Thoughts About What We’re Reading!
We have finished our Old Testament reading, with Malachi as the last book. Between the time of Malachi and the events recorded in the New Testament, 400 years have passed.
For this week’s blog, I decided to focus on the time between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament closes with the people of Israel partially restored to their land, but under Persian rule.
The New Testament opens with the same people greatly multiplied and dwelling in the same country, but under Roman rule, and with an Edomite, Herod the Great, on the throne.
Hebrew is no longer spoken and has been replaced by Aramaic and Greek.
The Temple has been rebuilt by King Herod the Great and has a totally different appearance.
The people study the Scriptures in buildings called synagogues, scattered throughout the countryside.
After the captivity, Jews that wanted to worship the Lord and couldn’t worship at the Temple, decided to build synagogues wherever there were 10 Jewish men.
Every Sabbath day, Jews would gather in the synagogues to be instructed in Old Testament teachings.
Since those in captivity no longer spoke Hebrew, they wanted an Old Testament translation that they could understand.
So seventy men convened in Alexandria, Egypt and translated the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. This is how we got the Septuagint.
The group of men who translated the Septuagint became known as the scribes.
Because they translated and painstakingly copied the Scriptures, these men became authorities in Old Testament laws and teaching.
That is why when we turn to the New Testament we see scribes in a place of religious prominence.
Politically, Pax Romana – the “Peace of Rome” is in effect at the time of Jesus’s birth. The world was unified as never before. It was a forced peace – but it created an environment where the gospel could travel quickly throughout the empire on Roman highways.
So after 400 years of silence the people of God, the nation of Israel were waiting to hear something from the Lord.
God is about to answer…
Until next time… keep reading!
Excerpts taken directly from the following resource: Courson’s Application Commentary, Old Testament Vol 2.