King Cyrus: An Unlikely Father of the Reformation


On October 31 in 539 BC, Cyrus knocked on the door of Babylon and conquered its kingdom. In decreeing that the Jewish exiles return to Israel, Cyrus empowered a determination in Judaism to never depart from their covenant with God.

During this period known as Second Temple Judaism, Scriptures were collected and gathered into the Old Testament, and synagogues were formed to center God’s people on their Scripture and proper worship. In surprising ways, what king Cyrus helped do served as a model for the Protestant Reformation, 2,000 years later.

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I'm 60 years old, professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. I love my wife of 36 years, my three adult children and children-in-law. I love our three horses, two cats, and whatever other creatures decide to call our place home. I hate mowing grass, hanging pictures or shelves, or anything involving punching or drilling holes in walls. I love my job of studying and teaching the Old Testament. I've recently contracted a fierce interest in archaeology. I also enjoy guitars, jazz, vintage firearms, airplanes, photography, drystone masonry and, visiting the lands of the Bible.