & Helwys Biblical Commentary; Macon: Helwys, 2013), and 1-2 Thessalonians (New Covenant Commentary Series; Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2016). He is co-editor of The State of New Testament Studies (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2019), and co-editor of a planned second edition of the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press).