OK—This post is more of a question.
1. I have often heard NT scholars speak of the idea of a "heavenly temple" in Second Temple Jewish texts. It is the "temple above", the true temple of which the Jerusalem temple is simply a pale counterpart.
2. It is often said by OT scholars that the Jerusalem temple is a microcosm of the cosmos. In this microcosm the "holy of holies" represents heaven, Yhwh's dwelling, while the other compartments represent the sky/heavens and the land and sea, etc..
Now, if 2 is the case I would expect heaven to be like the holy of holies (i.e., full of the presence of divine glory and heavenly beings and worship). But I would not expect there to be a whole temple in heaven.
However, theology is often messy and so if the evidence suggests that some Second Temple Jews did thing of a whole heavenly temple (with all the different courts and altars and priests, etc) then so be it.
But, it struck me that some of the texts I had heard used to support the notion of a heavenly temple did not speak of anything nearly so full-blown as a whole temple. This made me wonder whether we had misread the evidence.
However, Second Temple Jewish lit is not my speciality. So I was hoping that someone could just tell me where I can get the full evidence for a heavenly temple.
- Robin Parry
- Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).