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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The First Christians in the Roman World: Augustan and New Testament Essays
Judge, E. A.

TŁbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008 pp. xix + 786. Ä149.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 229

Description: E.A. Judge's collection of Augustan and New Testament essays explores the intersection of the social practices of the first Christians in the eastern Mediterranean basin with the Roman world. In the first part of the collection, Judge examines the Augustan principate against the competitive culture of the republican noble houses. Because of the unparalleled ascendancy of the Julian house, Augustus progressively acquired an eschatological aura as a ruler. The imperial propaganda emphasized more his status than his official rank and presented him as the culmination of the famous republican houses, replenishing their leadership with new blood. These historical studies on Augustus and his times are invaluable not only for ancient historians but also for New Testament scholars wishing to situate Paul's letters in their Julio-Claudian context. The remainder of the collection is devoted to the collisions and social perceptions that emerged as the first Christians encountered their Jewish, Roman and Greek neighbours in various situations. Tensions and misunderstandings were inevitable because of the distinctive ethos of the first believers, the 'novelty' of their beliefs and practices, and the transformative impact of the house churches upon contemporary educational ideals and social relations.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins

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Review by Everett Ferguson
Published 5/22/2010
Citation: Everett Ferguson, review of E. A. Judge, The First Christians in the Roman World: Augustan and New Testament Essays, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2010).

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