Jesus Christ may be "the same yesterday and today and forever", yet he appears on the scene at a culturally specific moment in human history. This chapter focuses on the assumption that it is essential to know something about the wider world in which the New Testament authors lived in order to understand what they were trying to accomplish. Christianity begins as a sect within Judaism which, in turn, had begun centuries earlier as the form of Hebrew religion practiced in Judah, a region that will later be called Judea. When the early Christians profess that "all scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, and for training in righteousness", they have in mind the Hebrew Bible, what Christians call the Old Testament and not the New Testament. Among the most important social settings in which Christianity took shape are the household, voluntary associations, and the patron-client system.