Paul is too successful in Ephesus-at least as far as the idol-making lobbyists are concerned. There are Seven Wonders of the World. But the most beautiful, according to one writer who said he saw all seven, is a temple in Ephesus dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis. Romans call her Diana.
“I have seen the walls and hanging gardens of ancient Babylon, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high pyramids, and the tombs of Mausolus,” wrote the Greek scientist Philon in the 200s BC. “But when I saw the temple at Ephesus rising to the clouds, all these other wonders were put in the shade.”
Most other Bible prophets lived before God punished the Jews by exiling them to Assyria and Babylon, in what is now Iraq. So those earlier prophets warned the Jews where they were headed if they didn’t stop sinning. But even those prophets offered hope, promising that God would bring the Jews home one day.
Several different cults or societies characterized in part by elaborate initiation rituals and secret rites. Though attested in Greece before 600 B.C., the mystery religions flourished during the Hellenistic and Roman periods (after 333 B.C.) before dying out before A.D. 500. In particular the intermingling of religious concepts made possible by Alexander the Great’s far-flung conquests accelerated the spread of some cults and facilitated the development of
The apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans is widely regarded as his magnum opus. He began with eleven chapters that are deeply theological, essentially answering the question, “What does the gospel of Jesus really mean?” Then Paul wrote four more chapters that are decidedlypractical, answering the question, “What differences does the gospel make in the believer’s life?
Person totally responsible to and dependent on another person. Slavery was prevalent and widely accepted in the ancient world. The economy of Egypt, Greece, and Rome was based on slave labor, In the first Christians century, one out of three persons in Italy and one out of five elsewhere was a slave. Huge gangs toiled in the fields and mines and on building projects. Many were domestic and civil servants. Some were temple slaves and others were craftsmen. Some were forced to become gladiators. Some were highly intelligent and held responsible positions. Legally a slave had no rights; but, except for the labor gangs, most were treated humanely and were considered part of the family, and some were greatly loved by their masters.