William Hamblin and Daniel Peterson have written a column in the Deseret News entitled “Understanding the centrality of temple rites,” which gives a great introduction to what has become known as “temple theology,” which is essentially the centrality of the temple in the Bible and in Christianity. Most of modern Christianity believes the temple to be quite foreign to their worship, and yet it pervades the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. Why is that? Professors Hamblin and Peterson help give us a brief introduction to that topic, as well as the scholarship of Methodist scholar Margaret Barker, the newly formed Academy for Temple Studies, the Temple Studies Group in England, and the temple conference in Logan Utah this past week for which Margaret Barker was the keynote speaker. It is an exciting time for temple studies!
Above is a film portrayal of the prayer of Jesus from John 17, which is a conclusion of his Last Discourse given to his disciples on the eve of the Passover. This discourse stretches from John 13 through chapter 17, with the prayer at the end, comprising chapter 17. This scene comes from a 2003 film entitled “The Gospel of John,” and takes it’s text from the American Bible Society‘s Good News Bible, which loses some of the intricate meaning in Christ’s words, but otherwise I think it is well done. I’m looking forward to the Church’s version when it is added to the collection of Bible Videos, which will use the King James Version directly (here you can see the Last Supper, which is the beginning of the discourse from John 13).
I just finished reading Professor William Hamblin‘s recent paper in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture entitled, “‘I Have Revealed Your Name’: The Hidden Temple in John 17.” It is an excellent commentary on John 17 viewed in the light of the temple. This chapter represents what is often called Jesus’ Intercessory Prayer, but also Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer, suggesting the temple theology that is central to it. [Read more…]
Professor William Hamblin has provided a great introduction to sacred symbolism in ancient temples in a video lecture. It’s lengthy since it’s a lecture, at 44 minutes, but it is full of great information and insights to be learned.
In honor of Matthew B. Brown who passed away unexpectedly last year there will be a conference next month on September 22, 2012, from 9:15am – 5:30pm entitled “The Temple on Mount Zion.” It will be held at the Provo Public Library. Br. Brown was originally organizing this conference, and I chatted with him briefly about it in the months before his passing. Matt was very excited about the potential in temple studies, and he always had very interesting new insights to share about the temple. I’m glad to see this conference coming to fruition. Thank you David Seely and William Hamblin for organizing this.
With this conference and the other temple studies conference in Logan in October, we should have plenty to discuss over the coming months!
I have been through quite a range of emotions the last few weeks. I’ve felt utter despair, grief, and sorrow, as well as bitterness, confusion, and great disappointment. Through it all I’ve been blessed with comfort from our Heavenly Father beyond measure, and by experiences too sacred to share. It’s been a roller coaster of a time with everything that has happened at the Maxwell Institute. I make no bones about it—FARMS had an immense impact on my life, most particularly as it relates to my testimony and faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Recently one of our dear readers asked me what so inspired me about Hugh Nibley, what so captivated me emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually about his scholarship and writings? Here was my response: