Review of Seeley, David. “Jesus’ Temple Act.”

Seeley, David. “Jesus’ Temple Act.” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 55, no. 3 (1993): 263-83.

This is a rejoinder to a response from P. M. Casey to an earlier article on the same subject in the CBQ. Casey considers the cleansing of the temple pericope in Mark to be historical, Seeley thinks it is a Marcan composition. The scholarly discussion of details is helpful as Seeley reviews some of the hard questions scholars ask about the episode. This process of Biblical criticism is best described in Seely’s conclusion. “Which of the alternative explanations mostly easily and simply yields the phenomena before us? The alternatives are then examined, and the logical difficulties associated with each are totaled up. The one with the fewest difficulties wins.” (p. 63) Well, that is the Jesus Seminar way of determining truth. This is another problem which stems from the scholars not understanding the relationship of the temple to the gospel. So, they say things like Seeley here says: The temple’s devastation was “the only fitting recompense for their crimes, [and] opened the way to a new and different path to salvation.” (p. 62, emphasis added.)

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