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How do we live distinctively in communities embedded in the world around us? The Not-Very-Persecuted Church provides church leaders, pastors, and Christians interested in community development with principles for evaluating culture in light of mission. Since we are called to live in community, the processes that build group identity can help us understand how to live together well. Paul addressed some of the problems that can occur in not-very-persecuted groups in the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians, and he shows us the way suffering forms identity in that context. With discussion questions and stories from personal interviews, this book offers both fascinating glimpses into the world of the first century and practical applications for Christians today.
In this work, Laura J. Hunt looks at Latin use in Ephesus, Antioch, and Alexandria. The evidence of intersections between Roman and Greek languages in those cities suggests that the Roman cultural encyclopaedia could shed light on the Gospel of John, particularly the trial narrative. Words that intersect with important Roman concepts include πραιτώριον, βασιλεύς, υἱὸς θεοῦ and ἐξουσία. The phrase Ἰδοὺ ὁ ἄνθρωπος in John 19:5 approximates hic vir, hic est from Vergil's Aeneid (6.791), marking it as a literary allusion. A semiotic analysis of John 18:28–19:22 reveals a Jesus depicted with the words and images of a Caesar. The Roman Pilate tests the loyalty of both Jesus and 'the Jews' to Caesar, emerging as weak only in relation to Caesar. Although other scholars have looked at empire in the Gospel of John, this study offers a sustained Roman reading of the Johannine trial narrative.