Papyri and the Social World of the New Testament

Papyri and the Social World of the New Testament

by Sabine R. Huebner


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In this book, Sabine R. Huebner explores the world of the protagonists of the New Testament and the early Christians using the rich papyrological evidence from Roman Egypt. This gives us unparalleled insights into the everyday lives of the non-elite population in an area quite similar to neighboring Judaea-Palestine. What were the daily concerns and difficulties experienced by a carpenter's family or by a shepherd looking after his flocks? How did the average man or woman experience a Roman census? What obstacles did women living in a patriarchal society face in private, in public, and in the early Church? Given the flight of Jesus' family into Egypt, how mobile were the lower classes, what was their understanding of geography, and what costs and dangers were associated with travel? This volume gives a better understanding of the structural, social, and cultural conditions under which figures from the New Testament lived.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108455701
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/11/2019
Pages: 206
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Sabine R. Huebner is Professor of Ancient History and Head of the Doctoral Program in Classical Civilizations at the Universität Basel, Switzerland. Her research focuses on social and religious history and the everyday life of common people in antiquity. She has published monographs including The Family in Roman Egypt (Cambridge, 2013) and is co-editor of Growing up Fatherless in Antiquity (Cambridge, 2009), The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (2012), Inheritance, Law and Religion in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds (2014), Mediterranean Families in Antiquity (2016) and The Single Life in the Roman and Later Roman Worlds (Cambridge, forthcoming).

Table of Contents

1. Egypt and the social world of the New Testament; 2. The social milieu of the early Christians in Egypt: who were the first readers of the Gospels?; 3. 'In those days a decree went out …': the Herodian Kingdom and the Augustan provincial census system; 4. 'But these words seemed to them an idle tale': discrimination and the struggle for women's equality in early Christianity; 5. 'The carpenter's son': the family and household of a craftsman; 6. 'In those days Mary set out …': travel by the lower classes in Roman times; 7. 'In that region there were shepherds living in the fields': an occupation on the margins of society; 8. Afterword.

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