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23335RE: [XTalk] THE TEMPLE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Jul 6, 2010
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      To: Crosstalk
      In Response To: Lewis Reich
      On: The Jerusalem Temple
      From: Bruce

      LEWIS: We should recall that the members of the Jesus sect continued
      to worship at the Temple after Jesus' death.

      BRUCE: So says Acts. But Acts is notoriously schematic and inventive
      where we would most like it to be historical. Acts, for example,
      considers that the Jerusalem Christians were the only Christians in
      existence in the years immediately after Jesus's death; on other
      grounds, this is very unlikely. Such a picture is quite possibly an
      artifact of what I have called Jerusalemization in the Christian
      movement's idea of its own history (there is a steady increase of
      Jerusalem prominence in the Gospel sequence Mk > Mt > Lk [Acts] > Jn).

      But even for the Jerusalem Christians, who undoubtedly did exist, are
      we safe in taking their Temple worship as an assured fact? What other
      evidence is there? I exclude in advance any tales of Jacob, the
      alleged Brother of the Lord, from hundreds of years later. And lacking
      other evidence, what is suggested by other parts of Acts itself? Does
      it seem as though the Peter cell group, two of whose members he put to
      death for not giving enough money to the collective treasury, was
      worshiping at the Temple? I tend to see them as pretty much off by
      themselves.


      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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