Beale-carrying the temple beyond Eden

theoutwardquest

One of the characteristics of  G.K. Beale’s The Temple and the Mission of the Church is that he uses facts about Near Eastern temples and mythology as background for talking about the Israelite temple.  It is a feature that some evangelical readers criticized in their reviews.  One said that we could do without the non-biblical material.

Yet it brings out some very interesting stuff that, whether it exactly proves his point or not, is fascinating in its own right.  For instance, he talks about how in Egypt there was a connection between idol worship and the divinity of the Pharaoh.

So texts say that the sun god, Re, gave lesser gods the ability to enter into stone idols placed in temples.  This gives some insight into how some pagans viewed idol worship. It wasn’t that the idols were gods, but that they enshrined gods who existed on a higher plane.

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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