978-0-8028-2434-9 / 9780802824349

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About the book:

This wide-ranging new six-volume series presents the results of interdisciplinary research between New Testament Jewish, and classical scholarship. Working to place the Book of Acts within its first-century setting, well-known historians and biblical scholars from Australia, the United States, Canada, Russia, and the United Kingdom have collaborated here to provide a stimulating new study that replaces older studies on Acts, including aspects of The Beginnings of Christianity. Starting with the understanding that the Book of Acts is rooted within the setting of the peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean in the first century A.D., this comprehensive series provides a multifaceted approach to the Acts of the Apostles in its literary, regional, cultural, ideological, and theological contexts. The composition of Acts is discussed beside the writing of ancient literary monographs and intellectual biographies. Recent epigraphic and papyrological discoveries also help illumine the text of Acts. Archaeological fieldwork, especially in Greece and Asia Minor, has yielded valuable information about the local setting of Acts and the religious life of urban communities in the Roman Empire. These volumes draw on the best of this research to elucidate the Book of Acts against the background of activity in which early Christianity was born. The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting, the second volume in this groundbreaking series, describes the geographical, social, and cultural milieus of the Roman Empire that form the backdrop for the Book of Acts. Eight chapters provide a comprehensive overview of the provinces and regions within which the early church fought for a foothold. Seven chaptersoffer thorough analyses of key social and cultural issues in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, including such topics as travel and maritime transport, the Roman roads of Asia, food shortages, Roman religion, urban elites, and the house churches in which the first Christian

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