Intertestamental Backgrounds: Part B Lecture 2-3

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 Dynasty comes from his descendants)

Hasmonean Questions (135-63 BC; descendants of Simon Maccabee)

                Who are the Hasmoneans?

                Where did the Pharisees and Sadducees come from?

        What was Herod the Great like?  Why did everybody hate him?

        How does Rome get into the picture?

Was Jesus an Essene from Qumran?

Hasmoneans (135-63 BC)

John Hyrcanus (135-104 BC)  PECC

Religious Parties – Pharisees [Hasidim] /Sadducees [Hellenists]

Expansion of territory

Circumcision Idumeans (Edomites)

Children trained Greek

Alexander Jannaeus (102-76 BC)  F CAPE

                                Feast of Tabernacles

Crucifies Pharisees

Assimilation of all groups

Pharisees ask for Syrian help

Expansion of territory

Salome Alexandra (75-67 BC)  HA MEPS

Hyrcanus  = high priesthood; 
Aristobulus = army

Married: Aristobolusà Alexander Jannaeus


                Pharisee link

Sadducees abused

Hyrcanus II (66-63 BC)

Takes High priesthood

Aristobulus and Sadducees march on Jerusalem

                Aristobulus (66-63 BC)

                Hyrcanus goes to Aretas (Nabatean) for help

Enter Rome to break up the fight (63 BC)

 Rome takes over (63 BC)

Antipater’s boys (Idumean)
Roman Government structure
                Senatorial provinces
                Imperial provinces—legions, answerable to the emperor;
                Client state under Rome

                Herod the Great (37-4 BC)  JK MCBS

Julius Caesar –First Triumvirate end 46 BC with Julius Caesar as supreme leader
                                (assassinated 44 BC, Brutus). 

Herod as “King of the Jews”

Mariamne (Hasmonean)

Cleopatra—Marc Antony, Second Triumvirate and Augustus (31 BC-14AD) as savior and
                                good news (Luke)—hated Herod

Herod the Builder: Caesarea, Masada, Temple

Sons & Wife

Tetrarchs after Herod the Great

Archelaus:  gets Judea, Idumea & Samaria [huge], kills 3,000 pilgrims to Jerusalem—
                                exiled to Gaul (6 AD)

Herod Antipas: gets Galilee & Perea:  Kills John Bapt. At trial of Jesus, exiled France

Herod Philip:  Golan Heights, wife goes to Antipas

Supposed to be 4 but only 3 listed; Archelaus may have 2 sections


Jewish Sects – Pharisees



Sources—oral tradition big

Two types:  Expository // Logical deductions


Midrash (ca. 200 AD) expository on Scripture

Halakhah: legal—ca 200 AD

Haggadah: stories—Rabbis

Targums:  Hebrew à Aramaic translations

Jewish Oral Traditions

        Logical extractions/deductions

Mishna (200 AD)…oral tradition at Sinai; reflects beliefs around the time of Christ

Tosefta 250 AD –supplement comments on Mishnah

Talmud (elaboration on Mishnah):   Babylonian (400 AD);  Jerusalem (600 AD)

Extra biblical sources

Apocrypha: 1 & 2 Mac., Ben Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon—not accepted by the Jews, 16th century AD first time in church council

NT Pseudepigrapha:
  Gospels of [Judas, Peter, Thomas. Phillip…];    
  Apocalypses of [Peter; Paul, Thomas] 
  Acts of [Peter, Paul, Andrew, John, Thomas]

New Testament Rabbinic Examples

Matt 23:25-26:  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and plate but inside they are full of extortion; cf. Mishnah; Shammai (outside clean important), Hillel (inside is what matters)

Lord’s prayer; Lk. 11:1

Mat 7:4:  You hypocrite, first cast the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye—Rabbi Tarfon similar

Parables not found in DSS or pseudepigrapha
but prolific in the Midrashim

Saul/Paul; Gamaliel, Nicodemus—Pharisee Phil. 3:6f; respected by most! 


History—upper class, high priests; unpopular with masses

Beliefs: no resurrection, angels, oral tradition

Essenes – Qumran-DSS

History—Hasmonean/Zadokite  temple split

Beliefs—torah over temple scribes, monastic

Zealots –Kingdom political/military

Samaritans—tale of two temples;


John Hrycanus destroys Samaritan temple

Diaspora:  Jews scattered around the world still, synagogues

Institutions in Israel at the time of Christ

Sanhedrin: High Priest run, Sadducees+ scribes+elders

Arrest and trial, no capital punishment; this court was disbanded after 70 AD

Synagogue—background, diaspora

Structure: 10 heads

4 Functions: school, worship, court, social (marrying/burying) among diaspora

Worship: Shema, prayer, Scripture, sermon, blessing

NT –Jewish literary backgrounds

Josephus (37-100) –Jewish historian using Greek historiographic methods

Philo (20 BC-50 AD)—Alexandrian Jew, merging of Greek philosophy and Judaism

Later Judaism would see the LXX/Septuagint as a second golden calf (product of Hellenism; used by Christians)