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The four kingdoms which ruled the Jews in the Intertestamental Period (in order)
Persian, Greek, self rule (jews) and Roman
Significance of Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes) and Judas Maccabeus
Antiochus was the most prominent enemy of the Jews; he prohibited Jewish practices like circumcision, dedicated the temple to Zeus and sacrificed a pig on the altar; mothers who circumcised their babies we're crucified with their babies hung around their necks.
Judas Maccabeus "Hammer" led the guerilla war where Jews entered and purified the temple; the events are commemorated each year in Hannukah
The primary Jewish religious sects at the time of Christ
Pharises, Sadducces, Essenes, and Zealots
Common misunderstandings of the New Testament and the correct identification of the character of the New Testament as God’s definitive revelation
- •It is not just a literary masterpiece.–However, we can find much to admire in it. Robert Bridges opined that to praise Paul’s song of love in 1 Corinthians 13 was to “varnish sunlight.”
- •It is not just a moral document.–Though it is a supreme moral text book, this is to misunderstand its purpose and focus (3/4 of the NT deals with other issues). Some desire to focus only on these aspects of the NT.
- •It is not just some book outlining the religious beliefs about a particular people called Christians.–An “it’s fine for you, but it’s not my thing” view fits with our postmodern culture, but if it is not “true truth,” is it really “fine for me”?
- •It is not just an historical document about Jesus.–Though it does relate true history, again that is not its purpose. And if its history is true, then that changes everything. See 1 Corinthians 15.
n The meaning of the terms “Testament” and “Gospel”
Testament means “covenant” Gospel means “good news”
n The intention/purposes of the authors of the NT (why did they write their books/letters)
The disciples wrote for specific purposes, not for books to be included in the “new testament”. These purposes can include encouraging fellow believers, giving instruction, and clarifying religious doctrine
n The language of the NT
n The identity of the Synoptic Gospels and the meaning of “synoptic”
Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Synoptic means “seeing together”
Jesus’ “life purpose”
All of Jesus’ life points forward to His death and resurrection
How the Prologue to John’s Gospel (John 1:1-18) refers to Jesus
- •John’s Gospel begins with one of the great NT Christological (the theology of Jesus) passages (see Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-20; Heb 1:1-3).
- •It shockingly speaks of Jesus’ divine nature as Creator and part of the Trinity. He is the Logos, or the Word of God.
- •But He was also rejected and would return to God.
The timing of Jesus’ birth
•The Timing: At the fullness of time; somewhere around 6-4 BC (Herod died in 4 BC); not on Dec. 25.
The meaning and significance of the term “Incarnation”
The incarnation is the principle miracle in the Bible; God becoming flesh. If you believe this, the resurrection is easy.
The events of Jesus’ childhood and youth
- •The Circumcision: On the 8th day, in accord with Torah
- •The Recognition: Simeon and Anna, two godly Jews who recognized Jesus as a baby as the Messiah, and as one who would cause “standing” and “falling” in Israel
- •The OT Fulfillment: Protection in Egypt (Matt. 2:15)
- •The Location of His Childhood: Nazareth
- •Sole Detail: The Temple visit as a youth shows His early messianic consciousness. He also grew intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially (Luke 2:52).
Jesus’ teaching on the Kingdom of God
- Jesus comes proclaiming God’s Kingdom is at hand. He uses it to refer to the in-breaking of God into history to realize his redemptive purpose—God’s ruling power.But He also points to a “not-yet” aspect.
- •It is present in the victory of demons etc
- This points to its fulfillment. In the future kingdom, Jesus will be the judge
Jesus’ purpose in the Sermon on the Mount
- Jesus teaches as a new Moses. In fact, He delivers (or perhaps rediscovers) insights into the eternal principles behind the Torah (which is fulfilled in Him).
- In essence, He explains how the new covenant community within the Kingdom should live out their lives before God.
- •In so doing, He describes the character, duties, and attitude of the Christian disciple.
The purpose behind crucifixion as a mode of execution
it was a symbol that one was cursed by God, and it was meant to publically humiliate.
The disciple who in John 20:24-29 confesses the resurrected Jesus as “My God”
The order of the events during passion week
- Saturday: The anointing by Mary (John 12:1-8; Matt 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9)
- •Palm Sunday: The triumphal entry (Mk 11:1-11) in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 (Psalm 118)
- •Monday: The cursing of the fig tree and cleansing of the temple
- •Tuesday: A day of teaching and controversy (tribute to Caesar; the Resurrection; the Greatest Commandment; the widow’s mite; the Olivet Discourse)
- •Wednesday: Silence
- •Thursday: Preparation for the Passover (Jesus as the Passover lamb of the new covenant, delivering from bondage); the Last Supper; Jesus’ washes the disciples feet; the Garden of Gethsemane; betrayal of Judas
- •Thursday night/Friday morning: Arrest; trials before Annas, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod Antipas, and finally before Pilate again.
- •Friday: Crucifixion
n Several ways of describing the flow/outline of Acts
- tells how the church was established and began to spread across the roman Empire;
- sequel to gospel of luke;
- commissioning of the Disciples; disciples are to spread the Gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth; this expansion is geographical and soteriological (from Jews to Gentiles)
The different ways Acts is connected to Luke’s Gospel
the first event in Acts is the last event in Luke (the ascension of Jesus)
n The significance of Pentecost
n Be able to match the four Gospels and Acts with a basic description of them.
- mark: •Tone: Cites very few of Jesus’ teachings; describes action instead ("immediately"); focuses on miracles •Themes: Had a realistic view of the 12 disciples (6:52; 14:32-42). Focused on proving Jesus’ identity
- Matthew: •Tone: Very Jewish (customs go unexplained), teaching oriented, structured around 5 discourses of Jesus •Themes: Fulfillment (many quotations of the OT); speaks of the church; shows universal nature of Messiah (genealogy, Magi, Great Commission)
- Luke: •Tone: Written to Theophilus (Lover of God); purpose is historical, theological, evangelistic, and apologetic •Themes: Holy Spirit; importance of women and social outcasts; prayer; wealth vs. poverty; Gentiles
- John: •Tone: More theological than the Synoptics; no parables; other events included, like Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, Jesus’ speeches in the upper room •Themes: Frequent use "truth" (40+), "witness" (60+), and "love" (80+); the seven "I am" statements
Be able to match key events in Jesus’ life (Baptism, Temptation, Miracles, Transfiguration, Resurrection) with a description of the significance of each.
- Baptism: to fulfill all rightousness to validate ministry, to identify with the people to set an example
- Temptation: tempted with turning stones to bread, worshiping satan, etc. Significant because it shows he is faithful as a high priest
- Miracles: purpose is to show fulfillment of OT and God's power
- Transfiguration: taste of the coming Kingdom and what it will be like at the second coming
- Ressurrection: basically the whole point of the Christian faith
Be able to describe two ways in which God laid the groundwork for the coming of Jesus “in the fullness of time,” as described in the notes.
- • Paul states that Jesus appeared “when the fullness of time came” (Galatians 4:4), meaning “just at the right time.”
- • His coming represented the
- culmination of all of God’s redemptive activity from the Old Testament until this point.
- • Also, God had laid the groundwork for the coming of Christ with: Roman peace; Roman roads; the universal language of Greek; and the Jewish Messianic expectations.
Be able to list and describe two reasons why the Gospels are considered reliable testimonies of Jesus
- • The Gospel authors were precise in their recordings, not leaving out material that may seem embarrassing or strange (Jesus’ baptism and death, Peter’s denial, the women finding the empty tomb).
- • The NT authors were persecuted and even died for the truth they communicated (different from Islam today).
- • The fact that the Gospels gave rise to the Christian movement in Jerusalem gives them credibility. Had the Gospels been fictitious, it would not have experienced such rapid growth in Jerusalem, since the populace of that city could verify claims in the Gospels themselves.
- • The oral traditions of Jesus would have been preserved fastidiously by Jesus’ followers.
Be able to describe Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God in a few sentences.
- • Jesus comes proclaiming God’s Kingdom is at hand. He uses it to refer to the in-breaking of God into history to realize his redemptive purpose—God’s ruling power. • Jesus inaugurates it, and it is already here. But He also points to a “not-yet” aspect.
- • It is present in the victory of demons (Matt. 12:28), in the miraculous signs (Matt. 11:2ff), and in the person of Jesus (Luke 17:20-21).
- • This points to its fulfillment. In the future kingdom, Jesus will be the judge (Matt. 7:21-23) and it will be our inheritance (Matt. 25:34). We should prepare and pray for it (Matt. 6:10).
- • Many of Jesus’ parables dealt with the Kingdom of God.
- • Sower: Kingdom is here but not all will accept it
- • Mustard Seed/Leaven: Kingdom will not demolish enemies immediately, starts small
- • Hidden Treasure/Pearl of Great Price: Kingdom is worth everything
Be able to describe Jesus’ teaching about the nature of discipleship in a few sentences.
- . To proclaim the gospel. To formulate their own identity of faith separate from Judaism.
- To believe.
- To pray.
- To wait.
- To worship and study the teachings of the apostles.
- To minister to one another's physical needs.
- To rise, even during heavy persecution.
Be able to describe the nature and purpose of Jesus’ miracles as discussed in class and in the notes
- • Definition: Supernatural interventions; about 37 total
- • Purpose: NTcallsthem“signs”(revealingsomething secret; attesting to His identity) and “wonders” (attesting to His power); also to show fulfillment of the OT (Isaiah 35:3-6; 42:6-7; Matthew 11:3-5)
- • Types: Natural (turning water into wine; calming the storm; feeding the 4,000 and 5,000; walking on water); Physical (healings; resuscitations of Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter); Spiritual (exorcism; forgiving sin; Zacchaeus)
Be able to list and describe two key beliefs of the early church
- • The uniqueness of Jesus is the Messiah, fulfilling the OT prophecies
- • The divinity of Jesus: God Came in Human form, but this did not compromise monotheism
- • The resurrection: that God vindicated Jesus and His message by raising him from the dead
- • Salvation through Christ alone: that through his death and resurrection, Jesus made salvation possible. Salvation is otherwise impossible
Be able to list and describe two reasons why the resurrection is considered an actual historical event.
- Post resurrection appearances
- • The early testimony of the event
- • The witnesses of the women
- • The martyrdom of the disciples
- • The conversion of Paul
Based on the class notes, write a brief essay explaining briefly the significance, background, conversion, and ministry of the Apostle Paul.