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Margaret Barker
Margaret Barker

Margaret Barker, a former President of the Society for Old Testament Study, is a prolific author specializing in reconstructing the background of NT thought in the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism.

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On Earth as it is in Heaven: Temple Symbolism in the New Testament

Published: Jun 2009
£12.50
As more and more is being discovered about the beginnings of Christianity, a whole new understanding of the context of Christian origins is emerging. Any serious student now needs a knowledge of the traditions of the temple. This book, a supplement to Margaret Barker's The Gate of Heaven: The History and Symbolism of the Temple in Jerusalem, breaks further new ground, showing how the symbols and rituals of the temple shaped the lives of the early Christians, and illustrates the striking relevance of temple theology to the New Testament. The influence of the temple cult has to be reconstructed by drawing on the increasing number of non-biblical texts now available. These include those written in the early churches; fragments from among the Dead Sea Scrolls; and Jewish texts written in the early Christian period. Piece by piece the world of the temple is emerging from this material. Through this close study of the Pseudepigrapha and other non-canonical writings, Margaret Barker examines four symbols of temple theology: Light, Life, Blood, and the Robes of Glory. She shows how details missing from the Old Testament descriptions can be recovered from other ancient texts to throw new light upon many significant passages of the Bible. This is a reprint of the volume published by T. & T. Clark in 1995.
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On Earth as it is in Heaven: Temple Symbolism in the New Testament

£12.50
As more and more is being discovered about the beginnings of Christianity, a whole new understanding of the context of Christian origins is emerging. Any serious student now needs a knowledge of the traditions of the temple. This book, a supplement to Margaret Barker's The Gate of Heaven: The History and Symbolism of the Temple in Jerusalem, breaks further new ground, showing how the symbols and rituals of the temple shaped the lives of the early Christians, and illustrates the striking relevance of temple theology to the New Testament. The influence of the temple cult has to be reconstructed by drawing on the increasing number of non-biblical texts now available. These include those written in the early churches; fragments from among the Dead Sea Scrolls; and Jewish texts written in the early Christian period. Piece by piece the world of the temple is emerging from this material. Through this close study of the Pseudepigrapha and other non-canonical writings, Margaret Barker examines four symbols of temple theology: Light, Life, Blood, and the Robes of Glory. She shows how details missing from the Old Testament descriptions can be recovered from other ancient texts to throw new light upon many significant passages of the Bible. This is a reprint of the volume published by T. & T. Clark in 1995.
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The Gate of Heaven: The History and Symbolism of the Temple in Jerusalem

Published: Mar 2008
£20.00
In this book, first published in 1991, the prolific and innovative British biblical scholar Margaret Barker sets out to explore the origins and the afterlife of traditions about the Temple in Judaism. Using evidence from the deutero-canonical and pseudepigraphic texts, Qumran and rabbinic material, as well as early Christian texts and liturgies, she advances a host of radical and suggestive theories, including the following: 1. Apocalyptic writing was the temple tradition. 2. Temple buildings were aligned to establish a solar calendar, thus explaining the astronomical texts incorporated in 1 Enoch 3. The temple symbolism of priest and sanctuary antedated the Eden stories of Genesis. 4. The temple buildings depicted heaven and earth separated by a veil of created matter. 5. The throne visions, the basis of the later Merkavah mysticism, originated as high priestly sanctuary experiences, first attested in Isaiah but originating in the royal cult when king figures passed beyond the temple veil from earth into heaven, from immortality to the resurrected state, and then returned. 6. The Day of the Lord or the Day of Judgment was the myth of the Day of Atonement and atonement was the rite of healing and recreation rather than propitiation 7. A characteristic concept of time and eternity was crucial to understanding this material as the area beyond the temple veil was beyond time. 8. Much temple symbolism survived in Gnostic texts, suggesting that the bitterness apparent in many of them derived from the upheavals and exclusions which followed the establishment of the second temple.
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The Gate of Heaven: The History and Symbolism of the Temple in Jerusalem

£20.00
In this book, first published in 1991, the prolific and innovative British biblical scholar Margaret Barker sets out to explore the origins and the afterlife of traditions about the Temple in Judaism. Using evidence from the deutero-canonical and pseudepigraphic texts, Qumran and rabbinic material, as well as early Christian texts and liturgies, she advances a host of radical and suggestive theories, including the following: 1. Apocalyptic writing was the temple tradition. 2. Temple buildings were aligned to establish a solar calendar, thus explaining the astronomical texts incorporated in 1 Enoch 3. The temple symbolism of priest and sanctuary antedated the Eden stories of Genesis. 4. The temple buildings depicted heaven and earth separated by a veil of created matter. 5. The throne visions, the basis of the later Merkavah mysticism, originated as high priestly sanctuary experiences, first attested in Isaiah but originating in the royal cult when king figures passed beyond the temple veil from earth into heaven, from immortality to the resurrected state, and then returned. 6. The Day of the Lord or the Day of Judgment was the myth of the Day of Atonement and atonement was the rite of healing and recreation rather than propitiation 7. A characteristic concept of time and eternity was crucial to understanding this material as the area beyond the temple veil was beyond time. 8. Much temple symbolism survived in Gnostic texts, suggesting that the bitterness apparent in many of them derived from the upheavals and exclusions which followed the establishment of the second temple.
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The Older Testament: The Survival of Themes from the Ancient Royal Cult in Sectarian Judaism and Early Christianity

Published: July 2005
£25.00
The Older Testament is a radically new approach to many problems of both Old and New Testaments. It takes as a basis the theology of the book of Enoch, lost to western Christendom for many centuries, but here recognized as providing the most consistent set of clues to the nature of Israel's pre-exilic religion. Reformers and editors of the Second Temple period sought to remove from the biblical texts all traces of the older ways, which now survive only in the apparently bizarre themes and imagery of certain Pseudepigrapha. Margaret Barker traces some of the ways in which the Deuteronomic standpoint came to dominate future readings of the Hebrew Bible as well as scholarly conceptions of Israel's religious development. Her reconstruction of the pre-Deuteronomic religion throws a startling light on much of the imagery of the New Testament and shows how closely the earlier Christian expectations were based upon the ancient royal cult in Jerusalem. This book represents an important and original contribution to our understanding of Judaism and early Christianity.
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The Older Testament: The Survival of Themes from the Ancient Royal Cult in Sectarian Judaism and Early Christianity

£25.00
The Older Testament is a radically new approach to many problems of both Old and New Testaments. It takes as a basis the theology of the book of Enoch, lost to western Christendom for many centuries, but here recognized as providing the most consistent set of clues to the nature of Israel's pre-exilic religion. Reformers and editors of the Second Temple period sought to remove from the biblical texts all traces of the older ways, which now survive only in the apparently bizarre themes and imagery of certain Pseudepigrapha. Margaret Barker traces some of the ways in which the Deuteronomic standpoint came to dominate future readings of the Hebrew Bible as well as scholarly conceptions of Israel's religious development. Her reconstruction of the pre-Deuteronomic religion throws a startling light on much of the imagery of the New Testament and shows how closely the earlier Christian expectations were based upon the ancient royal cult in Jerusalem. This book represents an important and original contribution to our understanding of Judaism and early Christianity.
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The Lost Prophet: The Book of Enoch and Its Influence on Christianity

Published: July 2005
£15.00
Reading the Book of Enoch unleashes a new understanding of early Christianity and one that is uncannily relevant to the late twentieth century. Though neglected and almost forgotten by the Church for fifteen hundred years, the Book of Enoch was one of the most important writings of the pre-Christian period and was kept and used by the early Church. It represents supremely the mystical element in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, with strange and powerful symbolism, and heavenly visions of the Last Judgement. Its treatment of the problem of evil, of humankind's relationship with the creation, of the role of the expected Messiah and of other key themes in Judaism and Christianity challenges many traditional assumptions and throws dramatic new light on our understanding of Jesus and his message. The Lost Prophet is an exciting and thought provoking book which should be read by everyone interested in the foundations of Christianity.
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The Lost Prophet: The Book of Enoch and Its Influence on Christianity

£15.00
Reading the Book of Enoch unleashes a new understanding of early Christianity and one that is uncannily relevant to the late twentieth century. Though neglected and almost forgotten by the Church for fifteen hundred years, the Book of Enoch was one of the most important writings of the pre-Christian period and was kept and used by the early Church. It represents supremely the mystical element in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, with strange and powerful symbolism, and heavenly visions of the Last Judgement. Its treatment of the problem of evil, of humankind's relationship with the creation, of the role of the expected Messiah and of other key themes in Judaism and Christianity challenges many traditional assumptions and throws dramatic new light on our understanding of Jesus and his message. The Lost Prophet is an exciting and thought provoking book which should be read by everyone interested in the foundations of Christianity.
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