Christian Origins and Greco-Roman Culture

Social and Literary Contexts for the New Testament


In Christian Origins and Greco-Roman Culture, Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts assemble an international team of scholars whose work has focused on reconstructing the social matrix for earliest Christianity through the use of Greco-Roman materials and literary forms. Each essay moves forward the current understanding of how primitive Christianity situated itself in relation to evolving Hellenistic culture. Some essays focus on configuring the social context for the origins of the Jesus movement and beyond, while others assess the literary relation between early Christian and Greco-Roman texts.

E-Book List price

EUR €241.00USD $313.00

Biographical Note

Stanley E. Porter, Ph.D. (1988), University of Sheffield, is President and Dean, and Professor of New Testament, at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has published numerous monographs, edited volumes, and articles in the field of New Testament studies and related disciplines, including Hermeneutics: An Introduction to Interpretive Theory (2011).

Andrew W. Pitts is a Ph.D. candidate in Christian Theology at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and has published articles in journals such as JBL, JGRChJ and CBR, as well as a number of chapters in edited volumes.

Review Quotes

... readers are given a master-class in the use of texts from Greco-Roman and Hellenistic Jewish sources to enrich the understanding of the emergence of Christianity.

Paul Foster, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, Expository Times 126/6, March 2015

Table of contents

1. Greco-Roman Culture in the History of New Testament Interpretation: An Introductory Essay.
Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts

2. Manuscripts, Scribes, and Book Production within Early Christianity.
Michael J. Kruger

3. What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? Reconstructing Early Christianity from its Manuscripts.
Stanley E. Porter

4. Recent Efforts to Reconstruct Early Christianity on the Basis of its Papyrological Evidence.
Stanley E. Porter

5. Jesus and Parallel Jewish and Greco-Roman Figures.
Craig S. Keener

6. The Exorcisms and Healings of Jesus within Classical Culture.
Tony Costa

7. Cash and Release: Atonement and Release from Oppression in the Imperial Context of Luke’s Gospel.
Matthew Forrest Lowe

8. Luke and Juvenal at the Crossroads: Space, Movement, and Morality in the Roman Empire.
Osman Umurhan and Todd Penner

9. Jesus, the Beloved Disciple, and Greco-Roman Friendship Conventions.
Ronald F. Hock

10. The Imitation of the “Great Man” in Antiquity: Paul’s Inversion of a Cultural Icon.
James R. Harrison

11. Ephesians: Paul’s Political Theology in Greco-Roman Political Context.
Fredrick J. Long

12. Exiles, Islands, and the Identity and Perspective of John in Revelation.
Brian Mark Rapske

13. Source Citation in Greek Historiography and in Luke(-Acts).
Andrew W. Pitts

14. Ancient Greek History and its Methodology for Speeches: Is There a Relation to Luke?
Sean A. Adams

15. Luke as a Hellenistic Historian.
Paul L. Maier

16. The Genre of the Fourth Gospel and Greco-Roman Literary Conventions.
Andreas J. Köstenberger

17. Classical Greek Poetry and the Acts of the Apostles: Imitations of Euripides’ Bacchae.
Dennis R. MacDonald

18. Prescripts and Greco-Roman Epistolary Conventions.
E. Randolph Richards

19. Letter Openings in Paul and Plato.
James Starr

20. Progymnasmatic Love.
R. Dean Anderson

21. “This Is A Great Metaphor!” Reciprocity in the Ephesians Household Code.
Cynthia Long Westfall

22. Turning Κεϕαλή on its Head: The Rhetoric of Reversal in Ephesians 5:21-33.
Michelle Lee-Barnewell

23. Frank Speech at Work in Hebrews.
Benjamin Fiore, S.J.

24. The Strategic Arousal of Emotions in the Apocalypse of John (Part I): A Rhetorical-Critical Investigation of the Oracles to the Seven Churches.
David A. deSilva

25. The Didache as a Christian Enchiridion.
William Varner

26. The Classroom in the Text: Exegetical Practices in Justin and Galen.
H. Gregory Snyder


All interested in Christian origins, Greco-Roman history, early Christianity, social description of New Testament literature and the intersection of any of these.

Index Card

Collection Information