Lost Letters of Pergamum

| October 19, 2015

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In order to better understand the historical and cultural context of Paul’s Prison Letters, each student will interact with Bruce Longenecker’s The Lost Letters of Pergamum. To complete the assignment, students must read the entire book and respond to only four of the following questions:

Describe the role of honor and benefaction in the 1st century? What was seen as honorable according to the noblemen of the book? How was honor enhanced? What was seen as dishonorable? What were the consequences of having the reputation of dishonorable?
How are the Roman Empire and Roman way of life contrasted with the kingdom of God and the Christian life in Lost Letters?
What influence does the Roman imperial cult have on every-day life in Asia Minor?
In what ways has this book changed the way you understand the context of the New Testament? Will this book change the way you read and understand the New Testament?
Describe the difference between the Christianity expressed in Antonius’s house and that expressed at Kalandion’s house. What does the ‘church’ that meets at Kalandion’s house reveal about the struggles that the church had as it developed and spread in Asia Minor?
When does Antipas begin to be drawn to Christianity? What are the factors that lead him to finally believe in Jesus? Explain his encounter with Simon ben Joseph. Why was it important and how did meeting Simon ben Joseph change Antipas?
How were final judgment and the eschatological message of Christianity viewed by pro-Romans?
How did Rome explain their military success? How was Pax Romana explained? Who are the wealthy, noble and blessed according to the nobility? How did the wealthy justify their existence over and against the poor?
What was Jesus’ approach to the Roman Empire? How did Jesus view the honor system of Roman culture? How did Jesus view the system of patronage?

 

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