Traces the religious and political developments concerning Jews in antiquity by focusing on the inter-testamental period. Special emphasis is laid on Hellenistic culture and Roman administration, as they come to inform and influence the political and religious arenas in the period of the Second Temple Judaism. The original sources are drawn from religious as well as secular texts from the period, including Jewish authors, such as Philo and Josephus, and other non-Jewish historical writings, such as Tacitus and others.
A proper understanding of the New Testament, and especially of the Gospels, requires understanding the history, culture, teachings, and traditions of the Jews. The student is given the tools for better New Testament exegesis, preaching, and teaching.
Jesus and the disciples were Jews. Their context was Jewish. This course gives the student the foundation for better understanding the New Testament in its proper context.
A key to understanding the Gospels is understanding the religious, cultural, and political worldview of Judaism at the time.
The course provides a foundation for understanding Judaism and its changes throughout the century.
Judaism has proven to be trans-cultural while still holding to its identity. This course helps understand that foundaitonal identity.
Students finish the course with a practical understanding of how to engage Jews in various contexts.