History in the Bible Podcast

Judea in the Time of Jesus

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The Jewish world of Jesus' was tiny. During Jesus' adult life, most of the region he knew was under the jurisdiction of the Roman governor of the wealthy province of Syria. The governor's subordinate, a prefect, was dumped with the tiny areas of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea, and the Decapolis (a ragbag of Greek colonial cities). The two last sons of Herod the Great, Herod Antipas and Philip, ruled a few podunk areas.

Philip plays no part in the New Testament. Herod Antipas was bedeviled by both John the Baptist and Jesus.

John the Baptist's work was conducted in the valley of the river Jordan, in Antipas' territory of the Peraea.

Most of Jesus' mission took place in Antipas' territory of Galilee, centred on the city of Capernaum. According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus rarely left the area. His trip to be baptised by John in the Peraea, and his excursions to the Decapolis, Tyre, and Ceasaera Philippi stand out as the exceptions. Against the synoptics, the gospel of John has Jesus visit Jerusalem several times.

Map of Judea in the Time of Jesus

Click the map to enlarge.

Judea in the Time of Jesus

Map of Judea in the time of Jesus. Circa 30. Click the map to enlarge.

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