Jerusalem Temple Sacrifices: options

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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StephenGoranson
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Jerusalem Temple Sacrifices: options

Post by StephenGoranson »

The attitude towards Jerusalem Temple sacrifices in sectarian Qumran mss and in descriptions of Essenes (such as in Josephus, Antiquities XVIII, 18; XVIII, 1, 5, 19) has been discussed in publications often and in detail.

Interpretations may include:
a) against such sacrifices
b) for such sacrifices
and
c) yes for such sacrifices, but not now, there, because of impurity and wrong priests
John2
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Jerusalem Temple Sacrifices: options

Post by John2 »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 6:59 am The attitude towards Jerusalem Temple sacrifices in sectarian Qumran mss and in descriptions of Essenes (such as in Josephus, Antiquities XVIII, 18; XVIII, 1, 5, 19) has been discussed in publications often and in detail.

Interpretations may include:
a) against such sacrifices
b) for such sacrifices
and
c) yes for such sacrifices, but not now, there, because of impurity and wrong priests


It looks like a mix of options "b" and "c" to me, since the DSS have a problem with who was running the show, but they still seem involved with sacrifice (e.g. 4QMMT). And Josephus says the Essenes offered sacrifices in a different area of the Temple ("They send what they have dedicated to God into the temple, they do not offer sacrifices because they have more pure lustrations of their own; on which account they are excluded from the common court of the temple, but offer their sacrifices themselves").

I see it in the same light as Jesus being opposed to people who ran the Temple (chief priests, scribes, merchants, money changers), but he still told Jews to sacrifice (e.g., Mt. 5:23-24) and presumably maintained ritual purity since he (and other Christians) visited the Temple and Christians continued to do so and offer sacrifices after his death (e.g., Acts 21:23-26).

I think Naziritism might play a part in this, since this was a way for lay people to become near-priests (like James praying in the Temple every day) and perhaps was seen as a way to make up for how the place was being run by the "wrong" people (like Essenes having "more pure lustrations of their own" and offering "their sacrifices themselves").
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