With this book a foremost New Testament scholar makes a signal contribution to the literature about the times of the first apostles.
This period, when the memory of Jesus was fresh yet no written literature about him existed, lends itself well to the descriptive treatment Dr. Cadbury employs. "The purpose of these pages," he writes, "is to establish not so much the accuracy of the book of Acts as the reality of the scenes and customs and mentality which it reflects.... We can walk where the Apostle Paul walked, see what he saw, and become increasingly at home in his world."
Five chapters deal with each of the five cultural strands then existing: Roman, Greek, Jewish, Christian, and cosmopolitan. The sixth attempts to reconstruct the earliest history of the book of Acts.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Whenever Dr. Cadbury speaks about a New Testament theme, he is listened to with the greatest respect and confidence, and this is especially true when he discusses the book of Acts. It is fair to say that no one speaks with greater authority about this early history of the Church. Dr. Cadbury now places us even more in his debt with this study of the light which the environment of early Christianity - Jewish, Greek, and Roman - throws upon the book and its story. The approach is fresh and significant and the result is a volume both illuminating and interesting to scholar and layman alike."
John Knox, Union Theological Seminary
"He has done an amazingly useful piece of work, a task which very few could have done, for what in most hands would have been only a collection of trivia has instead become a very useful and judicious study of background and relation, highly important in any balanced understanding of the rise and sojourn of Early Christianity in the ancient world. Luke-Acts has been the almost entire concern of this gifted and careful scholar throughout his academic life and the amount of material which he has collected and appraised is amazingly great - and fruitful. To the man who knows the field at all the treatment of these 'well-known' matters is very illuminating and permanently useful."
Morton S. Enslin, Crozer Theological Seminary
Henry J. Cadbury
Henry J. Cadbury served as Professor of New Testament at Harvard Divinity School for twenty years. He was also a distinguished member of the Revised Standard Version Bible committee and a contributor to The Interpreter's Bible. He authored a number of books, notably two volumes of commentary and additional notes on the book of Acts, and volumes IV and V of 'The Beginnings of Christianity' in collaboration with Kirsopp Lake. Also in the field he wrote 'The Style and Literary Method of Luke' and 'The Making of Luke-Acts'. The present book comprised the famous Lowell Lectures of 1953 in Boston.