The subtitle of Daniel Lynwood Smith’s Into the World of the New Testament is really important: Greco-Roman and Jewish Texts and Contexts.

Chapter 3 of our textbook will give you some insight into the movers and shakers of the time period that we will be studying in this class: First BCE- First Century CE.

Biblical scholars and other historians classify this period in a variety of telling ways. Some will call it the Hellenistic-Early Roman Period. Others will call it the Second Temple Period. As you read, I want you to give thought to what is brought into focus by labeling the period as such.

To help you make your way through the chapter, please define the following terms:

  • Savior (p. 40)
  • Ptolemies
  • Seleucids
  • Julius Caesar (p. 41)
  • Caesar Augustus (p. 42)
  • resurrection
  • disciples
  • tetrarch
  • emperor/Caesar (p. 52)

Also, while reflecting upon the key words from Chapters 2 and 3, I would like you to reflect on the “Kingdom of God” in terms of the following designations:

  • Greek Thought (~150 words)
  • Roman Thought (~150 words)
  • Jewish Thought (~150 words)

These activities will help us surface the historical and matrix through which the drama of the New Testament plays out.