Daily Life in Jesus` Time

Report
Unit 9: “Reading the
Gospels Well”
Aim: “to begin to examine the
social context of the historical
Jesus…”
What is the Incarnation?

“Word made flesh…”
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Why is this important
as we transition
between Sacramental
life into a look at the
Historical Jesus?
“Jesus” Chapter 1…
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Mark’s Gospel: (first)
around 70 AD, tells about
Jesus’ public ministry
Jesus as the “suffering
Messiah...”
Matthew and Luke:
(around 85-90)
Matthew = Jewish-ness
of Jesus
Luke = liberation
theology (other centered)
“A word about the Word…”

CYB 1208-1209…
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Gospel, comes from the
Greek euangelion,
which means “big news”/
”good news…”
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Synoptic?
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Means “seeing the whole
together…”
What does this mean?
Mark, Matt, Luke…
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Other Sources?
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Jewish Antiquities (1st
Century AD)
May have inserted their
own opinions because of
explicit statements about
Jesus/ identity.
Any others?
Q (quelle, means
“source…”) – Common
source for Synoptics…
Gospel Development…

Think back to types of
tradition…(1st
Semester)

Oral and Written
Adapted to various

settings and
communities = key
component!
Process of Gospel Development

Three Realities in mind:
1. focus on the evangelist…
 2. development of the early Church…
 3. who Jesus was…
 What does this mean?

“Romans in Israel Article:”
Roman Rule

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Romans conquer in 63 BCE
Romans appoint Herod the
Great, as “king of the Jews” in
37 BCE
– What was Herod’s governing
style?
– Rules up to his death in 4 BCE

Palestine is divided into four
– Herod’s three sons each receive
one region

Herod Antipas, Herod the
Great’s son, takes control of
Galilee
Roman Rule

Romans force the region
to accept a Roman
Procurator (governor) in
6 CE
– Fifth procurator was
Pontius Pilate, who
began his rule in 26 CE
Destruction of Jerusalem
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64 CE – Fire of Rome
66 CE - Zealots lead charge to rebel against Roman rule
– Who were they??
– They want their independence/no taxes

Rome lashes back
– Temple and all of Jerusalem is wasted by 70 CE
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Judaism in turmoil
– Who should we look to at this time of crisis?
Roman Rule

There was constant
turbulence because
Jews had various
ideas of how to live
– Conversion? Violence?

In the Jewish mind
the enemy of their
past - Egypt - has
been replaced by
Rome!
Key Geographical
Regions

Galilee
– Back-water, second-class
citizens
– Spoke Aramaic, not
Hebrew
– Most Hellenized
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Samaria
– Half-breeds
– Judeans tried to impose
orthodox Judaism on the
people of Samaria
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Judea
– Founded by the “Faithful
Remnant”
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Idumea
– South of Judea
– Forced to Accept Judaism
Jerusalem…the Holy Land

The Holy Land is a
small region that was
divided into several
main regions:
1.Galilee- Northern
Region
2.Samaria- Central
Region
3.Judea – Southern
Region
Jerusalem
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Easily defensible = mountain with 3 valleys surrounding it
Trade route = plenty of water…
Good choice for a capital!
The center of Jewish religion and society was Jerusalem
– Jerusalem was in Judea
– Place where Jesus died
– “Mount of Olives” had
a clear view of the temple
Jewish Family

Objectification of all
women and children
– Family  the possession
of the father
– Patriarchal Society
– Jesus’ reaction???
 How did Jesus treat
women and children?
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The FLIP SIDE:
Essential organizing
unit of society and
religion
Jewish Society
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Jesus was born and lived among a
Jewish community, at the time they
were expecting the apocalypse…
– Life was not what God had promised
1.They did not rule themselves/ self-government
2.They were being oppressed and occasional
persecutions
3.They had little hope for their future and therefore
they believed and focused their life around the
belief the end was near
Social Identity at Jesus’ Time

Measured by:
– Family status
(wealth, etc.)
– Who you associated,
especially friends
– Who you ate with
– Whether or not you
employed others
Economic Context…
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There were three major factors that drove the
economy:
1.Agriculture, especially olive and fig crops
2.They were centrally located between trade routes of the East
and West
3.Civil Projects funded by Rome to increase and update its
infrastructure
– It was the main employer of the Jewish people
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Also, we must remember there was a huge gap
between the rich and poor!!
– Rome placed heavy taxes upon Jews, and laws that
forced their participation in Roman religious rituals
Political Context…
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Jewish people were
secluded from the
Empire…
– They tried to stay
separated from the
Gentiles
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Internal issues and
tension developed within
the Jewish community
– It especially developed
between the Pharisees
and Sadducees (we’ll
get back to this…)
Religious Context…
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Jews were monotheists,
Romans were pagans
Jews were in a time of
waiting and anticipation
for the messiah, their
savior of the Roman
Empire, and the earthly
world
– They believed the
messiah could possibly be
a political and military
leader…
– And he would lead them to
independence
Cultural Context…
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Jews were “outcasts” as
a community
– They refused to assimilate
to their ruling state
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The Roman Empire at the
time spoke Greek
– Jews did not use Greek,
they spoke Aramaic
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The Center of the
village was the
Synagogue…
– Especially for religious and
political affairs
The Religious World of Jesus
Judaism: Special Places
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Temple
– Built by King Solomon, c. 950 BC
– Destroyed by the Babylonians, 587 BC
– Re-Built by Faithful Remnant, 537-515 BC
– Expanded by Herod the Great, c. 20 BC-45 AD
– Destroyed by the Romans, 70 AD
 Western Wall (Wailing Wall) remains
The Religious World of Jesus
A modern day photograph of the Western Wall (Wailing Wall)
of the Jerusalem Temple.
The Religious World of Jesus
Judaism: Special Places
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Temple
– Purpose
 Central location for communal prayer and worship
 Sacrificial offerings on a daily basis
 Marketplace
– Leadership
 The Great Sanhedrin, especially the Sadducees
The Religious World of Jesus
A scholarly sketch of King Herod’s enlarged and rebuilt Temple and Temple
Mount which was started in 19 BC and completed in 64 AD. From Secrets of
Jerusalem’s Temple Mount by Leen Ritmeyer.
The Religious World of Jesus
Judaism: Special Places
 Synagogues
– Started being built during the Babylonian Exile
(587 BC) when communal worship in the
Temple was impossible
– Grew in importance after the Temple was
destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD
The Religious World of Jesus
A scholarly sketch of the Gamla Synagogue. It may have been built during the time of King Herod the
Great during the 1st Century BC. It was destroyed by the Romans during the Jewish Revolt in 67 AD.
From the English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible.
The Religious World of Jesus
Judaism: Special Places
 Synagogues
– Purpose
 Local paces for communal prayer and worship,
especially on the Sabbath day
 Focus is on the Torah and the Stories of the
Covenant relationship between God and the Chosen
People of Israel
 School for education
– Leadership
 The Scribes (rabbis) and Pharisees
The Palestinian Social Pyramid:
I
The Powerful/Wealthy
(2%)
Great Sanhedrin
– Priests
– Sadducees
– Pharisees (some of them)
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Held 90% of the farmable
land (the real resource at
the time)
Held much of the political
influence consequently
The Palestinian Social Pyramid:
II
Working Class (70%)
 Trade Workers
– Carpenters, tanners,
bakers
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Farmers and Fishermen
The Palestinian Social Pyramid:
III
Day Laborers and
Traveling Laborers
(15%)
– Subsistence Workers,
Farmers, Shepherds
 Barely made enough
to survive
The Palestinian Social Pyramid:
IV
Social Outcasts (15%)
 “The Unclean”
 indigent poor and sick
 Widows and Orphans
The Political World of Jesus
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An Oppressed People under the rule of the Roman
Empire
– What do the Jewish people “re-member” to provide
them with hope during this time of hardship?
 The Exodus Story – journey from slavery to freedom
– Their ancestor’s experience of captivity and slavery in Egypt
– That God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in
Egypt
 The Story of the Kingdom of Israel
– Their ancestor’s experience of constant fighting with the
Canaanites and the Philistines
– That God called King David to defeat the enemies of Israel and
establish a Kingdom in the Promised Land
 The Hope of the Prophets
– Their ancestor’s experience of the Babylonian Exile
– That God restored the Faithful Remnant to fullness of life in
Jerusalem
The Political World of Jesus
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An Oppressed People
under the rule of the
Roman Empire…
– strong leader, like Moses
or David
– The Jewish Expectation
of the Messiah:
 Like “King David”
 A mighty warrior-king,
 Great military leader, who
would overthrow the
Romans
The Social World of Jesus
Jesus Poses Challenges to the
Jewish Social Structures:
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Focus on the poor and weak
Women within ministry
Embraced the sick and the unclean
Attacked wealthy/powerful who refused to share with those in need
Think Robin Hood…but no violence!
The Gospels: Focus on the
Resurrection of Jesus
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The Gospels are
Resurrection Stories
 Jesus - more than a
rabbi, a teacher, or the
messiah…but Jesus was
also the Lord God
 The Gospels reveal the
beauty and complexity
of the Paschal Mystery
The Resurrection of Jesus
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Why is the Resurrection important to a study of
Jesus?
– If it was not for the Resurrection, Jesus’ disciples and
closest followers would have returned to their old ways
 Peter had denied knowing Jesus
 The male disciples had already abandoned Jesus and fled out of
fear that they would also be captured and killed
– The Resurrection of Jesus provides the disciples and
closest followers with the courage and motivation to
fearlessly proclaim the “good news” of the gospel
– Reason the Gospel survived!
The Four Gospels of Jesus
Lay the foundation
for understanding the
message and the
mission of Jesus
 Each Gospel written
for a specific
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community
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Stories of faith
intended to inspire
and strengthen
In Class Reflection…
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“Have you ever been ridiculed or rejected
by others – maybe even your friends – for
trying to do the right thing?”
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5 minutes…in your Notebooks!
The Four Gospels of Jesus
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The author of the
Gospel of Mark:
– Lion with wings
– Gentile Christian, named
John Mark
The Four Gospels of Jesus
The Gospel According to Mark
 The Context of the Gospels:
 Written as a result of the Resurrection
– The Gospel According to Mark
 Written for Gentile (non-Jewish) Christians in Rome who were
experiencing persecution and death because of their belief and
faith in Jesus
 Approximately around 65-70 AD
The Four Gospels of Jesus
Mark’s Gospel: Two Fundamental Questions
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Who is this Jesus called the Christ?
– Compassionate healer and miracle worker for suffering
people
– The human Messiah who accepted suffering as the cost
that comes with doing God’s will
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What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
– Initially, fearful and hard-hearted people who desired
power, fame, and wealth
– People who believe that Jesus was the Messiah and
understand his mission
– People who place their faith and total trust in Jesus/God
The Infancy Narratives
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Jesus’ Birth, Baptism, Temptations, and
Mission for the Kingdom of God…
Why Infancy Narratives?
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Infancy narrative = “gospel in
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The Gospels focus on the religious
meaning of the Jesus event
miniature”
– Who is this Jesus? How is Jesus the
Christ/Messiah?
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Each gospel paints a particular portrait of
Jesus’ mission and life
The Infancy Narratives
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Infancy Narrative
– A story (myth) about
Jesus’ birth and early
life
– Contained only in The
Gospels of Matthew
and Luke
– Each account is a
unique story
The Infancy Narratives
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Why?
– To provide a faith-filled response to the
natural curiosity of the early faith community
regarding the birth and early life of Jesus
– To link Jesus to the great figures of the
Hebrew Scriptures who experienced
divine births
– To introduce the central themes and purposes
of the Gospel author
The Four Gospels of Jesus
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The author of the
Gospel of Luke
– Ox with wings
– Gentile Christian, named
Luke, may have been a
disciple of Paul (also
wrote Acts of the
Apostles)
The Four Gospels of Jesus
The Gospel According to Luke
 The Context of the Gospels
– The Early Disciples of Jesus
 Written as a result of the Resurrection
– The Gospel According to Luke
 Written for Gentile (non-Jewish) Christians who were
Greek-speaking, wealthy, and well-educated
 Approximately around 80-90 AD
The Four Gospels of Jesus
Luke’s Gospel: Two Fundamental
Questions

Who is this Jesus called the Christ?
– Merciful and compassionate Savior
– Special concern for the poor, outcasts, sinners,
women, children, and non-Jews (Romans,
Samaritans)
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What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
– To welcome all people into the Kingdom of God
Gospel of Luke
Luke’s Four Major
Intentions
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1. Show that the Good
News is for everyone,
especially those who are
poor and downtrodden
– The angel Gabriel visits Mary
(a woman)
– The shepherds (itinerant
laborers) who visit Jesus
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2. Good news for Gentiles
– Provides a genealogy of
Jesus that traces his ancestry
back to Adam, who is the
father of all people, not
just the Jews
Luke’s Four Major Intentions
(Continued)
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3. Portray Jesus as the
divine Son of God
– Provides a genealogy
of Jesus that traces his
ancestry back to Adam
and, therefore, to God
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4. Point out the
connection between
John the Baptist and
Jesus
– Provides a birth
sequence in which John
shows the way to Jesus
The Four Gospels of Jesus
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The author of the
Gospel of Matthew
– Human/Angel with wings
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Unknown, traditionally
associated with the
Apostle Matthew
The Four Gospels of Jesus
The Gospel According to Matthew
 The Context of the Gospels
– The Early Disciples of Jesus
 Written as a result of the Resurrection
– The Gospel According to Matthew
 Written for Jewish Christians who were rejected by
other Jews for their belief in Jesus
 Approximately around 85 AD
The Four Gospels of Jesus
Matthew’s Gospel: Two Fundamental
Questions

Who is this Jesus called the Christ?
– The promised Messiah of the Jewish people
– The new Moses (law giver), the new King
David, and the greatest prophet = new law!
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What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
– To be faithful to God who has fulfilled the
promises of the Jewish tradition
Gospel of Matthew
Matthew’s Three
Major Intentions
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1. Show his Jewish
readers that Jesus was
the Messiah they had
been waiting for
– Provides a genealogy of
Jesus to demonstrate
that Jesus was from the
line of King David
Matthew’s Three Major Intentions
(Continued)
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2. Show his Jewish
readers that Gentiles
often accepted Jesus
as the Messiah even
though many Jews
rejected him
– Includes the story of
the wise men (or
Magi), who were
non-Jewish men
Matthew’s Three Major Intentions
(Continued)
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3. Portray Jesus as
“the new Moses”
– The Holy Family
flees to Egypt and
is called out after
Herod’s death,
reflecting the
stories contained
in the Book of
Exodus

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