The Bottom Line
James S. Jeffers' exploration of the background of early Christianity in The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era, provides a comprehensive look at social realities of life for the average person of the early Christian era in the Greco-Roman world.
- Easy to read
- Deals not just with the nobles, but with the lower classes.
- Limited references for questionable statements.
- Describes how people made money, with a focus on the crafts of the apostles.
- Shows social status in the Empire and why someone might want to sell himself into slavery.
- Compares Jewish views on marriage with Greco-Roman, including bigamy and divorce.
- Describes the provinces of the period and the major cities within them.
- Discusses the history of Judea as a province of the Roman Empire.
- Maps of Palestine, Paul's journeys, the location of Roman legions, the provinces and major cities.
- Relevant quotations, both biblical and secular start each chapter.
- Jeffers provides for the late Greco-Roman world what the Gieses provide for Medieval history.
Guide Review - Review of James S. Jeffers' Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era
James S. Jeffers' "The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era - Exploring the Background of Early Christianity" takes the reader through the religious background to the Christian era, what life was like in urban areas and in the provinces, tools of government, Jews in the cities, the importance of citizenship, the status of women and education, as well as a comparative look at ancient and modern slavery and a detailed comparison of the ancient social class hierarchy. Jeffers includes maps, illustrations, an appended historical summary of Greco-Roman history, a chronology of events, and fitting quotations prefacing each of the chapters. "The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era" is not a book on early Christianity or the change from Judaism to Christianity, although it does explain early Christian social organization. It is, as the title explains, about the Greco-Roman world at one particular time period.