Good resources on the Temple itself?

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rgprice
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Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by rgprice »

I'm looking for some good resources on how exactly Jews viewed the Temple in the Second Temple period. What were the temple practices, the nature of the temple priesthood, etc. Was the temple viewed as the literal house of the Lord on earth? Etc.

Thanks in advance.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by neilgodfrey »

Here are a few to get you started.....

  • Edelman, Diana Vikander. The Origins of the Second Temple: Persian Imperial Policy and the Rebuilding of Jerusalem. Revised edition. London ; Oakville, CT: Routledge, 2016.
  • Gruen, Erich S. “The Origins and Objectives of Onias’ Temple.” In The Construct of Identity in Hellenistic Judaism, 359–82. De Gruyter, 2016. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvbkjxph.21.
  • Hundley, Michael B. Gods in Dwellings: Temples and Divine Presence in the Ancient Near East. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013.
  • Lundquist, John M. “New Light on the Temple Ideology.” East and West 50, no. 1/4 (2000): 9–42.
  • Schmidt, Francis. How the Temple Thinks: Identity and Social Cohesion in Ancient Judaism. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by neilgodfrey »

couple more....
  • Trotter, Jonathan. The Jerusalem Temple in Diaspora: Jewish Practice and Thought during the Second Temple Period. Leiden ; Boston: BRILL, 2019.
and of course prior to the mid to later second century bce multiple temples were accepted -- Jerusalem did not appear to claim to have the exclusive monopoly. Elephantine was another; Gerizim and Leontopolis. The following article probably applies to the "first temple era", though:
Last edited by neilgodfrey on Sun Dec 25, 2022 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rgprice
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Re: Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by rgprice »

Thanks Neil. Merry Christmas!
StephenGoranson
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Re: Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by StephenGoranson »

also

From Joshua to Caiaphas: high priests after the exile
James C VanderKam
2004
English Book XIX, 548 pages ; 23 cm
Minneapolis, Minn. : Fortress Press; ISBN: 0800626176 902324074X 9789023240747 9780800626174
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billd89
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Re: Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by billd89 »

neilgodfrey wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 11:32 pmprior to the mid to later second century bce multiple temples were accepted -- Jerusalem did claim to have the exclusive monopoly. Elephantine was another; Gerizim and Leontopolis.
(American) English is my first language. Your phrasing reads oddly to me; it's unclear exactly what you mean. Logically, if a competition existed in the Diaspora then an "exclusive claim" was moot, no? Did you mis-type "Jerusalem did not claim to have the exclusive monopoly"? Otherwise, I would have written "Although Jerusalem claimed an exclusive monopoly -- and against a general misunderstanding which persists today -- it's also true Elephantine, Gerizim and Leontopolis were period competitors." I think that's what you meant.

If we know that -- despite any theological claim to monopoly -- Jerusalem had at least three significant competitors, how probable is it that other still unknown lesser competitors existed c.200-50 BC? Philo's reference to the 'homeland' of the Therapeutae suggests another possibility (to me).
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Secret Alias
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Re: Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by Secret Alias »

The best resource for understanding the Christian objection to the Temple (Jewish or Samaritan) is found in my friend's article on Dositheanism starting on p. 370:

https://www.academia.edu/42197042/THE_F ... N_AD_DINFI
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billd89
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Re: Competitors to The Temple itself?

Post by billd89 »

I doubt there were Christians in the Second Temple period. Chrestiani? That's a threadjack anyway.

If "Jews" in Egypt visited Jewish shrines (at least 2 are known) in that land, this doesn't confirm a period equivalence to the Jerusalem Temple imo. However I'm fairly convinced Leontopolis was a 'temple'; I'm still unconvinced about Gerizim and Elephantine. IF Gerizim and Elephantine should be "Temples" then other debatable candidate sites should have existed where large communities of heterodox Jews were found c.200-25 BC. Remember that the 'Elephantine temple' 400 BC was attached to the Kneph temple, and Kneph = Herem/Horon = Baalshamin = Zeus Ouranios/Ourios = Jupiter Secundanus. See Daniel 9:27,11:31,12:11 in reference to Antiochus IV Epiphanes building an altar to Zeus Ouranios (=Horon, I suppose) in the Jerusalem temple 167 BC. Philo of Byblos (perhaps an occult Jew, using writings from a Jewish priest of Ieoud, leading Alexandria-exiled Jews to the temple of the circumcised, i.e. Zeus Ouranios) is one hint towards an alternative in Byblos as late as c.115 AD. Moreover, the Heroon in Alexandria indicates a (Semite) Temple for venerating a secular/heterodox form of Herem/Horon, and if a purported Samaritan site (Gerizim) was indeed a Temple, then that massive edifice in Alexandria would probably also meet some criteria (where heterodox Mosaics, Hauronics and Melchizedekians might gather yet still be accepted as "Jews", e.g. Therapeutae): there's a lost history of unorthodox First C. Judaisms here.

Are Sethians 'Jews' -- can we be sure they had no temples in the Sethrum either?
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by neilgodfrey »

billd89 wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2022 11:21 am Did you mis-type "Jerusalem did not claim to have the exclusive monopoly"?
Damn. Yes I did. Sorry for the confusion.
rgprice
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Re: Good resources on the Temple itself?

Post by rgprice »

None of these seem to squarely address my concerns. Gods in Dwellings is pretty good, but doesn't deal directly with the Jerusalem temple. I'm looking for detail on the exact practices and structure of the temple and its believed relationship to the Lord.

I do find this interesting from Philo:

XII. (66) We ought to look upon the universal world as the highest and truest temple of God, having for its most holy place that most sacred part of the essence of all existing things, namely, the heaven; and for ornaments, the stars; and for priests, the subordinate ministers of his power, namely, the angels, incorporeal souls, not beings compounded of irrational and rational natures, such as our bodies are, but such as have the irrational parts wholly cut out, being absolutely and wholly intellectual, pure reasonings, resembling the unit. (67) But the other temple is made with hands; for it was desirable not to cut short the impulses of men who were eager to bring in contributions for the objects of piety, and desirous either to show their gratitude by sacrifices for such good fortune as had befallen them, or else to implore pardon and forgiveness for whatever errors they might have committed. He moreover foresaw that there could not be any great number of temples built either in many different places, or in the same place, thinking it fitting that as God is one, his temple also should be one. (68) In the next place, he does not permit those who desire to perform sacrifices in their own houses to do so, but he orders all men to rise up, even from the furthest boundaries of the earth, and to come to this temple, by which command he is at the same time testing their dispositions most severely; for he who was not about to offer sacrifice in a pure and holy spirit would never endure to quit his country, and his friends, and relations, and emigrate into a distant land, but would be likely, being under the influence of a more powerful attraction than that towards piety, to continue attached to the society of his most intimate friends and relations as portions of himself, to which he was most closely attached. (69) And the most evident proof of this may be found in the events which actually took place. For innumerable companies of men from a countless variety of cities, some by land and some by sea, from east and from west, from the north and from the south, came to the temple at every festival, as if to some common refuge and safe asylum from the troubles of this most busy and painful life, seeking to find tranquillity, and to procure a remission of and respite from those cares by which from their earliest infancy they had been hampered and weighed down, (70) and so, by getting breath as it were, to pass a brief time in cheerful festivities, being filled with good hopes and enjoying the leisure of that most important and necessary vacation which consists in forming a friendship with those hitherto unknown, but now initiated by boldness and a desire to honour God, and forming a combination of actions and a union of dispositions so as to join in sacrifices and libations to the most complete confirmation of mutual good will.

Surely Philo knew of the Oniad temple. But he does he not recognize it. despite the fact that the Oniad temple exists in Egypt, nearer to him, he states there is only one temple in Jerusalem.

But beyond that, it is clear that among other religions, the temple was seen as the literal house of the god and the statue of the god within the temple was seen as a vessel for the manifestation of the god within his literal house.

Now, the temple in Jerusalem was also seen as the "house of the Lord". Yet there was presumably no image of the Lord within the temple. I don't know for sure that this is true, but the commandment against the making of idols I assume means that there was no so image of the Lord in the temple. In what way was the Lord seen as being manifest within the temple? Did the priests feed the Lord in the Jerusalem temple in the way that other priests provided food to the gods of other temples?

In other temples priests and other figures were seen as house servants for the god, who undertook the types of activities that house servants performed in royal palaces. They provided food, drink and entertainment for the god. They sang to the god, the cleaned the god's house, kept its courtyard, etc.

Were these things done in the Jerusalem temple? Was the temple seen as the literal dwelling place of the Lord on earth? Did the Lord reside in the temple full time? Was the Lord called to the temple? Did the Lord have a house in heaven and a house on earth and travel between them? Was the Lord present in both heaven and earth at the same time? etc., etc.
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