Christian Origins and Freelance Experts
by Heidi Wendt
The early Roman Empire was populated by numerous self-authorized experts—magi, astrologers, prophets, diviners, philosophers—who, like Paul and later authorities on Jesus, were challenged to defend their legitimacy. Most operated within a particular ethnic or geographic framework, and many were imprisoned, expelled, or otherwise punished for their activities. What can we learn, asks Wendt, by examining the behavior and persecution of early Christians, like Paul, alongside the experience of other non-Christian experts in the first centuries CE?
© 2016 by Westar Institute
Heidi Wendt (Ph.D., Brown University) is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Wright State University and author of At the Temple Gates (2016).
This lecture took place at the Westar Institute Fall 2016 Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.