Faithlife Corporation

Business Hours

Monday – Saturday
6 AM – 6 PM PST
Local: 9:42 PM
Roman House Churches for Today: A Practical Guide for Small Groups
See inside
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

Roman House Churches for Today: A Practical Guide for Small Groups


Eerdmans 2007

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Placing the book of Romans in its historical and cultural context, Reta Halteman Finger creates a simulation of the Roman house churches that first heard Paul’s Romans letter and its call for inclusiveness among the people of God. In this unique text, Finger guides readers in small groups through a recreation of house churches as in first-century Rome. Based on the text of Romans, participants play various roles and converse, even debate, with other characters from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. This experiential approach makes Romans come alive in new, concrete ways—it provides fuller understanding of that early church environment for small groups and individuals, applying Romans theology to current issues that often still divide groups of Christians.

Roman House Churches for Today includes aids and suggestions for simulation leaders, sample character sketches, and website links with resources for further, deeper study. Not only small groups but also individuals will profit from this unique Bible study.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. 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.

Want similar titles? Check out Eerdmans New Testament Studies Collection for more!

Key Features

  • Places the book of Romans in its historical and cultural context
  • Guides readers through a recreation of house churches as in first-century Rome
  • Applies Romans theology to current issues


  • A Special Visit to Rome
  • Why Did Paul Write to the Roman Christians?
  • Establishing House Churches in Rome
  • Standing on the Bottom Rung: Hierarchy in Roman Society
  • Isis, Mithras, or Stoicism: Religions and Philosophies in Rome
  • Creating Characters and Reconstructing House Churches
  • Once upon a Time in a Faraway Land
  • Introducing Phoebe, Who Introduces Paul (Rom. 1:1-17 and 15:14–16:23)
  • A Gift for Everybody (Rom. 1–3)
  • An Example from the Scriptures (Rom. 4)
  • The Old Adam and the New Christ (Rom. 5–6)
  • Keeping the Rules Is a Trap! (Rom. 7)
  • The Christian’s Cloud Nine: The Paradox of Suffering and Glory (Rom. 8)
  • ell Us the Truth, Paul — Has the Word of God Failed? (Rom. 9–11)
  • Living in Love — Ethics for Christian Communities (Rom. 12–13)
  • How to Get Along When We Don’t Agree (Rom. 14:1–15:6)
  • Eating Together: A Roman Agape Meal (Rom. 15:7-13)

Praise for the Print Edition

The book is a delight to read and a joy to use in teaching, and I highly commend Finger for her imaginative, yet grounded, reconstruction of the first churches to read Romans.


It is rare to find original ideas, rigorous research, and contemporary application combined in one volume. This is exactly what Reta Halteman Finger has done, also including stimulating questions for individual or group study. I highly recommend this book for use in Bible studies, cell groups, house churches, base communities, and emerging churches—and for all who wish to align their gatherings more with the spirit and impact of the earliest Christian congregations.

Robert Banks, professor, Macquarie Christian Studies Institutey

The door is open! This book is an unusual and creative invitation to walk through it into a first-century Roman villa or tenement, and to sit there with other Jesus believers listening to Paul’s words. Join in a complete and tasty agape meal. Then walk back out into your own living room or classroom, and think through what Paul’s claims about good news for all, despite our differences, mean today. You’ll never participate in livelier or more challenging Bible study.

—Nancy R. Heisey, professor, Eastern Mennonite University

This study of Paul’s letter to the Romans takes a thoroughly innovative approach . . . Provides in accessible form a wealth of information about Rome and Paul’s letter.

Bible Today

Product Details

About Reta Halteman Finger

Reta Halteman Finger is assistant professor of New Testament at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.