Intertestament Period

Topics: Judaism, Jesus, New Testament Pages: 7 (2335 words) Published: November 3, 2013
LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

INTER-TESTAMENT PERIOD PAPER

A RESEARCH PAPER
SUBMITTED TO DR. BOB KENDALL
FOR NEW TESTAMENT INTRODUCTION

IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE MASTERS OF PASTORAL COUNSELING DEGREE
IN THE LIBERTY UNIVERSITY SEMINARY

BY
JASON MOORE

OMAHA, NE
OCTOBER 2013

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………………1 SILENCE WITHOUT SILENCE...……………………………………………………………..2 SUMMARY………………………………………………………………………………….….7

iii

INTRODUCTION
For many people the transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament is strange and considerably confusing. Without knowing what took place in the “silent years”, it very well can be a difficult task to make the leap from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The Old Testament world looks and sounds completely different from the world the New Testament describes, however, the same spirit inspired the writings of both canons. It must be known to the reader that the Old and New Testaments complement each other. In order to get the full understanding and the entire picture of God’s Word, you must understand them together. But, in order to understand them together, there is the time period of 400 years that are not included. This 400 year time frame plays a huge part in understanding how the two different worlds of the Old and New Testaments come together to make a comprehensive story. The “Intertestamental Period” is a short amount of time in relativity to the rest of Biblical history, but this short time frame sets the stage for the New Testament. The period between the Old and New Testament can very well be called a transition period that introduces the “Gentile” world firmly in the Jewish culture. The Old Testament law and style of worship would never be the same, and the prophets of the Old Testament had predicted as such. This time period also encompassed the same period of the Second Temple which ranged from 530 BCE to 70AD.1 At the end of the book of Malachi, (c. 420BCE) we find the nation of Israel back in the land of Palestine after the Babylonian captivity. They are not on under their own rule as the Persian and Media-Persian Empire was still in firm control of the area during this time but they are relatively free to worship as He commanded. “The fact that the Persians were Zoroastrians, worshiping the one invisible God, who they believed was Spirit and whose symbol was fire, meant that they felt a kinship with the Jews as with no other. They had, therefore, on the whole favoured the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.” (Lambert 2010)2

SILENCE WITHOUT SILENCE
“It is often assumed by many people that the Jewish people in the 1st century were following Moses, and following him very strictly. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, that society in which Christ taught was the most "religious" ever known to man, but it was a far cry from the simple religious doctrines advocated by Moses.” (Martin 1986)3 How in a manner of approximately 400 years did the worship of YHWH go from what Moses passed on to a religion that was nearly unrecognizable? Even though, in Biblical time, 400 years is not a long time, it was plenty of time for cultures to infiltrate the Jewish lifestyles and nearly take over everything they did, said and believed in. When the book of Malachi closed, the line of Aaronic priests were still worshiping and carrying on the rites as they had so been ordered to do by the Law of Moses. At the height of the Persian Empire, Philip of Macedon came to power in what we know as Greece. He united all of the lands of Greece and became the ruler. The son of Philip is known as “Alexander the Great”. In 330 B.C., Alexander led the Greek armies into battle with the Persians and ultimately conquered them. A year later, Alexander the Great led his armies towards Egypt on his way planned to take hold of Jerusalem. As the Greeks approached Jerusalem, the high priest rode out to Alexander and told...

Bibliography: Bradley P. Nystrom, David P. Nystrom. The History of Chrisitianity. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
ESV Bible. Wheaton, Il: Crossway Bibles, 2011.
Ironsides, H.A. The 400 Silent Years. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, Bible Truth Depot, 1914.
Lambert, Lance. "400 Silent Years? Anything but Silent! (Part 1)." Why Isreal?, December 2010.
Martin, Ernest L. The Intertestamental Period. 1986.
Stedman, Ray. THe 400 Years Between the Old and New Testaments. 1966.
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