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The First Urban Churches 1: Methodological Foundations
James R. Harrison, L. L. Welborn, editors
Publication Date
September 2015


A fresh look at early urban churches

This collection of essays examines the urban context of early Christian churches in the first-century Roman world. A city-by-city investigation of the early churches in the New Testament clarifies the challenges, threats, and opportunities that urban living provided for early Christians. Readers will come away with a better understanding of how scholars assemble an accurate picture of the cities in which the first Christians flourished.


  • Analysis of urban evidence of the inscriptions, papyri, archaeological remains, coins, and iconography
  • Discussion of how to use different types of evidence responsibly
  • Outline of what constitutes proper methodological use for establishing a nuanced, informed portrait of ancient urban life

James Harrison is a professor at Sydney College of Divinity and Honorary Associate, Macquarie University. He is author of Paul’s Language of Grace in Its Graeco-Roman Context (2003) and Paul and the Imperial Authorities at Thessalonica and Rome: A Study in the Conflict of Ideology (2011).

L. L. Welborn is professor at Fordham University and Macquarie University. He is the author of Politics and Rhetoric in Corinth (1997) and An End to Enmity: Paul and the ‘Wrongdoer’ of Second Corinthians (2011).

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