Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Gospel of Jesus Christ - Beginning to Figure Out What It's All About

According to the Qumran scrolls the high priest Melchizedek would appear at the beginning of the tenth Jubilee and this would end with the final day of Atonement. Margaret Barker has done some incredible research regarding the origins and symbolism of Christianity. She has found striking similarities between Christianity and the symbolism and theology of the first temple in Jerusalem. The Qumran Melchizedek text shows that Melchizedek was the anointed prince of Daniel 9 and the anointed one of Isaiah 61. To understand Christianity we must understand what the Jubilee was and the what the great day of atonement meant and symbolized. Who was this Melchizedek character? He’s mentioned only briefly in the Bible, but the Book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Barker says the “Qumran text speaks of the Day of Atonement at the end of the tenth jubilee (490 years) and Daniel 9 of the Day of Atonement at the end of seventy weeks of years (also 490 years).” In the Qumran text Melchizedek is the one who brings atonement. In Daniel, Barker says, the one who brings atonement is unnamed anointed Prince.

Melchizedek was the great high priest. Barker says that according to the Qumran Melchizedek text that Melchizedek “was the figure who was expected to appear in the first week of the tenth Jubilee and teach about the end of the age, to rescue the children of light from the power of Satan, to set people free from the debt of iniquity, to establish the Kingdom of God and to perform the great atonement sacrifice of the last days”. The thing is Jesus appeared at the exact time that Melchizedek was expected to appear. Ms. Barker calculates that Jesus was baptized in the first week of the tenth Jubilee and she says, “he claimed to have fulfilled the Jubilee prophecy in Isaiah 61 which was associated with Melchizedek. The tenth and final Jubilee was the background of the Gospels. The Jubilee is the “Good News”.

We’re starting at the beginning of Christianity and at all beginnings we need to define our terms. What I’ve written above really is not very clear. It was hard to figure out where to start. I need to answer a lot of questions.

  • What is enacted on the day of atonement? What does it symbolize?

  • What is the role of the high priest?

  • What does the temple symbolize?

  • The goats?

  • The blood?

  • What is the Jubilee?

  • This Melchizedek character what’s up with him? Why is Psalm 110, the Melchizedek Psalm, the most frequently used text in the New Testament?

  • Many more questions…

Reading List:
  1. Violence Unveiled – Gil Bailie - Introduction to Girardian mimetic theory / scapegoat theory. Will help us to understand what is occurring on the Day of Atonement.

  2. The Scapegoat – Rene Girard

  3. Temple Theology – Margaret Barker – An introduction to her fascinating research

  4. The Great High Priest – Margaret Barker

  5. Anything else by Margaret Barker

  6. Anything else by Rene Girard or on mimetic theory.

Margaret Barker on the Day of Atonement.
Interview with Rene Girard
Paul Nuechterlein’s Girardian Core Convictions – point by point theological application of Girardian theory
Excerpts from Margaret Barker’s introduction to Temple Theology
Speech given by Margaret Barker at, of all places, BYU - TranscriptMP3
James Alison beginning to mix Girardian theory with the research of Margaret Barker

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