The materials linked here I have used regularly in my classes on early Christianity, ancient Judaism, and Hellenistic religions over the past 40 years at Notre Dame, William and Mary, and UNC Charlotte. Many are original sources.
The following two articles are copyrighted. You are welcome to read or print out but please do not post on-line or otherwise reproduce. I have used these two historical overviews for years in my courses and ask students to thoroughly “master” them early on as essential background.