Review of Moule, C. F. D. “Sanctuary and Sacrifice in the Church of the New Testament.”

Moule, C. F. D.  “Sanctuary and Sacrifice in the Church of the New Testament.”  Journal of Theological Studies 1 (1950): 29-41. [Christian/Sacrifice/Offerings]

Not knowing Greek, this article was more difficult than usual, because the author seldom puts the English equivalent with the Greek word or phrase being used.  In general, the essay seeks to discern in the New Testament a pattern of Christian response to the Jewish and pagan charges that Christianity does not have a temple or sacrifice, thus no genuine worship.  The author works through the statements alleging that Jesus said if the temple was destroyed, he would rebuild it in three days.  Both Stephen and Paul were likewise questioned about their view of the temple.  The answers, especially of Paul and the book of Hebrews is generally that those things were symbols for spiritual realities.  The sacrifice is Christ.  The temple is the resurrected body of Christ and the body of the Church.  Genuine worship becomes faith in Christ.  The author postulates that the entire book of Hebrews was written as an apologetic against such criticisms.  Thus, for Moule, the rending of the veil was a symbol of the abolition of old barriers of access to God found in Judaism:  “He is our great High Priest; and we are a kingdom of priests; we all have access, in Christ, into the holy place.” (p. 39)

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