The First Urban Churches 7 includes essays focused on the development of early Christianity from the mid-first century through the sixth century CE in the ancient Macedonian city of Thessalonica. An international group of contributors traces the emergence of Thessalonica’s house churches through a close study of the archaeological remains, inscriptions, coins, iconography, and Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians. After a detailed introduction to the city, including the first comprehensive epigraphic profile of Thessalonica from the Hellenistic age to the Roman Empire, topics discussed include the Roman emperor’s divine honors, coins and inscriptions as sources of imperial propaganda, Thessalonian family bonds, Paul’s apostolic self-image, the role of music at Thessalonica and in early Christianity, and Paul’s response to the Thessalonian Jewish community. Contributors include D. Clint Burnett, Alan H. Cadwallader, Rosemary Canavan, James R. Harrison, Julien M. Ogereau, Isaac T. Soon, Angela Standhartinger, Michael P. Theophilos, and Joel R. White.
James R. Harrison is Professor of Biblical Studies and Research Director at the Sydney College of Divinity, Australia. He is author of Paul and the Ancient Celebrity Circuit (2020) and Reading Romans with Roman Eyes (2021).
L. L. Welborn is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Fordham University. He is the author of Paul’s Summons to Messianic Life: The Neighbor, the Kairos, the Awakening (2015) and The Young against the Old: Generational Conflict in First Clement (2018).