The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting

The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting

The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting

The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting

Synopsis

The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting locates the Book of Acts within various regional and cultural settings in the eastern Mediterranean. These studies draw on recent archaeological fieldwork and epigraphic discoveries to describe the key cities and provinces within the Roman Empire. The relevant societal aspects of these regions, such as the Roman legal system, Roman religion, and the problem of transport and travel, all help contextualize the Book of Acts.

Excerpt

The Book of Acts is firmly set within the Graeco-Roman world by Jesus’ words in the opening chapter: the apostles were to be his witnesses not only in Jerusalem, Judaea and Samaria but ‘to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). Then at Pentecost, Jerusalem was filled with ‘devout men from every nation under heaven’—people from the Roman provinces of Cappadocia, Pontus and Bithynia, Asia, Egypt, Cyrenaica and Crete, from the kingdoms to the East, as well as those from the city of Rome itself (Acts 2:5, 9–11). the course of the narrative incorporates aspects of the cultures of many of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. the concluding scenes are set in the city of Rome itself, and in the era of the further expansion of the Empire with the incorporation of Britannia in A.D. 43 under the emperor Claudius. Thus the events of the Book of Acts take place as the imperium of Rome is pushing beyond the limits of Ocean.

It has become clear to the editors that the Book of Acts needs to be read against the appropriate backdrop of Empire, then province and then community. Although contact with non-Jewish cultures features centrally and obviously only in the latter part of Acts—as the church spreads throughout the eastern provinces of the Empire—the Roman Empire forms the overall setting of the Book of Acts throughout. the ‘Graeco-Roman setting’ is the immediate background even to the events at Jerusalem. This is also the reason

This immediate Palestinian background thus forms a later volume in this series: R. Bauckham (ed.), The Book of Acts in its Palestinian Setting (A1CS 4; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming: Autumn 1994). the first chapter of this volume includes a discussion by Dr Tessa Rajak of both Greek and Roman cultural

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.