The intertestamental period (Protestant) or deuterocanonical period (Catholic and Eastern Orthodox) is the period of time between the events of the protocanonical books and the New Testament. Traditionally, it is considered to cover roughly four hundred years, spanning the ministry of Malachi (c. 420 BC) to the appearance of John the Baptist in the early 1st century AD. It is roughly contiguous with the Second Temple period (516 BC-70 AD) and encompasses the age of Hellenistic Judaism.
It is known by some members of the Protestant community as the "400 Silent Years" because it was a span where no new prophets were raised and God revealed nothing new to the Jewish people. Many of the deuterocanonical books, accepted as scripture by the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy, were written during this time, as were many pseudepigraphal works, the Biblical apocrypha, the Jewish apocrypha, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. An understanding of the events of the intertestamental period provides historical and literary context for the New Testament.
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- Beginnings of the Jewish diaspora and Hellenistic Judaism
- Establishment of the first synagogues
- Change in common language from Biblical Hebrew to Aramaic and Hellenistic Greek
- The events of the Maccabean Revolt, as documented in the Books of the Maccabees
- Reign of the Hasmonean and Herodian dynasties, followed by Roman rule
- Production of the Greek Septuagint, the first translation of the Hebrew scriptures into another language
- Writing of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the rediscovery of which became central to modern and contemporary Biblical criticism
- Writing of the deuterocanonical books (biblical apocrypha) and pseudepigrapha
- Lambert, Lance. "400 Silent Years: Anything but Silent". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- Brown, S. Kent; Holzapfel, Richard Neitzel (December 2014). "The Lost 500 Years: From Malachi to John the Baptist". Ensign: 56–60.
- The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol 1, Page 457 "Literary Activity"
- Pfeiffer, Charles F. Between the Testaments. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1959. 132 p.
- Carroll, Benajah Harvey. Between the Testaments (PDF) (PDF). Woodstock, VA: Grace Baptist Church. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 7, 2015.