Sects and Violence:

First Century Judaism and
the Origins of Christianity

Melton Graduate Course
Temple Judea, Oct. 23-Dec. 18, 2001
Marsha B. Cohen, Instructor

Course Syllabus
Oct. 23: Session 1 – “The Grynch that Stole Chanukah.” Oct. 30: Session 2 - The Priestly Perspective Nov. 6: Session 3 – Far-Seeing Pharisees Nov. 13: Session 4 - Essenes, Theraputae and other Ascetics Nov. 20: Session 5 - The Qumran Connection: Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? Nov. 27: Session 6 – Rainmakers, Healers and Holy Men: the Galilean Charismatic Tradition Dec. 4: Session 7 – Rabble-Rousers and Rebels Dec. 11: Session 8 - Jesus the Jew Dec. 18: Session 9 – The Parting of the Ways

Time Line
333/331 BCE Alexander the Great conquers Palestine
ca. 250 BCE "Septuagint" translation of Torah into Greek
ca. 230-146 Coming of Rome to the east Mediterranean
ca. 200 BCE-135 CE (?) Jewish Qumran community
168/167-63 BCE Maccabean revolt & Hasmonean rule
63 BCE Rome (Pompey) annexes Palestine
37-4 BCE Herod the Great (Jewish Roman ruler of Palestine)
1 CE Hillel & Shammai (Jewish sages)
6 CE Rome establishes direct rule of prefects in Judea
ca. 13 BCE-after 41 CE Philo Judaeus of Alexandria
before 4 BCE-ca. 30 CE Joshua/Jesus of Nazareth
ca. 40 Gamaliel I (Jewish leader-scholar)
36-64 Saul of Tarsus/Paul "the apostle"
ca. 37-100 Josephus (Jewish military leader, historian)
ca. 50-125 Christian Testament (NT) writings: Early Christian period of development 30-311 CE
70-400/600 Rabbinic Jewish period
66-73 First Jewish revolt against Rome
70 Destruction of Jerusalem and the second Temple
73 Establishment of Jewish center for study at Yavneh by Yohanan ben Zakkai.
ca. 90-100 Gamaliel II excludes sectarians (including Christians) from synagogues.
120-135 Rabbi Akiba active in consolidating Rabbinic Judaism
132-135 Second Jewish Revolt against Rome: Bar Kokhba rebellion. Jerusalem renamed, Jews forbidden to dwell there.
ca. 200 Mishnah compiled/edited by Judah the Prince.


  • Internet Jewish History Sourcebook -"The Emergence of Judaism"

  • Gates of Jewish Heritage: Jewish History

  • Hebrew University Dinur Center for the Study of Jewish History
    Articles and links for the study of the Second Temple and Talmudic eras

  • The Works of Flavius Josephus(full texts, online)

  • Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature
    papers and abstracts

  • Click here for Marsha B. Cohen's Jewish Personal Training Website