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Lecture 2

Week 2; Lecture 3,4 + Tutorial 2 Sept 17, 18, 20 - RELIGST 2HH3

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

RELIGST 2HH3 Lecture 3 September 17, 2013 Background for studying Paul HISTORY  Sinaitic Covenant - Israel entering covenant with God – given a series of laws that they are to obey as their terms under the covenant o Covenant given with sanctions – good things will happen if they obey; bad things if they disobey o Jewish tradition belief – Covenant with Israel is a renewal of covenant with Abraham, not distinct covenant o Christian – Paul makes an important distinction between covenant with Abraham and covenant with Israel;  Covenant with Abraham – continues; we are still receiving blessings  Covenant with Israel – temporary; only between the time of Moses to the time of Jesus o Lev 6, Deut 28/29 – blessings if obey; curses if disobey o Deut 11:26-28 – “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a cthe blessing if you obey the commands of the ORD your God that I am giving you todaythe curse if you disobey the commands of ORDyour God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known” o Deut 30:15-20 – setting before you life and death, blessing and curse, life and prosperity vs death if you do not obey AFTER UNITED MONARCHY  Split into 2 Kingdoms – North and South  Samaria capital of Northern Kingdom (Israel) o No single dynasty lasted >3-4 generations o Lasted until 722/21 BC – fell to Assyrian empire (Nineveh capital) o People sent into exile, tribes dispersed, new people  Jerusalem capital of Southern Kingdom (Judah) o Lasted another 100 years; (?) Fell to Babylonians in 587/86 BC o Citizens exiled and deported; remained in exile until 539 – Babylonian fell to Persians (Cyrus) o Cyrus allowed those who wanted to return to homeland to do so  Allowed Jews to return to homeland 539/38  520-515 Jews rebuilt temple built by Solomon that was destroyed in 586 by Babylon’s  First temple of Solomon built stood until 586  Second temple 515 BC lasted until 70 AD  Mesopotamia o Assyrians o Babylon  No descendant of David on throne any longer after fall to Babylon  Gods promise interrupted o Gods promise is divine, so day must come in the future when descendant of David will rule in righteousness and peace as God is putting things right; the people will be delivered from their enemies  Jeremiah had prophesied that the kings of Judah would be exiled, and that later a righteous branch would rise up – knew before actually happened; not just a convenient explanation  God will put things right because he is good and all powerful (previous lecture) – different scenarios that God will put things right o Through the messiah – he will deliver Gods people from enemies o Dead sea scrolls; tiny sect – referred to two messiahs’  Priestly and royal messiah o Some do not even mention a messiah – that God will put things right  2 centuries; Persian empire 539 (when Cyrus defeated Babylonians) to Alexander the Great o Alexander the Greats empire was split into 4, ruled by his generals o Palestine (old Judah and Israel)  Rule of the Ptolemy’s (center rules in Egypt)  200 BCE, passed into rule of Seleucids  Seleucid kings; Antiachus IV outlawed the practice of Judaism (forced food, destroyed Torah, took over rebuilt temple and dedicated it to worship of pagan God)  Jews rebellion was provoked – war led to retaking of temple and rededication to the worship of the Lord o Led by Judah the Maccabees (the hammer); Hazminian family o Hanukkah is the celebration of the rededication of the temple in 163 BC  Many nations were conquered and disappeared from the face of history o Survival of Jewish people was an exception – other nations were assimilated; Jews rededicated themselves o Could explain exile by Gods of Babylonians stronger than our God… BUT 1 RELIGST 2HH3 o Could be explained as the Lord is judging us for our unfaithfulness – explains what happened to the Jews o Conclusion – therefore we must be more faithful than we were before the exile  Obey the Torah faithfully so that disasters will not be repeated  Can divide time line o Pre-exilic – up to 586 o Exilic – 587-539 o Post-exilic – after 539 to 63 (romans entered Jerusalem)  Ezra – see to it that people of Judah were faithful to the law  Century that Judah was independent; Hazminian family rule, after rebuilt temple; THEN Romans took over Career of Jesus of Nazareth  Major theme of Jesus proclamation – Kingdom of God  3expressions used o Reign of God can be looked at as eternal and universal  Psalm 103:19; 145:14  God is always in control; not everyone acknowledges his rule; not everyone does his will o Daniel 2, 7 – Gods kingdom coming in the future  Day in the future when everyone acknowledges his reign and submit to him o At hand – that future is now; kingdom has come near, proximate; repent now! Use of Jesus himself (combo of two previous; present, not eternally but with Jesus)  Matt 12:28 – o Jesus spoke of the coming of the kingdom as a process; began with his appearance, message and activities; but will not be completed until he returns and everybody acknowledges kingdom of God  Mustard seed that is planted; no one notices at first (Seed of kingdom of God, earliest stages), full comings are in the future o Presence of Kingdom made known in :  In Jesus’ teaching – he told people conditions of entering kingdom  Did Wondrous deeds – not only acts of compassion; signs of the presence and power of Gods kingdom  Evil things (blindness, lameness) will be done away  In Jesus, we see an anticipation of this, the power of Gods kingdom at work in Jesus  Jesus died and resurrected – die to atone for sins so that people are fit to enter the kingdom  Resurrection – exalted to Gods right hand (all authority and power) and reign at that point  Difference between Jews and Christians o Christians – messiah had come in Jesus; died and rose  Holy spirit was given  Last supper became the Lords Supper (early Christians observed this on a regular basis; recalling what had happened)  Come to see that Jesus had replaced what the Passover lamb was thought to do – not immediate; period of time in which there was a coexistence of the practice of sacrificing the lamb in the temple  Jesus replaces that, but not realized until after a period of time  Baptism  Different than ceremonial washing after ritual impurity  One commitment to repentance; purification; once for all  Still all jews at this point – carried on with observance of jewish laws; worship and the temple; synagogue on Sabbath – things they did in addition to other jews, but still continued as jews in other respects – time for ways to change o Jews – messiah is still coming Tutorial 2 September 18, 2013  Acts 15:1-35 1. Context o Ch 1-12  Protagonist – Peter + Others (Steven, Philip…) o Ch 13-28  Protagonist – Paul  Exception; Ch 15  Council o Movement of people who follow Jesus, many miracles, numbers added to followers  Shift in ethnic dynamic of group (Jews  Gentiles)  Gentiles/Romans – see Paul + Christ followers as no different than Jews (Christianity = Judaism) 2 RELIGST 2HH3 1) Acts 7:58-83 – 1 appearance of Paul; led a stoning (of Steven)  trying to shut down Christianity, inadvertently caused Christianity to grow  Persecution of Christians in Jerusalem caused them to spread to other regions – Christianity grew 2) Acts 8:4-8 – Philip in Samaria  Acts 8:24-40 – Ethiopian Eunuch; Philip first instance of church expanding beyond the boundaries of Judaism 3) Acts 11:19-29 – Antioch Christians  Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch  Cyrene and Cyprus Christians go to Antioch – start speaking to the Hellenists (Greek; not Jews) who become Christians 4) Acts 10-11 – Peter’s acceptance of Gentiles (non-Jews) should be welcomed into this Jewish movement  Peter’s Vision – Peter is still in Judea (in Caesarea); Sheet falling from heaven with animals (“unclean”); God says eat them; Romans appear at his door (non-Jews)  Gentiles should be part of new Jewish movement (now known as Christianity) 5) Acts 15 – Peter’s admission of Gentiles; what requirements and conditions to put on the Gentiles 2. Clarification/Exposition 1. Acts 15:1-5 – setting; introduced to Conflict (Jewish Christians go to Antioch; tell Greeks they need to be circumcised; Paul and Barnabas want to solve this issue – go to Jerusalem (center of Christian church) to talk to leaders (elders and Apostles) 2. Acts 15:6-11 – Peter’s take (vision, welcome Gentiles) 3. Acts 15:12 – Paul and Barnabas’ testimony (recount what has happened) 4. Acts 15:13-21 – Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts15:13-14); meet James (gives opinion of situation, goes through passages of OT) 5. Acts 15:22-29 – on testimony of James, Paul and Barnabas, people agree that Gentiles should be included and not need to be circumcised; write a letter
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