Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Inter-Testamental Period

A brief history of 'Palestina' during the period between the Old and New Testaments.


What happened in the biblical lands during the period book-ended by accounts mentioned in the Old Testament and the New Testament writings? In the Prostestant canon of 66 books, which excludes tha Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha, not much is stated regarding events after the return of some of the exiles from Babylonia to Jerusalem. The New Testament begins with annunciation to Mary, that she will bear a child who is to be named Jesus.

Please note that while the OT describes events up until the 500s B.C., their dates of composition are largely undetermined with certainty. Similarly, the NT describes events from about 4 B.C. but they were first composed around the 50s A.D. The inter-testamental period therefore covers a period in excess of 500 years. To put this in perspective, it spans a period from the time of William Shakespeare to our own time.

This is the reason why students of the Bible find the resources of this period very important to set biblical history in context. It also greatly aids our interpretation of texts we encounter in both the OT and the NT. A study of this period also links biblical history to secular socio-political history of the Near East and affirms many of the historical claims found in both the testaments.

Read on to learn more about the Inter-testamental Period

Written by Rev. R. Choong for Project Timothy, Academy for Christian Thought.

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