New Testament





Notes for NT601 New Testament Backgrounds


















Prepared by

Robert C. Newman

Professor of New Testament



Copyright 1991



This syllabus or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the author.  Permission will be granted to reviewers, authors, teachers and others engaged in the promotion of biblical studies.




Biblical Theological Seminary

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                                                        TABLE OF CONTENTS



BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE COURSE                                                                                         5



PART ONE:  HISTORY:  THE INTERTESTAMENT PERIOD                                            7


I. INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                        7


            A. Our Sources of Information                                                                                             7    

            B. Daniel's Overview                                                                                                            8    


II. PALESTINE UNDER PERSIA (539-331 BC)                                                                           9


            A. History of the Medo-Persian Empire                                                                               9    

            B. The Aramaic Language                                                                                                     9    

            C. Synagogue & Temple                                                                                                     10   


III. PALESTINE UNDER THE GREEKS (331-c160 BC)                                                           11


            A. Alexander and His Successors                                                                                       11   

            B. Hellenism                                                                                                                       12   

            C. The Septuagint Translation                                                                                             12   


IV. JEWISH INDEPENDENCE UNDER THE HASMONEANS (160-63 BC)                         13


            A. Antiochus 4 & the Abomination of Desolation                                                              13   

            B. The Maccabean Revolt                                                                                                   13   

            C. The Hasmonean Dynasty                                                                                               14   

            D. Pharisees, Sadducees & Essenes                                                                                    15  


V. PALESTINE UNDER THE ROMANS (65 BC-135 AD & beyond)                                      16


            A. End of the Hasmonean Dynasty                                                                                     16     

            B. The Herod Family                                                                                                          16    

            C. Messianic Expectation                                                                                                    17    

            D. The End of the Jewish State                                                                                           18    

            E. Palestine after the Fall of Jerusalem                                                                                19    





PART TWO:  NEW TESTAMENT GEOGRAPHY & CHRONOLOGY                             20


I. THE GEOGRAPHY OF PALESTINE                                                                                      20


            A. Physical Features                                                                                                           20    

            B. Political Features                                                                                                            22    



II. THE GEOGRAPHY OF JERUSALEM                                                                                 223


            A. The Valleys around Jerusalem                                                                                       23    

            B. The Hills around Jerusalem                                                                                            24    

            C. The City Walls of the NT Period                                                                                    24    

            D. Sections of the City                                                                                                        24    

            E. Major Buildings, Structures                                                                                            25    

            F. Other Sites re/ Jesus' Ministry                                                                                        26    


III. MEDITERRANEAN GEOGRAPHY                                                                                     26


            A. Physical Features                                                                                                           26    

            B. Political Features                                                                                                            27    


IV. THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT                                                           29


            A. Origin of the Christian Era                                                                                             29     

            B. Gospel Chronology                                                                                                        30    

            C. Apostolic Chronology                                                                                                    31    



PART THREE:  NEW TESTAMENT CULTURE & ARCHAEOLOGY                            35


I. MONEY                                                                                                                                      35


            A. History of Money                                                                                                          35    

            B. Money in N.T. Times                                                                                                     35  

            C. Inscriptions & Designs on NT Money                                                                           36    


II. THE HOME                                                                                                                               38


            A. Clothing                                                                                                                         38    

            B. Housing                                                                                                                          38    

            C. Agriculture                                                                                                                     39    


III. SOCIETY                                                                                                                                 40


            A. Buildings, Architecture                                                                                                  40    

            B. Cities                                                                                                                              40   

            C. Business                                                                                                                         41    

            D. Transportation                                                                                                                41    

            E. Religion                                                                                                                          42    


IV. INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY                                                                             42


            A. Definition of Archaeology                                                                                             42    

            B. Methods of Archaeology                                                                                                43    

            C. Some Archaeological Sites of the NT Period                                                                 44    

                        1. Jerusalem                (44)

                        2. Capernaum              (45)

                        3. Caesarea                  (45)

                        4. Herodium                (47)

                        5. Masada                    (48)

                        6. Corinth                    (49)

                        7. Rome                       (50)





 Danker, Frederick W. Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study.  St. Louis: Concordia, 1960.

Harrington, Daniel J. The New Testament: a Bibliography. Theological and Biblical Resources, vol. 2.  Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1985.

Hort, Erasmus.  The Bible Book:  Resources for Reading the New Testament.  New York:  Crossroad, 1983.

Hurd, John C.  A Bibliography of N.T. Bibliographies. Seabury, 1966.

Scholer, David M.  A Basic Bibliographic Guide for N.T. Exegesis. 2nd ed.  Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1973.

Thiselton, Anthony C.  New Testament Commentary Survey.  Revised by Don Carson.  Leicester, England: Theological Students Fellowship, 1977.



Barrett, C.K.  The New Testament Background:  Selected Documents. New York: Harper and Row, 1961.

Bonsirven, Joseph.  Palestinian Judaism in the Time of Jesus.  New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964.

Bruce, F.F.  Israel and the Nations.  Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1963.

________.  New Testament History.  New York: Doubleday, 1969.

Ferguson, Everett.  Backgrounds of Early Christianity.  Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1987, 1993.

Foerster, Werner.  From the Exile to Christ.  Philadelphia: Fortress, 1964.

Gowan, Donald E.  Bridge Between the Testaments.  Pittsburgh: Pickwick, 1976.

Jaegersma, Henk.  A History of Israel from Alexander the Great to Bar Kochba.  Philadelphia:  Fortress, 1986.

Kee, Howard Clark.  The New Testament in Context: Sources and Documents.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ:  Prentice‑Hall, 1984.

Lohse, Eduard.  The New Testament Environment.  Nashville: Abingdon, 1976.

Pfeiffer, Charles F.  Between the Testaments.  Grand Rapids:  Baker, 1959.

Reicke, Bo.  The New Testament Era.  Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968.

Rostovzeff, M. Greece.  New York: Oxford, 1963 reprint of 1930.

________. Rome. New York: Oxford, 1960 reprint of 1928.

Vermes, Geza.  The Dead Sea Scrolls in English. 2nd ed.  Baltimore:  Penguin, 1965.

Whiston, William, ed.  Josephus: Complete Works.  Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1960.



Aharoni, Yohanan and Avi‑Yonah, Michael.  The Macmillan Bible Atlas. 2nd ed.  New York: Macmillan, 1977.

Baly, Denis.  Basic Biblical Geography.  Philadelphia: Fortress,  1987.

________. The Geography of the Bible.  New York: Harper and Bros., 1957.

Cleave, Richard and Monson, James.  Student Map Manual: Historical Geography of the Bible Lands.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1980.

Finegan, Jack.  Handbook of Biblical Chronology.  Princeton: Princeton Univ Press, 1964.

Frank, Harry T.  Atlas of the Bible Lands.  rev. ed.  New York: Hammond, 1984.

Hoehner, Harold.  Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977.

Rasmussen, Carl G.  NIV Atlas of the Bible.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989.

Smith, George Adam.  Historical Geography of the Holy Land.  16th ed.  London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910.



Avi‑Yonah, M. and Stern, E., eds.  Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land.  4 vol.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice‑Hall, 1975.

Blaiklock, Edward M.  The Archaeology of the New Testament.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970.

________ and Harrison, R.K., eds.  The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1983.

________. The World of the New Testament.  London: Ark and Ft. Washington: Christian Literature Crusade, 1983.

Daniel‑Rops, Henri.  Daily Life in the Time Of Jesus.  New York:  Hawthorne, 1962.

Edersheim, Alfred.  Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days Of Christ.  London: James Clarke, 1961 reprint of 1883.

Finegan, Jack.  The Archaeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus & the Beginning of the Early Church.  Princeton: Princeton Univ Press, 1969.

________. The Archaeology of the New Testament: The Mediterranean World of the Early Christian Apostles.  Boulder, CO:  Westview, 1981.

Gorsline, Douglas.  What People Wore: A Visual History of Dress from Ancient Times to 20th-Century America.  New York: Bonanza, 1952.

Jeremias, Joachim.  Jerusalem in the Time Of Jesus.  Philadelphia:  Fortress, 1967.

Landels, J. G.  Engineering in the Ancient World.  Berkeley: Univ of California Press, 1978.

Mare, W. Harold.  The Archaeology of the Jerusalem Area.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987.

Metzger, Bruce M.  Lexical Aids to Students of N.T. Greek. new ed.  Princeton, NJ: published by author, 1977.

Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome.  The Holy Land:  An Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700.  New York:  Oxford, 1980.

Packer, J.I., Merrill C. Tenney and William White, Jr.  The World of the New Testament.  Nashville: Nelson, 1982.

Pfeiffer, Charles F., ed.  The Biblical World: A Dictionary Of Biblical Archaeology.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 1966.

Ramsay, William M.  The Cities of St. Paul.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 1960 reprint of 1907.

Stephens, William H.  The New Testament World In Pictures.  Nashville:  Broadman, 1987.

Stevenson, James.  The Catacombs:  Life and Death in Early Christianity.  Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, 1985.

Tenney, Merrill C.  New Testament Times.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965.

Unger, Merrill F.  Archaeology and the New Testament.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962.

Yamauchi, Edwin.  The Archaeology of New Testament Cities in Western Asia Minor.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980.

________. Harper's World of The New Testament.  New York: Harper and Row, 1981.




                                   HISTORY:  THE INTERTESTAMENT PERIOD

                                           (THROUGH THE BAR KOCHBA WAR)


I. Introduction


A. Our Sources of Information for the Period


            1. OT Prediction

Daniel gives an overview of the period thru visions in chap 2 (statue) and ch 7 (4 wild animals); see below

                        Also gives some details, in Dan 8, 9 & 11 especially


            2. OT Apocrypha & Pseudepigrapha

                        Religious writings of Jews, mostly during IT period

                        Some posing as Scripture, some not

                        Give insight into culture, religious ideas, sects, Biblical interp during period

                                    1 Maccabees esp important re/ history of revolt;

 2 Macc also adds valuable information, though considered somewhat less reliable


            3. Philo

                        Born c 20 BC, died after AD 40

                        Alexandrian Jew, member of very prominent family

Studied Greek philosophy, tried to amalgamate OT w/ selected ideas from Gk philosophy

                        Influential among Christians in allegorizing Scripture

Shows one variety of Jewish reaction to Hellenism, namely partial accommodation


            4. Josephus

                        Born AD 37, died after 100

                        Pharisee, member of very prominent Jerusalem family

                        Involved on both sides of Jewish war 66‑73

                        Wrote Jewish War at request of Vespasian/Titus, c 80

                        Wrote Antiquities to show Jews were ancient race, c 95

                        Both cover IT period & NT period, using some sources no longer extant


            5. Dead Sea Scrolls

                        Literature written/copied by Qumran sect, apparently a variety of Essenes

                        Stricter than Pharisees, but wrote some "Scripture" of their own

                        Show eschatological interests of Jews at time


            6. Rabbinic Literature

                        Oral traditions of rabbis

                        Midrash(im) ‑ tradition textually organized

                        Mishnah, Gemara, Talmud ‑ topically organized

                        Not much historical; mostly written centuries later

But give flavor & details of Pharisaic theology, ethics, practice; much on temple practice in last generation or so before AD 70


B. Daniel's Overview of the Inter‑Testament Period


            1. Nebuchadnezzar's Image (Dan 2)

                        a. Pictured (vv 32‑35)

                                    (0) Statue & action

                                    (1) Head of Gold (v 32)

                                    (2) Breast & Arms of Silver (32)

                                    (3) Belly & Sides of Bronze (32)

                                    (4) Legs of Iron (33)

                                    (5) Feet, part Iron, part Clay (33)

                                    (6) Stone smashes image, grows to fill earth (34‑35)

                        b. Explained (vv 38‑45)

                                    (0) What will happen hereafter (45)

                                    (1) Nebuchadnezzar's universal rule (38)

                                    (2) Another kingdom inferior (?) to Neb's (39)

                                    (3) 3rd kingdom to rule over all the earth (39)

                                    (4) 4th kingdom strong as iron, breaking (40)

                                    (5) The same (?), part strong, part broken (41‑3)

                                    (6) God will set up a permanent kingdom (44)


            2. Daniel's Four Wild Animals (Dan 7)

                        a. Pictured (vv 3-14, more details in 19, 21-23)

                                    (0) Diverse beasts from sea (3)

                                    (1) lion w/ eagle's wings; plucked, lifted, heart (4)

                                    (2) bear raised on one side; 3 ribs in mouth (5)

                                    (3) leopard, 4 wings, 4 heads (6)

(4) dreadful, terrible, iron teeth, bronze claws, 10 horns, 11th rises, wars w/ saints (7-8, 19,21-22)

                                    (5) 4th destroyed, dominion given to son of man (9-14)

                        b. Explained (17-26)

                                    (0‑4) 4 kings who will arise from earth (17)

(4) 4th kingdom, diverse from others; horns = kings; wears out saints for 3½ times (23‑26)

                                    (5) Saints take kingdom & possess it forever (18)



            3. The Kingdoms                                                       

                        a. Babylon (609‑539 BC)

                        b. Medo‑Persia (539‑331 BC)            \           will use these

                        c. Greece (331‑30 BC)                        |           three kingdoms

                        d. Rome (30 BC‑present?)                  /           to structure our history



II. Palestine under Persia (539‑331 BC)


A. History of the Medo‑Persian Empire


            1. The Rise of Cyrus

                        Medes already powerful before 600 BC, helping Babylonians destroy Assyria

Babylonians hold Medes at bay, but begin to weaken with death of Nebuchadnezzar (562)

Cyrus (559) inherits small kingdom of Anshan (later called Persia), tributary to Medes; Bab king Nabonidus provides financial support to harass Medes

                        Cyrus defeats Medes (550); Nabonidus cancels support!

                        Cyrus has self crowned king of Medes, forming dual monarchy

                        Cyrus takes Lydia, rest of Asia Minor (546), then Babylon (539)


            2. The Return of the Jews (under Cyrus 1: 539‑530)

                        Unlike Assyrians & Babylonians, Cyrus did not wish to offend other religions

Takes part in New Year ceremony at Babylon (537) to become rightful king of Babylon

                        Revokes Assyr & Bab deportation policy, allowing Jews to return (Ezr 1:2‑4)


            3. The Rebuilding of the (2nd) Temple (Darius 1: 521‑486)

Cyrus initially allowed rebuilding to start, but stopped it due to opposition of neighbors (Ezr 6:3‑5; Ezr 4)

                        Jews allowed to rebuild temple after showing loyalty at accession of Darius

Temple completed 515 under leadership of prophets Haggai & Zechariah, governor Zerubbabel & high priest Jeshua


            4. Revival in Judah & Rebuilding Walls of Jerusalem (Artaxerxes 1: 465‑423)

 Ezra (c458) comes from Babylonia, restores people to observance of law, w/ permission of king

                        Nehemiah (445) sent by king as governor w/ permission to rebuild walls


B. The Aramaic Language


            1. Old Language of Syria (upper Euphrates)

                        language of Laban (Gen 31:47; prob Abraham's in Haran)


            2. Becomes Diplomatic Language of the Ancient Near East

                        Assyrian Empire (c700; Isa 36:11)

                        Babylonian Empire (c600; Dan 2:4)

                        Persian Empire (c450; Ezra 4:11ff)    


            3. Adopted by the Jews

                        apparently during Babylonian exile (see Neh 8:7‑8)

                        still in use at time of Christ (Mk 5:41: talitha kum; 7:34: ephatha)

                        used in rabbinic Talmud, c550 AD

                        still used (w/ different script) in Syrian church today


            4. Aramaic's Relation to the Bible

                        a. Aramaic Passages in the Bible

                                    Daniel chs 2‑7; most of Ezra chs 4-7

                                    One verse in prophets, Jer 10:11

                                    One word in pentateuch, Gen 31:47

                        b. The Targums

                                    oral translations of Bible into Aramaic, perhaps dating back to Bab exile

                                    completed & written down after NT times:

                                                Pentateuch: Targum of Onkelos, Palestinian Targum

                                                Prophets: Targ of Jonathan


C. Synagogue & Temple


            1. Rise of the Synagogue

                        place of worship for those unable to attend temple

                        prayer & Bible study rather than sacrifice

                        time of origin obscure:

                                    before exile? (Ps 74:8)

                                    most think during exile when no temple

                                    some suggest after Maccabean revolt

                        continued alongside 2nd temple (515 BC ‑ AD 70)

                        after destruction of 2nd temple, only place of worship


            2. The Intertestament Temples

                        a. Second (Jerusalem) Temple (515 BC ‑ AD 70)

                                    orthodox, continuation of Mosaic regulations

                        b. Samaritan (Mt. Gerizim) Temple (450/330 ‑ 128 BC)

                                    Samaritans, w/ help from renegade priests

                                    destroyed by Hasmoneans (Maccabees)

                                    still a holy site in NT times (Jn 4:20) & even today

                        c. Elephantine (Egyptian) Temple (built before 525 BC;

                                    destroyed 410; prob rebuilt by 402; destroyed c 390 BC)

                                    Jewish mercenaries, poss refugees from Manasseh

                                    polytheistic influence? cp Jer 44:15‑19: "Queen of Heaven"

                                    app animal sacrifices before 410 (see BAR May/June 95)

may have gotten help in rebuilding from Jerusalem under stipulation that no animal sacrifice


                        d. (Later) Leontopolis Temple (c160 BC ‑ AD 72)

                                    built in Maccabean period by refugee high priest Onias 3

                                    destroyed by Romans to eliminate rallying point for Jews



III. Palestine under the Greeks (331‑c160 BC)


A. Alexander & his Successors


            1. Alexander (336‑323)

                        succeeds assassinated father at age 20 (336)

                        invades Asia Minor (334) w/ 35,000 men, wins victory at Granicus River.

                        victory at Issus (333) opens Syria, Palestine, Egypt

                        victory at Gaugamela (331) destroys Persian empire

marches east to India, finally turning back at demand of soldiers; dies in Babylon planning further conquests

begins important mixing of East & West, including Hellenism (see below) and spread of Greek language


            2. The Struggle for Succession (323‑301)

                        Alexander's son still baby at A's death; his brother is incompetent

                        Generals, keeping throne for son, fall to fighting

Antigonus seems to be headed for complete control (315), but others gang up & kill him in battle of Ipsus (301)

                        eventually empire broken into several pieces:

                                    Lysimachus ruling Thrace

                                    Cassander ruling Macedonia

                                    Seleucus ruling Asia Minor, Mesopotamia

                                    Ptolemy ruling Egypt & Syria

                        only latter two important for history of Palestine


            3. The Ptolemaic Dynasty (to 30 BC; over Palestine 301‑1­98)

                        grabbed off Palestine while others defeating Antigonus

reasonably favorable treatment of Jews both in Palestine, Egypt (large no. settle in Alexandria)


            4. The Seleucid Dynasty (to 63 BC; controls Pal 198‑c160)

                        in long series of wars finally got Pal from Ptolemies

Antiochus 4 favors Hellenistic Jews, allowing them to establish Jerusalem as Hellenistic city

                        Ant 4 later attempts to abolish Judaism (168), leading to Maccabean revolt (167)


B. Hellenism


            Greek culture as it developed in East after Alexander

            Influenced Judaism and (somewhat) influenced by it


            1. Religion

                        syncretism (mixing) of eastern & Greek polytheisms

                        some attempts to mix with Judaism


            2. Philosophy

                        various schools in Greece spread Eastward

                        most important: Epicurean, Stoic, Platonic

                        many Jews adopted various philosophical ideas

                                    e.g., Philo of Alex (selection of platonic, stoic)


            3. Politics

                        independent city‑states in Greece

                        modified in East, as under imperial control of Ptolemies & Seleucids

                        citizenship ‑ more restricted in numbers than modern citizenship


            4. Influence on Jews

growth of Hellenistic Jews, attracted to one or more features of Hellenism; some radical, some moderate

reaction against Hellenism by Hasidim, Jews determined to be faithful to God's covenant


            5. Influence of Judaism on Hellenism

                        Bible translated into Greek

                        many Gentiles attracted to God of Bible via synagogues


C. The Septuagint Translation


            1. Origin of the Version (c250 BC)

                        a. Letter of Aristeas & its Story

                                    claims to be written by pagan Greek about 250 BC

72 Jewish elders from Palestine come to Egypt & translate Law at commission of Ptolemy 2

                        b. Later Additions to Story

                                    translation covers whole OT

                                    translators got identical results working in pairs

                        c. General Opinion of Story Today

                                    Aristeas probably written by Jew about 100 BC

                                    But some features prob authentic:

                                                -translation into Greek made at Alexandria

                                                -Pentateuch translated as a unit about 250 BC

                                                -scrolls (poss translators) from Jerusalem

                                                -Ptolemy 2 allowed work, may have given aid


            2. Importance of Version

                        a. Longest translation of any ancient writing known in antiquity

                        b. Gives text of OT century or so before oldest Heb texts for most of OT

                        c. Set pattern for Greek theological terms used in OT & NT

                        d. Put OT in universal language of Mediterranean

                        e. Became OT of early church



IV. Jewish Independence under the Hasmoneans (160‑63 BC)


A. Antiochus 4 Epiphanes & the Abomination of Desolation


            1. Usurps throne from nephew (175), who was under age

            2. Strong advocate of Hellenism to unify diverse empire 

3. Among Jews favors Hellenistic faction (vs. Hasidim) allows them to refound Jerusalem as "Antiochia"

4. Deposes orthodox high priest Onias 3 for O's Hellenistic brother Jason (for a bribe); then Jason for Menelaus (bigger bribe; not even high priestly family)

5. Fuming from defeat in Egypt (168), Ant 4 finds Jason has rebelled; puts down revolt & tries to destroy Judaism via decrees forbidding circumcision & kosher, destroying Scripture, rededicating temple to Zeus (himself)


B. The Maccabean Revolt (167‑134)


            1. Origin

Seleucids go through towns of Judea, enforcing Ant 4's decrees and commanding pagan sacrifice

At Modin, aged priest Mattathias kills Jew who comes forward to sacrifice, then official & his few troops

                        Matt & 5 sons call for armed resistance, flee to mountains


            2. Judah the Maccabee (166‑160)

                        3rd son of Mattathias; named leader at M's death

                        military nickname Macc means "hammer"/ "hammerer"

                        Judah M leads guerilla campaign, destroying several Sel armies          

                        JM's forces grow w/ success, matching Sel escalation

                        Antiochus is busy in E, having left Lysias in charge in W

Lysias invades Palestine w/ large army in 164, but army nearly wiped out in ambush at Emmaus

Macc's take Jerusalem (exc citadel), cleanse & rededicate temple (Dec 164); origin of Hannukah (Feast of Lights)

                        Meanwhile Antiochus 4 dies (163), Lysias becomes regent

Lysias offers peace terms acceptable to Hasidim but not to Macc's, thus splitting opposition

JM, heavily outnumbered, killed in battle (160)


            3. Jonathan (160‑142)

                        brother of Judah

                        escapes defeat w/ a few followers, become guerillas again

but w/ Ant 4's death, successor Demetrius 2 faces challenge for Seleucid throne from Alexander Balas

Jonathan able to use diplomacy skillfully when both sides seek his aid; eventually becomes governor & high priest

                        finally killed (142) by Trypho, another contender for Seleucid throne


            4. Simon (142‑134)

                        last surviving son of Mattathias, succeeds Jonathan

supports Demetrius 2 against Trypho; in gratitude, Dem makes Judea tax‑exempt (virtually independent)

Simon proclaimed "gov & high priest forever" until true prophet comes to give further instructions (1 Macc 14:25‑49)

                        son‑in‑law murders Simon & 2 sons at banquet (134)


C. The Hasmonean Dynasty (134‑63)


            1. John Hyrcanus (134‑104)

                        son of Simon, not at banquet, succeeds father

                        becomes powerful militarily, while Seleucids weak

                        greatly expands Judean territory:

                                    -conquers coastal cities (gaining trade income)

                                    -takes Idumea (Edomites must become Jews or die, fulfilling Ezk 25:14)

                                    -conquers Samaria, destroys Mt. Gerizim temple

                        Rise of Pharisees & Sadducees

                                    first appear in history during JHs rule

JH originally favors Pharisees, but then dispute occurs and Sadducees gain his favor


            2. Aristobolus (103)

                        oldest son of JH, assumes throne, kills several of own bro's, imprisons another

                        first Jew to take title "king" since Babylonian conquest

                        conquers Galilee, leading to settlement of Jews there

                        dies w/in a year from fear, drink, disease


            3. Alexander Jannaeus (102‑76)

                        Arist's bro, released from prison & married by A's wife

AJ continues expansion of kingdom until nearly as big as David & Solomon's

Pharisees revolt, call in Syrians; AJ about to lose when Phar's defect to him; AJ wins, crucifies many Phar's


            4. Salome Alexandria (75‑67)

                        wife of A & AJ, succeeds at AJ's death

                        2 sons: 

                                    Hyrcanus 2 ‑ made high priest

                                    Aristobolus 2 ‑ given military command


            5. End of Hasmonean Independence (66‑63)

                        Salome dies, succeeded by Hyr 2 (supported by Phar's)

                        but Arist 2 (supported by Sadd's) takes throne from him

                        Hyr 2 flees, opens civil war, calls on Romans


D. Pharisees, Sadducees & Essenes


            1. Origins

                        rather obscure, but all 3 apparently arise in this period

Sadd's look like Hellenizers of Antiochus 4's time, but prob new growth under continued influence of Hellenism        

Phar's & Essenes app develop from Hasidim, Phar's accept, Essenes reject, arrangements of temple & esp priesthood during Macc period


            2. Theology:






Name from hasid?

Names from parash?

Name from tsedek?

Super Pharisees, abandoned temple

Ritual purity, hedge around Law

More pragmatic, compromising




OT + own secret books

OT + oral tradition

OT only

Immortality of soul?

Bodily resurrection

No survival

Emphasis on angels

Belief in angels

No angels

Emphasis on eschatology

Last judgment

No judgment









            3. Influence & Survival





Few, more or less withdrawn

Not large, but popular support

Few richest families, especially chief priests

Withdrawn from politics, too

Important politically, dominant religiously

Dominant politically, but had to cooperate with Pharisees

Qumran destroyed AD 68, some later influence

Survive to dominate Judaism after AD 70

Destroyed with temple in AD 70

Wrote or copied Dead Sea Scrolls

Rabbinic literature by their heirs

No known writings survive




V. Palestine under the Romans (63 BC‑135 AD & beyond)


A. The End of the Hasmonean Dynasty (63 BC)


            1. Civil War between Hyrcanus 2 & Aristobolus 2


            2. Pompey Intervenes

                        Roman triumvir in E, mopping up Seleucid empire

                        Called in to arbitrate, decides in favor of Hyr

                        When resisted by Arist's forces, takes Jerus

                        Many Jews taken slaves, scattered thru Rom Emp

                        Judaea loses much of its conquered territories

                        Hyr 2 made "ethnarch" of Judea (incl Idumea, Perea, Galilee) rather than king


            3. The Pax Romana (c30 BC‑c170 AD)

                        2 centuries of peace over RE beginning w/ Augustus

                        Great growth in prosperity, reaches peak in 2nd century AD

                        Important for spread of Christianity in 1st century

                        Related features important for spread of Xy:

                                    -Roman roads

                                    -lack of national boundaries


B. The Herod Family


            1. Antipater

                        Idumean advisor to Hyr 2, power behind throne

                        Engineered Hyr 2Ős flight to Arabs & call for Roman help

                        Made Procurator of Judea (47 BC) for aiding Julius Caesar        

                        Made own sons Phasael & Herod administrators

                        Assassinated 43 BC


            2. Herod the Great (37‑4 BC)


                        a. Gains Power

                                    Appointed joint tetrarch w/ bro Phasael (42)

                                    Bro killed in Parthian invasion, Herod flees to Rome (40)        

                                    Senate appoints him King of Jews

                                    Herod returns w/ army, takes Jerusalem (37)

                                    Throne not secure till deaths of Anthony & Cleopa­tra (31)


                        b. His Troubles

Marries Hasmonean princess Mariamne (g‑dau of both Arist 2 & Hyr 2), divorcing 1st wife Doris

Doris & son Antipater later cause trouble, so does Mariamne's mother, Herod's own jealousy

Eventually H puts Mariamne to death, later her two sons Aristobolus & Alexander, finally Antipater

                                    Augustus: ŇBetter to be H's hus (pig) than his huios (son)Ó


                        c. His Accomplishments

                                    Territory ruled nearly size of HasmoneansŐ & DavidŐs

                                    Refurbishes Jerusalem Temple (19 BC‑66 AD)

                                    Other building projects: Caesarea, Sebaste, etc.

                                    Slaying of the Innocents (5 or 4 BC)

no extrabiblical confirmation, but cp treatment of own family, intention for leaders at his death


            3. Herod's Sons ‑ received his territory by will at death

                        a. Archelaus ‑ Judea/Samaria/Idumea (to AD 6)

                        b. Antipas ‑ Galilee/Peraea (to 39)

                        c. Philip ‑ Iturea/Trachonitis (to 34)


            4. Herod's Descendants ‑ by Mariamne (royal blood)

                        a. Herod Agrippa 1 ‑ King of Jews, AD 41‑44

                        b. Herod Agrippa 2 ‑ King (though not of Jews) dc AD 100


C. Messianic Expectation at the End of the I.T. Period


            1. Messianic Fervor

                        timing, influence in Jewish revolt

                        (see my "Time of the Messiah," in Evidence of Prophecy)



            2. The Person of the Messiah

                        Views change w/ time:

-early extra‑Bibl materials see Messiah as more than human, though no clear view of his deity;

                                    -later rabbinic material tends to minimize Messiah

 OT data posed various paradoxes re/ office, activity, type of coming, type of being; these solved by NT and Jesus (see my "NT Model of Messiah," Evidence of Prophecy)


            3. Various Views of the Messianic Period

                        a. Messianic period only (Millennium, on earth)

                                    [somewhat like Post‑Mill view]

                                    (1) Merely freedom for Israel ‑ R. Samuel

                                    (2) Miraculous phenomena ‑ 1 Enoch (1); Test 12 Patr

                        b. Eschaton only (Eternal State, heaven or paradise)

                                    [sort of A‑Mill view]

                                    1 Enoch (3), 2 Enoch

                        c. Both Messianic period and Eschaton (M.P. 1st, natural­ly)

                                    [sort of Pre‑Mill view]

                                    most common: 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, Pss Sol, most Rabbis


            4. The Order of Events (acc to view 3c)

                        a. Signs preceding end

                                    Moral decay, calamities, signs in heaven, forerunner

                        b. Messianic kingdom established

                                    (1) Return of Israel from exile

                                    (2) Punishment of nations

                                    (3) Messiah Rules (role in conquest varies)

                        c. The Days of the Messiah ("Millennium" in Xn theology)

                                    (1) Variable features (e.g., place of nations), but usually marvelous

                                    (2) Length uncertain (40 yr to over 1000)

                                    (3) Ends w/ rebellion of Gog & Magog

                        d. The Age to Come ("Eternal State" in Xn theology)

                                    (1) Resurrection

                                    (2) Judgment

                                    (3) Eternal state of punishment/reward


D. The End of the Jewish State


            1. The Roman Procurators (AD 6‑66)

Began with replacement of Archelaus, deposed at Jewish request for misgovernment

Revolt of Zealots at census of AD 6 a sign of things to come; Zealots grow stronger as Roman‑Jewish relations deteriorate


Rom emperor Gaius (Caligula) orders own statue erected in Jerusalem Temple (41); dies before carried out

Procurators continue (except for 41‑44, when Herod Agrippa I rules) until outbreak of Jewish revolt

In general, procurators did not understand Jews, were frequently antagonistic, aggravating conditions and so strengthening Zealots; last two (Albinus, Florus) especially wicked


            2. The (First) Jewish Revolt (AD 66‑73)

Started by incident between Jews and Gentiles in Caesarea, spread and fanned by procurator & Zealots to enflame whole country

Moderate Jews able to take leadership at first, but gradually lost out to more radical Zealots

Ended in destruction of Jerusalem, its temple (AD 70) and Jewish state; mopping up operation completed with fall of Masada in AD 73


E. Palestine after the Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70‑135)


            1. R. Johanan b. Zakkai & Jamnia

                        Johanan escaped besieged Jerusalem in coffin

got permission from Romans to establish rabbinical school and Sanhedrin at Jamnia

Rebuilt Judaism (w/o state or temple) along lines of Pharisaism, eventually leading to Mishnah & Talmuds

Jewish Xns excluded from synagogue by adding curse on Nazarenes to synagogue liturgy (AD 90‑100)

            2. The Bar‑Kochba (Second) Revolt (AD 132‑35)

Set off by Roman preparations to build pagan city Aelia Capitolina on site of Jerusalem

R. Akiba recognizes Simeon b. Koseba as Messiah & fulfillment of Num 24:17 (star = kochba)

Revolt at first successful, w/ Roman troops spread thin; eventually put down w/ considerable slaughter

                        Jews forbidden to come near Jerusalem (Aelia)

                        Judaism ceases to be a missionary religion



                                                                   PART TWO:

                             NEW TESTAMENT GEOGRAPHY & CHRONOLOGY


I. The Geography of Palestine


A. Physical Features (see Hammond Bible Atlas B-4, overhead & slides)

        on large scale, little change since NT times


            1. Major Regions from West to East

                        major structures form bands aligned N‑S

                        list these here moving from West to East

direction of prevailing winds (W => E), carrying moisture from Mediterranean, helps explain climate of each region


                        a. Coastal Plain / Plain of Sharon

                                    flat, fertile where not too sandy or salty

                                    easy to invade from outside country (from Egypt, Syria)


                        b. Shephelah / Lowlands

                                    low relative to central hill country (item c, below)

                                    rolling hills, wide valleys; travel along valleys

                                    still relatively easy to invade


                        c. Hill Country

                                    sharp hills, v‑shaped valleys; travel along ridges

                                    much more difficult to invade

use terracing for agriculture; good rainfall to W of main ridge, poor to E (cp rainfall W & E of Rockies)


                        d. Rift Valley

                                    geologic fault (graben) extending S into Africa

                                    wide u‑shaped valley, with Jordan R in middle

                                    hot & arid away from river, so irrigated for crops


                        e. Trans‑Jordan Plateau

higher than hill country, relatively well‑watered at W edge, but quickly becoming desert to E


            2. Smaller Geographic Features

                        listing these moving from N to S


                        a. Mt. Hermon

                                    S‑most large peak of Anti‑Lebanon range (see B‑8)

                                    snow‑covered all year, over 9000 ft high


                        b. Galilee & Mt. Tabor

                                    hilly, best‑watered area in Palestine

                                    higher in N, lower in S (Upper Gal, Lower Gal)

                                    reasonably cool except around Sea of Galilee

                                    Mt. Tabor is isolated peak, over 1900 ft, just N of Jezreel Valley


                        c. Jezreel Valley / Plain of Esdraelon

                                    E‑W valley connecting coast w/ Jordan V

                                    separates Samaria from Galilee

                                    easiest connection from Med Sea to Rift Valley

                                    so important for trade routes


                        d. Mt. Carmel

                                    long E‑W ridge on S side of Jezreel V

                                    max height about 1800 ft

                                    forms barrier to N‑S travel; trade routes thru passes;

                                                control of passes important militarily;

                                                Megiddo controls one such pass


                        e. Wilderness (of Judea)

a badlands‑like region E of Jerusalem, where combination of low rainfall and poor chalky soil produce a virtually uninhabited area


                        f. Negev

                                    arid land south of Hebron, flat to rolling

                                    soil good, but very little rainfall

                                    some agriculture possible using tricks to concentrate water


            3. Major Bodies of Water around Palestine


                        a. Mediterranean Sea

 large body of salt water, connected to Atlantic at Gibraltar

few natural ports on Palestine coast, so Jews did not become seafarers, involved in trade mostly as mid­dlemen


                        b. Sea of Galilee (Sea of Tiberias)

                                    fresh water lake, surface 600 ft below sea level

                                    fed by Jordan R which also continues as its outlet

                                    important for fishing then and now (see map B‑7)

                                    topography & climate can produce fierce storms



                        c. Jordan River

                                    headwaters on lower slopes of Mt. Hermon

descends about 2300 ft in 100 mi (not counting meanders) through Sea of Galilee to Dead Sea


                        d. Dead Sea (Lake Asphaltitus)

                                    surface is lowest point on earth, ‑1296 ft

                                    extremely salty; fish cannot live in it

                                    mined then and today for minerals


B. Political Features (overhead, Hammond, maps B‑26 and B‑5)


            1. Political Divisions during Ministry of Christ


                        a. Judea

                                    included Samaria and Idumea

                                    ruled by Roman procurators AD 6‑41, 44‑66,

                                    by Herod Agrippa 1 from 41‑44


                        b. Galilee

                                    area W of Sea of Galilee

ruled by Herod Antipas 4 BC ‑ AD 39, then by Roman procurators and H Agrippa 1 like Judea


                        c. Perea

                                    narrow strip E of Jordan R inhabited mainly by Jews

                                    ruled by same rulers as Galilee


                        d. Tetrarchy of Philip

                                    multi-ethnic region NE of Sea of Galilee

                                    mostly Gentile inhabitants

ruled by Philip, son of Herod the Gt, 4 BC ‑ 34 AD, then by Roman procurators and H Ag 1 as above


                        e. Decapolis

                                    a league of (usually ten) Hellenistic cities, plus their city territories

                                    mostly Gentile inhabitants

                                    independent of Antipas, Philip, Agrippa, under Romans


            2. Cities of Palestine during 1st Century AD (see map B‑26)


                        a. Jerusalem ‑ Jewish capital

                        b. Caesarea ‑ Roman capital of Palestine

                                    built as artifical port by Herod the Great

                                    both Jew and Gentile inhabitants

c. Sebaste ‑ OT Samaria rebuilt by Herod for his army veterans; inhabitants mostly Gentile

d. Tiberias ‑ new city built by Herod Antipas as capital for Galilee

e. Caesarea Philippi ‑ built by Philip as capital for his Tetrarchy

                        f. Decapolis Cities

                                    Scythopolis, Hippos, Gedara, Gerasa, Philadelphia

                        g. Galilean Towns

                                    Nazareth, Cana, Magdala, Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida

                        h. Judean Towns

                                    Jericho, Bethany, Bethlehem, Emmaus


            3. Major Roads (see Hammond, map B‑5)


a. Via Maris (Way of the Sea) ‑ coastal road from Egypt,splits at Megiddo, one branch to Antioch, other to Damascus and Mesopotamia

b. King's Highway ‑ on T‑J Plateau, from Gulf of Aqabah to Damascus

c. Ridge Route thru Hill Country ‑ less important and more difficult travel, but connects Jerusalem w/ Galilee


            4. The Herodian Fortifications (see B‑26)

                        built by Herod Gt for personal safety

                        just three listed here, there were several more


                        a. Machaerus ‑ E of Dead Sea, where John Baptist put to death, acc to Josephus

b. Masada ‑ W of Dead Sea; fortified mesa with several palaces; last stand of Zealots AD 73

c. Herodium ‑ SE of Bethlehem; also fortified palace; Herod's tomb acc to Josephus



II. The Geography of Jerusalem (Hammond, B‑29, overhead, slides)


A. The Valleys around Jerusalem


            1. Hinnom ‑ W and S of city

                        as place where garbage burned, Ge‑Hinnom became picture of hell


            2. Kidron ‑ E of city betw Temple and Mt. of Olives

                        location of Gethsemane


3. Tyropoeon (cheesemakers) ‑ within city, betw Temple Mt. and higher hill of Upper City to W; now largely filled in



B. The Hills around Jerusalem ‑ the more important ones


            1. Ophel

                        site of City of Jebusites & David


            2. Moriah

                        site of Temple, and (app) Abraham's sacrifice

                        probably Zion = Ophel or Moriah


            3. Mt. of Olives

                        outside city c 1/2 mi to E

                        at edge of wilderness

                        on way from Jericho to Jerusalem

                        site of ascension


            4. Hill of Upper City

                        W of and higher than Ophel or Moriah

                        called Zion in Middle Ages, but prob misidentified


C. The City Walls in the N.T. Period


            1. South Wall

some dispute (see B‑29) whether wall enclosed Tyropoeon V at NT time; I believe it did, and we will test that way

                        prob (contra Hammond) wall followed N side of Hinnom V


            2. East Wall

                        on W side of Kidron V and along E side of Temple


            3. West Wall

                        on E side of upper part of Hinnom V


            4. North Walls

                        city most vulnerable on N, as not protected by gorges

                        a. 1st N Wall

                                    from Joppa Gate towers to middle of Temple

                        b. 2nd N Wall

                                    from Joppa Gate towers N, then E to Antonia

                        c. 3rd N Wall (not on B‑29, but see B‑34‑35)

                                    begun after Jesus' ministry, by Herod Agrippa I, finished during revolt


D. Sections of The City (Hammond, B‑34‑5, slides)


            1. City of David

                        old Ophel Hill; Hammond calls this Lower City


            2. Temple Mount

                        Mt Moriah


            3. Lower City

                        prob in Tyropoeon V, contra B‑25, etc.


            4. Upper City

                        hill betw Hinnom and Tyropoeon


            5. Second Quarter

                        betw 1st and 2nd North Walls


            6. New City / Bezetha

                        betw 2nd and 3rd North Walls; suburb at Jesus' time


E. Major Buildings, Structures


            1. Temple Complex

                        note courts and porticoes (B‑25, B‑29)

                        about 750 feet EW x 1500 feet NS


            2. Fortress Antonia

                        NW of Temple and adjoining it

traditionally site of Jesus' Roman trial, though many now think this was at Herod's Palace (below)


            3. Jaffa Gate Towers

                        3 built by Herod, named for brother Phasael, wife Mariamne, and friend Hippicus


            4. Herod's Palace

                        built by Herod the Great

                        prob used by Roman governor when in city, rather than by Herod Antipas

                        alternate site for Jesus' Roman trial


            5. Sanhedrin Building

                        Called "Hall of Hewn Stones" in Rabbinic literature

                        near Temple, but location now uncertain

                        prob site of Jesus' sentencing on Fri morning


            6. Hippodrome

                        stadium for chariot races (as in film Ben Hur)

                        location uncertain, some put in Tyropoean V


            7. Theatre

                        like Hippodrome, mentioned by Josephus, but location uncertain


F. Other Sites related to Jesus' Ministry


            1. Pool of Bethesda

                        N of Temple and NE of Antonia

                        five porticoes, see John 5


            2. Pool of Siloam

                        S(W) of Temple near junction of Tyropoeon and Hinnom, see John 9


            3. Golden Gate

                        E gate of Temple courts

                        Jesus app passed thru at triumphal entry, see Mark 11


            4, 5.  Upper Room & Caiaphas' House

                        both traditionally in Upper City


            6. Gethsemane

                        olive grove in Kidron V

                        several sites claimed


            7. Calvary / Golgotha

                         two sites claimed:


                        a. Church of Holy Sepulchre

no longer looks authentic, but most likely to be so on basis of archeological and historical evidence

                        b. Gordon's Calvary

prob more like what Calvary looked like in Jesus' time, but evidence against its authenticity



III. Mediterranean Geography


A. Physical Features (Hammond, B‑24)


            1. Bodies of Water


                        a. Mediterranean Sea

                                    called Great Sea in OT, not named in NT

                                    called Mare Internum by Romans

                        b. Black Sea

                                    N of Asia Minor

                        c. Aegean Sea

                                    betw Greece and Asia Minor

                        d. Adriatic Sea

                                    today restricted to area betw Italy and Greece

                                    in NT times, sometimes viewed extending to Central Med (Acts 27:27)

                        e. Ionian Sea

                                    sometimes lower part of Adriatic is so named

                        f. Tyrrhenian Sea

                                    triangular sea betw Italian boot, Sicilian football, Corsica and Sardinia


            2. Principal Islands


                        a. Cyprus

                                    NE corner of Med

                                    our metal copper named for island

                                    evangelized by Paul & Barnabas on 1st mj, Acts 13

                        b. Crete

                                    S of Aegean Sea, below Greece and Asia Minor

                                    home of ancient Minoan civilization before 1400 BC

                                    Titus put in charge of Xn work here by Paul (Tit 1:5)

                        c. Sicily

                                    football being kicked by Italian boot

                        d. Sardinia

                        e. Corsica ‑ Napoleon born here

                        f. Malta  (see B‑33)

                                    S of Sicily

                                    very small, but famous for Paul's shipwreck, Acts 27

                        g. Patmos (see B‑37)

                                    about 50 mi SW of Ephesus

                                    even smaller, hundreds of islands in Med this big

                                    site of John's banishment when he wrote Revelation


B. Political Features (1st cen AD; B‑24)


            1. Provinces of Roman Empire


                        a. Syria

                                    Palestine included for miltary purposes

                        b. Egypt (Aegyptus)

almost a private preserve of Emperor, to guarantee supply of grain for Rome and its dole to poor

                        c. Cilicia

                                    Paul's native province


                        d. Galatia

                                    central Asia Minor

                                    Paul's 1st mj in S part of province

                        e. Asia

                                    not continent, but western Asia Minor

                        f. Macedonia

                                    N of Greece

                                    Paul visited on 2nd mj

                        g. Achaia

                                    Greece proper

                        h. Other Provinces

                                    Britannia, Gallia, Hispania, Mauretania, Africa, Cyrenaica, Italia,

                                    Illyricum, Moesia, Bithynia, Pontus, Cappadocia


            2. Cities of Roman Empire

                        NOTE: 1,2,3 are largest cities; A,B,C mark famous schools

                        a. Jerusalem                 k. Miletus

                        b. Caesarea                  l. Ephesus

                        c. Tyre                         m. Troas

                        d. Damascus                n. Philippi

                        e. Antioch (Syria)(3)   o. Thessalonica

                        f. Tarsus (C)                p. Athens (A)

                        g. Pisidian Antioch     q. Corinth

                        h. Iconium                   r. Rome (1)

                        i. Lystra                       s. Carthage

                        j. Derbe                       t. Alexandria (2, B)


            3. Roman Road System (see Yamauchi, NT World, 117)

                        eventually a ¼ million mile system of paved roads!


                        a. Via Appia

                                    from Rome E to heel of boot

                        b. Via Egnatia

                                    across Macedonia, sort of extension of Via Appia

                        c. Old Route across central Asia Minor

                                    used by Paul from Antioch to Ephesus

                        d. Palestinian Roads (see B‑5)

                                    many upgraded to Roman quality in 2nd cen AD




IV. The Chronology of the New Testament


A. Origin of the Christian Era


            1. Problems of Ancient Chronology

                        Destruction of records

                        Use of differing calendars

                        Use of regnal years of various rulers


            2. Various Ancient Eras

                        attempts to solve problem of regnal years by using systems spanning centuries


                        a. Olympic Era (Ol)

                                    by olympiads (units of 4 years), then numbering years w/in olympiad

                                    started approx July 1, 776 BC

                                    used by many Greek & Hellenistic historians


                        b. Roman Era (AUC)

                                    from year of founding of Rome (ab urbe condita)

                                    some disagreement on starting year until 1st cen BC

                                    finally settled on starting January 1, 753 BC

                                    used by most Roman historians


                        c. Seleucid Era (AS - anno Seleucidae)

                                    from year of founding of Seleucid dynasty

                                    started Oct 7, 312 BC (Macedonian calendar)

                                    or Apr 3, 311 BC (Babylonian calendar)

                                    most widely used ancient era: used in 1 & 2 Macc, Josephus, Eusebius


                        d. Jewish Eras

                                    (1) Destruction of 2nd Temple

                                                occurred Aug 5, AD 70

                                                used in Palestine & some medieval Heb works

                                    (2) Era of World (AM ‑ anno mundi)

                                                measured from creation of world

                                                using Masoretic Text, no gaps, some guesswork

                                                starts Sept 21, 3761 BC


                        e. Era of Diocletian

                                    from accession of Diocletian as Rom emperor

                                    starts Aug 29, AD 284


            3. The Christian Era (AD ‑ anno Domini)


                        a. Dionysius the Little

                                    monastic scholar who devised AD system

                                    using information available at his time (525 AD)

                                    identified AD 1 with AUC 754

                                    Xn era uses Roman calendar, year beginning Jan 1


                        b. Resulting Synchronisms

                                    AD 1 = AUC 754 = Ol 194,4/195,1 = c312 AS


B. Gospel Chronology (see my syllabus, Gospel History)


            1. The Roman Emperors

In practice, most inscriptions, coins, etc dated by rule of emperors, etc., rather than by AUC era; w/ thousands of such items, most Roman events can be dated closely




Biblical or Other Event


30 BC –AD 14

Birth of Christ


AD 14-37

Death & resurrection of Christ

Gaius (Caligula)


Statue to temple



Famine in East, Acts 11:28

Expels Jews, Acts 18:2



Persecutes Christians

Deaths of Peter & Paul

Galba, Otho, Vitellius


69: Year of the 4 Emperors



Destruction of Jerusalem






2nd major persecution






~ 100: death of John



Bar-Kochba revolt



            2. Beginning of Jesus' Ministry: AD 26/27 or 28/29


                        a. In reign of Tiberius (14‑37) and Pilate (26‑36)


                        b. John B's ministry dated by Luke 3:1 as beginnning in 15th yr of Tiberius:

                                    AD 28/29 if from beginning of sole reign

                                    AD 26/27 if from beginning of coregency with Augustus


                        c. Jesus cast out moneychangers early in ministry,

                                    when temple had been 46 yr in rebuilding:

                                    Josephus, Ant 15.11.1 gives starting date as 19/18 BC              

                                    so 46 yrs later = 26/27

                                    or if measured from completion of naos = 28/29


                        d. Summary

two choices; most presently favor earlier of two as better fitting accepted date for Jesus' birth


            3. Length of Jesus' Ministry


for us who accept biblical data, choices are 2+ and 3+ years, depending on interpretation of John 4:35 and John 5:1 (see my Gospel History syllabus)

results range from AD 29 to 33 for crucifixion & resurrection; commonest view is AD 30


            4. Birth of Jesus: about 5 BC


                        a. Reign of Augustus (Luke 2:1), so between 30 BC and AD 14


b. Herod still alive, so no later than 4 BC by best evidence; eclipse of moon mentioned by Josephus (Ant 17.6.4) calc for 12 Mar 4 BC; fits Josephus' remarks re/ length of Herod's reign


c. Census of Quirinius (Lk 2:2): a point of much debate, as only recorded census in AD 6; prob Lk refers to earlier ("first") census


                        d. Jesus about 30 years old at beginning of ministry (Lk 3:23): 

                                    works nicely for birth shortly before Herod's death:

                                    e.g., if born Dec, 5 BC, would have been 30 on Dec, AD 26;

need to rework chronology of Herod or take 30 yrs rather loosely to get later dates for Jesus' public ministry



C. Apostolic Chronology (see my syllabus, Apostolic History)


            1. Relative Chronology of Acts and Galatians


                        a. Chronological References in Acts


                                    1:3                   Jesus appeared to disciples for 40 days

                                                                        betw resurrection & ascension


                                    11:26               Paul & Barnabas in Antioch for 1 year

                                                                        before famine visit to Jerusalem


                                   18:2                 Priscilla & Aquila recently from Rome because

                                                                        Claudius forced Jews to leave


                                    18:11               Paul taught in Corinth 1½ years


                                                [2nd miss journey at least 2 years]


                                    19:8                 Paul preached in Ephesus synagogue 3 mo


                                    19:10               Paul taught in school of Tyrannus 2 years


                                    20:31               Paul's summary to Ephesian elders: 3 yr


                                    20:3                 Paul in Achaia 3 months


                                                [3rd miss journey at least 3 or 4 years]


                                    24:27               Paul in prison Caesarea 2 years


                                    28:11               Paul's group shipwrecked on Malta 3 mo


                                    28:30               Paul under house arrest in Rome 2 years


                                                [dates dense near end of Acts, rare at beginning]


                        b. Chronological References in Galatians


                                    1:18                 Paul's 1st visit to Jerusalem after

                                                                        conversion was 3 yr after


                                    2:1                   Paul made another visit 14 yr later


                                                [ambiguity: 14 yr from when? what visit is this?]


                        c. Attempting a Relative Chronology from Close of Acts



Relative Year

Close of Acts


Paul reaches Rom


Paul leaves Caesarea


Paul arrested in Temple


3rd missionary journey ends


3rd missionary journey begins


2nd missionary journey ends


2nd missionary journey begins


Jerusalem Council





                        d. Attempting a Relative Chronology from Conversion of Paul



Relative Year

PaulŐs conversion


1st Jerusalem visit


Jerusalem Council

+14 or 17



            2. Some Connections with Secular History


                        a. Death of Herod Agrippa I: AD 44

                                    narrated in Acts 12:23 and Josephus, Ant 19.18.1


                        b. Edict of Claudius: 49

                                    mentioned in Acts 18:2 and Suetonius, Claudius 25

                                    but no date given until Orosius (~ 415)


                        c. Gallio, Proconsul of Achaia: 51‑53

                                    Acts 18:12 and Delphi inscription


                        d. Accession of Festus: 57‑60

                                    Acts 24:27; referred to by Josephus several times, but

                                                date of accesssion not given

                                    of possible range given above, 59‑60 seems more

                                                likely in view of Paul's remark to predecessor

                                                Felix in Acts 24:10


                        e. Roman Fire: night of July 18/19, AD 64

                                    Nero later blames Christians, persecution begins


                        f. Fall of Jerusalem: late Aug, 70


                        g. Domitian persecution: AD 95‑96

                                    probably occasion of John's exile to Patmos



            3. Suggested Absolute Chronology


Year BC/AD


5 BC

Birth of Jesus

26/27 AD

Beginning of JesusŐ Ministry


Resurrection of Jesus


Conversion of Paul


Death of James, son of Zebedee


PaulŐs 1st Missionary Journey


Jerusalem Council


2nd Missionary Journey


3rd Missionary Journey


Paul imprisoned, Caesarea


Paul imprisoned, Rome


PaulŐs later travels


Roman fire; Xy becomes a crime


Deaths of Peter & Paul


Fall of Jerusalem to Romans


John on Patmos

After 98

Death of John; end of apostolic age




                                                                PART THREE:

                               NEW TESTAMENT CULTURE & ARCHAEOLOGY


I. Money


A. History of Money (slide illustrated)


            paper money is modern outside of far east

            metallic coinage used in ancient near east and Greco‑Roman world

                        app arose in attempt to standardize metal ingots

                        earliest known c 550 BC in Lydia, just stamp on metal

                        gradually becomes more elaborate to late Greek & early Roman periods

                        eventually becomes medium of political propaganda


B. Money in New Testament Times


            1. Metals minted into coinage

                        gold, silver, copper (bronze), electrum (alloy of gold & silver)


            2. Some of the Major Coin Types (for NT background)











Aureus (25D)





Dekadrachm (10d)

  (also in silver)








Tetradrachm (4d)

=  Shekel (s)


Denarius (D)

= Drachma (d)

=  Zus (¼ s)






Sestertius (¼ D)





Obol (1/6 d)



Quadrans (1/40 D)


Prutah (Mite)







            3. Coin Values


Not easy to convert to modern money due to changes in price structure caused by mechanization, end of slavery

                        a. Wage equivalent: D = d = day's wage for common laborer (Matt 20:2)

                                    = c $25 (@ min wage $3/hr)

                        b. Bullion equivalent: D = c $.60 (silver @ $5/oz)

                        c. Purchasing power: intermediate, prob c $2


             4. Coin Sizes: compared to US coins (ancient usually thicker)


                        a. Half dollar: Sestertius (but copper)


                        b. Quarter: Shekel, Tetradrachm


                        c. Dime: Drachma, Denarius, Zus


                         d. Half‑dime (old US coin): Lepton, Quadrans, Prutah


            5. Other Monetary Amounts

                        These are not coins, but weights, usually of silver


                        a. Mina or Pound (Luke 19:13)

                                    little over a pound (1.25 lb)

                                    = 50 shekels = 200 D, about a year's wages


                        b. Talent (Matt 25:15)

                                    60 minas (about 75 lb)

                                    = 3,000 shekels = 12,000 D = 50 yr wages


C. Inscriptions and Designs on N.T. Money


            1. Greek Coins

                        rarely dated; if so, usually yr of king's reign

                        obverse (front) usually a ruler or god/goddess

                        reverse usually symbolic or god/goddess

                        inscriptions vary considerably:

                                    many have none

                                    others rather elaborate

                        samples: (see slides)

                                    siglos, Persia (5th cen BC)

                                    tetradrachm, Egypt, Ptolemy 1 (c300 BC; see picture, B-20)

                                                (obv: Alexander; rev: Athena; insc: "of Alexander")

                                    gold octodrachm of Ptol 1 (obv: Ptol 1)

                                    silver shekel (tetradrachm) of Tyre (below & B-29)












                                                (obv: Melkart = Herakles; rev: eagle;

                                                insc: "Tyre the Holy and Protected")

                                                this coin accepted by Jerusalem Temple for head tax

                                                prob stater in fish's mouth, 30 pieces silver,

                                                coin sold by money changers


            2. Roman coins

                        usually dated by consulate of reigning emperor

                        obverse usually ruling emperor

                        rev usually deity or personification



                        inscriptions fairly stereotyped, e.g.:









                        Tiberius Caesar, Son of Divine Augustus, Augustus /

                          Pontifex Maximus (chief priest of Roman religion)         


                        Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus, Pontifex Maximus,

                          Tribunican Power, Father of the Fatherland, 3rd

                          Consulate / Judaea taken captive



                                    denarius of Tiberius (obv: Tiberius; rev: Livia? Vestal Virgin?)

                                                (above & B-28)

                                                prob this is tribute money (see Matt 22:19)

                                    sestertius of Vespasian (obv: Vespasian; rev: Judaea, soldier?)

                                                (see B-35)


            3. Jewish coins: no silver coins until 1st revolt (AD 66)

                        1st revolt coins dated, some earlier also dated

                        no images of people on coins

                        usually religious symbols or objects

                        variable inscriptions


                                    large bronze of Herod (obv: tripod; rev: incense altar?

                                                inscr: BASILEWS HERODOU, "belonging to King Herod")


                                    prutah of Pilate (obv: augur's wand; inscr: TIBERIOU

                                                KAICAROS, "belonging to Tiberius Caesar")

                                    shekel of 1st revolt (68‑69) (next page & B-35)

                                                obv: cup; inscr: "she­kel of Israel"; "year 3"

                                                rev: pomegranates; inscr: "Jerusalem the Holy"

                                    tetradrachm/shekel of Bar Kochba revolt (134‑35)

                                                obv: Jerus temple; ark? star?

                                                rev: citron & ethrog ("bouquet" of myrtle, palm,

                                                willow) assoc w/ Feast of Sukkoth (Tabernacles)













II. The Home (slide‑illustrated)


A. Clothing


1. Jewish ‑ Modern Bedouin has some resemblance to ancient rural Palestinian, as designed functionally for hot, arid climate; due to lack of Jewish pictoral art, not much information otherwise (some fabrics discovered in caves from Bar Kochba period); richer, more Hellenistic Jews followed Greek and Roman styles


 2. Greek ‑ pictorial materials from Natl Geographic, based on ancient paintings, sculpture and temple friezes

                                    chiton, himation, peplos, chlamys, sandals


            3. Roman ‑ similar sources

                        tunic, toga, palla/pallium (himation)


B. Housing


   1. Bedouin tent ‑ prob similar to kind used by Abraham, etc., and by nomads, travelers at NT times (recall that Paul made tents)


2. Stone house in Palestinian village ‑ typical flat roof w/ outside stairway, used as additional "room"


            3. Standard OT period "4‑room" house ‑ rooms around courtyard


4. City houses (average city dweller) ‑ crowded together, face inward; in Rome, walk-up apartments for poor, mansions for rich


            5. Roman‑style villa (wealthy rural retreats)


6. Furnishings ‑ prob more wooden material which has not survived; rather sparse by our standards


7. Lamps ‑ wick floating in olive oil; developed from open dish to flat pitcher by NT times


8. Pottery ‑ much variety over centuries, between cultures; used by archeologists to date various levels of dig


C. Agriculture


            1. Village Farming Culture (from BAR Biblical Archeology Slide Set)


                        a. Farmers' Village

                                    lived together (gregarious, protection), fields outside village

b. Plowing ‑ wooden plow; sometimes plowed before, sometimes after, sowing

                        c. Sowing ‑ for grains, used broadcast method

                        d. Harvesting ‑ by hand, with sickles

e. Winnowing grain ‑ to separate grain from chaff after threshing, using breeze, tossing in air

                        f. Mortar and pestle ‑ for grinding grain into flour

                        g. Grindstone & mortars ‑ other tools for making flour

                        h. Baking oven ‑ frequently outdoors, looks like pizza oven

                        i. Olive tree ‑ slow growing, about 40 years to first crop, but yielded for centuries

                        j. Watchtower in orchard ‑ to protect produce from theft, esp around harvest time

                        k. Olive press ‑ to squeeze olive oil from olives

                        l. Donkey ‑ standard animal for hauling loads

                        m. Loaves & fishes ‑ pita‑type bread

                        n. Modern (!) Palestinian vineyard ‑ plants run along ground instead of up trellises

                        o. Grape leaf on coin

                        p. Wine decanter


            2. Pastoral Culture (most from BAR set)


                        a. Bedouins in wilderness

                        b. Flocks grazing, at well

                        c. Woman spinning wool

                        d. Weaving on loom



III. Society


A. Buildings, Architecture


            1. Ancient stoneworkers

            2. Shrine at Machpelah (Herodian public building)

                        over cave where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob buried

                        used by archeologists for stonework in temple model

            3. Greco‑Roman Theatre (drama, public meetings)

                        often built in side of hill to save labor

            4. Amphitheatre (gladitorial events)

                        from amphi (both sides)

                        Colosseum in Rome is an amphitheatre

            5. Circus/Hippodrome (chariot racing)

            6. Forum/Agora (Gerasa, Rome)


            7. Structures at Baalbek (Lebanon)

                        temples of Greco‑Roman period

                        center for worship of Baal = Zeus = Jupiter


B. Cities


            1. Typical Walled city

                        to protect against sudden attack


            2. City houses crowded together

                        due to expense of militarily viable wall around city


            3. Street scenes

                        streets narrow for same reason


            4. Aqueduct

                        bringing water from distance, usually several miles for drinking, esp bathing


            5. Roman baths

                        more like sauna or Turkish baths than like ours


            6. Gymnasium

                        from gymnos ‑ naked

                        exercise in various classical athletic events:

                                    running, jumping, javelin, discus, boxing, wrestling


C. Business


            1. Shops

usually downstairs of large apartment buildings or mansions, using rooms facing street


            2. Potter

                        one of prime crafts before invention of plastic dishware


            3. Weights

                        used in weighing merchandise and (earlier) money


            4. Slave market

                        sold like animals, for strength, beauty, skills


D. Transportation


            1. Donkey, cart

                        standard lightweight transport; oxen used for heavy carts

                        horses only for military use until invention of adequate harness in middle ages


            2. Roman roads

                        laid straight, with cutting, bridging, curbs

                        excellent paving: 3-5 feet thick, using stone, concrete

                        narrow by our standards: four "lanes" each 7.75 feet wide








            3. Roman bridge

                        one of important uses of arch, de­veloped by Romans


            4. Merchant ships

                        usually sail powered, relatively short and wide


            5. Warships

                        powered by oars for control, long & narrow, high speed

                        sea battles mostly ramming and boarding

                        until Byzantines invented "Greek fire"


E. Religion


            1. Paganism


                        a. Parthenon & furnishings ‑ Athens

b. Pagan festival – sacrificial processions on festival days rather than weekly services

c. Mystery religions – usually imported from elsewhere in middle east; more individual than state religions

                        d. Idols – a standard feature of paganism


            2. Temple at Jerusalem

                        a. Facade on Bar‑Kochba coin, c AD 135

                        b. Jerusalem model

                        c. Menorah & incense shovel on lamp, c AD 200

                        d. Menorah & trumpets on Arch of Titus, c AD 80

                        e. Symbols of sukkoth on coin, c AD 135

                                    citron (a citrus fruit) and lulab (bunch of fronds

                                    from myrtle, palm, willow)

                        f. Libation cup, c AD 68 (drink offerings)


            3. Synagogues

a. Capernaum ‑ beautiful white limestone in area where main building material is dark basalt

                        b. Chorazin ‑ up in hills a few miles N of Capernaum

                        c. Masada



IV. Introduction to Archaeology


A. Definition of Archaeology


            1. Older definition, now obsolete:

                        "the study of human antiquities"

                        this broad definition has been subdivided into several disciplines:

                                    history, archaeology, anthropology


            2. Modern Definition (Blaiklock):

"the branch of historical research which draws its evidence from surviving material traces and remains of past human activity"


            3. Humorous Definition:

                        "the study of durable trash"


B. Methods of Archaeology (slide illustrated)


            1. The Fate of Ancient Cities


                        a. Fortified, usually on hills (Aleppo)

                        b. Frequently destroyed, but usually rebuilt if location good

                        c. Resultant layering (Megiddo)

                        d. Gradually building up a "tell" (Hippos)

                        e. If now unoccupied, systematic excavation feasible;

                                    otherwise only spotty, when new building done


            2. The "Dig": Archaeological Excavation


                        a. Trench method (Megiddo) ‑ older technique

                                    dig up everything in strategically located area

                        b. Baulk Method (Lachish) ‑ now standard

                                    dig squares, leaving "walls" between for stratigraphy


            3. The Data Uncovered


                        a. Organic Remains

                                    1) Human

                                    2) Animal \ indications of human diet, etc.

                                    3) Plant    /


                        b. Artifacts: evidence of human labor

                                    1) Pottery (NT period examples)

                                    2) Tools & Weapons

                                    3) Religious objects

                                    4) Olive press

                                    5) Mosaic

                                    6) Coins (Masada hoard, sestertius of Vespasian)


                        c. Structures

                                    1) Buildings (Qumran ruins, Capernaum synagogue)

                                    2) Roads (Corinth: Lechaeum road; Roman road)

                                    3) Cities

                                    4) Fortifications (Herodium, Masada)

                                    5) Earthworks (Masada: Roman camp)


                        d. Writings

                                    1) Inscriptions: writing carved in stone

                                    2) Ostraca: writing on potsherds

                                    3) Documents: writing on papyrus, leather, etc.


C. Some Archaeological Sites of the N.T. Period


            1. Jerusalem


                        a. History

                                    pre‑dates conquest by David c 1000 BC

                                    continuously inhabited since return from Babylon c 537 BC        

                                    Jesus active here during pilgrim festivals:

                                                trial, crucifixion, resurrection (AD 27‑30)

                                    Early apostolic activity:

                                                Pentecost, early preaching, death of Stephen, James,

                                                 Jerusalem council, death of James the Lord's brother

                                    destroyed by Romans AD 70

                                    rebuilt as Roman city Aelia Capitolina AD 135

                                    under Gentile control until 1967


                        b. Archaeology (Jerusalem model & modern remains)

                                    (1) Damascus Gate

                                    (2) Jaffa Gate & tow­ers

                                    (3) Fortress Antonia

                                    (4) The Temple Mount (see pic­ture, B-25)





Temple Inscription: "Let no foreigner enter within the screen and enclosure surround­ing the sanctuary.  Whoever is taken so doing will be the cause of his own death."

            2. Capernaum ‑ Kefar Nahum (village of Nahum)


                        a. History

                                    uncertain before NT times; relocated in this cen­tury;

                                    home of Peter (Mk 1:29); synagogue mentioned (Lk 7:5)

                                    became headquarters of Jesus during public ministry

                                    He pronounced woes on it for not repenting (Mt 11:23)

                                    relatively prosperous in late Roman times (3rd cen ff)

                                    inhabited by both Jews and Xns

                                    destroyed by Muslims 7th cen, site lost



   b. Jewish Synagogue (see picture, B-27)

            date uncertain, but prob after AD 200, on site of NT syna­gogue

            two story bldg, c 90' x 110' (incl courtyard)

            basilica‑style, gable roof, white limestone

            1st floor: benches for men, columns, ark‑screen

            2nd floor: balcony for women

            carvings: menorah, ark?

            pillar w/ inscription in Greek: "Herod son of Mo ... mus & Jus­tus his son, together with his chil­dren, erected  this col­umn"

            from Chorazin, for illus­tra­tion: ornamental seat, prob a "Moses seat" w/ Aram inscr: "Re­membered for good be Judah ben Ishmael, who made this porch & its stair-case.  As his re­ward may he have a share w/ the righteous"


   c. Christian Church

            5th cen structure w/ cen­tral octagon 

            under­neath is a 4th cen house church (which in AD 385 was said to be Peter's house)

            underneath this is remains of 1st cen house with evidence it was used for worship as early as 2nd or 3rd cen


            3. Caesarea (see map B-30)


                        a. History

                                    prob founded by Sidonians, known as Strato's Tower, before NT times

refounded by Herod the Gt as major port c20‑10 BC & named by him for Caesar Augustus

                                    after Herod's death, made Roman capital of Palestine

                                    Peter at Caesarea for conversion of Cornelius (Acts 10)

                                    Herod Agrippa I died here (Acts 12)

                                    Paul imprisoned here 2 yr, tried by governors Felix & Festus (Acts 24‑26)

                                    destroyed by Muslims c 640

rebuilt (smaller) by Crusaders c 1100, then destroyed again by Muslims c 1265

                                    ruins now cover over 8000 acres, largest site in Palestine


                        b. Archaeology

                                    most ruins from NT period, work of Herod the Great






















                                    (1) Artificial Harbor

                                                two moles (causeways) 200' wide, one 250 yd long, other 600 yd;                                                    enclose c 40 acres of water

                                                stone blocks used up to 50'x18'x9' acc to Josephus

                                                            these have turned out to be concrete


                                    (2) Sewer system: very extensive; designed to be cleaned by tides


                                    (3) Aqueducts

                                                high level: open top; 10 mi long

                                                low level: closed; 6 mi long (later than NT period)


                                    (4) Buildings:

                                                Palace: perhaps on site of ornamental pool

                                                Temple to Rome and Augustus


                                    (5) Theatre

                                                Pilate/Tiberius inscription (see picture, B-28)


                                    (6) Hippodrome

                                                ~ 80 x 320 yards


            4. Herodion / Herodium











                        a. History

one of several fortifications built or refurbished by Herod the Great for defense, retreat

                                    this one built from scratch 24‑15 BC near Bethlehem:

natural hill artificially elevated by adding earth ramparts 150' high, giving total height 400'

                                    top hollowed out for fortified palace, surrounded by walls & towers

                                    after Herod's death, garrisoned by Romans

                                    taken by Zealots in 1st revolt, retaken by Romans AD 72

                                    major administrative center during Bar‑Kochba War

                                    since 135, only used by Christian monks in 5th‑7th centuries


                        b. Archaeology

                                    not excavated until 1960s

                                    casemate (hollow) walls

                                    four towers: 3 semicircular to defend top; 4th circular as final refuge

                                                (poss contains Herod's gold coffin)

                                    on top: E side: colonnaded courtyard

                                                W side: dining room, living quarters, Roman bath

                                    underground: storerooms, reservoirs

                                    at foot: apartments, gardens, baths, terraces, pools, storehouses

                                    later changes (Zealot): E sector made into synagogue, ritual bath added


                        c. Significance

                                    illustrates Herod's fear of revolt (cp killing babies in Matt 2)

                                    also illustrates Herod's lavish building activity

                                    vivid reminder of Zealots & Bar‑Kochba rebellion


            5. Masada (see map, B-34)

                        name means "fortress, stronghold"


                        a. History

                                    a natural butte / mesa / plateau / tableland

                                    about 1300' above surface of Dead Sea

                                    top surface fairly flat, about 1900' x 650'

app used some in times of monarchy & Maccabees, but scant           remains of these periods survive

                                    main fortification by Herod the Gt c 30 BC

                                                built palaces, storerooms, stocked for indefinite siege        

                                    after Herod's death, garrisoned by Romans

                                    captured by Zealots under Menachem AD 66

                                    last holdout against Romans in 1st revolt

defended by Eleazar Ben-Yair & 960 people against Flavius Silva & 10th legion, falling in AD 73

                                    defenders committed suicide just before capture

                                    Roman garrison remained for ~ 50 yr

                                    site of small Christian monastic community 5th & 6th centuries

                                    excavated 1963‑75, now national park

                                    Israeli army motto: "Masada shall not fall again!"


                        b. Archaeology

                                    no structures found before HerodŐs time, tho many Maccabean coins


                                    (1) West Palace ‑ about 190' x 190'

                                                ceremonial use: throne room, living quarters

                                    (2) North Palace ‑ on three tiers at N end of mesa

                                                private quarters of Herod, protected from sun & S‑wind

                                                well‑preserved frescoes; largest Rom bath in E Rom Emp

                                    (3) Storerooms

                                                mostly near N end; one section c 200' x 100'

                                                another c 100' x 100'

                                                remains of food still survive, identifiable

                                                wine jars with date 19 BC (consulate of Sentius Saturninus)

                                    (4) Evidence of Zealot Occupation

                                                oldest known example of synagogue (renovated by Zealots?)                                                                        & ritual bath conforming to Talmudic reqs

many rooms in casemate walls modified with cupboards,            ovens, etc.

                                                pottery, coins, cosmetics


                                    (5) Evidence of Roman Siege

                                                rolling stones (c 100 lb each) near paths

                                                Roman ballistae

destruction layer of ash & charred wood in all major             buildings

                                                frags of 14 scrolls, incl Bible (Gen, Lev, Pss, Ezk)

                                                            one apoc (Sirach), some Essene (Jubilees, Scroll of

                                                            Sabb Sacrifices)

                                                Roman assault ramp

Roman camps (8 of them) and siege wall (2 mi long, 6'            thick)


            6. Corinth


                        a. History

                                    one of great seaports of ancient Greece

                                    two harbors: Cenchreae on E, Lechaeum on W

                                    crossroads betw Aegean & Ionian Seas, betw N & So Greece        

                                    already important by 8th cen BC

                                    destroyed by Romans 146 BC

                                    rebuilt by Romans 44 BC

                                    made capital of province of Achaia 27 BC

very low moral climate due to transients & Aphrodite worship (temple with 1000 prostitutes)

                                    Paul founded church here on 2nd mj (AD 51‑52; Acts 18)

spent 18 mo here; wrote 1 & 2 Cor to them; wrote Romans from here;         

charged by Jews before Rom proconsul Gallio, who refused to hear case (Ac 18:12‑17)


                        b. Archaeology

                                    most remains from Rom period, since destroyed 146 BC

                                                except Temple of Apollo, from 6th cen BC

                                    Lechaeum Rd. lined with shops

Agora (forum, market place) with shops and bema where Paul presumably stood before Gallio

                                    Inscriptions of interest:










                                                ERASTVS‑PRO‑AED / S‑P‑STRAVIT

"Erastus, in return for his aedileship, laid this pavement at his own expense" (cp Rom 16:23)

                                                another: "Synagogue of Hebrews"


            7. Rome (see map, B-24)


                        a. History

                                    rose from obscurity c 500 BC to control Mediterranean by 30 BC

                                    Pax Romana ‑ begins with reign of Augustus, lasting over 200 yr;

                                                general peace throughout RE; golden age of civilization,

                                                prosperity for Rome

                                    Paul imprisoned here 61‑63 on appeal to Caesar (Nero)

Roman fire, July 64: soon blamed on Xns to divert suspicion from Nero; beginning of official persecution of Xy, lasting (off & on) to 313

                                    Traditionally, Peter & Paul martyred here sometime in period 64‑68

                                    Christians frequently martyred here 64‑313

                                    Rome's importance continues (with ups & downs) to present

                        b. Archaeology

                                    work of recovery begins in 1700s


                                    (1) Imperial Palaces

                                                Palatine Hill: Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius

                                                covered by Domitian's palace

                                                Nero's Golden House: eradicated by later emperors


                                    (2) Roman Forum


                                    (3) Circus Maximus: 200 x 600 yds w/ 350 yd straightaway             

                                                seated 200,000; used for chariot races, animal hunts,                                                                          martyrdom of Xns


                                    (4) Colosseum (see picture, B-36)

                                                amphitheatre built by Vespasian & Titus (AD 80)

                                                 seated 50,000; used for gladiators, animals, Xns


                                    (5) Mamartine Prison

                                                traditional prison of Peter & Paul


                                    (6) Arch of Titus

                                                commemorating conquest of Judea



                                    (7) Vatican

                                                trad site of Peter's death; St. Peter's Cathedral

built over Constantinian church, which itself built over much earlier shrine


                                    (8) St. Paul's Basilica (see picture, B-36)

                                                about 3 mi S of Rome on Ostian Way

                                                trad site of Paul's beheading

                                                church from Constantine's time still standing


                                    (9) Catacombs

                                                subterranean cemeteries built by Xns up to 5th cen

                                                very extensive: est over 500 mi of corridors

                                                mainly used for cemeteries, but some use for worship &                                                                                hiding during persecution, as Romans would not

                                                            violate cemeteries


                                                "The Good Shepherd," Catacomb of Priscilla