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Remember the Poor: Paul, Poverty, and the Greco-Roman World
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Remember the Poor: Paul, Poverty, and the Greco-Roman World


Eerdmans 2010

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Many scholars engaged in exploring the economic dimensions of early Christianity simply don’t bother with Paul, mistakenly believing that he had little regard for the poor and that his theological deliberations therefore have little relevance to studies of wealth and poverty in the Greco-Roman world. In Remember the Poor, Bruce Longenecker counters this view, arguing persuasively that care for the impoverished was integral to Paul’s teaching and standard practice in the Jesus-groups that he founded.

Longenecker sets out a robust “economy scale” for urban Greco-Roman society, using his in-depth analysis of poverty in the first century as the backdrop for a compelling presentation which integrates economics, history, exegesis, and theology. Questioning a number of established interpretive paradigms, Longenecker offers a fresh vision in which Paul’s convictions regarding care for the poor are shown to be historically significant and theologically challenging.

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

Key Features

  • Argues that care for the poor was integral to Paul’s teaching
  • Focuses on an in-depth analysis of poverty in the first century
  • Discusses wealth and poverty in the Greco-Roman world


  • “I am not ashamed of the gospel” Paul’s Alleged Disregard for the Poor
  • “You have dishonored the poor man” Advanced Agrarianism and Elite Acquisitiveness
  • “The least of these” Scaling Poverty in the Greco-Roman World
  • “When did we see you hungry?” Charitable Initiatives in the Greco-Roman World
  • “Good news to the poor” Judeo-Christian Theological Traditions
  • “Do good to all” Care for the Poor in Paul’s Communities
  • “Remember the poor” Interpretive Paradigms in Conflict
  • “They added nothing” The Poor in the Mission of the Early Jesus-movement
  • “Fulfill the law of Christ” The Poor in the Rhetoric of Galatians
  • “Not many of you were of noble birth” Economic Profiles within Paul’s Communities
  • “You would have plucked out your eyes” The Economic Attractions of Paul’s Communities
  • “There were none in need” Care for the Poor in Paul’s Theology
  • “Content with whatever I have” The Poor in the Life of Paul

Praise for the Print Edition

This important book reveals an economic dimension of Paul’s gospel that has only rarely been identified and never expounded so fully and convincingly. It also builds up a realistic picture of the way that care for the poor was embodied in the life of the communities Paul founded. Longenecker’s well-informed and careful arguments deserve wide attention.

Richard Bauckham, professor of New Testament studies, St. Mary’s College

Product Details

About Bruce W. Longenecker

Bruce W. Longenecker is professor of religion and holds the W. W. Melton Chair at Baylor University. His books include Rhetoric at the Boundaries, The Lost Letters of Pergamum, and Engaging Economics: New Testament Scenarios and Early Christian Reception.