In Jesus’ Time, What Power Controlled Israel

In Jesus’ Time What Power Controlled Israel

In those days, Caesar Augustus issued an edict requiring that all of the world’s inhabitants be registered. When Quirinius was governor of Syria, this was the first time a register was made. (See also Luke 2:1–2). Politically, the city of Rome / the Roman Empire Religiously, the High Priest and His Party (the Sadducees) were the most influential, followed by the Pharisees to a lesser extent. God, in a divine way:

How was Israel controlled during Jesus time:

In terms of politics, the two Roman emperors who reigned during Jesus’ lifetime were Augustus Caesar and Tiberius Caesar, as well as Herod the Great, the Jewish King of Palestine. It was around the time of Jesus’ birth that the Romans had appoint Herod as the ruler of all of Israel. Herod was not a Jew in any sense of the word. He was a non-citizen of the United States. He was religiously Jewish, but he did not follow the rules of the Jews. The Romans governed Israel through a series of proxy monarchs (the Herodians) and a provincial governor, despite the fact that he was religiously Jewish (Pontius Pilate was one).

HG came to power by political maneuvering and by kissing up to the right individuals towards the conclusion of the Maccabean uprising in Jerusalem.

He restored the Temple in Jerusalem, but he lived in constant worry that he would be toppled by the people.

The Pharisees, who sat on the same council as the Sadducees, served as a type of check and balance.

Flashcards – Exam 3

  1. Matthew is the gospel that is aimed toward a Jewish audience and depicts Jesus as the “new Moses.” “I am the Light of the World” is a statement contained in which non-synoptic gospel? “I am the Bread of Life” is a statement found in which non-synoptic gospel? B) John
  2. What gospel, which promotes compassion and also contains the tale of the Good Samaritan, contains many beautiful portrayals of women? D) Luke
  3. Jesus said that the C) Two Great Commandments included all of the most significant religious precepts. What was the dominant authority in Israel during Jesus’ time? When it comes to B) Rome, which of the following writings is contained in the New Testament? B) The Hebrews Among the Jewish monastic communities that may have had a significant impact on both John the Baptist and Jesus were theC) Essenes. One of the most important aspects of Jesus’ message was to love one another. It was primarily the work of which missionary that the early Christian belief began to spread outside of Israel. What transpired between the Easter Church and the Western Church in the year 1054, Mr. Paul? They Disintegrated
  4. Augustine was a Christian bishop of North Africa who published his Confessions and had a significant impact on much later Christian thought. Perhaps the most significant ritual of Christianity is the rite of entrance into the church, known as baptism
  5. The color purple, which represents sorrow for sin and repentance and is worn throughout Lent, represents sorrow for sin and repentance
  6. An Epistle is a letter written to a Christian community in the first century AD. According to tradition, Jesus appears to have believed that the pursuit of human pleasure was a significant objective. The key christian ceremonies, such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are referred to as sacraments in certain circles. To the books of the Hebrew Bible, Christianity made its own additions
  7. These writings are collectively referred to as the “New Testament.” What European movement, which grew in strength after 500 C.E. throughout Europe, was instrumental in spreading Christianity throughout the continent? Monasticism
  8. The Gothic cathedrals were predominantly constructed throughout the Middle Ages
  9. The Renaissance
  10. In recent years, which one of the following saints has been removed from the Church year calendar due to a lack of evidence supporting his existence? Valentine’s Day
  11. St. Valentine’s Day The Protestant Reformation was officially launched. Martin Luther, a.k.a. Martin Luther King, Jr. Henry VIII was the founding father of the Church of England. The Eastern Orthodox Church is the branch of Christianity that is prominent in Russia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania
  12. It is also known as the Russian Orthodox Church. The Mass is the major sacrament of the Roman Catholic Church, and it is celebrated every Sunday. The patriarch of Constantinople is the bishop who is considered to be the most prominent bishop in the Eastern Orthodox Church. During the reign of Emperor Constantine, the Edict of Toleration was issued, allowing Christians to publicly practice their religion
  13. The Mediterranean area was the first location where Christianity expanded. Lenten preparations for Easter are a major focus of attention. What biblical book contains information on the history of the early Christian Church? What is the first branch of the Protestant Reformation, according to Acts? Lutheranism
  14. Calvinism is the branch of Protestantism that has placed a strong emphasis on the religious importance of hard work and discipline. The term “canon” refers to the officially sanctioned collection of biblical writings, which is derived from the Greek phrase “canonos,” which means “measuring rod.” Benedict was the guy whose rule for monkeys contributed to the organization and expansion of Western monasticism. The phrase a.d. refers to the year 2000
  15. Apocalypticism refers to the belief that the end of the world is approaching. It is the Greek word Christos, which means “belonging to Christ,” that we are talking about. Christianity arose as a result of the development of Judaism. The death of Jesus occurred around the time of this religious festival: Passover
  16. Gospel is a slang term for “good news.” In addition, Jesus was opposed to divorce since it left women unable to sustain themselves. As previously stated, Aramaic was the major language that Jesus spoke. The early Christian movement had its headquarters in Jerusalem, and its members were predominantly of Jewish descent. When it came to early Christians, one of the most heated debates was whether or not they were required to observe Jewish rules. The gospel of Mark is widely considered to be the earliest of the gospels. Synoptic is a term that literally means “together see/same eye.” There are several parallels between the Gospel of John and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Samaritans were hated outsiders in Jesus’ day, and he was a member of one of these groups. Luke’s gospel is divided into two parts, the first of which is the book of Acts. Orthodoxy is defined as “right belief” in the Greek language. Basil was the one who drafted the regulations for how Eastern Crhistian monks should conduct themselves. Hildegard of Bingen was a medieval nun who was known for her spiritual songwriting. Among the religious orders that have placed a particular emphasis on teaching and study are the Dominicans. The first major Church council, convened at Nicaea in 325 CE, was the first of its kind. Thomas Cranmer was the Archbishop of Canterbury who was instrumental in transforming the Political Reformation in England into a Religious Reformation.

What power controlled Israel in Jesus’ time?

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Jerusalem is a city in modern-day Israel that is regarded to be one of the holiest locations on the planet by many people. Sacred to the three main monotheistic religions – Judaism, Islam, and Christianity – Jerusalem is the site of enormous religious significance for both Israel and Palestine, which both claim Jerusalem as their capital city. In part because of these powerful, centuries-old ties, terrible battles to rule the city and the places inside it have raged for thousands of years.

Early History of Jerusalem

Historically, scholars estimate that the first human settlements in Jerusalem took place during the Early Bronze Age, some 3500 years before the present. During the reign of King David in 1000 B.C., Jerusalem was taken and became the capital of the Jewish kingdom. About 40 years later, his son, Solomon, began construction on the first holy Temple. In 586 B.C., the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, demolished the Temple, and expelled the Jews from their homeland. After around 50 years, the Persian King Cyrus granted permission for Jews to return to Jerusalem and restore the Temple complex.

It was captured and governed by a variety of groups during the following few hundred years, including the Romans, the Persians, the Arabic peoples, the Fatimids, the Seljuk Turks, the Crusaders, the Egyptians, the Mamelukes, and Islamists.

Among the significant events with religious ramifications that occurred in Jerusalem during this time period are the following:

  • After rebuilding the second Temple and adding retaining walls to it in 37 BCE, King Herod reigned over the city of Jerusalem until around 30 A.D. The Romans destroyed the second Temple in 70 AD
  • Muhammad, the Islamic prophet, died and was said to have ascended to heaven from the city of Jerusalem in 632 A.D. In the first century AD, a large number of European Christians began making pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The Christian crusaders controlled Jerusalem for almost a century, during which time they declared the city to be a prominent holy center.
See also:  In Which Empire Was Jesus Born

The Ottoman Empire

After rebuilding the second Temple and adding retaining walls to it in 37 BCE, King Herod reigned over the city of Jerusalem until around 30 A.D. The Romans destroyed the second Temple in 70 AD; Muhammad, the Islamic prophet, died and is said to have ascended to heaven from the city of Jerusalem in 632 A.D. During the first century AD, a large number of European Christians began making pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The Christian crusaders controlled Jerusalem for almost a century, during which time they considered the city to be an important sacred center.

The Temple Mount

The Temple Mount is a complex of buildings and grounds built on a hilltop in Jerusalem that encompasses approximately 35 acres of land. Many holy sites, including the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, may be found there. This historic monument is considered to be the holiest location in all of Judaism. References to the region may be traced back to Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son Isaac, according to Jewish tradition. The site is also the site of the first and second Temples, as well as the venue of numerous Jewish prophets’ teaching sessions.

Christians, on the other hand, think that the place is important to their faith.

For millennia, the presence of the Temple Mount has been a source of great conflict, particularly between Jews and Muslims who live in the surrounding area, because of the theological and historical implications of such occupation.

However, nowadays, the Islamic Waqf is in charge of what takes place inside the courtyard, while Israeli soldiers are in charge of external security.

Dome of the Rock

The Dome of the Rock, an Islamic monument with a gilded dome that was erected on the site of the demolished Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, was dedicated in 691 A.D. The Dome of the Rock, which is located on the Temple Mount, was constructed by Caliph Abd al-Malik. Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to heaven from the site of this structure, which is believed to be Islamic history’s most ancient surviving Islamic structure. While the Crusades were underway, the Christians converted the monument into a church.

Located on the Temple Mount, near to the Dome of the Rock, is a mosque with a silver dome, known as al-Aqsa.

Western Wall (Wailing Wall)

There’s an antique part of the Western Wall from the second Jewish Temple still standing today. Located on the western side of the Temple Mount, it’s known as the “Wailing Wall” since it’s where many Jews come to pray and grieve at the site of the destroyed Second Temple.

Every year, millions of Jews from all over the globe come to the Wall to pay their respects. Because Muslims dominate the Temple Mount (the actual site of the ancient Temples), the Western Wall is often regarded as the holiest place for Jews to pray outside of the Temple.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Built in 335 AD, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre commemorates the location where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried, as well as the place where his resurrection was celebrated. It is located in the heart of Jerusalem’s Christian neighborhood. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Christian pilgrims from all over the world visit to this church. Many Christians consider it to be the holiest Christian location in the planet.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Over Jerusalem

Conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians over important regions in Jerusalem have raged continuously since Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. Jews are not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, according to Jewish law. Despite this, Israeli soldiers allow hundreds of Jewish settlers to enter the area on a regular basis, prompting some Palestinians to fear that Israel would seize control of the region. When Jewish politician Ariel Sharon, who would later become Israel’s Prime Minister, visited Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 2000, it was one of the primary events that precipitated the Second Palestinian Intifada (a Palestinian uprising against Israel).

Palestinians residing in the region have expressed displeasure at this idea.

Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1980, but the majority of the international world does not view this distinction as legitimate.

The organization, on the other hand, refused to acknowledge Israel as a state, and the Israeli government rejected the notion on the same day that it was proposed.

Modern-Day Jerusalem

Tensions are still high in and around the city of Jerusalem, even as of today. Confrontations between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians are all too typical these days. Many international organizations and governments support plans to split Jerusalem into two halves, one for Israelis and one for Palestinians. However, getting a strategy on which everyone can agree is a challenging task. In July 2017, three Arabs opened fire on two Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, wounding them both fatally.

Protests and violent acts have cast a pall over this perilous situation in recent weeks.


What is the significance of Jerusalem? The Guardian is a British newspaper. A chronology of Jerusalem’s history may be found at History of Jerusalem. The Jewish Virtual Library is a collection of resources for Jews across the world. A brief history of the city of Jerusalem. The Municipality of Jerusalem. From the beginning of time through the reign of David, the history of Jerusalem is told. The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of Jerusalem.

According to the BBC News.

Vox Media is a news organization.

The Blaze, to be precise.

Al Jazeera is a news channel. Jerusalem is the destination for Sacred Journeys. PBS. A shooting in Jerusalem’s Old City claimed the lives of two Israeli police officers. CNN. 6 Reasons Why Jerusalem’s Old City Is Creating a Stir in the Middle East Once More TIME.

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Blood, Gender and Power in Christianity and Judaism

Religious power is a wide category that overlaps with several other categories, making it difficult to categorize it. As a starting point, we believed it would be beneficial to establish a few definitions of power so that we would have a variety of paradigms to choose from while working. The following is an excerpt from the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition of “power”: The main entry is as follows: 1pow·er ‘pau(-)r1 capacity to act or generate an effect’ is how it is pronounced. 2 the possession of power, control, or influence over people 3 a: physical power b: mental or moral efficacy c: ability to influence others c: the exercise of political power or influence Some Social Theories of Power are discussed below.

In other words, who is in a position of “political control and influence?” Is there a hierarchy of priests?

What about the “capacity to act or generate an impact,” on the other hand?

Power may be defined differently at different levels of the religious hierarchy, for instance.

Though this concept was important to the earliest Christians, the concept of a priestly class and other social divisions became established within the Christian tradition at about the same time, and different religious groups clashed over the question of who had authority to exercise religious power (Brown, Pagels).

Those in positions of authority are endowed with explicit spiritual power, which is controlled, conscious, external, and approved in situations where the social system explicitly recognizes such positions.In situations where the social system requires people to perform dangerously ambiguous roles, these individuals are credited with uncontrolled unconscious dangerous and disapproved powers.

As a result, we looked at examples of acceptable power (such as the priesthood and the Torah), as well as examples of hazardous power (such as Lilith), and instances of ambiguous authority (such as the prophets) (religious sites,stigmata, menstruation).

Some have asserted that the sacred is synonymous with power.

In the early twentieth century, Rudolph Otto established the following concept for religious studies: “Let us investigate the deepest and most essential ingredient in every powerful and truly felt religious emotion.” Faith in Christ for salvation, trust, and love are all present.

Continue to seek out sympathy and imaginative intuition wherever they can be found: in the lives of those around us, in sudden, strong ebullitions of personal piety and the frames of mind that such ebullitions manifest, in the fixed and ordered solemnities of rites and liturgies, and again in the atmosphere that clings to ancient religious monuments and buildings, temples, and churches, to name a few places.

  • If we do so, we will discover that we are dealing with something for which there is only one fitting expression:’mysterium tremendum’ (great mystery).
  • It has the potential to transition into a more stable and long-lasting attitude of the soul, remaining, as it were, thrillingly lively and resonant until it eventually passes away and the soul returns to its ‘profane,’ non-religious mood of everyday experience.
  • It has its own wild and demonic shapes, and it may descend to a level of nearly gory horror that makes you tremble.
  • It may become the creature’s silent, quivering, and mute humiliation in the face of-whom or what exactly?
  • -from Rudolph Otto’s The Idea of the Holy (The Holy Idea) (trans.
  • Harvey) Religion, according to this description, is comprised of ethical and mystical parts.
  • Despite the fact that they are ineffable, these deeds are seen as strong by others because of the mysterious religious power (holiness) that they engender in them.
See also:  Why Did John The Baptist Baptize Jesus

Geographical places are also sites of power, which is one of the reasons that Jews frequently feel compelled to visit Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, is because of the historical significance of the place.

Jewish pilgrims go to the site to worship because of the tangible power, Otto’smysterium tremendum, that pulses through the wall.

Unlike in Orthodox communities, where women are not permitted to read from the Torah scroll, women are frequently allowed to do so in Reform and other more liberal ceremonies.

In Christianity, things like as theEucharist and theBible are considered to be sources of power.

The Bible, like the Jewish Torah, is the source of legal and ideological authority that forms religious beliefs.

Certainsites are also endowed with the power linked with the saint or martyr who has been assigned to them.

The ability to understand the Bible, to sanctify and distribute the Eucharist, and the ability to be regarded as exceedingly holy are all dependent on the ability to be acknowledged as authoritative sources of information.

Bibliography Peter Brown is the author of this work.

The Columbia University Press, New York, published this book in 1988.

Purity and Danger: A critical examination of the notions of pollution and taboo in contemporary society.

New York: Routledge, 1996. Rudolph, Otto, and others. The Concept of the Sacred. The Oxford University Press published this book in 1958. Elaine Pagels is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom. The Gospels of the Gnostics. Vintage Books published its first edition in 1989 in New York.

Sons of Light

Sons of Light are a group of people who believe in the power of light. There were four major religious groupings in existence during Jesus’ period (or “philosophies,” as Josephus, the Jewish historian of the time, called them). They were divided into four groups: the Zealots, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes. It is hard to categorize every individual into one of two categories, and each category most likely includes a number of subgroups as well. While each group contributed to the framework in which God put the ministry of Jesus, the Essenes are the subject of this article because they offered a critical component of that structure.

  1. Although they are not specifically mentioned in the New Testament, the movement that Josephus regarded to be as significant as the Pharisees is strikingly comparable to the movement described in the New Testament.
  2. In the years that followed, his successors carried on his quest to spread Greek culture across the world.
  3. The religious Jews of the country were greatly concerned about the perversion of their biblical worldview that had occurred.
  4. In the beginning, Israel was ruled by Alexander’s heirs, the Ptolemy family of Egypt, who granted great religious freedom to the Jewish people of Israel.
  5. Later, the Seleucids, a Greek dynasty in Syria, conquered the region and annexed Galilee and Judea to their kingdom.
  6. The Torah, as well as observance of the Sabbath and circumcision, were all outlawed.
  7. Faithful Jews, led by the Hasmonaean family (better known to history as the Maccabees), rose up in revolt against their oppressors.

This was made possible by God’s blessing.

The momentous triumph of the Maccabees became the focal point of the Feast of Dedication, which is now known as Hanukkah (John 10:22).

They openly embraced rejected heathen traditions and engaged in a heated battle with those who adhered to the Law of Moses.

Not only was Jonathan Hellenistic in his way of life, but he was also not descended from Zadok, Solomon’s high priest, which was a condition endorsed by the religious community at the time.

They had now emerged as the most significant adversaries of Judah’s descendants and his family.

Even though there is still some debate, many scholars believe that Jonathan’s appointment as high priest was the tipping point at which many Godly priests decided that the Temple had been defiled and that true worship of God had come to an end, leading them to form a separatist movement, known by some as the Essenes.

  • While there were Essene communities distributed across Galilee and Judea, as well as in Jerusalem, it appears that the bulk of this separatist movement resided at the village of Qumran, which is located near the Dead Sea, according to archaeological evidence.
  • Despite their tiny number (old accounts have the figure at 4,000), they had a great impact on the religious society of their day.
  • THE ARMY OF GOD The Essenes were devout Christians who took their devotion to God very seriously.
  • As a result, the sons of light would triumph, while the sons of darkness, captivated by the force of evil, would perish.
  • They believed that by keeping their hearts and minds pure and their practices obedient, they would be better prepared to assume their position in God’s army.
  • The Essene community was meticulously planned and organized.
  • They engaged in ceremonial washing, which was comparable to the rituals of John the Baptist, in order to cleanse themselves of any ritual uncleanness or sin that may prohibit them from participating in God’s mission.
  • They were required to grow their own food and were not permitted to consume meals cooked by others.
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of scrolls that were presumably concealed after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem during the First Jewish Revolt and are now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  • A sacred supper was prepared in preparation of the Messiah’s triumph banquet, which would take place shortly thereafter (Matthew 26:26-29).
  • Throughout their lives, they were directed by the concept attributed to the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk: “The righteous (just) shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

Jesus taught that the Essenes were devoted to opposing the corrupt and wicked religious establishment of the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:12-13); rejecting Pharisees’ interpretations of the Torah (Matthew 15:1-3); and, if at all possible, avoiding marriage because the coming battle would make raising a family difficult (Matthew 15:1-4).

  • They were defined by Josephus as being people who adore God and who love their fellow human beings (Mark 12:30-31).
  • It is likely that the Essenes participated in the uprising because they believed it to be the last cosmic war between light and dark.
  • Some Essenes may have retreated to Masada and perished there after burying their scrolls near the synagogue, according to historical accounts.
  • THE ESSENES AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITHA Only a small number of researchers have proposed that the Essene society included the first Christian communities.
  • It is likely that some of them converted to Christianity during the early years, given the fact that many of the Essenes were priests and were worried about the Temple authorities of the time.
  • There have been several studies that have pointed out similarities in both theology and practices between the Essenes and those of John the Baptist.
  • None of these alternatives can be shown in a convincing manner.
  • Without a doubt, God established a framework within which the teachings of Jesus could be grasped (even by those who rejected it).
  • Jesus was the Messiah that the Essenes had been waiting for.

Were they able to identify him? We are unable to provide an answer at this time. Can they assist us in better recognizing him and comprehending his message? The answer is a resounding affirmative! Thank you, God, for preparing the way for Jesus via the Essenes!

The Life & Times of Jesus of Nazareth: Did You Know?

Image courtesy of Trevor Hurlbut on Flickr. Sign up for Christianity Today and you’ll gain instant access to back issues of Christian History! In Jesus’ day, the population of Palestine ranged from roughly 500,000 to 600,000 people (about that of Vermont, Boston, or Jerusalem today). Approximately 18,000 of these inhabitants were clerics, priests, and Levites, according to census data. Jerusalem was a metropolis of around 55,000 people, but at big feasts, the population may grow to as many as 180,000.

  1. Archaeologists have discovered whistles, rattles, toy creatures on wheels, hoops, and spinning tops, among other things.
  2. The game of checkers was very popular at the time.
  3. Carpenters put wood chips behind their ears, tailors had needles tucked into their tunics, and dyers used brightly colored rags to protect their skin from the sun.
  4. Because “graven images” were prohibited by the second commandment, there are few Jewish pictures depicting women in period clothing.
  5. The masonry and carpentry of the time appear to be purely functional.
  6. Bread was the primary dietary item at each of the two daily meals.
  7. A more substantial dinner consisted of vegetable (lentil) stew, bread (made from either barley, or wheat, depending on one’s socioeconomic status), fruit, eggs, and/or cheese.
  8. Locusts were considered a delicacy and were said to taste similar to shrimp.
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Historical Influence of Jesus

There is perhaps no tale more significant than the “Jesus Story” when it comes to the forces that have influenced Western Civilization throughout the centuries. Jesus of Nazareth, even for religious doubters, has had a significant historical impact as a result of living what is likely the most impactful life that has ever been lived. But why is this so.? A modest Jewish boy from Judea and Galilee, Jesus was nurtured in humble Jewish circumstances under Roman domination, never went more than 200 miles from his home, had a tiny number of basic followers, and was crucified for breaking the religious restrictions of his own people.

See also:  How Old Was Jesus Christ When He Died

According to historical standards, Jesus was not a very powerful figure in terms of political, economic, or military strength.

So, what is the source of this enormous impact – even today? Why, more than 2,000 years after his death, does almost one-third of the world identify as his followers? There must be more to the tale of Jesus’ historical effect than meets the eye.

Who is Jesus of Nazareth?

What, if anything, do historians truly know about the “Jesus Story,” putting religious beliefs aside? What does the historical record have to say about Jesus of Nazareth? Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem around 2,000 years ago. For the first thirty years or so of his life, he had a conventional Jewish life in Nazareth, where he worked as a trader with his father. During this time period, the Romans controlled the entirety of Israel. As a young man of around 30 years old, Jesus began his public ministry in the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee.

Over the course of the following three to four years, his notoriety grew across the region, despite his efforts to maintain a low profile.

But why is this so.?

  • God loves us
  • We should love one another
  • Each person has a unique value
  • The Kingdom of God has arrived to earth
  • God will judge us at the end of time
  • God forgives those who ask for forgiveness

For whatever reason, Jesus began to be viewed as a greater and greater threat to the “organized religion” of the day as time went on. As a result, the Jewish leaders petitioned the Roman authorities, who were in charge at the time, to have him put to death. Although there were formal trials, the Romans ultimately ruled that Jesus was not guilty of any crimes against the Roman Empire. Following a series of political arguments, the religious leaders succeeded in convincing Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler of the area, to authorise the death.

His humble adherents dispersed around the city.

Historical Influence of Jesus

After all, it would appear that the historical narrative of Jesus – and whatever long-lasting historical effect he may have had – should come to a close with his death. However, this was not the case. There is no doubt that something happened – something prompted his dispersed followers to come together, reconnect, reengage, and spread the word about Jesus once more. A few months later, Jesus had attracted hundreds of disciples from all across Jerusalem and the surrounding region. Within a few centuries, there were hundreds of thousands of people in the Mediterranean region who identified as “Christians” – or followers of Jesus Christ – and who called themselves “Christians.” Christianity was officially recognized as the official religion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 AD.

What might have transpired to spark such a tremendous movement in the name of a seemingly insignificant individual?

Growth of Jesus’ influcence

Indeed, over one-third of the world’s population is now classified as “Christian.” The magnitude of that number is mind-boggling, and it indicates a quite important existence after over two thousand years. Yes, some religious organizations have distorted and muddled the basic message of Jesus over the ages, but his simple life and strong words continue to speak for themselves today. And it’s for this reason that we spent more than two years creating this series of Drive Thru History. It was important for us to return to the original writings, the Gospels, as well as the original environment, Israel, and spend the time necessary to learn about the history, geography, and culture associated with the life of Jesus.

The question, “Who is Jesus?” is, without a doubt, still relevant. It is despite all odds that the historical impact of Jesus continues to grow throughout the world.

“The Gospels” introduction video

Randall serves as the principal writer for ColdWater’s Drive Thru History® television series and Drive Thru History® “Adventures” curriculum, both of which are produced by ColdWater. Biography of a Professional


Jesus was born into a Jewish family in Palestine. He would have grown up hearing tales of conquest and persecution from his parents and grandparents. Many waves of foreign invasion attempted to subdue the Jewish people, and these stories recorded their experiences. The Roman conquest of Israel (63 BCE) was the culmination of a lengthy series of invasions that began with the Babylonians (539 BCE) and continued with the Persians and the Greeks until coming to an end with the Romans. The legends of the Patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—as well as the foundational myth of the Moses-led escape from the Egyptians at the Exodus—were also important in establishing Jewish identity.

When it comes to their struggle for national sovereignty, the Jewish people have been more frequently the victims than the victorious, as history has shown us.

It was stated in terms of Covenant theology, which held that Yahweh had selected them to play a special role in the history of the world, and that they were the chosen ones.

There were a variety of interpretations of the Messiah’s purpose and function, ranging from the establishing of a Jewish political kingdom on earth to the eschatological concept of a heavenly kingdom at the end of the world, and everything in between (which many Jewish people considered to be immanent).

It was already a two-tiered political structure at the time of Jesus’ birth, with Roman overseers on the one hand and Jewish leaders on the other, who exerted rule in the name of Rome.

While only half-Jewish, the Herodian dynasty was despised by the Jewish people for its dictatorial rule and for its part in the sale of the Jewish legacy to a foreign power, despite their background being half-Jewish.

Herodias, another of the sons, was responsible for the execution of John the Baptist, as did Herod Antipas.

Galilee is a beautiful place to live.

He spent the most of his life in Nazareth, which is located inside the region of Galilee.

It was a Jewish enclave in Nazareth, as opposed to the other largely Gentile (non-Jewish) communities.

In such an environment, there was a disproportionate quantity of sickness and disease.

Jesus was born into a family of artisans or carpenters, which shows that he had a fair socio-economic status at the time of his birth.

When Jesus was a child, he would have attended the village school (up to the age of twelve) and the local synagogue, where he would have learned about the Bible.

It was also common practice at the time for young folks to form a close bond with a local instructor or sage for guidance.

Indeed, by the time of his ‘public ministry,’ Jesus was well-versed in the Scriptures as well as the traditions of the Jewish people.

Jerusalem Jerusalem served as the focal point of the Jewish world.

As a result, given that Nazareth was a three or four-day travel away from Jerusalem (approximately a hundred miles), it seems doubtful that Jesus made the voyage frequently.

During his public life, he also made a trip to Jerusalem (once or three times depending on the Gospel).

It is quite likely that this deed of Jesus had something to do with his trial and final death.

Society and politics are intertwined.

In general, we may categorize movements, philosophies, and life-options into four broad categories.

The revolutionary path was chosen by the Zealot movement.

Nothing else, they reasoned, would be able to deliver the Jewish people to a complete and final emancipation.

One can think of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka or the Irish Republican Army’s operations during the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland when one considers terrorism.

Furthermore, Jesus found himself in dispute with both the Jewish temple and the Roman government.

Few, on the other hand, would contend that Jesus was a violent revolutionary.

The Sadduccees were considered to be the greatest pragmatists of their day.

From a political standpoint, this was the most feasible choice available.

In many aspects, the Sadduccees may be classified as the least religious group on the planet, as proven by their non-belief in the resurrection of the dead and other such beliefs.

As a result of their reading of the Old Testament, they were convinced that they were of Jewish religion.

In the Gospels, it is clear that the Sadduccees are the principal opponents of Jesus at the time of his trial and subsequent execution.

In many respects, the Pharisees were the idealists of Jewish culture at the time.

Pharisees, despite their ‘bad press’ in the Gospels, generally aspired to live a life of spiritual purity by adhering to the Torah to a rigorous degree (Jewish law).

There is little question that their concentration on the law may lead to legalism, which could then serve as an excuse for hypocrisy.

Those who lived during this time believed in the resurrection of the dead.

Finally, there were the Essenes, who were able to resolve the issue of Jewish identity in a Roman-occupied Israel by retiring into a monastic setting.

The Qumran community, which lived an austere existence and awaited God’s cataclysmic involvement in human history, was the most noteworthy group during Jesus’ time.

It seems improbable that Jesus had any kind of interaction with this particular group of people.

Throughout his public ministry, Jesus exhibits his willingness to connect directly with individuals of his society as a whole.

It was a viewpoint that had some resemblance to that of his mentor, John the Baptist, despite the fact that there are considerable disparities between their teachings and ministries.

Both Jesus and Hillel had a deep reverence for the Jewish Torah, but they were also well-known for preaching compassion, forgiveness, and love in addition to the law of Moses.

Jesus, on the other hand, was more than a teacher.

Nonetheless, it is necessary to comprehend Jesus’ individuality in the context of his Jewish life and times. The religious and political aspects of life were connected in a far more intricate way than we are accustomed to seeing them today in our society.

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