Anti-Imperial Rhetoric in the New Testament?

Judith A. Diehl, an instructor of New Testament and hermeneutics at Denver Seminary, asks:

Did the historical situation of the early Christians create the necessity of written literary features such as ‘hidden language’ and ‘codified messages’ for the political protection of the readers, as well as the authors?”

Immediately after this question, professor Diehl adds, “The answers to such questions not only give us insight into the historical world of the Roman Empire but also give us a clearer picture of the culture, society and setting in which the New Testament was written” (Jesus Is Lord, Caesar Is Not: Evaluating Empire in New Testament Studies, p. 40).

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