How did the earliest followers of Jesus understand his life and death? What scriptures did they read and how do those texts relate to the New Testament? Where did they hold their secret meetings? How did women participate in leadership? What did early Christians do when Jesus did not return? Why did Jesus’ followers suffer martyrdom? This course is an introduction to the Jesus movement in the context of the Roman world. We examine major themes and debates through an array of relevant sources, such as lost gospels, Dead Sea scrolls, and aspects of material culture.