G A New Temple

If I may draw on a conclusion to be argued for later, it is also likely that Jesus was remembered as saying something about the Jerusalem Temple being destroyed and rebuilt again (Mark 14.58).121 Here again we recall that the building of a new temple was part of Jewish The point to be noted here is the possibility that a renewed temple may have served as an image for a renewed/ sanctified community.123 We know that Qumran understood itself as a priestly community, functioning as an alternative to the corrupted cult in Jerusalem.124 And it is possible that the first Christians understood themselves in a somewhat similar manner — as the beginning or base of a rebuilt house of God. (1) Paul's reference to James, Cephas, and John as 'pillars' (Gal. 2.9) evokes the picture of the Temple and suggests that these three leading apostles were regarded as 'pillars in the (eschatological) temple' (as in Rev. 3.12).126 (2) The idea of a group of believers as a 'temple or house of God' was evidently familiar within

119. Cf. Meyer, Aims of Jesus 192-95. Davies and Allison compare particularly Isa. 28.15-19 and 1QH 14[= 6],19-31 (Matthew2.630, 632-34). See also above, chapter 12 n. 79.

120. K. Berger, Formgeschichte des Neuen Testaments (Heidelberg: Quelle und Meyer, 1984) 182-84, raises the question whether Jesus' talk of 'entering the kingdom' is a deliberate echo of the requirements for entry to the assembly (particularly Deut. 23.2-8); see also Horn, 'synoptischen Einlasssprüche' 197-200. Meier concludes that Matt. 16.16-19 first emerged in a post-Easter setting (Marginal Jew 3.226-35).

123. Horsley, Jesus 292-96.

124. See particularly CD 3.12-4.12; 4QFlor. 1.1-7 and further B. Gärtner, The Temple and the Community in Qumran and the New Testament (SNTSMS 1; Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1965) chs. 2 and 3; G. Klinzing, Die Umdeutung des Kultus in der Qumran-gemeinde und im NT (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1971) II. Teil; Newton, Concept ofPurity ch. 2, especially 34-36.

125. 'Pillar' (stylos) is most frequently used in the LXX in reference to the supports of the tabernacle and pillars of the Temple. Particularly notable are the twin pillars set up in front of Solomon's temple (1 Kgs. 7.15-22; 2 Chron. 3.15-17), named Jachin and Boaz, which evidently had a covenant significance (2 Kgs. 23.3; 2 Chron. 34.31) now lost to us.

126. C. K. Barrett, 'Paul and the "Pillar" Apostles', in J. N. Sevenster, ed., Studia Paulina,}. deZwaanFS (Haarlem: Bohn, 1953) 15-19.

earliest Christianity,127 not to mention a sense somewhat similar to that at Qumran of being a priestly community.128 (3) Jesus' talk of a new/rebuilt temple (Mark 14.58) is interpreted by the Fourth Evangelist as a reference to his own (resurrected) body (John 2.21), which conceivably may help explain Paul's ready assumption that the community of believers are in some sense 'the body of Christ' (Rom. 12.4-5; 1 Cor. 12.12-27). The data are rather sketchy and the connections convoluted, but they do at least suggest the intriguing hypothesis that Jesus saw the community of his disciples as in some sense the core of a renewed worshipping people of God.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Study Aid

Study Aid

This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To Getting A Scholarship And Financial Support For Your Studies.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment