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Comments about ‘Hamblin & Peterson: Understanding the centrality of temple rites’

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Published: Sunday, Nov. 4 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

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jttheawesome
Scranton, PA

I am not certain where Ms. Barker studied or what her sources were, but I must disagree somewhat with what she calls a "mystery" of ancient temple worship. The Bible, in the Pentateuch - the five books of Moses and first five books of the Bible - gives in great detail exactly what the Temple was used for and the rituals and rites performed therein. There is no mystery about it, if one accepts that the Bible is the unerring and complete word of God. Throughout ancient Israel's history, the people repeatedly fell into sin and idolatry, and Temple into disuse and disrepair, having been destroyed and rebuilt three times before Jesus came along. All the sacrifices and feasts, the rites inside the Most Holy Place, all of it - pointed ahead to the future sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ. The Temple veal represented the separation between God and men, and when Christ was crucified, that veil was rent in two, top to bottom, meaning that the way was now open for all to have direct contact with God thru' Christ. No mystery, no magic, no "lost temple rites."

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The ancient Israelite religion would surprise both Christians and Jews of today if we knew some of the things that the Bible doesn't record.

DenMom
Corvallis, MT

Very interesting!

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Craig Clark, things the Bible does record about temples.

Jesus…, Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days. They replied, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days? But the temple he had spoken of was his Body. John 2:19-21 (NIV) Jesus is The Christian’s Temple.

Jesus … whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem(Temple). You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”(John 4:21-24 ).

I have spoken openly to the world, Jesus replied I always taught in synagogues or at the Temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in Secret.(John 18:20 NIV)

jttheawesome
Scranton, PA

Mr. Clark: Thank you for your feedback. I would respond by referring you to the mounds of extra-biblical historical evidence for many things which the Bible clearly and accurately describes. At no time has any historical or archeological discovery anywhere in the "Holy Land" area proven the Bible to be wrong; indeed, every discovery proves the Bible to have been supremely accurate. What the Bible says about the Temple rites and rituals is precisely what did happen, and there is evidence outside the Bible to back that up. I would also refer you to most any orthodox Jewish Rabbi, who will confirm from thousands of years of oral and written tradition and history that the Temple rituals as described in the Old Testament are quite complete and accurate - and in fact, when the time comes that the Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem, as the Bible also predicts, the Hebrew Scriptures will be used as the guide for restoring the Temple itself, as well as all the required rites.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

That's neat, Sharrona, however, Christ referred to the temple as his "Fathers" house, did he not? That is the reason he twice drove the money changers out.

coltakashi
Richland, WA

Professor Hugh Nibley wrote several books that reviewed the early Christian teachings and beliefs about the temple and rituals, including the teachings given by Christ to the apostles during the 40 days between his resurrection and ascension to heaven. The Epistle to the Hebrews discusses in detail the concept of Christ as the High Priest after the order of the ancient high priest Melchizedek, to whom Abraham paid his tithes. The Book of Revelation discusses John's ascent into heaven where he receives the Revelation by passing through the veil that surrounds God's throne ("Revelation" is a translation of the term Apo-Kalypsis, the opening of the veil). The first chapters of Genesis depict the Garden of Eden as a temple where God dwells. Professor Jack Welch of BYU proposes in his book comparing the Sermon on the Mount with the Sermon at the Temple that the version of the Sermon that is recounted in the Book of Mormon reveals the Sermon in Matthew's Gospel to be a temple text concerned with the process of worship in a temple context, of preparing to enter God's presence.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

jttheawesome,

"I am not certain where Ms. Barker studied or what her sources were, but I must disagree somewhat with what she calls a "mystery" of ancient temple worship...."
____________________

Temples in antiquity are found in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Persia. These religions were influences that the Israelite religion drew from. This isn’t Margaret Barker’s radical new theory. The evidence for it is no further away than the Old Testament we use.

The transition from polytheism to monotheism took centuries. The first commandment is that the God of Israel will have no other gods before him. Why would that be featured so prominently were it not a central contentious issue of the times?

It’s evident in the contention between the prophets Ezekial and Elijah with the Israelite kings Ahab and Zedikiah. It’s evident in the withering language the prophets used against the children of Israel for falling into idolatry. The texts record that the first temple in Jerusalem was built to house the ark of the covenant but that story doesn’t exclude possibilities that the temple had a much larger history.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Craig Clark …the first temple in Jerusalem was built to house the ark of the covenant .
Whom does the Ark of the Covenant typify?
John tells us (1:14) “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” If one translates the Greek into Hebrew the word “dwelt” would be “shakhan,” obviously from the same root as “Shekhinah,” the Presence of God that rested upon the Holy Ark. John is saying that Jesus is that Divine Presence, but no longer resting on an Ark of wood, He “pitched His tent among us” in the Womb of a living woman of flesh and blood. Jesus is The Christian’s Temple.

RE: Coach Biff Christ referred to the temple as his "Fathers" house, did he not? True,
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For “God is Spirit”, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”(John 4:21-24 ).

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

I don’t know what influence the temple may have had on early Christian theology as Barker advocates. Acts 2:46 is only passage I know of that suggests Jesus’ disciples continued in daily temple worship after he was gone. According to Jerome, James, the brother of Jesus was allowed to enter the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement to offer prayers on behalf of the people. That sounds like a rival priest caste to the high priest Caiaphas. Barker’s book might be worth a read.

zoar63
Mesa, AZ

@Sharrona
"For God is Spirit,"

Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. Ex 24:9-10

Read the entire 24th chapter. Israel is making a covenant with GOD and he appears to them. There is even a comment in the scriptures about his feet. Moses also mentions back parts, face and hands. And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen Ex 33:23

So from the OT we have a description of GOD which contradicts the third century Nicene definition of GOD. From the OT description GOD. is in the image of man or is it Man is in the image of GOD.

sharrona
layton, UT

@ zoar63,"For God is Spirit?
By faith he(Moses)left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. (Moses 11:27
J S, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). What is the son? First, he is a personage of tabernacle.

No man hath seen God at anytime, except[JS] he hath born record of his Son… .(John 1:19)

Check Theophanies, Christophanies

CougarBlue
Heber City, UT

Dear jtheawesome try reading Hebrews 10:19-20 for a description of what the veil in the temple means.

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