Gospels, Part 2: Understanding Jesus’ World – 1st Century Religion, Politics and the Kingdom of God

To read the Gospels is to be drawn in to a world of great complexity.  Immediately we encounter passionate political conflicts, religious sects vying for power, palace intrigues, and the mounting threat of violence in the streets.

It is into this world – the world of Israel in exile, grasping for a means of deliverance – that Jesus enters and announces “good news” (literally: the word of victory) of the kingdom of God.  And it is this world, and this very potent phrase, that we must understand if we are to comprehend Jesus’ message and the responses of those who witnessed him.

In this second installment of the “Next Steps…Gospels” series, we explore the inter-testamental period of Jewish history:  the political developments, the religious responses the various parties that competed for power, and Israel’s vision of the “salvation” that was synonymous with “the Kingdom of God.”

Join us as we learn more about the Pharisees and Sadducees, the Essenes and Zealots, Herod, Rome, exile, and the long-awaited fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham.



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