More than any other person, Herod the Great was responsible for bringing the theater to Israel.

His campaign to make humanistic Hellenism the worldview of his people included building theaters at Caesarea, Jericho, Jerusalem, Samaria, and Sidon. Many other places including Susita, Sepphoris, the Decapolis, and Beth Shean had theaters as well.

Inside the theaters, large crowds gathered to watch the actors. Many plays involved obscene behaviors and language, promoting secular values that contradicted the God-centered values of the Jews. Caesarea and Jerusalem could not prosper at the same time; the values represented by Caesarea and its giant theater opposed the values of Jerusalem and the temple

The splendor and size of Hellenistic theaters were seductive and overwhelming to the Jewish people. The religious community, realizing the pull and temptation of the theater, resisted it strongly.

Certainly Jesus would not have participated in ungodly theater practices, but he did understand the theater’s influence on pagan culture. To convey God’s truth in a way that secular audiences would understand, he used many theater images in his parables and teachings.

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Upcoming Tours

We would love to walk with you in the Holy Land. Here are upcoming opportunities:

Nov 01 — Nov 15, 2020
Walking with the Patriarchs
Led by George DeJong
Spring 2021
Israel in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Summer 2021
Ancient Paths to Modern Leadership
Led by George DeJong
Sep 18 — Oct 02, 2021
Israel & Turkey in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Fall 2021
Through the Roof
Led by George DeJong