Pharisees and Sadducees

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Was Jesus a Pharisee?
In this lecture, probe the rise of the Sadducees and Pharisees during the late Second Temple Period. You'll learn how the Pharisaic approach became dominant in Judaism, and you'll spend time investigating what the Gospels say about whether or not Jesus identified as a Pharisee.
Jewish Ritual Purity: The Sons of Light
Turn from the Pharisees to the Essenes, the sect associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the first of three lectures on this fascinating sect, focus on how a strict system of ritual purity was a fundamental part of everyday life at Qumran (the site where the Scrolls were found).
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For anyone interested in understanding the profound effect Jesus had on the world, it's important to realize that his actions and teachings didn't emerge from a vacuum. Rather, they were the product of a fascinating dialogue with--and reaction to--the traditions, cultures, and historical developments of ancient Jewish beliefs. In fact,…
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Scholars believe the Qumran community, commonly identified with the Essenes, was a sect that lived in anticipation of the End of Days. What was it like to be a member of this ascetic community? What strict codes of purity did it live by? What is Jesus's relationship to this apocalyptic…
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Join Professor Magness as she shares some of her own research into Jesus, comparing and contrasting his apocalyptic beliefs with those of the Qumran sect associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls. As you'll discover, one cannot understand Jesus's exorcisms and healings without understanding the notion of apocalyptic purity.
Flavius Josephus: Witness to 1st Century A.D .
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What was Jewish life like after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D.? How did the religion survive this trauma? With insights from various historical sources, chart the rise of Rabbinic Judaism--the literature of Jewish sages who portray Jesus as an illegitimate child and magician.
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In 539 B.C.E., after the Babylonians were subsumed by the Persian Empire, the exiled Judeans were allowed to return to Jerusalem. So what happened next? Find out with this penetrating look at the Persian administration of the Holy Land, the influence of Ezra and Nehemiah, and the birth of early…
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What do we know about the synagogues that served as the setting for the teachings of Jesus and Paul? After surveying the history of this religious institution, explore some of history's earliest synagogues at sites such as Masada, Gamla, and the most recent one uncovered in 2009 at Migdal.
The Life of the Essenes
In this final episode on the Qumran sect, investigate the ancient latrines and hygienic practices of the community. Your three sources for insights into this little-explored aspect of everyday life: passages from the Dead Sea Scrolls, observations by the historian Josephus, and remains unearthed from the archaeological site itself.