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May 18    Scripture

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Jesus : Background
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A Roman Milestone This inscribed Roman milestone standing almost 10 feet tall was used to count the miles along all major roads. A network of 50,000 miles of highways linked Rome's 43 provinces. Many roads are still being used today. Bible History Online.

Antonia Fortress Photo of the Fortress of Antonio model of the first century compound. Located on the NW corner of the Temple Mount was the Fortress of Antonia. Named after Marc Antony it stood 115 feet high. This headquarters for the Roman soldiers overlooked the Temple and the city. [Model of Ancient Jerusalem during the time of Jesus and the second (Herod's) Temple, before its destruction in 70 AD. Built by archaeologists according to various historical sources: Josephus, the Mishnah, the Talmuds, the Tosephta, and the New Testament as well as archaeological discoveries. It uses mainly the same materials as the original].

Background of the First Century Israel The Intertestamental Period and Judaism, Rome, Religious Background, Geographical Background, Brief Historical Background, Hebrew and Aramaic, Bible History Online.

Blood Atonement This is perhaps the most difficult truth for mankind to accept, that the life of an innocent victim would be slaughtered on behalf of the guilty. To fully understand this we need to go back to the garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis. By Rusty Russell, Bible History online

Brief Historical Background From the Maccabean Revolt to Tiberius Caesar. Bible History Online.

Chief Priests, Ordinary Priests, and Levites The office of high priest carried with it a number of unique privileges and responsibilities. He alone was permitted to enter the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement to atone for the sins of the entire nation. As head of the Sanhedrin or Jewish supreme court, he presided over the nation's highest administrative and judicial body. His daily life was governed by the strictest rules of ceremonial purity. His death was viewed as an act of atonement and was marked by the release of a condemned murderer. Even if he retired from office he continued to wield great influence. Bible History Online.

Glossary - The Life of Jesus From Abel to Zebulun. Bible History Online.

Hebrew and Aramaic In the period between the writing of the Old and New Testaments HEBREW was replaced as the everyday language of the Jews by Aramaic. But the rabbis continued to use Hebrew in their learned deliberations, as we see from the Mishnah, the book of law written in that language. The majority of the Essene sect documents found among the Dead Sea Scrolls were written in Hebrew. When the actual words spoken are quoted in the New Testament they are often Aramaic, not Hebrew. Bible History Online.

Herod and the Herodians Antipater to Antipas. The Idumaeans were a tribe who had been forced by the Nabatean Arabs westwards into southern Judea, where they had been forcibly converted to Judaism by the Hasmonean rulers of Israel. The Idumaeans were for this reason Jews of a recent and suspect background. At the same time they were shrewd, and had no scruples about making political deals with the Romans for their own advantage. Bible History Online.

HIGHWAYS OF PALESTINE Geography. Bible History Online.

History of the Hellenized Jew From Alexander (333 B.C.) to the death of Herod the Great (4 B.C.). Bible History Online.

Ichthus The greek word for fish "ichthus" was an acrostic for Iesous (i), Christos (ch), Theou (th), Uios (u), Soter (s), Jesus Christ, Gods's Son, Saviour. Bible History Online.


Jerusalem at the Time of Christ Includes a sketch. No visitor seeing Jerusalem for the first time could fail to be impressed by its visual splendor. The long, difficult ascent from Jericho to the Holy City ended as the traveler rounded the Mount of Olives, and suddenly caught sight of a vista like few others in the world. Across the Kidron Valley, set among the surrounding hills, was Jerusalem, "the perfection of beauty," in the words of Lamentations, "the joy of all the world." Bible History Online.

Jesus Before Annas and Caiaphas by Alfred Edersheim IT was not a long way that they led the bound Christ. Probably through the same gate by which He had gone forth with His disciples after the Paschal Supper, up to where, on the slope between the Upper City and the Tyropoeon, stood the well-known Palace of Annas. There were no idle saunterers in the streets of Jerusalem at that late hour, and the tramp of the Roman guard must have been too often heard to startle sleepers, or to lead to the inquiry why that glare of lamps and torches. and Who was the Prisoner, guarded on that holy night by both Roman soldiers and servants of the High-Priest. If every incident in that night were not of such supreme interest, we might dismiss the question as almost idle, why they brought Jesus to the house of Annas, since he was not at that time the actual High-Priest. That office now devolved on Caiaphas, his son-in-law, who, as the Evangelist significantly reminds us, [a St. John xviii. 14.] had been the first to enunciate in plain words what seemed to him the political necessity for the judicial murder of Christ. [b xi. 50.] There had been no pretence on his part of religious motives or zeal for God; he had cynically put it in a way to override the scruples of those old Sanhedrists by raising their fears. What was the use of discussing about forms of Law or about that Man? it must in any case be done; even the friends of Jesus in the Council, as well as the punctilious observers of Law, must regard His Death as the less of two evils. He spoke as the bold, unscrupulous, determined man that he was; Sadducee in heart rather than by conviction; a worthy son-in-law of Annas.

Jesus Reading Isaiah Scroll Jesus was reading from a scroll of the prophet Isaiah, when He spoke the incredible words, "today this Scripture is fulfilled."

Jesus Written as in Ancient Documents Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew Y'Shua or Yeshua (Yahweh is Salvation), a common Hebrew name at the time. Ancient documents reproduce Jesus' name this way in Hebrew. Jesus is Greek for the Hebrew name, Joshua. In New Testament times, however, common people spoke mostly Aramaic in daily conversation. Thus, Jesus would have answered to Jeshua or Yeshua. Bible History Online.

New Testament Palestine City Glossary Israel cities in 1st century Israel. From Abelane to Zia. Bible History Online.

New Testament Palestine City Search Israel cities in 1st century Israel. From Abelane to Zia. Bible History Online.

Pontius Pilate The fifth Roman procurator of Judea (ruled 26-36 AD), who issued the official order sentencing Jesus to death by crucifixion. Bible History Online.

Rome - Architecture The Romans were probably the greatest architects of the ancient world. Concrete, Civil engineering, The Pantheon, Aqueducts, The Colosseum and Gladiators. Bible History Online.

Rome - AUGUSTUS (27 BC-14 AD) Civil war broke out after Julius Caesar's assassination. Two of the assassins, Brutus and Cassius, led one side. Octavian, Caesar's adopted 18-year-old son, and Mark Antony, one of Caesar's lieutenants, opposed their bid for power. In 2 quick battles, the assassins were crushed. The victory catapulted young Octavian"" or Augustus, as he was later called"" into the political limelight. Besides the power of his father's name, Octavian seems to have been rather striking in appearance. Bible History Online.

Rome - Domestic Life The family was a strong social unit in Roman civilization. In early centuries, the head of the family (paterfamilias) exercised total control over the whole family. Children were taught to respect the gods, their country, and their parents, in that order. By Julius Caesar's time, Roman women could own property and even influence politics. Girls and boys were educated, and some women received a higher education. Bible History Online.

Rome - Early History of Rome Historical origins and myths. Bible History Online.

Rome - JULIUS CAESAR Julius Caesar, after defeating the Gaul's and eliminating his political enemies, returned to Rome where he received the greatest triumphal celebration any Roman general had ever known. He received almost every power than an obedient Senate could confer on him. Because he arrogantly took up the powers of dictator, some of his close friends, including Brutus, joined in a plot to assassinate him in 44 BC, on the Ides of March, the 15th. Bible History Online.

Rome - Republican Government Statesman of the Republic of Rome. Bible History Online.

Rome - ROMAN ART The Romans were incredible in the field of art. They were great painters of still life. They erected buildings of a scale and design undreamed of before their time. Sculpture, paintings, mosaics. Bible History Online.

Rome - ROMAN LITERATURE The Romans borrowed their forms and models of literary work from the Greeks. But gradually the Roman authors implanted their own beliefs and character into their works. The first literary form to reach significant development among the Romans was drama. Roman drama, patterned after the New Comedy of the Hellenistic Era, was light, entertaining, often humorous, and sometimes satirical. Drama, poetry, history, satire. Bible History Online.

Rome - The Poor Working Class By the middle of the 1st Cent. AD., most upper class Romans forsook manual labor. They considered it beneath their dignity to work. As a result, the work was performed by slaves or a large class of poor citizens. Their were very skilled craftsmen, worked long hard hours and few became rich. Bible History Online.

Rome - The Punic Wars Conflict over the trade routes of the western Mediterranean. Carthage was a great power in the west ruling the northern coast of Africa, parts of Spain, Sicily, Sardinia. Rome was the rising power in Italy waiting to test its strength. Bible History Online.

Rome - The Religion of Rome After the death of Augustus Caesar in 14 AD., a new idea was added to the state religion, a belief that the ruler was divine and a descendant of the gods. Soon every emperor was worshipped as a god during his life and at death temples were erected for him. Many Romans also worshipped Isis (an Egyptian goddess) and Mithra (a Persian god) for more exciting rituals, personal religion and promises of afterlife. Bible History Online.

Rome - The Roman Army 'The Legion' and Legionary Tactics, The Praetorian Guard. Bible History Online.

Rome - The Roman Forum In early times the "forum" (place outside the door) was just a marsh, where many roads met. Here people could meet outside of town and exchange goods. As Rome grew the forum remained a meeting place and market place. Forum Romanum. Bible History Online.


THE CENTRAL MOUNTAINOUS PLATEAU Geography. Bible History Online.

THE COASTAL PLAIN Geography. Bible History Online.

The Essenes The Essenes are not mentioned in the New Testament, or the Talmud, but they are well known in other sources like Philo, Josephus, and the elder Pliny. The Essenes have been described as " primarily nothing but a more emphatic Pharisaism." In the time of our Lord, there were apparently only about 4,000 of them. Bible History Online.

The Fortress of Antonia Along the northern side of the temple courtyard stood the massive palace - fortress of Antonia, another of Herod's landmarks. A stairway and an underground passageway connected the Antonia with the Court of the Gentiles, and the 600 soldiers stationed there were always on the alert for disturbances in the temple precincts. The precious ceremonial robes of the high priest were kept in one of its four guard towers and were released only on important religious feast days. Bible History Online.

THE GREAT DESERT Geography. Bible History Online.

THE GREAT SEA Geography. Bible History Online.

The Jewish Calendar and Sacred Days Religious and Civil Calendars. Bible History Online.

The Mishnah and Talmud The later expositions on the Mishnah by the 'Amoraim' (Expositors ) of Israel and of Babylonia were known collectively as the Gemara (Completion). The combined text of the Mishnah and the related Gemara is known as the Talmud. These Pharisaic traditions form the basis of orthodox Judaism today. Bible History Online.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE JORDAN Geography. Bible History Online.

The Pharisees The name of the Pharisees literally means 'separated ones'. Bible History Online.

THE ROCKY HILLS OF PALESTINE Geography. Bible History Online.

The Role of Women at the Time of Jesus In her own domain, a woman's religious and social status was high, but in the eyes of the Law she was inferior, being coupled with minors and slaves in the rabbinical writings of the Mishnah. Her ineligibility to perform in public religious life is reflected in the ancient synagogue prayer: 'Blessed art thou, O Lord God, king of the universe, who hast not made me a woman.' Bible History Online.

The Roman Eagle - Sign of Rome Roman armies carried this standard wherever they went. When Pompey conquered Jerusalem, his engineers set up these kind of emblems in all public places. The eagle stood for power, and the wreath stood for victory, and the letters SPQR for Senatus Populusque Romanus (The Roman Senate and People). Bible History Online.

The Roman World From early history to Augustus. Bible History Online.

The Sadducees The Sadducees were so named because they claimed to be descended from Zadok, the high priest at the time of King David and King Solomon. They consisted of the wealthy aristocratic families who controlled the office of high priest. They rejected belief in angels and the resurrection, but they were not liberal rationalists. Rather, they were staunch conservatives, who observed the Law of the Books of Moses (Pentateuch) and who rejected later interpretations of the law, the 'oral law'. Bible History Online.

The Samaritans In later Hebrew writings the word Samaritan speaks of the people of the district of Samaria in central Israel. They came from intermarriages of certain Israelites with the colonists from Babylon and other parts of Mesopotamia and Syria. These colonists had been placed there by the Assyrian kings Sargon II and Esarhaddon, after the Northern Kingdom of Israel had been conquered and the stronghold at Samaria fell to the Assyrians. It resulted in thousands of Israelites being deported away, never to be heard from again, and colonists being chosen by the Assyrians and placed in Samaria along with a governor. [Bible History Online]

The Sanhedrin There was also an influential lay nobility within Jerusalem, represented by the elders who sat on the Sanhedrin. They were the descendants of ancient ruling families whose powers had originated in the days following the Conquest. Bible History Online.

The Scribes The scribes were held in great awe and respect throughout the Jewish world. They were thought to possess vast, secret knowledge of the workings of the Lord's power. They could be recognized on the streets by their long, flowing robes, fringed at the corners with very long tassels. When a scribe passed, ordinary people rose as a sign of respect. They were given the place of honor at important feasts and in synagogues. Bible History Online.

THE SYNAGOGUE The first synagogues may have been built by Jews held captive far from the temple during the Babylonian Exile in the sixth century B.C., but synagogues were important religious and social institutions in the time of Jesus. The original Greek word synagogue means merely "a place of meeting." In the Jewish world synagogues were second only to the temple in Jerusalem itself as religious institutions. They also served as schools of religious instruction and communal halls for civic functions under the direction of a council of elders. Bible History Online.

The Temple HEROD'S TEMPLE. Begun in 20 BC, the construction of the temple was one of Herod's most ambitious projects. The old temple mount first had to be cleared and enlarged to about twice its original size. The new area was roughly 1000 by 1500 feet, girded by a massive retaining wall of huge fitted stones, each more than 15 feet long and 13 feet thick. As Solomon had done earlier, Herod imported the best stone masons and architects from Phoenicia to direct the construction. Only the finest materials were used: cedar from Lebanon, the purest marble and limestone and the finest gold. Bible History Online.

THE VALLEY OF THE JORDAN Geography. Bible History Online.

The Zealots The Zealots or Canaaneans were also a political group. They were revolutionaries, frequently revolting, their restlessness resulted in the loss of 200,000 lives from the beginning of the century up to the actual outbreak of war in 66 AD. Bible History Online.

Topographic Map of Palestine This Small topographic map shows how the Dead Sea region is the deepest land trench in the world being about 1300 ft. below sea level. Bible History Online.