When Jesus of Nazareth began proclaiming the kingdom of God early in the first century, he likely had no intention of starting a new religion, especially one that included former pagans. Yet a new religion did eventually develop-one that not only included non-Jews but was soon dominated by them. How did this happen?
Jesus Followers in the Roman Empire by Paul Duff offers an accessible and informed account of Christian origins, beginning with the teaching of Jesus and moving to the end of the first century. Duff's narrative shows how the rural Jewish movement led by Jesus developed into a largely non-Jewish phenomenon permeating urban centers of the Roman Empire.
Paying special attention to social, cultural, and religious contexts-as well as to early Christian ideas about idolatry, marriage, family, slavery, and ethnicity-Jesus Followers in the Roman Empire will help readers cultivate a deeper understanding of the identity, beliefs, and practices of early Christ-believers.