The Second Temple, or the intertestamental period, was a seething incubator of Jewish sects and a budding Christianity. Why did this relatively short period (530 B.C. E to 70 C.E) have such a profound and lasting impact on Western Civilization? In an effort to answer this question, we will study colossal events such as the crucifixion of 800 Jews by a Jewish king and the visionary Dead Sea Scroll revelation of an apocalyptic war between the sons of light and the son of darkness. We will read source texts written by esoteric scribes, eschatological prophets, Roman and Greek historians, adherents of the Jewish/Christian sects and Josephus Flavius (Joseph ben Matityahu).