New Testament Literature:  Lecture #1  (1/19/17)  Hildebrandt

Old Testament Foundations

“Look, the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29

Climax of Institutions of Israel:
                                Prophet: Deut 18, Mal. 4:5f
                                King: greater son of David; temple builder
                                Priest: Aaronic à Melchizedek

Initial Questions
                What happens between Malachi (435 BC) and Matthew (AD 50-70)?
                What shifts in culture took place between the Semitic OT and the Greek/Roman NT? 
                                What difference does it make?
                Where did the synagogue come from?
                Who are the Samaritans?  Why do they hate Jews and vice versa?
                Who are the Pharisees and Sadducees? 
                Why is the NT in Greek instead of Hebrew?
                Why was that time the “right time” for God’s son to come?


Fertile Crescent Topographical copy


Conquering Empires

   Assyria               Babylon                Persia                    Greeks                  Romans

   612 BC               539 BC                  333 BC                  63 BC                     [time Empire defeated]

                586 BC 1st Temple -- Jerusalem falls – people deported to Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar)
                70 AD  2nd Temple destroyed by Rome

Persians (539-333 BC) BB(i)BLED
                559 Cyrus become king
                Cyrus in Bible Isa 45:1; 44:28; Ezra 1:2-4 (Edict); Ezra 6:3-8 esp. 6:11
                Benevolent policies—respect local customs, reverses exiles
                3 Empires to conquer:  Babylon, Lydia, Egypt
                                Babylon – Nabonidas
                                Lydia – Croesus-Delphi Oracle
                                Egypt—left to son Cambyses—disaster
                Death / body 1000 miles / respect

Darius (522-486 BC)  Empire organizer BBSSS GT
                Behistun Inscription-Elamite, Old Persian, Akkadian—usurper?
                Benevolent (Apis bull) + Firm (Ezra 6:11)
                Satrapy—governor organization
                Street system-Postal system-Herodotus
                Suez Canal?
                Greece – Lost at Marathon
                2nd Temple completed (515 BC)

Xerxes I (486-465 BC)  BEG-300

                Bel-Marduk statue melted down in Babylon
                Esther’s husband (Ezr 4:6
                Greece – torches Athens, Loss at Salamis
                300 Spartans stand up against Persia

Artaxerxes:  (464-424 BC) NEE
                Nehemiah was his cupbearer—wall builder
                Egypt revolts
                Ezra returns—scribe/priest

Later Persians: Disintegration
                Darius II – Peloponnesian wars (Athens/Sparta (431-404 BC))
                Darius III – lost battle of Issus 333 BC to Alexander—End of Persian Empire


Hellenism / Alexander III 333 BC Questions
                How did Alexander conquer the world in 10 years?
                What happened to Alexander’s empire?
                Why is the NT written in Greek instead of Hebrew?
                How did the Jews get from Alexander to Roman rule?
                Who were the Maccabees?

Alexander III (333 BC)
                Philip II of Macedon –army fighting machine, son’s teacher Aristotle, 336 assassinated
                Alexander’s background-Aristotle
                Granicus River victory over Persians-334 BC
                Issus victory over Persians (333 BC)
                Tyre (Ezek 26:1-6) -7 months
                Siwa in Egypt
                Babylon – Roxanne, Opis banquet, intermarriage, drunk a lot…
                Hindu Kush mountains

Hellenistic Cultural issues:
                Cultural amalgamations –transcending the polis (city) à globalization; Polis to oikoumene
                                                                                                                                (whole civilized world)
                Importance for NT: language, worldview: east [Semitic]à west [Hellenistic]

Diadochi [successors]– 4 Generals CLAPS
                Cassander – Macedonia/Greece
                Lysimachus – Thrace
                Antigonus  - Turkey/Syria
                Ptolemy son of Lagi – Egypt
                Seleucus– Iraq/Babylon to India

Tolerant Ptolemies (323-198 BC)
                Over Egypt, rule Palestine
                Ptolemy takes title of King (304 BC)
                Alexandria built by 200 BC--Library

Ptolemaic Hellenism
                Alexandrian allegorism—hermeneutics, anthropomorphisms offensive
                Unified language—Koine Greek
                Septuagint (HebrewàLXX – 250-150 BC) Greek translation of OT
                Hellenism—Factions in Israel
Areas of cultural interface: REAP
                Religion:     Jewish // Greek // priests
                Economic:   taxes, merchants    
                Army:          generals & army
                Political:      king, governors & courts

Responses to Hellenism:  TAWA; diaspora:
                Tradition (Pharisees, separation ideology),
                Assimilate (Sadducees),
                Withdraw (Essenes, apocalyptic),
                Attack (zealots)              

Seleucids (198-167 BC)
                Antiochus III (the Great) – victory Panion 198 BC gets Palestine away from Ptolemy
                Romans begin taxing
Antiochus IV (175-163 BC) Epiphanes
                Hellenize the Jews: Grk. Deities, circumcision, pigs, Scriptures
                Three high priests:  OJM
                                Jason — gym, Hellenism
                                Menelaus—Benjamin, temple treasure

Abomination of Desolation

The Big Maccabees
                Mattathias (167 BC)—Father
                Judas Maccabee (166-160 BC)—hammerer, Hanukkah
                Poor Eleazar—Elephant man
                Jonathan the diplomat, High priest
                Simon the dynasty builder (Hasmoneans)