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Presentation on theme: "RELIGIOUS STUDIES 255 CONTEXT FOR NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES."— Presentation transcript:


2 2 Textbooks: Any recent, scholarly translation of the Bible, for example, New American Bible; Revised English Bible; New Jerusalem Bible; New Revised Standard Bible; Common Bible; The Complete Parallel Bible. Stephen L. Harris, Understanding the Bible. Seventh edition. Boston/Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 2007.

3 3 Handouts: - Nature of the course; - Assignments; - Evaluations; - Tentative outline. What is the Bible? (See Textbook, p. 2). The Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament and the New Testament (See Textbook, pp. 2-5); The Septuagint (See Textbook, p. 9); The New Testament (Textbook, pp. 10-11); The Books of the NT (Textbook, Table 2.1, p. 19; Box 11.1, p. 344; and Table 11.3, p. 357).

4 4 The Bible and Modern Scholarship: -See Textbook, especially, pp. 27-28: fundamentalism; see also G-15; - Some Methods of Biblical Analysis (pp. 28-33 in Textbook): - Historical Criticism; - Source Criticism; - Form Criticism; - Redaction Criticism; and - Literary Criticism.

5 5 -How what the biblical writers relate is coloured by their faith; -The various literary forms that the biblical writers employed (pp. 32-33 in Textbook), e.g., poetry and parables; -The use of simile, metaphors, etc. (pp. 32-33 in Textbook).

6 6 The Canon of Scripture: Textbook, pp. 17-22 and G-7.

7 7 The Historical Context: - See S. L. Harris, Understanding the Bible. Seventh edition. 2007 the last segment of Table 3.1- “Some Major Events in the History of Biblical and Other World Religions”, pp. 42-44; Table 11.2 - “Major Events in New Testament History,” pp. 348-49; and Table 11.3 - “Approximate Order of Composition of New Testament Books,” p. 357.

8 8 The Geographical Context - The Land of the Bible: -Maps: see S. L. Harris, Understanding the Bible. Seventh edition. 2007, pp. 41, 290, 310, 312, 406, 454, 458, 460, 465, 483, 492, 520. (May be of interest: The Herods of the New Testament, see Textbook, pp. 309-10 and G-17-18.)

9 9

10 10 Roman Empire at the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

11 11 The Land of Biblical Israel.

12 12

13 13 Nazareth - view from surrounding hills.

14 14 Sea of Galilee - view from the hills to the west.

15 15 New Testament Palestine.

16 16

17 17 Reconstruction of the Second Temple, that is, the Temple refurbished by Herod at the time of Jesus.

18 18 Hellenistic Thought, Culture, and Religion: - Hellenistic culture dominated the Western world including that of Jews and Christians from the time of Alexander the Great (332 B.C.) (see Textbook, p. 63); - the Greek “love of wisdom” - philosophy; - Plato’s (ca. 427-347 B.C.) profound influence (see Textbook, pp. 314-16, G-37);

19 19 Alexander the Great (356- 323 BCE) - Sculpture.

20 20 The Diverse World of First-Century Judaisms (pp. 326- 32 in Textbook): - Flavius Josephus (Wars of the Jews 2.8.2) describes the different forms of Judaism in the 1st century of the common era; see also (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.10.6): - Sadducees; - Pharisees; and - Essenes. - the New Testament books give us further information on Judaism of this same time period;

21 21 Major Groups within Judaism during the NT period: - the Pharisees; - the Sadducees; - the Samaritans; - the Essenes of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls; and - the Zealots. (See Textbook, “The Diverse World of First-Century Judaism,” pp. 326-32.)

22 22 New Testament Palestine.

23 23 Map of Qumran.

24 24 Caves at Qumran in which the Dead Sea Scrolls found.

25 25 Qumran – Scriptorium.

26 26 The Messiah: First Century Expectations: - Messiah: a Hebrew term meaning “anointed one”; - it designated a king or priest of ancient Israel who had been anointed - set apart - for a special role; - King David is the model of Israel’s anointed ruler; -the term was applied to a future heir of David who would restore the kingdom of David (Pss. 2.2; 110; Dan 9.25-26). (See Textbook, “The Messiah: First-Century Expectations,” pp. 333-36.)

27 27 The Messiah: First Century Expectations: - many Jews did not make the coming of a Messiah a large part of their religious hope; - the Sadducees denied that there would be a Messiah; - the Essenes anticipated two separate figures: - one would fulfill a priestly role; - the other would fulfill a political role; - the Christians viewed Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah; - this view not accepted by the majority of Jews; - this due in part to the fact that Jesus’ Crucifixion was “a stumbling block” for scripturally literate Jews (1 Cor 1.23).

28 28 Questions on “Context for New Testament Studies” 1.What is the Bible? For a Christian, what are its two main divisions? 2.What is the meaning of “covenant”? What is meant by the “Mosaic covenant”? How does this covenant relate to what is called the Hebrew Scriptures? 3.What is meant by the “new covenant/new testament”? How does it differ from the “old covenant/old testament”? 4. What is the Septuagint? 5. List the books of the New Testament.

29 29 6. Describe the historical and geographic context for New Testament studies. 7.Describe the major groups within Judaism during the New Testament period. 8. What does the Hebrew term “Messiah” mean? How is the term applied in the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament? 9.What were the first century expectations among Jews relative to the Messiah? Shalom!


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