Term Paper: Second Temple Period

Pages: 9 (2682 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] They used to come to Jerusalem from all parts of the empire along with the latest innovations and news. Moreover, these pilgrims also sought wholesale as well as retail trade opportunities in the Holy city. Through this kind of trade, the pilgrims tried to provide a living for themselves. As stated earlier, Jerusalem was a successful city under the domination of Herod. The city was aboded by the priestly class that was affluent with luxury and wealth. This situation of the city has been testified by the archaeological remains that include Mikvaot. The aforementioned are ritual baths and have been found in the privacy of the homes of the priests. Apart from this, rare glassware in mines has also been found in the Quarter of Herod, which is currently a Jewish Quarter. Because of the free trade that was allowed in the region, even the lower classes started to become quite prosperous. The masses were able to enjoy the benefits that resulted from the continuous exchange of currency and trade in the region. Since there was increased Jewish hostility towards Herod and economic welfare in the region, an internal war started between Sadducees and Pharisees.

There is no doubt in the fact that the Jewish Jerusalem despised the King Herod. The main reason for this hatred was that he hired informants and spies and other officials. However, there were some boundaries that Herod did not cross. He did not cross the Temple Mount and he did not order the placement of any foreign idols in the Temple. Apart from this, he also did not perform any pagan sacrifice in Jerusalem. Herod considered Jerusalem as his showcase and therefore he gave invitations to the significant personalities of Rome so that they could also view the splendor of the city.

After the death of Herod in the year 4 BCE, the kingdom was divided in several fractions to his three sons. Initially there were four parts of the kingdom and hence the term Tetrarchy was used to describe it. The central part of the kingdom belonged to Herod Archealaus. This part included Samaria, Idumea and Judea proper. In the year 6 CE, the country had to face some crisis and there was unrest in the region. During these circumstances, the Herodian emperor was placed in the favor of making a new Roman province that was called the Roman Judea. Until his death in the year 34 CE, Philip was the ruler of Trachonitis and Ituraea, when he became the successor of the tetrarchy by Herod Agrippa I. Agrippa I was previously the ruler of Chalcis. Chalcis was surrendered to Agrippa's brother Herod. When Herod Antipas died in the year 39 CE, Herod Agrippa also took the power over Galilee. In the year 41 CE, Agrippa took the place of the Roman prefect, Marullus, as the emperor of Iudaea. Soon after this acquisition, the Jewish Heroian Kingdom was technically re-instated until the year 44 CE.

After the death of Herod the Great, the downfall of the country begin. It became a common practice for the Roman governors to oppress the Jews and they also did not make sure that there was lawfulness in the region. The corrupt Roman officers started to kill and plunder along with the Arab gangs.

The Former High Priests, who worked really hard to make themselves a part of the office, were also replaced. After being replaced, they hired their own soldiers to take care of the Temple. In the year 28 CE, there was chaos and violence in the region and the Sanhedrin vacated their post that was formerly there in the Temple.

The Events that Shaped the World of the New Testament

It should be noted here that there is not just a single event that can be considered to be responsible for the advent of the New Testament. In fact, there is a chain of events that took place before the New Testament. All of these events have been talked about in the previous part of the paper, however, now we shall briefly summarize these events with respect to the New Testament.

So basically, there are seven main events that led to the New Testament. Four of these events took place before the Christ; meanwhile the remaining three took place after the Christ[footnoteRef:6]. The first event that is significant with respect to the New Testament is the death of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great, also known as Cyrus died in the year 323 BC. During his rule in Jerusalem, he allowed the Jewish nation to return to their homeland and it was during his rule that the construction of the Second Temple was started. The second important event was the process of translation of Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. This process started in the year 250 BC. During this time period, Jerusalem was under the power of Greek rulers that started with the advent of Alexander the Great. Now, we shall talk about the event that can be considered to be one of the most important and crucial ones among the seven events that led to the New Testament. This event was the reconstruction of the Jerusalem Temple that took place in the year 164 BC. The First Temple was considered to be an extremely Holy place for the Jews. After it was destroyed and the Jews were being ruled by foreign emperors, the construction of the Second Temple was an important event. The next even in the chain of events that led to the New Testament was the occupation of Judea by the Roman rulers. After the death of Herod the Great, a civil war broke out in the region and the Romans took over Jerusalem. This took place in 63 BC. [6: Kennedy, Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World, 2013]

The aforementioned were events that took place before the advent of the Christ. Now we shall talk about the events that took place after Christ. Needless to say, the single most important event that led to the New Testament was the crucifixion of Jesus. This was the most significant religious event that took place during that era. Jesus was crucified in the year 30 AD. After this event, the writing of the texts of the New Testament started. This event took the most time since the people who were responsible for writing the texts had to collect manuscripts from various places. The writing started in the year 50 AD and ended in around 130 AD. The last event that shaped the world for the New Testament was the process of "closing" the Canon of the New Testament. This process was final event and too place in the year 397 AD[footnoteRef:7]. [7: Jonge, The New Testament Canon, 2003]


Butler, Chris. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic era (336 BCE-31 BCE).The Flow of History, 2007.

Jonge, H. "The New Testament Canon," in The Biblical Canons. eds. de Jonge & J.M. Auwers (Leuven University Press, 2003).

Kennedy, Lindsay. Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World.My Digital… [END OF PREVIEW]

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