Women in the World of the Earliest Christians

Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life

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"Many preconceptions exist about the role of women in the Greco-Roman and Jewish worlds at the time of Jesus. By taking us through the world of women at that time, Cohick offers a solid glimpse of first-century culture--a wonderful window into the world of the New Testament that is well worth the read."--Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary

"A richly detailed and finely nuanced invitation into the lives of women in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The study profits from Cohick's integrated examination of literary, epigraphic, iconographic, and archaeological evidence. She exposes gender bias and ideology in literary evidence without discarding what reliable evidence these texts offer for the reconstruction of women's 'real life' experience. This book challenges some oft-heard generalizations about women, women's roles, and women's influence, replacing these with the more complicated and varied realities of women's experience in the ancient world."--David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary

"Cohick invites the reader into the lives of women in the ancient world. She carefully assesses the available information--from literature, artwork, inscriptions, and even business receipts--sketching a portrait of 'real women's experiences' in the early days of Christianity. To combine fascinating storytelling with careful historical assessment is no simple task; Cohick does so with ease. Essential reading!"--Jeannine Brown, Bethel Seminary

"This is an important book for all students of the New Testament, however novice or advanced. Cohick's historical sensibilities and sympathetic reading of the whole range of available evidence overturn a number of caricatures that have for decades plagued claims about women (and men) in the world of the early church. Her presentation of the life of the ordinary Roman woman from Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian sources is a model of careful exploration and nuanced reconstruction. It deserves to be read attentively and consulted often."--Joel B. Green, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Cohick combines insights from ancient Roman and Jewish texts with current scholarship on the lifestyles and limitations of being female in the first Christian century. The New Testament is not her primary focus, but it is frequently discussed, providing many fascinating parallels, which sometimes confirm and sometimes question traditional interpretations. The book includes many provocative new ideas, which will become the focus of much new work."--David Instone-Brewer, Tyndale House, Cambridge


Lynn Cohick, Author

Lynn H. Cohick (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is provost and dean of Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of several books, including Women in the World of the Earliest Christians and commentaries on Philippians and Ephesians. She is also coauthor of The New Testament in Antiquity. Cohick previously taught at Wheaton College, Messiah College, and Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology.

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