1) Discuss and describe the historical, religious situation of Palestine and the time of Jesus.
The historical time of Jesus while carrying out his movement was a time of political mayhem. All in the political mix were those who in authority and other groups who in their own ways rebelled against the government, ultimately persuading political figures to back down. Herod, King of Galilee during this time, was appointed by warlords and provided him with troops to carry out his political effort. Pontius Pilot, a high priest appointed by governors to rule over Judea, was in charge of the temple and collaborated with Roman government officials to keep the area politically sound. Scribes and scholars protected the Torah, or Jewish law, and enforced its rules. Many times scribes and scholars were attorneys and often times reprimanded high priests for not obeying the Torah. High priests were known to ignore the binding laws of the Torah based upon what benefited them politically. This created havoc and caused them to rebel and wage war against the high priests. The Zealots, an organized group who sought after a similar movement, trained their members to be military like and to conduct violent overthrows. They were radicals who were extremely anti-government and pro-religion. Their prime endeavors focused on getting rid of Roman government. The Essences, much like the Zealots, also focused on overthrowing the Roman government, although they took a somewhat different approach in that their movement was conducted in a non-violent manor. The political view was much different from the personal and religious views held among those in the city. Citizens were torn between these views and were constantly being persuaded to join one of the two major factions. Under Roman rule in Jesus' day, there was a sharp division between the ruling class, including the priests, and the ordinary people.