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Roman Imperial Texts: A Sourcebook

ISBN: 9780800699116


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Useful for students, scholars, and everyday readers, this volume holds a wealth of resources that enhance your understanding of the early Roman Empire. Mark Reasoner’s careful selections, presented with introduction and commentary, offer crucial context for study of New Testament writings.

Roman Imperial Texts includes freshly translated public speeches, official inscriptions, annals, essays, poems, and documents of veiled protest from the Empire’s subject peoples. All texts and images come from the reigns of the emperors from Augustus to Hadrian (27 BC–AD 138), making them pertinent contemporaneous texts. These sources allow New Testament students to contextualize what they read, prompting them to consider how the texts relate to the Roman Empire and how Christian communities came to relate to the state.

As Reasoner notes in his introduction, “A look at the texts and images from the Roman Principate that are roughly contemporary with the New Testament allows one to understand with more precision how [New Testament] texts present Jesus as God’s Son, who brought good news for humanity, what functions the early churches reflected in the New Testament fulfilled and what challenges they experienced, and how the early Christians, as seen in the book of Revelation, experienced the expanding and tightening hold of Rome on their lives.”

In the Logos edition, this valuable volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

  • Compiles important Roman imperial texts
  • Includes a variety of source materials, from official inscriptions to poems
  • Prompts consideration of how New Testament texts relate to the Roman Empire
  • Part I
    • Introduction: Divine Sons and Their Gospels
    • Augustus
    • The Emperor: Source of Deified Virtues, Predestined Son of God
    • Tiberius
    • Caligula
    • Claudius
    • Nero
    • Year of the Four Emperors
    • Vespasian
    • Titus
    • Domitian
    • Trajan
    • Hadrian
    • Conclusion
  • Part II
    • Introduction: Identity in Community
    • Urbs
    • Collegium
    • Domus
  • Part III
    • Introduction: The Eternal City and Its Hold on the World
    • War
    • Commerce
    • Games
    • Emperors
    • Conclusion
  • Indexes
From Matthew to Revelation, the New Testament presents good news that can be adequately interpreted only in view of its setting in the Roman Empire. Scholars, students, and all readers of the New Testament are therefore in Mark Reasoner’s debt for preparing this first-rate collection of relevant Roman imperial sources, presented fairly with minimal interpretation. I trust it will receive wide circulation and use.

Michael J. Gorman, professor of sacred Scripture and dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and University

There is currently a great deal of debate about the ways in which the New Testament writers responded to the Roman Empire. To understand and assess the debate it is vital for students (and scholars!) to encounter at first hand the texts and artefacts that inform us about that imperial context. With extensive quotation of primary sources and well-informed commentary and explanation, Mark Reasoner has provided an excellent sourcebook to enable us to do just that. This is a very welcome resource.

David G. Horrell, professor of New Testament studies, University of Exeter

This book is a long-needed and essential tool for scholars, teachers, and students who explore the rise of Christianity from ‘the grandeur that was Rome.’ A helpful introduction explains the contested place of Roman Imperial sources in New Testament scholarship and argues persuasively that careful attention to sources such as these is an important, too often neglected, stimulus for assessing ways in which the New Testament ‘includes or omits’ Rome in its multiple frames of reference. The book is an especially welcome enhancement of the Roman sources collected in more general New Testament ‘backgrounds’ anthologies and will be as useful in the classroom as in the study.

—Alexandra Brown, Jessie Ball duPont Professor of Religion, Washington and Lee University

  • Title: Roman Imperial Texts: A Sourcebook
  • Author: Mark Reasoner
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 269

Mark Reasoner is associate professor of theology at Marion University, Indianapolis. He is the author of Romans in Full Circle: A History of Interpretation and The Strong and the Weak: Romans 14:1–15:13 in Context. He also cowrote Documents and Images for the Study of Paul with Neil Elliott.


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    Digital list price: $36.99
    Save $8.00 (21%)