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Historical Background of the Gospels Political Background
Sources for  Intertestamental Information <ul><li>Josephus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jewish Antiquities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
Jews Under Persian Rule (424-331 BC) <ul><li>Cyrus inaugurated a policy of returning Jews to their homeland in 539 BC. </l...
Alexander the Great and Hellenism (331- 167 BC) <ul><li>Alexander born in 356 BC, taught by Aristotle. </li></ul><ul><li>P...
Alexander the Great and Hellenism (331- 167 BC) <ul><li>Greek rule brought improved standards of living and improved admin...
 
Egyptian Rule Under the Ptolemies (323-198 BC) <ul><li>Alexander left no living heirs. </li></ul><ul><li>Diadochi (“succes...
Egyptian Rule Under the Ptolemies (323-198 BC) <ul><li>Syrian Rule Under the Seleucids (198-167 BC) </li></ul><ul><li>In 1...
Maccabean Revolt and Hasmoneans (167-63 BC) <ul><li>Mattathias, an aged priest, ordered to sacrifice on unlawful altar.  H...
Maccabean Revolt and Hasmoneans (167-63 BC) <ul><li>In 164 BC, Judas regained control of temple precincts and purified the...
Maccabean Revolt and Hasmoneans (167-63 BC) <ul><li>Jonathan was appointed High Priest illegitimately as a stop-gap. </li>...
Maccabean Revolt and Hasmoneans (167-63 BC) <ul><li>Hasidim begin to protest corruption of Hasmoneans.  Pharisees probably...
Roman Period (63 BC – end of  New Testament) <ul><li>Pompey enters Jerusalem and is resisted by Aristobulus II. </li></ul>...
Roman Period (63 BC – end of  New Testament) <ul><li>By 37 BC, Herod triumphs and rules for 33 years. </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
Roman Period (63 BC – end of  New Testament) <ul><li>Archelaus treats Jews cruelly and is eventually banished by Rome. </l...
Roman Period (63 BC – end of  New Testament) <ul><li>Benefits of Roman Rule </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greek is  lingua franca ...
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Political Background to the Gospels

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Political Background to the Gospels

  1. 1. Historical Background of the Gospels Political Background
  2. 2. Sources for Intertestamental Information <ul><li>Josephus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jewish Antiquities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jewish War </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Josephus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Apocrypha </li></ul><ul><ul><li>15 short books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accepted by Roman Catholics as Old Testament Canon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pseudopigrapha </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than 60 additional works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>None of these ever accepted as inspired or canonical </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Jews Under Persian Rule (424-331 BC) <ul><li>Cyrus inaugurated a policy of returning Jews to their homeland in 539 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Rulers continued Cyrus' policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Jews did not immediately establish a kingship. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased focus on the law. </li></ul><ul><li>Rise of the synagogue. </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning of the oral law. </li></ul><ul><li>Establishment of Aramaic as the main language </li></ul>
  4. 4. Alexander the Great and Hellenism (331- 167 BC) <ul><li>Alexander born in 356 BC, taught by Aristotle. </li></ul><ul><li>Philip II of Macedon defeats Athens in 338 BC and assassinated two years later. </li></ul><ul><li>Alexander conquered and controlled from Greece to India, from southern Russia to northern Africa. </li></ul><ul><li>Israel came under Greek rule in 331 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Jews continued a voluntary dispersion, many collecting in Alexandria. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Alexander the Great and Hellenism (331- 167 BC) <ul><li>Greek rule brought improved standards of living and improved administration. </li></ul><ul><li>Hellenization spread as a result of imperialism. </li></ul><ul><li>Spread of the Greek language. </li></ul><ul><li>LXX – Greek translation of Hebrew Scriptures </li></ul>
  6. 7. Egyptian Rule Under the Ptolemies (323-198 BC) <ul><li>Alexander left no living heirs. </li></ul><ul><li>Diadochi (“successors”) – 323-301 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Empire divided into four, then three, and finally two parts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seleucus – Northern Empire under Seleucid control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ptolemy – Southern Empire based in Egypt </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From 311 BC, Israel under Ptolemaic control. </li></ul><ul><li>Development of tax-farmers in first half of third century. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Egyptian Rule Under the Ptolemies (323-198 BC) <ul><li>Syrian Rule Under the Seleucids (198-167 BC) </li></ul><ul><li>In 198 BC Antiochus II conquered and occupied Israel. </li></ul><ul><li>Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) came to power in 175. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High Priests installed as a result of bribery. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rumor spread through Jerusalem that Antiochus was killed in battle in Egypt, prompting celebration. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Antiochus takes offense and enters temple sanctuary on the way back and removed sacred objects and monies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After his next expedition in Egypt, Antiochus loots Jerusalem, slaughters many Jews, desecrates temple and gives it over to idolatry, and prohibits elements of Jewish law and tradition. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jews took actions of Antiochus Epiphanes to be the ruler prophesied in Daniel. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Maccabean Revolt and Hasmoneans (167-63 BC) <ul><li>Mattathias, an aged priest, ordered to sacrifice on unlawful altar. He refuses and kills soldier overseeing sacrifice and fellow Israelite who was to take his place. </li></ul><ul><li>Mattathias and five sons flee to hill country and organize a rebellion. </li></ul><ul><li>Rebels practiced guerrila warfare against Syrian armies. </li></ul><ul><li>Mattathias died in 166 BC and his son Judas (Maccabeus - “The Hammer”) continued leading the attacks. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Maccabean Revolt and Hasmoneans (167-63 BC) <ul><li>In 164 BC, Judas regained control of temple precincts and purified the sanctuary. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrated as Hanukkah. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John 10:22 occurs during feast of Hanukkah. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Antiochus IV dies in 164 and Antiochus V treated the Jews more favorably. </li></ul><ul><li>Judas and brothers continue to fight Syrians, eventually removing their presence in 142. </li></ul><ul><li>Judas died around 160 BC. Brothers Jonathan and Simon succeeded him. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Maccabean Revolt and Hasmoneans (167-63 BC) <ul><li>Jonathan was appointed High Priest illegitimately as a stop-gap. </li></ul><ul><li>Simon succeeded Jonathan and became political and religious leader and removed the Syrian presence. </li></ul><ul><li>Simon begins the succession of Hasmonean priest-kings. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John Hyrcanus (134-104) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aristobulus (103) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alexander Jannaeus (103-76) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Maccabean Revolt and Hasmoneans (167-63 BC) <ul><li>Hasidim begin to protest corruption of Hasmoneans. Pharisees probably came from Hasidim. </li></ul><ul><li>Jannaeus determines his wife Alexandra would succeed him (76-67). </li></ul><ul><li>Power struggle between her sons Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II results in each of them appealing to Rome for help. Pompey responds by conquering Jerusalem and desecrating the temple. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Roman Period (63 BC – end of New Testament) <ul><li>Pompey enters Jerusalem and is resisted by Aristobulus II. </li></ul><ul><li>Pompey installs Hyrcanus II as high priest. </li></ul><ul><li>Political leadership was given to a man named Antipater who ruled from 63-43 BC. Julius Caesar is emperor during this time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Judaism recognized as a religio licita – legal religion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>After Antipater, a power struggle continued from 42-40 between Herod and Antigonus. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Roman Period (63 BC – end of New Testament) <ul><li>By 37 BC, Herod triumphs and rules for 33 years. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Herod labeled “the Great”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Massive building projects including the temple. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Toward end of life, he becomes paranoid and kills off several sons and a wife. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kills infants in Bethlehem in search for Jesus. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develops some followers referred to as Herodians. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Herod leaves his kingdom to three of his sons. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Archelaus – Judea and Samaria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Antipas – Galilee and Perea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Philip – Outside Israel </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Roman Period (63 BC – end of New Testament) <ul><li>Archelaus treats Jews cruelly and is eventually banished by Rome. </li></ul><ul><li>After Archelaus, Rome appoints procurators and prefects in the southern half of Israel (Pilate, Felix, Festus). </li></ul><ul><li>Antipas more benign to Jews. He is the Herod referred to in many places in the Gospels. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Roman Period (63 BC – end of New Testament) <ul><li>Benefits of Roman Rule </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greek is lingua franca . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pax Romana </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation and communication systems developed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cosmopolitan spirit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elimination of cultural barriers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christianity a legal religion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Judicial processes </li></ul></ul>

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