Monday, December 05, 2011

Hebrews excerpt for the day...

From a chapter I am writing on "Hebrews and the Temple":

"Indeed, part of the new perspective we are proposing is a recognition that this kind of argument usually has a certain implicit circularity to it.  It wonders why Hebrews does not mention the destruction of the temple when it is arguing against relying on the temple.  If, however, Hebrews is not arguing against relying on the temple, the argument loses almost all of its intuitive power. True, it would make no sense to argue against relying on the temple’s sacrificial system if it were already destroyed.  The audience could not rely on the temple then even if they tried.  If, however, Hebrews is consoling a group of people troubled by the temple’s absence, then the question simply becomes why the author does not explicitly mention the central cause of the audience’s wavering.  Interestingly, we have to ask this question anyway, no matter what we think the underlying situation was.  For whatever reason, the author chose to speak in generalities rather than in specifics."

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