A Week in the Life of a Slave
"I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me." These words, written by the...
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"I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me." These words, written by the apostle Paul to a first-century Christian named Philemon, are tantalizingly brief. Indeed, Paul's epistle to Philemon is one of the shortest books in the entire Bible. While it's direct enough in its way, it certainly leaves plenty to the imagination. A Week in the Life of a Slave is a vivid imagining of that story. From the pen of an accomplished New Testament scholar, the narrative follows the slave Onesimus from his arrival in Ephesus, where the apostle Paul is imprisoned, and fleshes out the lived context of that time and place, supplemented by numerous sidebars and historical images. John Byron's historical fiction is at once a social and theological critique of slavery in the Roman Empire and a gripping adventure story, set against the exotic backdrop of first-century Ephesus.
John Byron (PhD, University of Durham) is Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He is author of Cain and Abel in Text and Tradition, Recent Research on Paul and Slavery, and Slavery Metaphors in Early Judaism. He has contributed to numerous journals and edited volumes.