This social history of earliest Christianity radically re-evaluates both the methods and models of other studies. Justin Meggitt draws on the most recent research in classical studies on the economy and society of the Roman Empire. He examines the economic experiences of the Pauline churches, and locates Paul and the members of his communities within the context of the first century Roman economy. He explores their experiences of employment, nutrition and housing. He uncovers and describes the unique responses that they made to such a harsh environment. And he questions whether, from the outset, Christianity included a number of affluent individuals.A thoroughly researched and ground-breaking study.