S606 – The World of the Apostolic Writings

Instructor: Dr. Vered Hillel
Location: Populi (https://mjti.populiweb.com)
Dates3 October – December 5, 2021

This course is an introduction to the social, political, religious and cultural world of the Second Temple Period and the backgrounds of the Apostolic Writings. The course provides a panoramic view of the topics, methodology, and sources necessary for responsible study of the Apostolic Writings and early Yeshuabelieving community. Some of the topics addressed are Temple, Sanhedrin & Synagogue, GrecoRoman Religions & Philosophies, Sects, Rabbinic Literature, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

This course is an elective.

Often the Apostolic Writings are read as a direct descendant of the Tanakh, without any regard to the changes precipitated by the fusion of the Occident and Orient by Alexander the Great and the subsequent conquests by the Roman Empire. Understanding these changes and their influence on the world into which Yeshua came clarifies and illuminates our understanding of the Apostolic Writings, Yeshua and the Early Yeshua believing community. These insights are particularly relevant for Messianic Jewish Believers as they clarify the canonical narrative and shed insight into Messianic Judaism and Messianic Jewish theology.


The student must have a computer, headset, and highspeed internet access. For assistance with Populi, please contact Rabbi Michael admin@mjti.org or Dr. Hillel drvered@mjti.org.

The course will include podcasts, conference calls and asynchronous online discussions. The course is designed as a seminar, which means that the main form of instruction should be class discussion related to the required readings and assignments. Because of its online format, there will be a lecture at the beginning of each week that supplements the reading and explains key issues. The emphasis of the class will be placed on the asynchronous blog discussions. Therefore, it is mandatory that students properly complete their reading so they are prepared to discuss the relevant topic.

Listen to all lectures, full participation in all blog discussions, completion of all reading and course assignments, and the completion of a research paper.


  • Ferguson, E. Backgrounds of Early Christianity. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003.
  • Skaursaune, Oskar. In the Shadow of the Temple. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002.
  • CoursePack
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