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.
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.
In this book Debbie Blue looks closely at Hagar (mother of Islam), Esther (Jewish heroine), and Mary (Christian matriarch)—and finds in them unexpected and inviting new ways of navigating faith and life.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, has been the focus of much piety and theology down the centuries, and whatever it is she represents has been and remains central to the vitality of Christianity in many parts of the world.
This book reveals new early Christian evidence that Mary was remembered as a powerful role model for women leaders―women apostles, baptizers, and presiders at the ritual meal. Early Christian art portrays Mary and other women clergy serving as deacon, presbyter/priest, and bishop.
Paula Gooder imagines Phoebe's story―who she was, the life she lived, and her first-century faith―and in doing so opens up Paul's world, giving a sense of the cultural and historical pressures that shaped his thinking and the faith of the early church.