Background becomes foreground in Moyer Hubbard’s creative introduction to the social and historical setting of the Apostle Paul’s letters to the churches in Asia Minor and Europe.
Hubbard begins each major section with a brief narrative that features a fictional character in one of the era’s great cities. He elaborates on the various cultural aspects of the setting portrayed in the vignettes, and discusses the implications of those venues for understanding Paul’s letters and applying their message to our present lives. Addressing a wide array of cultural and traditional issues, Hubbard covers:
This work is based on the premise that the better you understand the historical and social context in which the New Testament—and like Paul’s letters—was written, the better you will understand the writings of the New Testament themselves. Passages become clearer, metaphors are deciphered, and images are sharpened. Teachers, students, and laypeople alike will appreciate Hubbard’s unique, illuminating, and well-researched approach to the world of the early church.
The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.
Hubbard uses imaginative stories to present various aspects of life in the Greco-Roman world, followed by discussion of key issues.
An excellent introduction to the Greco-Roman world that uses insights from the ancient Mediterranean cultural milieu to interpret the New Testament. . . . Christianity in the Greco-Roman World would be a good text to use in any introductory course on the New Testament and its social world, both on the undergraduate and graduate levels.
—Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
The author has a wide-ranging knowledge of the field, and this book includes several good features, such as the inclusion of numerous citations from a range of primary sources (both literary and non-literary). Given that many undergraduate students have very little familiarity with the Graeco-Roman world, the descriptions found here of important aspects of it . . . will be very illuminating, especially as these are connected directly to relevant New Testament passages.
—Journal for the Study of the New Testament
While there is no substitute for reading primary source materials, Hubbard’s work brings readers close to the originals. Suggestions are given at the end of every main section for further reading in primary and secondary source materials. Hubbard is to be commended for the extensive amount of research behind this work. Numerous quotations help give readers a glimpse of how people in the Greco-Roman world thought and lived, and the effect the gospel had on those social norms. . . . Blending narrative and prose keeps the readers’ attention and it makes the Greco-Roman world come alive.
Much of the Christian world lacks sufficient awareness of the wider context in which the figures of the New Testament moved. Moyer Hubbard . . . addresses this need in his book . . . targeting undergraduate-level readers and working expositors. There is much to praise about Hubbard’s effort. . . . This work is a well-written narrative, well organized and thoroughly indexed enough to remain a useful reference.
[An] evocative work. . . . Hubbard begins each chapter with a fictional narrative based on a name found on an ancient inscription. . . . These sections will appeal to the postmodern penchant for story-telling and do provide a glimpse into a world completely foreign to the modern reader. . . . The vast array of inscriptions included throughout the pages of this work is invaluable. . . . This single feature makes this monograph useful to the undergraduate student looking for a general understanding of first-century life in the Greco-Roman world. . . . This book is a valuable tool for the student of the Bible or general interest reader who wishes to better understand the prevailing cultural influences as the church came into existence and began to grow in the first century.
—Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism
Moyer V. Hubbard received a BS from Multnomah Bible College, a ThM and MDiv from Western Seminary, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He is an associate professor of New Testament language and literature at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. Hubbard is the author of New Creation in Paul’s Letters and Thought and of a commentary on 2 Corinthians.