Christian Origins and the New Testament in the Greco-Roman Context: Essays in Honor of Dennis R. MacDonald: This volume, the inaugural volume in Claremont's series on the New Testament and Christian Origins, celebrates the distinguished career of Dr. Dennis R. MacDonald. As students and scholars of the New Testament will know, MacDonald almost single- handedly established the discipline of Mimesis Criticism. However, MacDonald's scholarly achievements far exceed his role in establishing that emerging discipline within New Testament studies. MacDonald's scholarship and interests range widely over the entire discipline of Christian origins. His work has striven above all to situate the New Testament within the historical, social and literary contexts of the Greco-Roman world.The scholars —both junior and senior—in this volume participate in MacDonald's quest to locate the New Testament texts within their proper historical framework. The essays in this volume range from the Hebrew origins of the New Testament to Platonic influence on the New Testament, from Homeric imitation to the semantic domain of James, and from fresh readings of Mark to revisionist histories of Paul. There is something here for everyone. The essays are original, the arguments fresh and the language crisp. Every student of the New Testament will want to spend time with this wide-ranging celebration of MacDonald's intellectual prowess and academic career.

Ancient Education and Early Christianity: What was the relationship of ancient education to early Christianity? This volume provides an in-depth look at different approaches currently employed by scholars who draw upon educational settings in the ancient world to inform their historical research in Christian origins. The book is divided into two sections: one consisting of essays on education in the ancient world, and one consisting of exegetical studies dealing with various passages where motifs emerging from ancient educational culture provide illumination.

The chapters summarize the state of the discussion on ancient education in classical and biblical studies, examine obstacles to arriving at a comprehensive theory of early Christianity's relationship to ancient education, compare different approaches, and compile the diverse methodologies into one comparative study. Several educational motifs are integrated in order to demonstrate the exegetical insights that they may yield when utilized in New Testament historical investigation and interpretation.

An Introduction to Empire in the New Testament: In the last three decades, significant attention has been given to the way in which New Testament texts engage and respond to the imperial world in which they were written. The purpose of the present volume is to introduce students and non-specialists to the growing subfield of New Testament studies known as empire studies. Contributors seek to make readers aware of the significant work that has already been produced, while also pointing them to new ways in which this field is moving forward. The contributors are Bruce W. Longenecker, Richard A. Horsley, Warren Carter, Adam Winn, Eric D. Barreto, Beth M. Sheppard, Neil Elliot, James R. Harrison, Harry O. Maier, Deborah Krause, Jason A.Whitlark, Matthew R. Hauge, Kelly D. Liebengood, and Davina C. Lopez.

Character Studies and the Gospel of Mark: Characters in the Second Gospel are analysed and an in-depth look at different approaches currently employed by scholars working with literary and reader-oriented methods of analysis is provided. The first section consists of essays on method/theory, and the second consists of seven exegetical character studies using a literary or reader-oriented method. All contributors work from a literary, narrative-critical, reader-oriented, or related methodology.

The book summarizes the state of the discussion and examines obstacles to arriving at a comprehensive theory of character in the Second Gospel. Specific contributions include analyses of the representation of women, God, Jesus, Satan, Gentiles, and the Roman authorities of Mark's Gospel. This work is both an exploration of theories of character, and a study in the application of those theories.

The Biblical Tour of Hell: It is difficult to underestimate the significance of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 within the biblical tradition. Although hell occupies a prominent position in popular Christian rhetoric today, it plays a relatively minor role in the Christian canon. The most important biblical texts that explicitly describe the fate of the dead are in the Synoptic Gospels. Yet among these passages, only the Lukan tradition is intent on explicitly describing the abode of the dead; it is the only biblical tour of hell.

Hauge examines the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, uniquely the only 'parable' that is set within a supernatural context. The parables characteristically feature concrete realities of first-century Mediterranean life, but the majority of Luke 16:19-31 is narrated from the perspective of the tormented dead. This volume demonstrates that the distinctive features of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus are the result of a strategic imitation, creative transformation, and Christian transvaluation of the descent of Odysseus into the house of hades in Odyssey Book 11, the literary model par excellence of postmortem revelation in antiquity.