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.