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Presentation on theme: "BACKGROUND TO THE NEW TESTAMENT"— Presentation transcript:


2 In Old Testament times, the kings Saul, David, and _____________ ruled over all twelve tribes of Israel. Then the nation split into the ten-tribe ____________ kingdom of _________ and the southern kingdom of ________, with the tribe of Benjamin absorbed into the tribe of _________. Solomon Northern Israel Judah Judah

3 The ____________ conquered the northern kingdom and took most of its inhabitants as __________ into Assyria. Next, the ______________ took control of the Middle East from the Assyrians, conquered the _____________ kingdom of Judah, and took most of its inhabitants as exiles into _____________. Assyrians Exiles Babylonians Southern Babylonia

4 The ___________ then took control from the Babylonians and King ________ let exiled peoples, including ______, return to their native lands if they wished. Some did. Others did not. Under the Persians there began the __________________ period, sometimes called “the _________ __________ ________ years” because of a _____ in Biblical record (though non-biblical records have survived). Persians Cyrus Jews Inter-Testamental Four Hundred Silent gap

5 During this gap, ______________ ______ __________ came from _________- Macedonia and conquered the Middle East by inflicting successive defeats on the __________ at the battles of Granicus (334 B.C.), Issus (333 B.C.) and Arbela (331 B.C.). Alexander The Great Greece Persians

6 400 Years of Prophetic Silence
CAPTIVITY The Gospels John the Baptist Ezra Nehemiah Haggai Zechariah Malachi 70 Years 400 Years The Old Testament recorded the spiritual failures of the nation of Israel. Israel repeatedly violated the commands of God until God disciplined His people by sending them into Babylonian captivity. After 70 years in captivity, God allowed His people to return to their land and to function as a nation again. Men like Ezra, Nehemiah Haggai, and Malachi were instrumental in this return and restoration; however, as the Old Testament came to a close with the historical book of Nehemiah and the prophetic book of Malachi, once again the spiritual life of Israel began to deteriorate. God’s final word, through the prophet Malachi, was primarily a rebuke for Israel’s sinfulness. Although the prophets and spiritual leaders weren’t totally successful in their efforts, they did impact the nation of Israel for the intertestamental period. They elevated the Word of God to new heights of importance and strictly applied the principles of the law to everyday life. So, while most of the Jews fell away from the law of God during those 4 centuries, some held firmly to the Word of the God, refusing to compromise with pagan influences. These Jews made up God’s remnant. It is in this remnant that we find Jewish history preserved between the Old and New Testaments. It’s also through this remnant that God would fulfill His promise. Included in Malachi’s message (in Malachi 3 and 4) was the promise that the Lord and His messenger would someday come. That promise would not be fulfilled for about 400 hundred years, when John the Baptist (the messenger) would announce the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. from page 24 of Survey of the New Testament, by Paul Benware

7 The Historical Background to the New Testament
The Political Background The Persian Period B.C. The Greek Period B.C. The Egyptian Period – 323 B.C. The Syrian Period – 204 B.C. The Maccabean and Hasmonean Period – 165 B.C. The Roman Period – 63 B.C. to Christ The Religious Background The Pharisees and Sadducees The Scribes The Essenes The Herodians The Zealots The Synagogue The Sanhedrin The Temple The 400 year history of the Jews between Malachi and Matthew runs in 6 periods.

8 The Image of Daniel, Chapter 2
Head of Gold (Nebuchadnezzar) BABYLON ( B.C., Daniel 2:37-38) Belly of Bronze GRECO-MACEDONIAN (Established by Alexander the Great; B.C., Daniel 2:39) Chest and Arms of Silver MEDO-PERSIAN (Beginning with Cyrus the Great; B.C., Daniel 2:32,39) ROMAN EMPIRE (Beginning with Pompey and Julius Caesar; 168 B.C. – 476 A.D., Daniel 2:40) Legs of Iron The Image of Daniel, Chapter 2 Among the Jewish captives taken from Judah and exiled to Babylon was a young man whose Hebrew name was Daniel, renamed Belteshazzar by the Babylonians (Daniel 1:1-7). Daniel lived in the remarkable times of the downfall of the kingdoms of both Judah and Babylon. He served as a high official in both the Babylonian government and that of its successor, the Medo-Persian Empire. An amazing prophecy recorded by Daniel is his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in chapter 2. In the second year of his reign the Babylonian king had a troubling dream that none of his counselors could explain. Babylonian culture placed considerable emphasis on dreams, and Nebuchadnezzar was convinced that this one was of great importance (Daniel 2:1-3). His dream gives us a "disclosure of God's plan for the ages till the final triumph of Christ" and "presents the foreordained succession of world powers that are to dominate the Near East till the final victory of the Messiah in the last days." Without prior knowledge of its content, Daniel explained the details of the dream to Nebuchadnezzar: "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay" (Daniel 2:31-33). Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that his Babylonian Empire was represented by the head of gold (verses 37-38). The silver, bronze and iron components of the image, or statue, represented three powerful empires that were to follow mighty Babylon (verses 39-40). This interpretation provided an astounding preview of history. Nebuchadnezzar's dream occurred and was interpreted by Daniel about 600 B.C. The image represented, in symbolic form, the sequence of great empires that would dominate the region's political scene for centuries. “The silver empire was to be Medo- Persia, which began with Cyrus the Great, who conquered Babylon in This silver empire was supreme in the Near and Middle East for about two centuries.” “The bronze empire was the Greco-Macedonian Empire established by Alexander the Great ... The bronze kingdom lasted for about 260 or 300 years before it was supplanted by the fourth kingdom.” "Iron connotes toughness and ruthlessness and describes the Roman Empire that reached its widest extent under the reign of Trajan.” Trajan reigned as emperor A.D , and the Roman Empire itself ruled for many centuries. The fourth empire was depicted as having 10 toes. The feet and toes were composed partly of iron and partly of clay, as verse 41 explains. "Verse 41 deals with a later phase or outgrowth of this fourth empire, symbolized by the feet and ten toes—made up of iron and earthenware, a fragile base for the huge monument. The text clearly implies that this final phase will be marked by some sort of federation rather than by a powerful single realm."  Additional aspects of this succession of world-ruling empires were revealed to Daniel in a later dream. This time the four empires were represented by four beasts: a lion (Babylonian Empire), a bear (Medo-Persian Empire), a leopard (Greco-Macedonian Empire) and a fourth beast described as "terrible" and unlike the other three (Daniel 7:1-7). Notice what verse 7 says about this fourth creature: "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth [paralleling the iron legs of the prior dream]; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns." What does this description mean? It too is a reference to the great power of Rome, which crushed all who opposed it. "Thus the superior power of the colossus of Rome ... is emphasized in the symbolism of this terrible fourth beast.” Verse 8 of Daniel 7 elaborates on the 10 horns: "I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots." Later in the chapter we see that this little horn exalts himself to the position of an internationally powerful religious leader (verses 24-25), even commanding a false religious system that persecutes the true followers of God. Daniel 7:9-14 takes us right through to Christ's establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth: "Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." So this Roman system, through its periodic revivals down through history, continues right to the time of the end when Jesus Christ returns to rule the earth. Verses tell us that the rock (Jesus) will destroy the image. 34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Feet and Toes of Iron and Clay STRONG AND WEAK GOVERNMENTS OF THE ENDTIME (476 A.D. to present; Daniel 2:41)

9 The Political Background The Persian (Medo-Persian) Period - 538 B.C.
The Persian rule over Palestine continued until Alexander the Great and his Greek empire in 333 B.C. This was the 2nd empire mentioned by ___________. This means that the Jews were under the Persian rule at the end of ___________ and remained under them for the first 60 years of the ________________ Period. Daniel Cyrus the Great, the first king of Persia From page 23 in Benware book: The Jews came under Persian control when the Persians and their allies extracted world domination away from the Babylonians in 539 B.C. Under the Persians the Jews were treated fairly well. Cyrus, the Persian king, allowed the Jews to return to their own land and gave them permission to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-4). With the encouragement of the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, and funding from King Darius, opposition and problems were overcome and the Temple was completed in 516 B.C. (Ezra 1:5-6:22). Later, under the leadership of Ezra (458 B.C.) and Nehemiah (444 B.C.), others returned and built the walls of Jerusalem. Those leaders, aided by the prophet Malachi, attempted to bring about moral and spiritual reformation. Although they were not totally successful in their efforts, they did impact the nation of Israel for the inter-testament period. They elevated the Word of God to new heights of importance and strictly applied the principles of the Law to everyday life. So while most of the Jews fell away from the Law of God during those centuries, some held firmly to the Word of God, refusing to compromise with pagan influences. Malachi Inter-Testament Darius II, king of Persia 423 to 405

10 The Achaemenid Empire or Persian Empire (550–330 BCE) was the successor state of the Median Empire, ruling over significant portions of what would become Greater Iran. The Persian and the Median Empire taken together are also known as the Medo-Persian Empire, succeeding the Neo-Assyrian Empire. It was succeeded in turn by the Seleucid Empire.

11 The Political Background
B. The Greek (Greco-Macedonian) Period – 333 B.C. Alexander the Great, at ______ years of age, transformed the face of the world in _____ years. He is spoken of by Daniel in his prophecy in Daniel 7:6; Daniel 8:1-7 and Alexander's conquests caused the rapid spread of ___________ (Greek culture). This culture permeated life everywhere, including Palestine. Greek became the common language; this factor had a significant impact on the spread of the _________ of Jesus Christ in ______ ___________times.  20 10 Hellenism Alexander founded 70 cities and modeled them after the Greek style. He and his soldiers married oriental women, Thus, the Greek and oriental cultures mixed. In 334 B.C. Alexander the Great, son of Philip II of Macedon, crossed the Hellespont into Asia Minor and launched his attack against the Persian armies of Darius III. After a campaign into India, Alexander retraced his steps to Babylon. There he became ill with a fever and died in June, 323 B.C. By Jesus' day many Hellenized Jews had adopted the Greek ways, customs, and speech and had been freed from an exclusive spirit of Hebrew tradition and ancestry. Greek was the established language, even in Rome where the indigenous people spoke Latin. The masses of slaves and freed men spoke Greek (compare Paul’s writing his Letter to the Romans in Greek, not Latin). With the early death of Alexander at the age of thirty-three (323 B.C.) and having no heir old enough to take his throne, his leading generals (called diadochi, Greek for “successors”) divided his vast empire into four parts. Gospel New Testament

12 The 4 Kingdoms of The Greek Empire after 301 B.C.
Alexander's generals warred for control of his empire. The ensuing struggles for domination eliminated all but four, who became heads of the four divisions of his empire. The four were Cassander, reigning in Greece and the West, Lysimachus in Thrace and Asia Minor, Ptolemy in Egypt and Seleucus in Syria. Of these four, two—Ptolemy and Seleucus—expanded their rule and territory. The Ptolemaic Empire was centered in Egypt. Alexandria was its capital. The Seleucid Empire was centered in Syria. Antioch was its capital. “Seleucidae” were the line of Syrian kings. A number of its rulers were named Seleucus, after the first ruler. Several others were named Antiochus, after the capital city. Together, there were called the Selecids. When the Roman general Pompey made Syria a Roman province in 64 B.C., the Seleucid Empire came to an end. Because it was sandwiched between Egypt and Syria, Palestine became a victim of rivalry between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids, both of whom wanted to collected taxes from its inhabitants and make it a buffer zone against attack from the other. Take the Regions of Lysimachus and Cassander out of the story. They don’t factor into the upcoming history in any significant way. Now there are two major empires set up in two regions: Syria (the Seleucids) and Egypt (the Ptolemies). Daniel 11 calls the King of the North (Syria) and the King of the South (Egypt)

13 The Political Background The Egyptian Period - 323 B.C.
This was the longest of the six periods in the Inter-Testament Period. The death of Alexander the Great resulted in _________ falling into the hands of the first Ptolemaic ruler, Ptolemy Soter (Ptolemies were the line of Greek kings over ________). The second Ptolemy (Philadelphus) founded the _______________ library and the famous Septuagint translation of the Old Testament was made from the __________ to the __________ during this reign. Judea Egypt The land of the Jews became part of Ptolemy’s empire at the division of Alexander’s empire. The Ptolemies controlled the Jews for more than a century. Cleopatra, who died in 30 B.C., was the last of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Generally, the Jews fared well during this period. Early tradition says that under Ptolemy Philadelphus ( B.C.) 72 Jewish scholars began to translate the Hebrew Old Testament into a Greek version called the Septuagint. It became a significant document to the Jewish community living outside of Palestine. Later, it was the Bible of the early church. Alexandrian Hebrew Greek

14 The Political Background D. The Syrian Period - 204 B.C.
In 198 B.C. Antiochus III, a Seleucid of Syria, defeated the Ptolemies and drove them back into Egypt. Antiochus IV, or Epiphanes ( B.C.) replaced the Jewish ______ priest Onias III with Onias’s brother Jason, a Hellenizer who started making Jerusalem into a ________ city. Before launching an invasion of Egypt, Antiochus Ephiphanes replaced his own appointee in the Jewish high priesthood with Meneluas, another Hellenizing Jew, who offered to collect for Antiochus higher ______ from his subjects in Palestine. high Greek This was the most tragic part of the Inter-Testament Period for the Jews. In Antiochus’s efforts to make Jerusalem into a Greek city, a gymnasium and an adjoining race track were built there. To the outrage of strict Jews, Jewish boys exercised in the Greek fashion – nude. Track races opened with involvement to pagan deities. Even Jewish priests attended these events. Such Hellenization also included attendance at Greek theaters, the adoption of Greek dress, surgery to disguise circumcision when exercising in the nude, and the exchange of Hebrew names for Greek names. Jews who opposed this paganization of their culture were called Hasideans, “pious people,” roughly equivalent to “Puritans.” Antiochus attempted to annex Egypt but failed because Egypt was Rome’s main source of grain. Rome did not want its main source of grain taken over by the Seleucids nor the Seleucid Empire to increase in strength. Outside of Alexandria, an envoy of Roman senate drew a circle on the ground around Antiochus and demanded that before stepping out of the circle he promise to leave Egypt with his troops. Antiochus learned to respect Roman power during a time he was a hostage there, so he acquiesced. Jason, thinking that Antiochus had been killed in Egypt, decided to gather Jewish supporters and seize control of the city from Menelaus. Antiochus was so angered that he sent his army to plunder Jerusalem, ransack the Temple, tear down houses and walls, burn the city, kill Jewish men, and enslave the women and children. It became a capital offense to practice circumcision, observe the Sabbath, celebrate Jewish festivals, or possess scrolls of the Old Testament books. Many scrolls were destroyed. Pagan sacrifices became compulsory, as did processional marching in honor of Dionysus (or Bacchus,) the Greek god of wine. An altar to the Syrian high god, identified as Zeus, was erected in the Temple. Animals abominable according to the Mosaic Law were sacrifices on the altar, and prostitution was practiced right in the Temple precincts. taxes

15 The Political Background
E. The Maccabean and Hasmonean Period B.C. – 63 B.C. One day, a royal agent of Antiochus visited Jerusalem and urged an elderly priest named Mattathias to offer a pig as a sacrifice to the Greek gods. Mattathias r_________. When another Jew stepped forward to comply, Mattathias ________ him and the royal agent, demolished the altar, and f_____ to the mountains with his five ______ and other sympathizers. Thus, the Maccabean Revolt began in 167 B.C. under the leadership of Mattathias’s family. We call this family the Hasmoneans, after Hasmon, great-grandfather of Mattathias, or the Maccabees (which means “the Hammer”), from the name given to Judas, one of Mattathias’s sons who led the rebels in guerrilla warfare to defeat the S_______. efused killed led sons This was one of the most heroic periods in all history. The excesses of Antiochus Epiphanes provoked the movement by the aged priest Mattathias, and carried on by his son, Judas Maccabeus. We know the details of the Jewish fight against the Greeks and Hellenism from the two Books of the Maccabees as well as the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus. These chronicles are not included in the Hebrew Bible because the Men of the Great Assembly had decided many years earlier what the Hebrew Bible should consist of and these events occurred much later in time. The Books of the Maccabees were both written in the first century BCE. I Maccabees was originally written in Hebrew as an official court history for the Hasmonean Dynasty. II Maccabees was originally written in Greek and based on earlier work written by Jason of Cyrene. This revolt of the Jews sets a precedent in human history. It is the world’s first ideological/religious war. No one in the ancient world died for their gods; only the Jews thought that their religion—the only monotheistic religion at the time—was worth dying for. The year is 167 BCE and the horrible persecution of Judaism by the Greeks is in full swing. The Greek troops show up in the town of Modi’in (a site west of Jerusalem which you can visit today off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway) and demand that the Jews there sacrifice a pig to the Greek gods. The elder of the town, Mattathias, who is a cohen, that is of the priestly class, refuses. Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers…We will not obey the king’s word by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left. (I Maccabees 2:19-22) But there is a Hellenized Jew in the town who is willing to do what is unspeakable in Jewish eyes. As he’s about to sacrifice the pig, Mattathias stabs him, also killing the Greek official present. He then turns to the crowd and announces: “Follow me, all of you who are for God’s law and stand by the covenant.” (1 Maccabees 2:27) Those who join Mattathias and his five sons—named Yohanan, Shimon, Judah, Eleazar, Yonaton—head for the hills, expecting that the Greeks are going to come back and wipe out the whole village as a reprisal. In the hills, they organize a guerilla army, led primarily by the oldest of the sons named Judah, nicknamed Maccabee, which means “the Hammer.” Maccabee is also an acronym for mi komocho ba’alim Hashem, “who is like you among the powers O God,”—the battle cry of the Jewish people. yrians

16 Greeks ivil ellenized Jerusalem Temple
The Political Background E. The Maccabean and Hasmonean Period B.C. – 63 B.C. The Maccabees had enough of the excesses of Antiochus Epiphanes. But, this was not just a war against the ________, it was a c_____ war; the Jews who were loyal to Judaism were fighting other Jews who had become H__________ and who were siding with the Greeks. Ultimately, the Maccabees expelled the Syrian troops from their citadel in ___________, regained religious freedom, rededicated the _________, and conquered Palestine. Greeks ivil ellenized We don’t know exactly how large this Maccabee army was, but even the most optimistic estimates put the number at no more than 12,000 men. This tiny force takes on the fighting Greek army of up to 40,000 men. It’s not just a numerical superiority the Greeks have. The Greeks are professional soldiers—they have equipment, they have training, and they have a herd of war elephants, which were the tanks of the ancient world. The Jews are vastly outnumbered, poorly trained, and poorly equipped (not to mention, they have no elephants), but what they lack in training and equipment they make up in spirit. Most of the battles take place in the foothills leading from the coastal plain area (Tel Aviv) to Jerusalem. The Greeks are trying to march their armies up the natural canyons that lead into the mountain areas, the stronghold of the Jewish army. There’s only a few places where the Greeks can ascend and this is where the Maccabees choose to take them on. Now when we read the story of the Maccabees it seems like it’s something that takes place over a few weeks—the battles take place, the Jews win, and the Greeks go home. But, in fact, it takes 25 years of fighting and a great many casualties on both sides until the Selucid Greeks finally reach a peace agreement with the Jews. CHANUKAH After the first three years, the Jews are able re-conquer Jerusalem. They find the Temple defiled and turned into a pagan sanctuary, where pigs are sacrificed on the altar. When they re-enter the Temple, the first thing they do is try to light a make-shift menorah (as the real gold one had been melted down by the Greeks) but only one vial of pure lamp oil with the special seal is discovered. They use this vial to light the menorah and miraculously it stays lit for eight days, by which time fresh pure oil has been pressed and delivered to the Temple. The Maccabees then purify the Temple and rededicate it on the 25th of Kislev, which is the date on the Hebrew calendar when we begin to celebrate the eight days of Chanukah. (The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication” or “inauguration.”) Early in the morning of the 25th day of the ninth month which is the month of Kislev…they [the priests] rose and offered sacrifices, as the law directs, on the new alter of burnt offerings which they had built…it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals…So they celebrated the dedication of the alter for eight days...(I Maccabees 4:52-56) The miracle of the oil lasting for eight days (which is not mentioned in the Book of the Maccabees) is described in the Talmud: ...and when the royal Hasmonean House gained the upper hand and vanquished them. [the Greeks], [the Hasmoneans] .searched and found only one flask of oil…with the Kohen Gadol’s [High Priest] seal, and it contained only [enough oil] to burn for one day. A miracle occurred and it burned for eight days. (Talmud, Shabbat 21b) Chanukah—one of two holidays added to the Jewish calendar by the rabbis—celebrates two kinds of miracles: 1) the military victory of the vastly outnumbered Jews against the Greeks; and 2) the spiritual victory of Jewish values over those of the Greek. It is this spiritual victory which is symbolized by the lights of Chanukah. If we look at these two miracles, clearly the military victory was greater yet it is the miracle of the oil that is commemorated during the festival of Hanukah. The military victory may have been more impressive, but as we already mentioned, the real battle was spiritual and not physical. It is precisely this spiritual victory that is symbolized by the light of the menorah. (Fire, the soul and spirituality are all connected in Jewish thought). The light of Chanukah is symbolic of the inner spiritual strength of the Jewish people that despite all odds is never extinguished. It is precisely this inner spiritual strength that has enabled the Jewish people to outlast the greatest empires in history and have monumental impact on humanity. The rededication of the Temple does not end the fight however. A Greek garrison remained stationed in Jerusalem in the Acra fortress and the Greek armies besiege Jerusalem and attempt to re-conquer the City. Many more battles will be fought before the conflict finally ends It’s not until 142 BCE, during the reign of Seleucid monarch Demitrius, that the Greeks finally have enough of the fighting and sign a peace treaty with Simon, the last survivor of the five sons of Mattathias. (In 162 BCE-Eleazar falls in battle: thrusting a spear into the belly of war elephant on which he thought the king was riding, the elephant falls on him crushing him death. Yehuda is killed at the battle of Elasa in 161 BCE and Jonathan falls in battle in 142 BCE.) In [that] year, Israel was released from the gentile yoke; the people began to write on their contracts and agreements: “In the first year of Simon, the great High Priest, general and leader of the Jews.” (1 Maccabees 13:41-42) Thus Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel is officially restored. Jerusalem Temple

17 The Political Background
E. The Maccabean and Hasmonean Period – 165 B.C B.C. The subsequent history of the Hasmonean dynasty ( B.C) tells a sad tale of internal strife caused by ambition for _________. The political aims and intrigues of the Hasmoneans alienated many of their former supporters, the Hasideans, who _______ into the Pharisees and the Essenes. Some of the Essenes produced the _______ _____ Scrolls from Qumran. The aristocratic and politically minded supporters of the Hasmonean priest-kings became the S___________. Finally, the ________ general Pompey subdued Palestine (63 B.C.). Throughout New Testament history, then, Roman power d__________ Palestine. power split Dead Sea After Judas Maccabeus was killed in battle (160 B.C.), his brothers Jonathan and then Simon succeeded him in leadership. Jonathan began to rebuild the damaged walls of Jerusalem and its other structures. He also assumed the high-priestly office. As noted above, Mattathias was a cohen, and so it is not surprising that his son, Simon, should become High Priest. But Simon also takes on himself the title ofnasi meaning “prince/president/leader.” He did not call himself king because he knew full well that a Jewish king could only come from the line of David, but for all practical purposes they assumed the role of kingship. (The line of David—the line of kings—comes from the tribe of Judah, whereas the line of the cohanim, the priests, comes from the tribe of Levi, as per the blessing of Jacob on his twelve sons, the twelve tribes of Israel.) This is a bad choice on the part of Simon because his descendants do not respect this distinction. They start a new ruling dynasty in Israel—the Hasmonean dynasty—which lasts for 103 years and which is marked by great territorial expansion but also by a terrible moral and religious decline. They should not have been kings in the first place and then they became corrupted by their own power. adducees Roman ominated


19 The Political Background E. The Roman Period - 63 B.C. to Christ
Judea became a province of the Roman Empire. When the ______________ line ended, Antipater was appointed over Judea by _________ _________ in 47 B.C. Antipater appointed H_______, his son, governor of Galilee. He was appointed king of the Jews by Rome in 40 B.C. He ____________ almost half of his own family including his wife and _______. This was the “Herod the Great” who was king when our Lord was ________. This is the political background of the Jews during the 400 year period. Maccabean Julius Caesar erod murdered sons This is a picture of Antipater. born

20 Antipater prepared the list of seven man-made ancient wonders of the world.
The list that was initially prepared in 2 A.D. had included the Walls of Babylon on the seventh position. However, The Lighthouse on the Pharos Island near the Alexandria port gained the seventh position in the list of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. This Lighthouse was 122 metres (400 feet) tall and the light at the peak was reflected via the convex glass and could be seen by the ships sailing even at a distance of 450 kilometres.

21 The Historical Background to the New Testament
II. The Religious Background The Pharisees and Sadducees The Scribes The Essenes The Herodians The Zealots The Synagogue The Sanhedrin The Temple

22 Pharisee means “separatists,” and Sadducees means “righteous ______.”
II. The Religious Background The Pharisees and Sadducees The Pharisees held that the Oral Law was given orally to _________, to Joshua, to the elders, to the ___________ and then to the men of the Great Synagogue. The Pharisees were the i____________ of the Oral Law. The Sadducees rejected all this, holding to only “the law,” meaning the P___________. They denied the spirit world of a _______, immortality, and _____________ from the dead (Acts 23:8) while the Pharisees affirmed all of these doctrines. Pharisee means “separatists,” and Sadducees means “righteous ______.” Moses prophets nterpreters entateuch ngels They always opposed one another. resurrection ones

23 II. The Religious Background
B. The Scribes From the time of the ______________ Captivity, there developed a new line of scribes who were not just transcribers or _______________, but a new body of men who became the expounders, guardians and teachers of the S___________. They became a distinguished order in the nation. They must be distinguished from the priests and the ____________, but this does not mean that they were alike or even together in function. Our Lord denounced the scribes because of their c___________ and outward p___________ (Matthew 23:13-18). Babylonian secretaries criptures Pharisees orruption iousness

24 II. The Religious Background
C. The Essenes The Essenes originated during the days of the Maccabees. They were known for their strict, r_______ lifestyle; a lifestyle far more burdensome than the one created by the P__________. Although they aren’t mentioned by name in the New Testament, some believe that John ______ ___________ may have had some contact with them. igid harisees the Baptist

25 II. The Religious Background
D. The Herodians The Herodians were more of a ___________ party than a religious sect. They accepted Hellenization and desired the political power and worldly benefits that came to loyal supporters of H________ family. Because they both considered Jesus an enemy, the Herodians united with the ____________ to bring charges against Him. political erod’s Pharisees

26 II. The Religious Background
E. The Zealots The Zealots were Palestinian groups who advocated to violently overthrow R_______. They were responsible for a number of revolts in the first century, and it was their activity that brought about the terrible Roman wars of A.D in which _____________ was destroyed and tens of thousands of Jews were __________. ome Jerusalem killed

27 II. The Religious Background
F. The Synagogue There is not a word about synagogues in the ______ _____________, but as soon as we start the New Testament we find them everywhere. The synagogue did not exist before the ___________ but it seems to have originated during that time – when the Jews totally turned away from i__________. There was no longer a Jewish _________ and they longed for the reading of the Scriptures. This is the way the synagogue came into being. The synagogue was congregational and not _________. The institution of preaching had its beginning in the synagogue. It was from this background that the early Christian church, as organized by the apostles, took its main form of __________. The titles given to the New Testament church leaders: Elders, Bishops, _________ are all carried over from the synagogue. Old Testament Captivity dolatry Temple priestly worship Deacons

28 II. The Religious Background
G. The Sanhedrin There is another Jewish institution called the Sanhedrin, which in New Testament times was the supreme civil and ____________ tribunal of the Jewish nation. It had the idea of a council or _____________ body and also included the idea of a court. The Great Sanhedrin was something like a Jewish “supreme court.” It was the Great Sanhedrin that found itself in conflict with _________. Members attempted to arrest Him on several occasions; they desired to kill Him; they participated in His arrest; they broke their own laws and code of ethics in their trial of Him; and they are held accountable by ___________ for their actions. religious governing Jesus Scripture

29 II. The Religious Background H. The Temple
The Temple was the focal point of Jewish religion and ___________. This is where the __________ sacrifices were made and the _________ of the Jews were celebrated. The Temple in Jerusalem was originally built by King ___________. The Temple of Christ’s day was rebuilt by ________ the Great, but it was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the __________. The Herodian Temple complex had 3 courts: the large outer “court of the Gentiles,” “the court of the _________,” and the “court of Israel.” Israelite women could enter the inner court area, but could not go into the court of ________. The _________ formed a police force to stand guard at the gates and constantly patrol the courts. worship blood feasts Solomon Herod Romans women Israel Levites


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