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Mobile Ed: NT202 A Survey of Jewish History and Literature from the Second Temple Period (audio)
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Mobile Ed: NT202 A Survey of Jewish History and Literature from the Second Temple Period (audio)


Lexham Press 2015

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


In this course, Dr. Joel Willitts guides you through key historical moments and literary works of the Second Temple period. Discover the history between Israel’s return from Babylonian exile, beginning in 583 BC, and the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in AD 70. Develop an understanding of the beliefs of Jewish groups such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. Survey a vast array of Second Temple literature, from the Old Testament Apocrypha to the writings of Philo and Josephus.

This is the audio only version of NT202 A Survey of Jewish History and Literature from the Second Temple Period. To purchase the full course, click here.

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: History of the Second Temple Period: Persian and Greek Rule

  • Overview
  • Accessing Second Temple Literature in Logos
  • Babylonian Exile
  • Persian and Second Temple Period
  • Returnees: Zerubbabel and Ezra
  • Returnees: Nehemiah and Samaria
  • Keeping Track of Second Temple Resources with Favorites
  • Alexander the Great and the Rise of Hellenism
  • Alexander’s Successors: Seleucids and Ptolemies

Unit 2: History of the Second Temple Period: The Hasmonean Kingdom

  • Maccabean Revolt and Rise of the Hasmoneans
  • Hasmonean Army
  • Early Hasmonean Kingdom
  • Middle Hasmonean Kingdom: The Seleucid Connection
  • Middle Hasmonean Kingdom: Aristobulus I
  • Late Hasmonean Kingdom
  • Final Stages of the Hasmonean Kingdom

Unit 3: History of the Second Temple Period: Jewish Sectarian Groups

  • Introduction to Jewish Sectarian Groups
  • Studying Jewish Religious Groups in Logos
  • Pharisees: The Separate Ones
  • Pharisees: Respect for Simple Living, Logic, and the Oral Tradition
  • Pharisees: Theological Summary
  • Sadducees: Derived from a Priestly Family
  • Sadducees: Argumentative and Self-Serving
  • Sadducees: Pragmatists, Opportunists, Survivors
  • Pharisees and Sadducees in the New Testament
  • Essenes: Urban Ascetics
  • Essenes: Distinctive Practices
  • Essenes: Distinctive Beliefs
  • Samaritans

Unit 4: History of the Second Temple Period: The Roman Empire

  • Roman Annexation of Palestine
  • Exploring Second Temple People and Events
  • Emergence of the Herodian Kingdom
  • Herod’s Building Projects
  • Herod’s Death
  • Herod’s Successors and Direct Roman Rule of Judaea
  • Herod Antipas and Pontius Pilate
  • First Jewish Revolt

Unit 5: Corpus of Literature from the Second Temple Period

  • Introduction to Second Temple Literature
  • Old Testament Apocrypha
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Philo of Alexandria
  • Flavius Josephus
  • Ancient Greek Translations
  • Aramaic Targums
  • Mishnah and the Rabbinic Sages

Unit 6: Texts of the Dispersion

  • Introduction to Selected Second Temple Texts
  • Tobit: An Outline of the Story
  • Tobit: Historical and Theological Observations
  • Additions to Daniel: Susanna
  • Additions to Daniel: Bel and the Dragon
  • Additions to Daniel: Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Young Men
  • Letter of Jeremiah
  • Studying Idolatry in the Apocrypha, Old Testament, and New Testament

Unit 7: Texts Engaging Hellenism

  • Introduction to the Enoch Literature, Part 1
  • Introduction to the Enoch Literature, Part 2
  • Book of the Luminaries: The Schema of the Cosmos
  • Book of the Luminaries: Wrong Calendar Yields Wrong Worship
  • Book of the Watchers: Disorder Is Evil
  • Book of the Watchers: Judgment and Explanations
  • Book of the Watchers: Theological Topics
  • Wisdom of Ben Sira: Overview
  • Wisdom of Ben Sira: Topics Discussed

Unit 8: Apocalyptic Texts

  • Introducing Apocalypticism and Apocalyptic Literature
  • Researching Apocalyptic Literature with the Factbook and Sermon Starter Guide
  • Jubilees
  • Book of Dreams
  • Using Reading Plans to Read Second Temple Literature

Unit 9: Texts Engaging the Hasmonean Dynasty

  • Baruch
  • Judith
  • 1 Maccabees
  • Finding and Understanding “Zeal” in Scripture
  • 2 Maccabees
  • Epistle of Enoch

Unit 10: Dead Sea Scrolls

  • Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Identifying the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • What Are the Dead Sea Scrolls?
  • Three Basic Beliefs of the Scroll Community
  • Finding Information on the Davidic Messiah with Proximity Search

Unit 11: Examples of Sectarian Texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls

  • The Rule Scrolls
  • The Halakhic Letter
  • The War Scroll
  • Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice
  • The Thanksgiving Hymn
  • The Temple Scroll
  • The Aramaic Apocalypse
  • PesherInterpretation

Unit 12: Texts of the Egyptian Jewish Diaspora

  • The Letter of Aristeas and the Septuagint
  • Wisdom of Solomon

Unit 13: In the Wake of Herod and the Romans

  • 2 Enoch
  • Psalms of Solomon
  • Psalms of Solomon 17
  • Similitudes of Enoch

Unit 14: In the Wake of the First Jewish War

  • 4 Ezra
  • 2 Baruch
  • Mishnah
  • Connecting Scripture with Ancient Literature


  • Summary

Product Details

  • Title: NT202 A Survey of Jewish History and Literature from the Second Temple Period (audio)
  • Instructor: Joel Willitts
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: audio
  • Length: 10 hours

About Joel Willitts

Joel Willitts is a professor in the biblical and theological studies department at North Park University. He has researched and published several books, essays, and journal articles on the New Testament’s Jewish context.