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8210Re: [XTalk] Dating of Hebrews

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  • Jan Sammer
    Sep 1, 2001
      From: "David C. Hindley" <dhindley@...>

      >...I don't think it unreasonable to imagine the
      > author of Hebrews also knowing it was torn down. Yet he had a
      > replacement for it in mind, in the form of Jesus acting as a High
      > priest, and used that contrast to make his point, using Paul's mouth.

      But this contrast only works as long as the Temple exists. Once it's gone,
      Jesus has no rival for the office of high priest. If the Temple were no
      longer in existence, there would be no need for the author to spend many
      verses arguing that the authority of the Levitical priesthood has been
      superseded, that Jesus is the true high priest after the order of
      Melchizedek, i.e., a high priest whose authority comes directly from God.
      Melchizedek was high priest before there were any Levites and the high
      priesthood of Jesus is a restoration of this more ancient priestly
      tradition. According to the doctrine developed in Hebrews, the Levites were
      a stopgap measure introduced by Moses and became obsolete when the law of
      Moses was superseded by the new dispensation inaugurated by Jesus. In my
      view the force of the argument was that a new model of priesthood had been
      established in the heavens, one that was incompatible with the one
      currently practiced in the Temple. Here I differ with those who read Hebrews
      as an explanation of why the Temple is no longer needed. It is the rites
      instituted by Moses and practiced by the Levites that have been made
      redundant by the Jesus' sacrifice, not the Temple as such.

      > The veil which was captured
      > by Titus in 70 CE was displayed in the Temple of Peace in Rome by
      > Titus starting in 75 CE, and according to Robert Eisler (_Messiah
      > Jesus and John the Baptist_, pg. 146) it had been established by
      > Hermann L. Strack and Paul Billerbeck (in _Kommentar zum Neuen
      > Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch_, vol i, "Das Evangelium nach
      > Matthäus", p. 1044 and 946) that it was there displayed in a torn
      > state.

      It would be interesting to have the primary sources for this extraordinary
      claim.

      >
      > It could not possibly have been the same veil supposedly torn at
      > Jesus' death, as Heinrich Laible demonstrated by collecting Tannaitic
      > testimonies in vol iii of the above work. The veil was renewed each
      > year, and immediately replaced if damaged or rendered impure (there
      > was a back-up veil behind it just in case the damaged veil had to be
      > removed). I also see this suggested in Mishna Shekalim 8.5. That
      > suggests that the rent veil story was the *result* of the display of
      > the torn captured veil on display starting 75 CE. (Eisler, pg. 147)
      >
      An interesting possibility. Could you let us have the references cited by
      Eisler?
      Here is the text of Mishna Shekalim 8.5:
      http://www.torahcc.org/mishna/4-6-00/wednesday.htm

      The suggestion you refer to is part of the Kehati or commentary:

      SHEKALIM: CHAPTER 8 : MISHNA 5

      R. Shimon b. Gamliel says in the name of R. Shimon the son of the Segan, The
      curtain was one handbreadth thick, woven on seventy-two strands, and on each
      strand were twenty-four threads; its length was forty amot and its width
      twenty amot, and of eighty-two ten-thousands it was made; and they would
      make two every year, and three hundred kohanim would immerse it.
      Kehati

      Incidental to the previous mishnah, this mishnah describes the curtain.
      ....

      And they would make two each year - They would make two new curtains each
      year. Rambam writes: "They would make two new curtains every year, to
      separate the holy from the Holy of Holies (Hil. Klei Hamikdash 7:16; see
      Mishnah Yoma 5:1). And three hundred kohanim would immerse it - Because of
      its weight, they required three hundred kohanim to immerse it; Bartenura
      explains that they had to immerse each new curtain, because new utensils,
      even if completed in a state of ritual purity, require immersion (Mishnah
      Haggigah 3:2). The Talmud states that the number "three hundred" is a
      hyperbole, and the mishnah simply wishes to tell us that a large number of
      kohanim were required.

      >
      > Jan Sammer
      sammer@...
      Prague, Czech Republic
      >
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