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Temple Theology: An Introduction Paperback – April 23, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Margaret Barker is an independent biblical scholar and former President of the Society for Old Testament Study and a member of the Ecumenical Patriarch's Symposium on Religion, Science and the Environment; and a Methodist local preacher.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: The Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge (April 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 028105634X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281056347
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Margaret Barker is one of them, and she is worthy of a good stretch of my bookshelves, and more.
Abba Poemen the Ubermensch
Although the analysis and information are scholarly and a bit erudite, the details and connections the author makes are very interesting and insightful.
Linda S. Morse
I first read Margaret Barker's book, THE GREAT ANGEL, and have been reading everything she has written since then.
Rob S

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Abba Poemen the Ubermensch on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gets four stars because Margaret Barker manages to provide, in one place, some illuminating material related to the first (the Solomonic) Temple, its liturgical worship, and the theology informing it. We should be grateful to her for her hard work in seeking out and publishing this material!

However, although I agree with much (not all) of what she writes, and though she retrieves some things that are far more than helpful to have retrieved, she makes first Temple high-priest Liturgies (or rather, her attempted _reconstruction_ of them - that's the key) Absolute, and she interrogates the Deuteronomic redaction from that Absolute, along with everything else that comes after the Babylonian Exile in the history of Jewish/Christian thought. Everything else that follows in history after the first Temple is merely, to Barker, a crater from its impact on the minds of the ancient Israelites.

OVERALL, IN SUM it is as if both the present form of the Christian and Jewish Liturgies and the traditions (spiritually and historically) of each are treated as both derivative and void of value (or at least interest) if they do not consciously lay hold of, and allow themselves to be informed by, Barker's retrieval. I felt dislodged from authentic time as a result. One must live in the present, with the existential options available now. Margaret Barker does not do this.

However, she must be read, because despite her errors, she does pave the way for Hebrew Bible/Old Testament scholarship to really retrieve what was going on in the Temple (it was not magic, and it was not appeasing an angry God), because Temple worship is where almost _all_ HB/OT theology emerges from - maybe all of it (if you disagree, read Fletcher-Louis' article, below, first).
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Bay Gibbons VINE VOICE on February 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
This reviewer comes to Margaret Barker's "Temple Theology" after nearly a decade of reading her great corpus of Biblical studies, including The Gate of Heaven: The History and Symbolism of the Temple in Jerusalem, The Older Testament: The Survival of Themes from the Ancient Royal Cult in Sectarian Judaism and Early Christianity, The Lost Prophet: The Book of Enoch and Its influence on Christianity, The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy and The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy. This vast and prodigious output is unparalleled in the field of Biblical criticism of the past century. However, it will be admitted that much of her work is so dense in its scholarship and explication, that it becomes exceedingly difficult to the specialist, let alone the lay person.

Now we come to the present work, "Temple Theology," which is no more nor less than the reprint of a series of lectures given by Barker at the University of London in 2003, and reprinted in book form by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in 2004.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dallske on November 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not much of a reviewer of books. My reviews can be summed up basically with the line, "It was good!", or, "It wasn't good!" Margaret Barker was an unfamiliar author before I decided to pick this small introduction up. From the first lines to the last, she captivated me. I don't know too much about Old Testament or Judaical Temple Theology, so when I say I learned a lot, keep that in context. This book made me want more on the subject and more from the author. Quite a fun experience reading this and getting my feet wet with this side of Judaism and Christian background.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sdone on January 18, 2012
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There are a few books one picks up that one finds difficult to put down and fewer of them are non fiction. In this little gem one finds a glimpse into a distant past which any reader of Old or New Testament would find familiar, but not so clearly revealed. New documents of the last century but more recently come to light again reveal to us a view of this sacred place and its theology. Professor Barker has done a masterful work of bringing these works together to paint us a picture of Solomonic temple worship and its impact upon Christianity. I just finished reading this little book and have begun to read another of her wonderful works on the ancient temple and its symbolism.

In this book Professor Barker shows to us that the Gospel of the New Testament and indeed its theology and rites have roots in the distant past and that Christianity was not a radical departure from, but a logical outgrowth from and fulfillment of Judaism. The rites of the first temple are clearly shown to us and, as pointed out clearly, since they were given to Israel as a means to bring them into the presence of God by Yahweh, who is shown to us by the good professor to be none other than Christ himself, (not in the trinitarian sense) a means to bring them to their Messiah, even Christ the Lord. Also that Jesus was the son of the ineffable God is also demonstrated, a clear representation of the distinctness of their persons.

It would appear from this treatise that not only Judaism, but also Christianity may morn the loss of the temple in their worship, a means to bring them closer yet to God and give them a more clear and beautiful picture of that God they worship.
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