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The Romans took their own chunk. His sons Archelaus, Herod Antipas, and Philip received portions. Their success was mixed. Judea was never easy to rule, often breaking out into brigandage, even when run by Jews. Race riots between Greeks and Jews were common. Philip does not play a role in the New Testament story. Archelaus has a cameo part. Herod Antipas figures in the lives of Jesus and John the Baptist. In the end, the Romans decided on direct rule. That did not work out so well.

The Jews erupted in revolt in 66 AD, a revolt that finished with the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem. Rome created an efficient economic system that enabled even middle-strata Judeans to buy goods from far-distant places. Rome introduced new social structures, the patron-client system, and the household headed by the pater familias.

The Jews created their own system of governance under the Roman rulers. They also created the synagogue. Jewish religion transformed itself. God became more numinous, while Satan turned into a person. Jews came up with a definite concept of a life after death. The Biblical find of the century, the Dead Sea Scrolls, were turned over to an international committee for study. Bad idea. The cabal refused to let the wider scholarly community examine the documents, and forced their own interpretations on the world. The cabal bamboozled first the Jordanian authorities, then the Israelis.

The cabal's stranglehold was only broken by a bunch of academic freedom-fighters in the s. My first bonus episode for season two! Dan Libenson of the Judaism Unbound podcast returns to the show. Dan translated the book into English. The novel centres on Rabbi Akiva, the man who forged rabbinic Judaism after the fall of the Temple.

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Along the way we encounter a host of other rabbis and Paul of Tarsus. We also ponder the difficulties of translation and working out what actually happened in history. So much to cover: the discovery of the oldest Jewish bible, the Leningrad Codex; and the oldest Christian bible, the Codex Sinaiticus. At the Cairo Geniza, finds revealed another thousand years of manuscripts. The Didache was recovered, and another bunch of books discovered in an obscure tomb in Egypt, revealing a Christianity hitherto unknown.

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As the Tanakh tells it, the Jewish nation comprised a united body-politic from the fall of the kingdom of Israel right through the return. The only division in Judaism was between those who followed God's laws, and those who strayed. From the time of the Seleucids on, the people fragmented into factions and religious renewal movements. Prime amongst these were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes: maybe. Alexander's widow, Alexandra Salome, became known as a ruler of wisdom and moderation.

The Romans stepped in, ditched the Maccabean ditzes, and installed more reliable bureaucrats: one Antipater, and his son Herod. The Book of Jubilees was preserved by the Ethiopian Orthodox.

A Brief History of the Samaritans | Marg Mowczko

Until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it was held to be a parody of Jewish thought. Now we know the book was immensely popular with Jews and Christians until the early Middle Ages. The book re-writes Genesis and Exodus. Jubilees claims a higher authority than those books.

It creates a new sacred calendar, and invents the figure we call Satan. I also have something to say about that odious book written at the same time, the Wisdom of Ben Sira. The book of Daniel is one-half comfy folk tales, and one-half crazy. It was the only one of the many Jewish apocalyptic books to make it into the Old testament because it was the only book to talk of the resurrection of the dead. It gets every historical detail wrong. Nonetheless, it can claim to be the founding document of the USA.

Daniel's use of a common Hebrew idiom, "son of man", has created huge theological problems. That part of 1 Enoch called the Book of Parables re-creates the term for Christians. Rival high priests Jason and Menelaus plunge Judah into turmoil. Many Jews thought that both Jason and Menelaus were too Greek for their own good. Antiochus IV over-reacts and attempts to quash the civil strife.

The Maccabeans stage a nationalistic rebellion. Judas Maccabeus reclaims the temple and creates Hanukkah. After Judas' death, his brother Jonathan transforms from insurgent to high-priest. The Judeans spent happy years under the Hellenistic rule of the Egyptian Ptolemies.

Paul and Augustine on the Redemption of the Jews

They chafed under the rule of the Hellenistic kingdom of the Seleucids, who faced severe geopolitical challenges. The social and economic tidal wave of international Hellenism challenged every aspect of Judean life and thought. First in a mini-series on the history of the Jews and the province of Judea under the Hellenistic empires, and under the Maccabeans. I start with a summary of the history I will expand on in the next few episodes. Then I present our sources for that history, Josephus and Maccabees.

I conclude with a few notes about the oddities of the Ethiopian orthodox biblical canon. Apocalypses were popular reading amongst Jews in the centuries they spent under imperial rule. Rabbinical Judaism blotted the apocalypses from its collective memory. Christianity incorporated them into its very soul. I cover the greatest apocalypse of them all, 1st Enoch. The book of Tobit is my special guest star. The Jews wrote a vast amount of books between the time of the Return and the birth of Jesus.

Since none made it into the Jewish and usual Christian canons, we call them parabiblical or pseudipigraphical. Their significance was not appreciated until the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Jews have a placid existence under Persian rule, and create Judaism.

They reconstruct their religion, one now without kings and prophets. From now on, the Law is all. I discuss the last of the books of the Tanakh: the romances of Esther and Judith, the hateful but mercifully brief prophet Obadiah, and the funniest book in the canon, Jonah. Daniel gets his chance in a later episode. Governor Nehemiah and priest-scribe Ezra finally bring the Jews back home from Babylon. Modern scholars reverse the Biblical order of the two, and so do I. The two institute a tax-payer-funded theocracy. Ezra rejects the old Hebrew religion and founds modern Judaism.

Intermarriage is forbidden. Against that stance is the Book of Ruth. After Sheshbazzar's failure, the second wave of returnees are led by the enigmatic figures of the supposed Davidic king Zerubbabel and the high-priest Joshua. Those returning spurn those who stayed behind, implying that the only real Jews are those who were exiled.

Zerubbabel inexplicably disappears from the narrative at the moment of his triumph.

Matthew: Jesus Is the Promised Messiah

The book of Esdras Alpha rehabilitates him. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah are sources for the period. Zechariah writes the first apocalypse. I finish with the puny prophet Joel, who turns plowshares into swords, and pruning hooks into spears. The Babylonian empire is rendered helpless when its king Nabonidus goes on a ten year holiday to Arabia. The best-ever benevolent autocrat, Cyrus the Great of Persia, has no trouble mounting a friendly takeover of the empire. Cyrus urges the Jews to return home under the mysterious Sheshbazzar. Cyrus is applauded by Second Isaiah, who introduces the Age of Aquarius, and some new theology.

I provide an overview of the Return. Our most important sources for the Return are the books known as Ezra and Nehemiah in Catholic and Protestant bibles. The Jews have a single book, called Ezra. There a whole bunch of other books of Ezra, many to be found in Russian and Greek bibles.

What a muddle! Columbus used Latin Esdras to discover America. In the book of Ezekiel God transforms from furious father to jealous husband. The prophet is commanded to protest against the Judeans with performance art. He has a few passages no can make head nor tail of. I also reluctantly tackle the book of Job, that most difficult of books.

In the first episode of season two, I begin with the Judeans in exile in Babylon. We move from the prophet Jeremiah to the prophet Ezekiel, and his crazy imagery, imagery that has inflamed Christian iconography for centuries. But not only Christians. Ezekiel is the father of Jewish mysticism, a movement which the rabbis only quashed in the early Middle Ages. My special guest is Dan Libenson of the Judaism Unbound podcast. We talk about the Bible, the history of the Jewish religion, the difficulties of translation, how Jews and Christians think about God, and many other matters.

All good fun! In the final episode of season one, I explain why I am leaving the remaining books of the Old Testament to my second season. I introduce the lush literature of the Second temple period, and describe in detail the nature of Judean religion as it was at the destruction of the kingdom of Judah.


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I reflect on what I have learnt making this show, and what is coming in season two. Scholars are divided about the Babylonian destruction wrought on Judah. The Biblical sources tell different stories. How many were deported to Babylon, and how many stayed behind? Was Judah left utterly desolate, as the Book of Chronicles says, or just reduced, as the Book of Kings says?

Then we say goodbye to the prophet Jeremiah, kidnapped to Egypt. Four prophets lived in the last decades of the kingdom of Judah. In his short and miserable book, Zephaniah rails about the destruction to come. Jeremiah is a foreign policy advisor, and spreader of doom. We are all going to die! Surrender to your new overlords: Babylon! In a brief and nasty work, Nahum gloats at the fall of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, a victory he did nothing to accomplish. Habakkuk is a contemplative philosopher, with an important question for God.

The Egyptians kill Josiah, who is acting on behalf of Babylon against Egypt. They remove his pro-Babylonian son Jehoahaz from the throne, replacing him with the pro-Egyptian Jehoiakim. After the Egyptians are defeated, the Babylonians capture Jehoiakim and the city of Jerusalem, placing on the throne Jeconiah. King Nebuchadnezzar soon tosses him aside, settling on Zedekiah as the Babylonian puppet king. In a bad move, Zedekiah rebels. Nebuchadnezzar destroys Judah. The Jewish exile has begun. The Bible tries to explain why the evil King Manasseh reigned for more than 50 years in peace and solitude, while his sublimely virtuous grandson, Josiah, was slaughtered in his prime.

Josiah conducts a religious revolution and discovers the book of Deuteronomy. Bonus After Life - Surviving the Apocalypse. In this co-released episode, Steve Guerra of the History of the Papacy podcast and I conclude for now our series on the apocalyptic literature, with a discussion of how views on the afterlife changed in the Second Temple period. Isaiah's ambiguity has made him a crowd-pleaser for over 2, years. He introduces a bunch of shiny-new theological ideas previously unknown in the Bible.


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Christians read into his book prophecies of the Christ. Micah is his counterpoint. He turned adversity into opportunity, strengthening his authority and using the Israelite intellectuals to create a nationalistic religion: Biblical religion. His second crisis was the invasion of Sennacherib of Assyria. The king saved his city, but lost the countryside. That works out a treat: Aram-Damascus is left in ruins, and Israel left a rump state.

The prophet Isaiah puts his oar in, to no effect. Pekah is followed by his son Hoshea, who makes a bad diplomatic move and is annihilated by Assyria. So begins the Jewish diaspora. Bonus Revelation- Apocalypse by Numbers. In this co-released episode, Steve Guerra of the History of the Papacy podcast and I continue our series on the apocalyptic literature, with the second of two episodes on the earliest Christian apocalypse, the Book of Revelation.

We find lots of magical numbers. In Judah, we meet a bunch of kings: Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz. Uzziah gets leprosy when he offends the priests. Jotham's reign is confused, just like I am. Ahaz is threatened on all sides. Israel is falling apart. Amos and Hosea are the first two prophets who get their own books. They are also the last of the four northern Israelite prophets. Amos is the perfect prophet, the template for all later prophets. He launches a socialist critique on the Israelite upper-classes, and calls on the people to be righteous, and not just rule-followers.

Hosea uses uncomfortable crazy sexual imagery to denounce the Israelites' worship of Baal. Hosea is nuts. Bonus What a Revelation! The Apocalypse of St John the Divine. In this co-released episode, Steve Guerra of the History of the Papacy podcast and I continue our series on the apocalyptic literature, with the first of two episodes on the earliest Christian apocalypse, the Book of Revelation. It barely made it into the New Testament.

Under the house of Jehu, the northern kingdom of Israel is assailed by the big bully Assyria and the little bully Aram-Damascus. The famous Tel Dan stele has a lot to say about that. Meanwhile, in southern Judah: the kings get a big helping hand from the Assyrians in their squabbles against Israel. Athaliah, only queen regnant of a Hebrew kingdom, gets killed by the patriarchy. The priests destroy their own puppet King Jehoash when he stops the gravy train.

But his son Amaziah gets his revenge. Two kings called Jehoram ruled in Israel and Judah at the same time. Many scholars think they were the same person. Their reigns were extinguished by the coup of Jehu, agent of God against the evil house of Omri. One of the few strong women in the Bible, Ahab's widow Jezebel, also meets her end.

Athaliah becomes the only woman to rule Judah. Elisha works miracles. Bonus Satan and the Origin of Evil. In the Old Testament he is God's faithful prosecuting attorney. Only in the apocalyptic literature does he transform into the source of all evil. That is the Satan we find in the New Testament. One battle not mentioned is the Battle of Qarqar, which we know from Assyrian records. Ahaziah follows Ahab on the throne.

We start the second book of Kings.

A Brief History of the Samaritans

Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. Returning user. Request Username Can't sign in? God made a covenant with Abraham, promising to create from him a great nation Israel , to give him the Promised Land Canaan and through his descendant to bless all nations of the earth Gen —3. Twelve hundred years after Abraham, when Israel was established in the Land, God made a covenant with King David, promising him that his dynasty would be established forever and that one of his descendants would reign on his throne forever 2 Sam For example, when King Herod asks the chief priests and teachers of the law where the Messiah was to be born, they quote Micah , to confirm his Bethlehem birth.

Does he distort the meaning of the text to fit his agenda? Is he ignoring the most fundamental principles of biblical interpretation: context, context, context? Christians in the West tend to look to prophecy for its apologetic value. Seen from this perspective, Hosea is part of a larger Israel-Jesus typology that Matthew develops throughout his Gospel. Just as Israel was tested for 40 years in the wilderness, so Jesus is tested by Satan for 40 days in the wilderness Matt While Israel repeatedly failed to obey God, Jesus remains faithful and obedient.

Sometimes the Servant is identified with the nation Israel Isa , , , and sometimes as an individual who brings salvation to the nation Isa , —7, , , But Israel turned inward and failed to fulfill their calling. Jesus, by contrast, remains faithful to his mission and shows himself to be the true Servant of the Lord. Jesus is a new Moses, inaugurating the new covenant and bringing the law given at Mount Sinai to its fulfillment. All of these have their roots in the Old Testament and point in one way or another to the theme of fulfillment and the coming of the kingdom of heaven. So who was Matthew and why did he write this Gospel?