I have been in more than one Bible study class in which someone thought that Paul wrote Thessalonians to the people in a country called Thessalonia and Galatians to the people of the city of Galatia. And to add to their confusion, they had no idea whatsoever where either was located. In my studies of the Bible and Apocrypha, I have discovered that an understanding of the places involved often adds a whole new meaning to the stories and events. In many cases the background, topography, history, and culture of a place either help to make sense of an otherwise rather enigmatic situation, or enrich and flesh out a statement or event.
RICHARD R. LOSCH lives in Livingston, Alabama. He is the Rector Emeritus of St. James’ Episcopal Church, and is a retired professor of statistics at the University of West Alabama. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1960, and has taught and served parishes in Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Alabama. He is the author of several books, the most recent being All the People in the Bible (Eerdmans, 2008), of which this book is a companion.