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NT Bible Background

Who Were the Pharisees?

Name and General Character [far'-i-sez (perushim; Pharisaioi)] A prominent sect of the Jews. The earliest notice of them in Josephus occurs in connection with Jonathan, the high priest. Immediately after the account of the embassy to the Lacedaemonians, there is... Continue Reading →

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Who Were the Sadducees?

1. Name: Rival Etymologies. Probably from Zadok the High Priest: [sad'-u-sez (tsadduqim; Saddoukaioi)] The Talmud form suggests derivation from the name of their founder, but the form in the New Testament and Josephus would imply a connection with the verb... Continue Reading →

Captivity in Babylon to Rebuilding of Jerusalem’s Walls

BABYLONIANS bab-i-lo'-ni-anz: The inhabitants of BABYLONIA (which see). They were among the colonists planted in Samaria by the Assyrians (Ezra 4:9). "The likeness of the Babylonians in Chaldea" (Eze 23:15) refers to the pictures which were common on the walls... Continue Reading →

PERSIAN EMPIRE: The Fourth Great World Power in Bible History

PERSIA pur'-sha, (parats; Persia; in Assyrian Parsu, Parsua; in Achemenian Persian Parsa, modern Fars): In the Bible (2Ch 36:20,22-23; Ezr 1:1,8; Es 1:3,14,18; 10:2; Eze 27:10; 38:5; Da 8:20; 10:1; 11:2) this name denotes properly the modern province of Fars, not the whole Persian empire. The latter was... Continue Reading →

GREECE IN BIBLE HISTORY: Alexander the Great

Parentage and Early Life Alexander, of Macedon, commonly called "the Great" (born 356 BC), was the son of Philip, king of Macedon, and of Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemos, an Epeirote king. Although Alexander is not mentioned by name in the... Continue Reading →

Who Were the Essenes?

[es-senz', (Essenoi, Essaioi)] When Josephus describes the sects of the Jews, he devotes most of his time and attention to the third of these sects, the Essenes. Strangely enough, although there are frequent references in the New Testament to the... Continue Reading →

Who Were the Ebionites?

Ebionism; Ebionites e'-bi-o-niz'-m, e'-bio-nits (Ebionaioi, from 'ebhyonim, "poor people") General Statement The Ebionites were a sect of heretics frequently mentioned by the early Fathers. In regard to their opinions, as in regard to those of most early heretical sects, there... Continue Reading →

APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS: Hidden Truths About Jesus?

INTRODUCTION Early Gospels [a-pok'-ri-fal gos'-pels] The introduction to the third canonical Gospel shows that in the days of the writer, when the apostles of the Lord were still living, it was a common practice to write and publish accounts of... Continue Reading →

Who Were the Maccabees?

The name Maccabeus was first applied to Judas, one of the sons of Mattathias generally called in English the Maccabees, a celebrated family who defended Jewish rights and customs in the 2nd century B.C.E. (1 Macc 2:1-3). The word has... Continue Reading →

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