Ben Witherington III attempts to re-enchant your reading of Paul in this creative reconstruction of ancient Corinth. Following a fictitious Corinthian man named Nicanor through an eventful week of business dealings and conflict, you’ll encounter life at various levels of Roman society—eventually meeting Paul himself and gaining entrance into the Christian community there. The result is an unforgettable introduction to life in a major center of the New Testament world. Numerous full-page text boxes expand on a variety of aspects of life and culture as you encounter them in the narrative.
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Ben Witherington III, a good creative writer and accomplished NT scholar, has given us a treat in his short novel A Week in the Life of Corinth. Rather than providing a list of facts about life and culture in NT times, Witherington has composed an interesting story in which we can see and learn this information along the way. This will be a fun way to enhance our understanding of the world in which the NT takes place—and it would be helpful for preachers to read some good fiction along the way!
This very readable—indeed, gripping—book gives us an imaginative insight into the Greco-Roman world of Paul’s mission to Corinth. The details of everyday life for Paul and those he met are set in their historical context by an expert scholar who knows the New Testament and its background very well. I recommend it to all who want to understand the setting in which early Christianity grew and flourished.
—Alanna Nobbs, professor of ancient history, Macquarie University
If you want to know what it would have been like to live in ancient Corinth, spend a week in the life of a freedman, traverse the olive groves and cobblestone streets, survive the cutthroat politics of a Greek city, encounter pagan priestesses and converse with a Jewish tentmaker named ‘Paulos,’ then Ben Witherington has written the book for you. This short novella, with pictures and explanations of customs in ancient Corinth, provides a window into the world of Paul’s Corinthian letters. Witherington creatively brings the setting of Paul’s Corinthian ministry to life with historical rigor and narrative artistry. Witherington brings to us the sights, smells, sounds and culture of Corinth as the apostle Paul knew it.
—Michael F. Bird, Crossway College, Australia
This imaginative narrative brings the New Testament world to life by following the freedman Nicanor around ancient Corinth, relating his encounters with religion, gladiators, politics, domestic life and the nascent Christian movement (including several biblical characters). Though it may not solve all the riddles of the Corinthian correspondence, here is an engaging and informative introduction to Corinth and the wider cultural context of the first-century Roman Empire.
—Brandon D. Crowe, assistant professor of New Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary
This book provides a uniquely enjoyable way to learn about ancient culture and Paul’s mission in Corinth by immersion. Although I found the story delightful and intriguing, I could also see behind it careful research on a large array of details.
—Craig Keener, professor of New Testament at Palmer Theological Seminary
Whether you’re well acquainted with Paul’s letters to the Corinthian church or are encountering them for the first time, this book will bring the biblical text to life.
—Bible Study Magazine
Ben Witherington III (PhD, Durham University) is Amos Professor for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, and is on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University, Scotland. Witherington has twice won the Christianity Today best Biblical Studies book-of-the-year award, and his many books include We Have Seen His Glory: A Vision of Kingdom Worship and socio-rhetorical commentaries on Mark, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and 1 and 2 Thessalonians.