Under Herod’s son Antipas (4 BC – 39 AD) and his successors,

Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren
Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren

the Jewish literature of our Old Testament and the fiction of an ancient, autonomous Jewish culture emerged under the influence of and in competition with Roman literature.

Interpretations of Old Testament writings must take into account the actual situation in which they were written and must apply the methods and findings of classical philology. We can only interpret the Old Testament accurately when we recognise the writings as part of the Romano-Hellenistic culture.

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