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Bible Timeline Study. 8-week Fall S ession : September 11 th – October 30 th Day Sessions:9:30 am – 11:00 am Evening Sessions7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Facilitator:Ed Koszykowski , Coordinator of Parish Ministries Session 1. Eight Week Breakout. Week 1Introduction

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Bible Timeline Study

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Bible timeline study

Bible Timeline Study

8-week Fall Session: September 11th – October 30th

Day Sessions:9:30 am – 11:00 am

Evening Sessions7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Facilitator:Ed Koszykowski,

Coordinator of Parish Ministries

Session 1


Eight week breakout

Eight Week Breakout

Week 1Introduction

Week 2The Early World (Creation Story)

Week 3The Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac & Jacob)

Week 4Egypt & Exodus Desert Wanderings

Week 5Conquest & Judges (The Royal Kingdom)

Week 6The Divided Kingdom & Exile

Week 7The Return & The Maccabean Revolution

Week 8The Messianic Fulfillment & The Early Church

Session 1


Session overview

Session Overview

Opening Prayer and Review15 minutes

View DVD30 minutes

Session Break10 minutes

Facilitator’s Insights 10 minutes

Questions & Answers20 minutes

Wrap-up and Closing Prayer 5 minutes

Session 1


11 commandments of a small group

11 Commandments of a Small Group

  • Be prepared

  • Come on time

  • If you did not prepare, allow others to speak before you

  • Listen to others

  • Stick to the topic and questions at hand

  • Never ridicule or cut down another’s answer

  • When you disagree, do so with respect and charity

  • Don’t fear silence

  • Don’t share confidences outside the group

  • Enjoy yourself!

  • Welcome newcomers to your table

    Session 1


Alphabetical rules of the road

Alphabetical “Rules of the Road”

  • Be Audible

  • Be Brief

  • Be Christ-Centered, and

  • Don’t Double-Dip (give your point, then allow others to speak)

    Session 1


A loose interpretation of creation

A Loose Interpretation of Creation

Session 1


The creation story

The Book of Genesis (meaning origin) covers the time from creation to the Israelite sojourn in Egypt and it is comprised of 50 chapters .Chapters 1-11 tell the story of creation and how the blessing of God enabled humanity to multiply, diversify, and disperse on the face of the earth. Today’s DVD will cover this period from chaos to God’s creation of the world and to the Tower of Babel (more chaos).Chapters 12- 50 address God’s covenant with the biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the limited family history of Israel’s ancestors (Abraham and Sarah (chs 12-25); Isaac and Rebekah and their twin sons Esau and Jacob (chs 26-46) ; and Jacob’s family, the chief member of which was Joseph (chs 37-50)The Book of Genesis concludes with the death of Joseph. Session 2

The Creation Story


The book of genesis

The Book of Genesis

The primary purpose of this book is not to present straightforward history but to tell the dramatic story of God’s dealings with the world and, in particular, to interpret Israel’s special role in God’s purpose.Scholars believe that there are four major traditions or sources of the Pentateuch books also known as the Books of Moses:Yahwists lived in Jerusalem around 960 BCE (period of King Solomon) whose name for God was Yahweh (the Lord) or Yahweh Elohim (the Lord God)Elohists lived in Samaria 9th to 8th BCE whose name for God was Elohim (God)Deuternomists who lived in/near Jerusalem around 721 BCE and whose name for God was Yahweh (the Lord)Priestly who lived during the exile (587-538 BCE) and post-exile Jerusalem and whose name for God was Elohim (God)

Scholars believe Moses is the patron of these five books of the Pentateuch and is the ancestor to whom ancient Israel dedicated these traditions.

Note:Two creation stories – Gen. 1:1 – 2:3; and Gen. 2:4 – the end of chapter 3.

First creation story – God is called Elohim (God)

Second creation story God is called Yahweh Elohim (the Lord God) Session 2


The patriarchs abraham isaac and jacob

The PatriarchsAbraham, Isaac and Jacob

Gen. 17:1-27 describes the “everlasting covenant” between God and Abraham. Covenant is a relationship between a superior and inferior party – the former making or establishing the bond. It is an everlasting covenant because it is grounded in the sovereign will of God and not in human behavior. It also guarantees the Promised Land in the land of Canaan as a perpetual holding.

Gen. 17:5 - God bestows upon Abram a new name Abraham (Hebrew for ancestor of a multitude) signifying a new relationship or status.

Gen. 21: 1-12 tells of the story of Isaac and Ishmael. Although Isaac was designated to continue Abraham’s line, Ishmael (meaning God hears) too was promised a great future. He and his mother, Hagar, become the line through which Islam traces its origin to Abraham.

Note: Gen. 16:10 – The angel of the Lord promises Hagar that the Lord “will greatly multiply her offspring that they cannot be counted for multitude”.

Session 3


Abraham s sacrifice of isaac

Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac

Gen. 22: 1-19 narrates the testing of Abraham in offering his only son, Isaac. Why this story and what kind of a God would ask such an offering? Place the story in the context of the time and culture.

People believed in the existence of multiple Gods and sought to appease their anger by offering their “most prized possession – their first born son”. For Abraham, this was his only son by Sarah.

Abraham’s God had earlier promised numerous ancestors through Isaac.

Abraham’s ancestors to this day would see this God, Yahweh, as a different God who no longer desired human sacrifice, but, who for us Christians would eventually sacrifice His only begotten Son in Jesus Christ for all of us.

Note in Gen. 25:1-18 the death of Abraham that both Isaac and Ishmael are reunited to bury their father, Abraham.(Gen. 25:9)

Session 3


The book of exodus

The Book of Exodus

The two “crucial experiences” of Israel’s religious traditions are the exodus from Egypt and the revelation of Mount Sinai.

The Book of Exodus bears witness to the meaning of these two experiences: God’s action to liberate a band of slaves from bondage and to make them a community bound in covenant with their liberating God.

Various lines of evidence point to the period of 1350-1200 BC as the most probable historic setting for the Exodus.

At the center of these experiences stands Moses (Mes in Egyptian meaning son and Masheh meaning deliver in Hebrew).

Moses is called by YAHWEH (meaning I am who I am) to be the prophetic interpreter of God’s liberating action and the priestly mediator of the covenant between God and the people.

Session 4


Moses returns to egypt

Moses returns to Egypt

Moses originally flees Egypt to the wilderness after killing an Egyptian and is wanted dead or alive by pharaoh.

Yahweh calls him by name, telling Moses that “I have heard the cry of my people…and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians to a land flowing with milk and honey..” (Ex. 3:7-8).

Moses returns to Egypt with his brother Aaron and meets with the elders of the Israelites to convey YAHWEH’s message and “the people believed. (Ex. 4:31)

Moses and Aaron meet with pharaoh who dismisses their God and orders even harsher conditions for the enslaved Israelites and they no longer listen to Moses’ promises of YAHWEH’s freeing them for they have become broken in spirit.

God responds saying to Moses: “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of the land. I will harden Pharaoh’s heart…” (Ex. 7:1-3)

Egypt experiences the ten plagues beginning with the water of the Nile river turning to blood to the tenth plague in which the Egyptian people, to include pharaoh, will experience the death of their firstborn child. Pharaoh will finally relent and allow the Israelites to leave. (Ex. 12:29-51)

The plagues demonstrate the power of God over all creation and the

supremacy of YAHWEH over all the false Gods worshipped by the Egyptian people.

They also affirm YAHWEH’s fidelity to His covenant with His People!

Session 4


The desert wanderings

The Desert Wanderings

In the Hebrew Bible, the book is appropriately called “In the Wilderness”

Much of the forty years are situated in the oasis known as Kadesh-barnea where they arrived after the march from Mt. Sinai.

The lessons of the wilderness experience:

The Israelites experience in the wilderness would illustrate the personal struggles of a people who wrestled with the relative security of slavery in Egypt and the precarious insecurity of freedom in the wilderness. Such struggles would include:

Power struggles amongst the leaders as to who speaks for God

Crises of faith and trust in this God YAHWEH

Yet, these narratives from the Book of Numbers are also infused with the Israelite’s conviction and remembrance that, despite their blindness and rebelliousness, YAHWEH was faithful to promises made to their ancestors.

The wilderness experience would also discipline them so as to render them totally dependent upon their God who both liberated them from bondage and strengthened them for the challenges of a life in the Promised Land.

Session 4


The books of the pentateuch the five books of moses

The Books of the Pentateuch(The Five Books of Moses)

The Pentateuch or Torah conveys a history, inspired by the Spirit of God, of a people with their God spanning from the creation of the universe to the eve of Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land.

Genesis narrates the creation of the world from chaos, to the first couple, and the earliest ancestors of the Israelites (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph).

Exodus is the heart of the Pentateuch for Jewish people dealing with the exodus out of Egypt and the sojourn at Mt. Sinai. All Jewish tradition reaches back to these “root experiences” which constitute a basic understanding for the Jewish people in our times of their identity and the identity and character of their GOD YAHWEH.

Leviticus is pre-eminently a book of worship and refers to the Levitical priests (of the Levi tribe) providing the laws dealing with sacrifice, the consecration of priests to office, purity laws, atonement ceremonies, laws governing daily life, and an appendix for religious vows.

Numbers chronicles the wanderings of the first Exodus generation and the subsequent generation that would be led into the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy (the Second Law) reaffirms the covenant between YAHWEH And the people of Israel. It is purported to be Moses’ farewell address to the people in which he recounts the mighty acts of the Lord, solemnly warns of the temptation of the news ways of Canaan, and pleads for loyalty to and love of God as the condition for life in the Promised Land. A distinctive teaching of Deuteronomy is that the worship of the Lord was to be centralized in one place and when this book was written the Jerusalem temple was regarded as the central sanctuary. Deuteronomy concludes with the death of Moses.

The Torah comprises 3 covenants : the first made with Noah in Gen. 9:1-17 concerning all humanity, the non-human creatures and the earth itself; the second with Abraham and Sarah guaranteeing Israel the promise of land, posterity, and relationship with God Gen. 17: 1-21; and the third mediated with Moses at Mount Sinai (Ex. 19-24) which is regarded as a ratification and extension of the covenant with the ancestors.

Session 4


Conquest judges

Conquest &Judges

The Book of Joshua

  • The Book of Joshua simplifies the long and complex process by which the tribes of Israel settle in Canaan. It intends to describe Israel, past and future, its relationship with God, and the kind of society it wished to be.

  • Canaan was in a state of great social and political turmoil with power concentrated in the upper classes at the detriment of the peasants. The socio-economic system eventually disintegrates under the pressure of the new Israelite immigrants

  • The Book of Joshua is the story of how an obedient Israel under God’s chosen leader can bring into existence a society based on justice and freedom. The book is comprised of three parts:

  • Chs. 1-12 describe the settlement of the tribes in Canaan as a result of the successful military campaigns led by Joshua against the Canaanites.

  • Chs. 13-21 will describe the distribution of the lands amongst the 12 tribes.

  • Chs. 22-24 focuses on the loyalty that the Israelite tribes owe to their God who has given them the land to occupy and fulfills one aspect of the covenant made previously with Abraham and reaffirmed with Moses.

    The stories in this book are very harsh and the Israelites do acquire the land through violent means. Yet, the aim of the Book of Joshua is not meant to edify but to move its readers to obedience in their God . For ancient Israel, this obedience was seen as an act of faith in the God who ultimately brings good out of evil.

    Session 5


Conquest judges1

Conquest &Judges

The Book of Judges

  • Tells the story of transition for the 12 tribes of Israel during which time the great leaders such as Moses and Joshua are dead and the age of greatness under King David is yet to be realized.

  • These judges are seen as divinely-inspired leaders whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as champions for the Israelites from oppression by foreign rulers and are models of wise and faithful behavior required of them by their God, Yahweh. But, they also had fears and attitudes towards the God of Israel that were not always commendable.

  • The period of the Judges (1380-1050 BC) details the effects of Israel’s failures and how the Lord dealt with those failures.

  • The stories follow a consistent pattern: the people are unfaithful to Yahweh and he therefore delivers them into the hands of their enemies; the people repent and entreat Yahweh for mercy, which he sends in the form of a leader or champion (a "judge"); the judge delivers the Israelites from oppression and they prosper, but soon they fall again into unfaithfulness and the cycle is repeated.

  • Yet, a new community emerges from the disparate groups who rejects the Canaanite city-state with its oppressive political and social systems and seeks to create a new pattern of life for their people.

    • This new people in the highlands of central Canaan would serve only one Lord. And it was their belief that they were ruled by a Lord who took the side of the lowly against their oppressors.

  • Scholars believe that the final form of the Book of Judges written about 6th century BC and perhaps by the community in the Babylonian captivity.

    Session 5


Royal kingdom

Royal Kingdom

The Book of I Samuel

  • Content of this book falls into two main parts:

    • The story of Samuel is viewed as a transition to the monarchy.

      • Opens with his birth to the elderly and barren Hannah and his consecration by the priest Eli.

      • The contrast between the evils sons of Eli and the growing spirituality of Samuel who ministered under Eli’s direction

      • God’s first revelation to Samuel (3.1-4.1) and “as Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord”. (I Sam. 3:19-20)

      • Still, the people request a king (8:1-22) and the Lord responds: “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you: for they have not rejected you but they have rejected me from being king over them”. (I Sam. 8:7)

    • The story of Saul, Israel’s first king, who will reign from 1020-1000 BC and the emergence of young David.

      • In 1 Sam 16:1-13, the Lord rejects Saul for his transgressions and you have the anointing by Samuel of David, who is the youngest son of Jesse.

        The Book of I Samuel concludes with the death of Saul by his own sword and that of his older sons at the battle of Gilboa.

        Session 5


Royal kingdom1

Royal Kingdom

The Book of II Samuel

  • The second book of Samuel relates the rule of David, first as he gradually assumes control in Judah when Saul’s claimants fell away (chs. 1-4) and then as king over both Judah and the northern tribes that comprise Israel (chs. 5-24).

  • King David (1,000-961 BC) captures Jerusalem, makes it the capital, and brings the ark back to this city. (6:1-15).

  • David wishes to build a temple, but the prophet Nathan tells him that one of David's sons will be the one to build the temple.

  • Instead, in 7:1-29, Nathan tells David that it is God’s will that he will establish in the House of David an everlasting dynasty in which God will raise up an offspring from David, establish his kingdom, and where God will be a father to him and he shall be a son to me.

  • David commits adultery with Bathsheba and plots the death of her husband, Uriah the Hittite; for this God punishes him, saying that the sword shall never depart from his house.

  • For the remainder of King David’s reign there would be problems: one of his sons rapes one of his daughters, another son kills the first, his favorite son rebels and is killed, until finally only two contenders for the succession remain, one of them Bathsheba's son, Solomon, who would become king in 961 BC.

    Session 5


Royal kingdom2

Royal Kingdom

The Book of I Kings

  • First Kings begins with the enthronement of Solomon and the death of David (chs. 1-2)

  • Chapters 3-11 recounts the reign of King Solomon

    • In chapter 3, Solomon in a dream prays for wisdom, receives it and exercises it in judgment evidenced by the famous story of 2 women both claiming to be the mother of the surviving infant in which he calls for his sword to divide the child in half thus revealing the true mother. (3:16-28)

    • The building of the first temple in Jerusalem in 961 BC. (6:1-38).

    • Solomon’s vision (9:1-9) in which God warns that if he and his people turn away from God and his commandments and serve other gods, he will cut off Israel from the land, that the temple will become a heap of ruins, and Israel will become a proverb and a taunt among all peoples – a foreshadowing of the exile!

    • Finally, chapter 11 concludes with the dark side of Solomon who has 700 wives and 300 concubines. He heart would not remain true to God, he would build temples for his wives to worship their Gods, and the Lord angered with Solomon, and would raise up adversaries against him.

    • Solomon reigned in Jerusalem for 40 years from 961-922 BC , was buried with his father, David, in Jerusalem and was succeeded by his son, Rehoboam.

      Session 5


The divided kingdom

The Divided Kingdom

The Northern Kingdom

In 930 BC, the Northern Kingdom, comprised of 10 tribes of Israel, splits from the Royal Kingdom with Jeroboam as its new king.

  • Samaria becomes the new capital with no temple.

  • Jeroboam erects two calves for the people to worship – one at Dan and the other at Bethel (the calf is also symbolic of the Canaanite God Baal)

  • Major prophets of the Northern Kingdom include: Elijah, Elisha, Amos, and Hosea.

  • In 722 BC, the Northern Kingdom is attacked by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser who laid siege to the Kingdom of Israel for three years before Samaria, its capital, finally falls and all go into exile. (2 Kings 17:1-41)

  • Members of the ten tribes would inter-marry during the exilic period with populace of other nations forced to relocate to the overrun Kingdom of Israel and the resulting peoples would be called Samaritans.

    Session 6


The divided kingdom1

The Divided Kingdom

The Southern Kingdom

  • In 930 BC, the Southern Kingdom, comprised of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, splits from the Royal Kingdom with Rehoboam, son of King Soloman, as its new king.

  • Jerusalem remains its capital with the temple intact.

  • Major prophets of the Southern Kingdom include: Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk.

  • The Southern Kingdom of Judah would fall to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in three stages:

    • In 605 BC, you have the first fall of Jerusalem and subsequent deportation under the reigns of the Judean kings Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin.

    • In 597 BC, you have the second fall of Jerusalem and its total destruction to include the temple under the reign of the Judean King Zedekiah who witnesses the slaughter of his sons before he is blinded and sent into captivity in Babylon.

    • In 587 BC, the final remnants of the tribe of Judah kill Gedaliah, appointed governor of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar, and then flee into Egypt. (2 Kings 22-26)

      Session 6


The exile 597 538bc

The Exile (597-538BC)

  • The Chaldeans, following standard Mesopotamian practice, deported the Jews after they had conquered Jerusalem in 597 BC. The deportations were large, but certainly didn't involve the entire nation. Somewhere around 10,000 people were forced to relocate to the city of Babylon, the capital of the Chaldean empire. In 586 BC, Judah itself ceased to be an independent kingdom, and the earlier deportees found themselves without a homeland, without a state, and without a nation. This period, which actually begins in 597 but is traditionally dated at 586, is called the Exile in Jewish history; it ends with an accident in 538 when the Persians overthrow the Chaldeans.

  • Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Chaldeans, only deported the most prominent citizens of Judah: professionals, priests, craftsmen, and the wealthy. The "people of the land" (am-hares ) were allowed to stay. So Jewish history, then, has two poles during the exile: the Jew in Babylon and the Jews who remain in Judah.

  • We know almost nothing of the Jews who remained in Judah after 586. Judah seems to have been wracked by famine, according the biblical book, Lamentations, which was written in Jerusalem during the exile. The entire situation seemed to be one of infinite despair

  • The salient feature of the exile, however, was that the Jews were settled in a single place by Nebuchadnezzar. While the Assyrian deportation of Israelites in 722 BC resulted in the complete disappearance of the Israelites, the deported Jews formed their own community in Babylon and retained their religion, practices, and philosophies. Some, it would seem, adopted the Chaldean religion (for they name their offspring after Chaldean gods), but for the most part, the community remained united in its common faith in Yahweh.

    Source: The Hebrews: A Learning Module from Washington State University Session 6


The exile 597 538bc1

The Exile (597-538BC)

  • From texts such as Lamentations , which was probably written in Jerusalem, and Job, written after the exile, as well as many of the Psalms, Hebrew literature takes on a despairing quality. The subject of Job is human suffering itself. Undeserving of suffering, Job, an upright man, is made to suffer the worst series of calamities possible because of an arbitrary test. When he finally despairs that there is no cosmic justice, the only answer he receives is that humans shouldn't question God's will. Many of the psalms written in this period betray an equal hopelessness.

  • But the Jews in Babylon also creatively remade themselves and their world view. In particular, they blamed the disaster of the Exile on their own impurity. They had betrayed Yahweh and allowed the Mosaic laws and cultic practices to become corrupt; the Babylonian Exile was proof of Yahweh's displeasure. During this period, Jewish leaders no longer spoke about a theology of judgment, but a theology of salvation. In texts such as Ezekiel and Isaiah, there is talk that the Israelites would be gathered together once more, their society and religion purified, and the unified Davidic kingdom be re-established.

  • So this period is marked by a resurgence in Jewish tradition, as the exiles looked back to their Mosaic origins in an effort to revive their original religion. It is most likely that the Torah took its final shape during this period or shortly afterward, and that it became the central text of the Jewish faith at this time as well. This fervent revival of religious tradition was aided by another accident in history: when Cyrus the Persian conquered Mesopotamia, he allowed the Jews to return home. This was no ordinary event, though.

  • Cyrus sent them home specifically to worship Yahweh—what was once only a kingdom would become a nation of Yahweh.

    Source: The Hebrews: A Learning Module from Washington State University Session 6


The return 538 444 bc

The Return (538 – 444 BC)

  • The Book of Ezra records how the Israelites returned from captivity and labored at restoring at a restored temple in a fortified Jerusalem. The Book of Ezra opens with Cyrus’ decree that “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah”. (Ez. 1:2)

  • In exile, religious interest centered particularly on the Mosaic laws and thus many scholars believe the Torah was written in its final form during this period.

  • Returning exiles were concerned not only with reconstruction of the altar, temple and city, but with addressing social and religious problems, freeing the community from foreign elements, and establishing religious practices that were in stricter conformity with their understanding of Mosaic law.

  • Some scholars conclude there were four returns from exile:

    • A return under Cyrus (538 BC) led by Sheshbazzar who commanded the rebuilding of the temple but was briefly halted by Samaritans who convinced King Artaxerxesto halt work. (Ez. 3, 4).

    • A return under Darius I (521-485 BC) led by Zurabbabel and Jeshua and encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah who completed the temple despite the opposition of the Samaritans. (Ez. 6).

    • A group under Artaxerxes I (464-423 BC) and led by Ezra who brought codification of the Mosaic law. (Ez. 7:11-28).

    • A final group under ArtaxerxesII (404 – 358 BC) and led by Nehemiah who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and instituted social and religious reforms. (Neh. 6).

  • To the author of the Book of Ezra, the returning exiles were a godly remnant with a religious mission. The Book of Ezra concludes with the divorcing of all Gentile wives. (Ez. 10:1-44)

    Session 7


The maccabean revolt 167 0 bc

The Maccabean Revolt (167-0 BC)

1 Maccabees

  • First Maccabees recounts the origin of the Hasmonean dynasty which begins with Mattathias and his five sons who lead a resistance against Seleucid oppression.

  • The book opens with Alexander the Great’s death and the rise of his brutal son the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes who attacks Jerusalem and desecrates the temple.

  • Judas Maccabeus rallies the Jews and recovers/purifies the templeand today is commemorated as the Feast of Dedication or Hannukah.

    • Judas’ brother, Jonathan, succeeds him and is appointed high priest by the Seleucid king Demetrius.

    • Jonathan’s brother, Simon, succeeds him as leader and high priest and Judea is granted independence by Demetrius II and with the later succession of Simon’s son, John Hyrcanus, the Hasmonean dynasty is established.

  • Complex problems of cultural assimilation pervades First Maccabees as the paganizing Greek culture has thoroughly mingled with the Semitic culture.

  • Before the time of the Maccabees, Jews had cooperated peacefully with their foreign ruler believing since the time of Jeremiah that such rulers were part of God’s plan to chastise and redeem Israel.

  • Not all Jews supported the Maccabean revolt – many tried to adapt to Seleucid demands while remaining faithful to the Torah while others preferred martyrdom.

  • The author of I Maccabees believed that the Hasmonean rebellion and subsequent rule were in accord with the divine will of God!

    Session 7


The maccabean revolt 167 0 bc1

The Maccabean Revolt (167-0 BC)

2 Maccabees

  • Narrates the events of Jewish history during the persecutions of three Seleucid kings: Seleucis IV, Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) and Antiochus Eupator (180 – 161 BC).

  • Although 2 Maccabees parallels 1 Maccabees 1-8, it is distinguished by its literary style and theological point of view.

    • The author addresses the reader directly, in the manner of Greek historians, and the unforgettable stories are told with dramatic artistry and vivid detail.

    • The stories are unified by the idea that history reflects the divine plan. The author believed in the sanctity of the temple and that abuses would bring divine judgment as the desecrations of Antiochus had proved. The author further believed that the suffering of the martyrs (2 Macc. 7) and the prayers of the courageous Judas Maccabeus moved God to intervene and end the time of divine wrath.

  • Several important theological ideas not found in Hebrew Scriptures but important to Judaism and Christianity appear in this book:

    • Resurrection of the dead (2 Macc. 7-8); the doctrine that the world was created from nothing (2 Macc. 7.28); and the efficacy of praying for the dead (2 Macc. 12: 39-45).

    • The stories of the aging scribe Eleazar (2 Macc. 6: 18-31) going to his death rather eat food forbidden by the Torah and the mother encouraging her seven sons to die (2 Macc. 7:1-42) for their faith in certain hope of resurrection became models for later Jewish and Christian martyrologies.

  • Second Maccabees was written in Greek, later translated into Latin and was written between 104 – 63 BC.Session 7


Messianic fulfillment

Messianic Fulfillment

The Jewish Perspective:

  • In Jewish eschatology, the term mashiach, or "Messiah," came to refer to a future Jewish King from the Davidic line, who is expected to be anointed with holy anointing oil and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age. The Messiah is often referred to as "King Messiah“. Some Jews saw King Cyrus as “the anointed one”.

  • Orthodox views have generally held that the Messiah will be descended from his father through the line of King David and will gather the Jews back into the Land of Israel, usher in an era of peace, build the Third Temple, father a male heir and re-institute the Sanhedrin, among other things.

  • Jewish tradition alludes to two redeemers, both of whom are called mashiach and are involved in ushering in the Messianic age: Mashiach ben David and Mashiach ben Yosef. In general, the term Messiah unqualified refers to Mashiach ben David (Messiah, son of David).

    Session 8


Messianic fulfillment1

Messianic Fulfillment

General Prophecies Concerning the Coming of Jesus

Gen. 49:10; Mic. 5:2 - a kingdom and ruler of Israel shall come from Judah – Mat. 1:1-2, Luke 3:23-33 - Jesus is from the line of Judah.

Psalm 2:7 - you are my Son, today I have begotten you - Matt. 3:17; Acts 13:33 - God the Father said this about Jesus the Son.

Psalm 69:4; Isaiah 49:7 - He will be hated without a cause - John 15:25 - Jesus was hated without a cause.

Psalm 78:2 - He will speak in parables - Matt. 13:34-35 - Jesus spoke in parables.

Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; 28:16 - He will be the stone rejected by the builders - Acts 4:10-11; Rom. 9:32-33; 1 Peter 2:7-8 - Jesus is the stone rejected by the builders.

Psalm 132:11; Jer. 23:5 - He, the king, shall come from the House of David - Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:23,31 - Jesus is the son of David.

Isaiah 7:14 - He will be born of a young virgin woman - Matt. 1:18, 24-25; Luke 1:26-35 - Jesus was born of the young virgin Mary.

Isaiah 9:6 - a woman shall bear a son called Emmanuel ("God is with us") - Luke 1:35 - Jesus is this one, the Son of God.

Isaiah 11:2 - the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him - Matt. 3:16-17 - the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus like a dove.

Isaiah 32:3-4; 35:5-6- His ministry will include miracles curing the blind, deaf, lame and dumb - Matt. 9:32-35 - Jesus so cured the blind, deaf, lame and dumb.

Isaiah 40:3; Mal. 3:1 - He will be preceded by a messenger - Mat. 3:1-3; 11:10; Luke 1:17; John 1:23 - Jesus was so preceded (by Saint John the Baptist).

Isaiah 53:3 - He will be rejected by His people - John 1:11; 7:5 - Jesus was rejected by His own people.

Isaiah 61:1-2 - the Spirit of the Lord is upon Him - Luke 4:21 - Jesus says that He has fulfilled this prophecy.

Zech. 9:9 - He will triumphantly enter Jerusalem on an ass - Matt. 21:5; Luke 19:35-38; John 12:14-17 - Jesus so entered Jerusalem.

Mic. 5:2 - Israel's ruler shall come from Bethlehem - Matt. 2:1,4-8; Luke 2:4-7 - Jesus was born in Bethlehem.


Messianic fulfillment2

Messianic Fulfillment

Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus in His Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension

Psalm 22:1 - My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? - Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34 - Jesus utters this rabbinical formula from the cross declaring that He is the Messiah.

Psalm 22:7 - He will be mocked - Matt. 27:31; Mark 15:20; Luke 22:63; 23:36 - Jesus was mocked.

Psalm 22:16; Isa. 53:12 - He will be numbered with the transgressors - Matt. 27:38; Mark 15:27; Luke 23:32; John 19:18 - Jesus was numbered with the transgressors by being crucified between two thieves.

Psalm 22:16; Zech 12:10 - His hands and feet will be pierced and they will weep for the first-born - John 19:23,34,37 - Jesus' hands and feet were pierced and his followers wept for Him, the true first-born Son of Israel.

Psalm 22:17 - they will stare and gloat over Him - Matt. 27:36; Luke 23:35 - the people stood by and stared at Jesus on the cross.

Psalm 22:18 - they will cast lots for His garments - Matt. 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:24 - they cast lots for Jesus' garments.

Psalm 30:3; 41:10, 118:17; Hos 6:2 - He will be raised to life on the third day - Acts 13:33, Matt. 28:6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:34,46 - Jesus was raised to life on the third day.

Psalm 41:9; 55:12-14 - He will be betrayed by a friend - Matt. 10:4; 26:20-25; Mark 14:18-21; John 13:18 - Jesus was betrayed by a friend.

Psalm 68:18 - He will ascend into heaven - Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; John 20:17; Acts 1:9 - Jesus ascended into heaven.

Isaiah 50:6 - He will be spat upon - Matt. 26:67; Mark 15:19 - Jesus was spat upon.

Isaiah 53:5; Zech. 13:6 - He was wounded, bruised and scourged for us - Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1 - Jesus was wounded, bruised and scourged for us.

Isaiah 53:7 - He will remain silent before His accusers - Matt. 27:12,14; Mark 14:61;15:5; Luke 23:9; John 19:9 - Jesus remained silent before His accusers.

Isaiah 53:9 - He will be buried in a rich man's tomb - Matt. 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-42 - Jesus was buried in a rich man's tomb (the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea).

Amos 8:9 - God will darken the earth at noon - Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45 - there was darkness at noon at Jesus' crucifixion and death.

Jonah 1:17 - three nights and days in the belly of the whale foreshadows Jesus' death and rising on the third day.

Zech. 11:12-13 - He will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver - Matt. 26:15 - Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.

Zech. 13:7 - He will be forsaken by His disciples who will scatter - Matt. 26:31, Mark. 14:50 - Jesus' disciples forsook Him and scattered. Session 8


The early church

The Early Church

  • The Acts of the Apostles continues the narrative of Luke’s gospel and traces the story of the early church from the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the time when Paul was in Rome proclaiming the gospel “with all boldness and without hindrance”. (Acts 28:31).

  • The first half of Acts focuses on the Jerusalem church, its leaders and relationship.

  • The second half of Acts is dominated by Paul and his three journeys climaxed by his arrest and voyage to Rome.

  • While Peter spread the Good News amongst the Jews, Paul would be known as “the Apostle of the Gentiles”.

  • Geographically, Paul spreads the Word of God from Jerusalem to Samaria (8:5). The seacoast (8:40), Damascus (9:10), Antioch (where the disciples were first called “Christians”; (11:26), Asia Minor (13:13), Europe (16.11), and finally Rome itself.

    • Early churches located at Jerusalem, Ephesus, Antioch, Corinth, Philippi, Thessalonica, Colossae, Rome, Cyprus and Alexandria.

  • The date of Acts is disputed since there is no mention of Paul’s martyrdom under emperor Nero (65-67 AD).

  • St. Luke’s purposes in writing Acts were to:

    • awaken people’s faith by showing the triumphant progress of the Good News.

    • defend Christians against charges of destroying Jewish institutions and being a troublesome element to the empire.

    • to show the activity of the Holy Spirit in the founding and the development of the church.

    • to make us aware of the power of the Holy Spirit manifested in and through the members of the early church. It is an awareness that remains true even to this day!

      In closing, none of the judges or authorities who would hear Paul and the other Christians ever found them guilty of anything wrong.

      Session 8


The early churches

The Early Churches


Why study the bible

Why Study the Bible?

  • The Bible affirms law, authority, and tradition, as most writings in most of history have done, but then it also does something much more: it strongly affirms reform, change, and the voiceless, starting with the Exodus event itself.

  • This is what makes the Bible a truly revolutionary and inspired book.

    • It affirms the necessity of authority and continuity in a culture (tradition), but,

    • it also affirms the currents of change, reform, the poor, the outsider, and justice for the marginalized groups—starting with the enslaved Jewish people themselves.

  • The Biblical bias towards the bottom has been called by some “the preferential option for the poor.” But it is an option, an invitation: it is a grace, and it emerges from inner freedom—or else it would not be from God.

  • In the last analysis, the Bible is biased; it takes the side of the rejected ones, the abandoned ones, the barren women, and the ones who have been excluded, tortured, and kept outside.

  • This is all summed up in Jesus’ own ministry: He clearly prefers, heals, and includes the foreigner, the non-Jew, the handicapped, and the sinner—without rejecting the people of power, but very clearly critiquing them.

    Source: A Lever and a Place to Stand: The Contemplative Stance, the Active Prayer – Fr. Richard Rohr OFMSession 8


Questions

Questions?

What is the most important thing you learned through these readings?

What do you feel was the most important message that you take away from these readings?

Has your image of God been changed in any way by this experience of reading the Hebrew Scriptures and hearing the stories?

Does your own life’s journey, itself, show any correlation to the any of the stories you have read or the people you have encountered through these readings?

Other questions you may have?

Session 8


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