Presentation on theme: "Topic 2 World of Jesus and NT A.Jewish history (late OT – NT period) Oppression, persecution, and rebellion 1.Babylonian period (587-39 BC ) – Jerusalem."— Presentation transcript:
Topic 2 World of Jesus and NT A.Jewish history (late OT – NT period) Oppression, persecution, and rebellion 1.Babylonian period ( BC ) – Jerusalem fell; Temple destroyed; Exile – “Babylonian captivity” 2.Persian period ( BC ) – Restoration - Temple rebuilt 3. 3.Hellenistic period ( BC ) - Greek influence. Alexander the Great – spread Greek language/culture. 167 BC - persecution by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Daniel – written about 165 BC as call to faithfulness. 1 and 2 Maccabees – stories of persecution and resistance Maccabean/Hasmonean period ( BC ) Maccabean Revolt – won Jewish independence Hasmonean dynasty – provoked Jewish factionalism
A. A.Jewish History (cont.) 5. 5.Roman period (63 BC – 135 AD ) - NT period a. a.Pax Romana - Augustus (27 BC ) b. b.Indirect rule of Palestine through the Herods – Jewish client rulers appointed by Rome 1) 1)Herod the Great (37-4 BC ) “King of the Jews/Judea” Great building campaign - rebuilt Temple Brutal tyrant – ruthless Birth of Jesus c. 6 BC (Mt. 2) 2) 2)Three sons: a) a)Herod Antipas (4 BC -39 AD ) - Galilee and Perea Capital at Sepphoris (and Tiberias) Beheaded John the Baptist; suspicious of Jesus. b)Philip (4 BC -34 AD ) – NE districts c) c)Archelaus (4 BC -6 AD ) – Judea and Samaria Removed in 6 AD; replaced by Roman procurator. Herodian Palestine Pictures Sepphoris Pictures Map
A.Jewish History (cont.) 5. 5.Roman period – cont. c.The procurators (prefects) – 6 AD onward Direct Roman rule of Judea; census; new tax. Uprising of Judas the Galilean. Pontius Pilate (26-36 AD ) – crucified Jesus c. 30. d.Jewish War (66-70 AD ) 70 AD – Jerusalem fell; Temple destroyed. Josephus – Jewish historian. e.Council (Academy) of Jamnia ( AD ) Reorganized Judaism around Scripture, tradition, and synagogue. Closed Hebrew canon. Banned Christians from synagogue. f.Second Jewish Revolt ( AD ) Simon bar Kochba – alleged “messiah.” Jerusalem demolished, rebuilt as Roman city.
B. B.Religious developments in Judaism 1. 1.Scripture (Hebrew Bible) Torah (400 BC) Prophets (200 BC) Writings (90 AD) 2. 2.Oral law – Cumulative body of interpretations of Torah by scribes and rabbis Synagogues Jewish centers of worship and study. No animal sacrifices (as in Temple). Reading/interpreting Scripture; recital of prayers. 4.Sanhedrin Jewish ruling council (71 members). Presided over by high priest (appointed by procurator). Had limited authority under Roman rule.
5.Jewish Eschatology – doctrine of “last things” a. a.Hope for Messiah Ideal king to restore Israel; rule over Golden Age of peace and justice. “Messiah” = Hebrew for “anointed one” “Christ” = Greek for “anointed one” NT claims that Jesus fulfills messianic hope – but in unexpected ways. b. b.Apocalypticism Apocalypses flourished c. 200 BC -200 AD in times of crisis. Apocalypse = “revelation” Symbolic visions of (near) end of world Doctrine of two ages: “this age” and “age to come”two ages Expectations: tribulation; defeat of evil; resurrection of dead; final judgment; glorious new age/world. Usually not a messiah; sometimes a heavenly “Son of Man” as cosmic judge. New age is “Kingdom of God” –restoration of God’s sovereignty. These themes pervade the NT.
Doctrine of the Two Ages
C.Jewish Parties (Sects) Before 70, Judaism was quite diverse; many different forms. After 70, many parties disappeared; Judaism became more uniform. 1.Sadducees Chief priests; wealthy aristocrats. Controlled Temple, local government. Compromised with Romans; maintained order. Conservative: rejected oral law, resurrection. Opposed Jesus as potential revolutionary. After 70, disappeared. 2.Pharisees Devoted to Torah: written and oral law. Maintained ritual purity in daily life. Rules for Sabbath, tithing, washings, fasting, etc. Progressive: believed in resurrection; afterlife. Neglect of Torah delays Messiah. Challenged Jesus’ view of Torah. After 70, Pharisaism survived, developed into Rabbinic Judaism.
C.Jewish Parties (cont.) 3.Essenes Josephus (and others) describe as a sectarian group living on shore of Dead Sea. Probably associated with Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. Origin in Hasmonean period as Temple protest. Apocalyptic: expected final war between good and evil (Sons of Light vs. Sons of Darkness); expected 2 messiahs. Strict discipline and ritual purity – daily baths of ritual purification; sacred meals. Not mentioned in NT; many parallels. Destroyed in Jewish War. 4.Zealots Militant revolutionaries; freedom fighters. Not a single, continuous party. Ideology of violent opposition to foreign rule and compromise of Jewish law; motivated by devotion to God and Torah. Many wished Jesus to be Zealot type leader. Zealot movements faded after 70 and 135. Qumran Pictures
D.Hellenistic Judaism 1.Diaspora - “scattering/dispersion” of Jews outside Palestine. 2.Diaspora Judaism - more open to Hellenistic influence Septuagint (LXX) - Greek translation of Jewish scripture (OT). Produced in Egypt, beginning c. 250 B.C. Adopted by early Christians; influenced NT writers Philo of Alexandria Jewish theologian; trained in Greek philosophy. Combined Jewish theology and Greek philosophy Proselytes and God-fearers a.Proselytes - Gentile converts to Judaism (see Acts 6:5): Circumcision Ritual immersion (“proselyte baptism”) Sacrifice b. b.God-fearers – Gentiles attached to synagogues; did not convert (see Acts 10:1-2).
E.Larger Greco-Roman World 1.Hellenistic culture Greek culture dominant. Pessimism: no confidence in human ability to cope. Superstitious: fatalism, magic, astrology. 2.Religious ferment Proliferation of new religions. “Syncretism” – “blending together” different religions into new pattern. 3.Popular philosophies Platonism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Cynicism. Wandering philosophical teachers.
E.Larger Graeco-Roman World (cont.) 4.Mystery religions Secret rituals bring rebirth to immortality. Myth of dying and rising gods. Influenced Christian sacraments (cf. Rom. 6:3-4). 5.Gnosticism Dualism of spirit (good) and matter (evil). Human being: good spirit trapped in evil body. Salvation by secret gnosis (knowledge). Ethics of asceticism or libertinism Asceticism - rigorous discipline of fleshly appetites. Libertinism - absence of moral restraint. Interacted with early Christianity.