Confessions from a Former History Sloth

My husband is a bit of a history buff, though his expertise lies in Korean not Western history. I, for reasons that I can no longer comprehend, did not enjoy history as a child. I also cannot comprehend why I hated green beans and wouldn't touch mushrooms or broccoli in my youth. What was wrong with me? Well, munching veggies after a profligate youth is easy. Suddenly acquiring a deep knowledge of history after years of mulish neglect is harder.

But I am trying. And for your weekend amusement, I give you the questions for my final review of "Intertestamental History." I just took the final today. Can you answer them? I hope I can. A few of my notes remained when I cut and pasted and I am too lazy to edit them out. So don't laugh.

Know the 5 eras and their dates in the political history of Palestine from about 600 B.C. to A.D. 70.

Babylonian 605-539 B.C.
Persian 539-331
Greek 331-143
Hasmonean 143-63
Roman 63-192

Know the foreign policies of Babylon, Persia, the Hellenistic Kingdoms and Rome toward Palestine and the Jews. Also, know the policy of the Hasmoneans toward foreigners.

Babylonian 605-539 B.C.—Deportation, enforcing language and culture
Persian 539-331—
Greek 331-143—Mostly peaceful hellenization
Hasmonean 143-63—Conquering Samaritans and Idumeans, coastal Greek cities, made treaty with Rome. Consistantly expanded power and territory and make all inhabitants Jewish
Roman 63-192

Know the major battles fought by Alexander the Great which allowed him to conquer the ancient near and middle eastern world. Know the meaning of “hellenization” and the impact it had on the Mediterranean world.

Hellespont 334=Asia Minor; Issus in 333=Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine; Gaugamela in 331=central countries and cities of Persian Empire.

Know the key Selucid rulers who had direct influence on Palestine. What contributed to the Maccabean revolt and what did the revolt accomplish.

Antiochus III Conquered Palestine
Antiochus IV “Epiphanes” Desecrated the Temple

Know the key Hasmonean rulers and their goals for the Jewish independent state. How did the “hasidim” respond?

Judas Macabeus- Recaptured Jerusalem
Jonathan—Became military, civil, and religious leader of the Jews
Simon—Gained freedom and made an independent Jewish state
John Hyrcanus—Most outstanding ruler, increased territory
Aristobulus—First to take the title King
Alexander Janneus—Became both high priest and king

Know the Roman generals and dates for Rome’s conquest of Palestine and for its suppression of the first Jewish Revolt.

Know the contacts with NT people and the influence on Palestine in general of Herod the Great and each subsequent Herodian ruler (the Herodian dynasty).

Review the discussion on language, slavery, education and the socio-economic developments that occurred in the Mediterranean world under Roman rule.

Know the general prevailing features of Greco-Roman religion by the 1st century A.D.

Know why incipient gnosticism was a threat to early Christianity.

Know the basic beliefs of the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes in 1st century A.D. Palestine. Also know the subjects on which Jesus took issue with the Pharisees.

Know the basic literary contents of and the contribution to NT background studies made by key 1st century A.D. Roman writers, the OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Josephus.

Know the major factors that contributed to the development of a fixed NT canon as well as the first church father and first church council with their respective dates to list the present NT books as canonical.

Know the principles (criteria) that governed the canonicity of the NT and the main arguments for the view that the NT canon is closed.

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