Extremely popular in its time, The Shepherd of Hermas is a second-century work often used for instruction of catechumens, and in fact, is widely regarded as scripture. In it Hermas, a rich freed slave whose wealth was not always lawfully obtained, undergoes and relates several visions (including one from an angel disguised as a shepherd), repents, and offers advice on Christian teaching and behavior. Comprehensive and careful, Carolyn Osiek’s is the only full-length commentary on “The Shepherd” in English. Hermas’ revelations afford us glimpses of religious imagination, social world, and moral ideals among early second-century Rome.
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Interested in more Hermeneia commentaries? Explore the series and watch the video here.
Carolyn Osiek is professor of New Testament at Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas. Her previous books include A Woman’s Place: House Churches in Early Christianity.