Scholars are divided in their views about the teachings on riches in 1 Timothy. Evidence that has been largely overlooked in NT scholarship appears in Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus and suggests that the topic be revisited. In this volume, Hoag introduces Ephesiaca and employs a socio-rhetorical methodology to explore it alongside other ancient evidence and five passages in 1 Timothy (2:9 15; 3:1 13; 6:1 2a; 6:2b 10; and 6:17 19). His findings augment our modern conception of the Sitz im Leben of the wealthy in Ephesus.
Despite his special pastoral relationship with the church in Corinth, Paul confronted numerous local and cultural problems needing to be addressed. Utilizing a range of ancient sources, Craig Keener explains these problems and how Paul's arguments would have been communicated to a first-century audience.
First-century Corinth and its challenges were not so different from our own. Upwardly mobile Christians facing radically diverse ethnic, religious, economic and social conditions. The church divided over issues of leadership and authority, sexual morality, gender and worship, marriage and divorce. Sound familiar? Yet as Alan Johnson highlights in this excellent commentary, in the midst of this detailed, practical letter to a church in crisis Paul has penned one of the greatest paeans to love ever written.