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Purity, Sacrifice, and the TempleSymbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism$
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Jonathan Klawans

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162639.001.0001

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Sinful People, Impure Priests, and Inadequate Structures

Sinful People, Impure Priests, and Inadequate Structures

The Temple as Defiled and Rejected

(p.145) 5 Sinful People, Impure Priests, and Inadequate Structures
Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple

Jonathan Klawans (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines literature discovered at Qumran and related literature, including the Temple Scroll, with an eye toward describing more fully the anti-temple polemics articulated. It identifies sources making the following claims about the Jerusalem temple: that it is ritually defiled, morally defiled, ritually inadequate, and structurally insufficient. It also reconsiders the sources that ostensibly “spiritualize” the temple, arguing instead that these sources are rooted in beliefs concerning the temple’s importance and efficacy. Sectarian Jews emulated the temple’s rituals and priests in part because they looked forward to the temple being under their own control.

Keywords:   Qumran, Dead Sea Scrolls, ritual purity, moral purity, spiritualization, sectarians, priests, temple scroll

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