By Margaret Barker

Based on Margaret Barker, temple mysticism underpins a lot of the Bible. Rooted within the cult of the 1st temple in historic Judaism, it is helping us to appreciate the origins of Christianity. Barker first examines biblical texts: Isaiah, the prophet whom Jesus quoted greater than the other in Scripture, and John, after which non-biblical texts.

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8. 8 See my article ‘Hezekiah’s Boil’, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 95 (2001), pp. 31–42. 9 The Hebrew śakal usually means ‘have prudence or understanding’, and sometimes ‘prosper’. 10 The Masoretic text, hereafter MT. 2. 12 1QIsaa, 1QIsab and 4QIsad LXX. 13 ‘The name of Jesus’ means ‘the name that Jesus was given’. 14 Lamb and Servant are equivalent terms, as we shall see, p. 135. 15 See below, p. 70. 16 Not ‘the first day’. The ancient texts are unanimous that it was Day One, the day of unity.

33), but changing the two final letters made it Ishbosheth, man of shame (2 Sam. 8). Sometimes the theological motive is clear: ‘Let us make man in our image’ became ‘I will make man …’ by changing one letter. 29 So too with the ‘sons of God’ in the Song of Moses, clearly the ancient angels of the nations. Here two letters were changed and the sons of God became in the MT the (in context) incomprehensible ‘sons of Israel’. Both the Qumran text and the LXX have the original ‘sons of God’ (Deut. 8).

2 Esd. 4–6) This distinction between secret things and what could be taught to everyone was not new. As early as Deuteronomy, Moses had said: ‘The secret things belong to the LORD our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law’ (Deut. 29). The Deuteronomists did not deny the existence of ‘secret things’; but they questioned their relevance to the everyday business of life and keeping the Law. Ezra complained that the Law had been burned when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, and that nobody knew of the great works the LORD had done.

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