Peter Oakes has long been recognized for his illuminating use of Greco-Roman material culture and social-scientific criticism to interpret the New Testament. This volume combines his best work in a single volume and introduces a substantial new essay that challenges current scholarly approaches to paradoxical teachings of the New Testament.
Of special interest to Oakes throughout this book is the concrete impact of economic realities and Roman imperialism on first-century Christian communities meeting in house churches. To address this, Oakes considers an array of textual and archaeological resources from first-century non-elite life, including extensive archaeological evidence available from Pompeii. Readers will find here a deep trove of wisdom for understanding the New Testament in the context of the Greco-Roman world.