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Between the Testaments

Most Bibles have a blank page between Malachi and Matthew. What happened during the ~400 years that elapsed between the end of the Old Testament writing and the start of the New Testament accounts? This "biblical silence" covered a period of interesting political, social, religious, technological, and language changes...and it helps to understand how these worked together to arrive at the "fullness of time" (the right time) for Jesus to come.

Gal 4:4-5 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, bornunder the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receiveadoption as sons.

The outline below covers some important historical events leading up to the start of the New Testament period.

Intro: The Assyrian Empire

I. Daniel prophesied for World Empires to come (Dan 7:7,17)

A. “The Lion”: Babylonian (606-536 B.C.)

B. “ The Bear”:Medo-Persian (536-356 B.C.) (Dan 5:25-31)

C. “Leopard”: Greek (356-326 B.C.)

D. “Dreadful”: Roman (60 B.C.- 350 A.D.)

1. Julius Caesar (60 B.C.- 3/15/44 B.C.)

2. Augustus Caesar (27 BC–14 A.D.)

-Time of coming of Christ (Gal 4:4)

II. New Testament Provincial Rulers

A. Herod the Great –Died 4 B.C.

B. Pontius Pilate (26 - 36 A.D.) - Time of Death of Christ

C. Time between the Testaments

1. The Ptolemies (I, II, III, etc) (321 B.C. – 198 B.C.)

2. Antiochus (III) A Syrian - Epiphanes (198 B.C. – 165 B.C.)

3. Maccabean Period (165 -63 B.C.)

4. John Hyrcanus (63 B.C.- 47 B.C.)

a. Gave Authority to Sadducees

b. Hated Pharisees (once crucifed 800)

c. Herod the Great (43 B.C.- 4 B.C.)

(1) Immoral

(2) Hated the Jews – 70 Killed at his death

III. The Rise of the Jewish Sects Between the Testaments

A. The Pharisees - The “Separatists”; A Religious Party –Energetically Political

B. Sadducees - “to be Righteous”; A Political Party of Priests & Aristocrats

1. The Pharisees versus the Sadducees (Matt 22:23; Acts 23:8)

2. Jesus Attacked Pharisees For their Hypocrisy

3. Sadducees led attack on Christianity because Christianity preached

the resurrection.

C. The Essenes - Well Documented in Secular History, but No Reference in

the New Testament

D. The Herodians (Matt 22:16; Mark 12:13, Mark 3:6)

IV. The Samaritans - A People of Mixed Origin

Continued in the Worship of Jehovah (John 4)

Hated of the Jews

V. The Rise of the Sanhedron

A. “Seat Together” of Politico-Religious Power in N.T. Times

B. Highest Tribunal – 71 in number

VI. The Rise of the Synagogues: “Gathering Place” for Religious Education

VII. Why the 400 Years of Silence?

A. The Spiritual State of Judea when the Lord came (Isa 53:1-2)

B. O.T. ends with a Prophecy of John the Baptist (Mal 4:5-6)

C. Christ would come during time of “terrible” (Roman) kingdom (Gal 4:4)

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