What to Expect. What did it mean to be a first-century Jew?In some ways, Jews had views that were comparable to those of pagansJews stood out in thinking only one God was to be worshippedJesus was a first-century Jew, became a Jewish teacher, and preached to Jews. Judaism as a Greco-Roman Religion.
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1. The Jewish Context of Jesus and His Followers The New TestamentBart D. Ehrman Chapter 3
2. What to Expect What did it mean to be a first-century Jew?
In some ways, Jews had views that were comparable to those of pagans
Jews stood out in thinking only one God was to be worshipped
Jesus was a first-century Jew, became a Jewish teacher, and preached to Jews
3. Judaismas a Greco-Roman Religion Monotheism: The Belief in the One True God
The Covenant: Israel’s Pact with Its God
The Law: Israel’s Covenantal Obligations
Temple and Synagogue: Israel’s Places of Worship
4. Political Crises in Palestine and Their Ramifications Palestine experienced periodic wars and virtually permanent foreign domination for some 800 years
The political history of the region had direct bearing on Jesus’ adult life
5. Political Crises in Palestine and Their Ramifications Rome’s domination led to Jewish uprisings before and during Jesus’ time
Suffering during these times inspired apocalypticism, a worldview of a number of Jews in first-century Palestine
During the rule of the Hasmoneans, various Jewish sects emerged
6. The Formation of Jewish Sects Pharisees:
Began during the Maccabean period
Oral tradition eventually written down and is today the heart of the Jewish sacred texts, the Talmud
Jewish aristocracy; most were priests
Rejected all written authority outside of the five books of Moses (the Torah)
7. The Formation of Jewish Sects Essenes:
Separatist group started in the early Maccabean period in response to an issue of religious authority
Goal was to maintain ritual purity until the imminent apocalypse
The famous Dead Sea Scrolls were produced by a group of Essenes east of Jerusalem, today called Qumran
8. The Formation of Jewish Sects The “Fourth Philosophy”:
Tenets manifested in several different groups, including the Sicarii and the Zealots
Each supported active resistance to Israel’s foreign domination
The Zealots urged opposition to the Romans that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 C.E.
9. The Jewish Context for the Traditions about Jesus As in other religions, Jews accepted divine beings could appear in human form
There are accounts in Judaism of human beings who appeared more than human
Jewish holy men, sometimes called the sons of God, could heal the sick and calm the storm