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Greek New Testament and the Hellenistic Diaspora

The Greeks ruled Palestine until 63 BC after the Macedonian King Alexander the Great brings Palestine under Greek rule. As Alexander enters Palestine, the Jewish high priest of Jerusalem offers him obeisance and makes Jewish swear allegiance to him. And as Alexander the Great dies in Babylon in 323 BC, his empire was torn apart.

Palestine, as a result, becomes disputed territory between Alexander’s Successors, the Seleucids, and the Ptolemies of Egypt. It was controlled by the Ptolemies until 198 BC. It remained under the Ptolemies control until the Maccabean Revolt in 168 BC. The revolution comes as a result of the pressure the Ptolemies put on Jews to transfer to the Greek Paganism and adhere to the Greek culture by force. In the time that some Jews fled to Egypt, others, mainly rich people and dignitaries, showed loyalty to Hellenism.

Under pressure from Hellenism, the family of the Maccabees revolted. Antiochus IV Epiphanes Greyhound Subjected Jews from 167 to 160 BC. He demolished many castles and forts and imposed a fine of five hundred dollars on the population. Accordingly, Jews considered such subjection persecution in addition to fleeing over fear of persecution, a an image of Diaspora.


Prepared by: Riman Abdullah. Translation: Samah Miqdad.