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The First Urban Churches 3: Ephesus
James R. Harrison, L. L. Welborn, editors
Publication Date


Investigate the challenges, threats, and opportunities experienced by the early church in Ephesus

The third installment of The First Urban Churches focuses on the urban context of Christian churches in first-century Ephesus. As with previous volumes, contributors illustrate how an investigation of the material evidence will help readers understand properly the challenges, threats, and opportunities that the early Ephesian believers faced in that city. The essays demonstrate decisively the difference that such an approach makes in grappling with the meaning and context of the Pauline epistles in the New Testament, including particularly Ephesians, Acts, and Revelation.


  • Analysis of urban evidence of the inscriptions, papyri, archaeological remains, coins, and iconography
  • Proposed reconstructions of the past and its social, religious and political significance
  • A nuanced, informed portrait of ancient urban life in Ephesus

James R. 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), as well as editor of E.A. Judge, The First Christians in the Roman World: Augustan and New Testament Essays (2008) and of New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity Vol. 10 (2012).

L. L. Welborn is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Fordham University and Honorary Professor of Ancient History at Macquarie University. He is the author of Paul, the Fool of Christ: A Study of 1 Corinthians 1-4 in the Comic-Philosophic Tradition (Bloomsbury T&T Clark), An End to Enmity: Paul and the Wrongdoer of Second Corinthians (de Gruyter), Paul's Summons to Messianic Life: Political Theology and the Coming Awakening (Columbia University Press), and the co-editor of the book series Synkrisis: Comparative Approaches to Early Christianity in Greco-Roman Culture (Yale University Press).

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