PREPARATION FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT
When the Persians defeated Babylon, the Jews went back to their homeland with no desire to worship idols, but unable to restore the temple to its former glory. With the importance of the synagogue increasing, Jewish life centered around the Torah rather than the temple. With the increasing influence of Hellenism, they saw the need to have their Scriptures translated into Greek; persecuted by the Seleucids, they became more engrossed with the hope of a messianic deliverance. Rome’s capture of much of the Mediterranean world brought peace, although its power brought tyranny. At this point, Jesus Christ entered human history to bring man into an eternal communication with God, to bring peace to individuals as well as to the world, and to deliver people from the bondage of sin. He was rejected and crucified both by his people and by the pagan world, but the message of Christ’s death and resurrection went out in Greek, the lingua franca of the day, into the world that was under the Pax Romana, bringing the hope of messianic deliverance both for the present and for the future, when Messiah will rule the world.