New Testament Background & History

Class Introduction

How did the NT Jewish and Roman World of Jesus day develop? Ever wonder about the people and key events that formed Jesus' time?  Why was Jewish leadership so hostile to Jesus? How about the sad condition of the Jewish state and its corrupt religious worship that rebelled against the wondrous salvation offered by Jesus? The dominant Greek influence on Jewish Palestine as well as the virulent Roman oppression of the NT world that caused such hate among those who lived Israel? Read about the Twelve Ceasars that ruled the Roman and Jewish World of Jesus' time. Think we have problems with leadership today? You ain't seen nothing yet unless you read what those contemporaneous with these Kings said about them. All these events perfectly shaped God's timing in sending forth the promised deliverance hinted at in the first mention of the Gospel as far back as Genesis 3:15. Galatians 4:4-6 says, "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under [a]the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under [b]the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." You think the present world controlled by Satan is exceptional? Guaranteed shocking information that is not just any boring history class designed to increase your understanding of the world that Jesus came to save.

required reading

  • The Twelve Caesars by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus. Translated by Robert Graves. Revised with an Introduction by Michael Grant. London: Penguin, 1979.
  • *Penguin Classics. Gaius Suetonius Transquillus. The Twelve Caesars. Translated by Robert Graves. Revised with an Introduction by Michael Grant. Penguin Books (Middlesex, England, 1957). Better and more informative.
  • Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament by J. Julius Scott, Jr. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995.


This class meets Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:30pm starting January 18th and runs for 15 weeks ending May 3rd.