Author Topic: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker  (Read 1481 times)

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Offline orthonorm

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Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« on: July 09, 2011, 01:36:56 AM »
Temple Theology by Margaret Barker.

Opinions please on this text or the Margaret Barker's work in general. I did a search of this site on her and there were some comments made about her work and they were for the most part complimentary.

I am beginning to amass a lot of books from people lending me their favorite reads.

I need to triage.

Flipped through it and it looked interesting, but would like to know from the heavy hitters here, if her work is worth reading. Although a small text, the person cheering it, wants me to read about three other texts by her.

Thanks.
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Offline Aleksandrs

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2014, 07:19:23 AM »
Maybe now after 3 years when this was posted someone could share his opinions about Margaret Barker's teaching?
How it is compared to orthodox patristic theology and particularly teaching about deification and theosis.
I have read in 'Empirical Dogmatics' by fr.John Romanides and metr.Hierotheos Vlachos that teaching about theosis was the core of Tradition also in Old Testament prophetic spirituality.
Does the teaching of Margaret Barker's supplement this idea from different perspective?

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2014, 09:49:17 AM »
No, I cannot. Besides, I cheated, went to Amazon, looked at the reviews and moved on.
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Offline Velsigne

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2014, 04:33:32 AM »
Maybe now after 3 years when this was posted someone could share his opinions about Margaret Barker's teaching?
How it is compared to orthodox patristic theology and particularly teaching about deification and theosis.
I have read in 'Empirical Dogmatics' by fr.John Romanides and metr.Hierotheos Vlachos that teaching about theosis was the core of Tradition also in Old Testament prophetic spirituality.
Does the teaching of Margaret Barker's supplement this idea from different perspective?


I've only read one of her books, and I can't remember her specifically mentioning theosis, but she does discuss Temple theology.  Her theory, iirc, is something about Deuteronomists overthrew the old Temple tradition and Christianity restored it.  She has noticed that there is severe editing in the Torah and provides evidence. 

It's definitely not light reading, but interesting all the same.  She is a Methodist and a serious student of the Bible: http://www.margaretbarker.com/

You can find some of her work on her website.  I'm surprised more people haven't noticed her work.

Of course the Mormons jump all over it and say she is talking about them. 

She recently lectured at St. Vladimir's Seminary: http://www.svots.edu/headlines/29th-schmemann-memorial-lecture-dr-margaret-barker-transports-us-kingdom

Offline Aleksandrs

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2014, 04:53:04 AM »
I saw strange quotes about Wisdom. In some quotes it looks like some divine entity but in other Mother of God - Theotokos.
"‘My son, return to your divine nature... Return, my son, to your first
Father God, and to Wisdom your mother, from whom you came into being.’"

"The Lady was driven from the original temple after a long struggle that lasted for over two
centuries. People who wanted an exclusive emphasis on a different aspect of the tradition, a
tradition which emphasised Moses as law-giver, were hostile to the priest-kings in Jerusalem
and their heavenly Mother, and they finally drove the cult of the Lady from the temple in 623
BCE (2 Kgs 23.4-14). There had been many attempts to expel her before that, and it was one
such attempt that prompted Isaiah’s warning about false teaching and unclean lips. But she
was never forgotten."

"The Queen of Heaven, also known as Wisdom, had been part of the original Temple cult as Virgin Mother of the Messiah."

It looks strange to see idea in one quote that Wisdom existed before Theotokos was born and in another quote it says that Wisdom is She.

And some quotes looks like going back to gnosticism.

"The first Christians, however, were not preserving the Law of Moses; they were preserving something different. Their secret teachings were temple teachings, the esoterica of the high priests which the Law of Moses had replaced, teachings in which Wisdom or the Lady had a central role."


Offline LBK

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2014, 05:57:25 AM »
I saw strange quotes about Wisdom. In some quotes it looks like some divine entity but in other Mother of God - Theotokos.
"‘My son, return to your divine nature... Return, my son, to your first
Father God, and to Wisdom your mother, from whom you came into being.’"

"The Lady was driven from the original temple after a long struggle that lasted for over two
centuries. People who wanted an exclusive emphasis on a different aspect of the tradition, a
tradition which emphasised Moses as law-giver, were hostile to the priest-kings in Jerusalem
and their heavenly Mother, and they finally drove the cult of the Lady from the temple in 623
BCE (2 Kgs 23.4-14). There had been many attempts to expel her before that, and it was one
such attempt that prompted Isaiah’s warning about false teaching and unclean lips. But she
was never forgotten."

"The Queen of Heaven, also known as Wisdom, had been part of the original Temple cult as Virgin Mother of the Messiah."

It looks strange to see idea in one quote that Wisdom existed before Theotokos was born and in another quote it says that Wisdom is She.

And some quotes looks like going back to gnosticism.

"The first Christians, however, were not preserving the Law of Moses; they were preserving something different. Their secret teachings were temple teachings, the esoterica of the high priests which the Law of Moses had replaced, teachings in which Wisdom or the Lady had a central role."



The Mother of God has a multitude of descriptive and evocative terms associated with her, as seen in countless hymns to her. Wisdom of God is not one of them.

Orthodoxy teaches that Christ is the Wisdom of God. Not His mother.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2014, 07:21:21 AM »
What I see in the quotes is a bit of First Temple Judaism and a bit of Christian Gnosticism. There is a much more informative chapter on the 'Queen of Heaven' in The Myth of the Goddess (a wonderful book, in all), but you can see the basic outline here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_of_heaven_%28antiquity%29#Hebrew_Bible_references
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Offline Aleksandrs

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 10:38:27 AM »
I am confused because metr.Jonah Paffhausen in his Orthodoxy 101 talks on Youtube recommends to read Margaret Barker for studying Old Testament. I have respect to metr.Jonah and that is why I can't understand how it fits for him with orthodox theology and spirituality.

Offline Velsigne

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2014, 10:56:53 AM »
She is not Orthodox.  Now that Alesandrs mentions it, I remember reading some of her work just prior to or as I was a catechumen.  From her work I began to wonder what Agia Sophia, the Orthodox church in Turkey, was referring to.

Our priest unequivocally said that Wisdom is a reference to Christ.  

I let the matter drop and was busy reading Orthodox books from then on.  
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 10:57:10 AM by Velsigne »

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 12:32:20 PM »
She is not Orthodox.  Now that Alesandrs mentions it, I remember reading some of her work just prior to or as I was a catechumen.  From her work I began to wonder what Agia Sophia, the Orthodox church in Turkey, was referring to.
Our priest unequivocally said that Wisdom is a reference to Christ.  
I let the matter drop and was busy reading Orthodox books from then on.  

Yeah, no. Can't judge who is/not Orthodox. I can see that St. Vlads post below and her paper went beyond my abilities to process it all and it was beautiful! Worth reading again.

http://www.svots.edu/sites/default/files/final_barker_our_great_high_priest.pdf
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 01:04:34 PM »
I need to triage.

Forgive me if this is slightly off topic, but seeing that there's so many things I love to read, I do triaging based on the day of the week.  So Monday, I read a certain subject, and Tuesday, another, and so on and so forth.  And then when next Monday comes around, I continue where I left off.  It keeps things organized for me at least while I do other daily needs of mine.  I don't know, just thought maybe I could offer you this idea that could help.
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Offline Velsigne

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2014, 01:10:52 PM »
Quote from: LenInSebastopol

Yeah, no. Can't judge who is/not Orthodox.

She is Methodist, not Orthodox.  As far as I know a person has to be baptized or Christmated then communed to be Orthodox.

She may have some interesting findings, but Orthodox readers should be aware that her work may be flawed from an Orthodox theological perspective.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 01:34:31 PM by Velsigne »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2014, 09:42:57 PM »
"Wisdom now has moved from her dwelling place on earth to heaven. and has filled her heavenly mansion there with the glory that has come from God above."

From the Lamentations of the Dormition of the Theotokos
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2014, 10:31:54 PM »
"Wisdom now has moved from her dwelling place on earth to heaven. and has filled her heavenly mansion there with the glory that has come from God above."

From the Lamentations of the Dormition of the Theotokos

It's been said before on this site that the service of the Lamentations to the Mother of God is not only one which is almost never served, but has been openly prevented from being conducted at episcopal level.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2014, 10:34:35 PM »
"Wisdom now has moved from her dwelling place on earth to heaven. and has filled her heavenly mansion there with the glory that has come from God above."

From the Lamentations of the Dormition of the Theotokos

It's been said before on this site that the service of the Lamentations to the Mother of God is not only one which is almost never served, but has been openly prevented from being conducted at episcopal level.

Where do you get your information? This service is already popular in a few places. My parish did it for the 2nd time this year. The Metropolitan of Plovdiv introduced it in his diocese last year as well. It is spreading in Greece and other places.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2014, 10:47:11 PM »
Try this:

There is a footnote in the Arabic translation of the Greek Typikon which calls the service of Lamentations to the Theotokos "novel and inelegent," and states that the Great Church meaning Constantinople disapproves and strictly forbids this service.
You can download an English translation of the complete Arabic translation of the 1888 Typikon of Constantinople at almoutran.com/pdf/typikon.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris.

Good enough for me.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2014, 12:27:23 AM »
Well, color me confused. Here's an article on a Serbian website about the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem celebrating the Lamentations in August of 2011 in Jerusalem in the company of a number of Orthodox from  various jurisdictions.    http://www.spc.rs/eng/rite_lamentations_theotokos_gethsemane  

Iconodule's statement that in his parish in a jurisdiction under the EP' s omophorion (ACROD) that the Lamentations are served seems to conflict with other statements that the EP has suppressed it at least in years past. (Perhaps the issue is whether the EP actually continues to have a position regarding the service.)

So....... ???





« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 12:28:22 AM by podkarpatska »

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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2014, 01:05:33 AM »
Quote from: LenInSebastopol

Yeah, no. Can't judge who is/not Orthodox.

She is Methodist, not Orthodox.  As far as I know a person has to be baptized or Christmated then communed to be Orthodox.

She may have some interesting findings, but Orthodox readers should be aware that her work may be flawed from an Orthodox theological perspective.


Wait!
You put up the St. Vlad's site. They gave her the Fr. Schmemann award. She says she's Orthodox.
How can you write that? How does anyone know?
What the.....what?
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2014, 01:11:35 AM »
Quote from: LenInSebastopol

Yeah, no. Can't judge who is/not Orthodox.

She is Methodist, not Orthodox.  As far as I know a person has to be baptized or Christmated then communed to be Orthodox.

She may have some interesting findings, but Orthodox readers should be aware that her work may be flawed from an Orthodox theological perspective.


Wait!
You put up the St. Vlad's site. They gave her the Fr. Schmemann award. She says she's Orthodox.
How can you write that? How does anyone know?
What the.....what?

She presented a lecture, not received an award. Not that receipt of an award from St. Vladimir's would mean she is Orthodox, either. Nowhere on that page does she, or anybody else, say she is Orthodox. Perhaps you read it quickly? :)

According to multiple sources, including Wikipedia and her own webpage, she is a Methodist minister.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2014, 07:26:41 AM »
Try this:

There is a footnote in the Arabic translation of the Greek Typikon which calls the service of Lamentations to the Theotokos "novel and inelegent," and states that the Great Church meaning Constantinople disapproves and strictly forbids this service.
You can download an English translation of the complete Arabic translation of the 1888 Typikon of Constantinople at almoutran.com/pdf/typikon.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris.

Good enough for me.

So a footnote you saw on the internet of an Arabic translation of a 19th century typikon is good enough. Never mind the fact that the "Great Church" clearly allows this service within its own territory. The hymns themselves were written by an EP bishop in Patras and are chanted there. They are also approved in Jerusalem, Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, etc. But by all means cling to an obscure footnote in the face of reality.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2014, 07:33:08 AM »
Try this:

There is a footnote in the Arabic translation of the Greek Typikon which calls the service of Lamentations to the Theotokos "novel and inelegent," and states that the Great Church meaning Constantinople disapproves and strictly forbids this service.
You can download an English translation of the complete Arabic translation of the 1888 Typikon of Constantinople at almoutran.com/pdf/typikon.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris.

Good enough for me.

So a footnote you saw on the internet of an Arabic translation of a 19th century typikon is good enough. Never mind the fact that the "Great Church" clearly allows this service within its own territory. The hymns themselves were written by an EP bishop in Patras and are chanted there. They are also approved in Jerusalem, Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, etc. But by all means cling to an obscure footnote in the face of reality.

If you are to take me to task, then you'll also need to do so to Fr John Morris, who posted the above. Please let us know how he responds to your PM to him.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2014, 07:38:05 AM »
Try this:

There is a footnote in the Arabic translation of the Greek Typikon which calls the service of Lamentations to the Theotokos "novel and inelegent," and states that the Great Church meaning Constantinople disapproves and strictly forbids this service.
You can download an English translation of the complete Arabic translation of the 1888 Typikon of Constantinople at almoutran.com/pdf/typikon.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris.

Good enough for me.

So a footnote you saw on the internet of an Arabic translation of a 19th century typikon is good enough. Never mind the fact that the "Great Church" clearly allows this service within its own territory. The hymns themselves were written by an EP bishop in Patras and are chanted there. They are also approved in Jerusalem, Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, etc. But by all means cling to an obscure footnote in the face of reality.

If you are to take me to task, then you'll also need to do so to Fr John Morris, who posted the above. Please let us know how he responds to your PM to him.

No need . The facts speak for themselves. The opinion of one priest versus that of several bishops doesn't count for much.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2014, 08:16:54 AM »
Quote
The hymns themselves were written by an EP bishop in Patras and are chanted there.

Who was the bishop? When was this service written? In which church or churches in Patras is this service held?
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2014, 08:35:48 AM »
Quote from: LenInSebastopol

Yeah, no. Can't judge who is/not Orthodox.

She is Methodist, not Orthodox.  As far as I know a person has to be baptized or Christmated then communed to be Orthodox.

She may have some interesting findings, but Orthodox readers should be aware that her work may be flawed from an Orthodox theological perspective.


Wait!
You put up the St. Vlad's site. They gave her the Fr. Schmemann award. She says she's Orthodox.
How can you write that? How does anyone know?
What the.....what?

She presented a lecture, not received an award. Not that receipt of an award from St. Vladimir's would mean she is Orthodox, either. Nowhere on that page does she, or anybody else, say she is Orthodox. Perhaps you read it quickly? :)

According to multiple sources, including Wikipedia and her own webpage, she is a Methodist minister.

You are right, I read to quickly. There is so much "stuff" for these old eyes, and and everything is getting so small too! Thanks.
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2014, 09:20:21 AM »
Quote
The hymns themselves were written by an EP bishop in Patras and are chanted there.

Who was the bishop? When was this service written? In which church or churches in Patras is this service held?

In the cathedral, presumably. The bishop who wrote it was Met. Dionysios, in the 17th century. The present metropolitan uses it. But you are welcome to write to him or any of the other bishops who approve this service (e.g. Metropolitan Nikolaos of Plovdiv), and ask them why they do it in defiance of the Sacred Footnote. Please let us know how they respond.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 09:21:03 AM by Iconodule »
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Re: Temple Theology. Margaret Barker
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2014, 03:01:12 PM »
the Sacred Footnote

What a great day this has been on OCNet!
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