Baker Academic

Friday, June 5, 2015

Klawans on First-Cent. Supersessionism

Today I am re-reading and appreciating anew Jonathan Klawans' masterful Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple: Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism (Oxford: OUP, 2006).

He writes: "…both Paul’s metaphors and Jesus’ eucharistic words and deeds find a likely context in the multifarious and well-attested ancient Jewish efforts to channel the Temple’s sanctity in to various other rituals activities, such as prayer and eating" (244).

There is so much here to digest. (1) Is channeling the Temple's sanctity necessarily supersessionist? (2) Does the first-century Jewish critique of the appropriation of Jewish symbols create a world of possibilities leading to anti-Judaism? (3) What do we make of the proximity of such critique/re-appropriation immediately preceding the Temple's destruction?

If any of these questions interest you, Klawans' book should be on your list.


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