Introduction to First Century Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37–c.100)

Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37–c.100) is the author of what has become for Christianity perhaps the most significant extra-biblical writings of the first century. His works are the principal source for the history of the Jews from the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes B.C. 175–163) to the fall of Masada in A.D. 73, and therefore, are of incomparable value for determining the setting of late intertestamental and New Testament times.

Clash of Culture Christianity vs Rome

First Century AD Christianity found itself at odds with the culture, which dominated the Roman Empire at the time.  Just as the Jewish Maccabees rejected the Greek culture two centuries before, so did the early Christians, who would not pay homage to other gods or to the Roman Emperor.


“Salvation is of the Jews.”1 This wonderful people, whose fit symbol is the burning bush, was chosen by sovereign grace to stand amidst the surrounding idolatry as the bearer of the knowledge of the only true God, his holy law, and cheering promise, and thus to become the cradle of the Messiah.

PREPARING FOR CHRISTIANITY: Judaism – The Jewish Religious System

Judaism was a Jewish religious system the was not really based on the Hebrew Scriptures. One of the most prominent divisions of Judaism, that of the Sadducees; Then, there were the Pharisees, another important branch of Judaism. There were other minor branches as well. These two main groups followed oral traditions and unscriptural traditions, which made it hard for many common Jews or Jewish religious leaders to accept Christ. The traditions of men helped to enslave the Jewish people to their unscriptural traditions and their religious leaders.

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