In the Days of Herod the King

"Political rulers during the lifetime of Christ. Christ was born when Herod the Great was ruling. Herod’s son, Herod Antipas, was the ruler of Galilee and Perea, the territories in which Jesus and John the Baptist carried out most of their ministries. It was this ruler who beheaded John the Baptist and tried Christ just before his death. Herod Agrippa I is persecutor of the church in Acts 12, and Herod Agrippa II heard Paul’s testimony (Acts 26) just before he went to Rome to be tried by the caesar. Without a knowledge of the Herodian family one can hardly have a proper understanding of the times of Christ." - Harold W. Hoehner

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.

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