It's commonly recognized amonst scholarship that we lack the basic historical information to make any solid conclusions about the inner rationale behind animal sacrifices, and thus we cannot form a concrete explaination as to why they were seen as carrying atoning value. One thing we are sure of from the Torah itself, however, is that they were seen as carrying this atoning value. I have written on this here.
Originally Posted by BroRog
Okay, but the point I was making was that what we see in Revelation 21-22, that there will be no localized Temple in the age to come, directly contradicts what we see in Ezekiel, that there will be a localized Temple in which God will dwell for all eternity. It seems to me that this reveals a fundamental discontinuity between the two visions, based upon the two different covenantal contexts in which they were recieved. And for all you've said, you haven't actually addressed that point.
The point was, we understand from Revelation 21-22 that certain things in this age will be found in the coming age and other things will not be found in the coming age. For instance, Jesus and God will be found in the coming age, but crying and death will not. We measure the transitory aspect of things in terms of whether something will survive into the next age. You reminded me that the temple will not be found in the coming age, and I simply remarked that if we don't find a temple in the coming age doesn't mean we won't see one in this age.
Okay, but then durability implies duration, doesn't it? If something is said to be indestructible, would it not by implication also be eternal? I must say it seems silly to me that you're arguing for עולם to denote durability more than duration, especially in light of the way it's actually used in Ezekiel 43:7: "This is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever."
I think a review of the relevant passages would reveal that the essential connotation of "forever" has more to do with the durability of a thing than the duration of it's existence.
I wouldn't even agree with your premise (the part in bold strikes me as far too platonic), so I'm not presented with any problem here. But if I may ask, if Jesus cannot serve as a priest on earth, then how in your view is he supposed to oversee all the activities of an earthly millennial Temple?
I don't see a problem with Ezekiel's "forever" as you call it, but if you have a problem with that, why don't you have a problem with this?
"Thus says the LORD, 'If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers. Jeremiah 33:20-21
In this passage from Jeremiah, God associates three covenants together: his covenant with day and night, his covenant with David, and his covenant with Levi. The clear implication is that since no being in existence can break God's covenant with the day and night, then no being in existence can cause God to break his covenant with David or Levi. The NT teaches that Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of God's covenant with David, but Jesus can not be the fulfillment of God's covenant with Levi, since it is unlawful for Jesus to serve as priest on earth. The author of Hebrews argues that Jesus is allowed to be our high priest in heaven because Jesus is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
It is God's covenant with Israel into which the Gentiles have been grafted through the Messiah, and that is why circumcision is no longer necessary: because the people of God no longer consist of only one ethnicity. That is Paul's explicit point in Galatians 3-4 and elsewhere. Under the old covenant, however, all who were not circumcised were cut off from God's people. Thus, as with animal sacrifices, we simply cannot escape the basic discontinuity between the old and new covenants on the point of circumcision.
I agree that this passage puts Gentiles outside of God's covenant with Israel, yes. But this does not put the Gentiles outside of the body of Christ, in whom all will find salvation.
Um, maybe because Jesus provided the ultimate sacrifice for sin once and for all, thus making the continued sacrifices in the Temple entirely redundant. Would you disagree with this?
There are many ways I could respond to this, but since you reference Deut 7:6, perhaps you could answer a question for me: why does the NT repeatedly apply Duet 7:6 and passages like it to the renewed Jew-plus-Gentile people of God in Christ? I'm thinking particularly of passages like 1 Cor 8:6, 1 Tim 2:14, and Rev 1:6.
What you say is a clear implication of what Ezekiel has said. What I want to know is why we would object to something that God instituted since the Exodus? What else does it mean to be a chosen people? Deuteronomy 7:6
Last edited by Matthehitmanhart; Jan 2nd 2010 at 05:14 AM.
"Test all things; hold fast what is good." - Advice from the Apostle Paul