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[XTalk] Jewish Sacrifices

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  • Brian Tucker
    Greetings What is the historical record concerning when first century Judaism stopped offering sacrifices? Is it as simple as, when the Temple was destroyed in
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 24, 1999
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      Greetings

      What is the historical record concerning when first century Judaism
      stopped offering sacrifices? Is it as simple as, when the Temple was
      destroyed in 70 A.D.? To what extent had early christians been involved
      in those ongoing sacrifices?

      Thanks
      Brian Tucker
      Riverview, MI
      jbtucker@...
    • David C. Hindley
      ... stopped offering sacrifices? Is it as simple as, when the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.? To what extent had early christians been involved in those
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 24, 1999
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        brian tucker <jbtucke-@...> wrote:

        >>What is the historical record concerning when first century Judaism
        stopped offering sacrifices? Is it as simple as, when the Temple was
        destroyed in 70 A.D.? To what extent had early christians been involved
        in those ongoing sacrifices?<<

        Just read Josephus' _Jewish War_, the 1st century contemporary account
        of the whole mess. Yes, it pretty much spelled the end of the
        sacrifices, although I believe the many (probably most) Jews considered
        it only a temporary setback at the time.

        This would be evidenced by the fact that the rabbis continued to engage
        in discussions about particulars of temple ritual that continued for
        centuries after the temple was a heap of rubble. The Mishna would be a
        good book to read to discover what these rabbinic discussions were like
        around 200 CE. I do not think we have any surviving literature from
        other (non rabbinic) Jewish groups in this period.

        The permanence of the situation, though, began to become ever more
        evident as a revolt of Jews in Africa in the second decade of the
        second century caused even more restrictions to be placed upon Jews
        with regard to Jerusalem. Finally, Ben Kosiba's messianic revolt of the
        fourth decade of the second century CE, in which he took and held
        Jerusalem for several years, was the last straw. The Romans pretty much
        made Jerusalem off limits to Jews for all time. I do not think there is
        any evidence that Kosiba tried to re-esytablish the sacrifices, but I
        could be wrong. If he had won, it is very likely he would have, unless
        his vision of the messianic age did not require one.

        As to whether Christians participated until that point (i.e., 70 CE), I
        guess it depends on what you mean by "Christian." The group that the
        word designated in the second century is probably not what was in
        existance in the first century.

        Regards,

        Dave Hindley
      • Brian Tucker
        David Thanks for the information. One of the reasons I asked the question has to do with the issue of the early christian involovement with the sacrifices of
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 4, 1999
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          David

          Thanks for the information. One of the reasons I asked the question has
          to do with the issue of the early christian involovement with the
          sacrifices of the temple. In Acts 21:26 Paul - through the vow -
          involves himself in the offering system of the Temple. How does one
          resolve the conflict between his teaching, and possibly the teaching of
          Jesus and his willingness to still involve himself in temple
          sacrifices? This question was brought up to me last week, I have
          consulted a few critical commentaries, most seem to "skirt around" this
          issue. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? It seems to me that the
          early christians were involved in some measure.

          Thank
          Brian Tucker
          Riverview, MI
          jbtucker@...
        • David C. Hindley
          ... Thanks for the information. One of the reasons I asked the question has to do with the issue of the early christian involovement with the sacrifices of the
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 4, 1999
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            "brian tucker" <jbtucke-@...> wrote:

            >>David

            Thanks for the information. One of the reasons I asked the question has
            to do with the issue of the early christian involovement with the
            sacrifices of the temple. In Acts 21:26 Paul - through the vow -
            involves himself in the offering system of the Temple. How does one
            resolve the conflict between his teaching, and possibly the teaching of
            Jesus and his willingness to still involve himself in temple
            sacrifices? This question was brought up to me last week, I have
            consulted a few critical commentaries, most seem to "skirt around" this
            issue. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? It seems to me that the
            early christians were involved in some measure.<<

            Hmmm...

            Probably your best bets will be E. P. Sanders and Jacob Neusner. Both
            have published a number of books on 1st century Judaism which discuss
            how Jesus or early Christians and Paul might have fit into it.

            E P Sanders:

            _Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishna_ (1990)
            _Judaism: Practice & Belief 63 BCE - 66 CE_ (1992)
            _Paul and Palestinian Judaism_ (1977)
            _Paul, the Law, and the Jewish People_ (1983)

            Jacob Neusner:

            I do not have any of this prolific writer's books in my library,
            yet...! He is at odds with Sanders over the proper way to weigh the
            value of rabbinic sources. While Neusner is an ordained rabbi himself,
            he works firmly within the framework of historical-critical
            scholarship. Although Sanders and Neusner joust regularly, they both
            acknowledge the other's contributions to the subjects at hand.

            Sanders does not seem to dwell that much on Gentile participation in
            Temple worship or their other associations with Jews, even when dealing
            with Paul. To help fill this omission, I'd recommend looking up the
            recently revised edition of Emil Schurer's _The history of the Jewish
            people in the age of Jesus Christ_, especially vol. II, ch 24
            "Priesthood and Temple Worship" (pp 237-308), the appendix to ch 24
            "Gentile Participation in Worship at Jerusalem" (pp 309-313), ch 28
            "Life and the Law" (pp 464-487), ch 29 "Messianism" (pp 488-546), and
            vol III.1, ch 31 "Judaism in the Diaspora: Gentiles and Judaism" (pp
            1-176).

            Hopefully, this will give you a fairly good overview.

            Regards,

            Dave Hindley
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