THE ISLAMIC FAITH
There are many aspects of other religions that track with the Islamic faith, Islam teaches the advent of a literal Hell for those who disobey God and commit gross sin, Christianity supports this aspect as well. Those who obey and submit to God will be rewarded with their own place in Paradise, which is not supported in Christianity, but both agree that sinners will be punished by fire.
There are also many other forms of punishment depending on the sin committed; in Islam Hell is divided into numerous levels as in Greek Mythology.
Those who worship and remember God are promised eternal life in a physical and spiritual Paradise where Heaven is divided into seven levels, with the highest level of Paradise being the reward for those who have been most virtuous, like the prophets, and those killed while fighting for Allah in holy wars (i.e. jihad). This is akin to concepts of the Elysium fields of the Greeks with the exception of jihads.
Christianity also introduces various levels of Heaven, not simply the three levels of Heaven as depicted by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:2 being the sky, space and the place where God dwells. In the Apocryphal book of Second Enoch there are ten levels of Heavens described.
The Second book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious writing attributed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah.
It is not part of the biblical canon but it is regarded as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959 when it was given its own Patriarch by the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa, Cyril VI. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, is not part of the Ethiopian Catholic Church.
This Church has a membership of between 40 and 45 million people, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, making it the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches. They are also a founding member of the World Council of Churches, the point here is that no small number of people subscribe to the book of Enoch as canonical, so the fact that Orthodox Christians and others don’t support the book of Enoch, which is to say its impact on the global population is not nothing. In addition, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, another Oriental Orthodox church, considers the book canonical, but no other Christian group does.
The Book of Enoch is a 1st Century 300 BC writing, the writers of the New Testament of the Bible were familiar with its contents and story.
In theology, the New Testament is thought to have been influenced by the book of Enoch. A short section of 1st Enoch is quoted in the New Testament Letter of Jude.
Jude 14–15 (est. AD 60-80)
14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
1 Enoch 1:9 (est. 300 BC)
9. And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
To execute judgment upon all,
And to destroy all the ungodly:
And to convict all flesh
Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.
1 Enoch 60:8 (est. 300 BC)
Abysses of the ocean over the fountains of the waters. But the male is named Behemoth, who occupied with his breast a waste wilderness named Duidain, on the east of the garden where the elect and righteous dwell, where my grandfather was taken up, the seventh from Adam,
The Enoch text was also utilized by the community that originally collected the Dead Sea Scrolls during its translations. The first part of the Book of Enoch describes the fall of the Watchers, a phrase associated with the angels who fathered the Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and women as described in the book of Genesis 6:2-4 and Jude 6.
The book of Enoch and the Biblical account of the watchers in the book of Daniel assert the term slightly different. Watcher means "those who are awake or guards". Daniel does not use the term in association with fallen angels, simply with respect to the holiness of the angels. (Daniel 4:13, 17, 23)
The remainder of the book of Enoch describes Enoch's visits to various levels of heaven in the form of travels, visions, dreams and his revelations. Enoch refers to both good and bad Watchers, with a primary focus on the rebellious ones.
Overview of the Enoch:
• The Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1–36)
• The Book of Parables of Enoch (1 Enoch 37–71) (also called the Similitudes of Enoch)
• The Astronomical Book (1 Enoch 72–82) (also called the Book of the Heavenly Luminaries or Book of Luminaries)
• The Book of Dream Visions (1 Enoch 83–90) (also called the Book of Dreams)
• The Epistle of Enoch (1 Enoch 91–108)
TEN LEVELS OF HEAVEN
The 1st Heaven – the Clouds, Stars, Snow, and Morning Dew are located atop the clouds and inhabited by winged Angels, this is where the rulers and elders of the constellations reside with 200 angels. Nearby is a Great Sea, larger than any of earth's oceans. There are Heavenly store-houses for both the snow and morning dew located here as well.
(II Enoch 3:1, 4:1, 5:1, 6:1)
The 2nd Heaven - Prison of Darkness, Death and Despair: A place of darkness where the angels of darkness who joined with Satan in his original rebellion have been imprisoned, hanging from chains and awaiting Judgment Day. (II Enoch 7:1-3) This is similar to the biblical text as the bottomless pit. (Revelation 20:1-3)
The 3rd Heaven - Mercy of Paradise and Justice of Hell: A particular Paradise is reserved for the good and the righteous, consisting of a fragrant orchard grove with the fiery golden Tree of Life in the center where the LORD rest when visiting. The tree of life also appears in Revelation 2:7, 22:2. The roots to the Tree of Life extend downwards to the Garden of Eden below and there are four different springs flowing with milk, honey, wine, and oil. 300 singing Angels tend the Garden.
In contrast, the northern section is a terrible place of icy, frozen darkness with a river of fire flowing through it and inhabited by fierce cruel angels with weapons who torture those sinners who have been condemned there. (II Enoch 8:1-10, 9:1, 10:1-3) The closest biblical association is the description of Hell and Paradise in the rich man and Lazarus story, as told by Jesus Himself. (Luke 16:19-31)
The 4th Heaven - Twelve Gates of the Sun and the Moon: Includes the 12 great gates (pathways) to the Moon. There are 6 eastern gates and 6 western gates to the Sun along with all its different pathways. They are all guarded and maintained by thousands upon thousands of Angels, the sun is escorted daily by 8,000 other stars and needs 100 Angels just to light its fire. Some of the inhabitants of the 4th Heaven include six-winged creatures who accompany the Angels, exotic Rainbow-colored Phoenixes and Chalkydri angels, as well as armed soldiers who are constantly singing and playing musical instruments. Chalkydri have heads like crocodiles and resemble a muscular men with coppery skin and coppery eyes. It has four large feathery wings of white and carries a long sword swathed in fire. (II Enoch 11:1-6, 12:1-2, 13:1-2, 14:1-2, 15:1-3, 16:1-3, 17:1)
The 5th Heaven - Giants of Silence, Sadness and Regret: A place of silence and gloom filled with a countless number of gigantic human soldiers called the Grigori that chose Satan as their prince and rejected the LORD. Their faces are withered. (II Enoch 18:1-7)
The 6th Heaven - Archangels of the Arts and Sciences: The home of seven different groups of Angels that rule over the stars and keep track of their motions, as well overseeing and managing the various governments on Earth.
They also keep records of everyone's good and bad deeds, and keep watch over earth's natural systems of life and death.
In addition to Archangels there are six Phoenixes, six Cherubim, six Seraphim that with one voice, sing songs to the Lord that are impossible to describe. (II Enoch 19:1-3)
This account in Enoch refers to the Angels called Virtues, also known as Strongholds.
In theology they are responsible for the movements of Heavenly bodies, everything in the air, clouds, atmospheric conditions, lightening, asteroids, meteors, etc. They are also linked to the attribute “Might” (Ephesians 1:21).
Their primary duty is to supervise the movement of Heavenly bodies in order to ensure the Cosmos remain in order. They may be directly involved during the tribulation, directing asteroids and meteors into the atmosphere and removing the atmospheric transparency of the Ozone layers to permit more direct solar radiation on the planet along with other aspects of planetary destruction during the tribulation. (Revelation 16:8-9)
In theology the aspect of governing in the 6th heaven relates to the Angels called Powers, who oversee authority in the world. Powers are the authorities governing the precise enactments of God’s will on Earth. The Greek word for Power is “Exousies” (Ephesians 3:10). Powers are the bearers of conscience and keepers of history. They are warrior Angels, created completely loyal to God. They are the only Angels that do not have free will.
Their duty is to oversee the distribution of power among mankind. There is no person at any time that has come into power as King, Prince, Caesar, Magistrate, Governor, President, Prime Minister or otherwise, that was not ordained of God for His purposes (Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-15). When Paul said “far above all principality and power and might and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21), he was speaking of both in Heaven and in humanity on Earth.
The keeping of records of mans affairs speaks of Messenger Angels who are responsible for the individual affairs of mankind. Messenger Angels are the lowest order of Angels and the most recognized by mankind. They are the Angels that appear to mankind most often and are responsible for man on an individual basis. They are also referred to as guardian Angels. They record the details of a man’s life as man will be judged out of Gods four books. (Living, Life, Rewards and Tears)
The 7th Heaven - Powers and Dominions of Fire and Light: A realm of light and fire, filled with eternally loyal Angels of the LORD including Archangels, Virtues, Dominions, Powers and Principalities, Wheels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, and other celestial beings with many eyes. (II Enoch 20:1-2, 21:3)
The 8th Heaven - Summer and Winter of Drought and Snow: Controls and changes the different seasons of the year causing either draught or rain on Earth. It also contains the twelve constellations. (II Enoch 21:7)
The 9th Heaven - Twelve Secret Mansions of the Stars in the Night: Considered the celestial homes of the constellations that lie both above and behind the 12 groups of stars as seen in the circular night sky above the Earth. Called Kuchavim in Hebrew. (II Enoch 21:8)
The 10th Heaven – Home of the Cherubim, Seraphim, and the Throne of Thunder and Lightning: Seen as the highest of Heavens as well as the actual location of God's Throne of Judgment. Typically, this is where the LORD holds counsel with His Angels, making His decisions, handing down His judgments, and commanding His Angels who surround Him as they sing songs of praise and glory. (II Enoch 22:1-10)
In Islam, upon repentance to God, many sins can be forgiven, on the condition they are not repeated. Those who believe in God, but have led sinful lives, are punished for a time and then eventually released into Paradise. This is akin to the Catholic teachings of purgatory which is loosely extrapolated from the book of II Maccabees 12:39-46, where Judas Maccabeus and members of his Jewish military forces are collecting the bodies of fallen comrades who had been killed in battle.
When they discovered these men were carrying sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear (vs. 40), Judas and his companions determined that they had died as a punishment for sin.
Judas and his men turned to pray asking God to blot out the sin that had been committed. Judas then took up a collection and sent it to Jerusalem for a sin offering making atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.
The Catholic Church actually uses this text and others to substantiate the teaching of purgatory.
Catholics use the scripture Revelation 21:27 that says “nothing that defiles or works abomination or lies will enter heaven” to suggest everyone needs to be purified before they can enter heaven.
The challenge with the thinking in this argument is two fold, the context of Revelation 21:27 references the New Earth and the New Jerusalem where man will live with God Himself (Revelation 21:1-27), so the location as Heaven for all those who are to come out of purgatory is misplaced, once the New Heaven is created man never goes to Heaven again, God is on Earth with man (Rev. 21:3), secondly the setting of this event takes place after the Great White Throne Judgment, which means no person who is not in right standing with God is on earth, all people, every demon, the false prophet and the anti Christ are all in the Lake of Fire at the point of anyone’s release from purgatory. (Revelation 20:7-15)
Even if the claims by the Catholic Church are that those who are released out of purgatory are released before the thousand-year reign or the final judgment, the context of purgatory is pointless when you consider that the majority of those who are supposedly freed from purgatory, even after the requisite payments and prayers by their families are made, will go to hell anyway.
According to scripture, there are massive amounts of people which numbers are as the “sands of the seas” who go to heaven, receive rewards at the judgment seat of Christ, experience the rapture, witness Armageddon, the millennial reign of Christ on Earth and are still deceived by Satan after he is released from his thousand year imprisonment. All these people who will be deceived are Christians and will be remanded to Hell and ultimately the Lake of Fire. But no person has to be deceived, it will still be a choice.
I know that is hard to accept, but according to scripture (Revelation 210:7-9), this reality relegates the advent of purgatory without purpose, as the masses who supposedly go into purgatory are never perfected and go to Hell despite this exercise. Revelation 20:7-9 describes the judgment of all those Christians who were deceived by Satan and joined his army to fight against Jesus and the remaining Christians who are hold up in Jerusalem.
Matthew 25:31-41 describes the exchange of those who were once Christians and later deceived by Satan at the Great White Throne Judgment at the separation of the goats and the sheep. (Matthew 25:31-33)
Another scripture that is used to support the need for purgatory by the church is Habakkuk 1:13 which says, “Thou is of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity” The claim here is that a person who has not been perfected cannot be in the presence of God and therefore one must be cleansed in purgatory before you can go to heaven and be in the physical presence of God. This is also out of context because God Himself is the creator of evil and peace.
“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7
In the book of Job 1:6-11 Satan goes to Heaven and stands in the presence of God with the Angels around Gods Throne. Satan has a provocative conversation with God, where he tells God that he could have Job curse God to his face.
In all belief systems that subscribe to evil, the Devil or Satan is evil himself. If God cannot look upon the evil he creates, why does he create it in the first place? The answer in part is He created evil in order to establish truth, without choice in and of itself there can be no truth, more importantly if the application is true, why is Satan not just in Heaven, but in Gods Thorne Room if God cannot “look” upon sin?
God is not under Satan’s thumb or control, God is in utter and complete control. God is Omniscience-all knowing, while being Omniscient- having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness and understanding; perceiving all things, He is Omnipotent-all powerful, Omnipresent-in all places at once, Omnificent- having unlimited powers of creation; creating all things.
Consider the instruction God gave to Satan regarding Job. (Job 1:12, 2:3-6) God limits Satan’s actions against Job. Satan and his angels were cast out of Heaven, which is to say that God, who created this evil, knew in advance who would partake of it and God himself permits Satan to do what he does, Rev 12:7-9. God knows the location of all spirits including Satan, and could at anytime of His choosing subdue Satan, Rev 20:1-3. The point is that God is not put out by the evil that he created. God’s issue surrounds those who partake in the evil or any act of disobedience to His word.
When it comes to Purgatory, the 95 thesis of Martin Luther, in no small part shines a light on the use of Purgatory by the Catholic Church.
A saying attributed to Johann Tetzel "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs." Johann Tetzel was a Roman Catholic German Dominican friar and preacher.
He was the Grand Commissioner for indulgences in Germany. Tetzel was known for selling indulgences in exchange for money, which was suppose to provide the remission of temporal punishment in purgatory due to sin, that has already been forgiven by God. There are further arguments that Catholics make, but even by dismissing any protestant argument that dismisses the advent of the use of the Apocrypha like
2nd Maccabees, the arguments for the existence of purgatory is inconsistent with scripture without implying that any interpretation by the Catholic Church is out of context.
Other teachings by the Catholic Church about the afterlife include Limbo which is slightly different from Purgatory, according to Catholic Church doctrine Limbo, is a speculative idea about how the afterlife applies to the dead. Limbo is associated with those who have not accepted Christ at death and are therefore subject to punishment associated with the Original Sin of Adam as all men are born into sin as result of Adam. Therefore, without accepting Christ or believing on his second coming etc. man would go to limbo rather than being assigned to Hell.
Limbo is referred to as The "Limbo of the Patriarchs" or "Limbo of the Fathers" which is seen as the temporary state of those who, in spite of the personal sins they may have committed, thy died in the friendship of God, but could not enter Heaven until redemption by Christ made it possible. This aspect is mostly associated with those who lived prior to the resurrection.
Purgatory is the intermediary state after physical death in which those destined for heaven "undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter heaven".
Those who die in the state of grace but have not in life reached a sufficient level of holiness go to Purgatory. According to the Church, no one stays in Purgatory forever or goes to hell, everyone in purgatory eventually goes to heaven.
Islam teaches that every prophet preached Islam, providing a historical back-story for the religion by independently recognizing Jewish and Christian prophets, and then adding others. The teachings of the Quran are presented by Muslims as the direct revelation and words of God. All earlier scriptures are considered by Muslims to have been corrupted over time. Islam which means "submission" in the sense of submission to Allah, is a universal belief, membership is open to anyone; it has a strictly unitary conception of God.
There were early disputes over who would lead the Muslims following the death of Muhammad which led to a split between the Sunni and Shia, Islam's two main denominations. Sunni Muslims believe that Abu Bakr was chosen by the people and that this was the proper procedure to choose leadership.
The Sunnis argue that a caliph should be chosen by election or community consensus. Shi'a Muslims believe that Ali, the son-in-law and cousin of Muhammad, should have replaced Muhammad as Caliph and that Caliphs were to assume authority through appointment by God rather than being chosen by the people, because of this way of thinking Ali attempted to exterminate the Sunni. In the order of the priesthood, as established by God and administered by Moses in biblical text, the entirety of the advent of a Caliph is loosely akin to having a high priest which falls more closely in line with the Shi’as thinking on how a Caliph should be chosen. However, with respect to the Biblical text, God Himself appointed Jesus the Christ as the High priest between man and God and any person assuming the role of a high priest after Christ, rather it is a Pope in Catholicism or a Caliph in Islam is outside the will of God. Acts 4:10-12, 1 Timothy 2:5, 1 John 2:1-4
In the major Abrahamic religions, there exists the expectation of an individual who will herald the time of the end and/or bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth; in other words, the Messianic prophecy.
Judaism awaits the coming of the Jewish Messiah; the Jewish concept of Messiah differs from the Christian concept in several significant ways, despite the same term being applied to both. The Jewish Messiah is not seen as a "god", but as a mortal man who by his holiness is worthy of that description. His appearance is not the end of history, rather it signals the coming of the world to come.
Christianity awaits the Second Coming of Christ, though Full Preterists believe this has already happened. Islam awaits both the second coming of Jesus (to complete his life and die) and the coming of Mahdi (the redeemer of Islam) (Sunnis in his first incarnation, Shi'a as the return of Muhammad al-Mahdi).
Most all religions agree that other than the spirit, a human being comprises the body, which dies, and the soul, which is capable of remaining alive beyond human death and carries the person's essence, and that God will judge each person's life accordingly after death. The importance of this and the focus on it, as well as the precise criteria and end result, is what differs between religions.
Norse mythology, also known as Scandinavian mythology, is an extremely complex system of beliefs with many gods, with the principal god Odin who has been made popular in modern times by Marvel Comics and depicted in movies and cartoons. In the Norse religion, he is the Allfather of the gods, and the ruler of Asgard. Odin has many sons, the most prominent Thor, Baldr and Vali with the most famous being the thunder god Thor.
Odin is depicted sitting on his throne with a spear in his right hand, a wolf and raven-flanking him. Odin is portrayed as the ruler of Valhalla which would be the equivalent of Heaven in other religious systems.
Valhalla is a majestic and enormous hall located in Asgard, half of those who die in battle honorably are chosen by Odin to go to Valhalla, and are escorted into the great hall by Valkyries, which are female figures who escort those chosen to Valhalla. The other half of the honored dead are remanded to the goddess Freyja who rules over the heavenly afterlife field Folkvangr. Asgard is for those who fought heroically in battle. In Valhalla, the dead are known as Einherjar, which means fighters, as well as various legendary heroes and kings. All those in Asgard will fight with Odin in the Ragnarok.
Ragnarök is a great battle that results in the death of Odin, Thor, Tyr, Freyr, Heimdallr and Loki), it includes the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water.
Afterward, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors.
In this regard, the Norse religion loosely takes from the Biblical aspects of Adam and Eve, the New Heaven and New Earth, the battle of Armageddon and the advent of rewards and levels of Heaven ascribed to in Christianity.
In Norse mythology, there is also a Hel, the location, shares a name with Hel, a female figure associated with the location. This is similar to Hades in Greek Mythology.
There are "Hel-shoes" shoes placed upon the feet of a corpse so that the soul of the recently deceased can enter Valhalla.
Hel was home to the dishonorable dead, Norse tradition usually referred to the departed souls that were sent there as the Náir
(deceased spirit ) Loki would be the equivalent of Satan who as monsters of the sea that fight with him at Ragnarok- which is to say Armageddon in Christianity.
In the Norse Religion, Hel is ruled over by a female of the same name. In Scandinavian folklore, belief in the old gods still exists, but not in the form they once did. The Christianization of Scandinavia took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries. The realms of Scandinavia proper, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, established their own Archdioceses, responsible directly to the Pope, in 1104, 1154 and 1164, respectively. The conversion to Christianity of the Scandinavian people required more time, since it took additional efforts to establish a network of churches.
The Samis remained unconverted until the 18th century. Samis encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway.
Written history is only, about, 5000 years old (the age of formal writing). A lack of written records results in the fact that most of the knowledge about pre-historic religion is derived from archaeological records
The Romans had a similar belief system about the afterlife, with Hades becoming known as Pluto. Some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by a god, gods, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life.
In contrast, in systems of reincarnation, such as those in the Dharmic tradition, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life, rather than through the decision of another being. In metaphysical models, theists generally believe some sort of afterlife awaits people when they die. Members of some generally non-theistic religions such as Buddhism, tend to believe in an afterlife, but without reference to a God.
The Sadducees were an ancient Jewish sect that generally believed that there was a God but no afterlife. Many religions, whether they believe in the soul's existence in another world like Christianity, Islam and many pagan belief systems, or in reincarnation like many forms of Hinduism and Buddhism, believe that one's status in the afterlife is a reward or punishment for their conduct during life.
In Abrahamic religions, the view is generally held that one goes to hell or heaven depending on one's deeds or faith while on Earth, or predestination and unconditional election, or to the intermediate state to await the Resurrection of the Dead. In most denominations, heaven is a place of reward for the righteous to go after they die. Hell in comparison is a place of punishment and torment for the wicked. Similar places of torment and reward can be seen in Greek Mythology with Elysium versus Tartarus.
In Catholicism Limbo is a theory that unbaptized but innocent souls, such as those of infants, virtuous individuals who lived before Jesus Christ was born on earth, or those that die before baptism must wait before going to heaven. Even though salvation in Christianity has nothing to do with salvation itself. On Friday April 20, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI, abolished the whole idea of limbo saying he "showed doubt about the concept of limbo". He cited his concerns about it when he was a cardinal. In other Christian denominations it has been described as an intermediate place or state of confinement.
In 1446 BC about 3400 years ago, the Hebrews, or Israelites were enslaved for 400 years in Egypt until Moses leads them out of Egypt. 1406 BC Israel begins establishing itself as a sovereign country. After Moses dies, Joshua leads the Israelites into Canaan and begins conquering the land, establishing a sovereign country of Israel for the first time in history. In 1400 BC Israel is ruled by judges, not kings from about 1400 to about 1050 BC. The people think of God as their King instead of an earthly King and these judges settled all disputes amor the people.
Saul becomes Israel's first king, after about 350 years of being ruled by judges, the people of Israel demand to have a King, like the neighboring countries.
By demanding a king, the people are turning away from their faith in God as their king. Saul become king and reigns about 40 years.
1010 BC David becomes King of Israel and reigns for 40 years. He expands the size of Israel and rules over surrounding territories.
970 BC Solomon becomes king, builds Temple
Solomon, work is completed in about 960 BC He too reigns for about 40 years.
926 BC Israel becomes a divided kingdom, shortly after the reign of Solomon, The southern kingdom, called Judah, includes the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. The northern kingdom continued to be called Israel. The two often war with each other.
721 BC The Assyrian Empire conquers the northern kingdom of Israel, they torture and decapitate many. They force many Israelites (10 of the 12 Tribes of Israel) out of Israel and bring in foreigners.
612 BC Babylon conquers Nineveh (Assyrian Empire)
the Assyrian Empire's capital city Nineveh - is attacked by a coalition of Babylonians and others. As explained by the prophet Nahum in the Bible, Nineveh was to be destroyed because of the Assyrian Empire's treatment of the Israelites.
605 BC Babylon exerts influence over Judah, the Neo-Babylonian Empire, under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, begins forcing Judah into submission. Nebuchadnezzar takes many Jews as captives to Babylon to ensure Judah's obedience.
597 BC Babylonian army attacks Judah and takes more Jews as captives to Babylon. Ezekiel, one of the captives, becomes a prophet of God. Ezekiel explains that God is allowing Babylon to punish Judah because the people have been unfaithful to God.
586 BC Babylon destroys Jerusalem and the Temple, they attack Judah again. This time, the Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple that Solomon had built. More Jews are taken as captives to Babylon.
586 BC to 573 BC King Nebuchadnezzar attacks Tyre,
Babylon begins a 13-year siege of the mainland of the Phoenician city of Tyre.
539 BC Cyrus the Great conquers Babylon
After the death of Nebuchadnezzar, establishing the Medo-Persian Empire.
538 BC Cyrus releases the Jews from Babylonian Captivity
After conquering Babylon, Cyrus offers the Jews their freedom to leave Babylon and to return to Judah. Cyrus' kingdom rules over Judah and many other parts of the Middle East, but Cyrus allows people more cultural and religious freedom than did the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
536 BC The Jews in Babylon return to Judah and begin work to rebuild the Temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
516 BC The second Temple is dedicated and consecrated for worship 70 years after the Babylonians had destroyed it in 586 BC.
333 BC The Greeks begin rule over the land of Israel under the leadership of Alexander the Great, they defeat the Persian armies in Macedonia. This marks the fall of the Medo-Persian Empire and the rise of the Grecian Empire.
332 BC Alexander wars against the island fortress of the Phoenician city of Tyre. He takes rubble from the mainland of Tyre and builds a walkway to the island. Alexander's forces then conquer the island fortress, bringing an end to the Phoenician Empire.
250 BC The Old Testament is translated into Greek, a Greek ruler asks the Jews to translate all or part of the Old Testament into the Greek language. The translation is called the Septuagint.
175 BC The Greek ruler Antiochus Epiphanes torments the Jews
and rules Syria from about 175 BC to about 164 BC. He reigns over Judah and tries to destroy the Jewish religion. He also defiles the Temple.
164 BC Jews have independence, the Maccabees, a group that fought for Jewish independence, stage a revolt against the Greeks and establish the Hasmonean royal dynasty, as well as sovereignty over all or part of the land of Israel for about 100 years, from about 164 BC to 63 BC.
63 BC The Romans take over the land of Israel after the death of Alexander the Great, the empire of the Greeks is divided and becomes weaker. During this time, the Roman Empire becomes increasingly powerful. The Roman general named Pompey seizes control over the land of Israel.
1 CE Jesus is born in the town of Bethlehem. The Apostle Matthew later points out that Jesus' birth in Bethlehem fulfilled a prophecy delivered by the prophet Micah, about 700 years beforehand. (See Micah 5:2).
30 CE Jesus begins His ministry at 30 years old. He preaches salvation, delivers prophecies and performs miracles. He announces that he is the Messiah (the Christ) who was promised by the prophets of the Old Testament. Jesus promises salvation and eternal life to those who believe in him (See John 3:16).
About 33 AD Jesus is falsely accused and is sent to Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler of the land of the Jews, to be crucified.
Jesus is later resurrected, meaning he is brought back to life, and his followers began evangelizing him to others, allowing Christianity to spread very quickly throughout the Roman world and to eventually become the first religion to spread throughout the world. This is a distinction from Greek Mythology and all other beliefs in that it spreads over the entire world. All other religions are regional or relegated to a particular nation of people.
70 AD The Roman Army, under Titus, destroys Jerusalem and the Temple, to suppress an uprising of the Jews. According to the historian Josephus, about 1.1 million Jews were killed. Others were taken as slaves.
First century AD (about 1900 years ago)
The Bible is completed during the first century of this era, the New Testament, which describes the life and teachings of Jesus the Christ, is completed. The writing of the Bible (the Old Testament and the New Testament) comes to an end. It began during the time of Moses, about 3400 years ago. Jesus becomes, and remains, the final subject of the Bible.