The act of friendship shown visitors. Hospitality in the ancient Near East was tightly bound up in customs and practices that all were expected to observe. In the ancient Near East, hospitality was the process of “receiving” outsiders and changing them from strangers to guests. A guest could infringe the requirements of hospitality by insulting the host or by any show of hostility or rivalry toward either the host or other guests. On the other hand, a host could infringe the requirements of hospitality by insulting the guests, by any show of hostility or rivalry, or by neglecting to protect the guests and their honor. Although hospitality entails reciprocity between individuals, it can also be viewed as a reciprocal relationship between communities. Such hospitality to traveling Christians was urged (Rom 12:13; 1Pet 4:9) and practiced (Acts 17:7; Acts 21:17; Acts 28:7; Rom 16:23).

Rom 12:13

13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

1Pet 4:9

9Be hospitable to one another without complaining.

Acts 17:7

7and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.”

Acts 21:17

Paul Visits James at Jerusalem
17When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us warmly.

Acts 28:7

7Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for t ... View more

Rom 16:23

23Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.