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Jesus and Temple

Textual and Archaeological Explorations

Edited by James H. Charlesworth

Publication Year: 2014

The New Testament provides abundant evidence that Jesus frequented the temple; according to Acts, so did his followers after his death. But the Gospels also depict Jesus in conflict with temple authorities, and questions about his attitude to the temple swirl around what the Gospels label false accusations from his opponents and around the dramatic but inconsistent accounts of Jesus “cleansing” the temple.

Jesus’ attitude toward the temple is at the center of current historical Jesus research, yet those discussions are often not current with the latest archaeological and related findings regarding the temple and its history, architecture, liturgy, and function. James H. Charlesworth here gathers essays from world-renowned archaeologists and biblical scholars to address the current state of knowledge regarding the temple and to consider anew vital questions about its significance for Jesus, for his followers, and for New Testament readers today.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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Preface: Herod the Great, Hillel, Jesus, and Their Temple

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pp. xi-xvi

The following chapters are the proceedings of a symposium in Boca Raton, Florida, in December 2011. The symposium’s purpose was to introduce and discuss before a large audience the new archaeological and historical discoveries focused on the Jerusalem Temple, especially since 1968, and also to examine...

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Introduction: Devotion to and Worship in Jerusalem’s Temple

James H. Charlesworth

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pp. 1-18

A few brief reflections will help readers comprehend the following chapters. The Temple was indeed the center of worship for Jews both within and outside the Holy Land, but it was much more than the center for worship.1 In Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, the three primary biblical languages, the verb “ascend”...

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1. Imagining the Temple Known to Jesus and to Early Jews

Leen Ritmeyer

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pp. 19-58

There is great value in making reconstruction drawings to imagine the Temple that Jesus and the early Jews knew. First and foremost, the process allows historical and archaeological information about this site, venerated by members of the three major faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, to be presented in...

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2. The Second Temple in Jerusalem

Dan Bahat

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pp. 59-74

The Temple in Jerusalem has played a central function in the life of the city since the tenth century BCE, when King Solomon built the First Temple on the site of a small, dome-shaped hill named Mount Moriah. It is that hill that has given Jerusalem its meaning and sanctity to this day. The name Moriah stems from the Hebrew root YRH which means “to...

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3. The Importance of the Temple for Ancient Jews

Lawrence H. Schiffman

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pp. 75-94

The topic of this chapter is the theological question: What did the Temple mean to the Jews in ancient times? It will present a synthesis drawn from various sources. In fact, with certain exceptions, the ideas are fairly uniform in most of our sources from late antiquity. We will not deal here with New Testament...

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4. The Psalms as Hymns in the Temple of Jerusalem

Gary A. Rendsburg

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pp. 95-122

From as far back as our sources allow, hymns were part of Near Eastern temple ritual, with their performers an essential component of the temple functionaries.1 These sources include Sumerian, Akkadian, and Egyptian texts from as early as the third millennium BCE.2 From the second millennium BCE...

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5. Reverence for Jerusalem and the Temple in Galilean Society

Mordechai Aviam

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pp. 123-144

Galilee is about 200 km from Jerusalem if one measures by the as the bird flies. It is almost 300 km on the road. The shortest route is to travel through the Samaritan territory that was so hostile to Galileans and Judeans.1 A longer route follows the Jordan Rift Valley, but the journey is hot, dry, and climbs from...

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6.Jesus and the Temple

James H. Charlesworth

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pp. 145-182

I first went to Jerusalem in September 1968, passing near the walls of the Old City late at night. A little more than one year after the Six-Day War, when Jews again ruled Jerusalem after almost two thousand years, I witnessed contagious excitement as archaeologists excavated around the Temple Mount. I recall...

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7. The Temple and Jesus’ Followers

James H. Charlesworth

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pp. 183-212

Many Christians contend that although the Book of Acts portrays Jesus’ followers as frequenting Jerusalem’s Temple after his death, they never worshipped there; that is, they did not participate in the Temple cult and offer sacrifices.1 People holding such views may have been influenced by sermons...

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8. The Temple and Jesus the High Priest in the New Testament

Harold W. Attridge

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pp. 213-238

Early Christians display a variety of attitudes toward the Temple of Jerusalem and its priests, some taking it for granted, some using it as a multifaceted symbol, some considering it to be a relic of the past to be replaced by the new reality of the Christian community. Attitudes toward the Temple were...

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9. An Unperceived Early Jewish-Christian Temple Source

George T. Zervos

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pp. 239-260

The Protoevangelium of James (Prot. Jas.) is one of the oldest and most important of the Christian Apocrypha, but its full significance for the study of early Judaism and Christianity has not been fully appreciated by modern scholarship.1 The Prot. Jas. generated considerable excitement when it was found in the...

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Selected Bibliography

Brady Alan Beard

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pp. 261-272

This bibliography includes the most pertinent works cited in the preceding chapters as well as additional publications. They are organized here into five major sections: 1) The Jerusalem Temple: Its Description and Archaeological Evidence; 2) Worship in the Temple; 3) Jesus and the Temple; 4) Jesus’...

Index of Biblical and Ancient Literature References

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pp. 273-282

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781451481808
E-ISBN-10: 1451481802
Print-ISBN-13: 9781451480368
Print-ISBN-10: 1451480369

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2014