The New Testament is a book of great significance in Western culture yet is often inaccessible to students because the modern world differs so significantly from the ancient Mediterranean one in which it was written. It is imperative to develop a cross-cultural understanding of the values of the ancient Mediterranean society from which the New Testament arose in order to fully appreciate the documents and the communities that they represent.

Dietmar Neufeld and Richard E. DeMaris bring together biblical scholars with expertise in the social sciences to develop interpretative models for understanding such values as collectivism, kinship, memory, ethnicity, and honour, and to demonstrate how to apply these models to the New Testament texts. Kinship is illuminated by analysis of the Holy Family as well as to early Christian organisations; gender through a study of Paul’s view of women; and landscape and spatiality through a discussion of Jesus of Nazareth. This book is the ideal companion to study of the New Testament.

chapter |14 pages


ByRichard E. DeMaris and Dietmar Neufeld

part |2 pages


chapter 1|12 pages

Collectivism in Mediterranean Culture

ByBruce J. Malina

chapter 2|15 pages

Kinship and Family in the New Testament World

ByMargaret Y. MacDonald

chapter 3|13 pages

Constructions of Gender in the Roman Imperial World

ByCarolyn Osiek, Jennifer Pouya

chapter 5|22 pages

Ethnicity and Paul’s Letter to the Romans

ByDennis C. Duling

chapter 6|17 pages

Landscape and Spatiality: Placing Jesus

ByHalvor Moxnes

part |2 pages


chapter 7|17 pages

Honor: Core Value in the Biblical World

ByRichard L. Rohrbaugh

chapter 8|21 pages

Altered States of Consciousness: Visions, Spirit Possession, Sky Journeys

ByPieter F. Craffert

chapter 9|9 pages

Jesus’s Healing Activity: Political Acts?

ByJohn J. Pilch

chapter 10|11 pages

Social Stratification and Patronage in Ancient Mediterranean Societies

ByEric C. Stewart

chapter 11|11 pages

Brokerage: Jesus as Social Entrepreneur

ByAlicia Batten

chapter 12|16 pages

Urban Structure and Patronage: Christ Followers in Corinth

ByPeter Oakes

chapter 13|13 pages

Ancient Economy and the New Testament

ByDavid A. Fiensy

chapter 14|13 pages

Purity, Dirt, Anomalies, and Abominations

ByRitva H. Williams

chapter 15|13 pages

Ritual and Christian Origins

ByRisto Uro