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Leviticus in Hebrews

A Transtextual Analysis of the Tabernacle Theme in the Letter to the Hebrews

Mayjee Philip

Scholarly consensus on the relationship of the Letter to the Hebrews to the Old Testament is far from universal or uniform. This book aims to address this area in Hebrews scholarship, which is lacking a critical account of the dependence of Hebrews on the Old Testament, especially Leviticus, in constructing a meaningful text. The book examines how the author of Hebrews uses the textual levitical tabernacle theme to construct the central motif of the heavenly tabernacle in Hebrews. In analysing the ways in which Hebrews relates to the Old Testament, the author makes use of literary theorist Gérard Genette’s concepts of transtextuality and transformation. These concepts help set in relief the variegated textual relationships Hebrews has with the Old Testament in general, and Leviticus in particular, and the transformations that are central to constituting meaning in Hebrews.

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Appendix I - Use of Select OT Themes in Barnabas -103

Extract

Appendix i Use of Select OT Themes in Barnabas Hebrews and Barnabas represent Christianity’s complicated relation with Judaism, around the turn of the second century. The contexts and places where these texts were penned are dif ferent, and so also their purposes; how- ever, both authors use the same Jewish symbols and institutions to confront and educate their communities. Scholarly opinions on Barnabas’ place of origin are primarily divided between Alexandria and the Syro-Palestinian provenance. The dates regarding these texts range between 60–100 AD. In S.G. Wilson’s opinion, “A plausible setting for both works can be sur- mised: late-first-century Christian communities which includes a Gentile Judaizing element and a revival of Jewish hopes for a rebuilt Temple. This is more directly evident in Barnabas, but may be proposed as an explana- tion of the curious combination of disparate features in Hebrews” (1995, 142). Barnabas dif fers from Hebrews particularly in terms of its dealing with the following themes: Scripture and Salvation Barnabas makes no distinction between old and new revelation; instead the author sees prophecy as in the past, and also in the present, being fulfilled. This is an important point of dif ference between Hebrews and Barnabas. The latter clearly believed that Israel was never really privileged with scripture or the covenant – for the author they were always intended for Christians (4:6–8). This is interpreted as a “foretaste” of things to come, which for him is reason enough for a greater commitment towards God. 104 Appendix...

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