Paul's writings are laced with vivid images from the bustling New Testament world. In this illuminating resource, Williams delves into that Greco-Roman context, unpacking metaphors related to "Life in the City," "Family Life," "Slavery and Freedom," "Citizens and Courts of Law," and more. Extensive appendices, indices, and footnoted discussions of Greek texts aid further study. 416 pages, softcover from Baker.
Paul's writings are laced with vivid images from the bustling New Testament world. To understand these metaphors, David J. Williams delves into that Greco-Roman world and uses ancient sources to explore a wide variety of topics such as architecture, law, commerce, health care, and education. Williams studies this world in chapters with titles such as "Life in the City," "Family Life," "Slavery and Freedom," "Citizens and Courts of Law," "Travel," and "Warfare and Soldiering."
Paul's metaphors, set apart in bold type, are examined in the light of this background information and restored to their original vitality. Well-known metaphors--the Christian as a slave of Christ, the church as a body, Paul's two natures being at war within him, the Christian as an athlete striving toward the prize, Jesus' return as a thief in the night, Christians as adopted heirs of God--and lesser-known metaphors come to life for the modern reader through Williams's careful exposition.
The main text is accessible to the general reader; scholars will appreciate footnotes that discuss the Greek text and provide resources for further study. Appendix 1 lists a select chronology of the Roman Empire and appendix 2 provides dates and descriptions of significant ancient authors and tests. Scripture, ancient source, and modern author indexes add to the usefulness of this work.
David J. Williams (1933-2008) earned his PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He served as vice principal of Ridley College, University of Melbourne, and was the author of The Promise of His Coming and of the New International Biblical Commentaries on Acts and First and Second Thessalonians. He contributed many articles to scholarly journals and he also served as a translator for the New International Version of the Bible.