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L6. The Greco-Roman World & the Bible

October 15 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Jesus conducted his ministry as a Jew in Galilee and Judea. These areas were influenced by the trade, culture, and political structures of the larger Greco-Roman world.

The cities of Sepphoris and Tiberias played a major role in spreading Greco-Roman influence in Galilee. Herod Antipas, the Roman client-king of Galilee during Jesus’ time, established them. He honored his boss, the Roman emperor, by renaming Sepphoris as “Autocratoris,” a Greek form of the Latin imperial designation “Imperator.” Herod also named Tiberias after the emperor Tiberius.

Roman cities exhibited and promoted features of Greco-Roman culture—architecture, teachers and philosophers, roads and bathhouses, temples and markets, and entertainment such as the Roman theater at Sepphoris. Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, was about four miles from Sepphoris.

How might Greco-Roman culture have influenced Jesus, Peter, James, John and Paul? Some have seen connections between Jesus’ actions, such as his working of miracles, and the broader culture, which included other miracle workers. There were certainly Jewish miracle workers, both in older biblical Jewish traditions (Elijah and Elisha) and in first-century Jewish traditions (Honi the circle drawer; Hanina ben Dosa). But there were also numerous miracle workers in the Greco-Roman world—healers and exorcists like Apollonius of Tyana. As with stories about Jesus, accounts show Apollonius raising people from the dead and demons crying out in his presence.

We shall dip into this amazing period in history to better understand the Bible.

This lecture is free but please REGISTER HERE


October 15
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm




Central Presbyterian Church
593 Park Ave
New York, NY 10065 United States
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