Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In the shadow of the temple

I also teach. I am presently leading an adult forum series at my church on the Gospel of Luke which will focus on the sermon in Nazareth, Joanna and the Road to Emmaus. I wish I could say that in preparing my material, I gained new insight that I could share with you. However in thinking about some of the things that I did not include in my lectures, I realized that we do need to emphasize that the NT writings were prepared in the shadow of the temple even if the temple structure was not still standing. There are simply too many clues, what I call temple language, that have influences the NT writings.

Jesus was anointed but how was he anointed and what is the significance of his anointment. In Luke and John, the woman anointed his feet with oil but in Matthew and Mark, the woman anointed his head with oil.

In addition to the cultic significance of the temple, the building also served other important social and economic functions. Today we have a puliferation of alphabet agencies to fulfill these functions.

Three priestly examples in Luke-Acts require further investigation: The “second first Sabbath” phrase in Luke 6:1; “he set his face” and a great many priests joined the faith. Luke has an interest in showing that Jesus and the Jerusalem community are following the teachings and traditions of the Priestly Narrative as interpreted by Ezekiel, Sirach, et al. The priestly writers were interested in temple rituals, the ordering of the priesthood, the sacred holidays, the rite of circumcision, and worship at the Jerusalem shrine. I suspect the connection is stronger than we will ever realize.

Copyrighted 2007


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