… came Christianity in the Greco-Roman World: A Narrative Introduction by Moyer V. Hubbard. I’ve been skipping around in it between periods of futile snow-shoveling, and it seems to be great fun. He’s exploring work, education, family, and other social realities of the world of early Christianity. He begins each section with a fictional vignette, then unpacks the details by taking us through the archeological and documentary record. There are plenty of great illustrative quotes, and really good bad quotes. I love this sort of book. I’m sure I’ll post more from it as I read more.
Unless I die shoveling, of course. Didn’t someone complain somewhere about being too old to dig?
Hubbard teaches NT language and literature at Talbot School of Theology. The book is from Hendrickson, which has published some mighty patristic titles in recent years. The format and price make it a good choice for an undergrad textbook. Young readers will, I think, enjoy his vignettes, which provide good imaginative entries into an alien world. Even students most resistant to learning are likely to stay awake for Hubbard’s description of the activity at the baths.