From Paul to Valentinus
Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries
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"This study is so masterful in its grasp of a vast array of evidence, so solid and innovative in its methodology, and so audacious in conception that it is bound to become a classic. It is the most important historical and sociological study ever written on Roman Christianity."
Robert Jewett, Interpretation
"This impressive work puts our study of early Roman Christianity on a new and more certain empirical basis and must now serve as the point of departure for all subsequent research....Lampe has expanded our database and has provided the most extensive social profile of Roman Christianity currently available."
John H. Elliot, Catholic Biblical Quarterly
"Lampe shows that there are both archaeological and literary grounds for
saying that the early Roman Christian community was at first indistinguishable
from the Jewish one, form which it emerged as perhaps a less affluent
underclass of God-fearers. Lampe's book will impress all who read it as a
well-informed attempt to synthesize a vast amount of data in a serious,
informed, and scholarly way."
Alan F. Segal, Journal of Biblical Literature
"Peter Lampe's extremely
thorough study of the Roman Christians ... I would judge it the best work on an
early Christian Church I have read in the last decade ... Lampe exhibits such
balance and care that I would find myself hard-pressed to write the usual
review, agreeing with some points and disagreeing with others. His conclusions
are likely to be the basis of most on-going discussion ... The interest of
these (Lampe's) theses for church history, as well as for New Testament, should
Raymond E. Brown, em. Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary, NY, in: The Heythrop Journal, July 1988, 359-60
"This is a learned and
enjoyable study of the social history of the Christian community in Rome ... It
is not one of those social histories that wishes to substitute social factors
for ideas and theologies, but a book which derives its strength from its perceptions
of the intimate links between doctrine and life. Dr Lampe knows how to use
epigraphic and juristic evidence ... He equally knows his way round the
catacombs and the archaeological evidence ... And the freshness of his approach
enables him to illuminate familiar texts from the Apostolic Fathers or the
Apologists ... Among the most interesting parts of a very good book are the
pages on Justin Martyr."
Henry Chadwick, em. Professor of Divinity, Cambridge University, in: Journal of Theological Studies, April 1990, 228-9
"The author's interesting
and informative work is a notable landmark ... The sociological approach to the
evidence, successfully exploited by Wayne Meeks in his study of the Pauline
churches, has found an able continuator in Lampe's thorough and scholarly
examination of the first two centuries of Roman Christianity."
W. H. C. Frend, em. Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Glasgow, in: Journal of Ecclesiastical History 1990, 278-9