In Stone and Story

Early Christianity in the Roman World

Materials available for professors by request only


Chapter 7: Genius & Emperor

Class Activities

  1. How has the book of Revelation taken on new interpretations in the modern era? Have students bring in or identify examples of recent works (e.g., novels, films, books, etc.) which attempt to either understand Revelation or see its fulfillment in modern times.
  2. How might one creatively reconstruct a “Revelation for the twenty-first century.” If the author of Revelation were writing today, how might he have constructed the imagery of his text? Have students break into groups to create a twenty-first-century Revelation.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the *genius* (or *juno*)? In what ways might this ancient notion be reflected in texts of the New Testament? Are there features of today’s world that might correspond to this ancient perception?
  2. How do New Testament authors interact with first-century worship of the genius of the emperor? How might different social contexts have led Jesus-followers to adopt responses to emperor worship? To apostolic assessments of emperor worship?
  3. How does the author of Revelation envision Roman power? How would this have affected the potential for Christian groups to have influence within society?