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Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries From Paul to Valentinus by Peter Lampe

Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries From Paul to Valentinus


Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries From Paul to Valentinus by Peter Lampe

Investigating the rise and shape of the earliest churches in Rome, Lampe integrates history, archaeology, theology, and social analysis. He also takes a close look at inscriptional evidence to complement the reading of the great literary texts: from Paul's letter to the Romans to the writings of Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Montanus, and Valentinus. Lampe deals with the shape of leadership and the followers of Christ in relation to the Judeans living in Rome.


'This study is so masterful in its grasp of a vast array of evidence, so solid and innovative in its methodology, and so audacious in conception that it is bound to become a classic. It is the most important historical and sociological study ever written on Roman Christianity.' - Robert Jewett Interpretation 'This impressive work puts our study of early Roman Christianity on a new and more certain empirical basis and must now serve as the point of departure for all subsequent research.... Lampe has expanded our database and has provided the most extensive social profile of Roman Christianity currently available.' -John H. Elliott, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 'Lampe shows that there are both archaeological and literary grounds for saying that the early Roman Christian community was at first indistinguishable from the Jewish one, from which it emerged as perhaps a less affluent underclass of God-fearers. Lampe's book will impress all who read it as a well-informed attempt to synthesize a vast amount of data in a serious, informed, and scholarly way.' -Alan F. Segal, Journal of Biblical Literature 'My interest is twofold. I want to learn about the daily lives of the urban Roman Christians of the first two centuries, the realities of their social lives. To meet these people in their 'situation'
is a goal of our research in itself, independent of the question of how this situation relates to their theology, to their expressions of faith. Second, it must nonetheless be asked where

-if at all-interrelations between situation and theology can be discovered. My ultimate goal is to contribute at least one element to a multidimensional interpretation of texts and faith expressions of early Christianity. This is the only way to exclude superficial monocausalisms, such as are produced by a one-sided social-historical interpretation or, occasionally, are suggested by purely inner-theological, history-of-tradition analyses of texts. 'We face a tour through a variety of material: literary materials, above all, but also epigraphical and archaeological ones are at hand, which often become illuminating only in combination.' -From the Introduction

About the Author

Peter Lampe is Professor of New Testament at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is the author of the commentary on Philemon

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 2006


Peter Lampe

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


544 pages




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