Onesimus: A Novel of Christianity in the Roman Empire, is a work of historical fiction set in the first century AD. Based on the true story of a Roman slave, it takes place in a number of locations around the Roman Empire. Below are some of the diagrams and maps that will be included with the book.
Often, we read the Bible by looking up certain verses or passages and reading them out of context. This is unfortunate, because the Bible was not written as a reference book. If we are not going to read an entire book through, like we would any other book, then at least we got understand how the book is structured. This doesn’t always follow the chapters and verses, which were added almost 1000 years later. Being aware of how the author structured the Gospel helps us understand it better.
Each gospel writer has a purpose in mind. Each emphasizes different facets of Jesus work and teachings. The Gospel of Mark focuses on eight general characteristics. We’ll look at those eight, and some other important elements of the Gospel of Mark.
The Gospels were not written during the time of Jesus life as if a biographer was following him around. Instead, his followers and others remembered the things he said and did and taught them to others. Over time, the church grew and its composition changed. Christianity developed its identity and practices. Interactions and conflicts with Judaism and the Greco-Roman world required influenced the Church. Finally, over a 30-year period, beginning around 65 AD, four writers drew on all this information to write down the Gospels in their own situation, to address some specific issues and needs.
How did we get the New Testament that we read today? How was it preserved, copied, and transmitted? How do we know what we are reading in our English translations is accurate?