Cover Image: A Week In the Life of Ephesus

A Week In the Life of Ephesus

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Member Reviews

Another well researched book from the excellent series "A Week in the Life."  These books are a simple educational way to bring information about the context of the Bible to life, weaving information with a narrative story-line.
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This is the book I've been searching for, a book that helps bring the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey to life.  Setting the fictionalized part of his story during the last week of September in AD 89, deSilva breathes life into historical and archaeological details through his large cast of characters representing many different groups living and working within this cosmopolitan city.  This isn't a novel, although the fictional part of the book does build to a worthy climax.  It's also not strictly a scholarly work, although the factual information appears to be well-researched, with ample documentation.  Rather, this is an engaging mashup of fact and fiction for anyone who wants a readable glimpse of daily life and the early church in this famous city.
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A Week In the Life of Ephesus
by David A. deSilva


 InterVarsity Press 

IVP Academic
 Christian 
Pub Date 09 Jun 2020 




I am reviewing a copy of A Week in the Life of Ephesus through InterVarsity Press and Netgalley:



A Week in the Life of Ephesus attempts to answer the question “How should Christians live in the age of Empire?  



As the book opens Ephesus is preparing for a religious festival in honor of the emperor Domitian, a Christian landowner feels increasing pressure from the city's leaders to participate.   The question is can he remain Faithful to his God, while still performing his civic duty. Or will he have to make a choice that could cost him a lot?



David DeSilva brings to life the struggle that early Christians faced Their insistence on the absolute lordship of their own singular deity brought them into conflict not only with the myriad religious cults of the day, but with all the crushing power of the empire itself.



The effort DeSilva pur in the meticulous research of this historical novel is evident from start to finish.   Allowing for the readers to feel as if they had been transported back to the early days of Christianity in effort, as well as the very real struggles they faced, simply trying to live their lives, and live their faith.



I give A Week in the Life of Ephesus five out of five stars!



Happy Reading!
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A Week in the Life of Ephesus, by David A. deSilva, has an engaging story but it works better as an insight into the cultural background behind the some of the writings you will read in various books of the Bible (Acts, Ephesians, Revelation). Admittedly, going into my reading I was more interested in the cultural background than I was the narrative so this may be why I didn’t find the narrative all that engaging. I still really liked the book, and I would definitely suggest it to anyone who is interested in finding out the cultural context of what life was like for Christians in Ephesus when Paul and John were interacting with this community. I’m bouncing between a 3 star review and a 4 star review and I’d be happier with a 3.5. But, since you can’t do that, and since 3.5 gets rounded up, I think we’ll go with a 4 star review! If you’re interested in cultural backgrounds to the Bible, and you’d like a narrative backbone to help you learn more context, this is the book for you!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and InterVarsty Press for my honest opinion.
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An interesting look at the city of Ephesus at the time the ook of Revelation wa written. It outlines very clearly the questions and ethical choices of the Christians of the time. It also shows the beginnings of the persecution.
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Students of the NT, and in particular Revelation, will find that this novel grounds biblical characters and places in their ancient settings.  deSilva captures well the stresses and tensions from many sources for those who sought to follow Jesus in a polytheistic society where the religion of the state impacted so much of daily life.  Roman traditionalists, observant Jews, and those who tried to blend Christian faith with everyday social practices all served as a backdrop against which Jesus’ followers carved out the practical implications of their relationship with the Lord.  The storyline condenses and yet faithfully captures the tone of Revelation’s message as it relates to daily affairs.  Those already familiar with the geography, architecture, and religion of first-century Asia Minor will find this account easier to read, but even those with little exposure to Revelation will have no difficulty in following along.  The text is peppered with photos and insets which allow the modern reader to imagine these locales as they were when vibrant with life.  I found "A Week in the Life of Ephesus" to be an imaginative and uplifting story of faith and a call to faithful service in the Lord’s kingdom.
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"A Week In the Life of Ephesus" is partly fiction and partly nonfiction. It read like a documentary show that's primarily made up of fictional reenactments to illustrate the points. The purpose was to educate readers (in an entertaining way) about the social and cultural background of the Christians that received Revelation so that we can better understand how it would have impacted them. A lot of educational material was worked into the story, but additional information was provided in "sidebars" (which could take up whole pages) that were placed within the story. The book included some pictures of archaeological ruins or artifacts that illustrated information in the non-fiction sidebars or events in the story.

The story followed several viewpoint characters but had two main storylines: an upper-class Christian in Ephesus was being pressured to worship the emperor and other gods in addition to the Christian God and a Christian merchant was offered an opportunity to sell goods to Rome at a large profit but at the cost of others lacking those goods. The author was trying to show the different ways various Christians in Ephesus were dealing with pressures to conform and look out for self interest over following Christ wholeheartedly. Overall, I'd recommend this book to people interested in the insights gained from cultural background information.
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This is book wasn’t what I thought it was.  I thought it was more like a study book but sadly it wasn’t.  Others may have enjoyed much more than I did.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and InterVarsty Press for my honest opinion.
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This is great. I love this series. The author does a good job in helping you to get immersed into the culture of the primary church. The scene with the slave getting aggressively beaten for having to choose between following Christ or obeying his master's command to worship idols hit hard. I recommend this to everyone.
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This was supposed to be a novel, but it had many articles of life at that time. Some of these were interesting, however, they appeared often in the midst of a dialog. It was difficult to follow through with the novel. I would have preferred for the articles to be at the back of the book. The story was interesting and gave me a feel for what it was like to live in Ephesus at that time. It was slow to get into the story, too much explanation of the pageantry of the worship in Ephesus.
I received this book free from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.
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