My friend David Larsen has some great notes at Heavenly Ascents on the presentation given by Dr. Margaret Barker at the Temple Studies Symposium III in London this past weekend. Her words were an introduction to the symposium which focused on the topic of “The Holy Anointing Oil”:
Anointing with myrrh oil was the most holy mystery of the Jerusalem temple. It passed into Christianity and gave the faith its name. This symposium will explore the temple rite and its meaning, and then look at some of the ways in which Christians preserved the ancient tradition. ((TempleStudiesGroup.com))
David’s notes on Barker’s presentation include some interesting facets of anointing:
- The Messiah, the Christ, was the Anointed One, and so the holy anointing oil is central to Christian identity. It gives the Christians their name.
- Christian teaching concerning anointing is a conscious continuation of the ancient temple teaching.
- The oil was understood to impart holiness… It was part of the secret teaching of the high priesthood.
- The anointing with oil was a part of the “secret teaching” passed on to Christianity from Christ through the apostles.
- The high priests were “christs” — they represented Yahweh by being anointed and wearing name “YHWH” on forehead.
See the Heavenly Ascents blog for David’s full notes on Barker’s presentation. Hopefully her presentation will also become available on TempleStudiesGroup.com. Other speakers included Dr. John F. Hall (Professor from BYU), Archimandrite Ephrem, The Rev. Dr Richard Price, Dr Sebastian Brock, and Rev. Dr Laurence Hemming. David has some notes on their presentations here, and will post more notes about their presentations soon.
Thank you so much for sharing this. There is so much I’ve learned from Dr. Barker and from these meetings. I hope others can benefit from what notes I was able to take. Along with the other great speakers, I should be posting my notes from Prof. John Hall’s presentation in the next few days. His topic was anointing in the Egyptian temple rites and it was truly amazing. I hope I can do it justice.
Keep up your great work here, Bryce! We’re all better off for the time and effort you put into it.
Thanks Bryce and David for sharing these notes!