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- Herod the Great : Intersection of Judea and Roman rule
- Roman Empire as Kingdom of God, Domination of Judea
- Roman cities: Caesarea Maritima, Sepphoris
- Was Jesus a peasant or an artisan?
- The Temple in Jerusalem and religious diversity
- Essenes as a sect
- Dead Sea scrolls
- Apocalyptic Eschatology
- Comparison of John the Baptist and Jesus
- Jesus: simplicity of message, healing, kingdom of god
Religious disruption. Religious movements originate and grow by providing religious benefits to an unserved flock. John served those who were cut out from the Temple religion. Jesus served outcasts and the sick. His was a “mustard seed” religion.
Sectarianism. Sectarianism as a reform movement resisting the established culture and order. Distinguish a church from a sect. John the Baptist as a sectarian: resistance to Temple/Priestly culture. Jesus as a sectarian: resistance to Roman rule and to the Temple: the Temple as a collaborator with Rome. Kingdom of God is not the Roman god.