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Historical Background on the Gospels. 1 st century Palestine : (The social, political, historical, and religious climate of the time.). Major areas of study. Timeline of key events leading up to the appearance of Jesus on the scene Definition of Gospel Nature of 1 st century Judaism

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historical background on the gospels

Historical Background on the Gospels

1st century Palestine:

(The social, political, historical, and religious climate of the time.)

major areas of study
Major areas of study
  • Timeline of key events leading up to the appearance of Jesus on the scene
  • Definition of Gospel
  • Nature of 1st century Judaism
  • Jewish sects and their major tenets
timeline of key events
Timeline of Key Events…
  • BC 586Fall of the Southern Kingdom and Babylonian Exile
  • Loss of the land
  • End of the Davidic line
  • Destruction of Temple
  • BC 538 Cyrus, king of Persia, conquers Babylon and returns Jews to Palestine
  • Rebuild Temple
  • Recall Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel

BC 332Alexander the Great of Greece conquers Palestine and begins a process of Hellenizing the area

timeline cont d
Timeline cont’d…
  • BC 167-164Maccabean revolt and the beginning of Hasmonean rule
  • Response to outrageous acts of Antiochus Epiphanes, who sacrificed a pig on the Temple altar and forbids the reading of the Law

BC 63 Romans take control of the region

BC 37Herod (son of Antipater) takes Jerusalem; dies in 4 BC, and kingdom is divided between his 4 sons

BC 323 Alexander dies and his kingdom is divided.

BC 323-170 Constant struggles between Egypt and Syria for control of region

technical use of gospel in the new testament
Technical use of Gospel in the New Testament
  • Never used in a purely secular or neutral sense (I.e., “good news”).
  • Not used in reference to a written document until Justin Martyr in AD 150.
  • Paul’s use:

a. “Christ died for our sins”: this is the Gospel

b. Emphasizes the crucifixion and resurrection

  • In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: it is the Gospel of the Kingdom
  • How is Paul’s perception related to that of the Gospel writers?
the four pillars of judaism
The “Four Pillars” of Judaism
  • The One God of Israel
  • Belief in the people of God
  • Intensification of the Torah as a norm in defining the people of God
  • Temple (and land)
one god of israel
One God of Israel
  • God of mercy
  • God of Justice
  • God who is holy and transcendent

(God is “not like us”)

4. Problem: If God was all of these things, and the people were obeying His Law, then why were they an occupied country?

belief in the people of god
Belief in the people of God
  • A chosen people (election and covenant)
  • A future corporate hope: restoration of the people of God (not individualistic)
  • Plan for the present as await his restoration:

“Be holy as I am holy” (Leviticus) Torah, Temple,and purity

temple and the land
Temple and the Land
  • Temple:
    • Religious center
    • Political center
    • Economic center
    • Social center
  • Connected to people’s understanding of the Land