The chapter introduces the study by first providing a brief history of research on the question of similarities and differences between Christianity and Stoicism, and by arguing that the question is far from settled. It is also argued that the Stoic sources have often been unfairly treated in New Testament and early Christian scholarship. The specific approach of the study is then described, namely, the choice of comparing Christian morality in first-century Rome with contemporary Stoic ethics in the city. In the final section of the chapter, several methodological issues are discussed and basic terminology clarified and defined. The chapter concludes with a description of the procedure of the study.
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