Roman Military in Israel

Dr. Christopher Zeichmann, Lecturer in Biblical Studies

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Course info
Audio lessons

Course Info


This course on Roman Military explains how Romans came to rule Israel and how they interacted with the Jewish culture in the first century CE. The lectures explain the Roman military structure and lay a foundation for understanding the Roman military-related terminology found throughout the New Testament texts. Curiously, the New Testament presents both positive and negative portrayals of the military. How did the individual New Testament writers treat the Roman army? While for many 1st century Judeans the inclusion of Roman institutions was understood, for modern readers it is hard to fully make sense of it. On one hand, Romans keep order, but on the another, they limited Jewish freedoms and sought to reshape Judea. The understanding of Roman military context gives us a deeper insight into many biblical passages, helping us to see the bigger picture behind the familiar bible verses. 

About Author

Dr. Christopher Zeichmann

Lecturer in Biblical Studies

Christopher Zeichmann received his PhD from St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto and teaches at Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. He is editor of the forthcoming book Essential Essays for the Study of the Military in New Testament Palestine with Wipf and Stock Press. His research has been published in Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, New Testament Studies, Early Christianity, Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, The Bible and Critical Theory, various other journals, and several collected volumes. He also created and runs the Database of Military Inscriptions and Papyri of Early Roman Palestine.

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  • Lecture Notes for this Course
  • Plain Text Notes for this Course

Audio lessons

  • 01. Why Study The Roman Military? 18:31
  • 02. The Foreign Conquerors of Israel (Part 1) 10:19
  • 03. The Foreign Conquerors of Israel (Part 2) 11:06
  • 04. The History of Roman Conquest 14:03
  • 05. Roman Rule of Judea 09:17
  • 06. Jewish Wars with Rome 10:50
  • 07. Organization of Roman Military (Part 1) 16:47
  • 08. Organization of Roman Military (Part 2) 18:16
  • 09. Jewish and Christian Soldiers 15:30
  • 10. Official Military Duties in Judea 10:55
  • 11. Unofficial Military Duties: Policing 11:22
  • 12. Unofficial Military Duties: Romanization 10:12
  • 13. Unofficial Military Duties: Monetizing 08:13
  • 14. Roman Engagement with Jews (Part 1) 11:13
  • 15. Roman Engagement with Jews (Part 2) 13:27
  • 16. Roman Army and Jesus' Ministry (Part 1) 10:49
  • 17. Roman Army and Jesus' Ministry (Part 2) 12:20
  • 18. Roman Soldiers and Crucifixion 13:36
  • 19. Military Metaphors in Paul's Letters 12:45

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