Review of Eppstein, V. “The Historicity of the Gospel Account of the Cleansing of the Temple.”

Eppstein, V.  “The Historicity of the Gospel Account of the Cleansing of the Temple.”  Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der Alteren Kirche 55 (1964): 42-58. [Israel/Herod/Christian/Ritual/Liturgy/Worship/Cleansing]

This article  examines the story of the cleansing of the temple in the light of what is known historically about temple administration and selling sacrificial animals.  Though the story fits known history in a general way, the Gospel writers seem to get some details incorrectly.  The two most helpful parts of this analysis are, first, the gain in greater understanding about the interrelationship between the sanhedrin, the High Priest, temple priests (priesthood), and Jewish sects such as Pharisees and Sadducees.   Secondly, the selling of sacrifices in the temple precincts was not normal.  Usually it took place in four markets on the Mt. of Olives.  However, the sanhedrin had recently been expelled from the Temple and moved to the Mt. of Olives.  The markets were apparently likewise permitted to dwell inside the temple.

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