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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus
Hoag, Gary G.

Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015 pp. xii + 258. $49.50

Series Information
Bulletin for Biblical Research, Supplements, 11

Description: Scholars are divided in their views about the teachings on riches in 1 Timothy. Evidence that has been largely overlooked in NT scholarship appears in Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus and suggests that the topic be revisited. Recently dated to the mid-first century C.E., Ephesiaca brings to life what is known from ancient sources about the social setting and cultural rules of the wealthy in Ephesus and provides details that enhance our knowledge of life and society in that place and time. In this volume, Hoag introduces Ephesiaca and employs a socio-rhetorical methodology to explore it alongside other ancient evidence and five passages in 1 Timothy (2:9-15; 3:1-13; 6:1-2a; 6:2b-10; and 6:17-19). His findings augment our modern conception of the Sitz im Leben of the wealthy in Ephesus. Additionally, because Ephesiaca contains some rare terms and themes that are found in 1 Timothy, this groundbreaking research offers fresh insight for biblical reading and interpretation.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Deutero-Pauline Epistles, 1 Timothy, Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by Susana de Sola Funsten
Published 1/5/2017
Citation: Susana de Sola Funsten, review of Gary G. Hoag, Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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