Cultural Context of Jesus' Life and Ministry

Cultural Context of Jesus' Life and Ministry

Taught by Mark L. Strauss

Learn more about Jesus and the Gospels. 

Course Details

  • 2 Units

  • Self-paced

  • 1 hour of video

  • Beginner

  • Four Portraits, One Jesus by Mark L. Strauss

6 Month Access
$19.99 USD

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Course Description

To understand Jesus, you need to understand the world he lived in. It’s incredibly important to know the historical and cultural context of Jesus’ life and ministry.

The challenge is that it’s difficult to find answers to these questions. The world of first-century Judaism is radically different from our own.

But finding the answers is vitally important—especially when there is so much at stake.

This course will help you not only read the Gospels, but also understand what they are saying.

Your instructor is Mark Strauss, Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary. For years, Dr. Strauss has been teaching courses on Jesus’ life and ministry, and his books have been used by thousands of students in hundreds of seminaries and colleges.

Here is what you will learn when you sign up:

  • What happened between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament
  • Who the main historical figures of Jesus’ day were: Caesar Augustus, Herod the Great, Pontius Pilate, and others
  • The significance of Greek culture during the period of Jesus and the Gospels
  • What it was like to be subject to Roman rule
  • What the core Jewish beliefs are
  • The significance of the temple, the priesthood, and the sacrifices
  • The importance of synagogues, scribes, and the study of the Torah
  • How to identify the various groups within Judaism, such as the Essenes, the Zealots, and others
  • The significant trends in first-century Jewish life
  • The literary sources that provide background information to Jesus’ life
  • The social and cultural setting
  • What daily life in New Testament times was like
  • The social values of the people Jesus interacted with

Meet Your Instructors

Mark L. Strauss

Ph.D., University of Aberdeen

Mark Strauss is professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego. He has written The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, Distorting Scripture?: The Challenge of Bible Translation and Gender Accuracy, Luke in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary series, and Mark in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Course Outline

  • The Historical Setting of the Gospels

  • The Religious, Social, and Cultural Settings of the Gospels


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