Preachers and liturgy planners will find The Cultural World of the Apostles a complementary companion to Pilch & Acirc's previous series The Cultural World of Jesus. Each essay offers brief historical and literary information on the New Testament reading assigned for the Sundays in the three-year Lectionary cycle. Suggestions for cross-cultural comparisons with Western culture and links with the gospel for each Sunday encourage readers to explore pastoral applications to modern life.
The principle that guided the architects of the Lectionary in selecting the second readings in the Sunday Lectionary was that the readings should be short and easily understood. The second readings were intended to be an independent, semi-continuous reading of the letters attributed to Paul and James, with selections from Peter and Revelation. Pilch explains that, because the readings were shortened, their brevity has deprived readers of sufficient context to interpret the text-segment in a responsible way. To help people make sense of such high-context documents, Pilch provides in The Cultural World of the Apostles a broader literary context for each reading.
John J, Pilch, PhD, teaches Scripture at Georgetown University. His book, The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible won The Catholic Press Association Award for 2000. His other The Liturgical Press publications include The Cultural World of Jesus series, The Triduum and Easter Sunday: Breaking Open the Scriptures, Choosing a Bible Translation, Galatians and Romans in The Collegeville Bible Commentary, and articles in The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, The Collegeville Pastoral Dictionary of Biblical Theology, and The Bible Today.