The Jewish War (mid 60's to mid 70's AD)

I don't think we can really understand the New Testament without knowing about this war.

Prior to the war Christianity was basically a Jewish sect.

After the war it split with Judaism and became a truly separate religion.

The theory is that Jewish-Christianity with its imminent return of Jesus and end-of-the-world mentality provided the real impetus behind the war.

This is probably unfair, there were certainly lots of Jewish groups that hated the Roman occupation.

Rightly or not, this friction explains the falling out with the more mainstream Pharisees after its disastrous results.

"... the war which the Jews made with the Romans has been the greatest of those, not only that have been in our times, but in a manner, of those that ever were heard of both of those wherein cities have fought against cities or nations against nations ... "
(Josephus, The Jewish War, 1)

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(c) 2005 Thomas F. Swezey All rights reserved.