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A Short Study of the Nt World

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MB532 READING AND INTERPRETING THE NEW TESTAMENT

ASSIGNMENT 1: SHORT STUDY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WORLD

KRISTINA TODD
DR SARAH HARRIS

DUE: 6 AUGUST 2015
WORD COUNT: 824
It is important to examine The Temple and Jerusalem’s past, to understand their significance to First Century Jewish People.

Acknowledging what the temple meant before and after the diaspora, and the similarities and differences between the first and second temples, is vital to determine Herod’s Temples significance.
Before the diaspora Judaism focused solely on using the Temple for sacrifices, festivals and honouring God. The Jews were a community who gathered to celebrate The Passover, Pentecost and Festival of Booths each year to remember their past and thankfulness to God . These festivals gave the Jews a sense of identity, illustrating where they came from and who they were.
After the diaspora, when Solomon’s temple was destroyed in 586BC by the Babylonians, Jewish faith changed, to accommodate the lack of a temple and homeland.
In their exile, Jews had to discover a way to repent and worship God without the Temple. Before its destruction, “God was inseparable from the Temple,” to the Jewish society. Synagogues were created during their exile to debate scripture and pray, as a substitute for the temple. It has been believed, that Jews dependence on the second temple spiritually speaking was not as strong as with the first temple. Many diaspora Jews chose not to attend festivals regularly, while many only came for one festival a year, or sometimes only once a lifetime, illustrating the Jews lack of devotion to the new temple.
With their exile also came the birth of different sectors of Jewish faith. Jewish faith now consisted of Pharisees, Sadducees, Essences, Scribes, Samaritans, Sicarii and common Jews. It was common for these elements of Judaism to clash over religious and political issues. Gone was the united community solely focused on worship to Gods glory that had existed with the first temple (1Kings 8)

Although many Jews were thankful to have the temple restored they were frustrated by the Roman culture that permeated into the new temple.
Unlike Solomon’s temple, Harod’s temple had a Roman air to it. He had split the temple into different sections; a female, male, gentile and a priestly court. The traders and money-changers worked in the court of the gentiles. Along with these divisions, came the attachment of the barracks. Fort Antonia was where Roman soldiers were garrisoned and it was attached to the temples side. The second temple was tainted by Roman values; lessening elements that the Jews would have preferred to represent God.
When Babylon conquered Jerusalem in 586BC, they took important artefacts from the temple. One of these artefacts was the Ark of the Covenant, which was lost after it was taken as a spoil of war. The spirit of God which resided in the Ark (1Kings 8:6-9, Exodus 25:22), was no longer an element of the temple.

The Prophecies surrounding Jerusalem, its surroundings and Jewish mind-set are all factors to consider when evaluating Jerusalem’s importance.
Jerusalem was the Jews Promised Land (Ezekiel 47:13-23). Verses that surround Jerusalem in terms of prophecy are important to note, as prophecy gave an indication to the Jews what their spiritual and national goals and identity should be. Zechariah 12, Isaiah 2:3 and Micah 4 are just a few passages in the Bible where prophecy has been spoken over Israel, and Jerusalem.
During exile, Jews, for a century lived thinking that God had deserted them (Psalm 137). Due to their exile, returning Jews could feel and experience a greater sense of national identity as it meant returning to God’s chosen land. Jews felt a closer sense of connection to their faith and like Gods chosen people whilst residing in Jerusalem (Psalms 125:2).
Jerusalem is significant because of the spiritual places it holds. To have lost the temple to the Babylonians in 586BC and to see it execrated by Zeus worship in 167BC (1Macc 1:41-61) were occurrences made worse because it happened to Gods only dwelling. The city is significant for the Jews, as unlike other Ancient Eastern people, they had only one Temple which housed God where they could worship, make sacrifices and attend important Jewish festivals.
Jerusalem is significant for the Mount of Olives. It is prophesied that this is where the Messiah will come again, and where Gods resting place will be (Ezekiel 11:22-23). People used it as a place to worship God. From the Eastern Mountain a Jew could worship facing The Holies of Holies.

The temples significance to Jews in the first century was important as it was the sole place to offer sacrifices and celebrate Jewish festivals. However it must be taken into account how the First Temple had a greater significance to Judaism, as it provided community, God’s spirit and traditional Jewish design and heart, which did not exist in Harod’s temple due to the Roman influence that tainted the temple and Gods people. The significance of Jerusalem was a home for the Jewish people to return to the temple and her surroundings, making it equally as important.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: * Balfour, Alan. Solomon’s Temple: Myth, Conflict, and Faith. Chicester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

* Burge, Gary M., Gene L. Green, and Lynn H. Cohick. The New Testament in Antiquity. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2009.

* ———. The New Testament in Antiquity. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2009.

* Chazan, Robert. Fashioning Jewish Identity in Medieval Western Christendom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

* Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testament. 3rd ed., Fortress Press ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011.

* Han, Kyu Sam. Jerusalem and the Early Jesus Movement: The Q Community’s Attitude toward the Temple. Journal for the study of the New Testament 207. London ; New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002.

* Morley, Jacqueline, and John James. The Temple at Jerusalem: [from Solomon to Herod and Beyond]. Brighton: Book House, 2003.

* Sæbø, Magne, C. Brekelmans, Menahem Haran, Michael A. Fishbane, Jean Louis Ska, and Peter Machinist, eds. Hebrew Bible, Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996.

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Jacqueline Morley and John James, The Temple at Jerusalem: [from Solomon to Herod and Beyond] (Brighton: Book House, 2003), 34.
[ 2 ]. Gary M. Burge, Gene L. Green, and Lynn H. Cohick, The New Testament in Antiquity (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2009), 24.
[ 3 ]. Ibid., chap. 2.
[ 4 ]. Alan Balfour, Solomon’s Temple: Myth, Conflict, and Faith (Chicester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 84.
[ 5 ]. Burge, Green, and Cohick, The New Testament in Antiquity, chap. 2.
[ 6 ]. Gary M. Burge, Gene L. Green, and Lynn H. Cohick, The New Testament in Antiquity (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2009), 69–70.
[ 7 ]. Burge, Green, and Cohick, The New Testament in Antiquity, chap. 2.
[ 8 ]. Magne Sæbø et al., eds., Hebrew Bible, Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996), chap. 6.
[ 9 ]. Burge, Green, and Cohick, The New Testament in Antiquity, chap. 2.
[ 10 ]. John William Drane, Introducing the New Testament, 3rd ed., Fortress Press ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011), 45.
[ 11 ]. Burge, Green, and Cohick, The New Testament in Antiquity, chap. 2.
[ 12 ]. Ibid.
[ 13 ]. Robert Chazan, Fashioning Jewish Identity in Medieval Western Christendom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), chap. 1.
[ 14 ]. Kyu Sam Han, Jerusalem and the Early Jesus Movement: The Q Community’s Attitude toward the Temple, Journal for the study of the New Testament 207 (London ; New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002), 51.
[ 15 ]. Han, Jerusalem and the Early Jesus Movement, 51.
[ 16 ]. Drane, Introducing the New Testament, 45.

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