Italy offers much more than a "Paul stood here" version of tourism. The Roman World was an intentional exercise in stamping out their culture to "civilize" people where ever Rome went (and conquered). By looking at the best preserved Roman Sites, we are able to understand how every Roman city functioned. More than that, we can see full and rich examples of daily life from the time of the new Testament that allow us to learn about Paul's encounters with people of his time all over the Roman world. This is "motif" exploration, learning what Paul was teaching to the Corinthians while standing in the better restored "meat Market" (Macellum) of pompeii.

if you think about it, Paul was a man for all seasons.  He could reason as a Jew within the Hebrew worldview of his day.  he could dialogue with Gentiles knowing well the issues resident within their Roman worldview.  Just as In our “Life and Land of Jesus” study programs in Israel, we develop the Jewish worldview and issues of the Gospel period, in italy,  We offer that same type of experience for the Roman world  – examining the heart of the fallen Roman Empire as the contemporary sphere Paul was responding to in his Epistles.

There is still so much to learn about Paul’s teaching and ministry methodology from reconstructing the Roman context of his day.  During our time together, we will deliberately highlight three underlying themes:

  • First, we will overview the mosaic that constituted Roman society by examining the basic lifestyles of a variety of Romans of antiquity. Special attention will be given to the life of the Roman nobility and celebrities as well as to Roman slaves, poor Romans, Roman women, Roman soldiers and Jews in the Roman world of the diaspora. Studying each group in innovative ways, we will consider their unique challenges of becoming a follower of Jesus.

  • Second, we will orient ourselves to the entertainment world of the time of Paul.We will highlight the best known authors, comedians and plays of the day – highlighting the “common culture” and showing Paul’s presentation of Jesus in light of the contemporary “media” being feed to all. Implications for our own “media” world will be plentiful.

  • Third, we will confront a thoroughly pagan sexuality and superstitious  culture – and examine the response of Paul in his letters with implications for today.

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