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Book of Matthew Notes

  • Apostle is the word that is used to refer to the 12 primary students of Jesus (represents the 12 tribes of Israel)
  • Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience while Luke is writing to a greek audience
  • The time difference between this and Pslams is roughly 500 years
  • Alexander starts the Hellenization of the Mediterranean
  • This then makes the Jewish people stand out more because they are not like the rest of society
  • There are communities scattered everywhere
  • They will not eat certain foods and there are days where in they do not actually do anything
  • There was no concept of a week at that point so it seemed very random
  • When alexander died, the Jewish people kept on getting reconquered by other peoples because they were very close to different kingdoms
  • Epiphanes decided that he did not like the Jewish people and so he decided that he will make the Jewish people be like everyone else.
  • This gave rise to the maccabees
  • They were a group of brothers and they fought off the Syrians and cleared them out. They were still part of the Syrian empire but they actually ruled themselves
  • There is supposed to be a candle of a lamp lit and this represents the presence of God
  • Jewish holidays came about because the oil that was supposed t last for only one day lasted for eight instead
  • The Hasmodeans followed the Maccabees
  • Pompey went into Jersusalem and it did not go well because Jews did not like his rules, especially the ones regarding religion
  • When the romans conquered a place they practiced syncretism which means they would come into an area and they said that they could keep all of their stuff but they had to pay a tax and follow a certain set of rules
  • Antipater became king of the Jews by Pompey even though he was not Jewish and then after him came his son, Herod, Antipas. He does not have a good job because it is thankless and the Jews hate him because he is not jewish and he had to make some laws which ROme made him make and je rebuilds the second temple. This temple is so large and so beautiful that it turns Jerusalem into a tourist destination.
  • He also builds the tomb of the patriarchs, etc. (and a variety of other things and he does most of this out of his own pocket).
  • The Hewish people at this time were aniconic and this means that they did not believe that you could make statues of the human or animal forms
  • This contrasts with ROme because most of their arts was of humans.
  • His ruler were the tetrarchs and then after that, there was this really bad ruler named Archelaus and he was killed becasue he was so bad
  • Herod was king of Galilee and he was in charge when the Romans killed Jesus
  • Pontius Pilate was ruler for 20 king and that was a really long period of time and he was removed from power in 28 CE after a mad response to a revolt in *Sumeria. After he killed 3-5k people and that was not good on his part.
  • In Israel at this time, they had four political movements and most poeple did not belong to one of them and they are defined by their response to the Romans
  • Pharisees
    • Became even more Jewish then before due to the Romans. They occupied a lot of very important places in the religious structure
    • They saved Judaism after the Diaspora
  • Sadducees
    • They were ambivalent and basically tried to put of with it
    • You cannot really mesh Greek and Hewish thought but they treid anyway
  • Essenes
    • They dealt with it by leaving and they formed a bunch of communities in the desert
    • They died off because they did not believe in sex
    • Wrote the dead sea scrolls
  • Zealot
    • Reacted to the Roman occupation with armed resistance
    • Attached supply lines, blew up buildings, etc
    • The Zealots were at the top of a mountain in a fort but a ramp was built and they were killed
  • Christian holy texts are in two main sections
    • Old Testament
      • Includes some greek and those are not accepted because those are not written in Hebrew (these are accepted by Christians but not by Jews)
    • New Testament
      • Gospel means good news and usually contained the life and teachings of Jesus
    • We have 157 gospels but 4 main ones
    • The oldest gospel we have is that of Thomas (40-50 CE)
    • The four main gospels all have a story structure to them while other ones are only sayings
    • Acts of the Apostles is an example of a history
  • Epistles are letters are we have thousands of these
  • Most of these are written by Paul of Tarsus
  • He never knew Jesus and never hears him teach and he never interacted with him either
  • Apocalypse which is the one of John and there are many but only that one in Christianity. It was also known as a Cipher.
  • A lot of time, things were written in code so they would not get caught
  • The original symbol of Christianity is the fish
  • Constantine introduced the cross as the symbol of Christianity
  • Dates
    • 587 BCe - Babylonian rule
    • 323 BCE - Death of alexander - at this point the areas split into three kingdom and the Jewish people are stuck in the middle of this
    • 167 BCE - Epiphanes (Antiochus IV)
    • 66 BCE - Rome
    • 4 BCe - ruler
  • Passion Narrative
    • It is the climax of the narrative and so it is called the passion narrative
    • Audience is Jews
    • Jesus was a hardcore pacifist
    • A crucification is very painful and it is also full of shame
    • Jesus says that selling everything you own and giving the money to the poor is necessary to enter heaven
    • The teachings of Jesus and the teachings of the Buddha are very close
    • Matthew does not address motive
    • John says that the devil entered into him and there is no motive that is actually given
    • Simon was a zealot
    • Jesus was supposed to be a military leader and free them from Rome (at least, that is what was thought at first)
    • Christian writings, at least the early ones, said that Jesus was a zealot
    • Matthew lays the blame on the corrupt religious hierarchy

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