Posted this on the Christian Board. It may be that the Jewish board could be the place to discuss early Christianity (or even Chistianity up to the Founding of American TV special Gnostical Christianity)
I have always assumed that the (non-Canonical/pseudoepigraphical) Book of Enoch ( see
http://www.heaven.net.nz/writings/enoch.htm ) was helpful in imagining how some of the Second Temple time period saw this particular part of Sacred History.
More on Enoch (caution: a mixed bag, some of the information is sensationalistic and not very scholarly and there are quite a lot of misleading items):
This looks better: