New Testament Bible Class

Brief History of God’s People



Fall into Sin

            Adam, Eve, Cain, Able, Seth






            Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael (Muslims see him as Abraham’s rightful heir)


Jacob’s name changed to Israel (by God)

12 sons become 12 tribes of Israel (actually one of the sons shamed himself and had no tribe but two of the tribes are named after Joseph’s sons to give him double honor)



Moses & Aaron

10 Commandments, rules for worship & living, Tabernacle


Enter Promised Land

Ruled as needed by judges selected by God


United Kingdom:

            People wanted a king like the nations around them.

Saul, David, Solomon


Divided Kingdom


Northern Kingdom of Israel

Worship a calf with capital at Samaria.

Conquered by the Assyrians

Many people removed and people of other ethnicities brought in.


Southern Kingdom of Judea (included Benjamin)

Worship at the Temple in Jerusalem.

Conquered by the Babylonians.

Temple destroyed and looted, Jerusalem destroyed, elite & leaders exiled to Babylon.



Some Jews exiled from Judea returned to Judea. 

Temple rebuilt (much smaller scale than Solomon’s Temple) under Ezra (priest) and Zarubabel  (governor), Jerusalem’s walls rebuilt under direction of Nehemiah


Greeks. (Alexander the Great) conquer the Persians


Alexander’s empire divided among his generals.

Seleucid and his descendents get the area of Syria including Galilee, Samaria & Judea

Some Jews become Hellenized (Greek culture), others remain religious.

Persecution of the religious Jews

the Pharisees and Sadducees were formed.

Old Testament is translated into Greek,  called Septuagint (Between 3rd and 1st Centuries BC)


Hasmonean Kingdom (Also known as the Maccabees, history included among the Apocrypha)

Revolt against Seleucids & form an independent Jewish kingdom, from 165 BC to 63 BC.

Civil war between the sons of the king. Some made appeals to the Roman authorities.  Romans respond…



Conquer and annex the area into the Roman Empire, led by General Pompey

Roman rule (63 BC at about the time of the rule of Julius Caesar to 400 AD)

First allowed independent Jewish kingdom led by the Hasmonaeans and Then the Herodians (Herod the Great & Sons) first under Caesar Augustus (Octavian)

Jesus Christ born at Bethlehem and then lived at Nazareth.

The Temple is “remodeled” into a huge, beautiful structure.  One of the wonders of the world at that time.

Then Judea shifted to the direct rule of the Romans,

Judea becomes a province of Rome with a governor rather than king.

            The fifth governor was Pontius Pilate.

            Jesus executed for treason but rises from the dead!


InAD, the Jews began to revolt against the Roman rulers of Judea.

Roman emperors Vespasian and then Titus (Vespasian’s son) defeated the Jews.

In the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Romans destroyed much of the Temple in Jerusalem and, according to some accounts, plundered artifacts from the temple, such as the Menorah.

Christianity spreads throughout the eastern and central part of the Roman Empire.


2nd century – the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Romans

Most of the Jewish population of central Judea was essentially wiped out, killed, sold into slavery, or forced to flee. 

Jews are banished from Jerusalem, the Jewish population is now centered on Galilee.

Christianity spreads throughout the Roman Empire.


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