Paul, Poverty and Survival
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 284
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.
'This is an important book; its central thesis should cause a considerable amount of rethinking. It draws on an abundance of primary evidence and on much recent work in ancient history.' David Horrell, Reviews in Religion and Theology 'Meggitt's basic conclusion, so richly furnished and so clearly discussed, seems to be broadly convincing. Many, I am sure, would be proud to have written a book of the quality of this one towards the end of their careers, let alone at the beginning.' James Carleton Paget, Journal of Theological Studies 'Books that shift the governing paradigms of New Testament interpretation are rare. This volume may be one. In it Justin Meggitt challenges assumptions about the economic and social conditions of the classical world in the first century of the common era which have held sway for at least two decades, uniting both Anglo-American and German New Testament scholars in a consensus which, if his case is correct, must be fundamentally flawed. Those wishing to take issue with [Meggitt's thesis] will be greatly assisted by the book's lucidity, the cogency of the argument and the meticulous scholarship with which it is buttressed.' Peter Hatton, Epworth Review