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  • New Testament Introduction: Revelation
    interpret it as a map of the distant future Others see it as a description of the whole of human history There are premillenial interpretations post millenial and a millenial All of these views compete for followers The problem in my view with all these attempts is that they fail to take seriously the first verse which as I have already said is the key to the whole book That is in short the book is an unveiling of Jesus The book is about Jesus Who is he and what has he done That is what the book is about That is what the first verse says Now we must discover the historical situation which gave birth to the book At the end of the first century the Church in certain areas was suffering persecution The emperor was demanding worship and the Christians were refusing to do so In consequence the emperor was killing some and seizing the property of others Here is how it worked In each village and town as well as the larger cities a representative of the emperor made an appearance each year The citizens of the region were required to bring their taxes and present them as an offering to the emperor They were also asked to swear an oath to the emperor and vow to pray to him yearly This the Christians could not do So as punishment they were made to forfeit their property If they continued to refuse they could be and some were killed In the midst of this dreadful situation the Church was asking where is Jesus Has he abandoned us Does he no longer c are for us To thives answer As we make progress in discussing the text of the book the historical situation will be brought to

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/rev.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • B414 -- The History of the Levant from Alexander the Great to Herod the Great
    learned from Persia 2E All of these contributions fed the thought of the early Church like streams feed a river When Alexander died his empire was divided among his generals Egypt an d Palestine fell to the Ptolemies while Syria fell to the Seleucids Both of these powers would control Palestine before the advent of the Roman Empire The Ptolemies ruled Palestine from 320 to 200 BC The Rulers of the Ptolemaic Empire Ptolemeus I Soter 320 283 B C Ptolemeus II 283 246 Ptolemeus III 246 221 Ptolemeus IV 221 204 Ptolemeus V 204 180 though the Syrians captured Palestine in 200 The Ptolemies were essentially benevolent to the Jews of Palestine allowing them a great deal of self rule even though Palestine itself was administered as temple lands That is the priests of Egypt received t he monetary benefit of Palestinian trade In 202 the Syrians after several attempts were able to drive the Ptolemies from Palestine and thus began one of the most trying times of the hi story of the Jews after the exile The Syrians or Seleucids ruled Palestine from 200 till 142 BC The Kings of Syria Antiochus III 222 187 BC Seleucus IV 187 175 Antiochus IV 175 164 known as Epiphanies the most hated of the line Antiochus V 164 162 Demetrius I 162 150 Alexander Balas 150 145 Antiochus VI 145 142 The Syrians were much more savage in their rule of Palestine than the Ptolemies were And the most savage of them all was Antiochus IV He outlawed reading of the Jewish law and indeed even the owning of it He persecuted the Jews to the point of extinction and then erected for himself a statue of Zeus in the Jerusalem Temple and sacrificed a sow on the altar as a sign of his contempt for the Jewish religion Needless to say he was reviled by the Jews His incredible cruelty gave rise to a horrid persecution which saw the birth of the Apocalyptic movement and the writing of the Book of Daniel The response of the Jews to this time of terror was what came to be know n as the Maccabean revolt The Maccabeans were successful in overthrowing Syrian rule of Palestine and so for the first time in many centuries the Jews were politically religiously and economically free The Rulers of the Maccabean Dynasty Simon 143 134 BC Hyrcanus I 134 105 Aristobulus I 104 Alexander Janneus 103 76 Alexandra 76 67 the only queen of the dynasty Hyrcanus II 67 Aristobulus II 66 63 These Maccabeans sometimes were simultaneously High priest and king The rule they inaugurated was rejected by some of the more pious people and these people split off and went into the desert to a place called Khirbet Qumran where they came to be known as the Essenes The general populace of the land was indifferent to the Maccabean or Hasmonean rulers However the powerful Pharisees were opposed to their leadership for they

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/b414.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • Essay Questions for B414 -- New Testament History and Archaeology I
    Please answer each of the following questions in the form of a one page essay and submit them to the Quartz Hill School of Theology for evaluation and grading Use the Bible and the reading assignments as sources for your answers 1 Describe in detail the period of the Ptolemies and Seleucids 2 Detail the contributions of Hellenism to Jewish culture 3 Discuss the reign of Herod the Great and

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/b414ques.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • B415 - The History of the Levant from John the Baptist to Paul
    determined by the Romans who oversaw the activities of the minor rulers who governed after the death of Herod the Great The more important rulers of Palestine were Rulers in Palestine Archelaus Judea 4 BC 6 AD Antipas Galilee 4 BC 39 AD Agrippa I Judea and Galilee 41 44 AD In the year 6 AD the Romans added another rung to the political hierarchy the Procurator This procurator was a politician and a military leader who was responsible for seeing to it that peace was maintained at any cost This office was active in Judea from 6 till 41 AD The only Procurator known to us from the literary and archaeological remains is Pontius Pilate All of these politicians were under the direct control of the Roman Legate The Legate was the supreme political and military authority The legates of this era were Roman Legates Varus 6 3 BC Quirinius 6 11 AD Vitellius 35 39 AD Petronius 39 42 AD And these legates were to answer directly to the Roman emperor The emperors of this era were Roman Emperors Augustus till 14 AD Tiberius 14 37 AD Caligula 37 41 AD Cladius 41 54 AD Yet during the period under investigation the Jews were allowed considerable freedom to practice their religion The high priest in fact wielded significant power The high priests in office during the first half of the first century were High Priests Annas 6 15 AD Caiphas 18 36 AD Jonathan 36 37 AD Annanias 48 58 AD Annas II 62 AD Besides their spiritual responsibilities these priests also were responsible for the finances of the temple This was big business as per example the story of Jesus casting the businessmen out of the temple They thus wielded significant economic power as well as spiritual power All of the high priests of this period belonged to the party of the Sadducees The Sadducees accepted only the 5 books of Moses as authoritative they did not accept the idea of an afterlife and they did not believe in angels or devils Their opponents the Pharisees accepted the whole of the Hebrew Bible as authoritative and accepted the ideas of angels and afterlife The third sect of first century Judaism was the Essenes These Essenes were ascetics who lived throughout the country and in the settlement called Qumran They split off of the Sadducees in the second century BC but they went towards the Pharisees in their beliefs The majority of Jews in the first century belonged to none of these groups Most were not interested in the extreme piety of the Essenes and Pharisees and were not blue blooded enough for the Sadducees It was to this great bulk of people to whom Jesus appealed When Jesus was crucified and resurrected his disciples began to spread the message of his life Theology began to develop The first great theologian of the Church after Jesus was the apostle Paul Paul had received training as a Pharisee and

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/b415.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • Essay Questions for B415 - New Testament History and Archaeology II
    of the following questions in the form of a one page essay and submit them to the Quartz Hill School of Theology for evaluation and grading Use the Bible and the reading assignments as sources for your answers 1 Describe the similarities and differences between the Pharisees Essenes and Sadducees 2 Describe the significance of the mystery religions for Christian thought 3 Describe the contributions of Paul to Christian theology

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/b415ques.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • B416 -- The History of the Levant from Paul to Bar Kochba
    the rebellion had been the Zealots This was a militia group that had been founded in 6 AD by Judah of Gamala Their tactics were simple strike the Romans and run They had been a thorn in Rome s side for many years and Titus was ready to eliminate them completely One of the Zealots in the year 66 Menehem was in command of the garrison at Masada a fortress built by Herod decades earlier The disaster at Masada is well known and will not be repeated here Another group of rebels called by the Romans the Sicarii were led by one John of Giskala These rebels carried small knives sicari under their robes and would walk up to isolated Roman soldiers and stab them to death They were in their day what terrorists are today All of these groups did their very best to overthrow the Romans but to no avail The Romans besieged Masada and took it and they laid siege to Jerusalem and destroyed it in 70 They from thenceforth forbade the Jews to live in or near the city and turned it into a pagan temple mount until the time of Constantine The Church was not a party to the rebellion as by that time the center of Christianity had moved to Antioch and Asia Minor and the Church and the Synagogue had completely severed ties The Christians were not however exempt from Roman wrath By the time Domitian took the throne the Church was being persecuted mightily The tolerance of Vespasian gave way to wrath in his descendants so that the Church was bloodied and bruised The book of Revelation was written during this time and it reflects the dreadful persecution of Domitian He was after all the beast who opposed the Church and killed

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/b416.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • Essay Questions for B416 - New Testament History and Archaeology III
    questions in the form of a one page essay and submit them to the Quartz Hill School of Theology for evaluation and grading Use the Bible and the reading assignments as sources for your answers 1 Describe the Jewish rebellion of 66 2 Describe the outcome of the persecution of Nero 3 Discuss the Jewish parties involved in the Rebellion of 66 4 Describe the causes of the growth and

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/b416ques.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • The Old Testament in the New
    or theological themes There are very few works which consider John s use of the Old Testament Some scholars suggest that when John does use the Old Testament he misuses it What exactly is John s understanding of the texts he quotes And by extension what do the New Testament authors mean to say when they use the Old Testament When we have examined John s use of the OT we will be able to by extension understand how the writers of the NT used the OT The Gospel of John first utilizes Isaiah in the very beginning of the work John1 23 contains an explicit quotation of Isaiah 40 3 What we shall be doing is examining the textual and contextual similarities and dissimilarities between Isaiah and John Isaiah 40 3 says A voice calls in the desert prepare the way for Yahweh make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God John 1 23 says Say I am a voice of one crying in the desert prepare the way of the Lord just as Isaiah the prophet said Several differences exist between the wording of this text and its counterpart in the Septuagint the Greek translation of the OT hereafter LXX The writer of the Gospel has added I am seemingly to indicate that John the Baptizer is quoting this verse in his message The Gospel writer has also changed prepare to make clear and finally John adds the source of his quote just as Isaiah the prophet said What one discovers when one compares the text of John to the LXX and the Hebrew text hereafter HT of the OT is that John has not quoted directly from either text form John either had a different version of the OT or he made his own translation of the HT The context of Isaiah 40 3 is the postexilic period The exilic preacher conducted his ministry for the benefit of the exiles This means that the prophet was addressing a community that has lost its homeland and thus was in need of a word of comfort and encouragement This word is expressed by one who calls for the rebuilding of Yahweh s road to Jerusalem Everything said in this passage is intended to be a word of comfort This is the central theme and thus the key to the text It is a new exodus which the prophet proclaims This restoration demands divine intervention thus God is called upon to act on behalf of His people This is the context and thrust of the passage in Isaiah Is this how John understood and used the text It seems so for John the Baptist is summoned to proclaim that Yahweh is about to make his presence known among His people in Jesus The new exodus has come to the door and now it only waits for the one who can open the door and lead the people through it John quotes Isaiah because the Baptist like the herald

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/b310.htm (2013-12-09)
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