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A Week in the Life of Corinth Paperback – March 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (March 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830839623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830839629
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Like the valley of dry bones being covered once more with sinews and flesh, Corinth rises from its overgrown ruins to its former vibrancy, color and intrigue, allowed to re-live one week of its history. Witherington masterfully mingles the pleasant and the useful as he introduces readers to the social institutions, household customs and civic life of the Roman colony of Corinth by telling a delightful story centering on the attempts of one Erastus to win a public office and one Paul to prepare for his trial before the Roman proconsul, Gallio. I know of no other introduction to the Greco-Roman environment of Paul's mission that could also qualify as entertaining 'beach reading.'" (David A. deSilva, Trustees' Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary)

"This book provides a uniquely enjoyable way to learn about ancient culture and Paul's mission in Corinth by immersion. Although I found the story delightful and intriguing, I could also see behind it careful research on a large array of details." (Craig Keener, author of 1-2 Corinthians (Cambridge) and Acts: An Exegetical Commentary (4 vols.; Baker Academic))

"This imaginative narrative brings the New Testament world to life by following the freedman Nicanor around ancient Corinth, relating his encounters with religion, gladiators, politics, domestic life and the nascent Christian movement (including several biblical characters). Though it may not solve all the riddles of the Corinthian correspondence, here is an engaging and informative introduction to Corinth and the wider cultural context of the first-century Roman Empire." (Brandon D. Crowe, assistant professor of New Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary)

"If you want to know what it would have been like to live in ancient Corinth, spend a week in the life of a freedman, traverse the olive groves and cobblestone streets, survive the cutthroat politics of a Greek city, encounter pagan priestesses and converse with a Jewish tentmaker named 'Paulos,' then Ben Witherington has written the book for you. This short novella, with pictures and explanations of customs in ancient Corinth, provides a window into the world of Paul's Corinthian letters. Witherington creatively brings the setting of Paul's Corinthian ministry to life with historical rigor and narrative artistry. Witherington brings to us the sights, smells, sounds and culture of Corinth as the apostle Paul knew it." (Michael F. Bird, Crossway College, Australia)

"This very readable—indeed, gripping—book gives us an imaginative insight into the Greco-Roman world of Paul's mission to Corinth. The details of everyday life for Paul and those he met are set in their historical context by an expert scholar who knows the New Testament and its background very well. I recommend it to all who want to understand the setting in which early Christianity grew and flourished." (Alanna Nobbs, professor of ancient history, Macquarie University)

About the Author

Bible scholar Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the MDiv degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a PhD from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, a society dedicated to New Testament studies. Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. An ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and a popular lecturer, he has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Witherington has written over forty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications, and is a frequent contributor to the Patheos website. Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen in programs such as 60 Minutes, 20/20, Dateline on outlets like the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.

More About the Author

Bible scholar Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies.

Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.

Witherington has written over thirty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications, and is a frequent contributor to the Beliefnet website.

Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to tell the truth is to tell a story.
Grant Marshall
He also happens to be the main character in Ben Witherington's delightful new book, A Week in the Life of Corinth.
Jeremy Bouma
This is a entertaining and engaging story which instructs in the most pleasant manner.
Scot Hoeksema

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David deSilva on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I wrote a brief review for the back cover of this book, but I had to say a little more here to convey my excitement about Dr. Witherington's latest.

People are far more apt to read a novel than a non-fiction book about ancient history. Why? The former gives pleasure; it invites readers into a world with a (hopefully) compelling story. The latter feels too much like homework, a distaste that lingers long past the end of high school for the majority. Ben has successfully brought these two genres together in a brief, engaging work of historical fiction interspersed with sidebars giving more in-depth explanations of the social, cultural, and historical phenomena that the readers encounter in his story. The whole is richly illustrated, mostly with photographs taken by the author from his own trips to the site he brings to life.

The novel traces out two basic plots: Erastus seeks to garner support in his run for the civic office of "aedile" in Corinth; Paul prepares for his hearing before Gallio, the Roman proconsul. These two plots lines give Witherington all the framework he needs to bring the characters from the Acts narrative and Corinthian letters to life, and to draw us into the everyday world of that city. I cannot recommend the concept and the result highly enough. If you're a student of the New Testament/Early Christianity, buy this book and take it with you to the beach. You will be instructed, and it won't feel like work at all.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Bouma on May 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Take a trip with me to the mid-1st century, won't you, aboard a ship bound for Corinth. Nicanor is our guide to one of the most important regions and cities in the New Testament. He also happens to be the main character in Ben Witherington's delightful new book, A Week in the Life of Corinth. I'm told this book is the first in a new genre of historic nonfiction Witherington hopes to write to help the Church better understand and engage the 1st century NT world. Based on this solid first offering I hope it does well enough to justify more such books--imagine similar ones on Rome, Galatia, and Colossi!

A Week in the Life of Corinth is a piece of historical nonfiction that traces the life of one Nicanor, a manumitted--former, released slave--businessman-in-the-making who serves a successful tradesman, businessman, and political up-and-comer, Erastos. Along the way you meet a cast of fictitious characters that give flesh to Witherington's tale and actual characters, like Pricilla, Aquilla, and the apostle Paul himself. You also encounter the typical staples of modern Corinthian life: forums, baths, marketplaces, medicine, politics, slavery, and many other facets that create a compelling, accurate world for Witherington's historical fiction.

Speaking of compelling historical fiction, the book is actually a compelling, enjoyable read from a narrative, literary perspective! I was pleasantly surprised to find some degree of character development and a nice plot-line along which the author brought his characters, with conflict, climax, resolution and all. I liken this book to the wildly popular and compelling historical fiction author, Steven Saylor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fernando on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought the book to get a bit of perspective in studying Paul's letters. Honestly, I was a bit tired of dry (though interesting) theological and historical analyses and needed a breath of fresh air. Boy, did this book deliver! It can easily be read in a few hours and is remarkably hard to put down. Not only is the author a gifted story-teller, he also managed to put in just the right amount of side-bars to explain historical and cultural idiosyncrasies. Page for page, it is the most enjoyable and informative book I've read in a very long time. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dubious Disciple on June 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Very informative. Witherington splices together historical fiction and scholarly commentary to produce an excellent teaching aid. The result is fiction that is too choppy and short for a captivating plot, but perfect for enjoyable learning.

The story takes place in the mid-first century, at the time Paul the Apostle was church planting. Paul plays a heavy role, but he's not the main character. Instead, some obscure characters in the Bible are fleshed out and brought to life (maybe you remember Gallio, but I bet you've never heard of Erastos or Nicanor ... and kudos if you have!) Erastos is running for public office in Corinth, Nicanor is his slave, and Paul, though he does not involve himself in politics, is his usual Christian self. The "scholarly commentary" I alluded to comes in the way of one- or two-page inserts titled "A Closer Look," which are peppered throughout the text.

This book is not preachy, nor even very "Christian" until the final page or two. Instead, it's just a great way to familiarize yourself with one of the major cities in the Bible, particularly during the time of Paul. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Whitman on May 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've never reviewed anything on Amazon, but two chapters into this book I just had to say something!
I have gone to Bible college, seminary, and I live in Italy. I was skeptical that I would learn something new about First Century Roman Culture from a fictitious tale... I was wrong!

All of a sudden you are living in Corinth, rubbing shoulders with the Apostle Paul.
All of a sudden Paul's criticisms and teachings written to the Corinthians seem clearer.

There is a reason why Jesus used story to teach truth. It works!

I hope that Ben Witherington writes more of these!
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