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Sons of Light

Sons of LightIn Jesus' time, there were four major religious groups (or "philosophies," as Josephus, the Jewish historian of the time, called them). They were the Zealots, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes. It is impossible t...



Scorched Fresco

This beautiful wall on one of the Western Hill mansions is decorated with fresco panels painted in red and yellow. This design is typical of those used among the wealthy (probably Sadducees) in the time of Jesus. The blackened areas are the result...


Synagogue of Gamla

The remains of this synagogue, one of the oldest found in Israel, are outlined in this photograph. It apparently functioned as a community center because no specifically religious artifacts were found in it. However, the mikveh (ritual bath) uncov...


Temple Events

A Chronology of Temple Events Approx. 2,000 BC: Abraham was sent to the Moriah area to sacrifice Isaac. Jerusalem was later built on the mountain named Moriah.Approx. 1,000 BC: David captured the Canaanite city of Jebus (2 Sam. 5:6-7) and named it...


The Amazing Galileans

Jesus focused his ministry in one small place in Israel: Galilee, in the three cities of Korazin, Capernaum, and Bethsaida. Although many people today assume that Galileans were simple, uneducated peasants who lived in an isolated area, the truth ...


The Herod Family

Herod the Great* Died in 4 BC* Effective administrator, cruel, supported by Rome* Visited by wise men, killed Bethlehem babies* Greatest builder the ancient Near East ever knew* Had 10 wives, including Cleopatra, Miriam, and MalthacePhilip* Son of...


The History of Jerusalem

2,000 BC- God sends Abraham to the area of Mount Moriah to sacrifice Isaac.1,000 BC- David captures Jerusalem, names it the City of David, and makes it his capital.950 BC- Solomon spends seven years building the temple, then spends thirty years bu...



Sanhedrin Definition

Means "council." Jewish supreme court; highest religious council, composed of 70 members and the high priest. The number 70 traditionally was based on Moses' appointment of 70 elders (Num. 11:16) to administer Israel's affairs. Used by t...


Second Jewish Revolt Definition

In this revolt of AD 132-135, the Romans totally removed the nation of Israel. Also known as the Bar Kochba Revolt.


Serapis Definition

Egyptian god of fertility and medicine, ruler of the dead. Worshiped by the Greeks and Romans also.


Sicarri Definition

An extremist sect of the Zealots heavily involved in the First Jewish Revolt. They were named after their short, curved dagger (sica), which they used to assassinate Romans and Jewish collaborators.


Sons of Light Definition

Name the Essenes gave themselves as followers of God. Their enemies (Romans and the apostate priesthood in Jerusalem), in their opinion, were the sons of darkness. The New Testament uses this language also (1 Thess. 5:5).