Abstract of Stanley, Steve. “Hebrews 9:6-10: The ‘Parable’ of the Tabernacle.”

Stanley, Steve.  “Hebrews 9:6-10: The ‘Parable’ of the Tabernacle.”  Novum Testamentum 37, no. 4 (1995): 385-99. [Israel/Christian/Tabernacle/New Temple]

Stanley provides an exegesis of the parables of the Tabernacle and sacrifices found in Hebrews 9:6-10.  This passage has been difficult for students and scholars.  One reason is it is one continuous compound sentence with two major clauses in which the author of Hebrews deals with comparisons, illustrations, a parable, or type regarding the tabernacle and regulations concerning service therein and the sacrifices offered there.  Stanley finds that, consistent with a general theme in Hebrews, especially chapter eight, the author of Hebrews is teaching the distinction between the old covenant under the Law of Moses and the new covenant of Christianity.  He says the passage teaches that the “outer tent” or holy place of the temple is the old covenant and likened to the earthly sanctuary itself, whereas the Holy of Holies is like the new covenant and the Heavenly Temple.  The regular sacrifices are the old covenant and the Day of Atonement is likened to the new covenant brought about by Christ’s sacrifice.

This all leads to the conclusion that access to the presence of God was not possible under the Mosaic system because the regular priests, Levites and ordinary people could not go into the Holy of Holies, and the High Priest could do so only once a year.  Thus the system was temporary and inadequate.  Therefore, under Christianity it was obsolete and would be both done away with and superseded by Christ’s atonement, whereby he made access to God available to everyone.  In my view, what Stanley and other Christians do not understand clearly is the difference between an Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood, their different laws, purposes, and ordinances, including those of the Temple and the Temple itself.

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