Review of Holzapfel, Richard, and David Seely. My Father’s House: Temple Worship and Symbolism in the New Testament.

Holzapfel, Richard, and David Seely. My Father’s House: Temple Worship and Symbolism in the New Testament. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994. [Israel/Solomon/Herod/Christian/Ritual/Liturgy/ Worship/Symbolism/Theology]

This now rare book dealing with the Temple in the New Testament is uneven in quality. There are many, many good explanations and insights, but there are also places where there are virtually none. [See pp. 150-152 for two major events that are not treated well.] The authors are anxious to show that Jesus loved the temple and participated in its worship, yet we only know of his attendance at the festivals and teaching while in her courts. Except for the last supper which was a Passover meal, we have no evidence that he participated in the ritual of sacrifice. Moreover, the authors nearly completely ignore the negative things about the temple found in the book of Mark. Their focus is on Matthew, Luke, and John among the Gospels, and Acts, Hebrews and Revelation in the remainder of the New Testament. Chapter three on the Temple at the time of Christ was a good review, but did not contain much new that was helpful or insightful. The authors hold many assumptions regarding Jesus and the temple that most LDS seem to share, a number of which cry out for closer examination. Among the many very helpful things found in this book some notable ones include: their numerous notes on the meaning of Hebrew and Greek terms, information regarding the evidence of Jewish apostasy and corruption of the Temple, and their review of temple related material in the books of Hebrews and Revelation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *