Tuesday, December 30, 2014

why was the temple veil torn?

How many times have you heard that the veil in the temple was torn to show that the way to God is now open? 

Maybe..but reading in context offers some perhaps better options:
Here's one:
.....Mark purposefully juxtaposes the tearing of the temple veil and the confession of the centurion so that the climax of Mark answers this question: “where is God?”
In this scene, the temple is exposed as a sham.  The veil isn’t torn to symbolize that the way to God is open.  It’s torn to indicate that the temple apparatus is a fraud, corrupted by power and greed.  There’s nothing there and there’s nobody home.  -Full link, Tim Gombis


We all know "the curtain of the temple was torn in two as Jesus died."
And most assume it was the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, meaning Jesus provides direct access to God.
Good and true that he does that, and it is the proper "evangelical answer"..
but what if the temple torn in two was not the second curtain (or second curtain only),but the first..
what would the implications be?  -click to find out


Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land
until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with
a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my
God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders
hearing it said, “This man is calling Elijah.” … And Jesus cried
again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the
veil of the Temple was torn (eschisthe) in two, from top to bottom;
and the earth shook and the rocks were torn (eschisthesan); the
tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had
fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of their tombs after his
resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
(Matt. 27:45–53)

Notice the twofold consequence of Jesus’ death: with the yielding up of his
spirit, it is the Temple and the earth that are both “torn asunder” (Greek: schizo). In
other words, the effects of his death are both cultic and cosmic. With his crucifixion,
the Temple of the old creation and indeed, creation itself, are not only thrown
into a state of upheaval, but arguably begin the process of “passing away.” Should
there be any doubt about this suggestion, recall what we learned earlier and what
every first-century Jew would have known: on the Temple veil was depicted “the
panorama of the heavens.”50 Hence, with the tearing of the Temple veil and the
earthquake—the whole universe, “heaven and earth,” were symbolically being
torn asunder. And because the Jerusalem Temple was the sign and symbol of this
universe, it was now destined to share the same fate. The old Temple would be
replaced by a new, and the old world—as Isaiah had said so long ago—would be
replaced by “a new heavens and a new earth” (Isa. 65:17; 66:22). And all this, according
to Jesus, would begin “on the third day.”  LINK, Brant Pitre
How about:

two of the events of Mk 13/Matt 24 that  N.T> Wright argues are seen in AD 70, namely the “abomination of desolation” and the destruction of the Temple, are already seen in Jesus’ final work in Jerusalem and in his death. Wright himself argues that Caiaphas is presented as “evil incarnate” and his position as chief priest may point to his fulfillment of the “abomination of desolation.” Second and more strongly presented by the Gospels is the fact that the Temple is destroyed not in AD 70 but at Jesus’ death when the curtain is torn in two. As Wright demonstrates, Jesus proleptically enacts the Temple’s destruction in the Temple cleansing; the temporary cessation of sacrifices momentarily ends its purpose and thus its destruction is foreshadowed. Therefore when the curtain is torn in two at Jesus’ death, the Temple is permanently destroyed. The Holy of Holies has been violated; it can no longer serve its purpose.   link

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