The research paper will be comprised of 2 major sections. First, you will be required to survey the history of the Second Temple period; this section will be the larger portion of your paper. Begin this section with the Persian period and Israel’s return from exile and end with the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70. Be sure to address how various events, individuals, and groups (in their correct chronological order) impacted the Jews and the land of Israel leading up to and during the time of Christ. In the second major section of the paper, pick 1 significant event, person, group, or ideology (e.g., Alexander the Great, Antiochus Epiphanes, the rise of Hellenism, the Maccabees, the Hasmoneans, the Herodian Dynasty, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, Mystery Religions, Pagan Philosophy, etc.). Highlight the event, person, group, or ideology in more detail while explaining how it affected the first-century world of the Jews and their expectation of the Messiah. For example, you may want to go into more detail concerning Herod’s rule of Palestine, Hellenism’s influence upon Jewish culture, or the rise of some religious sects or political groups and their reaction to Jesus.
Your paper must include a thesis statement in the introduction of the paper. A thesis statement is an assertion that you will attempt to prove with relevant data drawn from your research; you will defend it throughout your research paper. It tells the reader what is important about your paper and what they may conclude after having read it. Please make sure all footnotes are double spaced.