1. research unkown people, places, practices, and ideas
2. the worldview of the author, audience, and characters
3. social structures: marriage and family, role of men and women, slavery
4. physical features: climate, geography, distance
5. economic structures: poverty vs. wealth, taxation, jobs
6. political structures: rulers- governors, client kings, emperor; local vs. empire
7. customs and behavior
8. religious beliefs and practices: functionaries, rituals, sacred spaces
Examples: 1 Cor. 14:33-36-- When looking at the issue of women's roles in the church, it is good to research social structures in Corinthian society. How were women viewed in the 50s A.D.?
1 Corinthians 6:12-20-- Why is Paul having to respond to issues of Christians having prostitutes? Wait a minute- what were the views of prostitution in the society of that day?