Edersheim's Book, The Temple

The life of Jesus Christ was intimately associated with the Second Temple, built by Herod the Great. Jesus was brought to the Temple when a babe. At twelve years old, He confounded the learned scribes in the Temple. As a preacher of righteousness, He taught publicly in the Temple. At His death, the Veil in the Temple was rent.

The reader of the New Testament cannot fully appreciate the facts of the Gospels, nor the great number of illustrations in the Epistles, and especially the imagery of Hebrews and Revelation, unless he understands the significance of the services of the Temple. Alfred Edersheim's classic book, The Temple, its Ministry and Services as they were at the time of Christ, is a standard reference. This fascinating book describes in detail how the Jews sacrificed in the Temple, how they observed the festivals, and what Jerusalem was like during the days of the Messiah. Giving & Sharing has recommended this book for many years. If you do not already have a copy, you may order the hardcover edition online at www.giveshare.org/amazon/biblehelps.html. Or, order it from the Giving & Sharing bookstore, for a suggested donation of $17.50 plus postage. In addition, we have the entire text of this public domain book online on our website at www.giveshare.org/library/temple/.

Many today are doting on every Jewish practice as the key to understanding the Bible and true spirituality. If that is your modus operandi, you should not read The Temple. Jewish practices during Jesus' day were not perfectly in harmony with the Bible. The office of the High Priest was bought and sold. The shekinah glory had departed well before the time of Christ. Edersheim, a Jew converted to nominal Christianity, did not have perfect understanding of the Bible and history. For example, he supports a Nisan 15 Passover, and a Sivan 6 Pentecost. However, there is much to learn from his scholarship, as you sift the wheat from the chaff. Truly, the rites and ceremonies of the Temple ritual had great significance in their fulfillment in the sacrificial death of Jesus.

by Richard C. Nickels