Bridging the Gap: Ritual and Ritual Texts in the Bible 9781575065960

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Bridging the Gap: Ritual and Ritual Texts in the Bible

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Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplements edited by

Richard S. Hess

1 Bridging the Gap: Ritual and Ritual Texts in the Bible, by Gerald A. Klingbeil

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Bridging the Gap: Ritual and Ritual Texts in the Bible

Gerald A. Klingbeil

Winona Lake, Indiana Eisenbrauns 2007

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ç Copyright 2007 by Eisenbrauns. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. www.eisenbrauns.com

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Klingbeil, Gerald A., 1964– Bridging the gap : ritual and ritual texts in the Bible / by Gerald A. Klingbeil. p. cm. — (Bulletin for biblical research supplements ; 1) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-57506-801-5 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Rites and ceremonies in the Bible. I. Title. BS621.K65 2007 264—dc22 2006103188

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.†‰

Contents Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ix

1. Introduction: How It All Began . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1

2. Culture, Religion, and Ritual: Definitions and Interaction . . .

5

3. Ritual from a Social-Science Perspective: Tracing the Outline of an Idea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 4. Ritual and Bible: The Genesis of a New Discipline . . . . . . . . . 45 5. Biblical Ritual in History: Periods and Perspectives . . . . . . . . . 70 6. Reading Ritual: Strategies and Trigger Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 7. Structure, Order and Sequence, Space, and Time: Ritual Elements 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 8. Objects, Action, Participants, and Language: Ritual Elements 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 9. “What Does It All Mean?” Dimensions and Functions of Ritual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 10. “Looking over the Fence”: Ritual and Other Areas of Biblical and Theological Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 11. Ritual Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, or: Some Type of a Conclusion for a Christian Theology . . . . . 242 Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 Indexes Index of Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287 Index of Scripture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Index of Other Ancient Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304

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Preface The genesis of any new book is never the result of a rugged individual slugging it out alone. Generally, it is the product of hard thinking, a healthy support system, and many hours of research and writing. In other words, it is the outcome of individual and corporate efforts that interconnect and make its production possible. In my particular case, I would like to thank many individuals who, in large or small measure, have contributed to the production of this volume. First of all, I would like to thank the administration of River Plate Adventist University for providing me the environment needed to tackle this project. Specifically, I would like to express my thanks for several travel grants and two study periods abroad that contributed greatly to the successful completion of this book. Thanks are also due to John McVay, former Dean of the Theological Seminary at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, who greatly facilitated my study periods at Andrews University in 2003 and opened all the necessary doors for me to benefit from the wonderful facilities on campus. Somehow, during my time at Andrews University, I was made to feel, not like a visiting scholar, but like a member of the family. In the same vein, I would also like to acknowledge the staff of the James White Library at Andrews University for their immense patience, excellent professional support, and cheerful attitude in the face of yet another interlibrary loan request. Sandra White, who manages the interlibrary loans, should be recognized here especially. Furthermore, I would like to express my appreciation to colleagues from all over the world who were willing to share publications relevant to this study that I could not track down locally. Among them, mention should be made of Craig A. Evans of Acadia Divinity College (Canada), Victor A. Hurowitz of Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel), and Bernard M. Levinson of the University of Minnesota (U.S.A.). Additionally, I would like to thank my colleagues and doctoral students at River Plate Adventist University for their interaction, questions, and penetrating observations. Mention must be made as well of Cobie and Peter van Bemmelen, in whose house I stayed during my research time at Andrews University. Peter, who has just retired from active teaching duties in the area of systematic theology at the Theological Seminary at Andrews University, always took the time to listen and interact. I definitely was treated as a son rather than as a visiting vii

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Preface

scholar. Thanks so much for this particular expression of love and care while I was separated from my own family. This volume is dedicated to my ever-increasing family. When work on it began, we had two daughters—Hannah and Sarah. Toward the end of this long process, we could welcome another member into our family—Jemima. All three of them are precious little girls with their own sets of rituals and characteristics, and their remarkable observation skills (particularly of their parents) have challenged me to look as thoroughly as they do. Where else does one find children who enter Daddy’s office with their own “next book project”? Thanks so much for your patience and for cheerfully accepting the fact that “he is working on the book again.” I cannot describe adequately the debt of gratitude I owe to my wife, Chantal. She is not only an excellent editor (after all, English is her native tongue), but by now she is also an expert in ritual studies. Only her interest, encouragement, and support have made this project a reality. The long walks and talks about particular questions of ritual research not only shaped my thinking but also cemented even further our commitment to one another. In this context, I would also like to thank my more extended family. During the writing of this volume, my mother, Marianne Klingbeil, was able to stay for longer than usual periods of time with us, and her cheerful presence and support have always been appreciated. My brother Martin—an expert in ANE iconography and Psalms research—and his wife, Thandi, not only shared the joys of writing this volume but also were there for the birthing pains. Mention should also be made of my wife’s parents, Esmé and Robert Ross, who cheerfully functioned as our logistical base in the U.S.A. Thank you all for your support. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to Rick Hess, the editor of the Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplements, whose inaugurating volume this study is. His friendship, academic interaction, and careful editing have been very much appreciated. During the final stages of copy editing this book, Beverly McCoy of Eisenbrauns did an outstanding job. Her expertise and help have been greatly valued. Johann Sebastian Bach always included at the end of his masterpieces the Latin phrase Soli Deo Gloria, “to God alone be the glory.” While I am not too sure that the present study is a masterpiece in the same category as Bach’s works, I would like to express the same sense of awe and recognition of God’s special blessings in this project. Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies Silang, Cavite, Philippines June 2006

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Abbreviations General ANE ASOR ATLA DSS EASA HB IBR jpsv kjv MT nasb niv njb nkjv nlt NT OT pl. sing.

Ancient Near East American Schools of Oriental Research American Theological Library Association Dead Sea Scrolls European Association of Social Anthropologists Hebrew Bible Institute for Biblical Research Jewish Publication Society Version (1985) King James Version Masoretic Text New American Standard Bible New International Version New Jerusalem Bible New King James Version New Living Translation New Testament Old Testament plural singular

Reference Works AARSR ÄAT ABD ABR ABRL ACCS AGJU AGSU AJPC ALGHJ ANES ANESSup ANETS

American Academy of Religion Studies in Religion Ägypten und Altes Testament Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by D. N. Freedman. 6 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1992 Australian Biblical Review Anchor Bible Reference Library Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums Arbeiten zur Geschichte des Spätjudentums und Urchristentums American Journal of Pastoral Counseling Arbeiten zur Literatur und Geschichte des hellenistischen Judentums Ancient Near Eastern Studies Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement Ancient Near Eastern Texts and Studies

ix

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x

AOAT AOTC ASORDS AsTJ ATD ATSDS AUSDDS AUSS AVO BAR BASOR BBB BBR BECNT BETL BHS BibB BibInt BibSem BIS BJS BLS BLT BRLJ BSac BTB BZ BZAW CahRB CAH CAJ CANE CAT CBET CBQ CBQMS CC CCARJ CCWJCW Chm CMT ConBOT

Abbreviations

Alter Orient und Altes Testament Apollos Old Testament Commentary American Schools of Oriental Research Disseration Series Asbury Theological Journal Das Alte Testament Deutsch Adventist Theological Society Dissertation Series Andrews University Seminary Doctoral Dissertation Series Andrews University Seminary Studies Altertumskunde des Vorderen Orients Biblical Archaeology Review Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research Bonner Biblische Beiträge Bulletin for Biblical Research Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament Bibliotheca ephemeridum theologicarum lovaniensium Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Edited by K. Elliger and W. Rudolph. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1977 Biblische Beiträge Biblical Interpretation The Biblical Seminar Biblical Interpretation Series Brown Judaic Studies Bible and Literature Series Brethren Life and Thought Brill Reference Library of Judaism Bibliotheca Sacra Biblical Theology Bulletin Biblische Zeitschrift Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Cahiers de la Revue Biblique Cambridge Ancient History Cambridge Archaeological Journal Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. Edited by J. Sasson. 4 vols. New York: Scribner, 1995 Commentaire de l’Ancien Testament Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology Catholic Biblical Quarterly Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series Continental Commentaries Central Conference of American Rabbis Journal Cambridge Commentaries on Writings of the Jewish and Christian World, 200 bc to ad 200 Churchman Cambridge Medieval Textbooks Coniectanea biblica: Old Testament Series

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Abbreviations

COS CSHJ CSSCA CTQ CurTM DOTP DSD EBC ECDSS EEC EJ EKL ER ErIsr EstBib ETR EvJ ExpTim FAT FC FCI FIOTL FoiVie FRLANT GPBS GTJ HAR HBS HCOT HR HSM HSS HTR HUCA HvTSt IBC IBS ICC

xi

The Context of Scripture. Edited by W. W. Hallo. 3 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1997–2003 Chicago Studies in the History of Judaism Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology Concordia Theological Quarterly Currents in Theology and Mission Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. Edited by T. D. Alexander and D. W. Baker. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2003 Dead Sea Discoveries The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Edited by F. E. Gaebelein. 12 vols. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976–91 Eerdman’s Commentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Edited by E. Ferguson. 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1997 Emmaus Journal Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon. Edited by E. Fahlbusch et al. 4 vols. 3rd ed. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985–97 The Encyclopedia of Religion. Edited by M. Eliade. 16 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1987 Eretz-Israel Estudios Bíblicos Etudes théologiques et religieuses Evangelical Journal Expository Times Forschungen zum Alten Testament Fathers of the Church Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation Formation and Interpretation of Old Testament Literature Foi et Vie Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments Global Perspectives on Biblical Scholarship Grace Theological Journal Hebrew Annual Review Herders Biblische Studien Historical Commentary on the Old Testament History of Religions Harvard Semitic Monographs Harvard Semitic Studies Harvard Theological Review Hebrew Union College Annual Hervormde Teologiese Studies Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Irish Biblical Studies International Critical Commentary

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xii

IJPT Int ISPR IST ITC JANESCU JATS JBL JBQ JBT JConRel JCPS JETS JJS JNES JNSL JQR JR JRH JRitSt JSem JSJ JSNTSup JSOT JSOTSup JSP JTT KTU

LAI LBI LitCon LitJahr LS LSAWS LTP MC ModTheo MTJ NAC NBE NIBCOT NICOT

Abbreviations

International Journal of Practical Theology Interpretation International Series in the Psychology of Religion Issues in Systematic Theology International Theological Commentary Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society of Columbia University Journal of the Adventist Theological Society Journal of Biblical Literature Jewish Bible Quarterly Jahrbuch für biblische Theologie Journal of Contemporary Religion Jewish and Christian Perspectives Series Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society Journal of Jewish Studies Journal of Near Eastern Studies Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages Jewish Quarterly Review Journal of Religion Journal of Religious History Journal of Ritual Studies Journal of Semitics Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Journal of Translation and Textlinguistics Die Keilalphabetischen Texte aus Ugarit. Edited by M. Dietrich, O. Loretz, and J. Sanmartín. AOAT 24. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker / NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1976 Library of Ancient Israel Library of Biblical Interpretation Liturgia Condenda Liturgisches Jahrbuch Louvain Studies Linguistic Studies in Ancient West Semitic Laval théologique et philosophique Mesopotamian Civilizations Modern Theology Michigan Theological Journal New American Commentary Nueva Biblia Española New International Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament New International Commentary on the Old Testament

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Abbreviations

NIDOTTE

NovTSup NTS Numen OBO OBS OBT OCCT OEAE OEANE OECS OLA OTL OtSt PBA PEQ PTT RBL RelLit RelSRev ResQ RevQ RGG RGRW SAC SAK SBLDS SBLMS SBLSymS SBS SBTS ScBEvTh SCH SDSSRL SFSHJ SHCANE SHR SJLA SJOT

xiii

New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. Edited by W. A. VanGemeren. 5 vols. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1997 Novum Testamentum Supplements New Testament Studies Numen: International Review for the History of Religions Orbis biblicus et orientalis The Oxford Bible Series Overtures to Biblical Theology The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought. Edited by A. Hastings et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000 The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Edited by D. B. Redford. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001 The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. Edited by E. M. Meyers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997 Oxford Early Christian Studies Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta Old Testament Library Oudtestamentische Studiën Proceedings of the British Academy Palestine Exploration Quarterly Playing the Texts Review of Biblical Literature Religion and Literature Religious Studies Review Restoration Quarterly Revue de Qumran Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Edited by K. Galling. 7 vols. 3rd ed. Tübingen: Mohr, 1957–65 Religions in the Graeco-Roman World Studies in Antiquity and Christianity Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series Stuttgarter Bibelstudien Sources for Biblical and Theological Study Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology Studies in Church History Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature South Florida Studies in the History of Judaism Studies in the History and Culture of the Ancient Near East Studies in the History of Religions Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament

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xiv

SJT SMEBT Spec SR SSEJC STDJ STJHC StLit SubBi SwJT TBT Theo ThWAT TJ TOTC TRE TSRPRT TST TynBul UBL UF USQR VT VTSup WAW WBC WMANT WTJ WUNT ZABR ZAW ZKG ZRGG ZTK

Abbreviations

Scottish Journal of Theology Serie monográfica de estudios bíblicos y teológicos de la Universidad Adventista del Plata Speculum Studies in Religion Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Studies and Texts in Jewish History and Culture Studia Liturgica Subsidia Biblica Southwestern Journal of Theology The Bible Today Theologika Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament. Edited by G. J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1970– Trinity Journal Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries Theologische Realenzyklopädie. Edited by G. Krause and G. Müller. 37 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977– Texts and Studies in Reformation and Post-Reformation Thought Toronto Studies in Theology Tyndale Bulletin Ugaritisch-biblische Literatur Ugarit-Forschungen Union Seminary Quarterly Review Vetus Testamentum Vetus Testamentum Supplements Writings from the Ancient World Word Biblical Commentary Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament Westminster Theological Journal Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche

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Chapter 1

Introduction: How It All Began In 1995, biblical scholar Frank Gorman published an insightful essay on the prospects of ritual study within the context of biblical studies in a special issue of the journal Semeia. 1 He described important research topics that focus on the many ritual texts of Scripture. Gorman also discussed methodological issues and pointed out specific areas that would require further studies. At about the same time, I defended my doctoral dissertation at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, which dealt with two distinct ordination rituals from the ancient Near East, and began publishing on ritual in biblical texts. During the research work, I found a growing interest in ritual itself as well as in ritual texts of the Bible, but I could not locate a handy introduction to the field as a whole that would be able to communicate this important subject matter to undergraduate or graduate students while at the same time looking beyond the introductory issues toward an integration with what we have come to know about ritual from a multidisciplinary perspective. 2 This volume has a twofold objective: First, I would like to introduce university and seminary students to the neglected field of ritual studies within the larger context of biblical and theological studies. I will look beyond the proverbial fence that surrounds our discipline. Second, by including rather extensive bibliographical references, I would like to interact with scholars in this field. As with most of us living in the 21st century, I am a product of much cultural “cross-pollination.” My personal story and professional career have been characterized by interaction with distinct cultures, a fact that in turn has made me more sensitive to ritual embedded in these different cultures and their similarities, dissimilarities, and nuances. 3 Spending the first 24 years of my life in Germany obviously shaped my world view along the lines of Western thinking. However, the following 6 years were spent in South Africa, 1. Frank H. Gorman Jr., “Ritual Studies and Biblical Studies: Assessment of the Past, Prospects for the Future,” Semeia 67 (1994 [1995]): 13–36. 2. In 2003, Brill published a very helpful volume by Ithamar Gruenwald on ritual and ritual theory, and I will interact with it in my discussion. See Ithamar Gruenwald, Rituals and Ritual Theory in Ancient Israel (BRLJ 10; Leiden: Brill, 2003). 3. The interaction of culture, society, and embedded religious elements in antiquity has recently been discussed by Douglas E. Oakman, “Culture, Society, and Embedded Religion in Antiquity,” BTB 35/1 (2005): 4–12.

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Chapter 1

where I not only did my postgraduate studies in ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Stellenbosch but also experienced “live” the tremendous changes that the end of Apartheid brought to this wonderful country. In these important years, I also married my wife, Chantal, herself an interesting mix of the typical white South Africa of that period. After defending my doctoral dissertation in January of 1995, we entered, both physically and emotionally, a state of liminality—a concept so important to modern ritual studies—and moved with everything we owned (which was not very much!) to Lima, Peru, in South America. A new language, a rather distinct culture, and wonderful people awaited us at our new work place at Peruvian Union University. During the following 6 years, we not only acquired Spanish (plus a scattering of odd phrases in Quechua) and became part of this strange and astonishing culture, but we also enjoyed the arrival of our first two girls, Hannah and Sarah, who are Peruvians with German passports. Following our time in Peru, we moved again, this time within South America, and joined the faculty of River Plate Adventist University in Libertador San Martín, Argentina. While the language remained the same (although one often wonders about the power of regional idiosyncrasies), the culture did not. During this time, we not only rejoiced in the arrival of our third child, Jemima, but also began the work on this volume dealing with ritual per se and biblical ritual texts. However, our moves were not over, and by now we could identify with the seminomadic lifestyle so common to the people of the ancient Near East. The transition we experienced brought us into yet another, completely distinct cultural context— Asia. Since January 2006, we have been working at Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, situated on the outskirts of Metro-Manila, Philippines. The student body of this postgraduate institution is extremely diverse, with more than 40 nations (from all continents!) represented by students and faculty. Why am I relating these facts to the unsuspecting reader, who may have purchased this book to read about ritual but not about the personal history of the Klingbeil clan? Changing environments has made me aware of the great need for precise observation and careful interpretation, both important tools and basic ingredients for a fruitful interaction with biblical ritual. It has also impressed on me the importance of world view for any interpreter of ancient ritual texts. As a welcome by-product, it has enabled me to learn new languages that not only were useful for reading more scholarly research from distinct corners of the world but also drove home the important parallels between linguistic structures and elements (such as morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) and similar categories of ritual found in the biblical texts. As will be easily visible in the extensive bibliography of this volume, I have benefited from the insights of French-, English-, German-, and Spanishspeaking scholars. While it is not common for undergraduate students to

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Introduction: How It All Began

3

manage these important modern languages, the references may stimulate them to look at the particular points made that also reflect distinct geographical, cultural, and religious realities. Following this brief introduction, the present volume includes nine chapters. In ch. 2, important basic concepts and terms are introduced and defined. These in turn form the basis and foundation for the following discussion. Chapter 3 provides a glimpse over the fence into territory that most university and seminary students of religion and theology have never trod—that is, the fields of anthropology and sociology and particularly the development of thinking about ritual in these important social-science fields. In ch. 4, the reader is introduced to what is happening in the study of ritual texts in biblical and religious studies. In this section, I also introduce important characteristics of biblical ritual, including its textual nature, the problematic issue of dating many ritual texts found in the Hebrew Bible, their communication strategies, their often abbreviated nature, and the benefits and possible pitfalls of the comparative method for the study of biblical ritual. Chapter 5 presents a selective history beginning with the prophetic critique of ritual in the 8th or 7th century b.c.e. and ending with the modern evangelical (and other scholars’) appreciation of ritual. In between it covers different streams of Judaism and the nascent Christian church. To my knowledge, it is the first attempt to write a history of interpretation of biblical ritual. Its inclusion is motivated by the understanding that our past dealing with a particular subject affects our present thinking. In ch. 6, I present a comprehensive reading strategy developed over the past ten years of research into ritual and based on the theoretical considerations of ritual theory. In this chapter, I also include a discussion of the elements that trigger ritual, including rites of passage, life-cycle markers, ritual as a means to solve problems, and ritual innovation and change. Chapters 7 and 8 review eight important elements that should be included in a comprehensive analysis of biblical ritual. These include (1) structure, (2) form, order and sequence, (3) space, (4) time, (5) involved objects, (6) action, (7) participants and their roles, and (8) sound and language. This is not a theoretical discussion of these important elements but an interaction with ritual texts from both the Hebrew Bible and the NT. In ch. 9, I look at the dimensions and functions of ritual. Rather than narrowing down every ritual to one particular function or dimension—a strategy that many schools of ritual interpretation have adopted—I try to describe the polyvalence of ritual by suggesting ten different dimensions. As with the earlier chapters, each dimension is introduced by looking at specific examples from biblical ritual. Chapter 10 aims to introduce possible connection points between ritual studies and theological research. As I am arguing here, the study of ritual can

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Chapter 1

make significant contributions (and is already making these contributions) in the areas of biblical theology, law, liturgy, therapy, and missiology. The final chapter provides a summary of the earlier sections but looks beyond the factual toward the conceptual. While it briefly reflects on the past of biblical ritual studies and comments on present ritual research, it also extends a dream for the future of ritual studies in the larger context of biblical and theological studies. These concluding comments are followed by an appendix with a comprehensive list of ritual texts from the Pentateuch that functions as a pilot project for a more complete list covering all of the Hebrew Bible as well as the NT. As should be expected, this is a preliminary version that will— hopefully—generate fruitful interaction with other students of biblical ritual and will result in more secure results. However, it is a beginning that should be helpful to students and scholars interested in studying biblical ritual.

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Chapter 2

Culture, Religion, and Ritual: Definitions and Interaction Introduction: Looking at the Larger Picture In the beginning . . . there are definitions. Definitions help to avoid misunderstandings, orientate the discussion, and provide a helpful, common point of departure. In this chapter I will define four main concepts that are basic to the discussion of ritual in the Bible, particularly in view of the fact that many scholarly (and nonscholarly) publications use specific terminology in a nontechnical manner that can result in confusion or plain misunderstanding. 1 I will focus on four key terms: cult, ritual, subrite , and symbol. The choice and order are not arbitrary but reflect a systems approach beginning with the largest unit and ending with the smallest subunit. In practical terms this means that a specific ritual with several subrites and involving multiple symbols needs to be viewed in the light of the larger cult (or cultural context). However, cult as the visible expression of religion does not appear in isolation from the larger context of the cultural universe. 2 Religion/cult interacts with other elements such as geography, economics, genetic inheritance, education, and time. The world view resulting from all these elements should also be considered. Figure 1 depicts the larger context of the cultural universe, including relevant elements as well as their interaction in a schematic way. 3 The arrows pointing in 1. I have discussed some of the problems with the nontechnical use of the term ritual in a study on the state of ritual studies in recent evangelical thought. Unfortunately, most studies that refer to ritual do not sufficiently define their terminology, or they use key phrases in a nontechnical manner, thus leading to confusion or making the conclusions irrelevant. See my “Between Law and Grace: Ritual and Ritual Studies in Recent Evangelical Thought,” JATS 13/2 (2002): 46–63. 2. I have opted to place these terms in the larger context of the cultural universe, a concept that goes beyond the “religious universe” proposed by religious studies scholar Jacques Waardenburg. This includes all relevant aspects of the total life experience of a human being. Compare with Jacques Waardenburg, Reflections on the Study of Religion (Religion and Reason 15; The Hague: Mouton, 1978), 102. 3. It is likely that more pertinent elements could be considered. For example, hierarchy and social standing will influence education and economic circumstances and vice versa. History and geography can determine religion.

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Chapter 2

C u lt u ra l Un iv e rs e

Religion Time

Education

Genetic Pool Economic Circumstances Geographical Provenance

Fig. 1. Interaction Model of the Cultural Universe.

both directions indicate the interactive nature of the relevant elements resulting in a specific cultural universe. Most of the indicated elements are self-explanatory. Clearly, a person born into the Incan aristocratic class in Peru before the Spanish conquest would have had a different religious perspective from a person born with AIDS and living in post-Christian Europe at the beginning of the 21st century. These distinct religious perspectives are due to differences in time, geography, genetic pool, economic circumstances, and most likely also education. These rather extreme examples are not intended to construct an evolutionary model of religion, involving a development from “primitive” to “more sophisticated,” but should serve as an illustration of the importance of the interaction of cultural components that results ultimately in a distinct world view. 4 In this perspec4. We will return to the concept of world view later in this chapter.

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tive, religion “is not just part of culture, but . . . is inseparable from it, providing symbols for the interpretation and legitimization of culture and also for its criticism.” 5 It must be kept in mind, however, that religion is not only a convenient way to describe or criticize the present culture but also is connected to the existential element that goes beyond the limited human perception and is often termed the “supernatural” or “divine” element. The mere fact that a specific culture can be host and home to more than one religion suggests religion’s transcendence of culture per se, although it surely interacts with it. A good example of the existence of multiple religions in a specific (and geographically limited) cultural context is South Africa, with its growing Muslim community among the colored and black population groups, in a country with traditionally strong Christian roots (even in the colored and black communities). More recently, indigenous religions have also experienced some type of renaissance and—interacting with traditional Christianity—have sometimes become syncretistic forms of cult and worship. 6 Clearly, culture and religion are not a oneway street but continually interact with one another. The multiplicity of religions in modern societies is often due to historical developments resulting in multiethnic entities 7 and should not be automatically assumed to have existed in ancient societies, which were generally monocultural because they were often formed along ethnic lines. Religious tolerance and intolerance in the context of ancient societies is an important and interesting point on the research agenda of religious studies scholars. Ritual plays an important role here as 5. J. Andrew Dearman, Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1992), 3. Dearman seems to have based his definition of religion on Clifford Geertz’s classification, which suggests that religion should be understood “as a set of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic” (Clifford Geertz, The Interpretations of Cultures: Selected Essays [New York: Basic Books, 1973], 89–90). A good introduction to the manifold definitions of religion (such as a purely historical or social phenomenon or a divinely ordained reality, and so on) can be found in Jacques Waardenburg, Religionen und Religion (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1986), 15–36. 6. A very helpful introduction to the history, nature, and present state of South African religions, especially Christianity, can be found in Richard Elphick and Rodney Davenport, eds., Christianity in South Africa: A Political, Social and Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998). A more concise but well-documented discussion can also be found in Kevin Ward, “Africa,” in A World History of Christianity (ed. Adrian Hastings; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 192–237. 7. One need only think of the political and ethnic divisions plaguing modern African states, which often resulted from arbitrary (and mostly conscious) dissecting that did not consider ethnic relations, resulting in multicultural and multiethnic state entities. The disastrous results of this conscious imperial policy are easily perceived today. Compare Xavier Kochuparampil, “Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in India,” Exchange 27 (1998): 371–78, concerning religious intolerance in modern India.

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well. 8 Likewise, the study of the function and role of ritual in pluralistic societies will provide important insights into the way that modern (and ancient) societies deal with diverging perspectives. 9 Once the interaction of the religious universe and the larger cultural universe is clear, a closer look at the important elements of cult, ritual, subrite, and symbol can be undertaken. Figure 2 provides a convenient illustration of the interaction of the four key terms. 10 Although a more-specific discussion and definition of the constituent elements of the religious universe will follow below, a brief introductory overview of their interaction can be undertaken here. As part and parcel of the religious universe, cult describes the entirety of religious actions, which in turn consists of a specific number of rituals comprising subrites and distinct symbols. Sometimes subrites are overlapping. In the case of ritual in the Hebrew Bible, specific subrites, such as washing 11 or blood daubing, 12 appear in different rit8. Michael Mach has produced an interesting study of the hermeneutics and resulting theology of the Qumran community in the larger context of Second Temple Judaism. He submits that the community’s reinterpretation of the Scriptures and especially of the remnant concept, their self-understanding as the true priests, and their dualistic concept of the world (“sons of light” vs. “sons of darkness”) resulted in conflict with the cultural and religious concepts outside Qumran, which in turn led to intolerance. See Michael Mach, “Conservative Revolution? The Intolerant Innovations of Qumran,” in Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Judaism and Christianity (ed. Graham N. Stanton and Guy G. Stroumsa; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 61–79. 9. Compare Jan Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” in Pluralism and Identity: Studies in Ritual Behaviour (ed. Jan Platvoet and Karel van der Toorn; SHR 67; Leiden: Brill, 1995), 25–51. Karel van der Toorn has studied the function of ritual and the issue of pluralism and tolerance/intolerance in biblical narrative, focusing on the story of the Rechabites ( Jer 35:1–19), which oscillates between self-assertion and resistance (see Karel van der Toorn, “Ritual Resistance and Self-Assertion: The Rechabites in Early Israelite Religion,” in Pluralism and Identity: Studies in Ritual Behaviour [ed. Jan Platvoet and Karel van der Toorn; SHR 67; Leiden: Brill, 1995], 229–59). 10. Figure 2 has been taken, with slight modifications, from my Comparative Study of the Ritual of Ordination as Found in Leviticus 8 and Emar 369 (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1998), 31. 11. The washing of feet occurs in the context of hospitality (Gen 18:4, 19:2, 24:32, 43:24; Judg 19:21; 1 Sam 25:21; and so on) as well as in the context of specific rituals, such as the priestly ordination (Exod 29:4, 40:12; Lev 8:6—washing of Aaron of his sons; Exod 29:17, Lev 8:21—washing of entrails and legs of the ram of the ordination offering), the general context of sacrifice whereby the priests are to wash feet and hands (Exod 30:18–21, 40:30–32), the purification rituals of lepers and leprous houses (Lev 14:8–9), and so on. While the washing subrites do not always mean the same thing, they transmit the general idea of an important change in status or position in different cultural and religious spheres. Compare Bruce J. Malina, “Hospitality,” in Biblical Social Values and Their Meaning (ed. John J. Pilch and Bruce J. Malina; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993), 104– 7; Jacob Milgrom, “Ablutions,” in Die hebräische Bibel und ihre zweifache Nachgeschichte: Festschrift für Rolf Rendtorff zum 65. Geburtstag (ed. Erhard Blum et al.; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1990), 87–95; Elmer A. Martens, “≈jr,” NIDOTTE 3:1098–99. Baptism in the context of the NT carries a similar meaning. 12. The application of blood to persons or inanimate objects appears many times in the Hebrew Bible. Blood from the Passover sacrifice is painted on the doorposts and the lintel of the

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Religious Universe Cult Symbol A

Ritual B Subrite 2

Subrite 2 Symbol C Subrite 1

Subrite 1

Ritual A e.g., rite of passage

Subrite 3

Symbol B

Subrite 3 Symbol A

Symbol E

Subrite 4 Symbol D

Ritual C Subrite 5

Subrite 2

Symbol F Symbol B

Subrite 1

Fig. 2. Model of Hierarchy of the Cultural Universe.

ual contexts that are not always directly related. While they do not carry a “standard” set of meaning(s), they sometimes share similar elements. These elements have been described as “symbol A,” “symbol B,” and so on. Symbols can be overlapping and are often repeated in distinct ritual contexts. One Israelites’ houses in Egypt (Exod 12:22–23). Moses sprinkles blood from the covenant sacrifice on the altar (Exod 24:6) as well as on the people (Exod 24:8). The blood of the ordination offering is put on the right ear lobe, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of Aaron and his sons during the ordination ritual (Exod 29:20; Lev 8:23)—with a similar rite performed during the purification ritual of the leper (Lev 14:14). During the ceremony of the red heifer, the animal is slaughtered and its blood is sprinkled seven times toward the entrance of the tabernacle (Num 19:4). For more biblical references, see my Comparative Study, 290–95.

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could actually say that a specific cultural universe (including the smaller religious universe) has a set of symbols that are used to describe the world. Both subrites and symbols form the basic tool set for constructing distinct rituals that—taken together—represent the cult of a given religious universe. In the following sections of this chapter, we will look at basic definitions of the four key elements of ritual. These definitions will be placed in the larger discussion about the world view of a specific culture. The interaction of ritual and world view has not always been recognized adequately in the past in biblical studies. This has sometimes resulted in an isolated or even uninformed discussion of ritual. 13 Paradigm changes do not occur quickly and suddenly. 14 They require critical mass and repeated effort. In this sense, the present study, while endeavoring to introduce a more integrated, structured, and consistent way of reading and understanding rituals in the Bible, does face limitations specific to the nature of the available textual data, which will be discussed later on.

Definitions: “What Are You Talking About?” Any type of scientific research begins with clear-cut definitions of specific terminology. This methodology serves two main purposes: First, it helps to 13. A brief review of literature on ritual between 1950 and 1980 in biblical studies demonstrates a peculiar phenomenon: scholars focused predominantly on specific problems or comparative data with little or no reference to the theoretical underpinnings of ritual studies that had been discussed and advanced by anthropologists such as van Gennep, Turner, Leach, Geertz and others. In biblical studies, the work of René Girard (who himself is not a biblical scholar) on sacrifice published in 1977—although not universally accepted—did to some degree signal a methodological Aufbruch in the larger discipline in regard to employed methodology and generated a sizable number of publications interacting with his work from distinct perspectives. See René Girard, Violence and the Sacred (trans. P. Gregory; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977); and Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16 (AB 3; New York: Doubleday, 1991), 440–42, for a critique of Girard’s position. Compare with Rebecca Adams, “Violence, Difference, Sacrifice: A Conversation with René Girard,” RelLit 25/2 (1993): 11–33; and Michael E. Hardin, “Violence: René Girard and the Recovery of Early Christian Perspective,” BLT 37 (1992): 107–20. 14. See the groundbreaking and often-cited study of Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (2nd ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970). Recently, Robert F. Shedinger (“Kuhnian Paradigms and Biblical Scholarship: Is Biblical Studies a Science?” JBL 119 [2000]: 453–71) has challenged the notion of a paradigm change in biblical studies on the basis of fundamental differences in academic outlook, practice, and reality between the natural sciences community and the biblical studies academic community. His points are well taken; however, the existence of differences in these areas does not necessarily undermine the basic concept of predominant paradigms. A scholar advocating a totally distinct position would definitely have a hard time finding audiences, quality publishing opportunities, or even employment in mainstream academia. A rather telling discussion of the specifics of paradigms in biblical studies can be found in Ziony Zevit, The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches (London: Continuum, 2001), 5–10.

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clarify the use of terms throughout a given study and results in a more transparent presentation. Second, it helps the reader to know the exact point of departure of the author. Sadly, in religious studies (including biblical studies, although not just restricted to this field), definitions are not always a strong point in the area of ritual and ritual studies. 15 It seems that the term ritual has a broad range of meaning and as a result is often used indiscriminately. Clearly, there exists a distinction between the common, everyday use of a term and its technical use in an academic context. This observation is also reflected in the literature on the subject, as can be seen in the pertinent remarks of Bernhard Lang’s article on “Kult” in the German reference work Handbuch religionswissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe, where he laments the lack of a common and generally accepted nomenclature. 16

Cult and World View: Dependence and Interaction Cult describes the entirety of religious actions and must be seen against the backdrop of the world view of a specific group. The term derives from Latin cultus, which itself is a participle of the verb colere, “cultivate, care for, honor, revere.” 17 Recent studies on religion in the biblical and theological fields have emphasized world view as important in understanding religious expressions and their underlying concepts. World view functions as the grid that orders and aligns all elements of our life and outlook. A good illustration taken from the computer world is that of the operating system. World view corresponds to the operating system, which allows other programs and data to be integrated and understood in a meaningful way. 18 Grenz has recently emphasized the close connection between world view, culture, and theological thinking. 19 15. See, for example, J. Alberto Soggin, Israel in the Biblical Period: Institutions, Festivals, Ceremonies, Rituals (trans. J. Bowden; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2001), 75–76. Soggin discusses in a concise (or even cursory) manner the term cult (adopting definitions from Eichrodt and Mowinckel), but I could not find specific definitions of the terms ritual, ceremony, and festival and their distinction. A more thorough theoretical introduction to the larger question of religion, world view, and expressions of the two can be found in Zevit, The Religions of Ancient Israel, 11–80. The scope, collected data, and the integration of these data in Zevit’s monumental work are extraordinary and provide a useful source of information concerning the religion of Israel. 16. Bernhard Lang, “Kult,” in Handbuch religionswissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe (ed. Hubert Cancik et al.; 6 vols.; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1993), 3:474–88. 17. See here, Soggin, Israel in the Biblical Period, 75–76. 18. See here the important remarks found in Chantal J. Klingbeil, “Iglesia y cultura: ¿Amigas o enemigas?” in Pensar la iglesia hoy: Hacia una eclesiología adventista. Estudios teológicos presentados durante el IV Simposio Bíblico-Teológico Sudamericano en honor a Raoul Dederen (ed. Gerald A. Klingbeil et al.; Libertador San Martín, Argentina: Editorial Universidad Adventista del Plata, 2002), 351– 54. Compare with Ronald A. Simkins, Creator and Creation: Nature in the Worldview of Ancient Israel (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994), 23–24. 19. Stanley J. Grenz, “Culture and Spirit: The Role of Cultural Context in Theological Reflection,” AsTJ 55/2 (2000): 37–51.

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A similar relationship can also be posited for biblical studies. If we want to understand the reality of biblical ritual and religion, we need first to understand the underlying operating system governing the mind of the ancient authors and readers of the biblical text. This has also been observed by David Naugle, who reviewed the role of world view in Protestant evangelicalism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy: The massive philological and philosophical history of the concept; its prominent use in the natural and social sciences; its theological utility; and its impact as a semiotic system of narrative signs on reason, hermeneutics, and epistemology all lead to three simple conclusions. The first is that world view has played an extraordinary role in modern and Christian thought. The second is that it is one of the central intellectual conceptions in recent times. The third is that it is a notion of utmost, if not final, human, cultural, and Christian significance.20

A useful definition of world view has been provided by Simkins, who writes: “Worldview encompasses the mental functioning that directs human actions. It is the cognitive basis for human interaction with the social and physical environments. . . . It is a view of the world, a way of looking at reality. . . . A people’s worldview shapes and is shaped by their social and physical environments.” 21 However, world view is also dynamic, and in this sense it goes beyond the bits and bites of the operating system metaphor. It is not something that our parents put into our crib from the first month of our lives, but it shapes and is shaped by our personal experiences and is subject to both internal and external factors. Figure 3 provides a good graphical depiction of the dynamic but encompassing nature of world view. 22 The focus on cult, in the context of a study on ritual in the Bible and in biblical studies, 23 suggests an underlying frame of reference—namely, ritual is always connected to religious expression and is, thus, part of a larger cultic context. Is ritual essentially bound to religious expression—as some would argue 24—or at least to semireligious or quasi-religious contexts? 25 One could think of coming-of-age 20. David K. Naugle, Worldview: The History of a Concept (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 344. 21. Simkins, Creator and Creation, 23–24. 22. Michael Kearney, World View (Novato, CA: Chandler & Sharp, 1984), 120. A good review of the history of the concept, its development, and impact in a Christian context can be found in Naugle, Worldview: The History of a Concept. 23. Grenz, “Culture and Spirit.” For a good introduction to the issues of culture, world view, and religion and their practical implications for missiology, also see Paul W. Hiebert, R. Daniel Shaw, and Tite Tiénou, Understanding Folk Religion: A Christian Response to Popular Beliefs and Practices (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999). 24. See here the rather limited definition found in Charlotte Seymour-Smith, Dictionary of Anthropology (Boston: Hall, 1986), 248, which understands ritual as a “category of behavior . . . characterized by its religious nature or purpose.” 25. For a discussion of the distinction between sacred rituals (for example, communion ritual, mass, and so on) § phatic rituals (for example, political ritual, world cup, super bowl) § secular

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Action Alters Environment

Directs

Generates World View

Cultural Reification Social and Symbiosis and Physical Projective Environment Systems

Outside Sources of Change

(Perception) Modifies

Fig. 3. Interaction of World View, Culture, and Physical World.

celebrations in distinct contexts. For white South Africans, both in the Afrikaaner and the English subculture, the celebration of the 21st birthday is important and marks the step into complete adulthood. Traditionally, the parents present a symbolic gift, often including a key to the house or a key symbol, which indicates that the son or daughter is now considered free to come and go. Obviously, the son or daughter has come and gone already, has driven a car, has been studying at university, or has been holding down a job, but in the world view of white South Africans, 21 years mark the entrance to full responsibility and appears to be rooted in European traditions of the past century, when 21 was often considered the legal age. The giving of a key in the context of a birthday celebration in the presence of family and friends important to the family represents ritualized behavior, although it does not seem to be connected to religion per se. It includes important ritual elements and markers, such as time, objects, and participants, but it does not imply religious connotations. In this example, a ritualized action or a rite appears outside the context of cult and religion. 26 rituals (for example, academic lectures, meetings and dinners, retirement ceremonies, and so on), see James R. McLeod, “Ritual in Corporate Culture Societies: An Anthropological Approach,” JRitSt 4/1 (1990): 87. McLeod perceives these divisions not as hard and fast but rather as “specific phases along a continuum.” 26. An interesting discussion of the birthday party as a rite or ritualized act can be found in Cele Otnes and Mary Ann McGrath, “Ritual Socialization and the Children’s Birthday Party: The Early Emergence of Gender Differences,” JRitSt 8/1 (1994): 73–93.

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In Peru, the 21st birthday has no specific significance. However, especially for girls, the 15th birthday is a major event. 27 People of all social backgrounds splash out to provide an adequate framework for the daughter’s “entry” into society, even if they cannot really afford it. Dresses are made especially for this occasion, sometimes copying elements of a wedding ritual. 28 The largerfamily relatives (which can number hundreds of people) are invited to share in this event and often also help financially, logistically, and materially. Again, elements commonly found in rituals or rites are used in an essentially nonreligious context. Additional examples from distinct cultures could be added here, including retirement ceremonies, wedding anniversaries, and so forth. Thus, it seems that ritual is present and observable in all contexts of life, in all cultures, as well as in places entirely disconnected from religion. 29 However, in the context of the present study focusing on the Bible and biblical studies, it seems that ritual was indeed connected to religion and cult because of the specific integrative and holistic world view that can be perceived in the Bible.

Ritual: What Is It Exactly? Defining ritual is a dangerous and risky undertaking. Definitions abound and not only differ in minute specifics but also depend heavily on underlying philosophical presuppositions. 30 Truly, one could write a monograph discussing only the development of anthropological thought as reflected in the evolving definitions of ritual. In the following, I will introduce a number of recent definitions of ritual presented by current experts in the field. Where appropriate, I will also include some critical remarks with each of these proposals, followed by a definition of ritual as employed in this study. My ambitions are rather modest, because I do not try to paint the complete picture of the development of distinct definitions of ritual. Particularly important contributions are introduced in an eclectic and descriptive way. The focus of this section will also rest on more-recent contributions. To be sure, the pioneering works of van Gennep, Durkheim, Leach, Geertz, and Turner need to be recognized and—as can be plainly seen—function as the foundation for more recent suggestions. 31 27. This is not just a phenomenon of Peruvian culture but is reflected in many Latino cultures. 28. Often, there are maids of honor and other elements that seem to reflect wedding symbolism. 29. See Gruenwald (Rituals and Ritual Theory, 3), who writes: “However, on a general epistemological level, I consider rituals to be structured forms of human behaviour which, initially, have no specific links to religious issues.” 30. In order to illustrate this point, one only needs to consult appendix 1 in Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 42–45, which presents in chronological order 24 different definitions of ritual beginning in 1909 with van Gennep and ending in 1991 with the definition of David Parkin. Compare the brief historical review found in Catherine Bell, Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 1–60. 31. For evaluations of the contributions of some of these scholars to ritual research, see the following studies: Henri Geerts, “An Inquiry into the Meanings of Ritual Symbolism: Turner and

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In 1991, David Parkin, Professor of African Anthropology at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies at the University of London, defined ritual in the following way: “Ritual is a formulaic spatiality carried out by groups of people who are conscious of its imperative or compulsory nature and who may or may not further inform this spatiality with spoken words.” 32 Parkin’s definition emphasizes three important elements of ritual: its situatedness in physical reality (= “spatiality”); its formulaic nature, suggesting repetition; and its societal function involving conscious recognition of the ritual. Clearly, all these elements are highly relevant for a definition of ritual. However, as has been argued by Gerd Baumann from Brunel University, ritual is not necessarily part of a homogeneous community but may involve competing constituencies. Furthermore, instead of only speaking a pre-agreed language that enforces or repeats cultural and social structures, ritual can also aspire toward cultural change and thus speak not only to “insiders” but also to “outsiders.” 33 Baumann’s important contribution could also be described as the innovative function of ritual. Ritual not only preserves or maintains existing social (and power) structures but also can be innovative and transformative, as can be seen in particular Christian rituals (for example, the communion celebration) that grew out of known Jewish rituals. 34 This innovative or transformational aspect of ritual is important, although it should not be construed as the only dimension of ritual. Undoubtedly, ritual distinguishes between “insider” and “outsider” and often is not entirely understood by those not belonging to a particular social group. Another important element of ritual appears in Richard Schechner’s definition of ritual and focuses on ritual action. He writes: “in ritual ordinary behavior is condensed, exaggerated, repeated, made into rhythms or pulses (often faster or slower than usual) or frozen into poses. . . . Ritual action is similar to what happens in theater and dance. There too behavior is rearranged, condensed, exaggerated and made rhythmic, while colorful costumes, masks and face and body painting enhance the movement display.” 35 The particular focus of this definition on ritual action unfortunately makes other important elements secondary. This is a regrettable tendency, also found in other definitions of or approaches to the study of ritual, whereby one element Peirce,” in Current Studies on Rituals: Perspectives for the Psychology of Religion (ed. Hans-Günter Heimbrock and H. Barbara Boudewijnse; ISPR 2; Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990), 19–32; Jean-Yves Hameline, “Les Rites de passage of Arnold Van Gennep,” StLit 33 (2003): 129–50; and Gerd Baumann, “Ritual Implicates ‘Others’: Rereading Durkheim in a Plural Society,” in Understanding Rituals (ed. Daniel de Coppet; EASA; London: Routledge, 1992), 97–116. 32. David Parkin, “Ritual as Spatial Direction and Bodily Division,” in Understanding Rituals (ed. Daniel de Coppet; EASA; London: Routledge, 1992), 18. 33. Baumann, “Ritual Implicates ‘Others,’” esp. 98–99. 34. See a more detailed discussion of this issue below, ch. 6 (pp. 144–145). 35. Richard Schechner, “The Future of Ritual,” JRitSt 1/1 (1987): 5.

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is emphasized over others. While action is one of the typical characteristics of ritual, verbal and nonverbal communication, space and time, participants, and relevant objects should not be neglected. A more balanced view of the interaction of ritual elements, without setting up one as predominant over the others, but focusing on their mutual interaction may be a better way of defining ritual. Evan Zuesse has defined ritual in his review article in the Encyclopedia of Religion as “those conscious and voluntary, repetitious and stylized symbolic bodily actions that are centered on cosmic structures and/or sacred presences.” 36 As already mentioned earlier, ritual should not be posited only in religious contexts but requires a broader perspective. A strong point of Zuesse’s definition that has not yet been mentioned in the definitions discussed above involves the specific nature of action—that is, conscious, voluntary, repetitious, and stylized. As in Schechner’s definition, I perceive an undue focus on action that should be avoided. Ronald Grimes is Professor of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and an important voice in ritual studies. 37 His definition of ritual is rather “soft” and open and focuses particularly on what he calls “ritualizing.” According to Grimes, “ritualizing transpires as animated persons enact formative gestures in the face of receptivity during crucial times in founded places.” 38 In a study published in 1992, which seeks to describe the state of ritual studies, he describes his thinking about ritual even more by questioning some of the mainstays of ritual theory—namely, that ritual is always traditional, always collective, always precritical, and always meaningful. 39 His definition clearly emphasizes the importance of time and space in ritual and takes the quasi-automatic religious association of ritual out of the picture. It also marks the importance of particular (that is, “formative”) actions performed by important ritual participants. Furthermore, the use of the gerund (“ritualizing”) emphasizes the processual nature of ritual, particularly when one considers emerging rituals. Ritual not only exists (thus requiring recognition and definition), but it is birthed every moment in our personal or in larger societal contexts. In this sense Grimes has provided a helpful definition the only (albeit significant) fault of which may be its somewhat open nature, which could result in an overabundance of ritual and a loss of the contours and limits 36. Evan M. Zuesse, “Ritual,” ER 16:405. 37. Some of his more important studies include Ronald L. Grimes, Beginnings in Ritual Studies (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1982); idem, Research in Ritual Studies: A Programmatic Essay and Bibliography (ATLA Bibliography Series 14; Metuchen, NJ: American Theological Library Association / London: Scarecrow, 1985); and idem, Ritual Criticism: Case Studies in Its Practice, Essays on Its Theory (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1990). 38. Idem, Beginnings in Ritual Studies, 55. 39. Idem, “Reinventing Ritual,” Soundings 75 (1992): 21–41.

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that are generally helpful when one seeks to describe reality. Grimes’s work has had an immense influence, and Catherine Bell from Santa Clara University is at least partially following him in her own work, 40 although she seems to be more interested in societal power structures. She writes: “When analyzed as ritualization, acting ritually emerges as a particular cultural strategy of differentiation linked to particular social effects and rooted in distinctive interplay of a socialized body and the environment it structures.” 41 The contribution of University of Chicago professor Jonathan Z. Smith to the theoretical discussion of ritual cannot be underestimated. It is noteworthy that, in his seminal work To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual, Smith does not provide a convenient definition of ritual but opts for a comparative and descriptive method. 42 For him, space is one of the major elements of ritual that converts actions that may elsewhere have no meaning or a different meaning into a meaningful structure that speaks to participants and observers. One of the latest entries in the kaleidoscope of ritual definitions has been submitted by Ithamar Gruenwald, Professor of Religious Studies at Tel Aviv University. Gruenwald submits that rituals include ritual theory embedded in themselves. 43 According to him, “rituals are behaviourally autonomous (that is, intrinsically independent) expressions of the human mind.” 44 This minimum definition highlights the importance of meaning in ritual. If ritual is the expression of the human mind, one should expect some type of significance to which this expression corresponds. Additionally, Gruenwald also stresses structure in his ritual theory, as well as the repetitive potential of rituals. 45 I find Gruenwald’s suggestion regarding the embedded ritual theory of each ritual attractive, although I must confess doubt about its practicality, particularly when one is dealing with rituals that only exist in written form. Will the function or dimension of a ritual point to its underlying ritual theory? And if so, does this not result in confusing the underlying structure with the intended (if 40. Catherine Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 7–8, 73–74, 88–89. 41. Ibid., 7–8. 42. Jonathan Z. Smith, To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual (CSHJ; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987). Other relevant publications include idem, “The Bare Facts of Ritual,” HR 20 (1980): 112–27; idem, Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown (CSHJ; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982); idem, “Trading Places,” in Ancient Magic and Ritual Power (ed. Marvin Meyer and Paul Mirecki; RGRW 129; Leiden: Brill, 1995), 13–27; and most recently, idem, “Religion Up and Down, Out and In,” in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (ed. Barry M. Gittlen; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 3–10. 43. Gruenwald, Ritual and Ritual Theory, 2. 44. Ibid., 2. 45. Ibid., 6–8. “Each ritual has its own structure and its own embodied ritual theory. Depending on its specific structure, each ritual achieves its purposive goals in a manner that differs from other rituals.”

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that is always present, as questioned by Grimes) outcome? It would be interesting to find out if Gruenwald’s notion of embedded ritual theory means that rituals can be easily transferred (and also understood) between distinct cultures and periods. In terms of logic, one should expect this scenario to be parallel to the concept of embedded operating systems that modern computer processors can include in a specialized memory module (ROM = Read Only Memory) included on the chip. A final suggestion concerning the definition of ritual should be included in this brief review. Wesley Bergen recently published an interesting discussion of biblical ritual in a postmodern culture. 46 Bergen recognizes the nonspecific nature of the term ritual, particularly in scholarly publications, 47 and opts for a rather general definition of ritual, focusing on ritualized acts, instead of ritual per se. In this he follows Catherine Bell’s lead, 48 though he acknowledges that his work focuses primarily on ritual performance. 49 My personal definition of ritual is less ambitious and revolutionary and focuses predominantly on the phenomenology of ritual and its included dimensions. I am indebted here to the work of Jan Platvoet, who writes: [Ritual is] that ordered sequence of stylized social behaviour that may be distinguished from ordinary interaction by its alerting qualities which enable it to focus the attention of its audiences—its congregation as well as the wider public—onto itself and cause them to perceive it as a special event, performed at a special place and/or time, for a special occasion and/or with a special message.50

This definition recognizes the social dimension of ritual, without focusing exclusively on religious ritual (albeit including it). It also emphasizes the important elements of space, time, action, and participants as well as the alerting quality of ritual. It is aware of the normality of ritual behavior and action— that is, ritual does not necessarily refer to “strange” elements that are unrelated to or disconnected from the reality of a particular culture or society. In this sense, it also leaves sufficient space for Grimes’s concept of ritualization. In later chapters I will describe more specific elements of ritual (particularly biblical ritual) as well as multiple dimensions that should be understood in the context of the basic working definition of ritual.

Subrites: Pieces of the Pie The term rite (from the Latin ritus) has traditionally been employed in theological discussions, while social sciences or religious studies have used 46. Wesley J. Bergen, Reading Ritual: Leviticus in Postmodern Culture ( JSOTSup 417; PTT 7; London: T. & T. Clark, 2005). 47. Ibid., 5. 48. Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, 7–8. 49. Bergen, Reading Ritual, 5–6. 50. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 41.

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the term ritual. 51 As can be easily imagined, this indistinct usage has lent itself to confusion. 52 Particularly, when one reads research in biblical and theological studies, one never quite knows in which sense a particular author employs the term rite or ritual. Is a reference to a particular subrite of a larger ritual complex being envisioned or are these terms employed as synonyms? 53 This tendency can be illustrated by a quotation from the otherwise very helpful recent study on hierarchy in biblical representations of cult by Saul Olyan, in which one can see his synonymous use of rite and ritual: “Ritual, in my view, is not simply a reproductive activity in which social distinctions are mirrored, but also a productive operation in which social difference is realized. Rites shape reality for participants; they do not simply reflect some preexisting set of social arrangements brought into being elsewhere [emphasis mine].” 54 In the present context I employ rite in the sense of a smaller subunit of the larger ritual complex. For example, the ritual of ordination as detailed in Leviticus 8 involves several rites that only together represent the complete ritual. Elements such as sacrifices (which in themselves could be subdivided into smaller elements), washing rites, sprinkling rites, dressing rites, and so on make up a larger whole. In this sense, a rite represents a smaller building block of the larger ritual. This Lego-type system of interconnected elements does not merely provide a convenient way of organizing and defining different terminology but suggests a more integrated cultural system that presupposes common elements, symbols, and world view.

Symbol: Beyond the Obvious and Concrete Symbols are the basic building blocks of ritual performance and may grow out of any of the elements of ritual proper. 55 Anthropologist Clifford Geertz has defined a symbol as “any physical, social, or cultural act or object that serves as a vehicle for a conception.” 56 A broader definition has been provided by Viberg, who suggests that a symbol is “an entity which stands for and 51. Carsten Colpe, “Ritus, 1: Religionsgeschichtlich,” EKL 3:1660. 52. I found the use of rite in Frank H. Gorman Jr. (“Ritualizing, Rite and Pentateuchal Theology,” in Prophets and Paradigms: Essays in Honor of Gene M. Tucker [ed. Stephen Breck Reid; JSOTSup 229; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996], 173–86) mildly confusing, particularly considering the fact that he interacts a great deal with social-science research, in which scholars employ the term ritual almost unanimously. Gorman seems to use rite as a synonym of ritual. 53. I have discussed the lack of technical usage in biblical and theological studies—as related to ritual—in a study focusing on evangelical scholarship (“Between Law and Grace”). 54. Saul M. Olyan, Rites and Rank: Hierarchy in Biblical Representations of Cult (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 4. 55. See here Frank H. Gorman Jr., The Ideology of Ritual: Space, Time and Status in the Priestly Theology ( JSOTSup 91; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990), 22. 56. Clifford Geertz, The Interpretations of Cultures: Selected Essays (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 208.

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represents another entity.” 57 The representative function of a symbol as well as its communicative dimension should be emphasized. Symbols are also not created arbitrarily and seem to be rooted in common life experiences. 58 This particular trait is often cited to distinguish a symbol from a sign, although common experiences should not be overemphasized or construed as an indication of “objective” symbols that are indicative of humanity as a whole. Clearly, symbols are also culture-bound. 59 The institution of the seventh-day Sabbath—clearly anchored in the Hebrew Bible—with its particular symbolic function of creation-rest and salvation-joy does not appear in every culture on planet earth. 60 Color symbolism is also highly culturally bound. For example, in Western tradition, white is a color that indicates purity and cleanliness. In Buddhist society, white generally is associated with coldness and death, a fact that resulted in Buddhists’ less-than-enthusiastic reception of Western-style hospitals, which traditionally have emphasized cleanliness by using the color white lavishly. Another important aspect to be considered is the ambiguity or multidimensionality of symbols. 61 A particular symbol can represent many different concepts at the same time. In the ritual universe of the Hebrew Bible, blood can represent life, while at the same time it can transmit sins and, paradoxically, is required to receive forgiveness. During the purification ritual on the Day of Atonement, blood is sprinkled over the cover of the ark of the covenant (Lev 16:14–15), which results in atonement (or expiation) of the sanctuary. 62 Anthropologist Victor Turner has described this phenomenon poignantly: 57. Åke Viberg, Symbols of Law: A Contextual Analysis of Legal Symbolic Acts in the Old Testament (ConBOT 34; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1992), 3. A similar definition can also be found in the review article by James W. Heisig (“Symbolism,” ER 14:204), who states that “the nature of the symbolic process consists in the fact that one thing, usually concrete and particular, stands for something else, usually abstract and generalized, and becomes a focal point for thoughts and emotions associated with that referent, or a trigger for a set of habits associated with it.” 58. T. Fawcett, The Symbolic Language of Religion: An Introductory Study (London: SCM, 1970), 14–16. 59. As has been pointed out by anthropologist Mary Douglas (Natural Symbols [New York: Random, 1973], 11), it is impossible to posit a cross-cultural, pan-human pattern of symbols. However, to view and explain our world by means of symbols seems to be a general human tendency. 60. See Lothar Ruppert (“Symbole im Alten Testament,” in Freude am Gottesdienst: Aspekte ursprünglicher Liturgie [ed. Josef Schreiner; Stuttgart: Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1983], 93–105), who discusses the symbolic importance of the Sabbath and circumcision in the context of the Hebrew Bible. 61. See here Victor W. Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-structure (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969), 48. 62. The Hebrew text employs the word kipper, “cover over, make propitiation.” A good introduction to the issues involved in the translation and interpretation of the verbal form can be found in Nobuyoshi Kiuchi, The Purification Offering in the Priestly Literature: Its Meaning and Function ( JSOTSup 56; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987), 87–109.

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I have long considered that the symbols of rituals are, so to speak, ‘storage units,’ into which are packed the maximum amount of information. They can also be regarded as multi-faceted mnemonics, each facet corresponding to a specific cluster of values, norms, beliefs, sentiments, social roles, and relationships within the total cultural system of the community performing the ritual. . . . The total ‘significance’ of a symbol may be obtained only from a consideration of how it is interpreted in every one of the ritual contexts in which it appears, i.e., with regard to its role in the total ritual system.63

In the context of our present quest, it should be emphasized that symbols need to be studied in their particular literary and cultural contexts, particularly when there are no firsthand informants and the primary data come from texts, and, to a lesser degree, from the material culture discovered by archaeologists.

In Retrospect In this chapter, we have presented important definitions that should provide the basic foundation for the discussion of ritual and ritual texts in the Bible. Going from the largest to the smallest definable unit and locating these important elements within the context of the larger cultural universe, we have emphasized the inclusive nature of cult, which comprises the entirety of religious actions and must be seen against the backdrop of the world view of a specific group. In the following section, a wide variety of definitions of ritual that have been suggested over the past decades were presented and also critically analyzed. This was followed by the definition that will be employed in this study, which understands ritual as an ordered sequence of stylized social behavior that may be distinguished from ordinary interaction by its alerting qualities, which enable it to focus the attention of its audiences (its congregation as well as the wider public) onto itself and cause them to perceive it as a special event, performed at a special place and/or time, for a special occasion, and/or with a special message. This definition posits ritual in the larger context of social (and not necessarily only religious) interaction. It also emphasizes the important elements of space, time, action, and participants as well as the alerting quality of ritual. It is aware of the normality of ritual behavior and action—that is, ritual does not necessarily refer to “strange” elements that are unrelated and disconnected from the reality of a particular culture or society. The smaller unit of subrite (or just plain rite) should be understood in terms of its integration into the larger ritual as well as its seemingly semidependent nature. Subrites function as “Lego-block” units that can appear in diverse rituals with distinct dimensions and functions. Finally, I have adopted Geertz’s fairly broad definition of symbol as the smallest unit of the ritual process as 63. Victor W. Turner, The Drums of Affliction: A Study of Religious Processes among the Ndembu of Zambia (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968), 1–2.

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any physical, social, or cultural act or object that serves as a vehicle for a concept. It should be noted that we have also further qualified this definition by pointing to the multivalence of symbols, their general presence in human life (perhaps rooted in human consciousness), without positing a pan-human pattern of symbols. This multidimensional aspect of the meaning of symbols can often result in ambiguity and requires a conscious contextual reading that looks at the particulars of the ritual while not overlooking its larger position (and general use of symbols) in the overall religious universe of the specific culture.

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Ritual from a Social-Science Perspective: Tracing the Outline of an Idea Introduction: What Are We Talking About? Ritual is part and parcel of our daily life, although we may often not even be fully aware of its presence. Ritual transforms, orders, signals, maintains, initiates, focuses, and fulfills so many other functions that it is an important aspect of most research projects in anthropological or sociological studies. 1 Within this perspective, the social character of ritual behavior is emphasized in the context of the sociofunctional approach, 2 which describes symbolic and religious activities in terms of their function in the social makeup of a given group or society. Other disciplines that focus on ritual in order to understand and study the cultural process include history of religion or comparative religions, 3 sociobiology, philosophy, and the study of intellectual history. 4 1. A quick glance at most studies involving cultural anthropology or sociology demonstrates this. There is always a section dealing with religion and ritual. See, for example, Vernon Reynolds and Ralph Tanner, The Social Ecology of Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 25–28, where they discuss the importance of religion (and the smaller subunit of ritual) in a comparative study that looks at the social dimension of religion in different social and cultural contexts. Ronald L. Grimes is an important contributor to the study of religious ritual, seeking to connect ritual studies with anthropological fieldwork. For a concise description of the state of affairs of recent social anthropology, with additional bibliography, see Traugott Schöfthaler, “Anthropology. 5. Social Anthropology,” in The Encyclopedia of Christianity (ed. Erwin Fahlbusch et al.; trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans / Leiden: Brill, 1999), 1:76–77. A good example of the social-anthropological perspective on ritual (from a distinct European angle) can be found in the various articles published in Daniel de Coppet, ed., Understanding Rituals (EASA; London: Routledge, 1992) with examples taken from different regions and social realities including India, Indonesia, and Burkina Faso. 2. One of the major contributors in this area is Victor Turner, and one of his landmark publications is entitled The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. See also recently the evaluation of Turner’s contribution to the study of ritual found in Edith Turner, “Communitas, Rites of,” in Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals and Festivals (ed. Frank A. Salamone; London: Routledge, 2004), 97–101. 3. This discipline is not to be confused with traditional theological studies. Theology starts with the concept of inspiration and the authoritative Word as its point of departure and database, while the history of religion is descriptive rather than normative and seeks to approach different world religions or new religious movements without any bias or preference, focusing

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All these disciplines with their underlying theoretical presuppositions have influenced our perception, reading, and interpretation of ritual. For example, the vast data collected by the history of religion practitioners, derived from distinct sources and obtained through textual studies, observation, or basic anthropological fieldwork have resulted in a less prejudiced evaluation of these phenomena. In the history of religion or religious studies school, 5 Christianity lost its normative character in the Western Hemisphere and this fact, together with a good dose of pluralism and postmodernism as the underlying philosophical tendencies, 6 has resulted in a leveling of religions. Thus, instead of value judgments, religious studies seek to describe common systems and, as pointed out by Catherine Bell, 7 endeavor to provide a cultural analysis. This in turn has resulted in a renewed focus on world view as the underlying category that needs to be understood first in order to grasp the meaning of rituals. 8 Anthropology has also helped Western academics (especially those working in religious studies departments) to recapture the holistic nature of religion both in the Bible (where there is no distinction between the supernatural and the natural, for example) and in contemporary religion. Clearly, this is contrary to the dualism based on Greek philosophy that has shaped modern Western thinking and theology. 9 instead on similar or distinct structures, beliefs and religious expressions. Concerning the tension between biblical theology and history of religion, see Rainer Albertz, “Biblische oder NichtBiblische Religionsgeschichte Israels?” in ‘Und Mose schrieb dieses Lied auf.’ Studien zum Alten Testament und zum Alten Orient: Festschrift fur Oswald Loretz zur Vollendung seines 70. Lebensjahres mit Beiträgen von Freunden, Schülern und Kollegen (ed. Manfried Dietrich et al.; AOAT 250; Münster: Ugarit Verlag, 1998), 27–41, for more details. See also his earlier programmatic essay idem, “Religionsgeschichte Israels statt Theologie des Alten Testaments: Plädoyer für eine forschungsgeschichtliche Umorientierung,” JBT 10 (1995): 3–24. 4. See here Bell, Ritual Theory, 3–9. 5. Comparative religion has been renamed “Religious Studies” from the 1960s onward and has found its way into most secular universities in the U.S.A. and also in Great Britain. See here Irving Hexham, “Comparative Religion,” in New 20th-Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (ed. J. D. Douglas; 2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991), 222. 6. On the influence of postmodernism on culture and theology in Western Christianity, see Alister E. McGrath, “The Challenge of Pluralism for the Contemporary Christian Church,” JETS 35 (1992): 361–73. More recently, Fernando L. Canale (“Philosophical Foundations and the Biblical Sanctuary,” AUSS 36 [1998]: 183–206, esp. 187) has discussed the philosophical and theological repercussions of postmodernism in terms of the philosophical reality of “being.” 7. Bell, Ritual Theory, 3. 8. Concerning the issue of world view, the following studies provide a helpful introduction in the context of religious and theological studies: Grenz, “Culture and Spirit”; Hiebert, Shaw, and Tiénou, Understanding Folk Religion, 15–29; Simkins, Creator and Creation, 15–34, focusing on the importance of nature in world view. A more general introduction can be found in Kearney, World View. 9. A good introduction to the issues involved can be found in Hiebert, Shaw, and Tiénou, Understanding Folk Religion, 35–38. The authors emphasize the missiological implications of the holistic understanding of religions.

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Another important contribution of the social sciences to the study of ritual with important repercussions for biblical studies involves the systematic and consistent descriptive systems used. 10 While systems do not tell the whole story, they provide a good way to describe in a more consistent manner a reality that is very often far removed from our own reality. Sociological research has provided important new angles in connection with ritual, focusing on the social function of a ritual in the larger societal context. For example, societies—even so-called secular societies 11—in times of crisis often revert to religious or quasi-religious symbols that are intended to rally the community, structure a world that has fallen apart, and help to reorient the survivors. 12 Economic factors have also been discussed in connection with rituals and metaphors important to any society. 13 One must only think of religious professionals, such as priests, pastors, or sorcerers, who receive(d) their payments because they perform a religious and often ritual function in society. In the following section, I will review the changing perception of ritual in social sciences, particularly cultural anthropology and sociology. 14 This is a vast field that merits a book-length treatment in itself. The large amount of research in this field requires selectivity. The basic observation sustained here is that most social-science research into ritual in general can be illuminating 10. See the general description of the major areas of ritual as found in my Comparative Study, 26–32, 45–52. Another good example can be found in Roy Gane’s doctoral dissertation, entitled Ritual Dynamic Structure, which advocates a cognitive approach to the study of ritual (including biblical ritual) and relies heavily on B. Wilson’s general system theory (GST). See Roy E. Gane, Ritual Dynamic Structure: System Theory and Ritual Syntax Applied to Selected Ancient Israelite, Babylonian and Hittite Festival Days (Ph.D. diss., University of California at Berkely, 1992), 1–106. 11. It is doubtful if a society can ever be considered “secular,” particularly considering the pervasive influence of religious or quasi-religious thought (though not necessarily organized religion) in so many areas of our lives. See also Reynolds and Tanner, Social Ecology of Religion, 29–33; and Stephen Grunlan and Marvin K. Mayers, Cultural Anthropology: A Christian Perspective (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), 219–26. 12. The events following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, could be interpreted along these lines. Both in the U.S.A. and abroad, entire communities gathered together, shared common symbols (such as flags), and participated in shared rituals—some of them unmistakably religious (as in prayer services), while others were less obviously so (such as candle-lighting ceremonies in public places, moments of silence, forming circles by holding hands, and so on). 13. A good example of this can be found in Ogden Goelet Jr., “Fiscal Renewal in Ancient Egypt: Its Language, Symbols, and Metaphors,” in Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East (ed. Michael Hudson and Marc Van de Mieroop; International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies 3; Bethesda, MD: CDL, 2002), 277–326, where the author describes in more general terms (due to the lack of specific practices) the concepts of renewal and rebirth in Egyptian society and its economic repercussions. 14. I am basing this material on useful studies that have synthesized the relevant information. See, for example, Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 45–46. Other helpful summaries can be found in Reynolds and Tanner, Social Ecology of Religion, 19–28; Bell, Ritual, 1–46; Grunlan and Mayers, Cultural Anthropology, 58–66.

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and helpful for our understanding of ritual in the Bible. Needless to say, there are some limitations, the most important having to do with the object(s) of research. Generally, cultural anthropologists studying ritual deal with existing cultures or people groups that permit field research. Thus a researcher spends a considerable amount of time in a particular culture and, equipped with the knowledge of the language of that people group, becomes acquainted with ritual practice from within the culture. While s/he cannot be considered an insider, the anthropologist can observe, record, and interview insiders performing specific rituals. He may even have access to written records that prescribe or describe the specific ritual that in turn can be interpreted in the context of his observations. Scholars of biblical ritual do not have the luxury of observing first hand and recording or interacting with “insiders.” 15 They have to rely on written texts. However, notwithstanding these limitations, models and insights gained from social-science research on ritual are extremely helpful for students of biblical ritual, and more interaction between the two fields should be encouraged.

The Beginning of Ritual Studies in Cultural Anthropology: 1870–1960 Like any other field of research, cultural anthropology as a whole and more particularly anthropological theory on ritual has passed through different phases emphasizing distinct elements, functions, and perspectives. For an explanation of the various paradigm changes, I will quote Ronald Grimes’s understanding of the situation since the contributions of the anthropologist Victor Turner. Since the mid-1960s the understanding of ritual . . . has been undergoing a dramatic shift. One way to account for the shift is to treat it as a consequence of Victor Turner’s theories, particularly his widely known and appropriated notions: liminality, communitas, ritual process, and social drama. Before Turner, ritual was static, structural, conservative. After Turner, it is imagined as flowing, processual, subversive. In effect he reinvented ritual.16

The beginning of the study of ritual in the context of anthropology is associated with names such as Edward B. Tylor (1832–1917), William Robertson Smith (1846–94), and James George Frazer (1854–1941), who all viewed religion within the framework of evolutionary change—beginning with animism, 15. Similarly, Lawrence A. Hoffman, “Reconstructing Ritual as Identity and Culture,” in The Making of Jewish and Christian Worship (ed. Paul F. Bradshaw and Lawrence A. Hoffman; Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991), 34–39. 16. Grimes, “Reinventing Ritual,” 22. Grimes was not the only one who would make the 1960s a major changing point in ritual studies. See also Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 45–46.

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via ghost and ancestor worship, to nature worship, polytheism, and finally reaching monotheism. 17 According to Tylor, these stages of religious development generally corresponded to the stages of the material development of a particular culture. 18 While Tylor suggested that the notion of souls lay at the beginning of this development, linguist and biblical scholar William Robertson Smith argued for the primacy of ritual. 19 He did so by looking at comparative data from “pagan religions” of Arabia that—according to his hypothesis— had not been affected by the teaching of the Bible. 20 The methodological problem with this approach is easily perceivable. After all, as has been pointed out by Mary Douglas, “there is no reason to suppose that religions in the region [that is, the Near East] would have remained static over the millennia.” 21 Despite this obvious caveat, Robertson Smith moved the study of ritual (particularly biblical sacrificial rituals) forward by highlighting the social function of ritual. He understood sacrifice as a festive communion between humans and gods that had the effect of solidifying and “sacralizing” the social unity and solidarity of the group. 22 In Bell’s very readable evaluation of Robertson Smith’s contribution to ritual studies, three important schools of anthropological scholarship are connected to his work: the “myth and ritual” school linked to James Frazer, the sociological school associated with Émile Durkheim, and the psychoanalytical school pioneered by Sigmund Freud’s work on ritual. In the following, I will briefly introduce each school and try to describe its particular strength and contribution to our understanding of ritual as well as some of its weaknesses. It must be noted that the use of the term school does not necessarily suggest a monolithic theoretical approach that dominated scholarship for a while. Although we can connect particular phases in the development of cultural anthropology with specific names and theoretical approaches, most of them overlapped and interacted with each other.

17. Grunlan and Mayers, Cultural Anthropology, 62. 18. Frank A. Salamone, “Introduction,” in Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals and Festivals (ed. Frank A. Salamone; London: Routledge, 2004). 19. W. Robertson Smith, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (3rd ed.; reprinted, New York: KTAV, 1969), 18. See also Bell, Ritual, 4. 20. Smith, Religion of the Semites; see also Mary Douglas, Leviticus as Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 8–9. Recently, Robert A. Segal (“In Defense of the Comparative Method,” Numen 48 [2001]: 339–73) has presented an insightful study that evaluates the comparative methods employed by Robertson Smith and Frazer. He suggests that both scholars employed the method with contrary motivations: while Frazer wanted to show the similarities, Robertson Smith used it to demonstrate differences. 21. Douglas, Leviticus as Literature, 8. 22. See for more, Bell, Ritual, 4. The term “sacralizing” has been taken verbatim from her discussion of Robertson Smith’s understanding of ritual, and more particularly, sacrificial ritual.

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The Myth and Ritual School James Frazer was a student of Robertson Smith and adopted Smith’s notion of the ritual sacrifice of the divine totem as his point of departure. He suggested that one can detect the universally diffuse pattern that underlies all ritual and that should be interpreted as “the enactment of the death and resurrection of a god or divine king who symbolized and secured the fertility of the land and the well-being of the people.” 23 As with most anthropologists before him, Frazer held to a three-stage evolutionary model of the development of human thought, beginning with magic through religion and finally reaching science. 24 His magnum opus, entitled The Golden Bough, includes 12 volumes in its 3rd edition 25 and is a masterpiece of ethnographic scholarship and classical learning. 26 Later generations of anthropologists have questioned the major premise governing his thinking—that all myths are always related to ritual. Furthermore, the tendency to generalize (or even universalize) and the infatuation with the description of origins—obviously understandable in the milieu of his time, particularly considering the influence of Darwin’s hypothesis on the scientific thinking of the period—have been criticized. 27 The special focus on ritual by Frazer and his followers 28 has left a visible mark on the study of religion and should be recognized. Moreover, Frazer’s discussion of magic 29 and his formulation of two of its basic characteristics 30 23. Bell, ibid., 5. 24. See here Reynolds and Tanner, Social Ecology of Religion, 20. 25. James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough (3rd ed.; 12 vols.; London: Macmillan, 1911–15). 26. A critical (and fairly accessible) discussion of Frazer’s method and contribution is by Jonathan Z. Smith, “When the Bough Breaks,” HR 12 (1973): 342–71. 27. See Clyde Kluckhohn, “Myths and Rituals: A General Theory,” HTR 35 (1942): 42–79, as quoted in Bell, Ritual, 8. The influence and importance of evolutionary views of religion in Frazer’s work are noticeable. Furthermore, during the 19th and early 20th century understanding origins was the standard mode of thinking that shaped every aspect of the scientific endeavor. Hiebert, Shaw, and Tiénou (Understanding Folk Religion, 18) write: “Evolutionary views of religion deeply influenced Western thought. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most Europeans and Americans believed that the West was ‘civilized’ and that other people were ‘primitive.’ They attributed this difference to the growth of human rationality from prelogical to logical and used this theory to justify the colonial expansion of Western governments and the spread of science and technology around the world.” 28. The myth and ritual school had important supporters in two interdependent areas of expertise: a group of biblical and ancient Near Eastern specialists (for example, Samuel Henry Hooke) and a group of Cambridge University classicists (for example, Gilbert Murray, Francis M. Cornford, and Arthur B. Cook, as well as Jane Ellen Harrison). For more, see Bell, Ritual, 5–7. 29. I am employing the term magic not in a negative sense, comparable to early anthropological theories that interpreted it as primitive, meaningless, and prelogical thought. Rather, it should be considered a “serious belief system that seeks to make sense out of human experience.” See Hiebert, Shaw, and Tiénou, Understanding Folk Religion, 69–70. 30. The first has been known as the “law of sympathy” or homeopathy, suggesting that “like produces like.” The second one is the “law of contagion,” which refers to the principle that things

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have made a lasting impact on students of ancient and contemporary religion. As with his evolutionary perspective concerning the development of religious thought in humanity, his often-negative portrayal of magic that assumes a distinction between magic and religion and has been attributed to his underlying assumptions and Western bias (based on Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian religious concepts) has received its fair share of criticism. 31

The Social-Function-of-Religion School In response to the “Myth and Ritual” school, French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) focused on the social dimension of religion. In this view, religion provides the glue that shapes and molds social reality and makes for social cohesion and continuity. For sociologists of religion (particularly Durkheim), religion is a social fact and contains all the necessary elements that make social organization possible. While the myth-and-ritual school emphasized the internal and individual significance of religion, the social-function school highlights the external and structural pattern of religion. Bell—basing her work on the helpful study of Stephen Lukes—summarized Durkheim’s approach very poignantly: Indeed, what went on in a person’s individual psyche is not the starting point of religion, Durkheim argued, since religion is first and foremost a way of socially organizing groups of individuals. While psychologists would continue to approach religion in terms of individual experience, Durkheim formulated a coherent sociological approach that focused on religion as a matter of social institutions. 32

In Durkheim’s perspective, rites and rituals are the tools that help to create the bonds and loyalties necessary for a community. In other words, rituals are designed to produce a passionate intensity, a feeling of unity whereby individuals experience something larger than themselves. 33 This experience Durkheim called the collective conscience, 34 which transcends the sum of the minds of the individuals.

have once been in contact continue ever after to act on each other. Compare Hiebert, Shaw, and Tiénou, ibid. 31. Robert K. Ritner, “The Religious, Social, and Legal Parameters of Traditional Egyptian Magic,” in Ancient Magic and Ritual Power (ed. Marvin Meyer and Paul Mirecki; RGRW 129; Leiden: Brill, 1995), 43–48. 32. Bell, Ritual, 24. For more details, see Stephen Lukes, Émile Durkheim—His Life and Work: A Historical and Critical Study (New York: Penguin, 1977). 33. See here Émile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religions Life (trans. J. W. Swain; New York: Free Press, 1965), 258. The volume was originally published in French in 1912. The first English edition dates to 1915. 34. Compare Grunlan and Mayers, Cultural Anthropology, 65.

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Important adopters of Durkheim’s basic premise of the predominant social function of religion (and thus ritual) include Robert H. Lowie (1883–1957), Paul Radin (1883–1959), Bronislaw Malinowski (1894–1942), and Marcel Mauss (1873–1950), although they were more traditional in locating religion in the psychological and individual realm as well. 35 The later functionalism made famous by British anthropologist Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown (1881–1955) extended Durkheim’s interpretation of ritual and religion in some ways, emphasizing a more systematic correlation between particular religious ideas and social structure and a conscious subordination of historical issues over against questions of social organization and social function. 36 This resulted in criticism alleging the complete dismissal of history—a notion highly contentious in an era that was very much interested in origins. Durkheim’s contribution to ritual studies cannot be overestimated. His focus on social function represents an important addition to the research agenda of modern ritual studies, without one’s necessarily buying into his exclusive position. His emphasis on the collective over the individual may be explained (as with the earlier fascination of evolutionary concepts of origins) as an indication of the intellectual milieu of his time, with Marxism being in vogue. Particularly the rise of postmodernism with its emphasis on the individual (over the collective) and the relative has resulted in definite criticism of Durkheim’s position, which demonstrates the ancient concept of context as determining meaning and models. British anthropologists Vernon Reynolds and Ralph Tanner in their volume dealing with the social ecology of religion write: “From our point of view in the present book, Durkheim’s theory has little to offer. Whether religions reflect and strengthen the structures of society or not seems to us of less relevance than whether they offer benefits to individuals in their relationships with one another and in their approach to the world at large.” 37 Another important critique of Durkheim’s perspective involves the distinction between public and private ritual. While it is certain that most ritual requires a public audience and context, one should not dismiss the existence of private (or individual) ritual. As will be argued later, prayer can fall into this category. However, private ritual does not necessarily have a key function in terms of social structures and would fall outside of Durkheim’s social-function model. Durkheim’s observations of the social function and determinisms of religion led him to conclude that society “is the unique and all-encompassing fons et origo [source and origin] of religion, morality, and even knowledge.” 38 This 35. Bell, Ritual, 27. 36. More on this can be found in ibid., 27–29. 37. Reynolds and Tanner, Social Ecology of Religion, 22. 38. Lukes, Émile Durkheim, 481, quoted in Bell, Ritual, 27.

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conclusion appears to be rather unbalanced and one-sided and ignores other relevant and formative elements visible in society’s makeup. Anthropologist Baumann has challenged the notion that ritual is best understood as an act internal to a particular group, which structures or celebrates itself through it, as a “reading of Durkheim rather than Durkheim’s position itself.” 39 He himself suggests a radical rereading of Durkheim’s ideas, particularly against the background of pluralistic societies, which brings him to the capacity of ritual to implicate “others” (or outsiders). Other researchers, recognizing the important contribution of Durkheim’s theory of a ritually generated social epistemology for current anthropological research, suggest a Neo-Durkheimian model of the nature of human consciousness, feeling, and understanding that presents the initial parameters for a “cultural neurophenomenology” and updates Durkheim’s theory with current data. 40 As can be seen, the socialfunction-of-religion school is not dead and is present in current anthropological research designs.

The Psychoanalytical School The psychoanalytical school of the interpretation of ritual was introduced by Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), who developed theories of repression, the unconscious, and psychoanalysis as the interpretive framework of ritual. 41 The working premise of Freud’s psychoanalytical approach was that most ritual actors or participants would not know the “real” purpose and significance of a particular ritual, and most likely it should be interpreted differently from the meaning that the actors (or audience) themselves believe it to be. This emphasis on the unconscious that requires conscious excavation by a disinterested nonparticipant was also emphasized by Theodor Reik (1888–1969), who applied Freud’s early psychoanalytical principles as well as Robertson Smith’s ideas about the relationship between myth and ritual to various forms of religious ritual. 42 Reik suggested that the analysis of religious rituals paves the way for understanding myth, dogma, and cult, “just as an intensive study of the ceremonials of obsessional patients invariably leads us to the larger structures of their dreams, obsessional ideas, conscientious scruples and compulsive acts.” 43

39. Baumann, “Ritual Implicates ‘Others,’” 98. 40. C. Jason Throop and Charles D. Laughlin, “Ritual, Collective Effervescence and the Categories: Toward a Neo-Durkheimian Model of the Nature of Human Consciousness, Feeling and Understanding,” JRitSt 16/1 (2002): 40–63. 41. Bell, Ritual, 12–13. 42. See for more ibid., 14–15. 43. Theodor Reik, Ritual: Psycho-Analytic Studies (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1975), 19, as cited in Bell, Ritual, 15.

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It is important to note the close interaction and “cross-pollination” of the psychoanalytic and the myth-and-ritual schools—a fact easily perceivable in the common drive to search for the ultimate origin or universal (or repressed) meaning of religion and human culture itself. While not as influential in current methodological discussion of the interpretation of ritual as, for example, the social-function-of-religion school of Durkheim, practical applications of the method in the fields of therapy and liturgy can frequently be found. 44 Freud’s initial impetus for the psychoanalytic school has also been taken up by French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901–81), whose work has influenced many scholars of religious and biblical studies. 45 The work of René Girard (b. 1923), particularly his theory of sacrifice, also evidences the major influence of the psychoanalytic school on biblical studies. 46 Bell has correctly diagnosed an echo of the early theoreticians of ritual, religion, society, and culture in his focus on primal violence. 47 For Girard, sacrifice is the transformation of the instinct of violence. It is the means by which a community deflects or transfers its own desire and violence onto another—someone (such as an animal) who has been made into an outsider. Writes Bell: “For Girard, this act of scapegoating lies not only at the beginning of human history but also at the beginning of a sociocultural process that

44. Hans-Günter Heimbrock, “Ritual and Transformation: A Psychoanalytic Perspective,” in Current Studies on Rituals: Perspectives for the Psychology of Religion (ed. Hans-Günter Heimbrock and H. Barbara Boudewijnse; ISPR 2; Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990), 33–42; Joseph T. Kelley, “Donning Masks and Joining the Dance: Religious Ritual and Contemporary Psychoanalysis,” Worship 72 (1998): 98–117. 45. See here, for example, the following studies by James DiCenso, “Symbolism and Subjectivity: A Lacanian Approach to Religion,” JR 74 (1994): 45–64 (analyzes the contribution of Lacan to our understanding of religious symbolism in the context of earlier psychoanalytic interpretations); idem, “New Approaches to Psychoanalysis and Religion: Julia Kristeva’s Black Sun,” SR 24 (1995): 279–95 (based on his work in semiotic theory, sets out to map the intersection between religion, esthetics, and subjective development); Roland Boer, “The Second Coming: Repetition and Insatiable Desire in the Song of Songs,” BibInt 8 (2000): 276–301 (attempting an interpretation of the Song of Songs based on the basic categories of Lacan’s psychoanalytic approach); Dietrich Zillessen, “Ritual oder Theater im Spiel des Lebens,” IJPT 3 (2000): 229–50 (combines the ideas of Lacan and Turner to suggest that ritual and play can be employed to effect healing processes); Jean-Daniel Causse, “Le jour ou Abraham céda sur sa foi: Jacques Lacan, lecteur de Genèse 22,” ETR 76 (2001): 563–73 (shows the ongoing interest of Abraham, who must consecrate ritually the death of an archaic figure, which is both ancestor and god, in order that his own fatherhood not dominate Isaac). 46. See especially the seminal work Girard, Violence and the Sacred. A quick search for Girard in periodical literature indexed in Religious and Theological Abstracts generated more than 120 entries, a number that indicates the influence of his work. For a convenient summary of Girard’s approach to biblical texts, see James G. Williams, The Bible, Violence and the Sacred: Liberation from the Myth of Sanctioned Violence (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1991), 1–31. 47. Bell, Ritual, 15.

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continually repeats and renews both the violence and the repression that renders the violence deceptively invisible.” 48 While Girard’s work has been criticized, 49 it has nevertheless played an important role in recent discussions in theological studies, particularly those crossing into other disciplines. 50 Interestingly, this influence has been more prevalent in practical theology or theological studies than in biblical studies. In general, the psychoanalytic school—particularly the more recent contributions that go beyond the rather static interpretational model of Freud—has made noteworthy contributions to the study of ritual. Primarily, it has emphasized the need for any interpreter of ritual to look beyond the obvious and external and include space for the motivations of participants in one’s interpretational model. This praiseworthy focus is in my opinion also the major weak point of the school, however, especially when we are dealing with ritual that exists only in written form. How are we to draw out the deep structures of religious (or any other) consciousness without superimposing a certain interpretive model on the ritual that is external and may be rather foreign to its original practitioners? What exegetical tool provides the adequate instrument to extract this information, or is it only dependent on the ingenuity of the researcher/reader involved? Clearly, the ambiguity of the method and its inherent reductionistic tendency to find a pattern that determines most of a particular culture or religion have given rise to criticism of this school.

The Phenomenology-of-Religion School In opposition to British and French schools, continental scholarship, especially German scholarship, developed a line of thinking that sought to describe religion in nontheological and nonphilosophical terms. This became known as “the phenomenology of religion” or “comparative religions.” 51 As suggested by its name, phenomenology—particularly its philosophical counterpart—seeks to describe the perceivable phenomenon without the help of

48. Ibid., 16. 49. Bruce Chilton (“René Girard, James William, and the Genesis of Violence,” BBR 3 [1993]: 17–29) has criticized in particular the interpretational method of Girard’s (and his disciples’) reading of the Bible. For a response to Chilton’s critique, see James G. Williams, “Sacrifice, Mimesis, and the Genesis of Violence: A Response to Bruce Chilton,” BBR 3 (1993): 31–47. Jacob Milgrom has highlighted some of Girard’s exegetical and interpretational fallacies. See Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 440–42. 50. See here, for example, James G. Williams, “Sacrifice and the Beginning of Kingship,” Semeia 67 (1994 [1995]): 73–92; and also the critical response by Björn Krondorfer, “Response to James G. Williams: Re-mythologizing Scriptural Authority: On Reading Sacrifice and the Beginning of Kingship,” Semeia 67 (1994 [1995]): 93–108. 51. Bell, Ritual, 8–9. Compare Waardenburg, Reflections, 94. The school is also knows as history of religions.

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theoretical models. Ideally, this would result in scientific (that is, reproducible) results, even for a discipline such as philosophy. 52 Phenomenology of religion has emphasized five relevant methodological characteristics, including (1) its descriptive nature, (2) its opposition to reductionism (intended to overcome oversimplification and overgeneralization), (3) its focus on intentionality (that is, a subject always intends an object), (4) its emphasis on the suspension of judgment (called bracketing or epochê), and (5) the drive to understand the essential character of a specific phenomenon (also called eidetic vision). Dutch scholar P. D. Chantepie de la Saussaye (1848–1920) is credited with having been the first to publish an important theoretical study on the phenomenology of religion. 53 Jacques Waardenburg has discussed a fourfold division of the field into general, special, reflective, and existential phenomenology. 54 In the context of ritual, neither reflective nor existential phenomenology seems to be especially relevant, because both focus either on the methodological and theoretical aspects of phenomenology or on the ways in which humanity in different historical contexts has responded religiously to the challenges and problems it has encountered. Most practitioners of the phenomenological school emphasize the descriptive and comparative approach without any type of value judgment. 55 Important representatives of the phenomenology-of-religion school include Rudolf Otto (1869–1937), who stressed the universal and existential nature of religion and the existence of the consciousness of the holy (or numinous) in all religions. 56 According to Otto, this is an a priori quality and is structurally inherent in all religious expression. This particular presupposition of Otto has been criticized severely as “theologically motivated,” since it suggests a privileged status of religious experience. 57 Another significant contributor to the methodological development of the phenomenological approach to religion was Gerardus van der Leeuw (1890–1950), who attempted to make it more systematic. Van der Leeuw identified two formal components 52. Compare here the review articles by H. Delius, “Phänomenologie,” RGG 5:320–22. See also C. J. Bleeker, “Comparing the Religio-historical and the Theological Method,” Numen 18 (1971): 9–29; Douglas Allen, “Phenomenology of Religion,” ER 11:272–85; Richard Lints, “Phenomenology of Religion,” in New 20th-Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (ed. J. D. Douglas; 2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991), 649–50; Bell, Ritual, 8–12; and Klingbeil, Comparative Study, 35–45. 53. See Bleeker, “Comparing,” 14; Douglas Allen, “Phenomenology of Religion,” 276. 54. Waardenburg, Reflections on the Study of Religion, 105–6. 55. See W. Brede Kristensen, The Meaning of Religion: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Religion (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1960), 10–15; also Douglas Allen, “Phenomenology of Religion,” 276. This characteristic has been called epochê. 56. Rudolf Otto, The Idea of the Holy (trans. John W. Harvey; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1959), 19–55. For specific references, see my Comparative Study, 38–39, and the footnotes included there. 57. Hans H. Penner, “Structure and Religion,” HR 25 (1986): 236–38.

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of religion: the phenomenological dimension (that is, the common structural elements underlying all religious experience) and the historical dimension (that is, the actual forms that these structures have in reality). 58 In fact, van der Leeuw’s perspective of the historical dimension challenged scholars employing the phenomenological method to be open to interdisciplinary research, since new philological or archaeological data could result in a possible correction of the phenomenological dimension. 59 The most prominent spokesperson of the phenomenology-of-religion school has been the anthropologist Mircea Eliade (1907–86). Similar to Tylor with regard to the preeminence of myth in religious experience, Eliade argues for an emphatic approach; that is, every religious expression, however alien to the researcher’s understanding and experience, should be taken seriously prior to being labeled “aberrant.” 60 This is a clear reflection of one of the presuppositions of philosophical phenomenology, which requires the suspension of judgment (or epochê). Eliade’s methodology is dialectic in nature and consistently maintains a dichotomy between the sacred and the profane. 61 He also suggests the primacy of symbol over against ritual (or rite) and states: “A symbol and a rite . . . are on such different levels that the rite can never reveal what the symbol reveals.” 62 According to Eliade, symbols exhibit an inherent logic that makes them fit together to form a coherent system of symbols. They are multivalent and function to unify distinct phenomena into a system. 63 Eliade has exerted a tremendous influence on history-of-religion research as well as on theological studies, 64 although he has also been criticized for his emphasis on the privileged domain of the “sacred” (similar to the criticism raised against Otto’s understanding of the numinous), which requires the employment of a special method of interpretation in order to understand it. 65 Due to 58. See Bell, Ritual, 9. 59. A more complete evaluation of van der Leeuw’s legacy and contribution to the phenomenology of religion can be found in Waardenburg, Reflections on the Study of Religion, 187–247. 60. See Mircea Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion (London: Sheed & Ward, 1958), 10. 61. See ibid., 1–4; and idem, The Quest: History and Meaning in Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), 133: “Let us recall first that the religious experience presupposes a bipartition of the world into the sacred and the profane.” 62. Idem, Patterns in Comparative Religion, 9. 63. Ibid., 448–56. 64. See here, for example, the works of South African scholars Ferdinand E. Deist (“Speaking about ‘Yahweh and the Gods’: Some Methodological Observations,” in ‘Wer ist wie du, Herr, unter den Göttern?’ Studien zur Theologie und Religionsgeschichte Israels: Festschrift für Otto Kaiser zum 70. Geburtstag [ed. Ingo Kottsieper et al.; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1994], 3–19) and Willem Boshoff (“Hosea’s Polemics and His Adversaries’ Religion: Thoughts on the Dynamics of Religious Interaction,” in Old Testament Science: A Mosaic for Deist [ed. Willie Wessels and Eben Scheffler; Pretoria: Verba Vitae, 1992], 244–56), who both rely heavily on Eliade’s methodological presuppositions. 65. Some critics of Eliade have felt that this lends itself to methodological arbitrariness. Similar phenomena are interpreted by different methods. See here the works of E. Thomas Lawson

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his understanding of the existence of the sacred in all cultures, Eliade opts for comparisons on the “grand scale” 66 with a tendency to sweeping overgeneralizations not based on specific historical and empirical data. Eliade does not seem to take into consideration the possibility that ritual also exists in nonreligious contexts and does not pay particular attention to the social function of ritual, as Durkheim has done. The important contribution of Religious Studies Professor of the University of Chicago Jonathan Z. Smith has already been mentioned in an earlier chapter. His phenomenological approach distinguishes itself from Eliade’s by emphasizing the capacity of ritual to order and organize the world instead of searching for the supposed universal patterns that underlie specific historical forms of religion. 67 For Smith, ritual is a “focusing lens through which people can attempt to see, or argue for, what is significant in real life.” 68 Jacques Waardenburg has provided a comprehensive discussion and critique of “classical phenomenology” as compared with a new style of phenomenology, and in the following comments I will draw from his work. 69 Five specific critical areas need to be considered: First, classical phenomenology has never provided a clear definition of what constitutes religion. Sometimes religion is described in a type of unique category such as the numinous or as part of the dichotomy sacred/profane, but it is never adequately defined. Second, methodologically, classical phenomenology has tended to be selective in the data that are employed for analysis. The exclusive emphasis on religious data has resulted in the neglect of other data that may prove helpful. Third, while a suspension of judgment (that is, epochê) may be desirable, it often allowed unreflected presuppositions to infiltrate through special categories (such as the ones already mentioned in the case of Otto and Eliade). Fourth, by presupposing homo religious, classical phenomenology tends to ignore unbelief or atheism as an authentic human possibility. Fifth, the tendency to overgeneralize with little attention given to the particular data of specific religious expressions in definite locations and verifiable times renders many of its conclusions unintelligible.

and Robert N. McCauley, Rethinking Religion: Connecting Cognition and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 13; and Douglas Allen, “Phenomenology of Religion,” 279. 66. Here I am borrowing a phrase from the important essay on the comparative method by Shemaryahu Talmon, “The Comparative Method in Biblical Interpretation: Principles and Problems,” in Congress Volume: Göttingen 1977 (ed. Walther Zimmerli et al.; VTSup 29; Leiden: Brill, 1978), 322, 356. For a similar critique, see also António Barbosa da Silva, The Phenomenology of Religion as a Philosophical Problem (Studia philosophiae religionis 8; Lund: CWK Gleerup, 1982), 227–28. 67. Bell, Ritual, 11. 68. J. Z. Smith, Imagining Religion, 64–65. 69. Waardenburg, Reflections on the Study of Religion, 122–30.

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Waardenburg’s suggestion to guard against these pitfalls in a new sort of phenomenological approach has been demonstrated in his own focus on the intentions of a particular religious expression. 70 Clearly, social-science research into ritual has many facets and employs many different methodological approaches. It would be rather naïve to opt for one in particular and neglect the others. In fact, it should be recognized that most schools have had a tremendous influence on one another, and each in its own way has contributed a significant element that appears and reappears in current ritual studies. The particular strength of phenomenology is the emphasis on the descriptive element of ritual studies and the recognition of ritualization in every possible cultural context. The focus of a newer brand of phenomenology on ritual intention(s) should also be carefully considered. The contribution of the social-function-of-religion school lies in the recognition of different dimensions that can be found in any ritual and that interact with society as a whole. This methodological approach has also led to a more systematic and structured study of ritual. The contribution of the psychoanalytical school has been its strong emphasis on looking beyond the obvious and external and including in one’s interpretational model space for the motivations of participants. In the following section we will look at some more-recent methodological considerations that have made a considerable contribution to the study of ritual.

Going beyond the Known: Ritual in the Social Sciences from 1960 to 1980 After 1960, the decrease in colonies of Western European countries caused anthropologists to turn from small societies in colonial contexts to morecomplex societies. One of the first major challenges to the previous relative consensus among scholars was the recognition that ritual is not only (or necessarily) religious in nature but that secular ceremonial behavior or even animal behavior could also be described as ritual, as already done by sociologists, political scientists, historians, ethnologists, and dramatists. 71 In addition to the obvious (and mostly religious) places where one would expect ritual or ritualized behavior, researchers suddenly found relevant data in political rallies, consumer behavior, birthday parties, and the higher (or lower) echelons of corporate management. 72 This realization also caused a slow change in the 70. Ibid., 130–34, 241–42. 71. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 45. 72. For a view from ancient society on the ritual dimension of politically motivated processions, see Lilian Portefaix, “Ancient Ephesus: Processions as Media of Religious and Secular Propaganda,” in The Problem of Ritual: Based on Papers Read at the Symposium on Religious Rites Held at Åbo, Finland, on the 13th–16th of August 1991 (ed. T. Ahlbäck; Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis

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traditional preoccupation of anthropologists with dichotomies such as rational || irrational and instrumental || expressive. Rather, it was understood that ritual was a mode, or aspect, of all social behavior, characterized by routinization, formality, and repetition or by communication of social structure. 73 This functionalist perspective could be seen in the work of Victor Turner (1920– 83), Claude Lévi-Strauss (b. 1908), and Mary Douglas (b. 1921), who had been influenced by Durkheim’s structural approach. Similarly, Edmund Leach (1910–89) applied structural linguistics to anthropological studies and proposed a certain structure (parallel to linguistics) to ritual performance 74 that helps to maintain and define social order. Rituals help sustain a neat, synchronic conceptual system by making it possible for distinct categories (such as the sacred and the profane, the natural and the cultural, and so on) to impinge on each other in carefully orchestrated ways. 75 In this sense, ritual functions as a form of nonverbal communication and is able to transform a person or object from one realm into another. Ritual serves to say things and should be deciphered as linguists would decipher an unknown language. Another new addition to the methodological repertoire of this period was Stanley J. Tambiah’s performative approach to ritual. 76 The performative approach suggests that ritual—by the mere fact of its performance—achieves a change of state in the mind of the human participants and in society. In this sense, the crucial point is the performance (as in drama or theater) and not necessarily the inherent categories or the involved symbols. 77 Most recent theories of ritual include this aspect in their designs. As already suggested by the quotation by Grimes that introduced this brief historical review of the development of the different schools of interpretation of ritual and their interaction with one another, the work of anthropolo15; Åbo: The Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History, 1993), 195–210. A discussion of more recent ritualized behavior can be found in Günter Thomas, “The Problem of Ritual Efficacy in Modern Society: The German Chains of Lights, December, 1992,” JRitSt 9/2 (1995): 45–63. For consumer behavior, see Cele Otnes and Mary Ann McGrath, “New Research on Consumption Rituals,” JRitSt 11/2 (1997): 35–45. For birthday parties, see Otnes and McGrath, “Ritual Socialization and the Children’s Birthday Party.” For corporate management, see McLeod, “Ritual in Corporate Culture Societies.” 73. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 46, and the references included there. 74. Edmund Leach, Culture and Communication: The Logic by Which Symbols Are Connected (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976). 75. Bell, Ritual, 44. 76. Stanley J. Tambiah, “The Magical Power of Words,” Man 3 (1968): 175–208; idem, “A Performative Approach to Ritual,” PBA 65 (1979): 113–69. 77. Compare Bell (Ritual, 51), who writes: “By ‘performative’ Tambiah meant the particular way in which symbolic forms of expressions [= rituals] simultaneously make assumptions about the way things really are, create the sense of reality, and act upon the real world as it is culturally experienced.”

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gist Victor Turner has marked a watershed in ritual studies. 78 Taking as his point of departure the seminal work of Arnold van Gennep (1873–1957) on rites of passage, 79 Turner concentrated particularly on the marginal stage that he prefers to call the liminal stage. The term liminal is derived from the Latin word limen, “threshold,” and focuses on the in-between stage of a process. Similar to the performative perspective found in the work of Tambiah, Turner understood ritual in the framework of social drama, which exhibited certain structures and followed particular procedures and finally resulted in a changed societal condition. In this sense, Turner clearly belongs to the structuralist camp. During the experience of the liminal stage of any ritual, the normal structures of society are not operative, 80 and participants may experience a reversal of status that is a reflection of the breakdown of order. 81 This levels the playing field for the ritual participants and creates some type of artificial temporary equality. Turner described an important aspect of the experience of the liminal as communitas, a term that he had borrowed from the field of town planning and that indicated the sense of sharing and intimacy that resulted from the collective experience of liminality. 82 Turner’s observations and resulting ideas have had a major influence on the development of current ritual theories, as can be seen in the fact that he is cited in basically every study dealing with ritual. Some of his observations have been challenged on the basis of the lack of transparency in his fieldwork. For example, Catherine Bell criticizes Turner’s evident blind spot in his description of the universality of ritual processes in his fieldwork on the Ndembu people, a small tribe in a Bantu-speaking area on the northern border of modern-day Zambia. 83 No reference is made to the political structure of colonialism and the tremendous forces and changes at work during the move to independence. As Bell writes: “Turner tried to divorce it [religion] from other social dynamics, such as politics. This may be a part of the reason why The Ritual Process does not contain a hint of the turbulent social and political processes going on around it.” 84 Clearly, Turner (as all of us) was a child of

78. See also ibid., 39–42. 79. Arnold van Gennep, The Rites of Passage (trans. M. B. Vizedom and G. L. Caffee; London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1960). Concerning the position and function of typical rites of passage, see the discussion in a later chapter. 80. V. W. Turner, Ritual Process, 80–82. 81. Ibid., 155–57. Compare Gorman, Ideology of Ritual, 53. 82. V. W. Turner, Ritual Process, 82ff. See also, more recently, the review article by Edith Turner, “Communitas, Rites of,” 97. 83. The research project was financed by the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute for Sociological Research in Lusaka. 84. Catherine Bell, “Ritual Tensions: Tribal and Catholic,” StLit 32 (2002): 16–17. The emphasis appears in Bell’s original.

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his times, a fact that needs to be taken into consideration for all important theorizers of religion and ritual when we consider their particular contributions. The “reinvention” of ritual 85 by Turner and the new emphasis on the processual and dynamic nature of ritual resulted in a renewed vigor in ritual studies. His insights were developed in a variety of interdependent directions. 86 “His rich ethnographic accounts of tribal personalities and political maneuvering prompted more attention to forms of network analysis, social strategies, and game theory. His emphasis on how ritual does what it does by means of a process of dramatization led him and other scholars to explore ritual as performance.” 87

Between Power and Structures: Ritual in the Social Sciences during Recent Decades Besides the already-mentioned trend to focus on the performative aspect of ritual, 88 recent studies in ritual have tended to focus more and more on secular ritual, and attention has particularly shifted to political rituals as the ritualization of power. 89 In world politics and power brokering, symbolic action and ritual processes are taken very seriously. It has been recognized that etiquette and ceremony go beyond the mere reflection of existing power structures and can also function as tools to establish new relationships of political submission and dominance. 90 Outside the context of politics, ritualized behavior that establishes, marks, or changes power structures can also be observed in gang activities or sectarian groups.

85. This phrase was coined by Grimes. See Grimes, “Reinventing Ritual,” 22. 86. See, for example, Selva J. Raj, “Transgressing Boundaries, Transcending Turner: The Pilgrimage Tradition at the Shrine of St. John de Britto,” JRitSt 16/1 (2002): 4–18; Kimberly Ann Holle, “Strategic Family Therapy and Turner’s Ritual Theory: Cross-Cultural Comparisons in the Process of Becoming,” JRitSt 14/2 (2000): 48–57; or earlier H. Barbara Boudewijnse, The Ritual Studies of Victor Turner: An Anthropological Approach and Its Psychological Impact (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990). 87. Bell, Ritual, 42. 88. See here, for example, the recent methodological discussion of Gavin Brown, “Theorizing Ritual as Performance: Explorations of Ritual Indeterminacy,” JRitSt 17/1 (2003): 3–18. 89. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 46. 90. See the important work of David I. Kertzer, Ritual, Politics, and Power (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988). Compare the contributions of George S. Worgul, “Ritual, Power, Authority and Riddles: The Anthropology of Rome’s Declaration on Ordination of Women,” LS 14 (1989): 38–61; Catherine Bell, “The Ritual Body and the Dynamics of Ritual Power,” JRitSt 4/2 (1990): 299–314; Irit Averbuch, “Performing Power: On the Nature of the Japanese Ritual Dance Performance of Yamabushi Kagura,” JRitSt 10/2 (1996): 1–40; and Linda E. Thomas, “Constructing a Theology of Power: Lessons from Apartheid—Anthropological Reflections on Healing Rituals among Poor Black South Africans,” Missionalia 25 (1997): 19–30.

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Another recent interest in ritual studies concerns hidden power dimensions of rituals. This particular dimension of ritual has been observed by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu in his “theory of practice.” Bourdieu understands ritual as strategic practices for transgressing and reshuffling cultural categories in order to meet the needs of real situations. 91 The work of Catherine Bell (b. 1953) depends heavily on Bourdieu’s theory of practice and applies it more systematically to ritual studies by employing the term “ritualization.” Ritualization—which can appear in every aspect of human existence—is “first and foremost a strategy for the construction of certain types of power relationships effective within particular organizations.” 92 In contrast to formal ritual behavior, ritualization is not always characterized by formality, fixity, or repetition. Bell employs the term in the larger context of formulating a more systematic framework for analyzing ritual as practice. 93 For her, ritual is not some a priori category of action disconnected from other forms of action. A particularly important feature of ritual in this fairly wide definition is ritual space. Ritualization is also a way of acting that tends to promote the authority of forces deemed to derive from beyond the immediate situation. Bell’s practice theory emphasizing ritualization “makes it possible to focus more directly on what people do and how they do it; it involves less preliminary commitment to some overarching notion of ritual in general. It assumes that what is meant by ritual may not be a way of acting that is the same for all times and places.” 94 Bell’s suggestion has spawned many studies in distinct disciplines and specialties that appreciate the rather vague definition of ritual per se and the more holistic perspective of ritualization. 95 Its flexible descriptive nature and the shift from looking exclusively at the phenomenon to studying the reasons and forces that shape the appearance and practice of this phenomenon have made it an attractive research paradigm. The final important contribution that will be mentioned in this brief appraisal of the study of ritual from the perspective of the social sciences involves the work of University of Michigan anthropologist Roy Rappaport

91. Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice (trans. R. Nice; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), 133; compare the comments in Bell, Ritual, 77–79. 92. Bell, ibid., 197. 93. For the following comments, see the convenient summary of her position in ibid., 81–83. 94. Ibid., 82. 95. See, for example, the recent studies of Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, “‘Not by Bread Alone . . .’: The Ritualization of Food and Table Talk in the Passover Seder and in the Last Supper,” Semeia 86 (1999): 165–91; Ulrike Brunotte, “Ritual und Erlebnis Theorien der Initiation und ihre Aktualität in der Moderne,” ZRGG 52 (2000): 349–67; Elisabeth Parmentier, “The Ritualization of Marriage in the Churches of the Reformation: A Language to Express the Encounter of Human and Divine Love,” StLit 32 (2002): 29–47; and Olivier Bauer, “Rite et théologie protestante: La cène dans l’Eglise évangélique de Polynésie française,” LTP 59 (2003): 3–20.

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(1926–97). His work is categorized in Bell’s research history as a “neofunctional form of system analysis.” 96 Based on his fieldwork among the Maring people of New Guinea, Rappaport emphasizes the balancing quality of ritual as a means to regulate the relationships between the people and their natural resources. 97 In this sense, ritual (as well as other social processes) are part and parcel of a much larger cultural ecosystem. Bell writes: “Rappaport’s approach is, in many respects, a form of ‘systems analysis,’ in which ritual is shown to play a particularly key role in maintaining the system since it claims authority rooted in the divine, as well as in tradition.” 98 Rappaport himself feels misunderstood by Bell’s characterization as “ecological rationalism” and clearly states that one can find without any difficulty many instances of ritual that have nothing to do with ecological or political relations. 99 In his last volume, posthumously published in 1999 and entitled Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity, Rappaport argues that religion is central to the evolution of life and should be reconciled with science. In his lengthy discussion of ritual per se, he takes issue with Tambiah’s understanding of ritual as performative action—or rather the interaction of form and substance/content. 100 The focus of the performative approach on the form of ritual and its symbolic or real-life significance is challenged, since “ritual is not simply an alternative way to express any manner of thing, but that certain meanings and effects can best, or even only, be expressed or achieved in ritual.” 101 Following this, Rappaport emphasizes six important features of ritual: (1) encoding by persons other than the performers; (2) formality; (3) more or less invariance; (4) performance; (5) communication; and (6) being self-referential. These characteristics of ritual reflect to some degree different approaches to ritual that we have looked at already. After all, we always stand on the shoulders of those who preceded us.

In Retrospect The study of ritual as an expression of religious or cultural reality and concepts has always been a mainstay of social-science research. The methodological and philosophical developments that marked the past 150 years in this particular area of research naturally have influenced research into biblical rit-

96. Bell, Ritual, 29. 97. See Roy A. Rappaport, Pigs for the Ancestors (2nd ed.; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980). 98. Bell, Ritual, 30. 99. Roy A. Rappaport, Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity (CSSCA 110; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 28. 100. Ibid., 29–32. 101. Ibid., 30. The emphasis is in the original.

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ual. Evidence for this is frequent reference to the contributions of Frazer, Freud, Durkheim, van Gennep, Turner, Leach, and many others in the research of biblical scholars focusing on biblical ritual. 102 While these scholars often take one particular concept important to ritual theoreticists (such as space, time, transformation, passages, and so on) and apply it to biblical texts, they generally do not include a more systematic interaction. This situation changes when one looks into the larger field of religious studies (in contrast to biblical studies). Scholars here interact with anthropologists or sociologists working on ritual on a more methodological level. This may be due in part to the particular comparative perspective of the history-of-religion research paradigm in contrast to the perspective of most biblical scholars, who prefer comparative studies that deal with cultures originating in a related period of time that are closely linked by geography and (material) culture. Most early research into ritual was primarily interested in questions of origins. Scholars were children of their own ages, and Darwin’s astounding hypothesis not only changed biology but affected every area of research, including anthropology and sociology. Issues of evolution were in vogue, and considerable resources were dedicated to finding answers that fitted this particular research paradigm. However, structuralists such as Durkheim soon began to ask different questions and perceived ritual (as well as religion per se) to be an important factor that helps to structure and order society. In their perspective, ritual is a tool that helps to create the bonds and loyalties necessary for a community to function. Neo-Durkheimian readings of this influential school are still employed, and the special focus on the social function of religion and ritual has influenced modern theoretical discussions of ritual. While Durkheim focused on social function and the larger societal context of ritual, the psychoanalytic school emphasized the unconscious or subconscious elements of ritual. Freud suggested that most ritual actors or participants would not know the “real” purpose and significance of a particular ritual. Thus, similar to psychoanalysis per se, ritual meaning has to be excavated from the depth of human and societal consciousness. While the psychoanalytic school has not greatly influenced current theoretical discussion of ritual, it has spawned many studies focusing on practical implications of ritual in the areas of applied theology.

102. In 1995, the journal Semeia, an experimental journal for biblical criticism, dedicated an entire volume, entitled Transformations, Passages, and Processes: Ritual Approaches to Biblical Texts, to the study of ritual in the biblical text. A good discussion of the interaction between biblical studies and ritual studies from a social science perspective can be found in Bobby C. Alexander, “An Afterthought on Ritual in Biblical Studies,” Semeia 67 (1994 [1995]): 209–26.

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The phenomenology school of the study of religion with its emphasis on the description of the visible, the suspension of judgment, and the recognition of ritualization in every possible cultural context has made an important contribution to our quest to understand ritual adequately. Particularly, the realization that ritual does not occur only in religious contexts has opened up many new fields of research and has raised many intriguing questions. The past decades of ritual research have been characterized by a multiplicity of methods. After all, postmodernism does affect all areas of life and especially tends to challenge dominant paradigms. Students of ritual have looked into its affinities with linguistics and its power of communication. The performative approach not only studies ritual and its relevant elements or its function in society or religion but also perceives it as an expression in itself that needs to be studied, as drama or music performances are studied. Others have focused on the hidden power dimensions of rituals and their abilities not only to legitimize or maintain existing power structures but also to create new ones. Bell’s emphasis on ritualization broadens even further the spectrum of ritual research, as does Rappaport’s important suggestion that ritual should be looked at as a means of controlling and balancing the interaction of distinct elements in the ecology of life. Beyond doubt, ritual studies are flourishing and provide helpful theoretical and practical impetus for biblical and religious studies scholars interested in the ritual texts of the Bible.

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Ritual and Bible: The Genesis of a New Discipline Taking the Pulse of a New Discipline The study of ritual not only has played a major role in the larger field of the social sciences but also has become a major focal point in biblical studies. Over the past 25 years, an increased interest in ritual found in the biblical text can be observed, building on the works of Jewish scholars such as Jacob Milgrom, Baruch Levine, and Menahem Haran. 1 Many of their students have thrived in the area of ritual studies, often bringing to the field a more comparative approach coupled with sound biblical scholarship and an open mind to modern ritual theory. 2 A good example—although not by one of the students of 1. First among numerous studies is Milgrom’s three-part Leviticus commentary (as part of the Anchor Bible commentary series) which in depth, detail, and scholarly interaction has no comparison (see Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary [AB 3; New York: Doubleday, 1991]; Leviticus 17–22: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary [AB 3a; New York: Doubleday, 2000]; and Leviticus 23–27: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary [AB 3b; New York: Doubleday, 2001]). Milgrom has also published a very helpful commentary on Numbers (Numbers [ JPS Torah Commentary 4; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1990]) as well as another one, less technical in nature, on Leviticus (Leviticus: A Book of Ritual and Ethics [CC; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004]). The first important collection of Levine’s thoughts was published in 1974 (Baruch A. Levine, In the Presence of the Lord: A Study of Cult and Some Cultic Terms in Ancient Israel [SJLA 5; Leiden: Brill, 1974]). Later contributions include Leviticus ( JPS Torah Commentary 3; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989) and Numbers 1–20: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 4a; New York: Doubleday, 1993). With regard to Menahem Haran, see, for example, his important monograph Temples and TempleService in Ancient Israel: An Inquiry into Biblical Cult Phenomena and the Historical Setting of the Priestly School (Oxford: Clarendon, 1978; repr. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1985). While Haran’s interest in biblical studies was rather wide, quite a number of studies published in the Festschrift in his honor (Michael V. Fox et al., eds., Texts, Temples, and Traditions: A Tribute to Menahem Haran [Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996]) focus on either cultic elements or priestly liturgy and texts. 2. Regarding a more comparative approach, see, for example, David P. Wright, The Disposal of Impurity: Elimination Rites in the Bible and in Hittite and Mesopotamian Literature (SBLDS 101; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987); or Roy E. Gane, Cult and Character: Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2005), whose dissertations were directed by Milgrom. It should also be noted that in Milgrom’s Anchor Bible Leviticus commentary, Wright authored many sections that deal with elimination rites. Another important contributor to biblical

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Milgrom or Levine—can be found in the work of Saul M. Olyan. Olyan is Dorot Professor of Judaic Studies and also teaches as Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. His extensive list of publications includes many studies that indicate familiarity with general ritual studies and integrate important theoretical aspects into his discussion of biblical ritual texts or biblical narratives. 3 Olyan’s most significant work—in terms of the present focus on biblical ritual and ritual studies per se—is his volume focusing on the reflection/interaction of hierarchy in biblical representations of cult. 4 It is a relatively small volume covering some 120 pages of text (together with an additional 50 pages of copious notes) that focuses on binary oppositions or— a term borrowed from anthropological research—dyadic pairings 5 such as good/evil, clean/unclean, rich/poor, and self/other. His introduction demonstrates his awareness of and interaction with current anthropological research, although some of his definitions could be fine-tuned. 6 The language is clear and his venturing into anthropology is not a trendy or “flashy” way of saying the same thing in different, more complex language. 7 His point of deparritual studies employing relevant ANE comparative material is Daniel E. Fleming, The Installation of Baal’s High Priestess at Emar: A Window on Ancient Syrian Religion (HSS 42; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992). Fleming was never a student of Milgrom and wrote his dissertation at Harvard University under William Moran. David P. Wright, Ritual in Narrative: The Dynamics of Feasting, Mourning, and Retaliation Rites in the Ugaritic Tale of Aqhat (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2001) quotes the important theoretical works of religious studies scholar Catherine Bell in 11 distinct contexts. Other significant contributions have been made by Emory University graduate Frank Gorman (The Ideology of Ritual: Space, Time and Status in the Priestly Theology [ JSOTSup 91; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990] and later works), Cambridge University graduate Philip Peter Jenson (Graded Holiness: A Key to the Priestly Conception of the World [ JSOTSup 106; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992]), as well as my own contribution based on my University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, dissertation (A Comparative Study of the Ritual of Ordination as Found in Leviticus 8 and Emar 369), published by Edwin Mellen in 1998. 3. See here, for example, the volume coedited by Olyan and dealing with cult and priesthood: Gary A. Anderson and Saul M. Olyan, Priesthood and Cult in Ancient Israel ( JSOTSup 125; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1991). See also Saul M. Olyan, “What Do Shaving Rites Accomplish and What Do They Signal in Biblical Ritual Context?” JBL 117 (1998): 611–22; idem, Rites and Rank; idem, “The Exegetical Dimensions of Restrictions on the Blind and the Lame in Texts from Qumran,” DSD 8 (2001): 38–50; and—more recently—idem, “Purity Ideology in Ezra–Nehemiah as a Tool to Reconstitute the Community,” JSJ 35 (2004): 1–16. 4. Idem, Rites and Rank. 5. A good introduction to the concept of dyadism from a social-science perspective can be found in Jerome H. Neyrey, “Dyadism,” in Biblical Social Values and Their Meaning (ed. John J. Pilch and Bruce J. Malina; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993), 49–52. 6. See my comments in ch. 2 above dealing with his indistinct use of rite/ritual, which I would definitely distinguish. 7. I borrowed the term “flashy” from Brettler’s helpful review of Olyan’s work. See Marc Z. Brettler, “Review of Saul M. Olyan, Rites and Rank: Hierarchy in Biblical Representations of Cult,” JQR 42 (2000): 269.

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ture is the observation of the prominence of binary thinking in a significant number of biblical texts. In other words, Olyan does not apply a particular model (such as structuralism) to the biblical text; rather, he takes as his point of departure the characteristics of the biblical text itself. Obviously, ritual plays an important role in the study of binary opposites, as the categories of clean/unclean, holy/common, and whole/blemished—so common in biblical ritual—suggest. Based on anthropological research, Olyan argues that binary opposition may be employed by cultures to communicate totality and to generate hierarchy 8 —and it is precisely this aspect that he focuses on. The social dimension of ritual is an important research focus in recent ritual studies, both on a methodological and on a pragmatic level. Interestingly, Olyan connects the results of his research in his conclusion with the contemporary North American context and suggests that “the subject of hierarchy is timely, and biblical texts concerned with social differentiation, particularly those employing binary modes of thought and discourse, resonate in our contemporary context.” 9 All in all, his study shows the important contributions that ritual studies can make to the larger context of biblical studies. Before turning to European biblical scholarship and its contribution to the study of ritual in the Bible, we must consider a recent contribution that is an important landmark in this field. Ritual and Ritual Theory in Ancient Israel by Tel Aviv Professor of Religious Studies Ithamar Gruenwald is a significant advancement over prior scholarship in this area and indicates the growing realization on the part of biblical scholars that ritual theory needs to be an integral part of our conversation with biblical ritual. In this respect, Gruenwald’s methodological discussion of rituals and ritual theory in the first chapter is noteworthy. 10 His emphasis on imbedded ritual theory in every individual ritual is worth mentioning, although it seems to me that the “excavation” of this level of meaning is not always easy. However, it highlights the fact that the search for meaning in ritual should not begin with external models or concepts but should emanate from the biblical text itself. 11 Gruenwald includes several important chapters dealing with economic ethos and ritual in the religion of ancient Israel, the relationship between myth and ritual, and the issue of the connections between Judaic Halakah, oral Torah, and ritual theory. 12 While the inclusion of Halakah is not envisioned in this present work (neither is extrabiblical comparative material), it provides fertile ground

8. Olyan, Rites and Rank, 4. 9. Ibid., 120. 10. Gruenwald, Ritual and Ritual Theory, 1–39. 11. As already indicated above, this principle can be seen in the work of Olyan, who takes as his point of departure dyadic opposites that can be perceived in the biblical text itself. 12. Gruenwald, Ritual and Ritual Theory, 40–93, 94–138, and 139–79.

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for future research of biblical ritual. The final two chapters of Gruenwald’s book are of the utmost importance, because they try to implement the theoretical considerations presented in the first chapter in two different areas of biblical ritual: sacrifice and the Lord’s Supper. While the first area is rather thematic and only connects to particular biblical ritual in the later part (when dealing with the Day of Atonement ritual found in Lev 16), the second area, focus on the NT ritual of the “Lord’s Supper,” is highly significant—particularly when it appears in a volume on ritual and ritual theory edited by a Jewish scholar of religious studies. Both chapters include helpful theoretical material and emphasize the importance of Gruenwald’s contribution to the study of biblical ritual. In 2005, Wesley J. Bergen published a volume dealing with a postmodern reading of ritual in Leviticus that appeared in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series. 13 He discusses biblical ritual in seven succinct chapters in conversation with contemporary secular ritual and writes from a postmodern perspective. After a brief introduction that lays out his reading strategies and seeks to define ritual (looking at the function of ritual, the textuality of biblical ritual, and the performance aspect of ritual), Bergen discusses the modern equivalent to animal sacrifice, focusing on animal slaughter in Western society as practiced in McDonald’s restaurants. Other chapters compare the instructions of Lev 4 concerning unintentional sin with ritual elements found in Monday Night Football in the U.S.A.; a cross-cultural reading of ritual sacrifice in Leviticus, Africa, and North America; and an essay about institutionalized blood sacrifice in the U.S.A., which he identifies as war. Chapter 6 deals with the afterlife of Lev 1–7 in the Christian Church, focusing on Christian responses and reuses of sacrificial language and symbolic action; followed by the last chapter, which provides a free-verse commentary in which the author comments and interacts in three different “voices” (as a scholar, a pastor, and a poet) on the text of Lev 7. As can be seen in this brief review of the contents of the work, the postmodern reading of Leviticus deals in spheres that are far removed from traditional readings of ritual, and one wonders if there might be fruitful interaction between scholars proposing postmodern readings of any given biblical text or concept. However, the appearance of the volume clearly demonstrates the increasing interest of modern society and biblical scholarship in ritual and ritual studies. Evidently, as I have affirmed before: Ritual studies are booming! In the wake of renewed interest in the religious history of Israel, the sub-discipline of ritual studies is constituting an important 13. The volume appears conjointly in JSOTSup and in the fairly new Playing the Texts series (Reading Ritual: Leviticus in Postmodern Culture [ JSOTSup 417/PTT 7; London: T. & T. Clark, 2005]).

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part of the investigation into the religious ideas and practices of ancient cultures. This trend can also be observed outside the realm of OT and ANE studies and suggests a new urgency in attempts to understand man’s religious conscience and behavior. 14

Historically, European scholarship has favored the traditional text-layer approach. 15 The “text-layer approach,” which is characteristic of modern critical scholarship of the Bible, often devalued the place of ritual in biblical texts, religion, and theology either by attacking it outright or by ignoring it altogether. 16 Some of the earlier resentment toward ritual may be due to the Protestant bias against ritual. This bias found its expression in the Christological interpretation of Scripture and history, an emphasis on the personal, inner Christian experience and often also included anti-Judaism and antiCatholic biases and polemics. Generally, Protestant reformation theology emphasized justification by faith, the personal relationship of the believer with God without the mediating function of the priest, and the importance of Scripture. In this theological milieu, ritual texts from the Hebrew Bible were often considered “barbaric” and definitely on the lower echelons of their religious evolutionistic concept. 17 Furthermore, early critical interpreters of ritual texts from the Hebrew Bible felt encouraged in their negative stance toward ritual by the seemingly clear-cut prophetic critique of many cultic ritual 14. G. Klingbeil, Comparative Study, 1. 15. Important contributions include the works of Catholic scholar Adrian Schenker, ed., Studien zu Opfer und Kult im Alten Testament (FAT 3; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1992); and more recently, idem, Recht und Kult im Alten Testament: Achtzehn Studien (OBO 172; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000). Another important contributor is Bernd Janowski (Sühne als Heilsgeschehen: Studien zur Sühnetheologie der Priesterschrift und zur Wurzel KPR im Alten Orient und im Alten Testament [WMANT 55; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1982]) of the University of Tübingen in Germany. His seminal work on propitiation is still a classic. Among his later works is a comparative study dealing with the ram of Azazel found in the Day of Atonement ritual. See Bernd Janowski and Gernot Wilhelm, “Der Bock, der die Sünden hinausträgt: Zur Religionsgeschichte des Azazel-Ritus Lev 16,10.21f,” in Religionsgeschichtliche Beziehungen zwischen Kleinasien, Nordsyrien und dem Alten Testament (ed. Bernd Janowski et al.; OBO 129; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), 109–69. More recently, Benedikt Jürgens (Heiligkeit und Versöhnung: Levitikus 16 in seinem literarischen Kontext [HBS 28; Freiburg: Herder, 2001]) has published an important study of the ritual dimension and meaning of Lev 16, where he includes relevant ritual categories in his interpretation. 16. In his review of trends in the study of ritual in the field of biblical studies, Gorman (“Ritual Studies and Biblical Studies,” 13–20) agrees with this evaluation. In the following, I will base my observations on his work. 17. J. Gordon McConville, “The Place of Ritual in Old Testament Religion,” IBS 3/3 (1981): 120–21. Compare the insightful remarks of Jacob Milgrom in the preface to his Leviticus commentary that appeared in the Continental Commentary series, where he reminisces about an encounter with the chancellor of a Protestant Seminary early on in his teaching career and the particular negative Christian attitude toward Leviticus and ritual in general (Milgrom, Leviticus: A Book of Ritual and Ethics, vi–vii).

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expressions. 18 Additionally, the explicitly nonhuman nature of cultic texts— coming from an entirely different cultural context involving distinct values, symbols, and means of communication—makes them difficult to penetrate and appreciate. 19 Even outside religious studies, the mechanistic view of the world and the positivistic world view with its emphasis on the “rational” and “objectively measurable” did not provide fertile ground for ritual studies. As a result, most academic works dealing with ritual texts from the Hebrew Bible invested more time in understanding the supposed textual history of a given section than in understanding the ritual itself, the involved elements, and its function. However, over the past two decades the tide seems to be turning. Already in 1998, one could observe a shift in methodology and focus in commentaries dealing with Leviticus, one of the biblical books with the highest density of ritual material. “There is a shift from text-oriented analysis to meaning-oriented interpretation. This shift seems to reflect a rift between Continental [that is, European] and American scholarship and has to be seen against the back-drop of changing approaches in biblical studies as well.” 20 This assessment was based on a careful evaluation of approaches found in ten different Leviticus commentaries published between 1962 and 1993. In the meantime, more commentaries have appeared and the trend seems to hold. 21 This is partly due to paradigm changes in biblical research in general and in pentateuchal studies more specifically. 22 In a Postmodern Age, commonly agreed on presuppositions about textual developments seem to have given way to a multitude of approaches, many acquired by looking over the fence into the social-science corner of academia or borrowed from modern linguistics and literary studies. 23 18. Jenson, Graded Holiness, 17. A more detailed discussion of this issue can be found in the following chapter. 19. Carol L. Meyers, The Tabernacle Menorah: A Synthetic Study of a Symbol from the Biblical Cult (ASORDS 2; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press/American Schools of Oriental Research, 1976), 1. 20. G. Klingbeil, Comparative Study, 87. 21. Clearly, Frank H. Gorman Jr. (Divine Presence and Community: A Commentary on the Book of Leviticus [ITC; Edinburgh: Handsel Press / Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 1–20, Mark F. Rooker (Leviticus: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture [NAC 3a; Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2000], 43–45), Stephen K. Sherwood (Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy [Berit Olam: Studies in Narrative and Poetry; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002]), Samuel E. Balentine (Leviticus [IBC; Louisville: John Knox, 2002]), and Milgrom (Leviticus: A Book of Ritual and Ethics) would fall into the meaning-oriented analysis category. 22. See Rolf Rendtorff, “The Paradigm is Changing: Hopes—and Fears,” BibInt 1 (1993): 34–53; idem, “Directions in Pentateuchal Studies,” CurBS 5 (1997): 43–65; David M. Carr, “Controversy and Convergence in Recent Studies of the Formation of the Pentateuch,” RelSRev 23 (1997): 22– 31; and Hans-Winfried Jüngling, “Das Buch Levitikus in der Forschung seit Karl Elligers Kommentar aus dem Jahre 1966,” in Levitikus als Buch (ed. Heinz-Josef Fabry and Hans-Winfried Jüngling; BBB 119; Berlin: Philo, 1999), 1–45. 23. A good example of this “everything goes” approach can be seen in the work of Bergen, Reading Ritual: Leviticus in Postmodern Culture, that I have already commented on above.

spread is 9 points long

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It is interesting that many of the new studies focusing on biblical ritual involve comparative material from the ancient Near East. This is definitely due to the fact that more textual material has been recovered and published over the past decades. However, I would also venture to suggest that many biblical scholars find more joy in trying to understand one cuneiform tablet (with five or six variant tablets) detailing a complex ritual than in first having to delve into more than 200 years of text-layer-oriented research that is not concerned with the meaning and communicative function of the ritual. Another strong impetus for the renewed interest in ritual and ritual texts from Scripture comes from the religious studies discipline. Already in 1993, the Danish scholar Jørgen Sørensen called for the recognition of “Ritualistics” as a new subdiscipline in the History of Religion field. 24 In this context, the contribution of Santa Clara University professor Catherine Bell should not be overlooked. Bell is a specialist in ritual theory and Chinese religions and teaches in the Department of Religious Studies. The publication of two major studies on ritual that focus on methodology and underlying presuppositions has surely provided a stimulus for the growing interest in the meaning of ritual in the biblical studies community. 25 Bell has challenged the notion that ritual is not necessarily an instrument involving power, politics, or social control; rather, ritual practices are themselves the very production of power relations. 26 The past decades have also witnessed the conception of two major journals focusing more or less exclusively on ritual. The Journal of Ritual Studies (ISSN 0890-1112) is edited by two professors in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and deals exclusively with ritual in all its aspects studied from an interdisciplinary perspective. While Studia Liturgica (ISSN 0039-3207) does not focus exclusively on ritual, it has been instrumental in highlighting the ritual dimensions of liturgy and has provided helpful theoretical, historical, and interpretational studies. Another major player in the study of ritual from the perspective of religious studies is Jonathan Z. Smith, Professor of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Among his many important contributions is To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual (published in 1987), where he emphasizes the importance of space in the construction and understanding of ritual. 27 The “laboratories” for applying his theoretical considerations include the territories of 24. Jørgen Podemann Sørensen, “Ritualistics: A New Discipline in the History of Religions,” in The Problem of Ritual: Based on Papers Read at the Symposium on Religious Rites held at Åbo, Finland, on the 13th–16th of August 1991 (ed. T. Ahlbäck; Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis 15; Åbo: The Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History, 1993), 9–25. 25. Her introductory work has been especially influential (Bell, Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions) and is referred to more and more in biblical studies dealing with ritual. 26. Idem, Ritual Theory, 182–96, esp. 196. 27. J. Z. Smith, To Take Place.

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the Tjilpa aborigines in Australia, the temple envisioned by Ezekiel (Ezek 40– 48) in the Hebrew Bible, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Lately, Smith has also ventured out into more direct interdisciplinary dialogue with colleagues in the fields of biblical studies and Syro-Palestinian archaeology about religion and ritual. 28 Clearly, ritual and ritual studies within the context of biblical and religious studies represent an important category of research and share important theoretical and (some) practical considerations. However, research focusing on ritual in Scripture faces some additional challenges that need to be considered before one gets into the “nitty-gritty” of actual ritual interpretation. First, biblical ritual must be studied nearly exclusively from texts. Second, most of the texts containing rituals are not easily dated, a fact that obviously has repercussions if one attempts the historical reconstruction of the religion of ancient Israel or early Christianity. Third, rituals in themselves are rather empty containers and need to be understood in their specific cultural, historical, and religious context, often requiring advanced studies and skills. Fourth, one has to deal with the often abbreviated nature of ritual in the Bible. Fifth, while comparative material is generally helpful and beneficial, it cannot be the sole guide to the meaning or function of a specific ritual found in either the Hebrew Bible or the NT. In the following sections, I will tackle each of these issues separately and hope to provide a methodologically adequate point of departure for the study of specific elements and functions of ritual in Scripture.

Texts = Facts? Biblical scholarship is divided on the issue of the ritual texts included in (mostly) the Hebrew Bible with regard to whether they in fact represent actual performances or whether they only functioned as elements of cultic reform. A substantial number of critical scholars suggest that the ritual texts contained in the Hebrew Bible are actually part of a conscious theological effort to streamline and centralize cultic practices during the Second Temple period. 29 Others give the texts more historical credibility and suggest that the rituals described in them represent an actual practice from either an earlier period or the period during which they were written. I include myself in the 28. Idem, “Religion Up and Down, Out and In,” 3–10. The entire book is based on papers read at the ASOR annual meetings between 1993 and 1996 in the program unit “Archaeology and the Religion of Israel.” 29. For example, Philip R. Davies, “Leviticus as a Cultic System in the Second Temple Period: Remarks on the Paper by Hannah K. Harrington,” in Reading Leviticus: A Conversation with Mary Douglas (ed. John F. A. Sawyer; JSOTSup 228; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), 230–37.

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second group, which appreciates not only the basic historicity of the text but also its theological dimensions. However, neither position solves one of the basic issues in the study of biblical (and ANE) rituals, which must focus almost exclusively on texts: the fact that the modern reader has no access to primary sources that might corroborate the written evidence. In this sense the biblical material is not an isolated case. The many ritual texts uncovered at Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit) in Syria that are dated between the 14th and 12th centuries b.c.e. 30 present similar challenges, and ritual analysis of them also involves narrative texts that contain a description of ritual performance. 31 It seems that analysis of ritual elements in narrative (and not just legal) contexts does provide a possible avenue for the discovery of religious realities and practice, although the literary strategy of the author(s) should be kept in mind. Another important concept to remember when dealing with ritual texts in the Bible involves their very nature. Baruch Levine differentiated between prescriptive and descriptive ritual texts and based his findings on characteristics of Ugaritic material that, according to him, could also be found in biblical texts. 32 The differentiation between a prescriptive text, which mandates a specific religious ritual activity, and a descriptive text, which details the execution of the prescription, is an important one. However, it is doubtful if the form-critical analysis of Levine that suggests an evolutionary process in the form of record § description § prescription could be verified externally. It seems that even the simple “recording” of a ritual already carries prescriptive elements, since a precedent for a specific procedure is recorded. Furthermore, the assertion of the priority of description over prescription seems doubtful. 33 As can be seen from the above discussion, the exclusively textual nature of the ritual material found in the Bible requires different strategies from those 30. A brief but succinct summary of the archaeological evidence concerning Ugarit can be found in Marguerite Yon, “Ugarit: History and Archaeology,” ABD 6:695–706. 31. Different levels of preservations of the tablets, opaque terms, difficult syntax, laconic style, and lack of definite contexts make the important ritual texts from Ugarit difficult ground to tread. Recent attempts to understand them included the study of narrative involving ritual events. See D. P. Wright, Ritual in Narrative, 2–8. See also the important introduction found in Gregorio del Olmo Lete, Canaanite Religion according to the Liturgical Texts of Ugarit (trans. W. G. E. Watson; Bethesda, MD: CDL, 1999; reprinted, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2003), 7–16. 32. See Baruch A. Levine, “Ugaritic Descriptive Rituals,” JCS 17 (1963): 105–11; idem, “The Descriptive Tabernacle Texts of the Pentateuch,” JAOS 85 (1965): 307–18; and idem, “The Descriptive Ritual Texts from Ugarit: Some Formal and Functional Features of the Genre,” in The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Sixtieth Birthday (ed. Carol L. Meyers and Michael O’Connor; Winona Lake, IN: American Schools of Oriental Research/Eisenbrauns, 1983), 467–75. 33. See also del Olmo Lete, Canaanite Religion, 14–15, for more details.

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employed in contemporary anthropological research. A field researcher studying an isolated tribe in the central African Congo basin will employ research strategies such as observation, video and sound recordings, and interviews (if the language is accessible) and will try to live with the tribe for a prolonged period of time. Research into biblical ritual material can only rely on texts (both biblical and contemporary ANE texts) without the luxury of direct interaction with the people enacting and living the ritual. This calls for more-sophisticated, textually based research strategies, which will be presented in more detail below.

Dating Biblical Ritual Texts: The Never-Ending Story In 1997, Susan Niditch penned the following evaluation of the chronology of biblical texts in modern scholarship: “Perhaps the most difficult problem faced by students of Israelite religion is the dating of biblical literature. Biblical texts are guides to the world view of at least some Israelites, but the social and intellectual history of Israel spans almost a thousand years, and it is far from certain exactly where in that spectrum all of the texts originate.” 34 While a large number of scholars see an exilic or postexilic date for most of the biblical material, more and more evidence suggests an earlier date—in some instances, substantially earlier. The arguments mustered by both sides involve complex linguistic, form-critical, genre-related, comparative, historical, and archaeological data. 35 I personally prefer the minority view; however, because the present study is not concerned with describing the development of Israelite ritual but focuses on its context and meaning, a lengthy debate about texts and dates seems inappropriate. I presuppose the final text of the narratives as a historical-theological presentation based on earlier material and do not endeavor to discover its alleged (or explicit) sources or its supposed editorial history. Even if one accepts a late date for the texts (in the case of the Hebrew Bible) and major editorial activity, the question of the specifics of the ritual and its meaning in the final text remains. Why did the editor shape a specific ritual text the way he did? What meaning(s) did he understand and want to communicate to the religious community? 34. Susan Niditch, Ancient Israelite Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 120–21. 35. Concerning the dating of the so-called Priestly Source (P) of the Pentateuch, which contains a lot of ritual material of the Hebrew Bible, see the review of the literature in my Comparative Study, 70–97. See also the helpful introductory bibliographical review focusing on publications in English found in Kenton L. Sparks, The Pentateuch: An Annotated Bibliography (IBR Bibliographies 1; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002), 22–36. The bibliographical list could be extended substantially. However, due to the focus of this study I will limit myself to these references which contain further helpful bibliographical data.

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Rituals: Empty Containers or Meaning-Laden Communicators? The actions that constitute a ritual do not have inherent meanings; rather, the meanings are determined by the cultural and religious context in which the ritual is enacted. This can be demonstrated by looking at similar (or even the same) subrites that have distinct meanings. A good example from the Hebrew Bible can be found in the use of the blood-sprinkling rite in a sacrificial context. 36 Leviticus 4:6, 17 informs the reader that the officiating priest was to sprinkle blood from the purification offering (˙a††aªt) 37 seven times “before the veil” that separated the outer sanctum from the inner sanctum. Leviticus 4:6, 17 does not contain any explication regarding the meaning of this specific subrite. However, during the Day of Atonement ritual, found in Lev 16, the same subrite is again used. This time, the blood is sprinkled seven times in the inner sanctum on the ark of the covenant (Lev 16:14–15). The text explains that the blood is used to purge or cleanse the sanctuary (Lev 16:16) from all the accumulated sins (˙a††aªt) of the “sons of Israel.” 38 During the second time, the sevenfold sprinkling subrite focuses on the outer sacrificial altar of the sanctuary, and the provided explanation includes two elements. First, the blood should cleanse the altar and second, it should (re)consecrate it. 39 Clearly, the sprinkling rite carries two distinct meanings within the same ritual context. Other examples could be added, including the communal meal 36. Compare Gane, Cult and Character, 21–22. 37. Traditionally, the ˙a††aªt offering has been translated “sin offering” (kjv, nkjv, niv, and so on). However, it seems that Milgrom’s understanding of the term and interpretation as “purification offering” has much support both in the text as well as in the larger context of Israelite ritual. Compare Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 253–92; and John G. Gammie, Holiness in Israel (OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989), 37–41. The literature on the subject is manifold, and no general consensus seems to be in sight. An interesting new interpretation of the term ˙a††aªt and its repercussion for the ˙a††aªt offering has recently been proposed by Nobuyoshi Kiuchi (A Study of Óa†aª and Óa††aªt in Leviticus 4–5 [FAT 2/2; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003], 24–25), who suggests the meaning of “to hide oneself (against the Lord)” for the verbal form and the meaning “hiding oneself ” for the noun. See also Kiuchi’s earlier work, The Purification Offering in the Priestly Literature: Its Meaning and Function ( JSOTSup 56; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987); and the important contributions of Adrian Schenker (Versöhnung und Sühne: Wege gewaltloser Konfliktlösung im Alten Testament [BibB 15; Einsiedeln: Schweizerisches Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1981]; and idem, “Interprétations récentes et dimensions spécifiques du sacrifice ˙a††aªt,” Bib 75 [1994]: 59–70). Most recently, Gane (Cult and Character, 45–143) has provided a detailed analysis of the purification offering, including also a critique of the contributions of Milgrom, Kiuchi, and Gammie. 38. The Hebrew verb used here is a form of kpr. 39. The Hebrew term used here for cleansing is distinct from the one found in Leviticus and uses the root †hr. This is followed by the verb qds. Both terms are Piel, waw consec., 3rd-masculine singular with an additional 3rd-masculine-singular suffix, referring explicitly back to the object of the verbal action, which is the outer altar introduced in 16:18.

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ritual 40 and even the more specific baptismal rite in the NT context, where some distinction is made between the “baptism of John,” denoting repentance (Acts 18:25, 19:1–4), and the “baptism of Jesus” (Acts 19:5), involving the ministry of the Holy Spirit which apparently included an element of service. This polyvalence is another challenge to the modern reader and requires familiarity with some of the building blocks common to a specific cultural and/or religious context. Care must also be taken not to implant meaning from outside this specific context. The interpretation of sacrificial offerings, including the underlying theory and possible motivation for one’s offering, is a case in point. The literature on the subject is vast, even when one only considers biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies, without classical or other studies. 41 At least six different underlying motifs for sacrifices have been sug40. Eating and drinking created community ( Job 1:4–5, 1 Kgs 18:19, Gen 38:23–25), often involved political dimensions related to contracts (Gen 26:28–31 [Isaac and Abimelech]; 31:51–54 [ Jacob and Laban]; Exod 18:12 [ Jethro and Moses]; Josh 9:3–27 [Israel and the men of Gibeon]; and 2 Kgs 6:23 [Arameans led into Samaria by the prophet Elisha are invited to partake in a feast]) or covenants in the religious sphere (Exod 24:11). They were part and parcel of standard cultic procedure in the context of religious feasts (Exod 12 [eating of the Passover]; Lev 23:9–22 [the feast of first fruits was celebrated with a meal]) and belonged to the general sphere of social interaction, such as marriages or nonspecific events. Eating and drinking expressed joy—often in the context of groups or community (1 Sam 1:3–15 [Elkanah celebrates the annual pilgrimage with his family]; 1 Sam 9:12–13 [festal meal after sacrifice, presided over by Samuel]). Lack of food and consequently lack of eating and drinking together could indicate climatic problems (such as a famine; see Ruth 1), emotional affliction (2 Sam 1:12 [David and his men fast until evening after hearing the news of the death of Saul and his sons]), or military conflicts (2 Kgs 6:24–30 [Aramean siege of Samaria]). I have recently discussed the ritual dimensions of the communal meal in 1/2 Kings. See my “‘Momentaufnahmen’ of Israelite Religion: The Importance of the Communal Meal in Narrative Texts in I/II Regum and Their Ritual Dimension,” ZAW 118 (2006): 22–45. 41. For a list of relevant literature up to 1997, see my Comparative Study, 247–55. To this list the following references should be added: Ina Willi-Plein, Opfer und Kult im alttestamentlichen Israel: Textbefragungen und Zwischenergebnisse (SBS 153; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1993); Wilfred G. Lambert, “Donations of Food and Drink to the Gods in Ancient Mesopotamia,” in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the International Conference Organized by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven from the 17th to the 20th April of 1991 (ed. J. Quaegebeur; OLA 55; Leuven: Peeters, 1993), 191–201; S. K. Stowers, “On the Comparison of Blood in Greek and Israelite Ritual,” in Óesed Ve-Emet: Studies in Honor of Ernest S. Frerichs (ed. Jodi Magness and Seymour Gitin; BJS 320; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998), 179–94; Bertrand Lafont, “Sacrifices et rituales a Mari et dans la Bible,” RA 93 (1999): 57–77; Robert A. Kugler, “Rewriting Rubrics: Sacrifice and the Religion of Qumran,” in Religion in the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. John J. Collins and Robert A. Kugler; SDSSRL; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 90–112; Liora Horwitz, “Animal Offerings in the Middle Bronze Age: Food for the Gods, Food for Thought,” PEQ 133/2 (2001): 78–90; Christian Eberhart, “Beobachtungen zum Verbrennungsritus bei Schlachtopfer und GemeinschaftsSchlachtopfer,” Bib 83 (2002): 88–96; John Dennis, “The Function of the tafj Sacrifice in the Priestly Literature,” ETL 78 (2002): 108–29; B. Levine, “Ritual as Symbol: Modes of Sacrifice in Israelite Religion,” 125–35; Ulrike Dahm, Opferkult und Priestertum in Alt-Israel: Ein kultur- und religionswissenschaftlicher Beitrag (BZAW 327; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2003); Kiuchi, A Study of Óa†aª and Óa††aªt; and Gruenwald, Rituals and Ritual Theory, 180–230.

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gested, including (1) sacrifice as providing food for the deity, (2) sacrifice as substitution, (3) sacrifice as effecting unity with the deity, (4) sacrifice as a gift, (5) sacrifice as a means of substitution for human victims of aggression, and (6) sacrifice as a “guilt remover” for killing the animal. Most specialists from both the anthropological camp and the field of religious and biblical studies agree that no single theory is able to describe comprehensively the sacrificial system of any society. 42 Thus, attention to detail, the required situation, and the larger religious or cultural context are of the utmost importance if one would like to make meaningful observations about polyvalent ritual acts.

Ritual Shorthand: How Can It Be Deciphered? Ritual texts are often abbreviated and presuppose prior knowledge of specifics. This lack of specifics and minute detail is often motivated by theological or ideological concerns. A good example of this phenomenon can be found in the short altar-construction texts found in the book of Genesis (Gen 8:20; 12:7, 8; 13:18; 22:9–10; 22:9; 26:25; 35:7). 43 For the purpose of this section, only the references that are connected to the Abraham cycle will be commented on, since they all belong to one narrative unit (Gen 12:7, 8; 13:18; 22:9–10). 44 All four passages should be designated as descriptive ritual texts and all are quite abbreviated. 45 The author does not provide any information about how the altar was built, who precisely was involved, 46 what shape and design the altars had, 47 how 42. Compare Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 440–43. So also Michael F. Bourdillon (“Introduction,” in Sacrifice: Conference on Sacrifice, Cumberland Lodge, England, Feb 1979 [ed. Michael F. Bourdillon and Meyer Fortes; London: Academic Press, 1980], 23), who writes: “Any general theory of sacrifice is bound to fail. The wide distribution of the institution of sacrifice among peoples of the world is not due to some fundamental trait which fulfills a fundamental human need. Sacrifice is a flexible symbol which can convey a rich variety of possible meanings” [italics mine]. 43. Wolfgang Zwickel (“Die Altarbaunotizen im Alten Testament,” Bib 73 [1992]: 538–39) provides a helpful list of references from the Hebrew Bible containing altar-construction texts. The specific marker for this is the combination of the verb banâ, “build,” and the noun mizbea˙, “altar.” 44. See here my “Altars, Ritual and Theology: Preliminary Thoughts on the Importance of Cult and Ritual for a Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures,” VT 54 (2004): 495–515. 45. As will be obvious in the later discussion of ritual elements, we will not discuss the full range of sacrificial elements here but only a sample of three elements: (1) required situation, (2) ritual space, and (3) participants. 46. The 3rd-masculine-singular verbal form does not automatically indicate that Abraham alone constructed the altars. However, it indicates the responsibility of Abraham for this construction. 47. A good discussion of different altar forms based on textual and archaeological evidence can be found in Franz Josef Stendebach, “Altarformen im kanaanäisch-israelitischen Raum,” BZ 20 (1976): 180–96. They include (1) earthen altars; (2) stone altars, made from one large rock; (3) plate altars with drainage basin; (4) cube-shaped altars; (5) altars with steps; (6) Massebenaltar; (7) horn-type altars; (8) incense altars; (9) ceramic shrines with altar function; and (10) libation

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the altar was used (sacrifice or no sacrifice?), 48 how long the process took, when exactly it happened (a specific reference to ritual time), and whether there was any spoken interaction. The immediate larger context should also be taken into consideration. Genesis 11 contains the story of the nameless builders who wanted to build a tower in Babel and who wanted to make themselves a name and a future. 49 However, in Gen 12:2 it is Yhwh who promises that waªagaddélâ sémeka, “I will make your name great.” The Tower of Babel narrative includes details about the construction project while the altar-building note lacks any specifics. In contrast to the unnamed builders in Gen 11:1–9, Abram 50 focuses on interaction with the deity, especially when one understands the altar-construction rituals in a functional way as a means of communication between earth and heaven. Interestingly, all four instances of the altar-construction texts include references to journeys. While no specific pilgrim motif is employed, the movement of Abram communicates the “not-yet” status of his journey. 51 Abram lives as resident alien, depending on the goodwill and hospitality of the native population. It is in this context that Yhwh appears to him, promising him descendants, land, and a future (that is, a name). As a cultic response to the divine promise, altars are constructed. Abram is “not yet” a landowner but already expresses his loyalty and devotion to this “land-promising” deity. Only in Gen 12:8 is an additional description of some action connected to the recently built altar reported. Wayyiqraª bésem Yhwh, “and he [Abram] called on the name of Yhwh.” Genesis 22:9–10, however, is unique. Both in tables. Also more recently see Zevit, Religions of Ancient Israel, 298–314; and Seymour Gitin, “The Four-Horned Altar and Sacred Space: An Archaeological Perspective,” in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (ed. Barry M. Gittlen; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 95–124. 48. See the comments of Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 1–15 (WBC 1; Dallas: Word, 1987), 279– 80, and his coherent arguments against the point of view that no sacrifices were involved. 49. Concerning the importance of names (and the absence thereof ), see recently Adele Reinhartz, ‘Why Ask My Name?’ Anonymity and Identity in Biblical Narrative (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 3–9. A discussion of the desire wénaºå¶eh-lanu sem, “let us make for ourselves a name” (Gen 11:4), can be found in Gerald A. Klingbeil and Martin G. Klingbeil, “La lectura de la Biblia desde una perspectiva hermenéutica multidisciplinaria (II): Construyendo torres y hablando lenguas en Gn 11:1–9,” in Entender la Palabra: Hermenéutica Adventista para el nuevo siglo (ed. Merling Alomía et al.; Cochabamba: Universidad Adventista de Bolivia, 2000), 175–98, esp. 178–79. 50. His name change to Abraham is only reported in Gen 17:5. 51. Movement and space are an important element in ritual and a great communicator. For more general comments, see Paul A. Soukup, “Ritual and Movement as Communication Media,” JConRel 11 (1988): 9–17. Studies focusing on the importance of space and movement in different textual genres in the Bible include Edward G. Newing, “Up and Down—In and Out: Moses on Mount Sinai. The Literary Unity of Exodus 32–34,” ABR 41 (1993): 18–34; and more recently my “‘Up, Down, In, Out, Through and Back’: Space and Movement in Old Testament Narrative, Ritual and Legal Texts and Their Application for the Study of Mark 1:1–3:12,” EstBib 60 (2002): 283–309.

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themes and structure, this altar-construction ritual is different since it includes more specific instructions, dialogues, and a reference to an earlier prescription. 52 By providing more information and especially more dialogue, the active nature of standard ritual texts is somewhat altered. 53 In terms of the important element of ritual space, all four references mention specific place-names, 54 which are, however, not very specific. Genesis 12:6 twice uses the preposition ºad, “as far as,” which anticipates the ritual space indication in 12:7 of the adverb sam, “there.” It is not entirely clear to the reader to which geographical location “as far as the place of Shechem and the oak of Moreh” refers. Genesis 12:8 employs a directional-he 55 (indicating direction toward an object) and, thus, adds another nonspecific spatial reference. This is also the only case where the adverb sam, “there,” is not employed. Genesis 13:18 presents another example of a nonspecific geographical term: “Near the oak trees 56 of Mamre, which is close to Hebron.” Clearly, the existence of a specific geographical marker (such as the oak tree or whatever tree was represented) is not a lasting characteristic, since it can be easily destroyed. Genesis 22 refers to the “land of Moriah” (22:2) in the divine prescription. The actual ritual description only mentions “the place that God had indicated to/told him” and even more abbreviated sam, “there.” The implications of this phenomenon are intriguing: while general directions in Palestine are in order, specific descriptions are shunned. One should understand these nonspecific geographical markers as an effort by the author/editor to avoid shrine mentality without falling into the opposite danger of spiritualization of something very concrete. To put it more directly, the patriarchs are involved in personal/clan worship 57 (if we 52. See the subordinate sentence ªel-hammaqôm ªåser ªåmar-lô, “to the place that he [Yhwh] had told him,” in Gen 22:9 which involves a qatal verbal form. Clearly, this refers to an earlier divine command. 53. Literature on Gen 22 is abundant. Jacques Doukhan (“The Center of the Aqedah: A Study of the Literary Structure of Genesis 22:1–19,” AUSS 31 [1993]: 17–28) has argued that the dialogue between Abraham and Isaac is the center of the chiastic structure of the chapter. Gordon J. Wenham (“The Akedah: A Paradigm of Sacrifice,” in Pomegranates and Golden Bells. Studies in Biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom [ed. D. P. Wright, D. N. Freedman, and A. Hurvitz; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995], 93–102) has suggested that Gen 22 may be understood as the paradigm of sacrifice. 54. Such as Shechem (Gen 12:6); east of Bethel—Bethel on the west and Ai on the east (Gen 12:8); close to Hebron (Gen 13:18); and the land of Moriah (Gen 22:2). 55. More information on this can be found in C. H. J. van der Merwe, J. A. Naudé, and J. H. Kroeze, A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar (Biblical Languages: Hebrew 3; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999), 227–28; and Bruce K. Waltke and M. O’Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990), 171, 185–86. 56. The niv translates “great trees,” while the nkjv has “the terebinth trees.” The njb prefers the singular “at the Oak of Mamre,” although the Hebrew has a noun in a plural construct form. 57. The importance of family worship should be kept in mind throughout the time period covered by the Hebrew Bible, but especially during the patriarchal period. No priest or cult mediator

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properly understand the corporal solidarity of ancient Israel—especially during the patriarchal period), 58 which is indeed very practical and represents a response to Yhwh’s promises. The journey/itinerary motif and the altarbuilding motif, therefore, are intrinsically connected and dependent on one another. Thus, theological considerations affect the written form of the ritual description and need to be taken into consideration when one interprets a ritual text from the Hebrew Bible. 59 Does that make the ritual less authentic or even fictitious? Not necessarily, but it provides a useful “handle” on the perspective of the author/editor of the text under consideration and also of the possible audience(s) of the text. The final sample element that will be looked at involves ritual participants. Three of the altar-construction rituals contain only one explicit participant, Abram (Gen 12:7, 8 and 13:18). In Gen 22:9–10 two participants are enumerated: Abraham as the active participant and Isaac in a more passive role. 60 However, more implicit participants, including the clan witnessing and perhaps even participating in the ritual, and the sacrificial animal that was offered on the newly established point of communication with Yhwh, should be considered. 61 Most of the patriarchal narratives involve some type of communication between the respective patriarch and Yhwh. This communication is always kept in the singular, but it affects the entire clan. 62 The implicit clan plays a role similar to that of kol-haºedâ, “the entire congregation” (Lev 8:3; 9:5; 10:6; 24:14, 16; Num 1:18, and so on) in the later history of Israel. They are witnesses and audience, but they also receive the benefits of the ritual interaction. Clearly, their role is marginal but a societal reality. 63 The patriarch’s is mentioned (see here Claus Westermann, Genesis 12–36 [trans. John J. Scullion; CC; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995], 157) and it appears that the clan patriarch worships in representation of the entire group. 58. See also my “Entre individualismo y colectivismo: Hacia una perspectiva bíblica de la naturaleza de la iglesia,” in Pensar la iglesia hoy: Hacia una eclesiología adventista. Estudios teológicos presentados durante el IV Simposio Bíblico-Teológico Sudamericano en honor a Raoul Dederen (ed. Gerald A. Klingbeil et al.; Libertador San Martín, Argentina: Editorial Universidad Adventista del Plata, 2002), 3–22, esp. 8–10. 59. This provides also an interesting avenue for the interaction between theology and ritual studies, as will be argued below. 60. However, it must be noted that Isaac is not entirely passive. He submits to being lifted on the arranged wood (perhaps even climbing up actively). It would have been an easy task to overpower his old father, but he appears to be submissive. 61. This is clearly based on my contention that the altars were not just a place for prayer communion but had a broader function, involving sacrifice. The overall context of the Hebrew Bible and the ANE seems to support this contention (contra Westermann, Genesis 12–36, 155–57). 62. A good example can be found in the establishment of the covenant sign (= circumcision) in Gen 17:10–14 where Abraham receives the order and promise, but all male members of his household seem to be included, including Ishmael. 63. Religion was not a private affair in the ANE but always involved other members of family, clan, tribe, and people.

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dominant role not only is visible in the ritual performance but also extends beyond this domain. The brief discussion of the abbreviated nature of the altar-construction texts in the Abraham narrative offers a good way to look at the larger issue of abbreviation in ritual texts in the Hebrew Bible. Abbreviation or lack of all the necessary information is often related to the specific audience intended. Two explanations are viable in this connection. Writing, for the professional ritual specialist, did not require all the minute details but rather focused on the larger picture. If a general audience was envisioned, it could be argued that this group also understood intuitively most basic elements (such as the function of altars, sacrifice, blood, and so on) or ritual building blocks. Clearly, the 21st-century scholar, living in an environment, culture, and world view that is so far removed from the one visible in the Hebrew Bible has to work much harder in order to discover the underlying concepts and understand the abbreviated nature of the ritual. In other instances the biblical authors included only summary statements without providing the full information of the ritual process. Careful study of comparable rituals may provide insights into the specifics of the studied rituals without “leveling” differences and anomalies.

Looking Out of the Fishbowl: Comparative Method and Ritual Texts Biblical scholarship has gone through different phases in its search for a consensus position regarding the value of comparative material. 64 The 1961 presidential address delivered by Samuel Sandmel during the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis 65 in St. Louis, Missouri, illustrated some of the dangers of the uncritical use of the comparative method, a state that Sandmel described as “parallelomania.” 66 While Sandmel was predominantly concerned with studies relevant to early rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity, 67 his cautionary remarks should be taken into consideration by all biblical scholars. 64. See, for more references and analysis, my Comparative Study, 325–40; and Martin G. Klingbeil, Yahweh Fighting from Heaven: God as Warrior and as God of Heaven in the Hebrew Psalter and Ancient Near Eastern Iconography (OBO 169; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999), 268–82, for a discussion of the method in iconographical studies. I have also profited greatly from the work of Meir Malul, Studies in Mesopotamian Legal Symbolism (AOAT 221; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1988); and Talmon, “The Comparative Method.” 65. Currently, the official name of the society is The Society of Biblical Literature. 66. Samuel Sandmel, “Parallelomania,” JBL 81 (1962): 1–13. 67. The main thrust of Sandmel’s argument challenged the comparison of religious phenomena found in Hellenism with religious phenomena found in the NT and Second Temple Judaism. While there were points of contact between Judaism and Hellenism, both developed from two

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While “parallelomania” has been a problem in biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies, 68 the opposite, perhaps to be named “parallelophobia,” has also caused unbalanced results. Clearly, the texts of the Hebrew Bible and the cultural and historical phenomena contained in them were not born in a vacuum but demonstrate points of contact and interaction. Neither parallelomania nor parallelophobia provides an adequate lens through which biblical ritual can be viewed. Comparative methodology is used in many disciplines. Archaeologists compare the material culture (ceramics, architecture, and artifacts) of one region to those found in another region. Often they do this in order to understand the underlying world view or mind-set of the ancients. The study of tombs and funerary offerings provides insights into a culture’s perception and understanding of death, although—as has been pointed out recently by Wayne Pitard—the researcher needs to be aware of the ambiguity of the data. 69 Linguists, employing comparative Semitics, have been able to make considerable advances in understanding enigmatic Hebrew or Aramaic terms (or phrases) by comparing them with linguistic evidence from other Semitic (and in some cases non-Semitic) languages. 70 different cultural, philosophical, and historical perspectives. An up-to-date discussion of the interaction between the two cultures, especially during later antiquity, can now be found in Lee I. Levine, Judaism and Hellenism in Antiquity: Conflict or Confluence? (The Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies; Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998), who has emphasized the ongoing contact between Jews and the outside world, especially during later antiquity. 68. In the field of comparative linguistics the work of Mitchel Dahood comes readily to mind. Dahood used Northwest Semitic epigraphic data (mostly Ugaritic) to (re-)interpret the Hebrew Psalter. While some of his readings have stood the test of time, others have been challenged or needed to be radically revised by later scholars (see Mark S. Smith, Untold Stories: The Bible and Ugaritic Studies in the Twentieth Century [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2001], 158–65). In the area of historical and archaeological research, the important work of William F. Albright is prominent. In the words of William W. Hallo (“Compare and Contrast: The Contextual Approach to Biblical Literature,” in The Bible in the Light of Cuneiform Literature: Scripture in Context III [ed. William W. Hallo et al.; ANETS 8; Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1990], 2), Albright “never ceased to provide startling parallels which have promised to solve old cruces and to open new vistas of interpretation,” although few contemporary scholars view some of these parallels with the same conviction and enthusiasm. Another example can be found in the work of Friedrich Delitzsch, who at the beginning of the 20th century claimed that most—if not all—of the teaching and practices of the Hebrew Bible were actually borrowed from Mesopotamia. See recently Bill T. Arnold and David B. Weisberg, “A Centennial Review of Friedrich Delitzsch’s ‘Babel and Bible’ Lectures,” JBL 121 (2002): 441–57. 69. Wayne T. Pitard, “Tombs and Offerings: Archaeological Data and Comparative Methodology in the Study of Death in Israel,” in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (ed. Barry M. Gittlen; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 145–68, esp. 146–48. Pitard generally seems to take a pessimistic stance toward the usefulness of the integration of the data of the material culture with the textual evidence. 70. A good introduction to the underlying presuppositions, practice, and problems of comparative Semitics can be found in Patrick R. Bennett, Comparative Semitic Linguistics: A Manual

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Generally, there are two distinct approaches to comparative studies that— to a certain degree—also reflect differing underlying presuppositions. The first may be termed historical comparison, whereby phenomena from different cultures and societies originate within the same general context of geography and (often) also time. Historical comparison seeks to evaluate the influence of one culture on another and by doing so tries to provide a better Sitz im Leben for certain cultural, sociological, political, or religious phenomena. Mathematically, the relationship between culture A and culture B may be expressed by distinct equations: A < B, A > B, A ~ B, A = B, and A ≠ B. 71 Culture A may be dependent on culture B (A < B), or vice versa. There may also exist either a direct (A = B) or a loose type of equivalence between cultures A and B (A ~ B) without direct historical connections. Finally, culture A may also have no visible connection to culture B, although both appear in the same temporal and geographical context (A ≠ B). A second general approach found in comparative studies may be termed typological comparison. It compares societies and cultures that “are far apart both geographically and chronologically.” 72 The underlying presupposition of this school of thought is the general spiritual unity, or perhaps better, the common religious conscience of humanity. This method is often used in anthropological studies, although one should note the fact that its application is not always exclusive. In the discussion of the comparative evidence for ritual impurity caused by genital discharges, Milgrom includes evidence from India, New Guinea, Costa Rica, and elsewhere among other examples on what he terms “Israel’s cultural continuum.” 73 The basic difference between the practitioners of historical and typological comparison lies in the philosophical debate between diffusionists and evolutionists. The typological approach, exclusively applied, leads often to “staggering and indeed nonsensical results,” 74 comparing unevens with unevens. A third possibility providing common ground with both the historical and the typological approach has been suggested by Assyriologist William W. Hallo. He coined the phrase compare and contrast, 75 pointing to the importance (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1998). For the use of Arabic in the lexicography of Biblical Hebrew, see John Kaltner, The Use of Arabic in Biblical Hebrew Lexicography (CBQMS 28; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association, 1996). Other helpful introductions can be found in the standard lexica and dictionaries (for example, ABD, OEANE, and CANE). 71. See also William W. Hallo, “New Moons and Sabbaths: A Case-Study in the Contrastive Approach,” HUCA 48 (1977): 2–3. 72. Malul, Studies in Mesopotamian Legal Symbolism, 14. 73. Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 763–65. He seems to base this on the work done by his student David P. Wright, who also includes data from Indian (=Vedic) sources (Disposal of Impurity, 107–10). 74. Talmon, “Comparative Method in Biblical Interpretation,” 324. 75. Hallo, “New Moon and Sabbath,” 1–3; idem, “Compare and Contrast.”

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of highlighting the similarities, while not neglecting the possible differences. In other words, the comparative method needs to look at all the possible evidence. This will not always make for clear-cut deductions regarding lines of development. Once a contextual comparison has been undertaken, the outcome must provide for an assumption of either mutual independence or historical/cultural interaction. If one opts for the more limited scope of the comparative method by looking at evidence coming from geographically and historically connected people (for example, comparing evidence from Late Bronze Age Palestine with material from Mesopotamia or Egypt or Anatolia from the same period), modern communication models should not be presupposed. The inhabitants of Mari did not generally know the exact historical and religious conditions of people living in Tell ed-Dabºa in the northeastern Nile Delta. While it is possible that contact existed (as can be seen, for example, in the occurrence of a city’s name in an official or commercial document), most inhabitants, especially those belonging to the lower strata of society, may not have been aware of these facts. 76 Too often, history writing only concerns itself with the official perspective without intending to write a history from “below.” This may be due to the specific nature of the data at our disposal but needs to be figured into the equations. As a consequence, we ought to look at the innerbiblical data first before venturing out to compare and contrast with the extrabiblical data. This may lead to a dilemma: historically, modern interpreters of the Hebrew Bible have been more concerned with establishing dates and development patterns of the texts, which has sometimes led them to set aside the meaning of the involved rituals. It seems, however, that the consensus position concerning the assured results of modern criticism have been challenged from different sides since the 1970s. As observed by Gordon Wenham, “there is uncertainty about the dating of the sources [of the Pentateuch] themselves and doubt about the validity of the alleged archaeological parallels.” 77 76. Randall Garr in a study focusing on the distinction and development of dialects in Syria– Palestine has cautioned the modern researcher not to presuppose a 21st-century communication model for the ancient Near East. Just looking at the relatively small area of Syria–Palestine leads one to recognize the importance of local development due to geography, politics, historical, and socioeconomical forces, and other factors that shape a society’s intellectual, religious, and linguistic reality. See W. Randall Garr, Dialect Geography of Syria–Palestine, 1000–586 b.c.e. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985), 1–10 (reprinted, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004). 77. Gordon J. Wenham, “Pondering the Pentateuch: The Search for a New Paradigm,” in The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches (ed. David W. Baker and Bill T. Arnold; Grand Rapids: Baker / Leicester: Apollos, 1999), 118. To a certain degree, this development must also be seen in the context of postmodernism, its lack of absolutes, and its call for diversity of methods. See also Rendtorff, “Directions in Pentateuchal Studies”; Carr, “Controversy and Convergence in Recent Studies”; and Seidel, “Entwicklungslinien der neueren Pentateuchforschung,” for more detailed analysis. Cees Houtman (Der Pentateuch: Die Geschichte seiner

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Clearly, the exclusively historical approach has not always provided adequate tools to discover the significance and underlying meaning of the ritual texts contained in the Hebrew Bible. Viberg in his analysis of Legal Symbolic Acts in the Old Testament has suggested the following procedure: “It has therefore been deemed more appropriate in this analysis to rely on the understanding of whoever constructed the biblical narratives in which these legal symbolic acts are found. Their knowledge of how these acts functioned in their socio-cultural context, is likely to be more reliable than a hypothetical context reconstructed by a modern scholar” (emphasis mine). 78 Another important consideration should be remembered: if one opts for comparative material belonging to the same historic and cultural stream, one is forced to deal predominantly with written texts, as is the case in the material from the Hebrew Bible. While the critical analysis of data from cuneiform sources is practiced, it is by no means as predominant as in biblical studies. 79 Issues of translation and interpretation are more prevalent, providing a helpful paradigm for ritual studies of the Hebrew Bible. A good example of the helpfulness of comparative studies in the decipherment and historical location of biblical ritual can be found in the anointing rite of Aaron and his sons during the ritual of ordination (Lev 8:12, 30). 80 Before the publication of the cuneiform texts from Emar in 1986, critical scholarship had generally accepted without reservation the notion that, prior to the exile of Judah, Israelite priests were not anointed. This in turn was often used as a supporting argument for a late date of the Priestly source. Emar text 369, however, dating to the Late Bronze Age, included several anointing rites focusing on the high priestess (nin.dingir of dim). The translated texts read as follows: Day 1: The daughter of any son of Emar may be designated. On the same day they take fragrant oil from the palace and from NINKUR’s temple and place it on her head . . . Erforschung neben einer Auswertung [CBET 9; Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1994]), has provided a very helpful historical reconstruction of the developments in the historical-critical work on the Pentateuch, which should be seen as a paradigm for other sections of the Hebrew Bible. 78. Viberg, Symbols of Law, 8. 79. See, for example, the discussion of different editions of the ordination of the nin.dingir of dim found in Emar, in Daniel E. Fleming, The Installation of Baal’s High Priestess at Emar: A Window on Ancient Syrian Religion (HSS 42; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), 9–48, which is basically a side-by-side presentation of the manuscripts followed by a note section. Fleming does not propose a historical sequence for the five main tablets. 80. The following remarks are based on my “Unción de Aarón: Un estudio de Lev 8:12 en su contexto veterotestamentario y antiguo Cercano Oriental,” Theo 11 (1996): 64–83; and a later, revised, English version, “The Anointing of Aaron: A Study of Lev 8:12 in its OT and ANE Contexts,” AUSS 38 (2000): 231–43; and Daniel E. Fleming, “The Biblical Tradition of Anointing Priests,” JBL 117 (1998): 401–14. Specific references are to these publications.

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Day 2: Just before the evening, they take fragrant oil of NINKUR’s temple and of the palace, and the diviner pours it on the head of the high priestess at the gate of the storm god. 81

The ritual contains another anointing rite, which is, however, not performed on a person, but on an upright sikkanu stone of the goddess Hebat. It is done by the high priestess herself, most likely as an imitation of her own anointing, since Hebat appears to have functioned as the divine consort of the storm god, and thus the human and the divine consort had to be brought into a similar ritual state. 82 Aaron’s anointing by fragrant oil and blood (Lev 8:12, 30) follows the anointing of the earthly living quarters of Yhwh in Lev 8:10, which also seems to bring into a similar ritual state the priestly attendant of Yhwh and the divine abode (= tabernacle). The priority of Aaron in the anointing rite (8:12, 30) signals the relative importance of Aaron as first among equals, a notion also expressed by Aaron’s unique clothes as compared with the clothing of the regular priests (Exod 28, Lev 8:7–9). Furthermore, the action connected to both anointing rites is distinct: the fragrant anointing oil is poured on Aaron’s head (yaßaq) while it is sprinkled (nazâ) on Aaron’s clothing and the clothing of his sons in Lev 8:30. In this specific case, comparative material from outside the Hebrew Bible has provided important information suggesting historical realities that should provide important data for the discussion of the dating of the ordination ritual found in Lev 8. However, besides the clear chronological implications, the Emar text has also provided important parallels concerning the ritual perspective and content of both ordination rituals. While this introduction to ritual text in the Bible is not primarily focusing on comparative material but rather seeks to understand rituals in their native contexts, reference to ANE comparative material will be made where helpful.

In Retrospect Ritual studies in the Scriptures represent a fairly recent research interest in biblical studies. While they still need to find their place between the historically focused History of Religion School and the more content-focused approaches found in cultural anthropology and sociology, they are informed by and need to interact with both schools of thought. Ritual is not ahistorical 81. “The Installation of the Storm God’s High Priestess,” translated by Daniel Fleming (COS 1:122, pp. 427–28). The editio princeps can be found in Daniel Arnaud, Recherches au pays d’Ashtata. Emar VI.3: Textes sumériens et accadiens, texte (Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1986), 326–37. The texts quoted correspond roughly to lines 3–4 and 20–21. 82. Line 35 of the ritual reads: “And the high priestess pours fragrant oil on the top of Hebat’s upright stone” (see “The Installation of the Storm God’s High Priestess,” translated by Daniel Fleming [COS 1:122, p. 429]).

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but needs to be read and understood in a specific historical context or Sitz im Leben. However, beyond the historical interest and reconstruction, ritual performance can provide important insights into a culture’s specific value system and religious beliefs. As has been noted, a renewed interest in the meaning of ritual texts (and not just their hypothetical textual history) can be perceived in biblical studies. Also, in the larger context of postmodernism, past theologically motivated resentment and negative attitudes toward biblical ritual are being replaced by genuine interest, especially when one considers the great advances made in a theoretical framework for the study of ritual. Biblical ritual, as well as other rituals recorded in ancient Near Eastern texts, share some specific challenges that need to be taken into consideration before meaningful interpretation can take place. The first problem that a prospective interpreter of biblical ritual needs to take into consideration involves the text nature of the ritual. No field research, so common and important in modern anthropological research, can be conducted. Texts are not only recorded but also edited and structured, and these narrative strategies need to be taken into account when we attempt to decipher biblical ritual. Furthermore, a clear distinction between prescriptive and descriptive ritual genres should be made when interpreting the ritual. A second factor complicating the interpretation of biblical ritual has to do with the dating of the biblical texts. After more than 200 years of critical studies, no consensus seems to be in view, although the majority of biblical critical scholars would consider the time before, during, and after the Exile as the formative period of the Hebrew Bible. Ironically, precisely the exilic and postexilic period is the least documented when it comes to textual extrabiblical sources stemming from and referring to Palestine itself, 83 which leaves the scholar with a surprising scenario: the least-known period is said to have produced a vast spectrum of religious life, beliefs, and thinking. In view of these challenges, a canonical (or final text) reading of the text should be the preferred way of reading biblical ritual texts. A third challenging factor is the polyvalence of ritual elements. As has been shown, similar or even same subrites in distinct contexts and under varying circumstance meant different things and were thus interpreted by the biblical authors/editors. This requires a finely tuned attention to details.

83. I have pointed this out in my study of the rather limited body of Aramaic epigraphical material of Syria–Palestine dating to the Persian period. See my Aramaic Epigraphical Material of Syria– Palestine during the Persian Period with Reference to the History of the Jews (M.A. thesis, University of Stellenbosch, 1992). Similarly, Israel Ephºal (“Syria–Palestine under Achaemenid Rule,” CAH 4:141), who suggests that the history of Syria–Palestine in the Persian period “is extremely difficult to reconstruct, primarily because of the paucity of our information concerning the region.”

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A further possible stumbling block—especially when not recognized adequately—is the often abbreviated nature of the textual ritual material from the Hebrew Bible, as well as the NT. Abbreviation does not necessarily translate into lack of coherence or sub-par editorial work by the ancients. Abbreviation needs to be understood in the context of the larger cultural universe of the author/editor and his readers. As demonstrated above in the example from the altar-construction ritual texts found in the book of Genesis, specific details that required sequence or logical development were sometimes left out, and ritual texts often tend to be summary statements. An adequate comparative method is the fifth element that needs to be considered before approaching biblical ritual texts. Avoiding the pitfalls of parallelomania and parallelophobia, one needs to employ a comparative approach that looks for similarities but is at the same time also alert to possible contrasts. This will at times result in surprising historical connections and repercussions, while at other times will focus more on the morphological similarities of the compared rituals. Generally, a comparison with material stemming from the same historical and geographical stream is to be preferred to comparison on the “grand scale.” 84 Most important, innerbiblical parallels should always precede comparisons with extrabiblical material. In a review of my Comparative Study of the Ritual of Ordination as Found in Leviticus 8 and Emar 369, Kenton Sparks has raised two pertinent and farreaching issues that need to be addressed before a fruitful dialogue with biblical ritual can begin: “[Klingbeil] . . . is particularly interested in the meanings and intentions of ritual actions, which seems to imply that, truth be known, each ritual act has a rather clear determinate meaning. This raises issues on two levels. Do rituals always have determinate meanings? And if they do, for whom are these meanings determinate?” 85 The issues are important and go straight to the heart of ritual interpretational strategies. The idiosyncrasy of written ritual texts hints at a possible answer to the first question and may also have something to say concerning the second. The fact that these rituals were considered to be of such importance that they merited not only oral transmission but written transmission on a scroll or a cuneiform tablet suggests, as a minimum consideration, that they were deemed relevant and meaningful for the intended audience. Casual writing, “keyboard diddling,” and verbal hemorrhaging were not well known in antiquity; both the raw materials and the

84. This term has been coined by Talmon, “Comparative Method in Biblical Interpretation,” 322, 356. 85. Kenton L. Sparks, “Review of Gerald A. Klingbeil, A Comparative Study of the Ritual of Ordination as Found in Leviticus 8 and Emar 369,” JNES 61 (2002): 228. Similarly also Grimes (“Reinventing Ritual,” 35–38), who suggests that rituals evoke, rather than tell, and that they communicate tacitly, not explicitly.

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technical know-how were costly. 86 Therefore, one should consider the fact that they functioned in a specific context and were understood by a specific group. 87 Which group is not always clear, and one may speculate whether biblical ritual morphology and semantics were entirely understood by the lay Israelite observer (or later reader). However, the fact that the texts were written down, suggests, at least to my mind, that they had a determinate meaning and were also understood—although not necessarily by the vast majority. 86. A book-length treatment of the subject—albeit in the period around the turn of the eras— can be found in Alan R. Millard, Reading and Writing in the Time of Jesus (BibSem 69; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000). 87. See also Bell, Ritual Theory, 28 n. 48, where she discusses “meaninglessness” in ritual.

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Biblical Ritual in History: Periods and Perspectives Interaction with ritual has always been an important part of the big religious picture. Ritual was often (and still is) a defining characteristic to indicate membership in a specific religious group. Rituals (such as baptism or the later confirmation) can mark a change of status within a particular religious group. In this chapter we will catch a bird’s-eye view of how biblical ritual has been interpreted throughout the past millennia. We will generally follow a chronological pattern, beginning with internal biblical developments, followed by a look at the intertestamental period, the patristic evidence, later medieval Christianity, the reformation period, and its subsequent centuries of orthodoxy, revival, and finally the modern period. No special attention will be given to the NT period, since other chapters will deal with the role and function of ritual in that specific context. While the predominant emphasis will be on how people interpreted and understood biblical ritual, occasionally a sideward glance will show how ritual itself was understood in these periods, which in turn will to some degree reflect on the function and position of biblical ritual. As far as I know, a history of the interpretation of biblical ritual texts/biblical ritual has never been written, and thus we are breaking new ground. This means, practically speaking, that we cannot expect a comprehensive picture to emerge due to the limited space and the overall focus of this present book. It should be taken as a type of pilot project that will indicate trends and general directions but will not paint the full picture.

Ritual in the Critique of the Prophets of the Hebrew Bible In this section I will focus on a number of specific prophetic texts from the Hebrew Bible that seem to involve a critique of the ritual and cultic aspects of Israel’s religion. This should not be understood as the final word on the subject. 1 It should, rather, be seen as an experiment in reading some of these cru1. There are a number of more-specialized studies that can be consulted, including Norman W. Porteous, “Ritual and Righteousness: The Relation of Ethics to Religion in the Prophetic Literature,” Int 3 (1949): 400–414; J. Philip Hyatt, “The Prophetic Criticism of Israelite Worship,” in Interpreting the Prophetic Tradition: The Goldenson Lectures, 1955–1966 (ed. Harry M. Orlinsky; The

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cial texts from the perspective of the function, role, and position of ritual in the Bible.

“Too Little Too Late” (1 Samuel 15:22) Early prophetic voices decry the incongruence of ritual and ethics (or lifestyle). Samuel strongly reprimands King Saul in the section dealing with his definite rejection. Saul decides not to comply with the divine ban requirement (1 Sam 15:3), 2 which involves the execution of all living beings (both people and animals), but spares the Amalekite king, the best of the animals, and all that is precious (1 Sam 15:9). Yhwh sends his prophet with a devastating message of divine rejection. Saul’s attempt at covering up his act of disobedience by insinuating that the best animals were kept for a special sacrifice to Yhwh 3 results in Samuel’s scathing statement in 1 Sam 15:22: “Is Yahweh Library of Biblical Studies; Cinncinati: Hebrew Union College Press / New York: KTAV, 1969), 201–24; Werner H. Schmidt, “Prophetisches Zukunftswort und Priesterliche Weisung,” Kairos 12 (1970): 289–308; Erich Zenger, “Ritual and Criticism of Ritual in the Old Testament,” in Liturgy and Human Passage (ed. David Power and Luis Maldonado; Concilium; New York: Seabury, 1979), 39–49; Hans Jochen Boecker, “Überlegungen zur Kultpolemik der vorexilischen Propheten,” in Die Botschaft und die Boten: Festschrift für Hans Walter Wolff zum 70. Geburtstag (ed. Jörg Jeremias and Lothar Perlitt; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981), 169–80; Mary C. Callaway, “A Hammer That Breaks Rock in Pieces: Prophetic Critique in the Hebrew Bible,” in Anti-Semitism and Early Christianity: Issues of Polemic and Faith (ed. Craig A. Evans and Donald A. Hagner; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993), 21–38; Armin Lange, “Gebotsobservanz statt Opferkult: Zur Kultpolemik in Jer 7,1–8,3,” in Gemeinde ohne Tempel/Community without Temple: Zur Substituierung und Transformation des Jerusalemer Tempels und seines Kults im Alten Testament, antiken Judentum und frühen Christentums (ed. Beate Ego et al.; WUNT 118; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999), 19–35. 2. The subject of the ˙erem, “ban, consecrated item,” in the Hebrew Bible is quite complex. It appears that the fulfillment of the ban in Israel’s history was often regarded as a barometer to measure the spiritual “health” of the people. The term and its religious context is known in extrabiblical sources, as, for example, in the Mesha Stele (“The Inscription of King Mesha,” translated by K. A. D. Smelik [COS, 2:23, pp. 14–18]; compare the discussion in Gerald L. Mattingly, “Moabite Religion,” in Studies in the Mesha Inscription and Moab [ed. J. Andrew Dearman; Archaeology and Biblical Studies 2; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989], 211–38). The book of Joshua ( Josh 6:18, 19; 7:1, 11, 12, 13, 15; 22:20) contains a number of important references, notably the story of Achan and his family ( Josh 6). Execution of the ban is a response to an earlier command and, in Saul’s case, reflects his lack of appreciation for divine commandments. For more detailed discussions see Philip D. Stern, The Biblical Óerem: A Window on Israel’s Religious Experience (BJS 211; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991); and Christa Schäfer-Lichtenberger, “Bedeutung und Funktion von ˙erem in biblisch-hebräischen Texten,” BZ 38 (1994): 270–75. More recently, Allan Bornapé (“El problema del µr,jE en el Pentateuco y su dimensión ritual,” DavarLogos 4 [2005]: 1–16) has presented a fascinating study of the ritual dimension of the µr,jE in the Pentateuch and the larger religious context of Israelite religion. 3. Additionally, Saul is trying to shift guilt. While the author of 1 Sam 15:9 informs the reader that both Saul and the people spared the life of the Amalekite king, the best animals, and the goods, Saul tries to lay the blame on the people in 1 Sam 15:15. This is part of the literary strategy of the author, who wants to lead the later reader to the conclusion that Saul truly did not have the

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pleased by burnt offerings and sacrifices or by obedience to Yahweh’s voice? Truly, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness than the fat of rams” (njb). Clearly, Samuel is reminding Saul that cultic and ritual action (that is, the sacrifices to be given to Yhwh) does not replace ethical action. 4 As a result of his action, Saul is ultimately rejected, and the kingdom is given to somebody else. However, judgment is not executed immediately. Samuel’s function in this narrative is intriguing. As opposed to later classical prophecy, Samuel combines both priestly and prophetic functions. 5 He administers sacrificial gatherings in Ramah (1 Sam 7:17) as well as at local shrines (1 Sam 9:12–13, 16:1–5). But according to the biblical text, he also receives direct communications from Yhwh (1 Sam 9:15–17, 16:1–3), a specific characteristic of prophetic ministry (Num 12:6, Deut 18:18) often coupled with visions or dreams. 6 These messages are mostly specific and aimed at a definite situation. The specific context of 1 Sam 15 involving the conflict between the king and the representative of Yhwh needs to be considered when we are evaluating the contrast between ritual (that is, sacrifices or elements thereof ) and life-style. Saul has been unfaithful (for the second time; see 1 Sam 13) to the explicit command of Yhwh, and the deity’s reaction (as expressed by the prophetic “spokesperson”) emphasizes obedience over ritual pacification. This is no new theology or religious concept, since lifestyle issues are at the heart of the Pentateuchal law system. It would thus appear that Samuel’s message to King Saul needs to be viewed in the context of the overlord-vassal relationship that exits between Yhwh and the people of Israel with their king as their representative. 7 How does Samuel relate to ritual in the narrative? While he is emphasizing obedience over mere rote performance, he is actively using symnecessary character traits to be king of Yhwh’s people. One can also perceive a similar pattern in Gen 3:12, where Adam shifts the blame of “having given him the woman” to Yhwh, who in turn shifts the blame to the serpent. 4. It is interesting to note that 1 Sam 15:22 uses infinitive verbal forms (“to obey” . . . “to pay attention”) which are contrasted to nouns (“sacrifice” . . . “fat of rams”). The literary effect is intriguing: obedient action is dynamic. 5. Additionally, he judges Israel (1 Sam 7:15). 6. For a more in-depth discussion of Israelite prophecy, see Joseph Blenkinsopp, Sage, Priest, Prophet: Religious and Intellectual Leadership in Ancient Israel (LAI; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1995); and also Robert P. Gordon, “Where Have All the Prophets Gone? The ‘Disappearing’ Israelite Prophet against the Background of Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy,” BBR 5 (1995): 67–86. Another very readable introduction to the prophets of the Hebrew Bible is Gary V. Smith, The Prophets as Preachers: An Introduction to the Hebrew Prophets (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994). 7. Covenant language in Deuteronomy and later prophetic texts is dependent on ANE vassal treaty vocabulary. The literature on this issue is vast and some useful introductions include Delbert R. Hillers, Covenant: The History of a Biblical Idea (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1969); and Moshe Weinfeld, “Covenant Making in Anatolia and Mesopotamia,” JANESCU 22 (1993): 135–39. See also Soggin, Israel in the Biblical Period, 55–61.

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bolic acts in this confrontation. When Saul grabs the hem of the robe of Samuel and tears it off, the prophet immediately integrates this act into his message to the king. 8 The tearing rite is often related to more-complex mourning rituals and is also well known in Ugaritic cultural contexts. 9 As the torn-off hem of the robe, so the kingdom has been torn away from Saul and his family (1 Sam 15:28). It is interesting to note that the author of 1 Samuel connects the “as great as” idea found in 1 Sam 15:22 with the future replacement of Saul, who is also “better than” his predecessor. It would seem that Samuel is not per se speaking against ritual and its inherent symbolism but rather against ritual isolated from conviction and life-style. 10

Covenant Love Is Better Than Religious Action (Hosea 6:6) Hosea’s prophetic ministry is firmly dated to the middle of the 8th century b.c.e., roughly three centuries after Samuel’s. 11 Hosea is generally included among the classical (that is, writing) prophets. A shift in the roles of religious specialists seems to have occurred in this period, since most writing prophets and also earlier nonwriting prophets (such as Elijah or Elisha) do not seem to have performed priestly functions. Clearly, this is related to the focus on the central place of worship that resulted from the selection of Jerusalem as capital and the construction of the temple. Centralized worship was demanded, and specific religious groups were in charge of the administration and authorization of religious performance. 12 In reading both historical and prophetic biblical books describing that period, one gets a glimpse of the clear-cut division of responsibilities as well as the central focus on Jerusalem. 13 8. The tearing off of clothing items is often used in mourning rituals in the Hebrew Bible (Gen 37:34, 44:13; Num 14:6; Josh 7:6; Judg 11:35; and so on). The tearing off subrite appears also in larger ritual contexts, for example, in Lev 13:56 when the priest tears off the affected cloth, which was touched by leprosy. 9. See here Paul A. Kruger, “The Symbolic Significance of the Hem (kanaf ) in 1 Samuel 15.27,” in Text and Context: Old Testament and Semitic Studies for F. C. Fensham (ed. Walter T. Claassen; JSOTSup 48; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988), 105–16. For extrabiblical material, see Edward L. Greenstein, “‘To Grasp the Hem’ in Ugaritic Literature,” VT 32 (1982): 217–18; and Paul A. Kruger, “Some Further Indicators of Rank Symbolism in the Baal Epic,” UF 27 (1995): 169–75. 10. So also Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 482–85. 11. A. A. Macintosh, Hosea (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1997), li–xcvii. 12. For further information about priests and Levites in that period, see my “Priests and Levites,” in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books (ed. by Bill T. Arnold and H. G. M. Williamson; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005), 811–19. 13. See (with more references) recently J. J. M. Roberts, “Solomon’s Jerusalem and the Zion Tradition,” in Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period (ed. Ann E. Killebrew and Andrew G. Vaughn; SBLSymS 18; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003), 163–70. Another helpful discussion of the interaction among Jerusalem, the biblical text(s), and religious institutions in general can be found in William M. Schniedewind, “Jerusalem, the Late Judaean Monarchy, and the Composition of Biblical Texts,” in Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple

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Hosea’s message is mainly directed toward the Northern Kingdom of Israel (1:4, 5, 6; 3:5; 4:16; 5:1, 3, 5, 9; 6:10; and so on), although now and again a reference to the Southern Kingdom of Judah occurs (1:7; 4:15; 5:5, 10, 12, 13, 14; and so on). Hosea’s message revolves around the main metaphor used in the book, which is the marriage relationship between Yhwh and his people Israel. 14 The marriage is at the point of total breakdown (Hos 1–2), although there still seems to be hope (2:16; 3) and Yhwh is still exhibiting covenant love toward his people. 15 Interestingly, the passage crucial for our discussion of the relationship between ritual/cult and ethics uses ˙esed in Hos 6:6: “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings” (niv). As in 1 Sam 15:22, the MT uses the preposition min to introduce the comparison in Hos 6:6. 16 The covenant loving-kindness that Yhwh has shown and is still showing to Israel is not reciprocated. Instead, religious activity focusing on sacrificial acts 17 seems to have been in vogue. Hosea decries the outward show of piety (since sacrifices were a costly business) without the internalization of the concepts involved in sacrifices. 18 It is noteworthy to remember that Hos 6:6 is part of a section that invites repentance. In this sense it is constructive and positive. Hosea 6:1 begins with the plural imperative “go!” (lékû) which introduces the main action envisioned by the prophet: “and let us return” (wénasûbâ) to Yhwh. This is followed by the reasoning that Yhwh will not only “tear” but will also heal; he has smitten, but he will also Period (ed. Ann E. Killebrew and Andrew G. Vaughn; SBLSymS 18; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003), 375–93. 14. Concerning the use of metaphors in Hosea, see Emmanuel O. Nwaoru, Imagery in the Prophecy of Hosea (ÄAT 41; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999); as well as Brigitte Seifert, Metaphorisches Reden von Gott im Hoseabuch (FRLANT 166; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996). 15. The Hebrew term used here is ˙esed, which appears six times in the book of Hosea (2:21; 4:1; 6:4, 6; 10:12; and 12:7). English translations use different terms to reflect the broad semantic range of the noun (for example, in Hos 2:1, the njb has “faithful love,” whereas the niv uses “love”; the nkjv and nasb prefer “lovingkindness,” while the jpsv translates “goodness”). Clearly, in terms of both quality and quantity the term is an important concept in the book of Hosea. For a more detailed discussion of the theologically significant Hebrew term, see Gordon R. Clark, The Word Óesed in the Hebrew Bible ( JSOTSup 157; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993). 16. See Waltke and O’Connor, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 214, 263–67. 17. The MT uses first the more generic zeba˙, “sacrifice,” and then the more specific ºolâ, “burnt offering.” 18. See here, for example, Baruch A. Levine, “Ritual as Symbol: Modes of Sacrifice in Israelite Religion,” in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (ed. Barry M. Gittlen; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 125–35, for an up-to-date review of the function and modes of sacrifices in Israelite religion. One should not forget that the sacrificial system of the Hebrew Bible represented a rather complex, interrelated structure that involved the larger picture. For example, note the function of the important Day of Atonement (Lev 16) for the yearly cleansing of the sanctuary and its accumulated (by means of blood manipulation) guilt (see Gane, Cult and Character, for more details).

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bandage us. Clearly, the imagery used by the prophet is one of judgment followed by restoration. Verses 2 and 3 follow along the lines of the restorative process. “Let us know (wénedéºâ), let us hunt down (nirdépâ) the knowledge of Yhwh” (6:3) 19 —that is, the knowledge that can save and will result in a transformed life-style. In 6:4 the prophets echoes Yhwh’s thoughts, “What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah?” (nasb), which is followed by a description of the divine communication with Israel through the prophets. 20 However, that communication is potent and often destructive (foreshadowing the judgment aspect). 21 Hosea 6:6 is the illustration of this powerful communication, pointing straight to the center of the problem.

The Tension between “Yours” and “Mine” (Amos 5:21–27) The cult critique of Amos 5:21–27 appears as a continuation of the day of the Lord oracle (Amos 5:18–20). Paul points out that the link between the two sections is the common theme of contrast and dramatic reversals. 22 The popular beliefs or official theology of the day advocated is directly refuted by the prophet. Saneªtî maªasti ˙aggêkem wéloª ªarîa˙ béºaßßérotêkem, “I hate, I despise your festivals; and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies” (Amos 5:21). Interestingly, there is a remarkable similarity between this passage and Isa 1:15–18, based not only on thematic and theological ties but also on vocabulary. 23 One of the key elements of this passage is the employment of personal and possessive pronouns. The personal pronouns are contained in the verb forms while the possessive pronouns are suffixed to the relevant nouns. In 5:21 Yhwh expresses his active disgust with formal religious services practiced by his people. In Amos 5:22 this pattern is somewhat inverted, since it is Israel that actively offers burnt offerings and meal offerings, 24 while Yhwh reacts only at the end of the verse. 25 So what has caused this negative divine evaluation? Amos 5:24 involves two key terms of prophetic cult critique: mispa†, “justice,” and ßédaqâ, “righteous-

19. Most of the verbal forms have a cohortative ending. For a discussion of the semantics and syntactic function of the cohortative in Biblical Hebrew, see van der Merwe, Naudé, and Kroeze, A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar, 150–53. 20. It should be noted that Hos 6:5 puts “prophets” and “my mouth” in parallelism—that is, the claim of the divine origin of the prophetic word. 21. The MT reads ˙aßabtî, “I have hewn (you),” and håragtîm, “I have slain you.” 22. Shalom M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991), 188. Gary V. Smith (Amos: A Commentary [LBI; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989], 176–83) has argued convincingly for the unity of the larger context, that is, Amos 5:18–27. 23. Ibid., 189. 24. The MT has taºålû lî, “you [plural] offer for me.” 25. The second part of the verse involves different verbal forms: loª ªerßeh . . . loª ªabbî†, “I do not accept . . . I do not even look.”

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ness.” 26 Because contemporary worship and cult appear to “go only skin deep,” they lack conviction and the real-life dimension and thus are only “your interpretation” of how it should be done. Ritual simply cannot substitute for the basic moral and ethical actions of humans. Justice and righteousness need to characterize the proper human-human relationship before ritual can truly impact the adequate human-divine relationship. Ritual may rely on tradition but lacks divine approval as expressed by the constant contrasts contained in Amos’s texts. 27 Amos was criticizing the conceptual “automatisms” apparently connected to the ritual actions. He argued against a sacramental use of ritual, where the mere performance guarantees favorable results. Interestingly, similar concerns resurfaced during the Reformation period, when Protestantism sharply challenged Catholicism regarding the sacramental value of penance in the context of salvation. 28

Right Space Does Not Automatically Save (Jeremiah 7) Jeremiah 7 involves an additional aspect of prophetic critique of the cult that has not been seen so far. This could indicate some type of historical development of this particular theological theme. While Jer 7:21–28 reiterates the already well-known “prophetic indictment of the sacrificial institutions,” 29 Jer 7:1–7 includes the sacred space—that is, the temple—in the critique. 30 Jeremiah questions not only the individual cultic act or the corporal ritual performance but also the very place where these acts took place before 26. Amos has already introduced both terms (Amos 5:7) and will employ them again (Amos 6:12). The combination of both nouns occurs in 46 verses of the Hebrew Bible: for example, Gen 18:19 (Abraham), 2 Sam 8:15 (David), 1 Kgs 10:9 (Solomon), and so on. By far the highest density of this combination occurs in prophetic writings, including Isaiah (10x), Jeremiah (6x), Ezekiel (8x), Amos (3x), and Micah (1x). 27. Interestingly, in Isa 56:7 Yhwh pronounces that the “sons of the foreigner” will be led to my holy mountain and shall be made joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples (based on the njb). A clear interaction exists between the pronominal suffixes used in the Hebrew text. 28. For a recent concise introduction to the topic, focusing on the issue of penance from a Protestant perspective, see Kenneth H. Miller, “Sacramental Penance: Catholic Category Error or Protestant Pallor? (Part One),” EvJ 18 (2000): 1–18. 29. Compare John Arthur Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah (NICOT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 286. Jeremiah 7:21 reads: ºolôtêkem sépû ºal zib˙êkem wéªiklû ba¶ar, “your burnt offerings add to your sacrifices and eat [plural] flesh.” 30. Jeremiah 26:1–6 seems to provide an abbreviated summary of Jeremiah’s “temple sermon” in Jer 7 and includes interesting historical data helpful for the dating of the oracle. On the relationship between Jeremiah 7 and 26, see Else Kragelund Holt, “Jeremiah’s Temple Sermon and the Deuteronomists: An Investigation of the Redactional Relationship between Jeremiah 7 and 26,” JSOT 36 (1986): 73–87; and Kathleen M. O’Connor, “‘Do Not Trim a Word’: The Contributions of Chapter 26 to the Book of Jeremiah,” CBQ 51 (1989): 617–30.

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the deity. In this sense, the prophetic critique is much broader and involves the physical point of reference of the ritual of the Hebrew Bible. Jeremiah’s critique is not inherently against ritual space or the temple in particular. Rather, it (as was already done by earlier prophets) connects a responsible and consecrated life-style to the consecrated space, which suggests divine presence. “A place”—suggests the prophet—“even if it has been divinely chosen (Ps 132:13–14, 2 Sam 7:12–13) will not automatically protect you from the coming doom. You need to turn around and change your life-style.” 31 This is followed by precise indications of how this lifestyle reform is to be undertaken, involving acting justly; not oppressing the foreigner, the orphan, or the widow; not shedding innocent blood; and not running after other gods ( Jer 7:6). This has been interpreted as part of a major reformulation of the theology of the Hebrew Bible. 32 Keep in mind, however, that earlier prophets had already voiced similar reprimands. The changed historical situation and the impending doom of Judah seem to have required an even stronger message, including the very foundations of sacred ritual space.

Prophetic Critique: A Summary and Some Suggestions The prophetic critiques of the classical and later prophets included several important elements: First, critique of the cult of Israel or Judah was part and parcel of a drive to reform religious practice and appears to have been a cyclical occurrence. As indicated in the historiographical writings of ancient Israel (1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah), these reform movements were often connected to the royal family (for example, Joash, Hezekiah, or Josiah) but also appeared in prophetic circles with no apparent connection to the royal house or could even be in opposition to the king (Amos 7:10–17). Second, this drive toward self-criticism did not aim at introducing new theological concepts but reflected on existing concepts. Callaway has suggested that “the heavy emphasis on critique and judgment in Israelite prophecy is not found elsewhere in the ANE and is on the whole consistent with the Torah’s emphasis on Yhwh’s grace over against Israel’s failings.” 33 Third, prophetic critique was not always appreciated and sometimes led to the prophet’s incarceration or persecution (Amos 7:10–17 or Jer 26, for example), although it was generally tolerated. Fourth, the prophetic critique of religious realities in ancient Israel is not aimed at ritual per se. The prophets 31. Jeremiah 7:3 literally reads: hê†îbû darkêkem ûmaºallêkem waªåsakkênâ ªetkem bammaqôm hazzeh, “make good [plural] your ways and your deeds and I will let you [plural] live in this place.” 32. Moshe Weinfeld, “Jeremiah and the Spiritual Metamorphosis of Israel,” ZAW 88 (1976): 17–56. 33. Callaway, “A Hammer That Breaks Rock in Pieces,” 22–23.

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still consider the temple an important enough element of Israelite religion on which to focus their messages. Postexilic prophets such as Haggai and Zechariah actually endorse temple reconstruction together with its related rituals (Hag 1:4–9, 2:9; also Ezra 5:1–2). The prophets of the Hebrew Bible criticized the theological perspective that Yhwh’s covenant with Israel was a selffulfilling entity that did not require an adequate response by the people (both as individuals and as community) in the sense of Torah conditions. The prophetic view of Israel’s worship—the Temple, sacrifice, the role of priests—is sometimes misunderstood. The prophets were not against religious institutions, nor did they see sacrifices and liturgies as empty formalities. Their invective is directed against those who believed that their prayers and sacrifices would cover for their crimes in the marketplace and that Yhwh would protect them and their land unconditionally. 34

This view of the function and specific emphasis of the message of the prophets is clearly based on the canonical reading of the Hebrew Bible. Historicalcritical scholarship has often juxtaposed prophetic messages with the theological agendas of specific editor(s) or schools that supposedly shaped the Pentateuch. 35 This is further complicated by the fact that there seems to be a growing conviction among Hebrew Bible scholars that the traditional dates ascribed to these schools are not always convincing and may create more difficulties than they purport to solve. After all, the reconstructions are tentative and are not based on quantifiable texts. A look at the discussion of the so-called Priestly source (P) comprising a major part of Leviticus (therefore 34. Ibid., 31. 35. An introduction to the basic tenets of historical-critical scholarship of the Pentateuch, with its suggested sequence of a source using predominantly the name Yhwh ( J, based on German Jahwist), followed by another source with an apparently distinct theological bent and using the divine name Elohim (E), a Deuteronomistic rewriting of history (D), and finally, a Priestly school (P) can be found in Richard Elliott Friedman, “Torah (Pentateuch),” ABD 6:605–22. However, there seems to be no consensus in sight, although one can note a marked difference between North American and European scholarship concerning the matter. While Europe’s emphasis on tradition has generally upheld the basic presuppositions (with quite a number of revisions), North American scholarship seems to be more open, and the emphasis has shifted to newer questions and methodologies (for example, narrative criticism, social-science approaches, readerresponse criticism, cultural criticism that does not focus on the history of the text but on the text itself or its relation to the reader or culture). See also the useful studies of Gordon J. Wenham, “Pondering the Pentateuch: The Search for a New Paradigm,” in The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches (ed. David W. Baker and Bill T. Arnold; Grand Rapids: Baker / Leicester: Apollos, 1999), 116–44; Rolf Rendtorff, “Directions in Pentateuchal Studies,” CurBS 5 (1997): 43–65; and David M. Carr, “Controversy and Convergence in Recent Studies of the Formation of the Pentateuch,” RelSRev 23 (1997): 22–31. A more European perspective can be found in Bodo Seidel, “Entwicklungslinien der neueren Pentateuchforschung im 20. Jahrhundert,” ZAW 106 (1994): 476–85; and more recently, Georg Fischer, “Zur Lage der Pentateuchforschung,” ZAW 115 (2003): 608–16.

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responsible for the ritual system of ancient Israel) will illustrate this point. Traditionally, P had been dated to the 5th century b.c.e., 36 based on the general presupposition that complex religious legal (and ritual) material should be posited later in the evolutionary religious process. However, based on linguistic, literary, archaeological, and comparative data, scholars have begun to date P in the preexilic period, ranging from the 7th to the 10th century b.c.e. 37 If P was edited only after the Exile, the prophetic critique, which appears in literary contexts and can generally be confidently dated to the 8th or 7th century b.c.e., does not make sense; or, as an alternative perspective, one has to conjecture earlier ritual and cultic legislation, the text(s) of which we do not have. However, a canonical reading of the final text of the Hebrew Bible avoids the complex issue by working with an existing (and not a hypothetical) text. In this view the prophetic critique referring to different types of sacrifices or involving other ritual and cultic activity was referring to the ritual legislation of the Pentateuch (and more specifically, Leviticus). Prophetic critique of particular ritual practice in particular circumstances needs to be understood both in the specific historical context in which it was spoken and in the milieu of theological tensions that arose due to changed historical contexts. The NT, particularly the Gospels, demonstrate similar tensions. The Gospel of Mark includes a narrative involving Jesus and an anonymous scribe, 38 who answers the important question of which commandment is the most prominent (Mark 12:28). When Jesus provides his wellknown answer based on Deut 6:5 and Lev 19:18, connecting the love of Yhwh with the love of one’s neighbor and marking them as the greatest commandment, the thoughtful answer of the scribe reflects to a certain degree some of the sentiments of the prophetic critique of ritual practice found in the 36. The most recent introduction to contemporary issues involving P (including its dating) can be found in Baruch Levine, “Leviticus: Its Literary History and Location in Biblical Literature,” in The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception (ed. Rolf Rendtorff and Robert A. Kugler; VTSup 93/FIOTL 3; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 11–23. 37. See, for example, Gordon J. Wenham, The Book of Leviticus (NICOT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979), 13 (preexilic date; does not commit to a specific date); Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 28 (ca. 750 b.c.e.); John E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC 4; Waco, TX: Word, 1992), xliii (preexilic date); and Ziony Zevit, “Philology, Archaeology, and a Terminus a Quo for P’s ˙a††aªt Legislation,” in Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom (ed. D. P. Wright, D. N. Freedman, and A. Hurvitz; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995), 29–38 (end of 10th century b.c.e.). Some of the redating is due to the philological work of Avi Hurvitz’s comparing of P’s language with Ezekiel’s (Avi Hurvitz, A Linguistic Study of the Relationship between the Priestly Source and the Book of Ezekiel: A New Approach to an Old Problem [CahRB 20; Paris: Gabalda, 1982]; and more recently, idem, “Once Again: The Linguistic Profile of the Priestly Material in the Pentateuch and Its Historical Age: A Response to J. Blenkinsopp,” ZAW 112 [2000]: 180–91). 38. The Greek grammateuv Í refers to a scribe, an expert in religious law or a scholar.

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Hebrew Bible. After repeating Jesus’ answer, 39 the scribe connects love toward the creator and toward humanity with sacrifice and states that they are “much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Mark 12:33). This is clearly reminiscent of passages such as 1 Sam 15:22, Isa 1:11–17, and Amos 5:21–27.

Ritual in Intertestamental Judaism Intertestamental Judaism is a beast with many heads. Textual evidence as well as contemporary descriptions of that period (for example, Josephus or the writings from Qumran) bear witness to the multiplicity of religious perspectives that existed in Judaism. The idea of a normative Judaism with a single authoritative point of view needs to be revised in the light of the textual data available to us. 40 Diverse theological groups vied for the ears and hearts of Jews, especially during the Maccabean period, which provided a brief moment of national independence. Essenes, Pharisees, Saducees, Zealots, Hasidim, and other groups not defined by specific names were all active in the relatively small area of Palestine in a religiously charged climate. Hellenistic Judaism and Diaspora Judaism should be added to this already explosive mix, which sought to amalgamate Greek philosophy with Jewish Torah identity and oral traditions. 41 Obviously, a comprehensive evaluation of the understanding and practice of ritual in intertestamental Judaism is beyond the scope of this brief section. However, we will try to see trends, looking at two distinct ends of the spectrum of Judaism—namely, Philo of Alexandria and the religious community at Qumran that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls. 42

39. Walter W. Wessel (“Mark,” in EBC, 8:737–38) discusses the particulars of the scribe’s answer in the context of 1st-century Judaism. 40. See for further reference Jarl Fossum, “Judaism at the Turn of the Era,” in The Biblical World (ed. John Barton; 2 vols.; London: Routledge, 2002), 2:125–36; and Gary G. Porton, “Diversity in Postbiblical Judaism,” in Early Judaism and its Modern Interpreters (ed. Robert A. Kraft and George W. E. Nickelsburg; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986), 57–80, for brief but poignant introductions. James C. VanderKam (An Introduction to Early Judaism [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001]) has provided a more in-depth discussion of early Judaism. 41. A good introduction to the issue can be found in L. I. Levine, Judaism and Hellenism in Antiquity, passim. The standard work on the issue has been written by Martin Hengel, Judentum und Hellenismus: Studien zu ihrer Begegnung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung Palästinas bis zur Mitte des 2. Jh.s v. Chr. (2nd ed.; WUNT 10; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1973) with an English edition being published in 1974 ( Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in Their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period [trans. John Bowden; 2 vols.; London: SCM, 1974]). 42. While some scrolls may have been imported to the settlement at Khirbet Qumran, the majority of the texts should be connected to the site. See the convincing arguments found in Jodi Magness, The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls (SDSSRL; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 43–44, based on the material evidence.

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Philo of Alexandria and Ritual: Searching for the Deeper Meaning Philo was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Alexandria, the largest Jewish settlement outside Palestine. 43 The year 38 c.e. is an important historical anchor point for the life of Philo, since he refers to the Roman pogrom against Jews and his subsequent travel to Rome (39–40 c.e.) as part of a five-man Jewish delegation to Emperor Gaius Caligula (Legat. 370). It would appear that Philo was chosen because of his family’s prominent position in the Jewish community of Alexandria, and one should presume that he was already of mature age by that time. Other datable events gleaned from his writings include an early reference to the celebrations given in honor of Germanicus Caesar in 12 c.e. It would appear that Philo was born in the century leading up to the birth of Christ 44 and died sometime after 40 c.e. Philo’s family was one of the most influential Alexandrian Jewish families, and he enjoyed the blessings of a wide-ranging education. According to his own writings, he had been at least once to the Jerusalem temple to “offer up prayers and sacrifices” (Prov. 2.64). Philo is most widely known for his allegorical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, 45 since he presupposed that the Hebrew Scriptures had a deeper (or second) level of meaning beyond the literal and (in his perspective) often simplistic level. He used as his basic sourcebook the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, 46 which also played a central role in the liturgy and religious life of the Alexandrian Jewish community. Interestingly, the translators of the Septuagint had already interpreted the underlying cultic language of the Pentateuch and adapted it to 3rd/2ndcentury b.c.e. realities and religious ideas. 47 Philo’s extensive writings include 43. For more detailed information, see Peder Borgen, Philo of Alexandria: An Exegete for His Time (NovTSup 86; Leiden: Brill, 1997), 14–29; and also Ronald Williamson, Jews in the Hellenistic World: Philo (CCWJCW 1.2; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 1–27. 44. Williamson suggests ca. 30 b.c.e. (ibid., 1). 45. See especially Williamson, Jews in the Hellenistic World: Philo, 144–75. See also an earlier important study by Williamson focusing on the Epistle to the Hebrews and Philo (idem, Philo and the Epistle to the Hebrews [ALGHJ 4; Leiden: Brill, 1970], 519–31). Philo was interested in getting beyond the literal level of meaning, since he subscribed to a Platonic epistemology that valued ideas and spirit over the concrete and physical. 46. Borgen, Philo of Alexandria, 38. For more information concerning the origin, transmission history, and importance of the Septuagint, see Karen H. Jobes and Moisés Silva, Invitation to the Septuagint (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000); and Natalio Fernández Marcos, The Septuagint in Context: Introduction to the Greek Version of the Bible (trans. W. G. E. Watson; Leiden: Brill, 2000). 47. A good discussion of these tendencies involving harmonization, actualization, addition and others can be found in Martin Rösel, “Die Septuaginta und der Kult: Interpretationen und Aktualisierungen im Buch Numeri,” in La double transmission du texte biblique: Etudes d’histoire du texte offertes en hommage à Adrian Schenker (ed. Yohanan Goldman and Christoph Uehlinger; OBO 179; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2001), 25–40.

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expository works (focusing predominantly on the Torah) and more systematic works. Borgen summarizes the evidence as follows: in the rewriting of parts of the Pentateuch Philo uses both shorter reviews and surveys and bodies of comprehensive rewriting of Mosaic history and Mosaic laws. The rewriting can elaborate on the form of blessings and curses, and can have the form of a chain of biblical cases which serves the purpose of argumentation in support of a thesis (Virt. 198–210) or which provides documentation of a certain theme which leads to a concluding exhortation. . . . In his systematic work Philo can draw on traditional Jewish notions, such as blessings and curses and the view that the Decalogue is a summary of the other laws.48

Philo’s relationship to biblical ritual and its function in Judaism is not clearcut. His allegorical exegetical method suggests a more negative attitude to the actual rites and symbols described in the Hebrew Bible. However, while he always emphasizes the symbolic meaning, he does not suggest that the practice should be ridiculed or abandoned. A good example is found in his introductory paragraphs of De specialibus legibus dealing with the Jewish practice of circumcision, where he provides four main reasons: First of all, that it is a preventative of a painful disease, and of an affliction difficult to be cured, which they call a carbuncle. . . . Secondly, it secures the cleanliness of the whole body in a way that is suited to the people consecrated to God. . . . Thirdly, there is the resemblance of the part that is circumcised to the heart; for both parts are prepared for the sake of generation. . . . The fourth, and most important, is that which relates to the provision thus made for prolificness. (Spec. 1.4–7) 49

When Philo describes his visit to the Jerusalem temple, he refers to “prayers and sacrifices.” Williamson suggests that Philo does not appear to have objected to the sacrificial ritual of the temple although he interpreted sacrifice as a “symbol for prayer and presented prayer as a sacrifice superior to that of bodies of animals,” 50 and the universe as the true temple in which the Logos ministered. Philo refers positively to Sabbath observance (Mos. 2.216), although he interprets it in terms of Hellenism’s philosophical search for knowledge and the “study of the truths of nature”: “In accordance with which custom, even to this day, the Jews hold philosophical discussions on the seventh day, disputing about their national philosophy, and devoting that day to the knowledge and consideration of the subjects of natural philosophy” (Mos. 2.216). In Philo’s writings, Leviticus (and thus ritual texts) is one of the least cited books among the five books of the Pentateuch, 51 and when he does cite it he 48. Borgen, Philo of Alexandria, 62. 49. The English translation of Philo’s work above follows Charles D. Yonge, The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged (rev. ed.; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993). 50. Williamson, Jews in the Hellenistic World: Philo, 4.

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mostly spiritualizes these texts, as can be seen in his comments on Lev 1:3 concerning the burnt offering: “These things, then, are comprehended in express words of command. But there is another meaning figuratively concealed under the enigmatical expressions. And the words employed are visible symbols of what is invisible and uncertain” (Spec. 1.200). Thus it would appear that the concrete and material nature of ritual did not connect readily with Philo’s exegetical method and his philosophical and theological presuppositions. However, he does not appear to campaign conscientiously against the Jewish practice of the biblical rituals but instead ignores most of them or spiritualizes them.

The Qumran Religious Community and Ritual: The Hegemony of Ritual The 1947 chance discovery of some parchment scrolls in the Judean Desert by Bedouin initiated one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. The story has been told repeatedly, 52 and Jodi Magness has recently provided a very helpful summary of the data concerning the archaeology of the site and its surrounding caves. 53 However, one of the major contributions of the DSS is the window they open on a specific strand of Palestinian Judaism during the intertestamental period at the turn of the century. The texts connected to Khirbet Qumran witness to a community that lived, breathed, thought, and conserved the religious ideas of that period. A major aspect of Qumran religious thought (and also of Judaism at large) was ritual purity and ritual in general. 54 Other ritual aspects of Qumran religion 51. According to Yonge’s index, Genesis is quoted 448x, followed by Exodus (190x) and Deuteronomy (146x). Leviticus is referred to 99x, while Numbers is only cited 91x. 52. See here the accessible work of James C. VanderKam, The Dead Sea Scrolls Today (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 2–14. A more recent (albeit more concise) summary is George J. Brooke, “The Dead Sea Scrolls,” in The Biblical World (ed. John Barton; 2 vols.; London: Routledge, 2002), 1:250–69. 53. Magness, The Archaeology of Qumran. 54. There are many important studies focusing on the Qumran purity system. For more information, see Jacob Milgrom, “First Day Ablutions in Qumran,” in The Madrid Qumran Congress: Proceedings of the International Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Madrid, 18–21 March, 1991 (ed. Julio Trebolle Barrera and Luis Vegas Montaner; 2 vols.; STDJ 11/2; Leiden: Brill / Madrid: Editorial Complutense, 1992), 2:561–70; and especially Hannah K. Harrington, The Impurity Systems of Qumran and the Rabbis: Biblical Foundations (SBLDS 143; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993), 47–67. Other more recent studies include Jacob Milgrom, “The Concept of Impurity in Jubilees and the Temple Scroll,” RevQ 16 (1993): 277–84; Joseph M. Baumgarten, “Zab Impurity in Qumran and Rabbinic Law,” JJS 45 (1994): 273–78; and Colleen M. Conway, “Toward a Well-Formed Subject: The Function of Purity Language in the Serek Ha-Ya˙ad,” JSP 21 (2000): 103–20. Jonathan Klawans (“Idolatry, Incest, and Impurity: Moral Defilement in Ancient Judaism,” JSJ 29 [1998]: 391–415) has added another important study to this already crowded field, where he argues that

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involved the relationship to the Jerusalem temple (including their perspective on sacrifices), the issue of celibacy, and specific laws governing the ingestion and partaking of food. 55 It is interesting to note that the rationale for most of these issues is ritual purity. This ritual purity was not associated with specific religious activities only but apparently encompassed the entire life experience and has been discussed recently by Eyal Regev under the title nonpriestly purity. 56 It implied the observance of specific ritual-purity considerations involving food, prayer, contact with Gentiles, and other common daily activities. It appears to have been a means of endeavoring to obtain a closer relationship with Yhwh through the reading and studying of the law and prayer as well as maintaining a specific religious identity in an everchanging world that challenged basic Jewish concepts. 57 The practice of nonpriestly purity was not only characteristic of Qumran Judaism but is also documented for other religious groups of Palestine as well as the Diaspora. intertestamental Judaism (in the same sense as Leviticus itself ) distinguishes clearly between moral and ritual impurity. Texts from Qumran testify to both areas. Robert A. Kugler, “Making All Experience Religious: The Hegemony of Ritual at Qumran,” JSJ 33 (2002): 131–52. 55. Craig A. Evans, “Opposition to the Temple: Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” in Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. James H. Charlesworth; ABRL; New York: Doubleday, 1992), 235–53, esp. 241–50. Florentino García Martínez (“Priestly Functions in a Community without Temple,” in Gemeinde ohne Temple/Community without Temple: Zur Substituierung und Transformation des Jerusalemer Tempels und seines Kults im Alten Testament, antiken Judentums und frühen Christentum [ed. Beate Ego et al.; WUNT 118; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999], 303–19) has provided a very helpful discussion of a Qumran theology without access to the Jerusalem temple. The issue of whether or not celibacy was practiced at Qumran is hotly debated. See, for example, Elisha Qimron, “Celibacy in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Two Kinds of Sectarians,” in The Madrid Qumran Congress: Proceedings of the International Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Madrid, 18–21 March, 1991 (ed. Julio Trebolle Barrera and Luis Vegas Montaner; 2 vols.; STDJ 11; Leiden: Brill / Madrid: Editorial Complutense, 1992), 1:287–94, with references to earlier studies. Qimron suggests that the DSS envisioned a hierarchy of two distinct groups of members, one celibate and the other married. Two more recent studies emphasize the archaeological evidence and include Joan E. Taylor, “The Cemeteries of Khirbet Qumran and Women’s Presence at the Site,” DSD 6 (1999): 285–323; and Joseph E. Zias, “The Cemeteries of Qumran and Celibacy: Confusion Laid to Rest?” DSD 7 (2000): 220–53. For more specific discussions on eating, see James D. G. Dunn, “Jesus, Table-Fellowship, and Qumran,” in Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. James H. Charlesworth; ABRL; New York: Doubleday, 1992), 254–72 (esp. 261–67); and Philip R. Davies, “Food, Drink and Sects: The Question of Ingestion in the Qumran Texts,” Semeia 86 (1999): 151–63. 56. Eyal Regev, “Non-priestly Purity and Its Religious Aspects according to Historical Sources and Archaeological Findings,” in Purity and Holiness: The Heritage of Leviticus (ed. M. J. H. M. Poorthuis and J. Schwartz; JCPS 2; Leiden: Brill, 2000), 223–44. Regev has reviewed rabbinical and Qumran textual material as well as archaeological evidence (namely, the existence of limestone vessels and ritual baths). 57. See also Jacob Neusner, “Ritual as a Religious Statement in Judaism,” in Approaches to Ancient Judaism (ed. Jacob Neusner; SFSHJ n.s. 186; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998), 14:169–96, concerning the issue of ritual as a religious statement. Neusner distinguishes three different areas in which ritual makes a religious statement (before God, within Israel in terms of social order, and in the household).

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Some of these regulations did not precisely copy the levitical requirements for priestly purity 58 but seem to have opted for an intermediate state of purity or gradual purification that was sufficient for specific situations. 1And you will puri[fy] him according to [your] holy laws [. . .] 2for the first, the third and the se[venth . . .] 3in the truth of your covenant [. . .] 4to purify oneself from the impurity of [. . .] 5And afterwards he will enter the water [. . .] 6And he will reply and say: Blessed are y[ou, God of Israel . . .] 7because from what issues from your mouth [the purification of all] has been [defined . . .] 8men of impurity . . . [. . .]. (4Q414 [4QRitual of Purification A], fragment 2, column ii, 1–8)59

Additionally, nonpriestly purity allowed the community to maintain some type of the Torah world view in a context where either no direct access to the Jerusalem temple existed 60 or it had been destroyed. While the religious community from Qumran had a hostile attitude toward the temple of Jerusalem (1QS IX 3–4 and CD VI 11–15), it still emphasized and practiced general priestly ritual functions, 61 including oracular activities connected to the casting of lots (4Q164; 1QS VI 16, 18–19, 21), a teaching ministry (CD XIV 6–8; 1QS V 8–9), judicial functions (11QTa LVII 11–15; CD X 4–10), blessing the community (1QSb iii 28; 1QS II 1–2; 1QS VI 4– 5; 1QSa ii 17–20), and separating between the sacred and the profane and the pure and the impure as also indicated in the biblical text (CD XIII 4–7; 4Q277 i 3–10). Furthermore, specific rituals such as the sacrificial cult intended to make atonement had been transformed by Qumran theology in order to accommodate the lack of access to the temple and its altar. 62 As observed by Kugler, the “ritual density” in the world view and life-style (as portrayed in the texts of the community) at Qumran is overwhelming. From the way they [the inhabitants of Qumran] measured their time to the way they consumed their meals, from their rising in the morning to their laying down at night, from the way they prayed to the way they saw to the purity of their 58. The priestly purification process after contamination (for example, leprosy/skin disease) involved seven days of waiting (Lev 14:8). Impurity caused by bodily discharges contaminated until sunset (Lev 15:5–11). Contamination after childbirth involved 7 + 33 (in the case of a male child) or 14 + 66 (in the case of a female child) days of impurity (Lev 12:2–5). 59. All the DSS are quoted from Florentino García Martínez and Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, Volume 1 (1Q1–4Q273) (Leiden: Brill / Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997); and idem, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, Volume 2 (4Q274–11Q31) (Leiden: Brill / Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998). 60. The lack of access to the temple may have also been due to a different theological perception or due to geography, as in the case of Diaspora Jews. 61. García Martínez (“Priestly Functions,” 303) has counted 183 instances of the use of the term kohen, “priest,” at Qumran. The following remarks are based on his work (ibid., 307–16). 62. See Paul Garnet, Salvation and Atonement in the Qumran Scrolls (WUNT 3; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1977), 117. Compare Kugler (“Rewriting Rubrics: Sacrifice and the Religion of Qumran”), who maintains that the specific exegetical method used by the community resulted in the harmonization and change of focus of biblical regulations dealing with temple and altar regulations.

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bodies, from their entry into the community to their departure from it, the people of Qumran patterned their actions in “more or less invariant sequences of formal acts and utterances” aimed at bringing them closer to God.63

Most of these ritual practices are based on the reading of Scripture and underline the way in which Qumran theology was rooted in the Hebrew Bible. 64 The introduction of ritual to areas not necessarily covered in the biblical text often indicates an orthodox community’s intent to counteract secularization. 65 To put it plainly: ritual intensification can function as a defense mechanism against secularization. From all the above evidence, it is clear that the Qumran religious community thrived on ritual and together with other religious groups practiced and emphasized nonpriestly purity as a way to maintain their identity, express their religious visions, and demarcate different groups inside and outside the community. This emphasis on purity should be understood in the light of the messianic expectations and its eschatology as part of a strategy for readiness. 66 In this sense, ritual practice makes a religious or theological statement and functions in a communicative sense in two directions: first, to remind the members of the group of their religious beliefs and, second, to advertise the belief system (or aspects of it) to the outside world. It was an expression of a life conformed to God. 67

Ritual in Early Christianity: The First Seven Centuries The first decades of Christian expansion are characterized by great, dynamic growth. 68 Theological discussions involved missiology (“should we 63. Kugler, “Making All Experience Religious,” 149. 64. The interesting topic of different types of biblical interpretation at Qumran has recently been tackled by Bilhah Nitzan, “Approaches to Biblical Exegesis in Qumran Literature,” in Emanuel: Studies in Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls in Honor of Emanuel Tov (ed. Shalom M. Paul et al.; VTSup 94; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 347–65. 65. Bell, Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions, 205–9. 66. See also the remarks by Craig A. Evans (“Qumran’s Messiah: How Important Is He?” in Religion in the Dead Sea Scrolls [ed. John J. Collins and Robert A. Kugler; SDSSRL; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000], 135–49), who argues that Qumran’s messianism was fairly main-stream intertestamental Judaism, tied into the community’s particular eschatology and expecting the restoration of the golden age of Israel. Lawrence H. Schiffman (The Eschatological Community of the Dead Sea Scrolls [SBLMS 38; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989], 7) has suggested that the texts from Qumran document a perception of the eschaton, whereby the group was dedicated to preparing for the new age by living as if it had already come. 67. Kugler, “Making All Experience Religious,” 152. 68. One should consider the evidence of growth as described in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. Beginning in Jerusalem, thousands of Jews accepted the new way (Acts 2:40, 4:4, 11:21). The mission of the young movement was to proclaim the good news that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah (or Greek CristovÍ; Acts 5:42).

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preach to the Gentiles?”) and ritual practice (“should we continue to practice nonpriestly purity and other specifically Jewish rituals?”) as well as organization (“should we organize to be a community inside or outside Judaism?”), and one focal point of interaction in the young movement was the relationship between Christians of Jewish origin and those with Gentile roots. From the biblical record, it appears that Jewish Christians continued to live in relative peace, participated in the temple ritual, and kept the Torah in their own fashion (Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:21; 10:14, 28); they were just another identifiable Jewish religious sect. 69 However, Paul’s missionary activities among the Gentiles changed this radically and are a unique feature of early Christianity. 70 Thus, the first great expansion of Christianity occurred not in Judea but in the ancient world situated primarily around the Mediterranean basin, beginning in the coastal towns (Acts 11:21–24; 13:4–12, 44–52). The Pauline focus on the Gentiles caused severe tensions in the new movement. Acts 15 describes the gathering of the principal players in Jerusalem and, interestingly, one of the major issues between Jewish Christians and the group around Paul, promoting an active and aggressive mission to the Gentiles, focused on a specific ritual (that is, circumcision and the “law of Moses”; see Acts 15:1, 5). After considerable discussion and mounting tension (Acts 15:2, 7), a minimum standard was established that marked the beginning of the transformation from a Jewish sect to a new and distinct religious movement. This standard included (1) abstinence from everything contaminated by idols, (2) no practice of illicit sexual relationships, 71 (3) and abstinence from the meat of strangled animals and the eating of blood (Acts 15:20). While this is a definite break with the traditional Jewish practice of the era, it does maintain a connection to the Torah and should not be interpreted as an absolute rupture with the ritual requirements contained in the Hebrew Bible. 72 It is possible that the ritual legislation of Lev 17, which 69. François Blanchetière (“The Threefold Christian Anti-Judaism,” in Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Judaism and Christianity [ed. Graham N. Stanton and Guy G. Stroumsa; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998], 190) prefers the denomination Nazarenes over Jewish Christians. They were part of a “mosaic of which contemporary Jewish society was composed, one voice among a multitude of voices” (ibid., 191). See also Martin Goodman, “The Emergence of Christianity,” in A World History of Christianity (ed. Adrian Hastings; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 16–17. 70. Ibid., 18. “Mission was unknown in ancient polytheism, and although Jews welcomed outsiders who chose to become proselytes, there is little reason to suspect an active proselytizing movement in this period.” 71. The Greek term porneÇa has been translated “fornication” (nasb) or “illicit marriage” (njb) or “sexual immorality” (niv, nkjv, nlt). 72. Anthony J. Blasi (“Early Christian Culture as Interaction,” in Handbook of Early Christianity: Social Science Approaches [ed. Anthony J. Blasi et al.; Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira, 2002], 299) argues that the gradual departure of early Christianity from Jewish tradition resulted in part from Christian cultural activity and its break with tradition as well as a development of its own tradition.

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contained indications for both Israelites and the foreigner ( ger) living in Israel (= proselyte), functioned as the role model for this agreement. 73 Christianity’s tremendous growth and a new aggressive mission theology transformed the new Christian movement from one dominated by Jewish thought and practice to a more cosmopolitan group, with less focus on ethnicity and a seemingly minimal set of ritual requirements connected to the OT (which was—and this should not be forgotten—the only legitimate Scripture for the movement). 74 Christian worship differed significantly from standard forms of worship due to the lack of temples, altars, and sacrifices. Therefore, a new liturgy needed to be established focusing on the teaching of the gospel stories (probably along with readings from the LXX [the Greek translation of the OT), the celebration of the communion feast (connected to the Jewish Passover by Paul in 1 Cor 5:7–8), and the development of specifically Christian rites: Already in the first generations Christians also evolved rites for public worship, such as the symbolic transfer onto the individual of the spirit of the divine by laying on of hands and baptism with water to signify forgiveness of sins as well as entry into the assembly of Christ. . . . In the regular weekly gatherings the central act of worship, already assumed in many places in the NT, was the Eucharist, a ritual breaking of bread and drinking of a cup of wine in memory of Jesus intended both to express joyful thanks and to bring celebrants into sacramental communion with their Lord. 75

Ritual in Gnosticism Some remarks should also be included concerning the place and function of ritual in Gnosticism. 76 While Gnosticism did not represent orthodox Chris73. Leviticus 17 indicates that neither an Israelite nor a foreigner living in Israel should sacrifice at any place other than the tabernacle (Lev 17:8–9), should eat the blood of an animal (Lev 17:10–12), should neglect to drain the blood of a hunted animal (Lev 17:13–14); either would be ceremonially unclean after having eaten from the carcass of an animal torn by wild animals (Lev 17:15–16). 74. Goodman (“Emergence of Christianity,” 18–22) suggests that part of the phenomenal growth was due to the social support that Christian communities provided. Kurt Aland (A History of Christianity, Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Threshold of the Reformation [trans. J. L. Schaaf; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985], 3–44) adds that Christian missionaries reached out to the lower classes and were also ready to die for their beliefs. Christianity also provided theological superiority and focus in a polytheistic world. 75. Goodman, “Emergence of Christianity,” 23. For a more in-depth discussion of Jewish and Christian ritual and its interaction and relationship, see Gerard S. Sloyan, “Jewish Ritual of the First Century c.e. and Christian Sacramental Behavior,” BTB 15 (1985): 98–103. 76. Some convenient introductions to the complex study of Gnosticism include Gerald L. Borchert, “Gnosticism,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (ed. Walter A. Elwell; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 444–47; Birger A. Pearson, Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity (SAC; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990); Kurt Rudolph, “Gnosticism,” ABD 2:1033–40; Giovanni Filoramo, A

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tianity, its influence can be easily perceived during the first centuries c.e. The origin of Gnosticism has been widely discussed, and no consensus seems to be in sight. 77 Most of the church fathers considered the reference to Simon Magus in Acts 8:9–25 to be the first reference to Gnosticism. 78 However, relying on these Christian apologists to describe what they termed a Christian heresy is not the best route to understanding Gnosticism. 79 Biblical interpretation in Gnostic literature can best be described in terms of indebtedness and rejection. 80 This can be seen by the frequent allusions to personalities of the Hebrew Bible (such as Adam, Seth, Moses, and so on) as well as frequent references to creation theology. Pearson mentions over 600 references to the Hebrew Bible in the Nag Hammadi texts. 81 Many of these involved a negative evaluation of the earlier biblical reference, while others were more accommodating toward the text of the Hebrew Bible and sometimes even employed a particular element in a typological manner. However, the general prevailing attitude seems to have been one of disdain or irrelevance. Clearly, the secret knowledge (= gnosis) did not require prior revealed material. One of the underlying presuppositions of Gnostic thinking involved a radical dualism that formed the conceptual framework of Gnosticism. 82 While one cannot speak of a “Gnostic orthodoxy” (due to the lack of central authority and canon), the basic notion of dualism (for example, matter || spirit; transcendent God || ignorant demiurge) appears to be visible in all adaptations of Gnosticism. 83 In view of so many differing positions, an adequate understanding of ritual in Gnosticism is difficult to attain. 84

History of Gnosticism (trans. A. Alcock; Oxford: Blackwell, 1992); Edwin M. Yamauchi, “Gnosticism,” in Dictionary of New Testament Background (ed. Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000), 414–18; Alastair H. B. Logan, “The Gnostic Gospels,” in The Biblical World (ed. John Barton; 2 vols.; London: Routledge, 2002), 1:305–22; Karen L. King, What Is Gnosticism? (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003). 77. Traditions from Judaism, Iran (Zoroastrianism), and Hellenism seem to have formed the cultural and socioreligious background of Gnosticism. See Rudolph, “Gnosticism,” ABD 2:1036. 78. Pheme Perkins, Gnosticism and the New Testament (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993), 9–10. 79. Filoramo, History of Gnosticism, 2–7; also K. L. King, What Is Gnosticism? 20–54. 80. See Pearson, Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity, 29–38. Recent in-depth discussions of this important issue include Pheme Perkins, “Gnosticism and the Christian Bible,” in The Canon Debate (ed. Lee M. McDonald and James A. Sanders; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 355–71; and Birger A. Pearson, “Use, Authority and Exegesis of Mikra in Gnostic Literature,” in MIKRA: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (ed. Martin J. Mulder; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004), 635–52. 81. Ibid., 636. 82. Rudolph, “Gnosticism,” 1033; also Filoramo, History of Gnosticism, 54–56. 83. Yamauchi, “Gnosticism,” 416. 84. See, for example, Henry A. Green, “Ritual in Valentinian Gnosticism: A Sociological Interpretation,” JRH 12 (1982): 109–24.

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In the following, I am indebted to Elaine Pagels’s recent study of ritual in the Gospel of Philip. 85 Baptism in the Gospel of Philip included “the divestiture of clothing (75.20–26), descent into water (64.24; 72.30–73.1; 77.10–15), and immersion as the threefold name (‘father, son, and holy spirit’) is pronounced over the candidate (67.20–22) apparently followed by chrismation (69.5–14; 67.4–9), and the kiss of peace (59.1–6), and concluded by participation in the eucharist.” 86 Pagels suggests that Philip questions the general validity of the ritual for each and every Christian; in other words, does the ritual work in a sacramental way or not (64.24)? In his discussion of the different elements of Christian sacraments (including baptism and the eucharist), Philip repeatedly introduces the evil spirits (= archons) or demons who can entangle ignorant Christians (those who do not have gnosis) in erroneous beliefs. 87 Focusing on a nonsacramental ritual referred to in the Gospel of Philip (namely, the “bridal chamber”), Buckley argues that components of mystery religions can be seen in Philip, involving elements of initiation and secret ritual. 88 Filoramo’s discussion of Gnostic ritual processes follows along similar lines. 89 He identifies two different types of Gnostic ritual: (1) rites that had acquired an exclusively symbolic value and did not require external verification; and (2) rites that were marked by the presence of a specific ceremony (such as baptism). Gnostic writings also refer to new, innovative rituals (such as the “bridal chamber” described in the Gospel of Philip or the orgiastic cults of some libertine groups, mentioned by Epiphanius). 90 In light of this, it would appear that Gnosticism (if one can speak of “Gnosticism” as a unit) did not have an entirely negative attitude toward ritual and even innovated ritual elements for its own purposes. As can be expected, ritual in itself was ineffective and required interaction with gnosis in order to achieve its purposes. In the following sections we will look at some major Christian theologians and anonymous texts from the first seven centuries following the death of Christ, including Ignatius of Antioch, the Didache, Origen of Alexandria, Augustine of Hippo, and the Venerable Bede from England. They represent dif-

85. Elaine Pagels, “Ritual in the Gospel of Philip,” in The Nag Hammadi Library after Fifty Years: Proceedings of the 1995 Society of Biblical Literature Commemoration (ed. John D. Turner and Anne McGuire; Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 44; Leiden: Brill, 1997), 280–91. 86. Ibid., 282. 87. For a recent discussion of Gnostic demonology, see Emmanouela Grypeou, “Die Dämonologie der koptisch-gnostischen Literatur im Kontext jüdischer Apokalyptic,” in Die Dämonen/ Demons: Die Dämonologie der israelitisch-jüdischen und frühchristlichen Literatur im Kontext ihrer Umwelt (ed. Armin Lange, Hermann Lichtenberger, and K. F. Diethard Römheld; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), 600–609. 88. Jorunn J. Buckley, “A Cult-Mystery in The Gospel of Philip,” JBL 99 (1980): 569–81. 89. Filoramo, History of Gnosticism, 178–85. 90. Ibid., 180.

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ferent eras and distinct regions beginning with the 2nd and ending at the end of the 7th century c.e. My selection of these specific theologians involves pragmatic reasons, since it is not easy to find early Christian theologians who actually mentioned specific ritual texts in their writings. Generally, it should be kept in mind that ritual prescriptions as found in the book of Leviticus were not at the forefront of theological discussion. It is even doubtful that the 2nd-century c.e. Christian church included major portions of Leviticus in its scriptural reading cycles. Leviticus and, more generally, ritual texts from the Hebrew Bible received little attention from early Christian commentators. 91 Because of this, finding the early Christian views on ritual is a challenging endeavor.

Ignatius of Antioch: Judaizers and Christian Theology Very little is known about Ignatius, who was bishop of Antioch around the beginning of the 2nd century c.e. We know that toward the end of the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan (98–117 c.e.) Ignatius was arrested and taken to Rome for judgment. Most of his letters to different churches were written while en route to Rome. 92 He was a man of the Greek city and, at home in Hellenistic culture (and writing in the Greek language), he developed specific theological themes such as unity and silence that have a mystical aspect to them. 93 A recurring topic of Ignatius’s letters is his admonition to stop living according to Judaism, which probably included specific ritual acts such as circumcision, sacrificial theology, purity rites, and so on. “Be not deceived by erroneous opinions, nor by old fables, which are useless. For if we continue to live until now according to Judaism, we confess that we have not received grace” (Magn. 8:1). 94 In another section of the same letter, Ignatius exhorts his readers to worship on the Lord’s day (that is, Sunday) instead of the Sabbath, which he correlates to the “old ways.” “If, then, those who lived in old ways came to newness of hope, no longer keeping Sabbath, but living in accordance with the Lord’s day, on which also our life arose through him and his death 91. Gerard Rouwhorst, “Leviticus 12–15 in Early Christianity,” in Purity and Holiness: The Heritage of Leviticus (ed. M. J. H. M. Poorthuis and J. Schwartz; JCPS 2; Leiden: Brill, 2000), 181–93. 92. Graydon F. Snyder, “Ignatius of Antioch,” in EEC, 559–60. 93. A good discussion and commentary on Ignatius’s work can be found in William R. Schoedel (Ignatius of Antioch: A Commentary on the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch [Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985], 15–17), who discusses the religious and intellectual background of Ignatius and his interaction (or lack thereof ) with Gnosticism, Jewish Christianity, and Hellenistic culture per se. 94. Ibid., 118. All textual references to Ignatius are quoted from Schoedel’s translation and commentary.

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(which some deny), through which mystery we received faith, and therefore we endure that we may be found disciples of Jesus Christ, our only teacher” (Magn. 9:1). It is possible that those living in the “old ways” gave too much attention to the problem of the meaning of texts from the Hebrew Bible (possibly in its Greek translation) and ran the risk of forgetting the centrality of Christ and of falling back into Jewish practices. 95 He continues in a similar vein: 2 Set aside, then, the evil leaven, old and sour, and turn to the new leaven, which

is Jesus Christ. Be salted with him to keep anyone among you from being spoiled, since you will be convicted by your odor. 3 It is ridiculous to profess Jesus Christ and to Judaize; for Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity, into which every tongue that has believed in God has been gathered together. (Magn. 10:2–3)

There is a concept in this statement that has not appeared earlier. It would seem that Ignatius considers Judaism as an earlier (that is, legitimate) stage in the unfolding of the divine plan, since Christianity came out of Judaism. What exactly it means to “Judaize” is not explicitly stated, but one would suppose—based on the earlier references from the same letter—that Sabbathkeeping and specific rituals connected to Judaism were on the church father’s mind. In his letter to the Philadelphians, Ignatius repeats his warning about those who “expound” Judaism to the Philadelphians. The Greek verbal form used there underlies the modern term “hermeneutics,” and the immediate context suggests that he understands this “expounding” as a misrepresentation of the message of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible. 96 He writes: 2And we also love the prophets because they also made their proclamation with the gospel in view and set their hope on him and waited for him. . . . 1 But if any-

one expounds Judaism to you, do not listen to him; for it is better to hear Christianity from a man who is circumcised than Judaism from a man uncircumcised; both of them, if they do not speak of Jesus Christ, are to me tombstones and graves of the dead on which nothing but the names of men is written. (Phil. 5:2a, 6:1)

In the same letter, Ignatius again develops the idea of “this one was good, but this one is better,” also found so often in the letter to the Hebrews in the NT. 97 “The priests are also good; yet better the highpriest entrusted with the holy of holies, who alone is entrusted with the secrets of God, since he is the door of the Father through which enter Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and 95. Ibid., 123. 96. The Greek root used here is eJrmhneuv w, “interpret, explain, making clear what is difficult to understand.” See also Schoedel, Ignatius of Antioch, 202. 97. Hebrews 1:4; 6:9; 7:19, 22; 8:6; 9:23; 10:34; 11:4, 16, 35, 40; and 12:24.

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the prophets and the apostles and the church—all these—into the unity of God” (Phil. 9:1). Clearly, for Ignatius, Christ is the “better” high priest who functions as the door to God. It is interesting to note that he does not condemn the priests (as he did not condemn the prophets) of the Hebrew Bible but, rather, evaluates them in the light of the better ministry of the high priest Jesus Christ. In summary, Ignatius was worried about Judaizing elements in Christianity, although he did not provide specific indications of what this entailed. Circumcision and Sabbath-keeping seem to have been involved and most likely nonpriestly purity legislation, but he does not give a systematic treatment of the subject. Clearly, the church—at least in the mind of Ignatius—was in a process of separating from Judaism, and he argued for this theologically.

Ritual in the Didache The “Teaching of the Lord through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations” (or Didache) is a manual of church life included among the works of the apostolic fathers. It should be dated to around the late 1st century or early 2nd century c.e. and probably originated in Syria. It thus represents an interesting reflection of what eastern Christianity considered important in terms of church order. 98 The relatively short text, approximately the length of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, consists of four different sections: the “Tractate of the Four Ways” (1:1–6:3); a section dealing with liturgy, baptism, fasting, prayer, and the Eucharist (7:1–10:7); followed by a section that has been identified as a church order (11:1–15:4); and finally, a section containing some eschatological conclusions (16:1–8). Evidently, the second section, dealing with liturgical elements, is of specific interest here. Baptism, fasting, praying, and sharing the Lord’s meal are selected rituals that are based on Scripture. It is interesting to see how the anonymous author (or authors) argues for their observance and practice. Due to space limitations, we will focus only on baptism since it is in practical terms a practice that in its particular theological focus is specific to Christianity. 99 98. See here Everett Ferguson, “Didache,” in EEC, 328–29; and Kurt Niederwimmer, The Didache (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1998), for the definitive text edition. A recent English translation of the Greek text can be found in Aelred Cody, “The Didache: An English Translation,” in The Didache in Context. Essays on Its Text, History and Transmission (ed. Clayton N. Jefford; NovTSup 77; Leiden: Brill, 1995), 3–14. 99. Karen Pusey (“Jewish Proselyte Baptism,” ExpTim 95 [1984]: 141–45) has argued that, while it is impossible to prove from rabbinical sources the practice of baptism as part of the proselyte initiation, circumstantial evidence makes it likely. Richard E. Averbeck (“The Focus of Baptism in the New Testament,” GTJ 2 [1981]: 265–301) has suggested that neither the Hebrew Bible nor contemporary Second Temple Judaism used baptism in connection with conversion and repentance but, rather, in relation to ritual cleansing.

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Chapter 5 1As for baptism, baptize [pl.] in this way: Having said all this beforehand, baptize

in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in running water. 2 If you [sing.] do not have running water, however, baptize in another kind of water; if you cannot [do so] in cold [water], then [do so] in warm [water]. 3 But if you have neither, pour water on the head thrice in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. 4 Before the baptism, let the person baptizing and the person being baptized—and others who are able—fast; tell the one being baptized to fast one or two [days] before (Did. 7:1–4) 100

This short section has some textual intricacies, and several recent studies have been devoted to it. 101 However, one can note the following interesting ritual elements that the author(s) deemed necessary in order to realize an effective ritual: (1) instruction in the church order (Did. 1–6); followed by (2) a prebaptismal fast, of which there is no indication in the Christian Bible. Interestingly, the fast involves the one who baptizes, the candidate himself, and “others who are able,” which may be an indication that the church members were active participants in the ritual process; (3) specification of the type of water that should be used. Interestingly, the text uses the Semiticism “living water,” which corresponds to the Hebrew mayim ˙ayyîm (see Gen 26:19; Lev 14:5, 50; 15:13; Num 19:17; and others). Most likely it indicated running water as the preferred medium for the ritual. However, it also provides an interesting window into the Jewish background of this particular aspect, since the purification of lepers and leprous houses also used this element in the ritual process (Lev 14:5, 50) as well as the purification of one with a discharge (Lev 15:13); 102 finally, (4) an indication of the baptismal formula involving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is given. Particularly the requirement of the prebaptismal fasting for both the candidate and the baptizer seems to indicate the motif of purification. As has been shown in connection to the “living water” specification, the Didache combines ritual elements found in the Hebrew Bible and connects them to the Christian baptismal ritual. There is no indication of the “death and burial with Christ” motif that Paul uses in Rom 6. This may be an indication of the milieu that produced the Didache 103 as a Jewish-Christian community that appreciated its roots in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible. 104 100. Niederwimmer, Didache, 125. All quotations from the Didache are taken from Niederwimmer. 101. See especially Nathan Mitchell, “Baptism in the Didache,” in The Didache in Context: Essays on Its Text, History and Transmission (ed. Clayton N. Jefford; NovTSup 77; Leiden: Brill, 1995), 226– 55; and Willy Rordorf, “Baptism According to the Didache,” in The Didache in Modern Research (ed. Jonathan A. Draper; AGJU 37; Leiden: Brill, 1996), 212–22. A discussion from the perspective of ritual studies appears in Richard S. Ascough, “An Analysis of the Baptismal Ritual of the Didache,” StLit 24 (1994): 201–13. 102. The term also appears at Qumran in 1QS III 9 in the context of purification. 103. However, it should be noted that this is pure deduction without any claim to surety. 104. See Mitchell, “Baptism in the Didache,” 231–37, 255, for the discussion of the larger context.

spread is 12 points long

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Origen of Alexandria: The Allegorical and Literal Ritual Origen was born in 185 c.e. in Alexandria, Egypt, to devout Christian parents. Early on in his life he got to know the harsh reality of being a Christian in a hostile environment when his father, Lonides, was martyred ca. 201 c.e. Soon after, Origen was appointed head of the school of catechetics, while still in his early twenties. Until 231 c.e. he taught in Alexandria but was forced to leave by Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria due to theological disagreements. He spent his last years in Caesarea in Palestine as a great Christian teacher and writer. He died sometime after 251 c.e., after suffering imprisonment and torture during the Decian persecution. 105 Origen has been hailed the “greatest theologian of the early centuries, great as a biblical scholar but great too in the daring with which he made use of contemporary philosophy.” 106 He produced some 2,000 written works, making him one of the most prolific writers in antiquity. While the earlier church fathers were able apologists and also interacted profusely with current philosophers and poets, Origen was the first to attempt a synthesis between contemporary thought and Christian faith. 107 Significant for our present research are the homilies on Exodus and Leviticus that probably were delivered between 238–244 c.e. in a three-year cycle toward the end of Origen’s life. 108 In order to get a feel for Origen’s treatment of ritual and ritual texts, we will have a look at his treatment of the tabernacle (Exod 25–28) that appears in Homily 9. Origen approaches his exposition by looking at it from the perspective of the Apostle Paul and quoting freely from the Epistle to the Hebrews. “The divine Scriptures speak about this tabernacle in many places. They appear to indicate certain things of which human hearing can scarecly [sic] be capable. The apostle Paul especially, however, relates to us certain indications of a more excellent knowledge about the understanding of the tabernacle.” 109 105. Compare Henri Crouzel, “Origen,” in The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (ed. Adrian Hastings et al.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 502–4; and Robert J. Daly, “Origen,” in EEC, 835–37. Another, more-detailed life sketch can be found in the introduction of Ronald E. Heine, Origen: Homilies on Genesis and Exodus (FC 71; Washington, DC: Catholic University of America, 1982), 1–25. 106. Adrian Hastings, “150–550,” in A World History of Christianity (ed. Adrian Hastings; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 47. 107. Aland, History of Christianity: Volume 1, 138–42. 108. Heine, Origen: Homilies on Genesis and Exodus, 23–24; and Gary Wayne Barkley, Origen: Homilies on Leviticus 1–16 (FC 83; Washington, DC: Catholic University of America, 1990), 20. For a more comprehensive discussion of Origen’s hermeneutics and exegetical method, see J. N. B. Charleton Paget, “The Christian Exegesis of the Old Testament in the Alexandrian Tradition,” in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation, Volume I: From the Beginnings to the Middle Ages (until 1300), Part 1: Antiquity (ed. Magne Sæbø; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996), 478–542, esp. 499–534. 109. Hom. Exod. 9.2, translated in Heine, Origen: Homilies on Genesis and Exodus, 334.

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After reviewing other quotations from both the Hebrew and the Christian Bible, he finally quotes Exod 25:40 and immediately seeks to establish a spiritual meaning. But the human mind, and especially ours, who know that we are the least or even nobodies in divine wisdom, can perhaps arrive at the point that it may perceive that these things which are introduced in the divine books are said not of earthly things, but of heavenly, and are forms not of present but “of future goods” (cf. Hebr 9:11; 10:1), not of corporal things, but of spiritual. (Hom. Exod. 9.2) 110

He refers again to the “mysteries hidden in these things” following the listing of the architecture and elements of the tabernacle. “It is scarcely possible that the material forms themselves be brought before our eyes, and how will anyone be sufficient to explain the mysteries hidden in these things?” 111 In the following sections, Origen proceeds to interpret the sanctuary with its implements as an allegory of the Christian church. The following quotation will give a taste of the way his allegorical interpretation ignores the original context and focuses on his immediate context and time: Perhaps we all make the Church which is holy, “not having spot or blemish,” [quoting Eph 5:27] a sanctuary in this way, if it has as pillars its teachers and ministers about whom the Apostle says, “Peter and James and John, who appeared to be pillars, gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas” [quoting Gal 2:9]. In the tabernacle of the OT, therefore, the pillars are joined by interposed bars; in the Church the teachers are associated by the right hand of fellowship which is given to them. 112

He then goes on to describe the base and the capital of the pillars (namely, the prophets of the Hebrew Bible) as the foundation of the church and Christ as its head, based on 1 Cor 11:3. Origen’s intention when interpreting the text of the Hebrew Bible is clearly to apply it to the realities of his time and circumstances, with little regard for the actual historical setting. This is even more visible in Homilies on Leviticus, where Origen was faced with a biblical book whose language and ideas were strange and bewildering and whose meaning was elusive. In fact, he must be considered the first Christian commentator on Leviticus when the genre of biblical commentary was in its infancy. 113 As was the case in his Homilies on Exodus, Origen does not follow 110. Hom. Exod. 9.2, translated in ibid., 337. 111. Hom. Exod. 9.3, translated in ibid., 338. 112. Hom. Exod. 9.3, translated in ibid., 339. 113. For a more detailed discussion of Origen’s treatment of Leviticus, see Robert L. Wilken, “Origen’s Homilies on Leviticus and Vayikra Rabbah,” in Origeniana Sexta: Origène et la Bible/Origen and the Bible. Actes du Colloquium Origenianum Sextum Chantilly, 30 août–3 septembre 1993 (ed. Gilles Dorival and Alain Le Boulluec; BETL 118; Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1995), 81–91, esp. 82–83.

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a verse-by-verse layout, as is customary in modern commentaries. Rather, he focuses on specific topics. We will examine Homily 9 which deals predominantly with the Day of Atonement ritual (Lev 16). Origen’s point of departure is his understanding of the priesthood of all believers, and in order to support this he quotes 1 Pet 2:9. As already seen in his treatment of the tabernacle account in Exodus, Origen quotes heavily from the Epistle to the Hebrews, suggesting that the Day of Atonement ritual needs to be understood as a “form” and “copy” of the true high priest Jesus Christ. 114 This Christological interpretation is based on manifold evidence from the Christian Bible and helps to understand his lack of enthusiasm for reading ritual texts from the Hebrew Bible on their own terms. Origen, having established the general priesthood of all believers, applies most of the clothing items mentioned in Lev 16:4 115 in a spiritual sense either to Christ as the high priest or to his present-day Christians: The “breeches” are a garment with which the private parts of the body are usually covered and constrained. Therefore, if you perceive that our Savior had indeed taken a body and, placed in this body, did human deeds, that is eating, drinking and other similar things but did not do that deed alone which pertains to the private parts of the body, and did not give his flesh either in marriage or in the procreation of sons, you will discover in what sense he had sanctified “linen breeches.” 116

Concerning the linen turban mentioned in the same verse, Origen does some interesting and creative exegesis based on catchwords. Therefore, the high priest “is bound with a linen belt and places a linen tiara upon his head” [quoting Lev 16:4]. All is linen. What is called “tiara” is a certain ornament which is placed on the head which the high priest or other priests use in offering sacrifices. But each of us also ought to adorn his head with priestly ornaments. For “the head of every man is Christ” [quoting 1 Cor 11:3], and whoever acts so that he brings glory to Christ out of his deeds, he has adorned his “head who is Christ” [quoting Eph 4:15]. The adornment of the head among us can also be understood in another way. Since indeed what is first and highest in us and the head of all is the mind, he will cultivate his head for the dignity of the high priest if one should adorn his mind with the disciplines of wisdom.117

Interestingly, Origen does not provide just one interpretation but two on distinct levels. Concerning the two goats over whom Aaron is to cast lots (Lev 114. Barkley, Origen: Homilies on Leviticus, 178. 115. “He will put on a tunic of consecrated linen, wear linen drawers on his body, a linen waistband round his waist, and a linen turban on his head. These are the sacred vestments he will put on after washing himself ” (Lev 16:4, njb). 116. Hom. Lev. 9.3, translated in Barkley, Origen: Homilies on Leviticus, 179. 117. Hom. Lev. 9.6, translated in ibid., 180.

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16:8) resulting in one goat for Yhwh and one for Azazel, the later being led alive into the wilderness, Origen suggests the following: If all the people of God were holy and all were blessed, there would not be two lots for the he-goats, one lot to be sent “into the wilderness,” the other offered to God, but there would be one lot and one offering to the Lord alone. . . . But since this one who is “in the lot of the Lord” does not take hope in the present age but in the future and whose “lot” is “the Lord,” “he dies daily [quoting 1 Cor 15:21],” therefore, this one indeed, on whom “the lot of the Lord” falls, is killed and dies, that by his blood he may purify the people of God. But that one who falls into the other lot is not worthy to die because he who is “in the lot of the Lord is not of this world” but that one “is of this world” and “the world loves what is its own” [quoting John 15:19].118

Origen’s interpretation of this crucial section of the Day of Atonement ritual understands the two goats as representing God’s people, although his reasoning is not quite clear. By quoting from 1 Cor 15:21, Origen spiritualizes the “dying.” Further along in his homily, Origen suggests an alternative interpretation of the two lots by applying it to the two criminals that were crucified with Jesus. 119 These examples suffice to demonstrate Origen’s treatment of ritual. Using an allegorical method, he applies elements of the ritual (including specific participants, objects, or space and movement) to the ministry of Jesus and the Christian church. This is probably also due to the fact that Origen’s exposition is part of a series of homilies and not necessarily intended as a scholarly work. While there is no depreciation of Jewish ritual, as found earlier in Ignatius, no attempts are made to discover the literal meaning of the ritual in its actual historical context. As has been pointed out by Wilken, “the chief task of the interpreter . . . was to discover meaning in the text for his hearers. For Origen meaning is understood primarily as edification and instruction, or simply, applying the text to the lives of his hearers.” 120 An interesting exception found in his exegetical method is his treatment of Lev 12, dealing with the purification rites of women after childbirth. Origen does not interpret the woman as an image of Israel, the church, or the soul, as one could expect. She simply is the mother of a newborn child. Other elements are interpreted allegorically, however. This is most likely due to the fact that for Origen the main issue of Lev 12 was the universal character of impurity, a concept that can also be found in other early Christian interpreters. 121 Thus, Origen’s interpretation 118. Hom. Lev. 4.3.2–4, translated in ibid., 181–82. 119. Hom. Lev. 9.5.2, translated in ibid., 184. 120. Wilken, “Origen’s Homilies on Leviticus and Vayikra Rabbah,” 85. 121. Rouwhorst (“Leviticus 12–15 in Early Christianity”) has provided a more detailed analysis and references.

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of ritual texts from the Hebrew Bible uses his particular exegetical method, focuses on key words, uses the Greek text of the LXX, departs from contemporary theological issues and concerns, and always seeks to edify his Christian readers.

Augustine:Theological Presuppositions and Exegetical Results Recent discussions of church history have emphasized the importance of regionalism and the ability to describe the history of Christianity not only in a linear form (that is, in a linear sense and following a progressive time line construct) but also in terms of understanding the historical and theological differences between distinct regions, cultures, and language groups. 122 All the representatives (Ignatius, Didache, and Origen) of early Christianity discussed so far have come from the east, which is also a reflection of the leadership of eastern thought in early Christian theology. However, Augustine (354–430 c.e.) is an exception to this general rule. 123 Augustine was born in Thagaste, a small Roman inland town in Numidia (modern Algeria), to a Christian mother and a non-Christian father. Although his family was not wealthy, he received a classical education due to the generous support of a local dignitary. After having taught rhetoric in Carthage (376–383 c.e.), Rome (383–384 c.e.), and Milan (384–386 c.e.), he converted to Christianity in 386 c.e. and returned to his native North Africa, where he became a priest. In 395 c.e., Augustine was made bishop of Hippo, a post he held for the rest of his life. He died in August 430 c.e., leaving an enormous corpus of writings. 124 The importance of Augustine’s thought can be felt profoundly into our own time. As Margaret Miles has observed: His powerful and rhetorically vivid description of the saga of humanity dominated the theological imagination of the Christian west from the medieval period forward. The institutions and attitudes of the west, both ecclesiastical and political, have formed around Augustine’s interpretation of original sin, sacramental grace, the unruliness of sexuality, and the natural world as flawed along with human nature. 125

122. Compare Adrian Hastings, “Introduction,” in A World History of Christianity (ed. Adrian Hastings; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 1–5. An application of the concept to the study of modern Protestantism in the U.S.A. can be found in Jerald C. Brauer, “Regionalism and Religion in America,” in Protestantism and Regionalism (ed. Martin E. Marty; Modern American Protestantism and Its World 7; Munich: Saur, 1992), 3–15. 123. Aland, History of Christianity: Volume 1, 134. 124. Compare Hastings, “150–550,” 54–58; Carol Harrison, “Augustine,” in OCCT, 52–55; and Margaret R. Miles, “Augustine,” in EEC, 148–54. 125. Ibid., 153.

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Augustine’s biblical hermeneutics provided the foundation for subsequent biblical interpretation in the medieval church and was profoundly christological. 126 He distinguished between a literal sense and a figurative meaning that points to Christ or his future advent. Thus, even passages from the Hebrew Bible that did not have an immediate literal significance needed to be understood figuratively and were applied to the church or the individual Christian. This set the stage for the four standard elements (or senses) of later medieval hermeneutics—namely, literal, allegorical, tropological (or moral), and anagogical senses of Scripture. The figurative (or allegorical) reading of a biblical text grew out of the classical education that most church fathers received as well as the conviction that every sentence from the Hebrew Bible, rightly understood, had something important to say to the Christian reader. Christian exegetes basically followed the method employed by teachers of grammar in the Roman Empire, including (1) the verification of the written text or textual criticism, (2) audible reading (which was not always an easy task due to the fact that most ancient manuscripts were written in continuous form), and (3) explanation (or exegesis), involving philology, etymology, and Scripture explaining Scripture. 127 Augustine did not write a systematic treatise (either a commentary or a homily) on the books of Leviticus and Numbers, where most of the prescriptive ritual texts of the Hebrew Bible can be found. However, scattered all over his writings one can find references to specific texts in Leviticus that are related to ritual. In many cases, Augustine explains the literal sense of a biblical text. Commenting on the introductory formula to the sin offering found in Lev 5:1, he affirms: 128 “But this particular meaning, since it is obscure, seems to need an explanation. For it seems to say that a man sins when someone swears falsely in his hearing and he knows that that man is swearing falsely and remains silent. He knows this, if he was a witness to this matter about which 126. The following remarks are based on James Samuel Preus, From Shadow to Promise: Old Testament Interpretation from Augustine to the Young Luther (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1969), 9–23. Additional material can be found in Michael Cameron, “The Christological Substructure of Augustine’s Figurative Exegesis,” in Augustine and the Bible (ed. and trans. Pamela Bright; The Bible through the Ages 2; Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999), 74–103. Compare David F. Wright, “Augustine: His Exegesis and Hermeneutics,” in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation, Volume I: From the Beginnings to the Middle Ages (until 1300), Part 1: Antiquity (ed. Magne Sæbø; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996), 701–30. 127. Joseph T. Lienhard, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (ACCS 3; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2001), xxiv–xxvii. Other important aspects of patristic biblical interpretation included the concept that the understanding of Scripture is a gift and requires a prayerful attitude, the theological concept that the Hebrew Bible should be understood entirely as a prophecy of Christ and, thus, that Christ is the key to it and that Scripture—if rightly understood—speaks directly to the interpreter and provides help in the quest for Christian holiness. 128. Leviticus 5:1 reads as follows: “If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter—if he does not tell it, he bears guilt” (nkjv).

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an oath was taken, either having seen it or having known about it.” 129 The quotation demonstrates Augustine’s interest in biblical law, probably due to the fact that as bishop of Hippo he spent hours daily adjudicating local lawsuits in the ecclesiastical court of Hippo. He also wrestled with the biblical text from a pastoral perspective. In order to avoid sinning, would one have to reveal the perjurer and, if yes, to whom? Augustine seems to recognize that biblical texts—and more particularly ritual texts—do not always contain all the necessary elements for direct contemporary application. He concludes his argument in an interesting way: But Scripture does not say here to whom this wrong should be made known— whether to the one to whom he swears, or to a priest or to someone who not only is unable to proceed against him by imposing a punishment but can even pray for him. It seems to me that one would free oneself even from the bond of sin if he reveals the fact to those who are able to help the perjurer rather than harm him, either by correcting him or by praying to God for him, if he himself uses the remedy of confession.130

His interest in legal texts of the Hebrew Bible and their theological and practical significance can also be found in the following quotation dealing with Lev 6:3: 131 Shall we therefore say that when it is written that whoever finds another man’s property of any kind that has been lost, should return it to him who has lost it, doesn’t pertain to us? Do not many other like things pertain whereby people learn to live piously and uprightly? Isn’t especially the Decalogue itself, which is contained in those two tablets of stone, apart from the carnal observance of the Sabbath, which signifies spiritual sanctification and rest?132

This statement needs to be seen in the light of the controversy between Pelagius and Augustine concerning the possibility of reaching perfection in the Christian life. Pelagius argued that is was possible and mandatory to strive toward and achieve perfection in the Christian life in the present while Augustine, refuting this notion, suggested that perfection could not be accomplished by human effort. 133 Both of them used similar exegetical methods but had 129. Quaest. Lev. 1. The translation can be found in Lienhard (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 168), who has provided a convenient collection of patristic commentary on selected parts of the Pentateuch. 130. Quaest. Lev. 1, translated in ibid. 131. Leviticus 6:3 states: “Or if he has found what was lost and lies concerning it, and swears falsely—in any one of these things that a man may do in which he sins” (nkjv). 132. Contra du. ep. Pelag. 3.10, translated in Lienhard, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 169. 133. The controversy marked a major point in Augustine’s theological development and seems to have erupted after 411 c.e. Compare Miles, “Augustine,” 151–52; and Aland, History of Christianity: Volume 1, 209–11.

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distinct theological points of departure and as a result reached opposite conclusions. 134 It is interesting to see Augustine’s exception of the Sabbath from the Decalogue and other levitical law. Commenting on the instructions concerning the Israelite feasts in the context of the Sabbath observance in Lev 23:7, he writes: The sabbath was given to the Jews to be observed literally, like the other things, as rites symbolically signifying something deeper. A particular kind of vacation, you see, was enjoined on them; mind you, carry out what that vacation signifies. A spiritual vacation, I mean, is tranquility of heart; but tranquility of heart issues from the serenity of a good conscience. So the person who really observes the sabbath is the one who doesn’t sin. This, after all, is the way the command was given to those who were commanded to observe the sabbath.135

Augustine introduces here for the first time the figurative exegesis so well known in the hermeneutics of the church fathers. The Jewish Sabbath had been partially abandoned in the Christian community over the previous centuries as a mark of distinction from Judaism. 136 Commenting on the indications found in Lev 12:3 concerning the cleansing ritual of a woman after childbirth, 137 Augustine provides an interesting argumentation for keeping the first day of the week (Sunday) holy: It was certainly not for nothing that the commandment was given for the child “to be circumcised on the eighth day”; it can only have been because the rock, the stone with which we are circumcised, was Christ. It was “with knives of rock” or stone that the people were circumcised [quoting Josh 5:2]; “now the rock was Christ” [quoting 1 Cor 10:4]. So why on the eighth day? Because in seven-day weeks the first is the same as the eighth; once you’ve completed the seven days, you are back at the first. The seventh is finished, the Lord is buried; we are back at the first, the Lord is raised up. The Lord’s resurrection, you see, promised us an eternal day and consecrated for us the Lord’s day. It’s called the Lord’s because it properly belongs to the Lord, because on it the Lord rose again.

134. Gerald Bonner, “Augustine, the Bible and the Pelagians,” in Augustine and the Bible (ed. and trans. Pamela Bright; The Bible through the Ages 2; Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999), 227–42. 135. Sermones 270.5. The translation has been taken from John E. Rotelle, ed., The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the Twenty-First Century. Sermons III/7 (230–272B) on the Liturgical Seasons (New Rochelle, NY: New City Press, 1993), 293. 136. See here Samuele Bacchiocchi, “The Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity,” in The Sabbath in Scripture and History (ed. Kenneth A. Strand; Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1982), 132–50; and also more recently Gerard Rouwhorst, “The Reception of the Jewish Sabbath in Early Christianity,” in Christian Feast and Festival: The Dynamics of Western Liturgy and Culture (ed. Paul Post et al.; LitCon 12; Leuven: Peeters, 2001), 223–66. 137. The biblical text reads as follows: “On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised” (nkjv).

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The rock has been restored to us; let those be circumcised who wish to say, “For we are the circumcision” [quoting Phil 3:3].138

It is again intriguing to see how Augustine argues for the validity of Sunday on the basis of a prescriptive ritual text. Using key-word strategies, he connects the rock being Christ to the flint knives for the communal circumcision ritual found in Josh 5:2. 139 In other words, based on Greek philology he reconstructs the “true meaning” of the text with a christological focus. While there are few quotations on specific rituals, Augustine’s interest in legal texts motivated him to read some of them in a literal way. As has already been seen, in texts that are not easily adaptable to the Christian community he reverts to figurative exegesis with a christological bent.

Looking Back: Summing It Up Summarizing the evidence of how the early church perceived, understood, and practiced biblical ritual texts is not an easy task. As already indicated, early Christianity was not a monolithic block but was in the process of standardization (both in theology as well as in practice) and was marked by considerable diversity. 140 This was due to geography, diverse cultures and traditions, and the process of canonization. Ritual texts, particularly the book of Leviticus, did not play a major role in the emerging church. 141 Other issues, such as church order, leadership, the beginning christological discussion, and other theological questions had higher priorities. Early interaction with ritual seems to have been rather hostile, as the frequent direct and indirect references to Judaizing elements in Ignatius of Antioch demonstrate. This led to a search for a new way of reading the Old Testament, as can be seen in Origen’s writings and the Alexandrian school in general. Our main source of ritual texts in the Hebrew Bible, Leviticus, did not reach the same level of importance as other Scripture in the early church, although one can note an increased output of commentaries dealing with the book from the end of the 3rd century c.e. onward. 142 It is also interesting to 138. Sermones 169.3, translated in Lienhard, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 179. 139. The LXX of Josh 5:2 uses the Greek adjective pevtrinoÍ, while 1 Cor 10:4 employs the noun pevtra. As is easily visible, both share the same root. 140. See here Paul F. Bradshaw, “Continuity and Change in Early Eucharistic Practice: Shifting Scholarly Perspectives,” in Continuity and Change in Christian Worship (ed. R. N. Swanson; SCH 35; Woodbridge, UK: Ecclesiastical History Society / Rochester, NY: Boydell, 1999), 1–17. 141. Rouwhorst, “Leviticus 12–15 in Early Christianity,” 182. 142. One should mention specifically Origen’s Homilies on Leviticus; Augustine’s Questions, and his Locutiones on the Heptateuch; the so-called Glaphyra of Cyril of Alexandria (375–444 c.e.); the Questions on the Octateuch by Theodoret of Cyprus (393–ca. 460 c.e.); and the Commentary of Hesychius of Jerusalem (died after 451 c.e.) on Leviticus (Rouwhorst, “Leviticus 12–15 in Early Christianity,” 183, and references there).

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note that from that time onward purity rules reappeared in Christianity, which seemed to be based on some passages in Lev 12–15 that were not interpreted entirely allegorically. 143 Especially the regulations governing sexual purity (Lev 12) are treated literally by Origen and other fathers of the apostolic church. For example, the Traditio Apostolica suggests that Christian couples should spit into their hands and with that spit on their fingers should cross themselves. All this had to be done between sexual intercourse and prayer, and would result in the recurrence of the gift of the Spirit and of baptism (32.21–23). 144 Two centuries later, Augustine in his prolific literary production employs a double approach to reading ritual texts. While reading some in a literal sense, he opts in other cases for an allegorical or figurative interpretation that focuses on Christ. Most of the figurative interpretation occurs when he is facing difficult texts.

Ritual in Medieval Christianity: On Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation From the 7th century c.e. on, medieval Christianity was shaped by distinct forces and events. Politically, after the demise of the Roman Empire and the subsequent fragmentation of Europe, a marked process of regionalization can be observed that was counteracted by the unifying religious policies adopted by the bishop of Rome. It was the church that endeavored to take the place of and fill the vacuum left by the destruction of the empire and the disappearance of civil power. 145 Until the arrival of the Carolingian kingdom and also following its fall, Europe was fragmented and divided into distinct regions governed by local nobility or clergy. In terms of mission, the Christian world was steadily advancing in the north but shrinking equally in the south, as the Muslim conquest continued. 146 Although Charlemagne began the “reconquest” of Spain in the later part of the 8th century c.e., it was not completed until 1492. In what follows we will take a look at the Venerable Bede from England as an early example of medieval learning. We will then consider a more general look at the function and use of ritual in medieval society.

143. Dorothea Wendebourg, “Die alttestamentlichen Reinheitsgesetze in der frühen Kirche,” ZKG 95 (1984): 156. 144. Ibid., 164. 145. Gerald L. Bray, “The Origins of the Christian State,” Chm 99 (1985): 25–40. 146. Benedicta Ward and G. R. Evans, “The Medieval West,” in A World History of Christianity (ed. Adrian Hastings; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 117.

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The Venerable Bede: Ritual in a Changing World The Venerable Bede was born in Northumbria, England, ca. 673 c.e., and joined the new monastery of St. Peter’s in Monkwearmouth at the age of seven. He lived all his life in the twin monastery of St. Paul’s, Jarrow, and died in 735 c.e. 147 Bede lived in a time of transition and relative peace in England and is considered one of the most influential figures in Western monasticism at the beginning of the medieval period. 148 He apparently never set foot out of Northumbria during his life and led a quiet life of teaching, writing, and occasional preaching. Today Bede is generally considered the father of English historiography, 149 although in his own times he was known more as an exegete and theologian. He did not develop the grand theological systematizations so characteristic of other theologians throughout the history of Christianity but produced an important body of exegetical and chronological works, including writings on the books of Revelation, the Catholic Epistles, Luke, Acts of the Apostles, Samuel, Isaiah, Genesis, Ezra-Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Kings, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Habakkuk. He was an interested linguist and, besides Latin, learned Greek and also knew some Hebrew. He was also well versed in the church fathers and their writings. As a matter of fact, in some of his commentaries he synthesizes and adapts earlier work done by them. Bede did not produce a commentary on Leviticus, but in his work On the Tabernacle (and elsewhere), dealing with the tabernacle description found in the book of Exodus, he includes quite a number of references that will provide a window on his perception and interpretation of ritual in the Hebrew Bible. His hermeneutics is modeled after the one practiced by the church fathers and follows a phrase-by-phrase exegesis of the book, from beginning to end. The practice of the monastic lectio divina (“divine reading”) involving the scrutiny of, meditation on, and application of Scripture to one’s life tends to atomize and fragment with little attention to the larger picture of the text. 150 He quotes Lev 6:9–13 in a section explaining the function and meaning of the altar of burnt offerings and its vessels in On the Tabernacle 2.11. The entire section is an application of the details of the description to the individual 147. Compare for more detailed information Henry Loyston Loyn, “Beda Venerabilis,” TRE 5:397–402; Michael P. McHugh, “Bede,” in EEC, 178–79; and George Hardin Brown, Bede the Venerable (Twayne’s English Authors Series 443; Boston: Twayne, 1987), 1–23. A good evaluation of Bede as a theologian can be found in Benedicta Ward, “Bede the Theologian,” in The Medieval Theologians (ed. G. R. Evans; Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), 57–64. 148. For a concise introduction to this period, see Ward and Evans, “The Medieval West.” 149. His opus magnum was completed in 731 c.e. under the title Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation (Lat. Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum). 150. G. H. Brown (Bede the Venerable, 42–61) has provided a very helpful discussion of the exegetical method employed by Bede.

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Christian. The altar designates “the hearts of the elect, which are consecrated as an offering for the sake of presenting the sacrifices of their good works to God.” 151 Concerning the four corners of the altar, Bede applies them to the mission of the Church, which “has spread throughout the four regions of the world. Surely, four horns are made [to come forth] from this altar when the hearts of the righteous are fortified with the four often-mentioned virtues, concerning which it is said in praise of Wisdom.” 152 The burnt offering is explained as a “good work performed with the burning fire of charity in the heart of any elect person who is devoted to God completely.” 153 After quoting the dress code for the priests in the Hebrew Bible in Lev 6:10, he suggests: The priest who offers the holocaust is the Lord who is himself accustomed to kindle in us the fire of his charity, and through it to make the sacrifices of our good actions acceptable to himself. And he is clothed in linen garments when he does these things because, in order that he may excite us to works of virtue, he sets before us the examples of his own incarnation, passion, and death, which can be signified by linen, as we have frequently said. (On the Tabernacle 2.11) 154

Bede provides no clue how he reaches these conclusions that appear so foreign to an interpreter of Scripture living in the 21st century. While it is not indicated by either quotations or allusions, it is possible that Bede was thinking of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the Christian Bible, where the high priestly ministry of Jesus in comparison to the earlier priesthood is one of the major themes. All ritual action, participants, and elements are allegorically applied to the present reality. Sacrifice has been transformed into good deeds that are acceptable to God. The clothing items mentioned in Lev 6:10 are interpreted in terms of the incarnation, passion, and death of Christ. Bede’s discussion of the ministry of the priests as found in Exod 28 demonstrates his method in general. After quoting Exod 28:1, he maintains: After the making of the tabernacle has been described, the priests who minister in it are subsequently ordained. Surely their ordination and vesture rightly pertain to the priests of the Church, so that everything in the adornment of their vestments there which was shining brightly on the outside is here understood spiritually as visible deep within, in the very thoughts of our priests, and as shining abroad gloriously in their deeds, which surpass those of the rest of the faithful in merit. (On the Tabernacle 3.2) 155

151. The Venerable Bede, Bede: On the Tabernacle (trans. Arthur G. Holder; Translated Texts for Historians 18; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1994), 86. 152. Ibid. 153. Ibid., 88. 154. Ibid. 155. Ibid., 109.

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He then continues to quote the description of the fire from heaven that devoured Aaron’s wayward sons Nadab and Abihu in Lev 10:1–2. This is not far from being a sign of our unhappy time, in which some who have attained positions as priests and teachers—merely to mention it is both distressing and sad enough—are consumed by the fire of heavenly vengeance because they prefer the fire of cupidity to the fire of heavenly love; their eternal damnation was figured by the temporal death of Aaron’s sons. (On the Tabernacle 3.2) 156

In both cases Bede provides hints about his exegetical method. The texts are to be understood “spiritually” or as a “figure.” Referring to illicit sexual relations of the clergy in his time, he also uses the literal fire of the biblical account and metaphorically interprets it as the “fire of cupidity.” Bede’s exposition of the table of showbread, the loaves and the incense referred to in Exod 25, is a useful example of the importance of numerology in medieval biblical interpretation. Numbers often played a key role in medieval exegesis since they provided a useful point of departure to connect with events, persons, or places that had no connection to the specific text. Pointing to Lev 24:5–9 as a helpful addition to the information about the 12 loaves on the table, he informs his readers about the following: In the first place, the figure of the twelve apostles is clearly foretold here in the very number of the loaves, for when the Lord appeared in flesh he chose them to be the first of those by whose ministry he gave the food of life to all nations. . . . The twelve loaves on the table of the tabernacle, then, are the twelve apostles and all those in the Church who follow their teaching; since until the end of time they do not cease to renew the people of God with the nourishment of the word, they are the twelve loaves of proposition which never depart from the table of the Lord. And those same loaves are properly ordered to be made not from just any flour but from the finest wheat, doubtless because all those who minister the word of life to others must first devote themselves to the fruits of virtue, so that they may commend by their actions those things that they counsel in their preaching. (On the Tabernacle 1.7) 157

Bede’s explanation of the 12 loaves is sequential. Starting with the equation that 12 loaves = 12 apostles, he later expands that definition and interprets it as 12 loaves = 12 apostles and “all those in the Church who follow their teachings,” which must have included in his mind the current priesthood. Bede’s allegorical interpretation has been shown from the few examples that we have studied. However, we should not forget that he wrote with a specific audience in mind, namely, monks, priests, and other clergy, and that his focus was mainly pastoral. Clearly, he was not concerned with reconstructing the reality and contextual meaning of a specific ritual found in the Hebrew 156. Ibid., 110. 157. Ibid., 28–29.

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Bible but wanted to see its significance for the contemporary church, although he warned against the overuse of the allegorical method: “Whoever expends effort on the allegorical sense should not leave the plain truth of history in allegorizing” (In Genesim 1.1). 158

Ritual in Medieval Christianity in General Medieval society in Europe was characterized by a clearly demarcated world view, in which everything and everybody had an appointed place. Ritual, ceremonies, symbolism, and ritualized behavior were of great importance both in the public sphere and in the religious. 159 The modern distinction between church and state was not part of the conceptual framework of society. The Christian religion permeated every major aspect of life, including the family, education, politics, and economy. Ecclesiology, that is, theological reflection about the role, function, and organization of the church, was extensively worked out for the first time. The Donation of Constantine, a forged text from the Carolingian period, believed to be genuine during the Middle Ages, gave the Church a dominant position—at least in theory. 160 This claim to supreme legislative and judicial power was asserted by individual popes such as Gregory VII (1073–1085 c.e.) and often caused tension. 161 One should not deduce that Christian medieval western Europe was a monolithic structure, spiritually regimented and strongly controlled. Western Christianity of that period showed significant variation in religiosity and spirituality as well as often-conflicting economic and political interests. However, the pyramid structure of society and of the religious system with the papacy at its top provided some sort of focal point. 162 Ritual played a major role in this interaction between religion and state, and it is curious to note that during the late Middle Ages (ca. 1350–1540 c.e.) ritual increased. 163 In a sense, ritual often functioned to engrain the existing order of things and was a major stabilizer of society. 158. Quoted in G. H. Brown, Bede the Venerable, 47. 159. David A. Warner (“Ritual and Memory in the Ottonian Reich: The Ceremony of Adventus,” Spec 76 [2001]: 255–83) has studied the ritual of Adventus in the Ottonian Empire, focusing on the role of ritual in politics and public life during the Middle Ages. 160. Ward and Evans, “The Medieval West,” 123. A concise review of the history of the papacy can be found in Bernhard Schimmelpfennig, The Papacy (trans. J. Siever; New York: Columbia University Press, 1992). More in-depth treatment is provided by the individual articles in Philippe Levillain, ed., The Papacy: An Encyclopedia (3 vols.; New York: Routledge, 2002). 161. See here the insightful work of R. N. Swanson, Church and Society in Late Medieval England (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989), especially ch. 7. 162. Idem, Religion and Devotion in Europe, c. 1215–c. 1515 (CMT; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 6–9. 163. Idem, Church and Society, 255, where the author suggests that “virtually a complete remodeling of the celebrations in the mid-fourteenth century, into a more elaborate performance than before” took place.

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While ritual and ritualized behavior were important to society, biblical interpretation of ritual texts did not appear to be a high priority for medieval theologians. For example, neither Anselm of Canterbury nor Thomas Aquinas included in their numerous publications specific works dealing with the interpretation of sections from the Hebrew Bible dealing with ritual. 164 Hermeneutics was dominated by the exegetical rule of the fourfold senses of Scripture that were believed to be absolutely essential for any who set themselves the task of interpreting Scripture. 165

Ritual in the Protestant Reformation: Focusing on the Distinctives The Protestant Reformation at the beginning of the 16th century challenged two important tenants of medieval Christianity. First, it terminated the era of the unitary Western church and began the era of denominations. 166 Second, it changed the way Scripture was approached, related to, and interpreted, particularly by providing access to it in the vernacular of the time. 167 This in turn opened up the way to renewed reflections about the way the Bible should be interpreted. The 14th and 15th centuries were by no means periods of religious lethargy or disinterest. Quite the opposite, they were an age of church-building, religious enthusiasm and fervor, and great religious art. 168 All these elements had a great impact on the social, political, and—obviously—religious landscape of Western Europe. As has been shown by Muller’s

164. Ludwig Hödl (“Anselm von Canterbury,” TRE 2:765–66) includes a catalog of the complete publications of Anselm and lists only one work (Epistola de sacrificio azymi et fermentati [Letter about the sacrifice of the unleavened and leavened bread]) that may be of significance for the present study. Thomas Aquinas focused mostly on doctrinal, systematic, and philosophical issues. He wrote a complete commentary on Job and partially completed ones on Jeremiah, Isaiah, Lamentations, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and some of Paul’s letters (see Otto Herrmann Pesch, “Thomas von Aquino/Thomismus/Neuthomismus,” TRE 33:433–74). 165. See here Henri de Lubac, Medieval Exegesis, Volume 1: The Four Senses of Scripture (trans. M. Sebanc; Ressourcement: Retrieval and Renewal in Catholic Thought; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans / Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1998). 166. See Swanson, Religion and Devotion in Europe, 3–6. The basic unity of Western Christianity had never been challenged in the centuries prior to the Reformation. The “catholic” (= worldwide) claim of Roman leadership also found its expression in the missionary activity of the church as well as in the Christianization of European colonies. 167. See Richard A. Muller, “Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation: The View from the Middle Ages,” in Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation: Essays Presented to David C. Steinmetz in Honor of His Sixtieth Birthday (ed. Richard A. Muller and John L. Thompson; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 3–22; Gerald L. Bray, Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 167, 190–204. 168. Andrew Pettegree, “Reformation and Counter-Reformation,” in A World History of Christianity (ed. Adrian Hastings; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 238–42.

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study of biblical interpretation in the era of the Reformation, early Protestant hermeneutics (as represented by the likes of Luther and Calvin) did not radically differ from the earlier medieval biblical interpretation models and should not be construed as a transition from precritical to modern “critical” exegesis. 169 Rather, it was a transition . . . from a precritical approach that could acknowledge spiritual senses of the text beyond the literal sense to a precritical approach that strove to locate spiritual meaning entirely in the literal sense. It was also a transition from a precritical approach that could distinguish (but seldom separated) scriptural meaning from traditional significance to an equally precritical approach that could identify, on occasion, wide diastrasis between Scripture and tradition while remaining within the traditional exegetical conversation.170

The phenomena of continuity and discontinuity visible in the area of biblical interpretation is also perceivable in the attitude of the Reformation era toward ritual practice, mostly in the context of Catholic liturgy. Scribner’s helpful review of historical incidents connected to this issue suggests four different ways in which Evangelical movements in Germany (and elsewhere) interacted with established church ritual. 171 First, there were incidents that involved ritual elements of society and church but did not aim directly at these elements, as can be seen in the godless folk who sang scandalous songs in the streets at Christmas and then tried to disrupt the liturgical singing of Christmas hymns by satirical parodies of them in the German town of Weissenhorn, near Augsburg, in 1524. 172 A second category of incidents involved the disturbance of Catholic cult or liturgy, which often appeared to be a kind of antiritual action, expressing disbelief in the efficacy or relevance of Catholic ceremonies. In Senden, near Neu-Ulm, on the Feast of the Ascension in 1527, thirteen men and a boy disrupted the reenactment of the Lord’s ascension into heaven, a ceremony that involved pulling a figure of the risen Christ up through a hole in the church roof. 173 A third category of incidents seems to have created some type of counterliturgy in terms of a parodied liturgy. Some examples of this involved mock processions in German towns or a mock ad-

169. Muller, “Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation,” 8–16. 170. Ibid., 14. 171. Robert W. Scribner, “Ritual and Reformation,” in The German People and the Reformation (ed. R. Po-Chia Hsia; Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988), 122–44. The following comments are based on Scribner’s study. The term Evangelical should not be confused with modern Evangelicalism; rather, it represents a less meaning-laden term than “Reformation movements.” See also Edward Muir, Ritual in Early Modern Europe (New Approaches to European History 11; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 155–98. 172. Scribner, “Ritual and Reformation,” 123. 173. Ibid.

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ministration of the last rites to a playacting sick man in Münster in 1534. 174 The fourth category of events involved iconoclasm within a ritual framework. For example, in Senftenberg in Albertine Saxony, an act of iconoclasm involving the defilement of images and processional carriers with filth and the replacement of an indulgence bull with a skull was reported in February of 1523. In this context the particular date is highly significant and supports the idea of a conscious ritual framework, since the event was reported on February 3, the day after the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin. Thus, a Feast of Purification was made impure. 175 All these examples suggest that the Evangelical movement employed ritual action, involving rite of passage, purification, scapegoat, and degradation rituals as a means of communicating Reformed theological thinking. As a result, for all its antiritualistic elements, the Reformation itself could be described in terms of a ritual process. 176 When one recognizes the important ritual culture of 16th-century Europe, the ritual mode of expression often involving iconoclasm or public ritual degradation or purification was a prime means of expressing some of the central ideas of the Reformation: rejection of papal religion as dangerous to salvation, the repudiation of various aspects of Catholic cult, and the rejection of various doctrines (including the doctrines of Transubstantiation and the Real Presence). As Scribner writes: “These ideas were not always expressed explicitly but are attested through deeds within ritual action, even if they sometimes take the form of anti-rituals. Still, there can be no doubt that the process was a ritual process for the participants. . . . People of the sixteenth century were probably not very theologically educated, but they were certainly well schooled in ritual behavior.” 177 Clearly, ritual not only was important in society and culture but it also played a major role in terms of the communication of new ideas and in this regard served the Evangelical movement in a significant way. As already noted in the discussion of the earlier, medieval period, a distinct difference can be noted between the stress placed on ritual in the daily or religious life of the period and the approach to biblical ritual texts. Prior to the Reformation, these texts were mostly off limits to the large majority of the people due to issues of physical access to written material and problems of language. The next section will allow a closer look into this issue in the life and work of one of the most important theological contributors to the Evangelical movement, the French reformer John Calvin.

174. Ibid., 124. 175. Ibid., 124–25. 176. Ibid., 126, 141–44. 177. Ibid., 141–42.

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John Calvin: The Theological Mastermind of the Reformation John Calvin (1509–1564) is known as the reformer of Geneva and one of the foremost theologians of the Reformation era. 178 French by birth, Calvin was sent to Paris for his education and was expected to enter the service of the church. However, his father’s plans changed, and Calvin was sent to Orléans and Bourges to study law. His father’s death in 1531 caused him to return to Paris, and he pursued the literary career of a classical scholar, publishing his first book in 1532. Sometime between 1532 and 1534, he passed the line separating humanistic Reform-Catholicism from the Reformation proper in what he called subita conversio, a “sudden/unexpected conversion.” 179 In 1536, during a detour on a journey from Paris to Strassbourg, the reformer William Farel enlisted his service in the cause of the Geneva Reformation. As a result Farel changed the course of Calvin’s life, forcing the reserved scholar to become a man of action. With the exception of one brief interruption, Calvin dedicated the rest of his life to the reform of Geneva. However, this administrative responsibility did not hinder his literary productivity. His output was overwhelmingly biblical, though it was anchored in his great doctrinal work, the Institutio Christianae Religionis. He produced commentaries on more than half of the books of the Hebrew Bible and covered all of the NT books, except 2 and 3 John and Revelation. In this sense he has been called the “father of modern biblical scholarship,” 180 a title that is, however, not universally accepted in recent scholarship. 181 Calvin broke new ground in the exegesis of the Hebrew Bible due to his attempt to interpret Scripture on its own terms, so much so that modern interpreters have sometimes spoken of two Calvins, the systematic theologian and the exegete. 182 Calvin had two major theological presuppositions in his exegetical work: first, he accepted the dual authorship of Scripture connecting divine inspiration and revelation with human writers. 183 In this sense he argued that “the intention of the Holy Spirit and that of the human writer are very closely related,” but that the intention of God has preference. 184 The 178. The following comments are based on B. A. Gerrish, “Calvin, John,” in The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (ed. Adrian Hastings et al.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 90–93; and Alexandre Ganoczy, “Calvin, John,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation (ed. Hans J. Hillerbrand; 4 vols.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 1:234–40. More details can be found in Willem Nijenhuis, “Calvin, Johannes,” TRE 7:568–92. 179. See Nijenhuis, ibid., 570. 180. Bray, Biblical Interpretation, 177–79. 181. See Muller, “Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation,” 8. 182. David L. Puckett, John Calvin’s Exegesis of the Old Testament (Columbia Series in Reformed Theology; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1995), 6–10. 183. Ibid., 25–37. 184. Ibid., 35.

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second important principle involved the unity of Scripture, especially regarding the relationship between the OT and the NT. 185 Together with earlier Christian writers, he interprets specific ritual elements of the Hebrew Bible as pointing toward Jesus Christ as the coming mediator. 186 A good illustration of this point can be found in Calvin’s comments on the rituals of purification after childbirth found in Lev 12. He suggests that the ritual 187 made reference to two main points: For, first, the Jews were reminded by it of the common corruption of our nature; and secondly, the remedy of the evil was set before them. There is little difficulty in understanding why a woman who has conceived and given birth to a child, should be pronounced unclean; viz. because the whole race of Adam is polluted and defiled, so that the woman already contracts uncleanness from the offspring which she bears in the womb, and is further contaminated by giving it birth. . . . Therefore God would by this rite teach His ancient people that all men are born accursed, and bring into the world with them an hereditary corruption which pollutes their very mothers. 188

Calvin continues to discuss the removal of the impurity from both the mother and the infant and suggests that circumcision and sacrifice functioned as symbols of cleansing and reminders of the true condition of the human race. 189 In his discussion of the required period of separation, Calvin again returns to the theme of original sin. Both wife and husband, “admonished by the sight, should learn to abhor and detest original sin.” 190 In his discussion of the laws of leprosy in Lev 13, Calvin demonstrates his linguistic and exegetical ability, admonishing that the regulations should not be spiritualized into intricate allegories while at the same time they are not to be taken as mere rules of hygiene. 191 He first states that the Hebrew term translated “leprosy” should be interpreted as a reference to skin disease in general. 192 He then focuses on the church’s use of the texts as a justification for the Roman Catholic priesthood to have legal jurisdiction. Behold how cleverly they accommodate a legal rite to our times! The mockery, however, is still more disgusting, when in another sense they extend to the whole 185. Ibid., 37–45. 186. Ibid., 39. The example is taken from Calvin’s comments on Lev 16:29. 187. Calvin refers to it as “ceremony.” 188. John Calvin, Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Form of a Harmony (trans. Charles William Bingham; 4 vols.; Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1843–55; reprint, 2 vols.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 1:499. 189. Ibid., 1:500. 190. Ibid., 1:501. Calvin correctly points out that the reference to the “sanctuary” in the biblical text indicates the court of the tabernacle and not the sanctuary proper. He thus demonstrates his ability to interpret contextually. 191. T. H. L. Parker, Calvin’s Old Testament Commentaries (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1986), 142. 192. Calvin, Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses, 2:13.

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tribe of priests what they have said to belong solely to the bishops; for, since the sin under which all labour is a spiritual leprosy, they thence infer that all are excluded from the congregation of the faithful until they shall have been purged and received by absolution, which they hold to be the common office of all the priests. 193

Calvin’s comments on the purification ritual described in Lev 14 are again noteworthy. Reflecting back on Lev 13 and the regulations concerning skin contamination, he emphasizes the fact that God abhors any type of uncleanness. He then distinguishes two major elements in the purification ritual, purification and thanksgiving. The office of cleansing is imposed on the priest; yet he is at the same time forbidden to cleanse any except those who are already pure and clean. In this, on the one hand, God claims for Himself the honour of the cure, lest men should assume it; and also establishes the discipline which He would have to reign in His Church. To make the matter clearer, it belongs to God only to forgive sins; what, then, remains to man, except to be the witness and herald of the grace which He confers? God’s minister can, therefore, absolve none whom God has not before absolved. 194

As with other rituals, Calvin suggests that priestly purification ceased at the coming of Christ and has a counterpart in excommunication and readmission to the Church. “And this is properly referred to [as the practice of] discipline, that whosoever has been once cast out of the holy congregation by public authority, must not be received again except upon professing penitence and a new life.” 195 Focusing on individual elements of the ritual, Calvin proposes that the rite of the two birds (Lev 14:4–7) shows that the cleansing from leprosy was a kind of resurrection. Two birds were placed before their eyes; the liberty of one was purchased by the blood of the other; because the former was not let go until it had been first dipped in the blood and the water. . . . The sevenfold repetition was intended to impress more deeply on men’s memories a continual meditation on God’s grace; for we know that by this number perfection is often expressed in Scripture.196

It is interesting to note that Calvin takes the different elements of the ritual literally, and then later on applies them to specific spiritual concepts appreciated from a Christian perspective. He thus seeks first to understand the basic literal meaning of the text followed by an application to the contemporary context. This in itself is something new in comparison with the work of the 193. Ibid., 2:15. 194. Ibid., 2:24–25. 195. Ibid., 2:25. 196. Ibid., 2:26.

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early fathers and some of the interpreters from the medieval period. Calvin emphasized three distinct but related phases in biblical interpretation, suggesting that, if any of these phases is omitted, the text will not be interpreted properly. The three phases are exegesis (represented by his commentaries), dogmatics (represented by his Institutio), and finally, preaching (represented by his sermons). 197 A good example of his scrupulous honesty and his commitment to the text itself (as coming before doctrine) is his comment on Gen 3:15, where he resisted the temptation to read a Christological meaning into the text. 198 The following two centuries were marked by religious wars, the aggressive Counter-Reformation movement of the Catholic Church, increasing Protestant orthodoxy, and the resurgence of (Reformation) scholasticism so characteristic of the confessional universities from the beginning of the 16th century to about 1800. 199 Colonial expansion into Latin America by the Catholic nations of Spain and Portugal and the consequent Christianization of these territories resulted in the integration of foreign ritual elements into standard Christian practice. 200 However, the next important change in outlook on ritual biblical texts occurred only in the context of the Enlightenment, at the end of the 18th century, which will be the focus of the following section. As has been seen, important changes in hermeneutical presuppositions and procedure resulted in significant modifications of the perception of ritual in religion in general.

Ritual in Theological Thought after the French Revolution The French Revolution, as the culminating point of the Age of Enlightenment at the end of the 18th century, marked an important turning point in biblical hermeneutics. It not only caused tremendous changes in world view and political outlook but also resulted in changed paradigms affecting every 197. Bray, Biblical Interpretation, 203. 198. See the detailed analysis found in Kathryn E. Greene-McCreight, Ad Litteram: How Augustine, Calvin, and Barth Read the “Plain Sense” of Genesis 1–3 (IST 5; New York: Peter Lang, 1999), 95–149, esp. 105–6. 199. A good introduction to the issue can be found in Antonie Vos, “Scholasticism and Reformation,” in Reformation and Scholasticism: An Ecumenical Enterprise (ed. Willem J. van Asselt and Eef Dekker; TSRPRT; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 99–119. On the issue of the Counter-Reformation, see Pettegree, “Reformation and Counter-Reformation,” 270–76. 200. For a general history of the Christian church in Latin America, see Adrian Hastings, “Latin America,” in A World History of Christianity (ed. Adrian Hastings; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 328–68. Concerning the amalgamation of (non-Christian) folk religion and Catholicism during the early process of Christianization, see William L. Wonderly, “The Indigenous Background of Religion in Latin America,” Practical Anthropology 14 (1967): 241–48. For a helpful introduction to the indigenous background of Marian devotion in Latin America, see Stephen Holler, “The Origins of Marian Devotion in Latin American Cultures in the United States,” Marian Studies 46 (1995): 108–27.

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conceivable area of human knowledge. Of particular interest is the significant influence it had on traditional biblical interpretation and the overall approach to hermeneutics. 201 The Enlightenment emphasized humanity’s inherent reasoning capacity. It criticized external authorities such as the Bible, the church, and the state. Besides its fundamental criticism of religion and the concept of revelation, it also “introduced new methods and new ways of thinking in philosophy, history, and science; evoked new themes, forms, and media in literature; and to a large extent shaped the face of the modern world.” 202 Biblical hermeneutics received an important impetus in that period, owing to the fact that scholars recognized (a) the importance of world view and presuppositions 203 and (b) the introduction of new methods of reading Scripture that consciously tried to bracket out issues of inspiration or revelation and thus proposed a reading of the biblical text as any other text. 204 As a result, an impressive array of new hermeneutical approaches dominated the “scientific” study of the Bible, including historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, tradition-historical criticism, and redaction criticism. 205 In this section we will look at the perception of biblical ritual in the influential work of Julius Wellhausen (1844–1918), who—building on the work and suggestions of earlier scholars—synthesized convincingly the individual elements into an overarching theory, generally known as the Documentary Hypothesis, which “virtually displaced earlier theories.” 206 This is not the place to 201. A concise introduction to the Age of Enlightenment (German Die Aufklärung) can be found in Colin Brown, “Enlightenment, The,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (ed. Walter A. Elwell; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 355–57; also, more recently, Norbert Rath, “Enlightenment,” in The Encyclopedia of Christianity (ed. Erwin Fahlbusch et al.; trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans / Leiden: Brill, 2001), 2:95–98. 202. Ibid., 95. 203. Naugle, Worldview, 310–21. 204. See Roy A. Harrisville and Walter Sundberg (The Bible in Modern Culture: Theology and Historical-Critical Method from Spinoza to Käsemann [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995], 10–31), who speak of a “war of worldviews” between precritical and historical-critical biblical scholarship. 205. An accessible introduction to the different hermeneutical approaches, including their presuppositions, main tools, and major representatives can be found in Steven L. McKenzie and Stephen R. Heynes, eds., To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application (rev. ed.; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1999), 17–121. A detailed and critical analysis of the presuppositions and epistemological foundations of these methodologies can be found in Raúl Kerbs, “El método histórico-crítico en teología: En busca de su estructura básica y de las interpretaciones filosóficas subyacentes (parte I),” DavarLogos 1 (2002): 105–23; idem, “El método histórico-crítico en teología: En busca de su estructura básica y de las interpretaciones filosóficas subyacentes (parte II),” DavarLogos 2 (2003): 1–27. 206. Bray, Biblical Interpretation, 276. For a concise appreciation and critique of Wellhausen’s contribution in the fields of hermeneutics and the history of Israelite religion, see Ronald E. Clements, “Wellhausen, Julius,” in Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (ed. Donald K. McKim; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998), 380–85; Jon D. Levenson, The Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, and Historical Criticism (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993), 10–15.

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discuss the strengths or weaknesses of Wellhausen’s hypothesis. However, Wellhausen’s evolutionary reconstruction of the Pentateuch’s literary history was in turn employed to reconstruct the historical course of Israel’s religious development. As a matter of fact, his desire to describe the history of IsraeliteJewish religion prompted him to work first on the development of the literary data. This should be seen as a tool to a particular end. Wellhausen’s influential work Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel 207 contained a detailed reconstruction of the major religious and political institutions of ancient Israel, suggesting an evolutionary process whereby simple forms of religion became increasingly elaborate and complex. His perception of biblical law as “a ghost that makes a noise indeed, but is not visible and really effects nothing” 208 may have been a remnant of his Protestant heritage and certainly influenced his negative evaluation of ritual. In Wellhausen’s mind, it was also a convenient distinguishing characteristic of legalistic Judaism and grace-based Christianity. As Gordon McConville observes: “Wellhausen depicts the course of Israel’s religious history as a decline from an early period when worship was spontaneous and free, untrammelled by regulations, to a later situation, culminating in the exile, when true spirituality was throttled by the need for a host of pedantic observations.” 209 It is enlightening to observe the manner of reasoning that Wellhausen employed. By first procuring a late, postexilic date for most of the ritual material (that is, the socalled “Priestly source”), he makes room for the central part of this hypothesis, the development from free and spiritual worship forms to complex, highly legislated ritual expressions of religious thought. One can perceive the possibilities of circular reasoning in this approach. The historical method employed by Wellhausen has been described very poignantly by Jewish scholar Jon Levenson: In short, Wellhausen decomposed the Torah into its constituent documents, reconstructed history from those components, and then endowed history with the normativity and canonicity that more traditional Protestants reserve for scripture. Biblical history replaces the Bible, but biblical history still demonstrates the validity of the biblical (that is, Pauline) economy of salvation and thus serves to preserve the literary context of the Hebrew Bible. . . . The historical context replaces the literary context, but without casting into doubt the anti-Judaic and antitoraitic thrust of PaulineLutheran theology. The Hebrew Bible remains only an “Old Testament.” 210 207. Julius Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel (Edinburgh: Black, 1885; repr., Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1973) is a translation of the revised edition of his earlier Geschichte Israels I, published in 1878. 208. Ibid., 3–4. 209. McConville, “The Place of Ritual,” 120. 210. Levenson, The Hebrew Bible, 15. For a recent discussion of Wellhausen’s perception of Judaism, see Reinhard Gregor Kratz, “Die Entstehung des Judentums: Zur Kontroverse zwischen E. Meyer und J. Wellhausen,” ZTK 95 (1998): 167–84.

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The results of Wellhausen’s method and critique of the ritual of the Hebrew Bible are plainly visible. During the following 100 years, most critical scholarship working on the ritual texts of Scripture focused predominantly on literary-critical issues of dating extant sources or fragments. In other words, instead of explaining the significance and dimensions of ritual in general and of ritual acts in particular, most commentators dedicated a disproportional amount of space to the discussion of the possible sources or likely historical reconstruction of the origin of the texts. In a review of major commentaries on Leviticus dating to between 1962 and 1993, I have documented this sourceoriented approach, which appears to have been replaced by recent works that are more interested in meaning than in hypothetical sources. 211 This is probably due to the following factors: First, pentateuchal criticism has experienced major revisions and criticism from within and without the discipline over the past 50 years, resulting in a lessening dependence on the “assured results” of earlier research. 212 Second, there has been a new and different focus on the literary qualities of the text in its own right and mostly detached from historical questions, which has led to an increased interest in both the meaning of the texts and their communication strategies. 213 Finally, the impetus of anthropology and sociology in the theoretical reflection about ritual in general has resulted in studies on biblical ritual that go beyond the surface meaning of the texts, seeking to comprehend the larger functional dimensions of ritual in their societal context. Some of these developments have already been discussed in ch. 4. The following section will focus on the treatment of ritual by a particular subgroup of current biblical scholarship, generally known as Evangelicalism and characterized by an elevated appreciation of the biblical text due to its concept of inspiration and revelation of Scripture. Since most evangelical scholars do not agree with the basic presuppositions of modern critical scholarship 214 but still interact and work in the academic workplace, their contact with biblical ritual will provide an interesting microcosmos.

Ritual in the Modern and Postmodern Age: A View from Evangelicalism As can be seen from recent programs of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, evangelical biblical scholars are interacting with their 211. See my Comparative Study, 70–89. See also ch. 4 above. 212. See here for more references Bill T. Arnold, “Pentateuchal Criticism, History of,” DOTP, 622–31. 213. See here Wenham, “Pondering the Pentateuch,” 139–44; John H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative: A Biblical-Theological Commentary (LBI; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 1–37. 214. For example, Grant R. Osborne, “Historical Criticism and the Evangelical,” JETS 42 (1999): 193–210; and earlier, Moisés Silva, “‘Can Two Walk Together Unless They Be Agreed?’ Evangelical Theology and Biblical Scholarship,” JETS 41 (1998): 3–16; and Eta Linnemann, Historical Criticism of the Bible: Methodology or Ideology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990).

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more critical peers in almost every aspect of biblical and theological research. 215 However, based on a critical evaluation of important evangelical journals, the topic of ritual or ritual study is not very prevalent in conservative scholarship. 216 A review of 1,043 articles published in major conservative journals 217 between 1990 and 1999 showed sobering results regarding the interaction of evangelical biblical and theological scholarship with ritual and ritual texts. This is particularly surprising in view of the fact that mainstream scholarship has made tremendous advances in dealing with biblical ritual and ritual in general over the past 30 years. Only 84 articles (= 8.05%) contained any reference to “ritual.” At first sight this does not seem to be such a bad ratio, especially in view of the fact that ritual texts and ritual studies represent only one aspect of the broad spectrum of biblical genres and theological topics. 218 However, when looking more closely at the content and use of the references, one immediately notes a different scenario. Figure 4 illustrates the situation graphically, not just in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality in relation to quantity. Out of the 1,043 reviewed articles, 959 (= 91.94%) do not contain any reference to “ritual.” Sixty-seven articles (= 6.42%) mention the term but do so in a nontechnical way, often assuming concepts without introducing them. Most examples found in this group mention the term ritual only in a cursory way and, interestingly enough, a large quantity also occur in the context of NT studies, where the dichotomy between salvation by “ritual” and salvation by faith is assumed in most of the standard references discussing Paul’s theology or his controversy with the so-called “Judaizers.” Very seldom is this dichotomy discussed in an adequate way. The distinction is presupposed and 215. See also Mark A. Noll, Between Faith and Criticism: Evangelicals, Scholarship, and the Bible (2nd ed.; Leicester: Apollos, 1991), 186–202. One can easily find dozens of presentations of confessedly evangelical scholars in the many sessions presented during every annual congress. Additionally, evangelical scholars produce notable and original contributions in other professional societies, especially the American Schools of Oriental Research (whose president is a SeventhDay Adventist scholar), the American Oriental Society, and the Society of Old Testament Studies. Conservative professional societies, such as the British Tyndale Fellowship and the U.S. Institute for Biblical Research, provide venues for important research during annual meetings and are well known through their research journals, the Tyndale Bulletin and the Bulletin for Biblical Research, the latter published by Eisenbrauns. 216. The following comments are based on my detailed analysis in “Between Law and Grace,” 46–63. 217. It should be noted that I use the terms conservative and evangelical interchangeably. The following journals were included in the review, in alphabetical order: Andrews University Seminary Studies (1990–1999), Bibliotheca Sacra (1990–1999), Emmaus Journal (1991–1999), Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (1990–1999), Trinity Journal (1990–1998), and the Westminster Theological Journal (1990–1999). There are obviously additional conservative academic journals, but the results of this review should be considered representative. 218. Others include legal texts, prophetic texts, historiographical narratives, apocalyptic literature, genealogical texts, and so on.

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Fig. 4. Ritual in Evangelical Academic Publications, 1990–1999.

has developed a life of its own, having become some type of accepted assumption among NT scholars. 219 Based on the implemented qualitative analysis of the references to ritual, only 13 articles (= 1.24%) could be classified as containing important references to ritual, while not focusing in their totality on ritual. 220 Three of these articles belong to the field of missiology and practical theology, while 1 study 219. For the particular references, see my “Between Law and Grace,” 49–51. 220. These articles include the following, ordered alphabetically according to journals: Andrews University Seminary Studies: Ángel M. Rodríguez, “Leviticus 16: Its Literary Structure,” AUSS 34 (1996): 269–86. Bibliotheca Sacra: H. Wayne House, “Resurrection, Reincarnation, and Humanness,” BSac 148 (1991): 131–50; David J. MacLeod, “The Present Work of Christ in Hebrews,” BSac 148 (1991): 184–200; Jerry M. Hullinger, “The Problem of Animal Sacrifices in Ezekiel 40–48,” BSac 152 (1995): 279–89. Emmaus Journal: David J. MacLeod, “The Primacy of Scripture and the Church,” EJ 6 (1997): 43–96. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society: Terence Kleven, “Hebrew Style in 2 Samuel 6,” JETS 35 (1992): 299–314; Meredith G. Kline, “The Feast of CoverOver,” JETS 37 (1994): 497–510; Betty Talbert-Wettler, “Secular Feminist Religious Metaphor and Christianity,” JETS 38 (1995): 77–92; John W. Hilber, “Theology of Worship in Exodus 24,” JETS 39 (1996): 177–89; William D. Spencer, “Christ’s Sacrifice as Apologetic: An Application of Heb 10:1–18,” JETS 40 (1997): 189–97; Bruce R. Reichenbach, “‘By His Stripes We Are Healed’,” JETS 41 (1998): 551–60. Trinity Journal: David A. deSilva, “The ‘Image of the Beast’ and the Christians in Asia Minor: Escalation of Sectarian Tension in Revelation 13,” TJ 12 (1991): 185–208. Westminster Theological Journal: Theodore A. Turnau III, “Speaking in a Broken Tongue: Postmodernism, Principled Pluralism, and the Rehabilitation of Public Moral Discourse,” WTJ 56 (1994): 345–77.

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should be classified as belonging to the field of historical/systematic theology. By the far the highest quantity of references to ritual can be found in the biblical studies section, involving studies of the Day of Atonement in Lev 16 and in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Revelation 13 and Ezek 40–48 also are discussed. 221 Only 4 studies (= 0.38%) deal with ritual in a systematic and technical way. All except 1 belong to the category of Hebrew Bible studies, which is understandable in view of the fact that most of the ritual textual data of Scripture are found in the Hebrew Bible. In the following, I will briefly introduce these 4 studies, followed by a general evaluation of the data. Roy Gane’s comparative study of the macrostructure of ancient Near Eastern Sancta purification days concerns the structure of these rituals. He distinguishes between regular (“daily”), festival, and special subrites that are constructed into a day for purifying the sanctuary of the respective culture. 222 He indicates both comparable and distinct elements and traits of these complex rituals. Gane finishes on a historical note, suggesting that the comparable structure actually could be used as an argument for the antiquity of the Israelite Day of Atonement as described in Lev 16. He does not discuss a specific underlying theory of ritual—perhaps he assumes that it will be automatically understood by his audience. Duane Christensen writes from a unique perspective. 223 His concern is the canonical process and more specifically the demonstration of this process in the book of Psalms. However, his contribution to ritual study—which apparently has nothing to do with the process of canonization—involves a comparative ritual from 19th-century North American Indians (Iroquois). It involves specific rites of intensification. Christensen concludes by comparing the canonization process of the Hebrew Bible (and more particularly the book of Psalms) with the structure and oral transmission of the Code of Handsome Lake. However, while looking over the rim of traditional biblical studies, he does not provide an adequate theoretical basis for ritual. Another helpful example of the importance of ritual studies for exegesis and theology can be found in David Howard’s discussion of the recurring three-day period ( Josh 1:11, 2:22, 3:2) in Josh 1–3. 224 He provides an extensive discussion of specific ritual actions in the context of the chronological framework of these three chapters, suggesting that the first three chapters of 221. A more detailed analysis of each individual study can be found in my “Between Law and Grace,” 53–55. 222. Roy E. Gane, “Schedules for Deities: Macrostructure of Israelite, Babylonian, and Hittite Sancta Purification Days,” AUSS 36 (1998): 231–44. 223. Duane L. Christensen, “The Book of Psalms within the Canonical Process in Ancient Israel,” JETS 39 (1996): 421–32. 224. David M. Howard Jr., “‘Three Days’ in Joshua 1–3: Resolving a Chronological Conundrum,” JETS 41 (1998): 539–50.

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Joshua are mainly “concerned with proper ritual and cultic concerns.” 225 Howard’s discussion is helpful in establishing a viable chronology for these chapters but also provides an important marker to highlight the interaction between traditional exegesis and ritual studies. Howard does not elaborate on specific theoretical aspects of ritual but presupposes that the reader has a clear understanding of this term. The final important study was published by Peter Leithart in 1997 and deals with the interaction between the Eucharist and culture. 226 Leithart suggests that the traditional discussion of the Eucharist in terms of what is represented and how it works is too limited and is based on past historical contexts. Modern anthropology “has explored how rituals express, reinforce, and even constitute the values and structures of a community.” 227 Leithart demonstrates in his presentation a good understanding of the basic concepts of ritual theory. Of all the reviewed publications, this is the only one that deals with the theory of ritual in a conservative evangelical context. However, Leithart only refers to these models and does not interact with them or advance them. Looking at this meager evidence, one wonders why conservative scholarship interacts so little with ritual and ritual studies, particularly when one considers the fact that nearly 20% of the Pentateuch could be considered ritual texts. 228 While there is increased interaction between ritual studies and biblical studies in mainstream scholarship, evangelicals seem not to be aware of this development or opt to publish their studies on biblical ritual in professional journals unconnected to the evangelical movement, or in essay collections, commentaries, or monographs. I can see five possible reasons why ritual studies are the stepchild of 21stcentury conservative scholarship. Most of these explanations can be reached by a careful reading of the mind-set of evangelical scholars in the context of postmodernism, as is visible in the research thrust, methodologies, and theological presuppositions. First, as already observed by Gordon McConville in 1981, legislation on ritual is often “quietly and piously consigned to oblivion.” 229 This was—in his

225. Ibid., 545. These include covenant renovation rituals, purification/preparation rituals, Passover celebration, and so on. 226. Peter J. Leithart, “The Way Things Really Ought to Be: Eucharist, Eschatology, and Culture,” WTJ 59 (1997): 159–76. 227. Ibid., 161. 228. See my “El género olvidado”; more precisely, the analysis of appendix A of this volume. Out of 5,852 verses composing the five books of the Pentateuch, 1,165 verses should be considered as belonging to ritual texts, which approximates 19.90% or roughly 1/5 of the Pentateuch. 229. McConville, “The Place of Ritual,” 120.

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opinion—(and still is) mainly due to the perceived “barbaric” nature of some of these rites and the underlying evolutionary theological concept of development from primitive religion to some type of higher religion that does not require the spilling of blood or any other rituals to achieve reconciliation. Somehow, Evangelicalism is caught between law and grace, focusing on the latter at the expense of the former. 230 Evangelicals claim a strong heritage of early Protestantism, and it might just be this Protestant bias against biblical ritual that is coming to the surface. As has already been shown, Julius Wellhausen, a Protestant, codeveloped the now (in)famous Neue Dokumentenhypothese in order to synthesize a religious system of Israelite religion that was acceptable to Protestant theology 231 and clearly stood against Judaism and its supposed accompanying legalism. 232 Second, relevance is in vogue these days. Worship needs to be “relevant.” Meditation and Scripture reading, preaching, and mission need to be relevant. So, when discussing ritual texts from a far-removed time period, people often raise the question of relevance. Frequently, the explicit “nonhuman” nature of cultic and ritual texts makes them difficult to penetrate. The often technical and repetitive language challenges both the biblical scholar and the lay reader. Third, there appears to be a distinct bias in NT studies against ritual. Ritual is viewed as “dead,” “legalistic,” and connected to a type of Judaism that was always confronting the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. As a result, a certain dichotomy between the Hebrew Bible law/ritual and NT grace/freedom 230. Similar explanations can be found in Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual, 8; and Jenson, Graded Holiness, 16–19. 231. See here the references in ibid., 16 n. 2. Compare Cees Houtman, Der Pentateuch, 113, where the author writes: “Es ist offensichtlich, dass Wellhausen auch im dritten Hauptteil nachweisen will, dass die Religion des alten Israels von Freiheit, Natürlichkeit und Spontanität bestimmt wird und dass erst mit dem Aufkommen des Gesetzes zur Zeit Josias der Übergang zum Judentum stattfindet, in dem sich die Gesetzesreligion dann zum Gegenpol zur Religion des alten Israels entwickelt.” 232. See Greg C. Chirichigno, “A Theological Investigation of Motivation in Old Testament Law,” JETS 24 (1981): 306 n. 15: “This interpretation can be found in Alt, ‘Origins,’ 84–85. Wenham, Numbers, 27–28, examines the prejudice that has prevented much discussion concerning the significance of OT ritual, particularly the sacrificial system. He critiques J. Wellhausen’s work, Prolegomena to the History of Israel (1878), noting two presuppositions that run through it. The first is that Freedom and spontaneity are good (early), the second that organization and ritual are bad (late). Such presuppositions have affected Evangelicals, who fail to realize the significance of ritual and minimize the importance of form and organization in both religious and secular callings.” Chirichigno is referring to the works of Albrecht Alt, “The Origins of Israelite Law,” Essays on Old Testament History and Religion (trans. R. A. Wilson; Oxford: Blackwell, 1966), 81–132; and Gordon J. Wenham, Numbers: An Introduction and Commentary (TOTC 4; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1981).

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is postulated that does not necessary reflect scriptural realities. 233 New Testament ritual exists and does not include only baptism and communion. In order to understand the structure and message of NT texts, one needs to grasp their frequent ritual focus. A good example of the importance of this issue has been presented by the various publications of K. C. Hanson. 234 Fourth, another reason for the devaluation of ritual studies in evangelical scholarship might be the prophetic critique of ritual. 235 However, prophetic critique did not represent a discontinuity of the earlier legal and cultic traditions, as has been demonstrated repeatedly in recent scholarship. 236 Finally, one major issue connected with world view rather than specific exegetical presuppositions should not go unnoticed. Most of us are children of modernism. However, modernism’s emphasis on the concrete, countable, and visible does not provide a fertile ground for studying and understanding rituals that functioned in a premodern society with different values such as community, hierarchy, faith, order, tradition, and so on. 237 In other words, it is difficult for us who have been brought up in a culture where we want to count and reason before we believe and feel to delve into biblical ritual, which is only present in written form and cannot be observed. Further, it belongs to a cultural stream far removed from our present experience. While this does not preclude fruitful interaction with modern ritual studies of Scripture, it makes it much more difficult. Because I have lived in Africa and in South America, it is enlightening to me to see how “simple,” often-“under-educated” lay members handle and understand ritual texts from the Hebrew Bible that would only cause raised eyebrows and a quick but determined flip of the page in a modern Western church context.

233. A good example of this tendency can be seen in the discussion of Rom 10:4. See Roberto Badenas, Christ the End of the Law: Romans 10.4 in Pauline Perspective ( JSNTSup 10; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985), 7–36, for a history of research. A recent evangelical exegetical commentary by Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans (BECNT 6; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), interprets the term in question as “end” instead of “goal,” thus following long-established traditional lines of argumentation. 234. K. C. Hanson, “Transformed on the Mountain: Ritual Analysis and the Gospel of Matthew,” Semeia 67 (1994 [1995]): 147–70; idem, “Sin, Purification, and Group Process,” in Problems in Biblical Theology: Essays in Honor of Rolf Knierim (ed. Henry T. C. Sun et al.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 167–91. 235. See the comprehensive discussion above in this chapter and also Jenson, Graded Holiness, 17. 236. See Robert P. Gordon, “A Story of Two Paradigm Shifts,” in “The Place Is Too Small for Us”: The Israelite Prophets in Recent Scholarship (ed. Robert P. Gordon; SBTS 5; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995), 9–12, esp. p. 12, where he writes: “Generally speaking, the notion of a fundamental opposition between prophecy and cult has fallen into disfavor in modern Old Testament scholarship.” 237. Some good observations can be found in Darrell Jodock, The Church’s Bible: Its Contemporary Authority (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989), 15–20, 34–42, 72–84.

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In Retrospect The review of how ritual in Scripture has been interpreted throughout different historical periods has been little more than a survey. As indicated at the beginning of this chapter, this review should only be understood as a probe of some of the more important periods and interpreters. As was to be expected, the issue of the interpretation of ritual texts cannot be separated from the larger hermeneutical discussion. Therefore, in a sense, this brief assessment also provided some interesting windows into the development of biblical hermeneutics. Future endeavors in this area should try to look beyond the main proponents or dominant schools, in order to see how the periphery dealt with ritual in general and biblical ritual in particular. 238 How does Indian or African Christianity perceive and interpret biblical ritual texts? How would a Christian from Papua New Guinea read the Day of Atonement ritual in Lev 16? Notwithstanding the outline character of this review, several observations can be made. First, the prophetic critique of divinely ordained ritual prescriptions (such as sacrifice) suggests the importance of the interaction between practice and motivation. As has been pointed out by McConville, “the Old Testament analogies nowhere support an ex opera operato view of the sacraments.” 239 That means, practically, that the performance of a specific ritual action cannot be viewed as isolated from the surrounding, larger conceptual and theological framework. The fair treatment of weaker members of society is not far removed from offering sacrifices to Yhwh. Second, the many interactions with cultic material in the later period of Israelite history and later on during the intertestamental period indicate the importance of ritual in these societies. Ritual was something that moved people, led to critique (one can think of the Qumran critique of official temple ritual) or alternative practices, but was always there. Third, the interpretation of biblical ritual is closely connected to hermeneutics in general. In consequence, important changes in the general practice of hermeneutics also brought about changes in ritual interpretation. This is most strikingly visible in the allegorical interpretation of ritual by Philo and later Christian interpreters. 238. The idea of the globalization of hermeneutics should be taken into account in this context. Western interpretation of Christianity or Scripture cannot be the only voice in academics. See here, for example, Craig L. Blomberg, “The Globalization of Hermeneutics,” JETS 38 (1995): 581–93; Heikki Räisänen et al., eds., Reading the Bible in the Global Village: Helsinki (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000); and Musa W. Dube, “Villagizing, Globalizing, and Biblical Studies,” in Reading the Bible in the Global Village: Cape Town (ed. Justin S. Ukpong et al.; GPBS 3; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002), 41–63. In this context, the innovative global church history by Adrian Hastings that has been used throughout this chapter should be lauded. 239. McConville, “The Place of Ritual,” 129.

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Fourth, ritual interpretation was affected not only by hermeneutical changes but also by changes in world view. Wellhausen’s evolutionary paradigm of religious development should be seen as a parallel to the developments in the natural sciences introduced by Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Theological considerations (such as the relationship between law and grace) are also important in this context and appear to have influenced the way evangelical scholarship views biblical ritual.

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Reading Ritual: Strategies and Trigger Points Ritual Reading Strategies This section will look in a more detailed manner at the specifics of ritual in Scripture. More to the point, it will develop and discuss a set of elements that should be considered when attempting a comprehensive interpretation of any ritual. These elements are typical not only of biblical ritual but of any sort of ritual. Generally, all elements are present although not always equally represented in the written record. The often abbreviated nature of ritual texts needs to be taken into consideration. The way the elements work together as a whole provides helpful indications for the overall meaning and function of the ritual in the larger historical and/or religious context. Basic linguistics could be used as a helpful metaphor for the reading and understanding of ritual. 1 Ritual morphology involves the smallest units of a ritual, such as time, space, acts, required situation, sounds, and so on, and can be described individually. Ritual syntax involves the interaction of these morphological elements, looking at the position, emphasis, or lack thereof. Ritual semantics can be described as the sum of morphology and syntax and aims at meaning. Finally, ritual pragmatics involves the larger cultural, historical, and religious context of the ritual. It looks at the overall function of the ritual in the religious system. What did people understand? What did they actually see and hear? What made sense to them? Was this understood by everybody or just an elite or specialized group? Ritual pragmatics seems to be the element most difficult to determine of the four mentioned, since it requires feedback, and in a world of written texts no verbal interaction is possible. The lack of fieldwork must be taken into consideration in this context. A possible solution to this issue can be found in intertextuality, which may provide a helpful—albeit limited—tool to discover ritual pragmatics, 2 since it studies how later writers 1. Bell (Ritual, 68–72) has provided a succinct history of interpretation concerning the comparison between linguistic categories and ritual. See also Lawson and McCauley (Rethinking Religion, 68), who propose an analogy between linguistics (more precisely, generative grammar) and religious ritual systems. They suggest that both the speaker of language and the participant of ritual have an intuitional knowledge of the structure of the involved elements. 2. For a helpful introduction to intertextuality and its practical applications, see Kirsten Nielson, “Intertexuality and Hebrew Bible,” in Congress Volume: Oslo, 1998 (ed. André Lemaire and

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Fig. 5. Interpretive Process of Innerritual Analysis.

reused (and thus understood) an earlier text or motif. However, very few studies involving the specific application of intertextual studies to earlier ritual texts have been published. 3 Ideally, a study of the semantics of ritual includes nine specific elements, which we will deal with in this book: (1) required situation and context of the ritual that triggers it; (2) structure of the ritual; (3) form, order, and sequence of the ritual; (4) ritual space; (5) ritual time; (6) involved objects; (7) ritual actions; (8) ritual participants and their roles; and (9) ritual sound and language.

M. Sæbø; VTSup 80; Leiden: Brill, 2000), 17–31; and Patricia Tull, “Intertextuality and the Hebrew Scriptures,” CurBS 8 (2000): 59–90. 3. An exception can be found in Charlotte Fonrobert, “The Woman with a Blood-Flow (Mark 5.24–34) Revisited: Menstrual Laws and Jewish Culture in Christian Feminist Hermeneutics,” in Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel: Investigations and Proposals (ed. Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders; JSNTSup 148/SSEJC 5; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 121–40.

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Fig. 6. Partial Interpretive Process of Innerritual Analysis.

Figure 5 provides a graphical illustration of the interpretive process of innerritual analysis. 4 As can be seen, there is a direct relationship between the morphology (= smallest components of ritual) and the semantics of the ritual. Some interpreters have suggested that the idea of neatly divided ritual components or elements is questionable since it introduces a interpretive framework which may actually violate the ritual under consideration by imposing foreign categories. 5 This is true when one approaches ritual with a fixed model of ritual 4. The development of the list of components of ritual is indebted to Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual, 20–37; and Jenson, Graded Holiness, in the area of biblical studies. However, one of most important leaders in ritual studies outside the realm of biblical studies has been Ronald L. Grimes. See his components of ritual, especially in Beginnings in Ritual Studies (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1982), 19–39, 64–67; and idem, Research in Ritual Studies: A Programmatic Essay and Bibliography (ATLA Bibliography Series 14; Metuchen, NJ: American Theological Library Association / London: Scarecrow, 1985), 37–68. 5. See the reference in Grimes, Beginnings in Ritual Studies, 19–20.

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and its function(s). However, the components as introduced in this section are not a way of ordering or structuring ritual but a way of describing it. In other words, the ritual elements used here emerge from the ritual itself, and their systematic description is intended to actualize and recognize what is already there. For example, not all elements are always uniformly described in the ritual text. Sometimes, one or two elements dominate the textual description/prescription at the expense of other elements. Figure 6 (p. 129) provides a visual illustration of this situation. As can be seen, it is possible that a biblical ritual text will not contain sufficient information for a meaningful discussion of all identified components. For example, the overall structure of the ritual may not be sufficiently detailed in the text. The texts also may not describe adequately the distinct ritual locations or present all the ritual actions involved. In fig. 6, the affected elements appear lighter. This does not mean that no information at all can be gleaned from the text but that the information does not appear to be complete. Often, the reason that specific elements are present but others are not is directly connected to the literary strategies employed by the author/editor of the text under consideration and is not necessarily an indication that a ritual lacked vital elements. Every ritual has participants and actions, is rooted in time and place, follows a specific sequence, and so on. This principle will be demonstrated in a brief review of the abbreviated altar-construction rituals found in Genesis. However, before we can do this, another important reading strategy should be introduced. Due to the sometimes limited or abbreviated information about a ritual, an innerritual analysis may not be possible, and a look at the larger biblical context may provide parallel texts that detail the same (or a similar) class of ritual and may provide insights into the performance of the ritual being studied. For example, the extremely abbreviated altar-construction rituals in Genesis 6 do not provide a complete sequence of the actions involved in the ritual in all references. Furthermore, not all rituals contain the complete information about time and space. Whereas Gen 8:20 indicates that Noah built an altar after exiting the ark, took from all the clean animals and birds, and presented burnt offerings on the altar, Gen 12:7 only describes the first part of the ritual, the construction of the altar. The following altar-construction ritual, in Gen 12:8, adds an important element: Abraham not only builds the altar but “calls upon the name of Yhwh” (wayyiqraª bésem yhwh). Genesis 13:18 contains the same abbreviated description as found in Gen 12:7, while Gen 22:9 is much more detailed, including information about the exact procedure of putting wood on the altar, the binding of Isaac as the supposed sacrifice, and his position on the altar on top of the wood. In the context of the narrative of Gen 22, the more detailed 6. See Gen 8:20 (2x); 12:7, 8; 13:18; 22:9 (2x); 26:25; and 35:7.

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description of the altar-construction ritual is certainly due to literary strategies employed by the author/editor of this chapter. The verse is part and parcel of a threefold dialogue-action sequence found in Gen 22:1–13. 7 The dialogue functions as a “zooming-in” device and results in the reader’s perception of “slow motion.” The tension mounts and the reader wonders if Abraham will really execute the divine order. 8 Genesis 26:25 follows the same structure as Gen 12:8, involving the altar construction and calling on the name of Yhwh. Genesis 35:7 describes Jacob’s return to Canaan. In the place where Yhwh gave him a vision and renewed the promise given to Abraham (Gen 28:11–15), an altar is built. The verse contains an interesting additional piece of information. While no sacrificial or other cultic activity (such as “calling upon the name of Yhwh”) is mentioned, Jacob names the place. Regarding these altar-construction rituals described in Genesis, innerritual analysis generally provides only extremely abbreviated information. Looking at the larger innerbiblical context furnishes additional examples that are helpful in trying to understand the meaning of a specific ritual. Other options would include extrabiblical comparative material, 9 although the innerbiblical comparative material should always take precedence over the extrabiblical comparative material. Figure 7 illustrates the suggested reading strategy for biblical ritual in the larger context of ANE ritual and again employs terminology borrowed from the field of linguistics. The description/prescription of a ritual text (both biblical and extrabiblical) permits innerritual and innerbiblical interpretive strategies (as, for example, the nine categories introduced above) to function as a sieve, sifting through the textual data and systematizing them according to the suggested components. In the process, the semantics of a specific ritual should become clearer. Elements that are highlighted by the author/editor and thus provide 7. See, recently, Marcos R. Paseggi (“Lazos de sangre: Una aproximación literaria a la Aqueda,” DavarLogos 1 [2002]: 43–61, esp. 56), who suggests the following division: (1) dialogue (vv. 1–2): divine order § action (vv. 3–6): preparation for journey and refrain wayyilkû, “and the two walked together”; (2) dialogue (vv. 7–8): conversation between father and son § action (vv. 9–10): arrival, construction of altar and preparation for sacrifice; (3) dialogue (vv. 11–12): divine messenger communicates divine order of not sacrificing Isaac § action (v. 13): substitution of ram for Isaac and sacrifice of ram. 8. See also the important study of Archibald L. H. M. van Wieringen, “The Reader in Genesis 22:1–19: Textsyntax – Textsemantics – Textpragmatics,” EstBib 53 (1995): 289–304, esp. 303. 9. In this particular case, it is difficult to find comparative material due to the fact that in the surrounding ANE cultures (such as Egypt and Mesopotamia) altars were not as common and should instead be understood as offering tables where particular gifts to the deity were placed. Concerning the use and function of Egyptian altars and offering tables, see R. Hölzl, Ägyptische Altäre, Opfertafeln und Kultbecken (Ph.D. diss., University of Vienna, 1995). In Palestine itself there are many examples of different altar types in the material culture. The bibliography on the subject is vast. A good introduction to the topic can be found in Stendebach, “Altarformen im kanaanäisch-israelitischen Raum.”

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Fig. 7. Interpretive Strategy of Ritual Morphology, Semantics, Syntax, and Pragmatics in a Comparative Framework.

an important perspective on his/her priorities as well as the evidence of the innerritual analysis will provide hints with regard to its function in the larger religious and cultural context (§ ritual syntax and pragmatics). However, it may be useful to look at other, comparable rituals from cultures stemming from a related historical and geographical stream of tradition. Ancient Near Eastern rituals are studied using the same categories and employing innerritual as well as innercultural reading strategies. After one has grasped the overall meaning, the resulting data should be compared and contrasted. 10 Similarities and dif10. See Hallo, “New Moon and Sabbath,” 1–3; idem, “Compare and Contrast.”

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ferences should be evaluated, and the resulting picture should provide data useful to the understanding of the biblical data. It must be noted that this does not represent a theological bias toward the biblical material 11 but is due to the fact that the purpose of the exercise is the comprehension of biblical ritual. Often a comparative reading strategy is not immediately possible due to a lack of access to the primary sources. Ideally, the primary sources should be read in their original language, which is not always possible with Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Ugaritic, or Egyptian texts. However, the recent spate of updated translations facilitates the work even for nonspecialists. 12 A basic familiarity with both Hebrew and Greek seems to be necessary if the results of the component analysis are to be meaningful. Too often, translation techniques or strategies of modern translations gloss over distinct terminology, especially when one is looking at the technical language of ritual texts found in the Hebrew Bible. 13

11. Compare Malul (Studies in Mesopotamian Legal Symbolism, 4), who has lamented the (in his opinion) “basic bias or distortion of the facts. . . . This bias results from the tendency to perceive the equation as always one between the Old Testament, on the one hand, and the rest of the outside world from the viewpoint of the Old Testament, on the other.” It is clear that Mesopotamian and Egyptian cultures had a much longer trajectory and influence in the ANE in general than biblical Israel. This can easily be appreciated merely by observing the amount of material data available from both regions. A certain theological bias cannot be negated in most cases anyway, especially in view of the fact that three major world religions consider the Hebrew Bible to be canonical at least to some extent. However, in the context of our present focus on biblical ritual, it is not cultural or religious arrogance or bias that causes us to focus first and foremost on biblical ritual but the nature and layout of this study. 12. The three-volume set Context of Scripture (ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger Jr.; Leiden: Brill, 1997–2002) has replaced the venerable Ancient Near Eastern Texts (ed. James B. Pritchard; 3rd ed.; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969). Other useful translations of extrabiblical religious (or ritual) texts include Dennis Pardee, Ritual and Cult at Ugarit (WAW 10; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002); and other important volumes in the Writings from the Ancient World series published by the Society of Biblical Literature. For scholars able to read French, the definitive edition of Ugaritic ritual texts (including a transliteration and French translations of the texts, together with philological notes) is found in Dennis Pardee, Les Textes Rituels: Fascicule 1–2 (Ras Shamra–Ougarit 12; Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 2000). 13. Many recent studies have highlighted the interpretive character of translations, including ancient translations such as the Septuagint, Targums, or the Peshitta. See, for example, Cécile Dogniez, “The Greek Renderings of Hebrew Idiomatic Expressions and Their Treatment in the Septuagint Lexica,” JNSL 28 (2002): 1–17; or Benjamin G. Wright III, “The Jewish Scriptures in Greek: The Septuagint in the Context of Ancient Translation Activity,” in Biblical Translation in Context (ed. Frederick W. Knobloch; STJHC 10; Bethesda, MD: University Press of Maryland, 2002), 3–18. For an evaluation of modern evangelical translations, see Tremper Longman III, “Accuracy and Readability: Warring Impulses in Evangelical Translation Tradition,” in Biblical Translation in Context (ed. Frederick W. Knobloch; STJHC 10; Bethesda, MD: University Press of Maryland, 2002), 165–75.

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We are now ready to tackle the first ritual element. Once the reading and decoding strategies are clear and the reader can handle the biblical text in the original languages, it is time to look at the text. One should opt for recent critical editions of both the Hebrew Bible and the NT 14 that include the critical apparatus, detailing important textual variants. 15 While the main focus of ritual study is not complete exegetical work, care should be taken to base one’s observation on a solid textual foundation.

Ritual Triggers: Required Situation and Context Ritual does not happen in a vacuum or a black hole. Generally, it occurs in a specific context and often represents the collective (or individual) response to a particular situation. Some rituals represent the response to a specific event in the life of an individual or community. Others appear as highly conventionalized markers in life.

Rites of Passage: Separation-Transition-Incorporation Rites of passage provide a good example of a ritual trigger. 16 Anthropologist Arnold van Gennep introduced the term into ritual studies in his seminal work published in French in 1909 and described rites of passage as demonstrating a transitional character. They are intended to pass an individual or an entire community from one social reality into another. Van Gennep categorized different rites (and subrites) according to their functions and effects. Figure 8 illustrates this point.

14. Karl Elliger and W. Rudolph, eds., Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1977); Barbara Aland and Kurt Aland, Greek New Testament, Updated to Include Textual Variants from Papyri 98–116 (4th ed.; New York: American Bible Society, 2002). 15. A concise introduction to text-critical issues of Scripture can be found in Carmel McCarthy, “Text and Versions: The Old Testament,” in The Biblical World (ed. John Barton; 2 vols.; London: Routledge, 2002), 1:207–28; and David Parker, “Text and Versions: The New Testament,” in The Biblical World (ed. John Barton; London: Routledge, 2002), 1:229–49. A more technical discussion of the subject and the undisputed standard work is Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (2nd ed.; Minneapolis: Fortress / Assen: Van Gorcum, 2001). A good practical application of the discipline of textual criticism for nonspecialists and pastors can be found in Robert B. Chisholm Jr., From Exegesis to Exposition: Practical Guide to Using Biblical Hebrew (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 13–29. A good introduction to text-critical issues of the NT can be found in David Alan Black, New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994). 16. The literature on rites of passage is vast. As a good introduction, see van Gennep, The Rites of Passage; Barbara G. Myerhoff, Lina A. Camino, and Edith Turner, “Rites of Passage: Overview,” ER 12:380–86; Victor W. Turner, “Rites of Passage: A Few Definitions,” ER 12:386–87; and Bell, Ritual, 93–102.

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Fig. 8. Basic Structure of Rites of Passage according to van Gennep. Coming-of-age rituals, marriage rituals, and funeral rituals are generally considered rites of passage, since they mark the passage of one state (§ bachelor/bachelorette state) to another (§ married state) and contain elements of separation, transition, and incorporation. Gorman has suggested that the marginal or liminal state (§ transition) is the crucial element of a rite of passage. 17 Victor Turner distinguishes between two basic types of rites of passage: (1) rites that accompany the passage of a person from one social status to another and (2) rites that mark recognized points in the passage of time, such as new year, new moon, Passover, and so forth. The crucial liminal state is characterized by a suspension of normal society structures, the reversal of status that reflects the breakdown of order, and the creation of communitas, 18 resulting in some type of bonding independent of class, rank, wealth, or social status. The liminal state breaks down the normal order of society and reconstructs a new state of order at the end of the ritual. The triggering factor for a rite of passage may be a certain age, such as the age required for the male initiation rite of circumcision found in the Hebrew Bible. Genesis 17:12 stipulates the specific time for this rite of passage as eight days. 19 However, some passages describe circumcision at a much later age, generally as a response to a specific covenant stipulation or as part of a reform movement. After this stipulation is introduced by Yhwh, who is the divine participant in this covenant agreement, Abraham circumcises himself (at 99 years of age), his son Ishmael (at 13 years of age), and all the male members of his household, irrespective of their age (Gen 17:23–27). After crossing the Jordan, prior to the initiation of the conquest, Joshua circumcises all Israelite males, since the earlier generation had died in the desert ( Josh 5:3–8). This ritual should be understood as a communal rite of passage for the Israelites, renewing the covenant relationship with Yhwh. 20 Communally, they separate 17. Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual, 53; V. W. Turner, The Ritual Process, 80–118, 155–93. 18. V. W. Turner, ibid., 80–82, 155–57, and 82–84, respectively. The term communitas was coined by Turner. 19. BHS has here ûben sémonat yamîm, “the son of eight days.” See also Gen 21:4 and Lev 12:3. 20. It is noteworthy to observe that the preceding chapter of Joshua describes the construction of a twelve-stone monument as a memorial to the miraculous crossing of the Jordan ( Josh 4:20–24), while the section following the circumcision depicts the celebration of the Passover, another significant covenant element, full of ritual elements ( Josh 5:10–11). Recently, the communal dimension of the construction (and subsequent memorial function) of the stone monument

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from the 40-year nomadic desert experience and celebrate the Passover in anticipation of Yhwh’s deliverance. However, they have not yet acquired a recognized social standing in Palestine, since the conquest is still in the future. It appears that, within the context of Joshua, the circumcision ritual as part of a larger communal rite of passage is triggered by an imminent change in status and the experience of the liminal—both common elements in rites of passage.

Life-Cycle Markers: Feasting and Fasting Feast cycles are other triggers for rituals. Cultic calendars are well known throughout the ANE and are in general directly connected to monthly or yearly cycles, which in turn connect to seasons and their changes. 21 “Calendars identified individual months by the most prominent religious rites shared by the community during that season and lunar cycle. Over time traditional month names outlasted the priority of rites first linked to them, while political and commercial forces led to standardization of regional calendars.” 22 In the Hebrew Bible specific môºådê yhwh, “appointed times of Yhwh” (Lev 23:2, 4, 37; Ezra 3:5), are mentioned in the context of seasonal festivals. 23 These included the Passover (Lev 23:5), the seven days of unleavened bread has been discussed by Robert L. Hubbard Jr., “‘What Do These Stones Mean?’: Biblical Theology and a Motif in Joshua,” BBR 11 (2001): 1–26, esp. 3–12. Hubbard did not, however, pursue the ritual dimension of the event that is so clearly embedded in ritual acts (circumcision and the celebration of the Passover). A very good discussion of the rite of circumcision in general and metaphorical use (and abuse) by later authors and translators can be found in Jason S. DeRouchie, “Circumcision in the Hebrew Bible and Targums: Theology, Rhetoric, and the Handling of Metaphor,” BBR 14 (2004): 175–203. 21. For a helpful introduction to ANE cultic calendars concentrating particularly on Mesopotamia and Syria, see Mark E. Cohen, The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East (Bethesda, MD: CDL, 1993). For the interesting calendrical evidence from Emar, see Daniel E. Fleming, Time at Emar: The Cultic Calendar and the Rituals from the Diviner’s Archive (MC 11; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000); and also Murray R. Adamthwaite, “A Twin Calendrical System at Emar and Its Implications for the Israelite Calendar,” ANES 37 (2000): 164–82. Adamthwaite argues that at Emar two parallel calendars operated, one “civil” and one “cultic.” This was suspected by earlier scholars (Donn F. Morgan, “Calendar,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4 vols.; rev. ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982], 1:576–77). Edwin R. Thiele (The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings [rev. ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983], 44–46, 51–53) calls this the Tishri-year and the Nisan-year. 22. Fleming, Time at Emar, 8. 23. This particular phrase occurs only in the biblical texts referred to above. See Ella D. Isaacs and David F. Payne, “Feasts,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4 vols.; rev. ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982], 2:294–95. Exodus 23:14–17 seems to contain an abbreviated version of the Israelite cultic calendar, emphasizing three main festivals: (1) the seven days of unleavened bread, which most likely included the Passover ritual at the beginning, (2) the general harvest feast of first fruits, (3) and the final harvest feast at the end of the agricultural cycle. Interestingly, these feasts are described as ˙ag, “festival gathering, feast.” Perhaps a distinction between ˙ag and môºed was made, where ˙ag described a specific subgroup of divinely appointed times. Other relevant sections in the HB detailing the Israelite festival calendar include Num 28–29 and Deut 16.

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(Lev 23:6–8), the Feast of Weeks celebrating the wheat harvest (Lev 23:10–14), a general harvest feast (Lev 23:16, 33–36), the blowing of trumpets (Lev 23:24– 25), and the Day of Atonement ten days later (Lev 23:27–32). The Feast of Tabernacles followed five days later and lasted seven days (Lev 23:34). Each of these “appointed times” triggered specific ritual events, such as sacrifices, fasting, ritual washings, ritual movement involving changed living conditions, specific ritual sounds, and so on. 24 Some of these festival events were connected to specific historical events (for example, the Passover’s relationship to the Exodus motif ), while others were associated with the yearly agricultural cycle. Some were connected to both. In addition to the annual festival cycle, Israelite religion required a communal tamîd, 25 “daily/continual,” offering every morning and evening (Exod 29:38–42, Num 28:1–8). The tamîd had a collective aspect since its results would benefit all members of Israel, regardless of sex, 26 age, or status. Another recurring sacred time that was not tied to the movement of heavenly bodies or the natural rhythms of life was the seven-day week concluding with the Sabbath (Exod 20:8–11, Deut 5:12–15), which was apparently a distinctive Israelite observance that cannot be specifically linked to other ANE religious practices. 27 No explicit activities are prescribed; rather, it is the absence of activity 24. The importance of feasts in ritual studies has been shown in various recent contributions, including André Droogers (“Feasts: A View from Cultural Anthropology,” in Christian Feast and Festival: The Dynamics of Western Liturgy and Culture [ed. Paul Post et al.; LitCon 12; Leuven: Peeters, 2001], 79–96), who discusses the connection between ritual and feast. Paul Post’s essay in the same collection argues that feasts should be more integrated in liturgical studies research designs (“Introduction and Application: Feast as a Key Concept in a Liturgical Studies Research Design,” in Christian Feast and Festival: The Dynamics of Western Liturgy and Culture [ed. Paul Post et al.; LitCon 12; Leuven: Peeters, 2001], 47–77). 25. The term is generally thought to be a technical abbreviation for the ºolat tamîd, “continual burnt offering,” mentioned in Exod 29:42. The term appears prominently in Dan 8:11, 12, 13; 11:31; 12:11, and has spawned numerous publications. See Johan Lust, “Cult and Sacrifice in Daniel: The Tamid and the Abomination of Desolation,” in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the International Conference Organized by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven from the 17th to the 20th April of 1991 (ed. J. Quaegebeur; OLA 55; Leuven: Peeters, 1993), 283–99. 26. Recently also Georg Braulik (“Were Women, Too, Allowed to Offer Sacrifices in Israel? Observations on the Meaning and Festive Form of Sacrifice in Deuteronomy,” HvTSt 55 [1999]: 909–42), who concludes that women were part of the larger ritual group of participants and should thus be considered partakers in the offering of sacrifices. 27. On this see Hallo, “New Moons and Sabbaths,” 15–17; and more recently, idem, Origins: The Ancient Near Eastern Background of Some Modern Western Institutions (SHCANE 6; Leiden: Brill, 1996), 127–35. A general introduction to the Sabbath in the Hebrew Bible can be found in Niels-Erik A. Andreasen, The Old Testament Sabbath: A Tradition-Historical Investigation (SBLDS 7; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1972). Seven-day periods as part of important ritual or festival activity are well known in the ANE. The dedication of the Temple of Nin-Girsu at Girsu by Gudea of Lagash lasted seven days (see “The Cylinders of Gudea,” translated by Richard E. Averbeck [COS 2:155, p. 432]). Similarly, the ordination ritual of the nin.dingir of dim from Emar also contained an

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that becomes the paradigm for Sabbath observance. The pentateuchal laws do not stipulate specific activities for the Sabbath, although it should be noted that all major festivals are connected or anchored to a Sabbath (see Lev 23:3, 7, 8, 21, 25, 28–32, 35–36, 38–39), stipulating similar rest and abstention from work as the seventh-day Sabbath. The Sabbath is connected to both creation (Exod 20:11, 31:17; cf. Gen 2:1–3) and liberation (Deut 5:14–15), 28 thus linking theology to justice. This has also been observed by William Hallo: The sabbatical concept in its biblical form is fundamentally an expression of social or socio-economic justice and natural (I would almost say: ecological) equity. The inviolate recurrence of a day of rest is ordained in the context of the commandments to work the other six; the sabbatical year is part and parcel of a planned agricultural economy; the jubilee definitely serves to preserve the independence of the small farmer in the face of an emerging urban-royal society.29

The Sabbath legislation of the Pentateuch does not provide a detailed prescription for its “performance” besides the fact that the believer and his house 30 are to sanctify it (léqaddésô, “in order to keep it holy” [Exod 20:8]), abstain from work (Exod 20:10), and follow the divine example of resting (verbal root nûa˙, “rest” [Exod 20:11, Gen 2:2–3]). In reviewing the innerbiblical data, one encounters three specific references in the Hebrew Bible connecting the Sabbath with specific worship instructions: 31 Num 28:9–10 details the specific Sabbath sacrifice (ºolat sabbat) that is to be offered in addition to the tamîd of that day (Num 28:10). The title of Psalm 92 indicates that this particular song should be sung on the Sabbath day. 32 While the titles of psalms were not necessarily part of the original text, important seven-day period (“The Installation of the Storm God’s High Priestess,” translated by Daniel Fleming [COS 1:122, pp. 429–30]), as did the mourning period for the deceased King Shulgi of Ur (see Hallo, Origins, 128 n. 53). Recently, Stefan Maul published an Old Babylonian text from Sippar that prescribes a special ritual for the 7th, the 14th, and possibly the 21st of the month. See Stefan M. Maul, “Gottesdienst im Sonnenheiligtum zu Sippar,” in Munuscula Mesopotamica: Festschrift für Johannes Renger (ed. Barbara Böck, Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum, and Thomas Richter; AOAT 267; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1999), 293–314. I am indebted to Richard Hess for bringing this reference to my attention. 28. Both themes have been developed in more detail in Gerhard F. Hasel, “The Sabbath in the Pentateuch,” in The Sabbath in Scripture and History (ed. Kenneth A. Strand; Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1982), 21–43. See also Samuel A. Meier, “The Sabbath and Purification Cycles,” in The Sabbath in Jewish and Christian Traditions (ed. Tamara C. Eshkenazi et al.; New York: Crossroad, 1991), 4. 29. Hallo, “New Moons and Sabbaths,” 15–16. 30. Note the communal aspect of the Sabbath. Compare my “Entre individualismo y colectivismo,” 8–19. 31. See here also Heather A. McKay, “New Moon or Sabbath?” in The Sabbath in Jewish and Christian Traditions (ed. Tamara C. Eshkenazi et al.; New York: Crossroad, 1991), 16. 32. Psalm 92:1 reads in Hebrew: mizmôr sîr léyôm hassabbat, “Psalm, a song for the Sabbath day.”

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it seems that they were incorporated by Hebrew scribes from early times onward and were included in the Masoretic Text. Ancient translations such as the LXX and the Vulgate also included them in their translation—sometimes with significant alterations. 33 They provide an important window into the early history of interpretation of the Psalms and their use in the lives of the people both individually and communally. 34 The last reference in the Hebrew Bible mentioning the Sabbath in terms of actual worship is Ezek 46:3. The people of the land are to bow down (hista˙åwû) at the entrance of the gate before the Lord, both on Sabbaths and on the new moon celebrations. Three ritually important elements are mentioned: location, time, and specific actions. However, Ezek 40–48 is a notoriously difficult section of the Hebrew Bible since it involves the prophet’s vision concerning the restored community including specific subsets focusing on the restored temple (Ezek 40:1–42:20), Yhwh’s return to his sanctuary (Ezek 43:1–12), the vision of restored worship (Ezek 43:13–46:24), the vision of the river flowing from the throne (Ezek 47:1– 12), and the vision of the new boundaries of the land (Ezek 47:13–48:35). 35 Opinion is divided about whether these visions describe a theological idea that never became a historical reality or whether they should be understood in symbolic terms, either as a symbol that worship was at the heart of world culture 36 or as a symbol pointing to an eschatological kingdom. 37 However, while the implied worshiping action at the entrance of the gate can be imagined in the context of the religion of the Hebrew Bible, 38 the uncertain interpretation of the larger context would suggest that this specific verse is to be disregarded—at least in terms of a historical reconstruction of Sabbath ritual/ worship. A final note concerning a particular ritual aspect of the seven-day week culminating in the seventh day of rest should be included here: While not always 33. The LXX, for example, designates Ps 24 for Sunday (“first day of the week”), Ps 94 for Wednesday, and Ps 93 for Friday. See James Limburg, “Psalms, Book of,” ABD 5:528. 34. Ibid. So also Luis Alonso Schökel and C. Carniti, Salmos I (Salmos 1–72): Traducción, introduciones y comentario (NBE; Estella: Verbo Divino, 1992), 20. 35. Helpful specific comments can be found in the commentaries of Lamar Eugene Cooper Sr., Ezekiel (NAC 17; Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994); or Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 25–48 (NICOT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998). 36. Steven Shawn Tuell, The Law of the Temple in Ezekiel 40–48 (HSM 49; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), 175–78. 37. See Cooper, Ezekiel, 352–53, for more references. Dispensationalist literalism and projection into the future add another facet to the many interpretations suggested for Ezek 40–48. See, in terms of a brief introduction, Jerry M. Hullinger, “The Problem of Animal Sacrifices in Ezekiel 40–48,” BSac 152 (1995): 279–89. 38. The liminal nature of the location is self-evident. For a discussion of the entrance to the tabernacle during the ritual ordination, see my “Ritual Space in the Ordination Ritual of Leviticus 8,” JNSL 21 (1995): 61–62.

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Fig. 9. Linear Perspective of Relationship Problem–Ritual–Solution.

connected directly to the Sabbath, this particular unit of time is used in the majority of its occurrences in the Hebrew Bible in ritual/cultic contexts and is often connected to mourning rites (Gen 50:10), the priestly ordination ritual (Exod 29:30, 35–37; Lev 8:33–35), purification rites (Lev 12:2 [woman ceremonially unclean after giving birth to a son]; 13:4–5, 21–54; 14:8, 38 [separation period when skin disease is suspected]; 15:13 [person with bodily discharges], and other places), and particular feasts (Exod 12:15–19, 13:6–7, 23:15; and so on). 39

Ritual as Problem Solver Ritual is often directly connected to a specific problem. As a result, ritual performance is intended to resolve the underlying problem or conflict. The relationship between problem and ritual can be illustrated graphically. Obviously, fig. 9 presents an ideal procedure, in which the ritual provides a solution to the initial problem. This is not always the case and sometimes there is a solution but with reservations. Some examples from Scripture will further illustrate this point. An important element of Israelite religion was the sacrificial theology described in the Hebrew Bible. 40 While I do not subscribe to a general theory of sacrifice, 41 sacrifice is definitely a way to create, maintain, and restore a specific order. Its benefits are felt by the larger community or by an individual. 42 When a person sins, inadvertently 39. A complete list of references to the seven-day period and their specific usage can be found in my “Ritual Time in Leviticus 8 with Special Reference to the Seven-Day Period in the Old Testament,” ZAW 109 (1997): 500–513. 40. See here Philip P. Jenson, “The Levitical Sacrificial System,” in Sacrifice in the Bible (ed. Roger T. Beckwith and Martin J. Selman; Carlisle: Paternoster / Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 25– 40. Other important studies include Gary A. Anderson, “Sacrifice and Sacrificial Offerings (OT),” ABD 5:870–86; Willi-Plein, Opfer und Kult, 71–95; Schenker, Versöhnung und Sühne, 81–119; Kiuchi, Purification Offering, passim; idem, Study of Óa†aª and Óa††aªt, passim. Concerning the interaction of sacrifice, ritual theory, and culture in the context of the Hebrew Bible, see the innovative study by Ronald S. Hendel, “Sacrifice as a Cultural System: The Ritual Symbolism of Exodus 24:3–8,” ZAW 101 (1989): 366–90. 41. Anderson (“Sacrifice and Sacrificial Offerings [OT],” 872) emphasizes the multivalent nature of sacrifice. 42. For the community, see the tamîd that concerned the people as a whole.

spread is 3 points long

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(ségagâ) 43 breaking any of Yhwh’s laws, a specific sacrifice needs to be offered in order to restore the individual back into the community (Lev 4:2). Distinctions are made for various social groups: the sinning priest as well as the entire community have to sacrifice a bull (Lev 4:3, 14), the erring ruler (na¶îª) must sacrifice a male goat (Lev 4:22–23), and the individual Israelite 44 has to offer a female goat (Lev 4:27–28) or a female sheep (Lev 4:32). Much paper and considerable amounts of ink have been devoted to describing and distinguishing the specific characteristics of the Israelite sacrificial system. No new theory should be added here. However, in view of our main interest, biblical ritual, the effect of the rituals involved is noteworthy. As has been suggested by Jenson, the creation, maintenance, and restoration of a specific order or equilibrium was of the utmost importance. Once the ˙a††aªt offering 45 and its associated subrites had been offered, the guilty party was reinstated in the community and also enjoyed divine acceptance. However, in light of the Day of Atonement ritual (Lev 16), the purification of the guilty party was only proleptic, since a yearly cleansing of the sanctuary was required 46 that removed the sins of the Israelites that had de facto “stained” the sanctuary. 47 43. A very helpful discussion of the spectrum of moral faults can be found in Roy E. Gane, “Numbers 15:22–31 and the Spectrum of Moral Faults,” in Inicios, fundamentos y paradigmas: Estudios teológicos y exegéticos en el Pentateuco (ed. Gerald A. Klingbeil; SMEBT 1; Libertador San Martín: Editorial Universidad Adventista del Plata, 2004), 149–56. Gane distinguishes three levels of moral faults: (1) least serious inadvertent sins (Num 15:22–29), (2) intermediate nondefiant sins (Lev 5; Num 5), and (3) most serious defiant sins (Num 15:30–31). 44. The MT reads literally: weªim nepes ªa˙at te˙é†aª bisgagâ meºam haªareß, “and if a soul from the people of the land sins inadvertently” (Lev 4:27). 45. The term has traditionally been translated “sin offering.” New research has proposed “purification offering” as an alternative (Milgrom, Studies in Cultic Theology, 67), a suggestion followed by most modern scholars. Most recently, Kiuchi (Study of Óa†aª and Óa††aªt, 25–26) has suggested the translation “hiding oneself offering,” based on the use of the verbal form of the root. Kiuchi’s suggestion is original, but it ultimately hinges on the introduction of a psychological criteria of different levels of consciousness (or unconsciousness), which is rather subjective. Compare the critical remarks found in Reinhard Achenbach, “Review of Nobuyoshi Kiuchi, A Study of Óa†aª and Óa††aªt in Leviticus 4–5,” in RBL (2006), http://www.bookreviews.org. 46. Leviticus 16:16 reads literally: wékipper ºal haqqodes mi†umªot bénê yi¶raªel ûmippisºehem lékol ˙a††oªtam, “and he makes expiation over the sanctuary from the uncleanness of the sons of Israel and from their transgressions according to all their sins.” 47. There is a tremendous amount of important literature on this subject, including Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, Substitution in the Hebrew Cultus and in Cultic-Related Texts (AUSDDS 3; Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1979); Janowski, Sühne als Heilsgeschehen; Jürgens, Heiligkeit und Versöhnung; Gane, Cult and Character; Willi-Plein, Opfer und Kult, 96–126; Schenker, Versöhnung und Sühne, 81–119; Bernd Janowski and Gernot Wilhelm, “Der Bock, der die Sünden hinausträgt: Zur Religionsgeschichte des Azazel-Ritus Lev 16,10.21f,” in Religionsgeschichtliche Beziehungen zwischen Kleinasien, Nordsyrien und dem Alten Testament (ed. Bernd Janowski et al.; OBO 129; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), 109–69; and Theodor Seidl, “Levitikus 16: ‘Schlußstein’ des priesterlichen Systems der Sündenvergebung,” in Levitikus als Buch (ed. Heinz-Josef Fabry and Hans-Winfried Jüngling; BBB 119; Berlin: Philo, 1999), 219–48.

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Interestingly, some ritual action may resolve the initial problem, but may require a further ritual cycle at a later stage to provide a more complete solution. The Israelite sacrificial system and its culmination in the Day of Atonement as an elimination rite is a good example for this category of rituals. The final outcome of these “problem-solving” rituals was the rebalancing of lifethreatening circumstances that led to a reintegration of those involved into community with Yhwh and the larger community of Israel. 48 During the Day of Atonement ritual, this experience of a new beginning and the re-creation of new relationships are publicly shown by means of the particular subrite. The second male goat, over whose head all the sins and all the transgressions of the Israelites have been confessed (Lev 16:21), is taken after the cleansing of the sanctuary (Lev 16:20) and is led into the desert never to return. He is not a sacrificial animal but the carrier of all the sins of Israel, for whom no return is possible. Yhwh’s forgiveness is practically illustrated, 49 and thus the holiness of the sanctuary is reestablished. 50 Other examples of rituals that function as problem solvers include purification rites, such as the ritual of the leper after his healing has been diagnosed (Lev 14:1–32), where the complex ritual takes place béyôm †ohøratô, “on the day of his cleansing” (Lev 14:2), and is apparently triggered by the marked improvement in the person’s health. Another rather enigmatic 51 problem-solving ritual can be found in Num 5:11–31. Here a jealous husband, 52 suspecting unfaithfulness in his wife, brings his wife before a priest, and a ritual determining guilt or innocence is enacted. A passage like this is sure to raise questions and even cause consternation in the light of modern Western perceptions of justice, equality, and fairness. However, as has been pointed out by Ashley, the judicial summary note (Num 5:29–31), which says that the woman tißßaª ªet ºåwonah, “will carry her own guilt,” suggests that it is neither the community nor the husband who is to punish her; instead, the punishment is left to God. 53 In our present context it is interesting to note the specific context that trig48. Willi-Plein, Opfer und Kult, 157–58. 49. Schenker, Versöhnung und Sühne, 115–16. 50. Jürgens (Heiligkeit und Versöhnung, 425–29) connects this with creation theology and the structuring of time and space into a created order. 51. See here Timothy R. Ashley, The Book of Numbers (NICOT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 119–24; R. Dennis Cole, Numbers (NAC 3b; Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2000), 113–19; and the more detailed B. A. Levine, Numbers 1–20, 192–212. 52. The legal character of the section is emphasized by the concluding phrase, zoªt tôrat haqqénaªot, “this is the law of jealousy” (Num 5:29). 53. Ashley, Numbers, 135. “The sanctions of the curse are simply brought to bear on the guilty party by God.” Similar also Eckhard von Nordheim, “Das Gottesurteil als Schutzordal für die Frau nach Numeri 5,” in Konsequente Traditionsgeschichte: Festschrift für Klaus Baltzer zum 65. Geburtstag (ed. Rüdiger Bartelmus et al.; OBO 126; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), 297–309.

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gers this ritual. The suspicion of marital unfaithfulness does not result in a legal case but in a ritual involving divine intervention. 54 This is a good example of the interaction between law and ritual, a point we will return to in a later part of this study. The final example of a ritual triggered by a specific event comes from the NT and involves the baptismal ritual. Up to this point, events triggering ritual seem to have been predominantly external and not necessarily based on personal decision or reflection. Sacrifice provides a solution to the problem of inadvertently sinning. The Day of Atonement ritual completes this process and is a must for the cleansing of the sanctuary, assuring its ritual efficacy for future sacrifices. The ritual of the law of jealousy is enacted when a husband suspects marital unfaithfulness of his wife. There is no indication that the woman requests the ritual; she is taken to the priest by her husband. 55 The baptismal ritual described in the NT is the voluntary response of an individual or a group of people 56 to a divine call for change and is primarily connected to the concept of repentance. 57 Baptism in the early Christian church was also a sign of accepting the teachings of Jesus and was connected to the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12; and so on). 58 Therefore, it seems that the 54. B. A. Levine (Numbers 1–20, 212) would call this “magical” and has lamented the widespread misunderstanding about the role of the gods in magical praxis. 55. The MT has here wéhebîª haªîs ªet ªistô, “and the man shall bring his wife” (Num 5:15), using the causative Hiphil. 56. For individuals, see the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:16 || Mark 1:9–10 || Luke 3:21), the magician Simon (Acts 8:13), the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:36–38), or Saul after his Damascus experience (Acts 9:18, 22:16). Specific groups are mentioned in connection with the baptism of John: Jerusalem and all of Judea (Matt 3:5 || Mark 1:5), many of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt 3:7), tax collectors (Luke 3:12), and soldiers (Luke 3:14). Communal baptism rites are also mentioned in connection with the mission work of the early Christian church, including the following: 3,000 people during Pentecost (Acts 2:41), the people of Samaria (Acts 8:12), the centurion Cornelius and his relatives and close friends (Acts 10:24–48), Lydia and her house (Acts 16:15), the prison ward of Philippi and his household (Acts 16:33), the synagogue ruler Crispus and his entire household (Acts 18:8), a group of believers in Ephesus who had only received John’s baptism (Acts 19:3– 5), and the house of Stephanas (1 Cor 1:16). 57. See here Charles P. Baylis, “Repentance in Acts in Light of Deuteronomy 30,” MTJ 1 (1990): 19–35. For a discussion of repentance in the context of the Qumran community see Bilhah Nitzan, “Repentance in the Dead Sea Scrolls,” in The Dead Sea Scolls after Fifty Years: A Comprehensive Assessment (ed. Peter W. Flint and James C. VanderKam; 2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1999), 2:145–70; and Stephen J. Pfann, “The Essene Yearly Renewal Ceremony and the Baptism of Repentance,” in The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. Donald W. Parry and Eugene Ulrich; STDJ 30; Leiden: Brill, 1999), 337–52. Both in the NT and at Qumran, repentance seems to have been closely connected to the baptismal rite. 58. Some important studies of the NT baptismal ritual include Averbeck, “Focus of Baptism”; Thomas A. Rand, “Set Free and Set Right: Ritual, Theology, and the Inculturation of the Gospel in Galatia,” Worship 75 (2001): 453–68; and David S. Dockery, “Baptism in the New Testament,” SwJT 43/2 (2001): 4–16. Recent studies of baptism in the larger methodological context of ritual

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determinative factor in triggering the ritual of baptism, according to the biblical text, was the conscious recognition of a sinful human condition that led to the question expressed in Acts 2:37: tÇ poihvswmen, aßndreÍ ajdelfoÇ, “what shall we do, men and brothers?” It should be noted that prior to this question the faceless audience was profoundly moved by Peter’s sermon. 59 As a consequence, Peter advised them to “repent and let every one of you be baptized.” Baptism is the voluntary ritual enactment of a change not visible from a phenomenological perspective. Furthermore, the ritual can foster cross-cultural interaction and fellowship and alter status and hierarchy. Paul argues this in the letter to the Galatians when he writes, “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27), and as a consequence, “there can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither free nor slave, there can be neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28, nkjv). 60 We will return to this specific effect of ritual later when discussing the multiple functions of ritual.

Ritual Change and Innovation Up to now, all ritual-triggering factors have presupposed the existence of a particular ritual capable of attending to either external or internal imbalances or confrontations. However, ritual is neither unchanging nor solely repetitious 61 and may aspire toward cultural (or religious) change. 62 Often, it is the connection to earlier, ancient ritual traditions that makes ritual innovation atinclude Mark McVann, “Reading Mark Ritually: Honor-Shame and the Ritual of Baptism,” Semeia 67 (1994 [1995]): 179–98; Giovanni Filoramo, “Baptismal Nudity as a Means of Ritual Purification in Ancient Christianity,” in Transformation of the Inner Self in Ancient Religions (ed. Jan Assmann and Gedaliahu A. G. Stroumsa; SHR 83; Leiden: Brill, 1999), 393–404; and Gerd Theissen, “Die urchristliche Taufe und die soziale Konstruktion des neuen Menschen,” in Transformation of the Inner Self in Ancient Religions (ed. Jan Assmann and Gedaliahu A. G. Stroumsa; SHR 83; Leiden: Brill, 1999), 87–114. The later two studies do not review only the biblical evidence but also look at the practice in early Christianity. 59. The Greek text reads here: katenuv ghsan th;n kardÇan, “they were cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37). The verbal form appears only once in the NT but several times in LXX (for example, Gen 27:38, 34:7; Lev 10:3; 1 Kgs 21:27, 29) expressing pain, a troubled spirit, repentance, sometimes anger, or guilt. Interestingly, the LXX seems in some cases to translate Hebrew verbs that do not necessarily reflect the aspect of repentance. The MT of 1 Kgs 21:27 describes Ahab’s reaction to Elijah’s message of judgment as wayyiqraº bégadayw wayya¶em ¶aq, “and he rent his clothes and put on sackcloth.” The LXX includes additional information that is suggestive of repentance: katenuv gh Acaab ajpo; pros∫pou touÅ kurÇou kaµ ejporeuv to klaÇwn, “and Ahab was pierced before the Lord and went weeping.” 60. This leveling effect of ritual, especially baptism, has also been observed by Rand, “Set Free and Set Right,” 464–66. 61. See also Bell, Ritual, 223–24. Bell provides a captivating description of ritual innovation in Soviet ritual. 62. Baumann, “Ritual Implicates ‘Others’,” 99.

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tractive, as Bell’s analysis of the rituals of the modern Olympics has shown. 63 A similar phenomenon can be seen in the establishment of the Christian communion ritual. The Gospels describe the final days of Christ in the overall context of the Jewish Passover celebrations (Matt 26:17–30 || Luke 22:1–20 || John 13:1–21): a room is secured, the traditional Pascal lamb and unleavened bread are prepared, and the group arrives in the prepared space. John is the only one to inform the reader of an important aspect of the last Passover supper that forms the basis of the Christian communion ritual 64—that is, the foot-washing ritual, in which the master serves the disciples. 65 Later NT texts include it in the list of Christian practices (1 Tim 5:10). The identification of Christ as the Passover lamb can be found in the later Pauline writings (1 Cor 5:7), and thus it would appear that the establishment of the Christian Lord’s Supper should be understood as a conscious ritual innovation based on an existing ritual. While Jesus did not include an explicit command for the future celebration of the Lord’s Supper, 66 the crucial timing of the event (ritual time) and the theological interpretation that Jesus gives the meal component do suggest that later Christian adoption (1 Tim 5:10) of the ritual was both contextual and innovative at the same time. 67

In Retrospect Facing a complex ritual originating in a foreign cultural and religious context can be a daunting prospect. The impressive overall construction may be so complex that the reader may not be able to absorb and understand all its 63. Bell, Ritual, 232–35. 64. This concept has a long tradition in Christian theology. Compare Joel Peña Castillo, Trasfondo veterotestamentario de la Cena del Señor y su relación con la pascua a partir de su institución según Éxodo 12:21–28 (M.A. thesis, Universidad Peruana Unión, 2000). From a more ritual-studies perspective, see Brumberg-Kraus, “Not by Bread Alone.” George W. Buchanan (“Worship, Feasts and Ceremonies in the Early Jewish-Christian Church,” NTS 26 [1980]: 279–97) has argued that most private and public early Christian worship elements (including the Lord’s Supper) were carried over from Jewish rituals and ceremonies. 65. See, for recent discussions, Ralph P. Martin, “New Testament Worship: Some Puzzling Practices,” AUSS 31 (1993): 123–24; Jerome H. Neyrey, “The Footwashing in John 13:6–11: Transformation Ritual or Ceremony?” in Social World of the First Christians: Essays in Honor of Wayne A. Meeks (ed. L. Michael White and O. Larry Yarbrough; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995), 198–213; John Christopher Thomas, “Footwashing within the Context of the Lord’s Supper,” in Lord’s Supper: Believer’s Church Perspectives (ed. Dale R. Stoffer; Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1997), 169–84; and the reply by Frank D. Macchia, “Is Footwashing the Neglected Sacrament? A Theological Response to John Christopher Thomas,” Pneuma 19 (1997): 239–49. Some Christian denominations still practice the foot-washing ritual in the context of the Lord’s Supper. 66. See here George May, “The Lord’s Supper: Ritual or Relationship? Making a Meal of It in Corinth, Part 1: Meals in the Gospels and Acts,” RTR 60 (2001): 138–50. 67. Idem, “The Lord’s Supper: Ritual or Relationship? Making a Meal of It in Corinth, Part 2: Meals at Corinth,” RTR 61 (2002): 1–18.

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intricate elements. It is here that a methodical reading strategy comes in handy, since it provides a systematic way of looking at important elements of ritual that are generally present but may not be easily perceivable due to the intricate overall appearance of the ritual. This is true of most ritual, both ancient and modern. However, biblical ritual involves an additional complication. Due to its textual nature, not all elements are always equally represented in the text, although they were most likely present, if one takes contemporary ritual (in any cultural context) as an indicator. In this chapter I have suggested nine important elements that should be present, including the vital point of departure or the required situation that may have triggered the ritual. Within these basic ritual elements, four different categories may be differentiated, including rites of passage (such as rituals marking adulthood), life-cycle markers (dependent on particular days in a calendar or marking recurring seasons), rituals required to solve specific problems (such as the solution to sin or impurity), and innovative rituals with no apparent triggering situation. Often these later rituals were conventional and innovative at the same time; that is, they adopted existing known ritual elements and combined them in new ways. This is similar to building-block systems for children that include different types of existing elements but that can be used to build basically anything that a child would choose to imagine. The resulting construction will be both similar to and different from other existing structures, since it uses the standard building blocks but in ways and combinations that make the resulting structure unique.

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Structure, Order and Sequence, Space, and Time: Ritual Elements 1 Keeping the Elements Together: Ritual Structure Once a ritual has been triggered, structure is needed to visualize and achieve the desired result. Structure as used in this study works on two important levels that interact due to the specifically textual nature of biblical ritual. However, they should also be kept apart. The literary structure of a text does not necessarily translate into ritual structure, although it may. Careful attention should be paid to the interaction between literary structure and ritual structure. Literary structure also needs to take into consideration the syntax of the Hebrew or Greek text, especially in view of the fact that Hebrew syntax (or Greek for that matter, but to a lesser degree) is foreign to English readers. 1 Nevertheless, due to the universal properties of language in its deep structure, readers of one language are able to translate and understand another language. 2 The study of Hebrew syntax has a long and varied history of often-differing interpretations. 3 In our component analysis of the structure of ritual, I prefer a “bottom-up” approach to syntax instead of a “top-down” approach. 4 The syntactic analysis of important verbal forms in Hebrew prose 1. See Ronald J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax. An Outline (2nd ed.; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975), 3–5; Waltke and O’Connor, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, x. 2. Ibid., 62. 3. Ibid., 31–62. Rituals are mostly encountered in what has been termed “prose” texts. See the important works of Alviero Niccacci, The Syntax of the Verb in Classical Hebrew Prose (trans. W. G. E. Watson; JSOTSup 86; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990), 17–22; van der Merwe, Naudé, and Kroeze, Biblical Hebrew, 336–50; many of the important essays in Cynthia L. Miller, ed., The Verbless Clause in Biblical Hebrew: Linguistic Approaches (LSAWS 1; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1999); and recently Katsuomi Shimasaki, Focus Structure in Biblical Hebrew: A Study of Word Order and Information Structure (Bethesda, MD: CDL , 2002), 1–21. 4. This is based on the distinction made in Alviero Niccacci, “On the Hebrew Verbal System,” in Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics (ed. Robert D. Bergen; Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1994), 117–18. Niccacci understands “top-down” as first defining different text types (such as narrative, predictive/procedural, hortatory, and expository discourse) and then turning to the text itself. The “bottom-up” approach proposed by Niccacci first approaches the smallest unit of the text (that is, the verbal forms) and later, based on the collected data, defines text types, genre, and syntactical specifics.

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can provide significant insights into the ritual structure as preserved in a prescriptive (or descriptive) text, although it is not always an easy task and definitely requires at least a rudimentary understanding of the original language. A good example of this can be found in the complex ordination ritual of Aaron and his sons as recorded in Lev 8. 5 A distinction should be made between macrostructure and microstructure. Macrostructure refers here to the overall literary structure of a given passage, while microstructure involves the syntactic analysis of the employed verbal forms. Recent literary studies 6 have shown that literary and syntactic design did not “just occur” but that the author or editor employed well-considered patterns that provide clues for the interpretation of the relevant section. Thus literary and syntactic patterns help us to understand the performance of ritual texts. In the following example, we will look at both the macrostructure and the microstructure of Lev 8. The chapter should be classified as a descriptive ritual text, since it records the ritual performance of an earlier prescriptive text (Exod 29). The literary analysis of a given section looks at distinct elements: repetitive-phrase motifs, specific word pairs, corresponding content resulting in a chiastic structure, disjunctive elements, and so on. 7 The primary organizational phrase-motif of Lev 8 appears to be the sevenfold repetition of the completion formula kaªåser ßiwwâ yhwh, “as Yhwh had commanded” (Lev 8:4, 9, 13, 17, 21, 29, 36). 8 It emphasizes the execution of a command given directly or indirectly by Yhwh. Interestingly, Exod 39 and 40 also contain the sevenfold repetition of the same phrase in the context of the making of the priestly garments (Exod 39) and the construction of the tabernacle and its utensils (Exod 40). 9 In Lev 8 the sevenfold occurrence of the key phrase together with the content suggest the chiastic structure seen in fig. 10. 10 5. See my “Syntactic Structure of the Ritual of Ordination (Lev 8),” Bib 77 (1996): 509–19. 6. See Yairah Amit, Reading Biblical Narrative: Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible (trans. Y. Lotan; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), 1–21, as a general introduction to the topic. A more synthetic and comprehensive introduction can be found in V. Philips Long, “Reading the Old Testament as Literature,” in Interpreting the Old Testament: A Guide for Exegesis (ed. Craig C. Broyles; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 85–123, with many references to earlier studies. 7. Paseggi (“Lazos de sangre,” 44–47) has provided a concise list of important elements in narrative research. See also, in more detail, Jerome T. Walsh, Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrative (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2001). 8. The verb ßiwwâ appears twice more in Lev 8. In v. 5 it is part of a verbal command to comply with what Yhwh has indicated, while in v. 35 the text employs a distinct verbal form from the same root (ßuwwêytî, “I have been commanded”) but without the other important elements signaling completion of an earlier command. 9. In the making of the priestly garments, see Exod 39:1, 5, 7, 21, 26, 29, 31. The phrase appears twice more in the chapter (Exod 39:32, 42) in the context of the completion formula. On the construction of the tabernacle, see Exod 40:19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 32. 10. This is a slightly modified version of Milgrom’s (Leviticus 1–16, 544) chiastic structure of the chapter. For additional information on chiastic structures in the Hebrew Bible, see the helpful

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A. Assembling Materials and Persons 1. Command (1–3) Fulfillment (4–5) B. Anointing of the Priests 2. Washing of priests; dressing of Aaron (6–9) Anointing of the sanctuary (10–11) 3. Anointing of Aaron; dressing of sons (12–13) X. The Sacrificial Service 4. Purification Offering (14–17) 5. Burnt Offering (18–21) 6. Ordination Offering (22–29) Bu. Anointing of the Priests Anointing the Priestly Garments (30) Au. Admonition for the Seven Days 7. Command (31–35) Fulfillment (36) Fig. 10. Chiastic Macrostructure of Leviticus 8.

An analysis of the verbal form of Lev 8 produces the following picture: the 36 verses of the MT contain 100 verb forms, the vast majority of which (64%) are to be classified as wayyqtl. 11 As a minimum premise, wayyqtl forms connect one situation with another and predominantly exhibit two specific grammatical features: subordination and a perfective aspect. 12 Furthermore, three aspects of the wayyqtl can be distinguished. They are useful in the classification and interpretation of any narrative text but particularly ritual texts: 13 (1) succession, indicating logical (but not necessarily temporal) succession; (2) epexegesis, essays included in John W. Welch, ed., Chiasmus in Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (Provo, UT: Research Press, 1999). A more critical methodological analysis can be found in Mark J. Boda, “Chiasmus in Ubiquity: Symmetrical Mirages in Nehemiah 9,” JSOT 71 (1996): 55–70. Chiasmus is also a structuring device in Hebrew poetry as has been shown by Loren F. Bliese, “A Cryptic Chiastic Acrostic: Finding Meaning from Structure in the Poetry of Nahum,” JTT 7/3 (1995): 48– 81. A very helpful and accessible tool for structural work is David A. Dorsey, The Literary Structure of the Old Testament: A Commentary on Genesis–Malachi (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999), although there is no universal agreement on all of his results. 11. For simplification, I follow here the orthography employed in Waltke and O’Connor, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 543. 12. Ibid., 545, 547. For a more nuanced discussion of the wayyqtl form in Hebrew, see the references provided in my “Syntactic Structure,” 510–12. 13. This is based on Waltke and O’Connor, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 547–54.

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where the wayyqtl form explains an earlier situation; and (3) summary, expressing a summary statement. Considering the specific data of the verbal forms in Lev 8, we find that only one weqtl form is employed in Lev 8:35, which invalidates Klaus Koch’s suggestion of the existence of a literary genre called ritual that generally employs (and requires) these forms. 14 Leviticus 8 has an important and intriguing syntactical feature: 18 qtl forms (that is, perfect forms) that appear predominantly at crucial intersections that correspond to the larger chiastic macrostructure, as seen above. Out of the 18 forms, 9 should be discounted since they form part of the completion formula kaªåser ßiwwâ yhwh, “as Yhwh had commanded” (Lev 8:4, 9, 13, 17, 21, 29, 36) already discussed above. They represent an important literary structural marker of the chapter but are not directly related to the ritual action represented by the remaining 9 qtl forms. Interestingly, these verb forms appear exclusively in the central section of the chiasmus, which comprises 3 distinct sacrificial subrites. 15 The position of the odd qtl forms can be shown graphically, as in fig. 11. 16 The arrows indicate the occurrence of the qtl forms in Lev 8:14–29. In the ˙a††aªt offering (Lev 8:14–17), 9 wayyqtl forms indicate the general sequence of the subrite. However, interspersed among them one encounters 2 qtl forms (Lev 8:15, 17) having to do with the blood-manipulation rite and the burning of the carcass of the bull outside the camp. Interestingly, the same term using the same form also appears in Lev 9:9 in the context of the first ˙a††aªt offering of the newly installed Aaron. Again, in both chapters all the surrounding forms are wayyqtl forms expressing mostly sequence, but the pouring of the blood is a qtl form. This particular change of the aspect of the verb may indicate an emphasis on the blood rite as the key element of the ˙a††aªt offering. 17 The second qtl form in the ˙a††aªt offering appears in Lev 8:17 and concerns the burning of the carcass outside the camp. Milgrom has suggested that the unconventional verb form is due to the fact that this is the final rite of the ˙a††aªt offering. 18 However, in view of the following two sacrificial procedures that do not end with a qtl form, this suggestion is not convincing. An alternative interpretation of this particular pattern needs to be found. In the 14. Klaus Koch, “Alttestamentliche und altorientalische Rituale,” in Die Hebräische Bibel und ihre zweifache Nachgeschichte: Festschrift für Rolf Rendtorff zum 65. Geburtstag (ed. Erhard Blum et al.; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1990), 76. However, it should be noted that Koch has provided for the possibility of explanatory inclusions and lists of elements not adhering to the weqtl pattern (ibid., 77). 15. Namely the ˙a††aªt or purification offering (Lev 8:14–17), the ºolâ or burnt offering (Lev 8:18–21), and the specific milluªîm or ordination offering (Lev 8:22–29). 16. The figure has been taken from my Comparative Study, 125. 17. See also Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 523. 18. Ibid., 525.

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The Sacrificial Service (Lev 8:14–29) 1. ˙a††aªt offering 1.1. “the bull of the purification offering is led forward” 1.2. “Aaron and his sons lay their hands on the head of the bull” 1.3. “the bull is slaughtered” 1.4. “Moses takes the blood” 1.5. “he puts some blood on the horns of the altar” 1.6. “he purifies the altar” § 1.7. “he pours out the blood at the base of the altar” 1.8. “he consecrates it to make atonement for it” 1.9. “Moses takes the fat around the entrails” 1.10. “he turns it into smoke on the altar” § 1.11. “he burns the bull itself outside the camp with fire” 2. ºolâ offering 2.1. “Moses brings forward the ram of burnt offering” 2.2. “Aaron and his sons lay their hands on the head of the ram” 2.3. “the ram is slaughtered” 2.4. “Moses dashes the blood against all sides of the altar” § 2.5. “the ram is cut into parts” 2.6. “Moses turns the head, the parts, and the suet into smoke” § 2.7. “he washes the entrails and legs with water” 2.8. “Moses turns the whole ram into smoke on the altar” 3. milluªîm offering 3.1. “Moses brings forward the ram of ordination” 3.2. “Aaron and his sons lay their hands on the head of the ram” 3.3. “the ram is slaughtered” 3.4. “Moses takes some of its blood” 3.5. “he puts it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear” 3.6. “he brings forward Aaron’s sons” 3.7. “Moses puts some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears” 3.8. “he dashes the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar” 3.9. “he takes the fat” § 3.10. “he takes one loaf of bread from the basket of unleavened bread” 3.11. “he places it on the fat and on the right thigh” 3.12. “he places all these on the palms of Aaron and his sons” 3.13. “he raises them as an elevation offering” 3.14. “Moses takes them from their hands” 3.15. “he turns them into smoke on the altar” 3.16. “he takes the breast” 3.17. “he raises it as an elevation offering before the Lord”

Fig. 11. Microstructure of the Central Sacrificial Service in Levitcus 8.

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prescriptive section of the book of Leviticus dealing with the ˙a††aªt offering, the burning of the carcass employs a similarly uncharacteristic pattern. 19 The following section, which describes the procedures of the ºolâ offering (Lev 8:18–21), contains another 2 qtl forms in the context of 6 wayyqtl forms. The first one is nitta˙, “he cut,” and refers to cutting the ram of the ºolâ offering into pieces (Lev 8:20). Again, the prescriptive section describing the ºolâ offering of the ordination ritual includes the atypical imperfect form (Exod 29:17) instead of the more common weqtl form. 20 Using similar arguments as in the preceding section, Milgrom suggests that this indicates the final rite of the ºolâ offering. 21 However, 3 more verb forms follow, including 1 qtl in Lev 8:21. These describe the washing with water of the inner parts and the legs of the animal. 22 The final, very significant milluªîm offering contains 2 qtl forms: laqa˙, “he took” (Lev 8:26), and hayâ, “he was” (Lev 8:29). Only the first one is relevant in the present context since it is part of the description of the sequence of ritual action verbs. The latter one is an administrative note that describes the specific allotment to Moses for his services during the ordination ritual. 23 Interestingly, Moses does not receive the regular priestly share. Levitucus 8:26 describes how Moses takes from the basket of unleavened bread three different types of bread. 24 These breads together with the fat portions and the right thigh are then put on Aaron’s and his sons’ hands (Lev 8:27) and waved before Yhwh as a wave offering. Finally, they are turned into smoke (wayyaqter) on the altar, thus completing the milluªîm offering. Up to this point the presentation of the relevant syntactical data has been descriptive and not interpretive. Although most commentators do not even comment on the atypical verb forms, Milgrom suggests that they indicate either the end of the subrite or an emphasis on a specific subrite. This is not convincing. Too often commentators resort to the “emphasis” explanation when confronted with atypical or strange structures or forms in passages of 19. The verbal forms generally employed in Lev 4 are the weqtl form that Koch has described as the typical form denoting the genre of ritual. The burning rite, however, employs a wayyqtl from (Lev 4:12). 20. Exodus 29:17 reads ténattea˙, “you will cut.” 21. Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 526. 22. The MT reads ra˙aß, “he washed.” For more discussion, see my “Syntactic Structure,” 515. 23. Note that neither Aaron nor his sons have completed the ordination ritual and are not yet to be considered priests. They do not receive the regular part of the right thigh that would have been given to the officiant by the offerer under regular circumstances (Lev 7:32–34). Instead this piece is presented to Yhwh and is burned on the altar (Lev 8:27 referring to the ténûpâ, “wave offering”). See Hartley, Leviticus, 114; and Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 532. 24. Concerning the particulars of ˙allat maßßâ ªa˙at wé˙allat le˙em semen ªa˙at wéraqîq ªe˙ad, “one cake of unleavened bread, one cake of bread with oil, and one wafer,” see my Comparative Study, 200–207.

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the Hebrew Bible. 25 If we look at the larger context of the ritual itself, we find that different explanations are possible. I think that the atypical qtl verb forms may actually indicate to the reader a pause in the sequential performance of the ritual or a rearrangement of the setting of the ritual. It may also point to a parallel execution of a particular subrite with subsequently (or previously) described rites. 26 A look at the 5 specific qtl forms in the central section of the ordination ritual will provide more-specific contexts to verify the proposed interpretation. The first atypical qtl form involved the pouring out of the blood of the ˙a††aªt offering around the base of the altar (Lev 8:15). Either a ritual pause or the parallel execution of the earlier subrite of daubing the horns of the altar is conceivable in this particular context. The next verbal form involved the burning of the carcass of the bull outside the camp (Lev 8:17). A definite locational change was involved, which required some time. If one opts for a parallel execution as indicated by the qtl form, then a smoother performance of the next rite could be postulated. The moving and incineration of the carcass would take several hours. However, this would not affect the continued performance of the ordination ritual if one adopts the “parallel” explanation. The following 2 qtl forms appear in the ºolâ offering subrite. The first one indicates the cutting into pieces of the ram of the ºolâ offering (Lev 8:20). This required time and was a good opportunity to pause in the procedure. In this particular context, a “parallel” performance seems impossible, since the following rite requires first cutting the sacrificial ram into pieces. The same also applies to the washing of the inner parts and legs with water (Lev 8:21) which is also described using a qtl verb form. A pause in the ritual performance seems to be the best way of explaining that form since the washing required a change in setting and activity. 27 The final qtl form involves the taking of different loaves of unleavened bread and should also be interpreted in terms of a ritual pause. Obviously, in order to reach the bread Moses had to walk to the basket. The parallel performance option as well as the ritual pause option have emerged after a detailed analysis of the complex syntactic structure of the ritual of ordination in Lev 8. A clear relationship exists between language 25. Cf. van der Merwe, Naudé, and Kroeze, Biblical Hebrew, 336–37; and van der Merwe’s discussion of the same phenomenon regarding particles in Hebrew (“Old Hebrew Particles and the Interpretation of Old Testament Texts,” JSOT 60 [1993]: 27–28). Compare with Takamitsu Muraoka, Emphatic Words and Structures in Biblical Hebrew ( Jerusalem: Magnes, 1985). 26. Interestingly, both Niccacci (Syntax of the Verb, 63, 116) and I (“Syntactic Structure,” 515–17) have reached similar conclusions though working with different sets of data. Niccacci has referred to this phenomenon as “simultaneity,” when the tense shift represents a shift from foreground to background. 27. The text is not entirely clear about where the parts are to be washed. Did Moses bring a basin with water to the altar? Did he take the parts to the wash basin situated in the court of the tabernacle?

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(including linguistic structures) and action. Syntactic forms such as the qtl forms may indicate either sequence, pause, parallel performance, or the end of particular subrite. They are significant for the interpretation of the ritual.

More Than Words: Form, Order, and Sequence Due to their literary form, biblical ritual texts are literary constructs; that is, they exist first and foremost in a literary world and follow literary strategies. In this sense, in our study of the category of ritual form, order, and sequence we need to focus primarily on the textual evidence, which is our basic set of data. This literary nature does not automatically make the ritual ahistorical. Narrative research of the Hebrew Bible has emphasized this point, suggesting the basic cognitive, historical, and also theological nature of biblical narrative. 28 Literary scholars sometimes struggle to connect narrative and literary analysis with traditional historical criticism. Some prefer to ignore the results of traditional historical criticism while others opt for an eclectic approach. 29 Tremper Longman has pointed out some research aims that are shared by most literary critics: (1) literary theory reveals the conventions of biblical literature, (2) it stresses whole texts, and (3) it focuses on the reading process. 30 This emphasis on the text as a meaningful unit actually benefits research on ritual texts. However, it is noteworthy that most modern literary analysis focuses on narrative texts. Very little work involving literary analysis has been done (at least to my knowledge) on the legal and ritual texts of the Hebrew Bible. As noted in the discussion of the distinction between prescriptive and descriptive ritual texts, descriptive ritual texts would lend themselves more to narrative research. This is because they generally describe the ritual as a past event, involving clear references to time, space, and protagonists. Prescriptive texts are more difficult in this regard. Interestingly, Jürgens’s recent work on the prescriptive Day of Atonement ritual (Lev 16) 31 seeks to integrate literary and ritual study into one consolidated approach. His literary and ritual analysis of Lev 16 is accompanied by a very detailed study of the ritual texts detailing the foundation and initiation of the Israelite cult system found in Lev 8–10. 32 Underlying this macroperspective is the conviction that 28. See Mary Gerhart, “The Restoration of Biblical Narrative,” Semeia 46 (1989): 13–29. 29. See the helpful and easy-to-follow discussion found in Amit, Reading Biblical Narrative, 22– 32; and also David M. Gunn and Danna Nolan Fewell, Narrative in the Hebrew Bible (OBS; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 5–12. 30. Tremper Longman III, Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation (FCI 3; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987), 58–62. 31. Jürgens, Heiligkeit und Versöhnung, 43–50. 32. Jürgens (ibid., 187–302) dedicates roughly 120 pages to this analysis. He locates the crucial Day of Atonement ritual in the context of the larger ritual system that also finds its expression in the literary structure.

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A. Genesis: 8.74% B. Exodus: 14.34% X. Leviticus: 60.53% Bu. Numbers: 19.95% Au. Deuteronomy: 8.65% Fig. 12. Quasi-Chiastic Structure of the Pentateuch Based on Ritual Content.

Lev 16 cannot be read and understood as an independent and unrelated literary unit. Rather, it is integrated into the larger context of Leviticus, which in turn would suggest a more unified reading of the books of the Pentateuch. When we look at this larger literary picture of the Pentateuch and the function of ritual texts in that structure, some interesting features come to light. As can be seen in appendix 1, ritual plays a significant role when we analyze the Pentateuch quantitatively. Just based on the ritual content of each of the five books of the Pentateuch, one could speak of a quasi-chiastic structure, as fig. 12 illustrates. 33 The intentional integration of the five individual books (particularly Leviticus) into the larger context of the Pentateuch has been discussed before, 34 even though pentateuchal scholarship is quite divided about its literary history. 35 There would seem to be an editorial master plan in the literary design

33. See my “Género olvidado: Los textos rituales en el Pentateuco,” in ‘Y Moisés escribió las palabras de Yhwh’: Estudios selectos en el Pentateuco (ed. Merling Alomía; Investigaciones BíblicoTeológicas UPeUenses 1; Ñaña, Lima: Ediciones Theologika, 2004), 267–95. 34. A recent work studying the integration of Leviticus in the larger literary framework of the Pentateuch is by Graeme Auld, “Leviticus: After Exodus and before Numbers,” in The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception (ed. Rolf Rendtorff and Robert A. Kugler; VTSup93/FIOTL 3; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 41–54. See also Wilfried Warning, Literary Artistry in Leviticus (BIS 35; Leiden: Brill, 1999); Erich Zenger, “Das Buch Levitikus als Teiltext der Tora/des Pentateuch: Eine synchrone Lektüre mit diachroner Perspektive,” in Levitikus als Buch (ed. Heinz-Josef Fabry and Hans-Winfried Jüngling; BBB 119; Berlin: Philo, 1999), 47–83; Rolf Rendtorff, “Is it Possible to Read Leviticus as a Separate Book?” in Reading Leviticus: A Conversation with Mary Douglas (ed. John F. A. Sawyer; JSOTSup 227; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), 22–35; and Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative. 35. On the often-conflicting viewpoints concerning the supposed literary development of the Pentateuch, see, for example, Rendtorff, “Directions in Pentateuchal Studies”; Carr, “Controversy and Convergence”; Houtman, Der Pentateuch; F. García López, “De la antigua a la nueva crítica literaria del Pentateuco,” EstBib 52 (1994): 7–34; Gordon J. Wenham, “Method in Pentateuchal Source Criticism,” VT 41 (1991): 84–109; and E. W. Nicholson, “The Pentateuch in Recent Research: A Time for Caution,” in Congress Volume: Leuven, 1989 (ed. J. A. Emerton; VTSup 43; Leiden: Brill, 1991), 10–21.

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Fig. 13. Chiastic Interaction of Total Verses with Ritual-Content Verses in the Pentateuch.

of the Pentateuch that exhibits strong interconnections between the distinct books and points to the book of Leviticus as its central focal point. An increasing number of scholars have recognized that even the internal structure of Leviticus, at the center of the Pentateuch, exhibits a somewhat concentric structure, with the Day of Atonement ritual of Lev 16 as its centerpiece. 36 Quantitative analysis of ritual content seems to support this view. Chiastic literary structures may point to the central element of a particular ritual and may be surrounded by smaller chiasms in the subordinate literary units. 37 In this analysis, the designation of a particular text or passage as a ritual text was based on rather conservative criteria: passages that in a cursory manner referred to prayer or blessings were not included, especially in discourse passages. This is not to suggest that prayer and blessings are not ritual in nature; to be sure, they are. However, in order to avoid an inflated database, I decided to err on the side of caution. In appendix 1 (“Ritual Texts in the Pen36. See most recently, Jürgens, Heiligkeit und Versöhnung, 126–85; similarly Seidl, “Levitikus 16: ‘Schlußstein’ des priesterlichen Systems der Sündenvergebung”; Rodríguez, “Leviticus 16”; and Christopher R. Smith, “The Literary Structure of Leviticus,” JSOT 70 (1996): 17–32. More recently, Britt and Creehan have suggested a larger chiastic structure, from Lev 16:29 to 17:11. See here Brian Britt and Patrick Creehan, “Chiasmus in Leviticus 16, 29–17, 11,” ZAW 112 (2000): 398–400. 37. See my Comparative Study, 128–34. Helpful introductions to the literary chiastic device in the Hebrew Bible can be found in Yehuda T. Radday, “Chiasmus in Hebrew Biblical Narrative,” in Chiasmus in Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (ed. John W. Welch; Hildesheim: Gerstenberg , 1981), 50–117; and also more recently John Breck, “Biblical Chiasmus: Exploring Structure for Meaning” BTB 17/2 (1987): 70–74; idem, “Chiasmus as a Key to Biblical Interpretation,” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 43 (1999): 249–67; and Elie Assis, “Chiasmus in Biblical Narrative: Rhetoric of Characterization,” Prooftexts 22 (2002): 273–304. Most research involving chiastic structures focuses either on poetry (see Wilfred G. E. Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to Its Techniques [2nd ed.; JSOTSup 26; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1986], 205–6; also Luis Alonso Schökel, A Manual of Hebrew Poetics [SubBi 11; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1988], 192) or involves specific texts. However, little work has been done on the methodological level.

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A. Genesis: 4 prescriptive and 25 descriptive (13.70%) B. Exodus: 13 prescriptive and 8 descriptive (61.90%) X. Leviticus: 27 prescriptive and 1 descriptive (96.42%) Bu. Numbers: 24 prescriptive and 10 descriptive (70.58%) Au. Deuteronomy: 1 prescriptive and 13 descriptive (8.10%) Fig. 14. Quasi-Chiastic Structure of the Pentateuch Based on the Ratio of Prescriptive to Descriptive Ritual Texts.

tateuch,” pp. 245–252 below), there are ten columns, which include a reference column referring to the biblical passages together with the total number of included verses in brackets. This is followed by a column briefly describing the content of the ritual. Any ritual is either prescriptive (that is, prescribing a certain set of actions connected with particular places, times, and persons that should be executed in a particular context) or descriptive (that is, describing in a narrative how the participants performed a certain set of actions in a particular context of space and time). Often, the prescription and description are not identical, due to the particular audience for which the texts were intended. 38 While prescriptive texts are nearly always intended for ritual professionals (priests, Levites, elders, or deacons [in the case of the NT]), descriptive texts are mostly directed to the general public, who participate in the ritual event or benefit from the event. There are some intriguing observations concerning the distinction between prescriptive and descriptive ritual texts in the Pentateuch: while only 4 out of 29 ritual texts found in Genesis should be classified as prescriptive (= 13.70%), the book of Exodus exhibits a much higher ratio (13 prescriptive ritual texts out of 21 total = 61.90%). Leviticus contains 27 prescriptive ritual texts out of a total of 28 (= 96.42%), whereas the book of Numbers includes 24 prescriptive ritual texts out of a total of 34 (= 70.58%) and Deuteronomy includes 1 prescriptive ritual text out of a total of 14 (= 7.10%). Interestingly, this characteristic of ritual texts also parallels the quasi-chiastic structure determined in the quantitative analysis (see fig. 13), which can be shown in fig. 14. Order is particularly important in ritual. Just imagine a modern Western Christian wedding ritual in which the affirmative answer of the bride or groom of “I do” preceded the question that the minister asked. This would totally upset the internal logic of the ritual procedure and probably would not be understood. 38. See my Comparative Study, 104–7.

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There is a clear connection between structure, order, and sequence, the understanding of which requires familiarity with Hebrew and Greek verb systems. The verb form may indicate distinct connections to the surrounding ritual text. 39 These connections indicate order and sequence or involve a pause in the performance of a rite. A good example of this can be found in the “covenant-rupture ritual” of Exod 32:19–20. 40 This short ritual appears in the narrative context of the golden calf episode at the foot of the mountain of God. 41 Due to Moses’ delay in returning from the mountain of God, the people press Aaron to make them a god (Exod 32:1). Following this request, a description is given of the construction of the golden calf and an altar before it (Exod 32:2–6) and the convocation of a feast for Yhwh (Exod 32:5). The narrator then describes a conversation between Yhwh and Moses on the mountain. Moses is portrayed as a fervent intercessor for the people of Israel (esp. Exod 32:11–13). Yhwh relents (Exod 32:14), and Moses begins his descent with the two tablets of the testimony. 42 At this point in the narrative, there is a brief explanation inserted emphasizing the divine content and origin of the tablets. This is followed by a short dialogue between Moses and his assistant Joshua (Exod 32:17–18), placing him at the side of Moses and far away from the idolatrous practice of Israel. Clearly, this is important in view of his future as leader after Moses’ demise. In order to understand this covenant-rupture subritual, we must examine the verb forms. Exodus 32:19 uses five sequential verb actions, together with one subordinate explicatory verb form. The verse begins with the narrative introductory marker wayéhî, “and it came to pass,” followed by the subordinate (indicated by the relative particle kaªåser, “as, when”) perfect (= qtl ) form qarab, “approach,” which is often used as a marker of ritual action. Here it is 39. Based on the standard work of Waltke and O’Connor (Hebrew Syntax, 547–54), the wayyqtl form expresses basically five different aspects of the textual connection: succession, summary, epexegesis, pluperfect (that is, something that happened in a very distant past), or a dependent, consequential situation. Within a larger ritual, the interpretation of these forms will to a certain degree also suggest the order and sequence of the ritual itself. Syntax and ritual order are interrelated, and this connection needs to be recognized and pursued. For a helpful and readable introduction to Greek verbal forms and their semantic and syntactic characteristics, see Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), particularly pp. 494–586, for the tenses. The volume is a gold mine of information about the elements of Greek syntax and semantic. However, a basic knowledge of the language is required. 40. For a discussion of this ritual, see my “Quebrar la ley: Algunas notas exegéticas acerca de Éxodo 32:19,” DavarLogos 1 (2002): 73–80. 41. Exodus 32:15 reads: wayyered moseh min hahar, “and Moses went down from the mountain.” The inclusion of the definite article would suggest a connection with the mountain already introduced in Exod 24. 42. The Hebrew MT has sénê lu˙ot haºedut.

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used in the Qal instead of the more common Hiphil, which indicates “offer, bring close.” 43 The introduction with its subordinate verb form sets the location for the ritual action. Moses sees the golden calf and the dancing, 44 his anger burns hot (wayyi˙ar ªap), he flings (wayyaslek, Hiphil) the tablets (most likely to the ground, although no specific direction is provided), and breaks them into pieces (wayésabber ªotam) at the foot of the mountain. Exodus 32:20 continues with a series of 5 wayyqtl forms, interrupted by 2 subordinate clauses (introduced by the relative pronoun ªåser) with a perfect form. 45 Similar patterns in the use of wayyqtl forms interspersed with qtl forms have already been noted in the more complex ritual of the ordination of Aaron and his sons (Lev 8). They may refer to either a parallel action or a pause in the action or sequence of the ritual. The nonconforming qtl forms may, however, indicate an earlier preparatory act, the mentioning of which is needed in order to understand the specific narrative or ritual. Moses needed to “come down from the mountain” before the ritual could be executed. The people had to build the golden calf before the action could be taken. The final qtl form in Exod 32:20 (“until it had been pulverized”) would fit the parallel action category.

Creating and Moving Limits: Ritual Space Recent literary studies have recognized the importance of space in the overall strategy of a narrative. 46 Space helps to focus the attention of the 43. See my Comparative Study, 221. In Ugaritic literature the causative (sqrb) is also found in cultic contexts (KTU 1.40). See here Johannes C. de Moor and Paul Sanders, “An Ugaritic Expiation Ritual and its Old Testament Parallels,” UF 23 (1991): 283–300. The Hebrew verb occurs 177 times in the Hiphil, 156 times of which should be understood in a cultic context. The Qal form of the verb appears 94 times and is sometimes connected with the closeness of death (Gen 27:41, 37:18, 47:29; Lev 10:4–5, 16:1), although it refers normally to physical closeness or movement. 44. The noun mé˙ôlâ, “dancing, dance,” appears 8 times in the Hebrew Bible: Exod 15:20, 32:19; Judg 11:34, 21:21; 1 Sam 18:6, 21:12, 29:5; and Song 7:1. It is generally connected to victory celebrations, which formed an integral part of religious ceremony, since for any person living in the ancient Near East, victory over an enemy also involved victory over the enemy’s god. See also David S. Dockery, “lwj,” NIDOTTE 2:45–47. In case of a city siege, the local gods were often hidden, in order to prevent their falling into enemy hands. See Gerald A. Klingbeil and Chantal J. Klingbeil, “Metáforas femeninas de Dios en Isaías: Reflexiones sobre la hermenéutica de la teología feminista,” Theo 14 (1999): 57; and Paul-Alain Beaulieu, “An Episode in the Fall of Babylon to the Persians,” JNES 52 (1993): 241–62. 45. Referring to the calf that they (the Israelites) made (ªa¶û) and ground it until it had been pulverized (ªaser daq). 46. See, for example, Shimon Bar-Efrat, Narrative Art in the Bible ( JSOTSup 70/BLS 17; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1989), 184–96; Philip Nel, “The Symbolism and Function of Epic Space in Jonah,” JNSL 25 (1999): 215–24; Jerome H. Neyrey, “Spaces and Places, Whence and

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audience. This can be seen in the general emphasis on the temple in the Hebrew Bible. Movement and space can also communicate a particular theological message, as in the tower of Babel narrative in Gen 11, where two contrasting movements by the two main protagonists (humankind and Yhwh) suggest conflict and underline the theological force of the narrative. 47 Space and movement in biblical narratives serve five main functions: First, they guide the reader’s attention as the narrative changes from one scene to another. Second, they synchronize visible, external, physical movement with the internal emotions and events of the main character of the story. 48 Third, geography and physical space make the story real. Real names and places are usually part of a real story. Fourth, the interplay between specific references (for example, the indication of the entrance to the tabernacle in Lev 8:3, 4, 31, 33, 35 or the reference to a place “outside the camp” [Lev 8:17]) and nonspecific references (such as the unclear movement of Aaron and his sons during the washing rites [Lev 8:6] of the ordination ritual) help the reader to abstract and focus on the lesson of the narrative. Fifth, space is often directly connected to different levels of society. A good example of this principle is the closeness of particular people to a higher-ranking individual. The importance of position and physical closeness can be seen in the NT discussion between Jesus (the important and higher-ranked individual) and his disciples James and John, who want to sit on Jesus’ right and left in the coming kingdom (Mark 10:35–37). Space also plays a significant role in ritual and often functions as a structuring element in the overall layout of the ritual. 49 For example, the perception

Whither, Homes and Rooms: ‘Territoriality’ in the Fourth Gospel,” BTB 32/2 (2002): 60–74; and also my “‘Up, Down, In, Out, Through and Back.’” 47. See Klingbeil and Klingbeil, “La lectura de la Biblia desde una perspectiva hermenéutica multidisciplinaria (II).” 48. See, for example, Jonah 1, where the Hebrew text uses the verbal root yarad, “descend, go down,” three times in the context of a short section ( Jonah 1:3 [2x], 5), referring to Jonah’s physically moving from the hill country to Joppa, then farther down to the harbor and the waiting vessel, and finally, going down into the hold of the ship. I suggest that the biblical author wishes to connect Jonah’s implicit inner experience with his explicit physical movements. After all, how can a prophet of Yhwh who hears his word try to flee from the presence of Yhwh? For more details, see my “‘Up, Down, In, Out, Through and Back,’” 285–86. 49. See the groundbreaking work of Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane (trans. W. R. Trask; New York: Harcourt Brace, 1959), 20–65. A brief but pertinent discussion of sacred space can be found in Joel P. Brereton, “Sacred Space,” ER 12:526–35. In 1987, Smith (To Take Place) criticized Eliade’s interpretation of space in the context of the comparative method employed. For the application of the concept of sacred/ritual space to particular rituals, see Robert L. Cohn, The Shape of Sacred Space: Four Biblical Studies (AARSR 23; Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981); M. E. Isaacs, Sacred Space: An Approach to the Theology of the Epistle to the Hebrews ( JSNTSup 73; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992); Burke O. Long, “Sacred Geography as Narrative Structure in 2 Kings 11,” in Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature

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of space and its distribution frequently played an important factor in ancient religions. After all, ancient temple architecture (as well as modern church architecture) was not primarily based on utilitarian and practical considerations but provided tangible illustrations of basic creeds, often involving limits, boundaries, and areas of separation that could only be understood within the context of basic religious ideas. 50 In the Hebrew Bible, sacred space can be movable and relative, as reflected in the mobile nature of the tabernacle tent. What makes a particular space holy is the divine presence. When Moses sees the burning bush, he is admonished by Yhwh to refrain from drawing closer and to take off his sandals, kî hammaqôm ªåser ªattâ ºômed ºalayw ªadmat qodes hûª, “because the place that you stand upon is holy ground” (Exod 3:5). 51 This relative holiness can also be understood as a conscious strategy to focus on the actions and objects connected to the sacred space rather than on the space itself. This is illustrated by the inherent nuances of portability in the term hammiskan, “the tent,” 52 a fact that in Honor of Jacob Milgrom (ed. D. P. Wright, D. N. Freedman, and A. Hurvitz; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995), 231–38; G. A. Klingbeil, “Ritual Space in the Ordination Ritual of Leviticus 8,” 59–82; Ziony Zevit, “Preamble to a Temple Tour,” in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (ed. Barry M. Gittlen; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 73–81; Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, “Solomon’s Temple: The Politics of Ritual Space,” in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (ed. Barry M. Gittlen; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 83– 94; or Luna Beard, “From Barefootedness to Sure-Footedness: Contrasts Involving Sacred Space and Movement in the Bible,” JSem 14 (2005): 235–60. 50. Helpful discussions of the architecture of sacred space—both ancient and modern—can be found in Klemens Richter, “Heilige Räume,” LitJahr 48 (1998): 249–64; and Rainer Volp, “Space as Text: The Problem of Hermeneutics in Church Architecture,” StLit 24 (1994): 168–77. Martin Fitzenreiter (“Richtungsbezüge in ägyptischen Sakralanlagen oder: Warum im ägyptischen Tempel das Sanktuar hinten links in der Ecke liegt [Teil I],” SAK 31 [2003]: 107–51; idem, “Richtungsbezüge in ägyptischen Sakralanlagen oder: Warum im ägyptischen Tempel das Sanktuar hinten links in der Ecke liegt [Teil II],” SAK 32 [2004]: 119–47) has provided a fascinating study of the development of sacred space in Egyptian temple architecture during the New Kingdom. A more general discussion of ancient living space and its functions can be found in Maria Krafeld-Daugherty, Wohnen im Alten Orient: Eine Untersuchung zur Verwendung von Räumen in altorientalischen Wohnhäusern (AVO 3; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1994). Similarly, P. M. Michèle Daviau, Houses and Their Furnishings in Bronze Age Palestine: Domestic Activity Areas and Artifact Distribution in the Middle and Late Bronze Age ( JSOT/ASOR Monograph Series 8; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993). However, she dedicates very little space to domestic religious activities. 51. A similar theophany is described at the beginning of Joshua’s leadership, when the prince of the army of Yhwh requires Joshua to take off his sandals and then quotes (nearly verbally) Exod 3:5, kî hammaqôm ªåser ªattâ ºômed ºalayw qodes hûª; “because the place that you stand upon is holy” ( Josh 5:15). See also Zevit, “Preamble to a Temple Tour,” 75–76. 52. The noun with the definite article appears 76x in the Hebrew Bible (Exod 25:9; 26:1, 6, 7, 12, 13, 17, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 30, 35; 27:9, 19; 35:11, 15, 18; 36:8, 13, 14, 22, 25, 27, 28, 31, 32; 38:21, 31; 39:33, 40; 40:9, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 34, 35, 36, 38; Lev 8:10; Num 1:50, 51; 3:7, 8, 23, 25, 26, 29, 35, 36, 38; 4:16, 25, 26, 31; 5:17; 7:1, 3; 9:15, 18, 19, 20, 22; 10:17, 21; 1 Chr 23:26), mostly in the Pentateuch, with 1 Chr 23:26 being the only exception.

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Fig. 15. Graded Holiness as Reflected in Access Areas of the Tabernacle.

emphasizes the cultic context and the nature of ritual rather than a specific geographical location. 53 The tabernacle itself includes three distinct spheres of holiness that are closely connected to the concept of grades of holiness prevalent in the ritual legislation of the Hebrew Bible. 54 While the lay Israelite was able to access the courtyard of the tabernacle (and later on the temple), s/he was not permitted to enter the Holy Place or the Holy of Holies. 55 Figure 15 illustrates the three spheres of holiness of the tabernacle in the Hebrew Bible. 56 53. Ralph E. Hendrix, “Miskan and ªohel môºed: Etymology, Lexical Definitions, and Extrabiblical Usage,” AUSS 29 (1991): 214, 222–23. 54. See Jenson, Graded Holiness, passim. 55. The participation or nonparticipation of women in the Israelite cult continues to be a hotly debated topic. See here Mayer I. Gruber, “Women in the Cult according to the Priestly Code,” in Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel (ed. Jacob Neusner et al.; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987), 35–48; Braulik, “Were Women, Too, Allowed to Offer Sacrifices in Israel? Observations on the Meaning and Festive Form of Sacrifice in Deuteronomy,” HvStT 55 (1999): 909–42; and most recently, Judith Romney Wegner, “‘Coming before the Lord’: The Exclusion of Women from the Public Domain of the Israelite Priestly Cult,” in The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception (ed. Rolf Rendtorff and Robert A. Kugler; VTSup 93/FIOTL 3; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 451–65. Gruber and Braulik perceive more female participation in Israelite’s cult, while Wegner categorically denies it. I think the (admittedly scarce) evidence would favor the former position. 56. Gammie ( Holiness in Israel, 15–16) has suggested the following: (1) Priestly theology endorses clear differentiation between priests, laity, and high priest; (2) there is a close relationship

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Brereton has systematized sacred space according to function and has suggested three major purposes: (1) a place of communication with the deity; (2) a place of divine power, from which God acts; and (3) icons of the world, which help to order and structure reality. 57 All three can also be applied to ritual space. Zevit introduces a slightly different threefold ordering involving (1) geographical space, (2) thematic space, and (3) mythic-symbolic space. 58 According to Zevit, thematic space is conceptual. It cannot be excavated or pinpointed physically (as can, for example, a cult site or a cult corner in an archaeological excavation project), since it exists in the mind rather than in reality. A good example of this is the concept of the kébôd yhwh, “the glory of Yhwh” (for example, Exod 16:7, 10; 24:16, 17; Lev 9:23), which is movable, can rest on particular places (Exod 24:16), but also fills the whole world (Num 14:21). It can also appear visibly to the entire congregation (Num 16:19) and seems to have the form of a cloud (1 Kgs 8:11). Zevit’s distinction between thematic and mythic-symbolic space is not entirely clear. He seems to include issues of ancient world view in the distinction, including the question of the center of the world or the axis mundi, which may be better categorized as cosmogony and cosmology. 59 Movement is also an important aspect of ritual space. Movement can suggest priority and sequence. Often movement indicators are implied spatial references, as can be seen in the anointing rites of the tabernacle and its utensils during the ritual of ordination (Lev 8:10–11). A close reading of the Hebrew text indicates that Moses took a circular route while performing the first anointing rite. Leviticus 8:10 contains a summary statement for the rite (“Moses then took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it”). The following verse includes more detail, twice mentioning hammizbea˙, “the altar.” 60 This reference could indicate that Moses first sprinkled between the presence (and holiness) of God and the tabernacle; (3) the tabernacle constitutes a powerful symbol of the mobility of the divine presence and holiness; (4) the tabernacle was to serve as a reminder of Sinai; and (5) the hiddenness of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies from normal view suggests that the tent structure was also clearly symbolic of the Other World, a hidden realm full of danger and death. 57. Brereton, “Sacred Space,” 528–32. 58. Zevit, “Preamble to Temple Tour,” 76. 59. A helpful discussion of Israelite world view can be found in the different articles gathered in Bernd Janowski and Beate Ego, eds., Das biblische Weltbild und seine altorientalischen Kontexte (FAT 32; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001); Nicolas Wyatt, Space and Time in the Religious Life of the Near East (BibSem 85; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001); and earlier idem, “The Vocabulary and Neurology of Orientation: The Ugaritic and Hebrew Evidence,” in Ugarit, Religion and Culture: Proceedings of the International Conference on Ugarit, Religion and Culture: Edinburgh, July 1994. Essays Presented in Honour of Professor John C. L. Gibson (ed. Nicolas Wyatt et al.; UBL 12; Münster: Ugarit Verlag, 1996), 351–80. 60. See my “Ritual Space in the Ordination Ritual,” 72–73.

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Fig. 16. Route of Anointing Based on Implicit Spatial Indicators in Lev 8:10–11.

anointing oil on the incense altar and the other utensils (including the lampstand and the table of showbread) located in the first section of the sanctuary and then went on to the altar of burnt offering in order to anoint it. From there he may have turned around to anoint the basin and its base. The description of the anointing of Aaron in Lev 8:12 follows. As can be seen in fig. 16, the point of departure as well as the point of return, marked with an X, is near the wash basin. This is suggested by the implied sequence beginning in Lev 8:6, where Aaron and his sons are presented, 61 washed (this obviously requires water), and dressed in their new priestly clothes. 62 Following the anointing of the sacred space, they are in turn anointed. As a result, Aaron and his sons are brought into a ritually similar state to the tabernacle. This suggested route stresses the differentiation between the profane and the holy in the tabernacle geography. Spatial indicators appear to have been used as a finely tuned medium to express the ritual and religious realities of Israelite religion. 63 61. The Hebrew text employs here the term wayyaqreb, “and he brought forward,” a Hiphil verbal form that is generally used in the Hebrew Bible to indicate sacrifice or offerings. The Hiphil of qrb occurs 177x in the Hebrew Bible, out of which 156x should be classified as a cultic context. For a more detailed discussion and further references, see my Comparative Study, 220–22. 62. There is no explicit reference to undressing Aaron and his sons prior to the washing rite. This again highlights the importance of looking at the implicit (and logical) elements of the ritual. 63. Such as the gradation of profane—holy—most holy.

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Another important aspect of ritual space involves general orientation. Ritual orientation has to do with the location of the worshiper with reference to cardinal points, celestial loci, the home of the gods, a temple, and so forth. 64 In the Hebrew Bible, the term orientation is often connected to particular prayer positions. 65 While biblical prayer is not restricted to a particular place (for example, the temple) or a particular time, 66 orientation during prayer can be of the utmost importance. The Aramaic text of Dan 6:11 reads: wédaniyyeªl kédî yédaº dî résîm kétabaª ºal lébayéteh wékawwîn pétî˙an leh béºillîteh neged yérûsélem wézimnîn télatâ béyômaª hûª barek ºal birkôhî ûméßalleª ûmôdeª qødam ªélaheh kol qøbel dî hawaª ºabed min qadmat dénâ When Daniel became aware of the fact that the writing was signed, he retired to his house. And he had windows open in his upper (room) facing Jerusalem. Three times he bowed on his knees and prayed to and praised his God (continually), as he had done previously.

The emphasis on orientation toward Jerusalem is noteworthy since it clearly suggests the importance of orientation in that particular historical context. 67 Later Judaism adopted this custom, which resulted in the orientation of synagogues toward Jerusalem. 68 Spero suggests that this was not a special exilic or 64. See Wyatt, “The Vocabulary and Neurology of Orientation”; also Izak Cornelius, “The Visual Representation of the World of the Ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible,” JNSL 20 (1994): 193–218; and Cornelis Houtman, Der Himmel im Alten Testament: Israels Weltbild und Weltanschauung (OtSt 30; Leiden: Brill, 1993), 283–317. 65. Most monograph-length studies on prayer focus on the theology or forms of prayer. See Moshe Greenberg, Biblical Prose Prayer as a Window to the Popular Religion of Ancient Israel (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983); Henning Graf Reventlow, Gebet im Alten Testament (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1986); Samuel E. Balentine, Prayer in the Hebrew Bible: The Drama of Divine-Human Dialogue (OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993); and Patrick D. Miller, They Cried to the Lord: The Form and Theology of Biblical Prayer (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994). Only Miller’s work includes a brief section on prayer time, place, and positions (pp. 48–54). Reventlow’s detailed discussion contains an important section dealing with the closely connected interaction between cult and prayer (pp. 298–301). Another brief study can be found in Shubert Spero, “Turning to Jerusalem in Prayer,” JBQ 31 (2003): 97–100. 66. Prayer can occur in the temple (Acts 3:1), in places of prayer (Acts 16:13), in private homes (Dan 6:10–11; Acts 9:11, 10:30), by sickbeds (Acts 9:40, 28:8), and even in prison (Acts 16:25). Nighttime prayer is known in the Hebrew Bible (1 Sam 15:11; Ps 42:8, 88:1–2) as well as morning prayer (Ps 88:13). Daniel prays three times a day (Dan 6:10), and Peter and John go to the temple at the hour of prayer (Acts 3:1). 67. In both accounts of Solomon’s dedicatory prayer, the idea of orientation toward the temple (1 Kgs 8:35, 38, 42; 2 Chr 6:21, 26, 29), or the city and the temple (1 Kgs 8:44, 2 Chr 6:34), or the land, the city, and the temple (1 Kgs 8:48, 2 Chr 6:38) is present. Interestingly, in the account of 2 Chronicles the direction is consistently expressed by means of the preposition ªel, whereas in 1 Kings the author predominantly employs the noun derek, “way, road,” and—figuratively—“toward.” 68. Eric M. Meyers, “Ancient Synagogues: An Archaeological Introduction,” in Sacred Realm: The Emergence of the Synagogue in the Ancient World (ed. Steven Fine; Oxford: Oxford University Press / New York: Yeshiva University Museum, 1996), 13.

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postexilic development but that this custom was already established during the reign of Solomon, as can be seen in Solomon’s inauguration prayer (1 Kgs 8:22–53). 69 The importance of orientation in ritual activity is further exemplified by a vision found in Ezek 8:16–18, where the prophet is taken in vision (from his exile in Babylon) 70 to revisit the Jerusalem temple and is shown a number of tôºebôt, “abominations” (Ezek 8:6 [2x], 9, 13, 15, 17), all connected to Jerusalem’s sacred space, the temple. In the inner court of the Temple of Yhwh, 75 men are prostrating themselves toward the east. The biblical text explicitly states that they had their backs toward the Temple of Yhwh. In Ezek 8:17, this practice is again described as an “abomination.” This underscores its highly irregular and blasphemous nature, both in terms of orientation and in terms of the object of adoration. In this sense, ritual space not only involves absolute and relative space but also entails movement, direction, and orientation. Another important aspect of ritual space is explicit movement, which is often connected to the procession motif. A good example of planned ritual movement can be found in the narrative of David’s intent to bring the ark of the covenant to the newly conquered capital, Jerusalem, found in 2 Sam 6:1–23. The first attempt fails (2 Sam 6:1–10) and results in the death of Uzzah. This “destructive holiness” motif connected to the ark of the covenant is already known from the narrative that describes the death of 70 men from Bethshemesh (1 Sam 6:19). 71 When David hears of the blessings that Yhwh has granted to the temporary keeper of the ark (2 Sam 6:11–12a), 72 he is determined to bring one of the key elements of Israelite worship to the new capital and tries again (2 Sam 6:12b-15). This time, however, there seems to be no general frolicking or celebration 73 but a more orderly performance involving limited 69. Spero, “Turning to Jerusalem in Prayer,” 98–99. Compare Wyatt, “The Vocabulary and Neurology of Orientation,” 370–72. 70. The Hebrew phrase wattipol ºalay sam yad ªådonay yhwh, “and there the hand of the Lord Yhwh fell on me” (Ezek 8:1), describes a state of trance involving a vision. For a discussion of this experience in the biblical context, see Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 1–19 (WBC 28; Dallas: Word, 1994), 137. 71. For the concept of “destructive holiness,” see Robert P. Gordon, I and II Samuel: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), 232. 72. The author of 2 Sam 6:11 makes it very clear that it is not the ark that “blesses”; otherwise, it may indicate some sacramental type of blessing. The MT reads: wayébarek yhwh ªet ºobed ªédom wéªet kol bêtô, “and Yhwh blessed Obed-Edom and all his family [lit., ‘house’].” 73. This is suggested in 2 Sam 6:5. The English versions are not too clear on the translation of the Hebrew root ¶˙q, which occurs here as a Piel masculine-plural participle (njb and jpsv [1985]: “danced”; nkjv: “played music”; niv and nasb [1995]: “were celebrating”). The Hebrew root appears 37x in the Hebrew Bible and is often connected to public entertainment ( Judg 16:25, 27) or celebrations (1 Sam 18:7) or some type of competition (2 Sam 2:14). It also denotes laughter ( Job 5:22, 29:24). The best understanding of this term in the context of 2 Sam 6 would be some type of

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movement (six steps) and ritual sacrifice (of an ox and a fat sheep). 2 Samuel 6:14 employs the Hebrew mékarker, a hapax legomenon participle that appears only here and in v. 16. Based on Ugaritic textual evidence, Avishur has suggested a translation of the verb as “play,” which should be understood as a parallel expression to the earlier verbal form ¶˙q,suggesting a public ritual celebration. 74 Flanagan interprets this act as a communal rite of passage that ushers in new social realities (that is, the strengthening of the kingship). At the same time, it illustrates the sinking fortunes of the house of Saul as compared with the rising star of David. 75 One key ritual element of the passage involves the management of space, which is interconnected with specific ritual actions (sacrifices) that often occurred in ritual processions in the ANE. 76 Processions generally involve movement from point A to point B and are often connected to a change of status. 77 Due to their public nature, they are a prime means of religious (or secular) propaganda. 78 A final element of sacred (and ritual space) involves the larger narrative context of the Hebrew Bible. The Pentateuch and also later on the prophets view the Exodus from Egypt to the promised land as a foundational experience connected to the state of liminality, a term popularized by anthropologist Victor Turner. In the liminal phase, the ritual subject is “betwixt and between.” 79 It is this experience of in-between-ness that creates communitas, a type of bonding that does not depend on class, rank, wealth, or social status. 80 general public celebration involving music. For more, see Leslie C. Allen, “qjc,” NIDOTTE 3:1228–30. 74. Yitzhak Avishur, “Krkr in Biblical Hebrew and Ugaritic,” VT 26 (1976): 257–61. Interestingly, the parallel accounts in 1 Chr 13:8 and 15:29 substitute the verb ¶˙q for kirker. 75. James W. Flanagan, “Social Transformation and Ritual in 2 Samuel 6,” in The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Sixtieth Birthday (ed. Carol L. Meyers and M. O’Connor; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns/American Schools of Oriental Research, 1983), 361–72. 76. Patrick D. Miller and J. J. M. Roberts, The Hand of the Lord: A Reassessment of the “Ark Narrative” of 1 Samuel ( Johns Hopkins Near Eastern Studies; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), 16ff. See also Delbert R. Hillers, “Ritual Procession of the Ark and Ps 132,” CBQ 30 (1968): 48–55. P. Kyle McCarter Jr. (“The Ritual Dedication of the City of David in 2 Samuel 6,” in The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Sixtieth Birthday [ed. Carol L. Meyers and M. O’Connor; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns/American Schools of Oriental Research, 1983], 273–78) has focused on the results (or function) of the ritual— that is, the religious dedication of the City of David, which is also known from other ANE texts. 77. See the processions mentioned in the installation ritual of the nin.dingir of dim from Emar (Emar 369). 78. See Portefaix, “Ancient Ephesus: Processions as Media of Religious and Secular Propaganda.” 79. For example, in Turner, The Ritual Process, 95. 80. Victor W. Turner, Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1974), 52.

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Turner’s field-research-based suggestions could also be applied to the Exodus period, particularly the sojourn in the wilderness. Although it was a clanfamily that moved into Egypt (Gen 46–50), Israel is first described as an ºam, “people,” in Exod 1:9 in the context of the Exodus narrative. Cohn states that “wilderness . . . is a typical metaphor for the liminal phase of rites of passages. Participants in initiation rituals are often actually or metaphorically in the wilderness, secluded from society.” 81 Often, these liminal periods are very creative periods. This is also true in the case of biblical Israel as viewed from the pentateuchal perspective. 82 Specialized religious groups are installed (Exod 28–29, Lev 8–9, Num 17–18), law codes are established, and future border divisions are set up. The entrance into the land can be seen as the reincorporation/reintegration so typical of rites of passage. The land is a gift from Yhwh and provides the framework for future religious and political developments. With the destruction of the First Temple in 586 b.c.e, the concept of sacred space, mostly in the context of ritual performance, had to be modified by Judaism, and alternative forms of communication with the deity had to be developed. After the destruction of the Second Temple in the 1st century c.e., the problem became even more pressing, since there was little prospect of a future restoration of the sacred space. However, the concept of relative sacred space, so prevalent in the early history of biblical Israel, provided a firm basis for Judaism in redefining this important element of sacred space. 83

A Moment in Time: Understanding Ritual Time Time, as well as space, is crucial in ritual. Time as the context and content of reality is at once “the eternal, unchanging environment of our being and its momentary, ever-changing mode of expression.” 84 The study of time in ritual can be divided into two main categories, absolute time and relative time. 85 Ab81. Cohn, Shape of Sacred Space, 13. 82. Iain Provan, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III (A Biblical History of Israel [Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2003], 3–35) have recently undertaken an analysis of biblical historiography, arguing for the validity of a biblical history of Israel that takes both the biblical text and the extrabiblical data seriously. 83. Baruch A. Levine (“The Next Phase in Jewish Religion: The Land of Israel as Sacred Space,” in Tehillah le-Moshe: Biblical and Judaic Studies in Honor of Moshe Greenberg [ed. M. Cogan, B. L. Eichler, and J. H. Tigay; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1997], 245–57) has provided a fascinating discussion of some of the issues involved. He also suggests that modern Israel faces a new opportunity and a new challenge. He writes: “There are indications that the next phase in Jewish religion will be characterized by the return to sacred space, albeit in ways modulated by new concepts of sanctity and by new modes of religious expression” (p. 257). 84. Barbara C. Sproul, “Sacred Time,” ER 12:535. 85. For a helpful bibliography of ritual time from an anthropological or history-of-religion perspective, see Grimes, Research in Ritual Studies, 46–48.

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solute time involves calendar-based events—as, for example, annual festivals and feasts, and repetitive holy days connected to particular rituals. It imposes a cultural or religious (mostly both) scheme on the order of nature. 86 A feast marking the end of the harvest obviously marked the end of a particular sowing-growing-reaping cycle and also had economic repercussions. A New Year’s feast such as the Mesopotamian Akîtu festival ended an established annual cycle and offered new beginnings. 87 Relative time is more specifically “ritual time,” that is, the time that is needed to perform the ritual adequately and that will ultimately lead to a successful ritual outcome. The seven-day period, so prevalent in the Hebrew Bible as well as in the larger ANE context, 88 provides an interesting point of departure for a discussion of relative ritual time. The combination “seven” and “days” occurs some 85 times in the Hebrew Bible, mostly in cultic contexts. 89 Seven-day periods are mentioned in mourning rites (Gen 50:10, Job 2:13, Ezek 3:15–16). In the important Passover feast, the Israelites were commanded to eat unleavened bread for seven days (Exod 12:15–19, 13:6–7, 23:15, 34:18; Lev 23:6; and so on). Other seven-day periods with clear ritual (or cultic) connotations include the seven-day period involved in the important priestly ordination ritual (Exod 29:30, 35–37; Lev 8:33–35), the period of time during which a woman would be considered ceremonially unclean after giving birth (Lev 12:2), 90 the period of separation if suspicious spots on skin, hair, clothing, or elsewhere have been discovered (Lev 13:4–5, 21–54), and the

86. Bell, Ritual, 103. 87. For a more detailed discussion of the Akitu New Year celebration, see Karel van der Toorn, “The Babylonian New Year Festival: New Insights from the Cuneiform Texts and Their Bearing on Old Testament Study,” in Congress Volume: Leuven, 1989 (ed. J. A. Emerton; VTSup 43; Leiden: Brill, 1991), 331–44; and more recently Cohen, The Cultic Calendars, 400–453. Bell (Ritual, 17–20) has provided a convenient and concise summary of the diverse interpretations of the festival by important history-of-religion researchers, including James Frazer, Theodor Gaster, Mircea Eliade, and Jonathan Smith. 88. Daniel E. Fleming (“The Seven-Day Siege of Jericho in Holy War,” in Ki Baruch Hu: Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Judaic Studies in Honor of Baruch A. Levine [ed. Robert Chazan et al.; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1999], 211–28) has studied the seven-day period of the siege of Jericho in the larger context of holy war. Using comparative contemporary material from Ugarit (KTU 1.14 and the Keret epic) and Mari (ARM 1 131:14–16 and 26 405:3), Fleming highlights the ritual dimension of the seven-day siege. At Emar the seven-day unit was also of the utmost importance and appeared in the ordination ritual of the nin.dingir of dim (Emar 369), and the main zukru text (Emar 373.75). See Fleming, Time at Emar, 68–76. 89. See my “Ritual Time in Leviticus 8,” 500–513. 90. Linda S. Schearing (“Double Time . . . Double Trouble? Gender, Sin, and Leviticus 12,” in The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception [ed. Rolf Rendtorff and Robert A. Kugler; VTSup 93 / FIOTL 3; Leiden: Brill, 2003], 429–50) presents a review of the history of interpretation of Lev 12:1–5 from a feminist perspective.

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Fig. 17. Rituals That Require a Seven-Day Period in the Hebrew Bible.

period required during the purification ritual for lepers (Lev 14:8). 91 Figure 17 indicates the different types of ritual that involve a seven-day period. The seven-day period of ritual time appears in six places, which include texts connected to (1) the consecration of the tabernacle or temple (12x), the feast of unleavened bread/Passover (29x), (3) the feast of booths (10x), (4) particular periods of purification (after contact with a dead body, menstruation, bodily discharges, particular skin diseases, and so on; 21x), (5) periods of mourning (6x), and others not easily classified (2x). The following four elements serve as the common denominator in the majority of these rituals. First, all events connected to the seven-day period require the whole period in order to be complete. The purification ritual of lepers 92 described in Lev 14 requires two sets of ritual actions (Lev 14:2–7, 9–20), strategically divided by a transitional seven-day period (Lev 14:8) in which the leper must re91. Other occurrences include: purification of a house with fungus (Lev 14:38), purification of someone with bodily discharges (Lev 15:13), the period of time that a woman having her menstruation is ceremonially unclean (Lev 15:19), the period of time that a man who has had sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman is ceremonially unclean (Lev 15:24), and so on. For more references see my “Ritual Time in Leviticus 8,” 505–8. 92. The use of the word “lepers” in this context follows the practice of most versions. However, it should be noted that the Hebrew noun ßaraºat and its cognates generally describe a skin disease that does not necessarily correspond to the pathology of Hansen’s disease. See also E. V. Hulse, “The Nature of Biblical ‘Leprosy’ and the Use of Alternative Medical Terms in Modern Translations of the Bible,” PEQ 107 (1975): 87–105; and more recently John Wilkinson, The Bible and Healing: A Medical and Theological Commentary (Edinburgh: Handsel / Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 46–48.

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main outside his tent. 93 In this case, neither the seven-day ritual period at the beginning nor the seven-day ritual period at the end is sufficient to produce the required result of complete purification in itself. The whole time period must be completed in order to achieve the desired ritual results. Second, the seven-day ritual period involves transitions. Most purification rituals emphasize that the person involved is ceremonially unclean for the duration of the seven-day period. The eighth day following this period involves further ritual action (such as shaving, washing, or sacrifices), and only then can the person be reintegrated into the social structure of the community. In the case of the feast of unleavened bread, requiring the consumption of unleavened bread for seven days, an artificial situation in a household is generated by outlawing the use of yeast—a practice that is appropriate and acceptable during the remainder of the year. In this case, the seven-day period is to remind the Israelites that Yhwh led them out of Egypt (Exod 12:17) and that they experienced an important period of transition or liminality. In this example, time and space represent two interactive elements that indicate transition. 94 The seven-day consecration rituals for the tabernacle and temple also emphasize the transitional motif. Neither the sacred space (the tabernacle or temple) nor the religious specialists are yet ready to assume their functions. Although Aaron and his sons have been washed, clothed, and anointed (as reported in Lev 8), they are not yet ready to minister at the altar. They are not priests yet, but neither are they lay people who have to remain in the confines of the tabernacle compound for seven days (Lev 8:35). In the seven-day period of the feast of booths, the transitional element of the ritual is emphasized by the fragile material that the Israelites live in for their nonpermanent abodes. The prescriptive seven-day mourning rites also communicate a period of transition or separation. Normal life stops, and the mourner is only reincorporated into the community and the everyday duties of life after seven days. 95 93. The first set of ritual actions (Lev 14:2–7) involves leaving the camp, slaughtering one bird, and pouring its blood into a clay vessel full of fresh water. Another live bird is then dipped into the water together with additional objects such as cedar wood, crimson fabric, and twigs of hyssop. The resulting mixture is then sprinkled seven times on the leper. The second set of actions after the completion of the seven-day period (Lev 14:9–20) includes the complete shaving off of body hair. Both the individual and his clothing items were to be washed, and two sacrificial lambs together with a grain offering were to be taken to the tabernacle. The lambs were then sacrificed in a complex ritual. 94. See also Cohn, Shape of Sacred Space, 13. 95. The accompanying rites involving fasting (1 Sam 31:13, 1 Chr 10:12), lamenting (Gen 50:10), silently sitting on the ground ( Job 2:12, Ezek 3:15–16), or other out-of-the-ordinary displays of grief underline the transitory nature of the time period. On mourning in general, see Gary A. Anderson, A Time to Mourn, A Time to Dance: The Expression of Grief and Joy in Israelite Religion (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991); and Xuan Huong Thi Pham, Mourning in the Ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible ( JSOTSup 302; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999).

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Third, the seven-day period in the Hebrew Bible often stresses the rite-ofpassage character of a particular ritual. This can clearly be seen in the consecration rites as well as the feasts of unleavened bread and booths, which seem to reinterpret the collective history of Israel (and serve as a reminder to the Israelites!), involving the Exodus from Egypt, as some type of communal rite of passage. On an individual basis, the same motif is visible in most of the purification rites, particularly those involving people considered ceremonially unclean. By complying with a seven-day period of transition, generally followed by additional subrites, the individual may then be fully reintegrated into the community. This fits into the typical rite-of-passage ritual sequence of separation-transition-reintegration. 96 Fourth, the transitional seven-day period often results in achieving holiness. In this sense, ritual time and ritual status are connected. This is particularly true for the purification rituals. The person formerly (ritually) unclean becomes (ritually) clean. The individual that was isolated from society can rejoin the community. 97 Thus far, the distinction between absolute and relative ritual time has involved explicit time references. However, ritual time can also be implied by the text. The ritual preparation of a sacrifice (for example, Lev 1:2–9), including the washing of the animal, followed by the laying of the perpetrator’s hand on the head of the animal, as well as the ritually correct slaughtering of the animal would all take time. This time needed is based on the sequence of events and is not (and perhaps cannot be) spelled out in the texts. The time needed for the blood manipulation rites and for the relevant parts of the offering to be consumed by fire is not indicated. Some of the subrites can be performed quickly (for example, the laying on of hands), while others involve a lot more time. The modern interpreter of written biblical ritual texts needs to remember this when reconstructing the implicit ritual time sequence. The lack of detailed time can be understood in view of the audience of the biblical texts. For most people living in the ancient Near East, the slaughtering of an animal and its subsequent bleeding and burning were a common experience.

96. The fulfillment of the seven-day period is often essential. For example, the soon-to-be priests Aaron and his sons are warned not to leave the tabernacle compound (= sacred space) for seven days, wéloª tamûtû, “so that you will not die” (Lev 8:35). A similar indication of the crucial significance can be found in the purification ritual of the leper in Lev 14:8, where the person to be purified can return to the encampment after the first block of purification rites, wéyasab mi˙ûß léªohølô, “but he will live outside his tent.” Only on the eighth day after a second block of subrites is he considered completely clean. 97. See, in more detail, Meier, “Sabbath and Purification Cycles,” 7–8, where he suggests that the creation work from chaos to order or sterility to fruitfulness should be considered the underlying theological paradigm.

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This familiarity together with other important characteristics of the genre “ritual text” 98 seem to have made more-precise time indications superfluous.

In Retrospect Structure, order and sequence, space, and time are all significant elements of ritual. The study of structure, order, and sequence in written ritual texts is predominantly connected to syntax, particularly in the context of the Hebrew Bible. Literary structure (including chiastic designs) may also indicate ritual structure, although this equation should not be made automatically and needs to be verified in each particular context. Going beyond the order and sequence of an individual text, we have seen that careful classification of the Pentateuch as a whole suggests a quasi-chiastic structure in terms of the presence of ritual texts and their distinction in prescriptive and descriptive texts. Ritual space represents another important category of ritual interpretation and involves explicit and implicit space indicators. Specific geographical terms, place-names, and identifiable locations (such as the “entrance of the tabernacle”) may be termed explicit space indicators. Implicit space markers are often connected to particular sequences and verbal actions that express movement. Ritual space can also include a procession-like movement from point A to point B. Time represents another important element of ritual, since it measures it or gives it rhythm. Absolute time refers to clear time indicators (such as “seven days,” “in the first month on the second day,” “every year,” and so on), while relative time refers to the time that passes during the execution of a ritual and is not necessarily indicated in the text. Inherent time indicators are sometimes dependent on other innerritual elements, which may be specific without being absolute: for example, “in the morning,” “after dusk,” or “before the sunset.” and so on. Although no specific day is marked, the particular point during the day is indicated. In the following chapter, we will examine the other basic elements of ritual analysis, including the function of objects, action, participants and their roles, and sound and language in ritual.

98. See my “Género olvidado,” 267–95, for a discussion of ritual as a genre in the context of the Pentateuch. Another helpful study dealing with the characteristics of ritual as a textual genre that only came to my attention after my study had already been published can be found in James W. Watts, “The Rhetoric of Ritual Instruction in Leviticus 1–7,” in The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception (ed. Rolf Rendtorff and Robert A. Kugler; VTSup 93/FIOTL 3; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 79–100. Watts emphasizes the persuasive strategy (including, for example, a very repetitive style)—so typical in oral rhetoric—as one of the ritual genre’s driving forces.

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Objects, Action, Participants, and Language: Ritual Elements 2 “What You See Is Not What You Get”: Ritual Objects Objects used in ritual generally cannot be interpreted at face value. Mysteriously, they become changed and take on different meanings. A rough rock suddenly becomes part of an altar (Exod 20:25, 24:4) or a memorial stele (Gen 28:18, 31:45–54, 35:14; Josh 4:5, 24:26). All of a sudden, this rock is more than just a particular chemical formula and is treated accordingly. While nothing physical changes the nature of the innate object, its integration into the ritual process gives it new dimensions, a changed status, and an altered perception. In the following, specific ritual objects from rituals in both the Hebrew Bible and the NT will be discussed. While it is possible to see certain trends and recurring characteristics, it must be remembered that there is no “standard” ritual meaning for a particular object that is valid in every single ritual context. For example, clothing in ritual can have distinct meanings and is intricately connected to different ritual actions. In the ordination ritual of Aaron and his sons in Lev 8, the Hebrew text employs 12 different terms that indicate types of clothing or ornamentation. 1 In this particular context, clothing has a signal character. The undressing and washing before the putting on of the new clothes underline the rite-of-passage nature of the ordination ritual. However, clothes also indicate status. While Aaron is clothed with 8 pieces of clothing and ornamentation altogether, 2 his sons are only dressed with 4 garments. 3 In this context, apart from the signal character of the clothing in general and the priestly garments in particular, the clothes also mark status and hierarchy. Swiss author Gottfried Keller has noted this in one of his well-known plays: 1. For details, see my Comparative Study, 177–83. 2. Including the kuttonet, “linen garment”; ªabnet, “scarf, sash”; méºîl, “robe”; ªepod, “Ephod” together with the ˙eseb haªepod, “decorated band of the Ephod”; ˙osen, “breastpiece” (including the Urim and Thummim); mißnepet, “turban”; ßîß hazzahab nezer haqqodes, “the golden ornament of the holy crown”; and the miknasayim, “breeches” (although the last one is not specifically mentioned in Lev 8 but appears in Exod 28:42). 3. Including the kuttonet, “linen garment”; ªabnet, “scarf, sash”; migbaºot, “headdress”; and the miknasayim, “breeches.”

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Kleider machen Leute (“Clothes Make the Man”). This difference in status is expressed not only by the quantity of items but also by the quality. While the garments of the priests are to be made of “fine linen” 4 with only the ªabnet, “scarf, sash,” to be designed of “fine twisted linen with blue, purple, and crimson yarns, done in needlework” (Exod 39:29, nrsv), the additional clothes of the high priest are to be made with elaborate weaving and design work (Exod 28:6–39, 39:2–26). Often clothes are connected to washing rites (Lev 8:6, 14:8–9, 15:5–8). Although it is not always explicitly stated in the ritual texts, the undressing and washing involved at least partial nudity. In the Hebrew Bible (and also in the larger ANE context), partial or complete nudity was a sign of shame and loss of identity. 5 As a result, the experience of nudity (even if it was for a short period) would communicate powerfully to all ritual participants involved and often would mark a period of transition. Mourning rituals often involved the tearing of garments (Gen 37:34, Josh 7:6, 2 Sam 1:11, Job 1:20, and so on) and mark the interaction of ritual object (= garment) with ritual action (= tearing). By tearing the outer garment, the mourner was at least partially naked, resulting in public shame. 6 Furthermore, the ritual object would lose some of its usefulness and would thus represent a significant material loss. To mourn and tear one’s clothing was costly to the mourner.

4. Exodus 39:27–29 describes most of the priestly garments as being made of ses, “fine linen.” Avi Hurvitz (“The Usage of çç and ≈wb in the Bible and Its Implications for the Date of P,” HTR 60 [1967]: 117–21) has argued that the employment of the term ses instead of the later bûß should be interpreted in terms of chronological (preexilic/postexilic) and geographical (Egypt/Mesopotamia–Syria) considerations. Since ses is clearly an Egyptian loanword with no Syrian–Mesopotamian counterpart (as opposed to bûß,which has clear etymological connections in Aramaic and Akkadian), its predominant usage in the description of the construction of the tabernacle and the clothing of the priests (Exod 25–40) should be understood in terms of the historical context of the Exodus narrative. 5. See M. E. Vogelzang and W. J. van Bekkum, “Meaning and Symbolism of Clothing in Ancient Near Eastern Texts,” in Scripta Signa Vocis: Studies about Scripts, Scriptures, Scribes and Languages in the Near East, Presented to J. H. Hospers by His Pupils, Colleagues and Friends (ed. H. L. J. Vanstiphout et al.; Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1986), 265–84, esp. 273; and also Douglas R. Edwards, “Dress and Ornamentation,” ABD 2:232. Concerning nudity per se from an anthropological perspective in the biblical context, see Jerome H. Neyrey, “Nudity,” in Biblical Social Values and Their Meaning (ed. John J. Pilch and Bruce J. Malina; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993), 119–25. More relevant bibliography can be found in my Comparative Study, 185–86. 6. It should be noted that most of the mourning rites were public rites and were communicated in their respective societal contexts. They functioned as public markers that did not require explicit explanation. It is interesting to note that ritual behavior connected with death is particularly dependent on the specific cultural context. For example, funeral rituals in Peru are quite distinct from acceptable rituals in Germany.

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Another important element in connection with ritual objects is their interaction. This principle can be illustrated well by looking at the workmanship styles of the different priestly garments as compared with particular elements used in the tabernacle construction. As can be seen in table 1, there was a marked coincidence of workmanship styles that may have indicated grades of sanctity.

Table 1. Design of Ritual Objects as Indicator of Degree of Sanctity Hebrew Workmanterm ship style

Clothing object

Tabernacle object

˙oseb

Elaborate design

méºîl, “robe” (esp. the hem of this robe, Exod 28:31–34); a ªepod, “Ephod” (Exod 28:6) together with the ˙eseb haªepod, “decorated band of the Ephod” (Exod 28:8); ˙osen, “breastpiece” (Exod 28:15)

yerîºot, “curtains” (Exod 26:1); paroket, “veil between holy and most holy” (Exod 26:31)

roqem

Less elaborate design

ªabnet, “scarf, sash” (for both Aaron and his sons, Exod 28:39)

masak lépeta˙ haªohel, “screen for the entrance of the tent” (Exod 26:36); masak lésaºar he˙aßer, “screen for the gate of the court” (Exod 27:16)

ªoreg

Refers to fabric made of one kind

méºîl, “robe” (Exod 28:32), Not used not including the hem

a. Haran (Temples and Temple-Service, 160–61) has suggested that this elaborate workmanship style usually involved distinctive colors and figures, most likely cherubim. It should be noted that only the hems of the robes were made in this particular style. The remainder of the garment was made of simple fabric, in the ªoreg style. Concerning the importance of hems as status indicators as well as special ritual actions connected to the hem, see Jacob Milgrom, “Of Hems and Tassels,” BAR 9/3 (1983): 61–65; Paul A. Kruger, “The Hem of the Garment in Marriage: The Meaning of the Symbolic Gesture in Ruth 3:9 and Ezek 16:8,” JNSL 12 (1986): 79–86; idem, “The Symbolic Significance of the Hem (kanaf ) in 1 Samuel 15.27.”

As can be easily perceived from table 1, workmanship style seemed to correspond with the degree of sanctity. Whereas the regular priests were predominantly dressed in garments made in the rather simple ªoreg style (except the sash, which was made in the more-elegant roqem style), the high priest was

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dressed in garments made in all three styles. These degrees of sanctity were also perceivable in the ritual actions that these religious specialists were able to perform. Note also that the ªoreg style was not used in the fabrics employed in the tabernacle construction. Both regular priests and the high priest were allowed to enter the Holy Place (= first section of the tent), the spatial dividers of which (both the front screen for the tabernacle compound and the screen before the Holy Place) were made in the intermediate roqem workmanship style. Only once a year, during the Day of Atonement ritual, was the high priest permitted to enter the Holy of Holies as part of the major national ritual that resulted in purification of the sanctuary (Lev 16:2–3). On these occasions, he was to wear garments that were made in the same style (the ˙oseb style) as the curtains covering the tabernacle and the veil dividing the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. In this sense, the design, texture, and workmanship of the ritual objects particular to this ritual (involving ritual space and ritual participants) had to have the same outstanding qualities and exquisite designs. Ritually, they were on the same level and thus could represent distinct gradations of sanctity in the various spheres. Another helpful distinction between ritual objects can be made regarding their interaction with ritual space. 7 While some ritual objects are stationary and more permanent, others are portable and temporary. A good example of this can be found in the different altars mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, mostly in connection with the tabernacle or the temple. Altars were mostly permanent and were generally employed for burning specific elements before the deity. In some circumstances, altars not only served their primary purpose of providing the space marked for sacrifice or incense to be burned but also were connected to blood manipulation rites. In this latter use, two important ritual objects meet: altar (with its base and often protruding horns) and blood meet in the context of space and actions. 8 According to the Hebrew Bible, all the major altars had four extensions on the four corners that were referred to 7. This observation again underlines the importance of avoiding an atomistic perspective in ritual studies. Objects cannot be understand in isolation from participants, actions, space, or time (or any other of the elements that were introduced earlier, in the ritual reading strategy). 8. Concerning the importance and function of blood in the Israelite religion, see Dennis J. McCarthy, “The Symbolism of Blood and Sacrifice,” JBL 88 (1969): 166–76; idem, “Further Notes on the Symbolism of Blood and Sacrifice,” JBL 92 (1973): 205–10; Marc Vervenne, “‘The Blood Is the Life and the Life Is the Blood’: Blood as Symbol of Life and Death in Biblical Tradition (Gen. 9,4),” in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the International Conference Organized by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven from the 17th to the 20th April of 1991 (ed. J. Quaegebeur; OLA 55; Leuven: Peeters, 1993), 451–70; Stowers, “On the Comparison of Blood in Greek and Israelite Ritual”; and, with a more comparative perspective, Tzvi Abusch, “Blood in Israel and Mesopotamia,” in Emanuel: Studies in Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls in Honor of Emanuel Tov (ed. Shalom M. Paul et al.; VTSup 94; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 675–84.

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as “horns.” 9 The special meaning of these horns is not always clear, although most discussions of this particular altar form include explanations in which “horns” symbolize strength and denote power, “imagery drawn from the force exerted by the bull’s forward thrust.” 10 Other explanations for this particular design feature (especially in the context of the incense altar) involve the relationship between form and function: the four horns are understood as symbolizing rooftop ritual offerings to the gods and represent an established cultic tradition in the ANE. 11 Again we face the sad fact that not even permanent ritual objects or well-known ritual objects such as altars are always easily explained in a cultural and religious context far removed from their original one. The biblical texts do not always explain these features or objects adequately, most likely because their significance was well known. There are many portable ritual objects in biblical ritual. From food objects (including wafers, flour, fruit, oil, and other fluids) to tools (knives, cinder boxes, ropes, lampstands) to various types of vessels or items that are not easily classified, 12 they all share the common denominator of transportability and in most instances represent commonly used objects that, by being used in a ritual context, suddenly become ritually significant. 13 In other words, context and use determine their ritual “status.” In the NT context, the communion ritual 14 involves two main ritual objects, bread and wine (Matt 26:26–30, Mark

9. See here, for example, Lev 4:7, which refers to the blood manipulation ºal qarnôt mizba˙ qé†oret hassammîm, “on the horns of the altar of the fragrant incense.” In Lev 8:15 the similar phrase ºal qarnôt hammizbea˙, “on the horns of the altar,” refers to the outer altar of burnt offerings. 10. Mervyn D. Fowler, “Incense Altars,” ABD 3:409. However, the horn imagery does not necessarily refer to the bull motif and its related fertility concept in the Hebrew Bible. As has been shown by Süring, the horn motif appears to have been connected to at least two different ideas. Besides the power motif (represented by the charging bull), there is another horn tradition in the Hebrew Bible that is connected with messianic and eschatological realities that are described as bringing about something entirely new. Süring has labeled this the vertical level versus the horizontal level. See Margit Linnéa Süring, Horn-Motifs in the Hebrew Bible and Related Ancient Near Eastern Literature and Iconography (AUSDDS 4; Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1982), 458–62. 11. Gitin, “The Four-Horned Altar and Sacred Space,” 116. 12. One thinks of the cedar wood, scarlet string, and twigs of hyssop that are included in the purification ritual of lepers found in Lev 14. Numbers 5:17 includes some dust from the floor of the tabernacle in the ritual procedure to determine the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of a married wife. 13. The only exceptions to this rule are the vessels of the tabernacle that were specifically made for use in the tabernacle or later temple. The Hebrew kélî, “utensil,” has a rather large semantic range including weapons (Gen 27:3, Judg 18:11), implements or tools in general (Num 35:16, 18, 22), ornaments (Isa 61:10, Ezek 16:17), clothing (Deut 22:5), and musical instruments (Amos 6:5, 1 Chr 15:16). See, for more discussion, D. P. Wright, Disposal of Impurity, 84; and Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 673. 14. It should be noted that the terms “communion meal,” “Lord’s Supper,” and “Eucharist” are used interchangeably in this study. For a discussion of the terminology, biblical references,

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14:22–26, Luke 22:19–20, 1 Cor 11:23–26). 15 Both elements represented the common daily fare of the ordinary peasant living in Palestine. Although the text does not mention it explicitly, the requirement for the Passover celebration (which coincides with Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples) demanded bread without yeast. 16 There is also not much information concerning the nature of the fluid used. The three gospels containing this particular narrative all include the Greek pothvrion, “cup” (Matt 26:27, Mark 14:23, Luke 22:17; also 1 Cor 11:25–27), which does not specify what kind of drink was employed in the ritual. 17 The only indication appears in the later promise of Jesus not to partake “of this fruit of the grapevine” until the final eschatological banquet. 18 Most commentators consider this a clear indication that the “cup” was filled with wine, although some have strongly argued against fermented wine. 19 The theology, and (often diverging) history of interpretation of this institution throughout the Christian era, see several articles in the Encyclopedia of Christianity (ed. E. Fahlousch et al.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans / Leiden: Brill, 2001): Karl-Heinrich Bieritz, “Eucharist: Overview,” 2:163–66; Jürgen Roloff, “Eucharist: NT Texts,” 2:166–68; Günther Schnurr, “Eucharist: Development in the Church and Theology,” 2:168–73; Karl-Heinrich Bieritz, “Eucharist: Contemporary Practice,” 2:173–76. 15. Andrew McGowan (Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals [OECS; Oxford: Clarendon, 1999], 1–32 and 218–49) has provided a fascinating study of the bread-and-water tradition in the NT and the early Christian communities. His introductory section on the importance of food in ritual is very helpful. See also Gruenwald, Rituals and Ritual Theory, 231–66. 16. In the prescriptive section of the Passover in Exod 12:15, the MT indicates the requirement to eat maßßôt, “unleavened bread.” Some important studies on the ritual aspect of the Lord’s Supper can be found in May, “The Lord’s Supper, Part I,” and idem, “The Lord’s Supper, Part II”; Paul Post and Louis van Tongeren, “The Celebration of the First Communion: Seeking the Identity of the Christian Ritual,” in Christian Feast and Festival: The Dynamics of Western Liturgy and Culture (ed. Paul Post et al.; LitCon 12; Leuven: Peeters, 2001), 581–98. Another interesting study that takes the ritual dimensions of both Passover and communion into consideration can be found in Brumberg-Kraus, “Not by Bread Alone.” 17. Paul refers to the same element of the Lord’s Supper as pothvrion thÅÍ eujkigÇaÍ, “the cup of blessing” in 1 Cor 10:16 and as pothvrion kurÇou, “the cup of the Lord,” in 1 Cor 10:21. Interestingly, Luke seems to present a sequence of cup-bread-cup, thus involving an additional cup rite that is not present in the other Synoptic Gospels. On the basis of its exceptional attestation and due to its more difficult nature, it should be accepted as the original text. See here also the arguments and bibliography in Darrell L. Bock, Luke, Volume 2: 9:51–24:53 (BECNT 3b; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 1721–24. 18. The Greek is aßmpeloÍ, “grapevine,” which in both the LXX and the NT is used to indicate the full plant (Gen 40:9–10, 49:11; Lev 25:3–4; Judg 9:12; John 15:1–5; James 3:12; Rev 14:18–19), albeit sometimes in metaphorical contexts. Concerning the eschatological banquet and Jesus’ promise, see Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 14–28 (WBC 33b; Dallas: Word, 1995), 774. 19. See Samuele Bacchiocchi, Wine in the Bible: A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages (Berrien Springs, MI: Biblical Perspectives, 1989), 156–62. A history of vines and viticulture in ancient Israel can be found in Carey Ellen Walsh, The Fruit of the Vine: Viticulture in Ancient Israel (HSM 60; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000).

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meal established by Jesus to commemorate his sacrificial death is clearly modeled along the lines of the Passover meal, which involved the drinking of four cups (m. Pesa˙. 10). 20 Interestingly, in both the Jewish and the Christian ritual involving the Passover seder or the Eucharist celebration, the focus is on eating, drinking, and talking about it. There is a clear connection between the two rituals in terms of common time (= evening), the mention of the Passover lamb, the existence of at least two cups of wine (Luke 22:17–20), the recited blessings over bread and wine, and the dipping of bread into condiments (Mark 14:20), which coincide with m. Pesa˙. 10:4. 21 An additional link between the Jewish Passover seder and the Christian Eucharist ritual exists that can be viewed in the sense of continuity. This link is based on the concept of sacrifice. Jesus interprets the breaking of bread in terms of a sacrifice that is assimilated by eating it in commemoration of this act (Matt 26:26). As has been demonstrated by Mary Douglas, this is a concept of sacrifice that is also present in the Hebrew Bible and easily connects the Christian Eucharistic concepts with the ritual practice found there. 22 Clear differences also exist, however, and need to be mentioned. While both rituals refer to a past event and reinterpret the present reality by looking at this past event, their intentions are distinct. The Christian Eucharist is a ritual of both separation and reintegration, particularly when one considers its 1st-century c.e. historical context. Due to distinct historical and also theological realities, Christians sought to distinguish themselves from Jews and Jewish practice. This aspect of separation is indicated by focusing on the bread as a symbol of the death of Jesus and by completely leaving out the important Passover lamb required in Exod 12. However, the ritual also contains an important 20. See also Bock, Luke, Volume 2, 1723. The four cups were drunk (1) with the preliminary course to bless the day; (2) after a liturgical explanation indicating the reasons for the celebration of the day and coinciding with the singing of the Hallel Psalms; (3) following the meal of the lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs; and (4) following the concluding portion of the Hallel Psalms. 21. This has also been discussed in more detail by Brumberg-Kraus, “Not by Bread Alone,” 166–67. 22. Mary Douglas, “The Eucharist: Its Continuity with the Bread Sacrifice of Leviticus,” ModTheo 15 (1999): 209–24. According to Douglas, a careful reading of the Pentateuch suggests that (1) for the biblical author(s), animal life is on the same plane as human life; (2) cereal offerings, far from being subsidiary to animal sacrifice, were recognized as separate, holy, and bearing covenantal implications; (3) in Leviticus, sacrifice is regarded as spiritual, and note must be made of the interchangeability of words for material and spiritual food, bread and flesh, wine and blood, life and soul. Thus, according to this paradigm, by analogy, the cereal offering is equivalent to an animal sacrifice. This would mean that Christian Eucharistic language required little break with older religious paradigms. It should also be remembered that Jesus employed ritual language in the installation of the Eucharist. Particularly in the context of the drinking of the wine, he used the term ejkcevw, “pour out” (Matt 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20), which is widely used in the LXX, particularly in ritual contexts, as can be seen in Lev 4:7, 12, 18, 25, 30, 34; 8:15; 9:9; 14:41; Num 19:17; and so on.

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aspect of reintegration. The emphasis on the common cup, shared among the Eucharistic participants, centers on the establishment of a new community. Food and drink metaphors in Scripture often emphasize the element of community. 23 This particular aspect of present and future community-building is absent in the Passover seder, which is primarily a ritual of reintegration, 24 remembering the past saving events of Yhwh. This brief discussion of the two crucial ritual objects in a NT ritual has highlighted several important issues: First, even common elements such as bread and wine require a careful contextual interpretation. Past usage is not always the best indicator of present meaning, although it should be considered. Second, ritual objects are often employed in innovative ways to create new meaning. Third, careful attention needs to be given to the explanation(s) that are part of the texts describing the ritual. While these explanations may not always be complete or satisfactory to the modern reader, they must provide the point of departure for an understanding of the rituals. Fourth, combinations of objects may be relevant and may point beyond the sum of the meaning of the individual objects. Naturally, this requires that the modern reader begin to establish some type of database to document the ritual objects involved, dividing them into portable and permanent ones, and trying to fit them into particular categories. This will result in a more careful reading of the ancient text and will focus attention on this important category of ritual.

“One, Two, Three . . . Action”: Ritual Action Together with objects, participants, time, and space, ritual action lies at the heart of ritual. After all, a ritual can be understood as an enacted symbol and is only effective when executed—either publicly or privately. In texts, ritual action is sometimes difficult to ascertain, due to the literary character of the primary sources, which may put rhetorical considerations (that is, the need to communicate a particular point or convince a certain group) above the “simple” sequential description of acts. 25 Some of the challenges to dealing with the crucial category of ritual action will be mentioned and illustrated 23. See Adele Reinhartz, “Reflection on Table Fellowship and Community Identity,” Semeia 86 (1999): 227–33; more detailed, Eleonore Schmitt, Das Essen in der Bibel: Literaturethnologische Aspekte des Alltäglichen (Studien zur Kulturanthropologie 2; Münster: LIT Verlag, 1994). 24. Brumberg-Kraus, “Not by Bread Alone,” 181–89. 25. I am aware that each description includes interpretation that functions as some sort of filter. The same is even true for a photo or a video sequence. A photographer’s or cameraman’s angle and perspective will shape one’s perception of a particular event or scene (see also in the context of the discussion of biblical historiography similar challenges discussed lucidly in V. Philips Long, The Art of Biblical History [FCI 5; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], 73–74); simplification, selectivity, or suggestive detail will do its share as well.

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below. In a programmatic essay concerning ritual research in general (focusing, however, predominantly on the social sciences), published in 1985, Ronald Grimes lamented the frequent overlooking of important elements of ritual action: Surprisingly little use has been made of the category “ritual action.” . . . Even though Mead and Burke, for instance, have developed theories of social and verbal action, scholars seldom attend to specific ritual acts—gestures, postures, and movements—and even less frequently make overt action central to the analysis of a rite. They are far more likely to concentrate on the social context surrounding the rite, ritualists’ commentary on it, or ritual texts that dictate its scenarios. As a result, those that do focus on ritual action tend to interpret it esthetically or formally—as dance, drama, or play—in order to resist the reduction of it to an epiphenomenon. 26

Since 1985, the situation has not changed dramatically. Space, time, and objects still appear to be the favorite topics of ritual discussion. 27 In the following, some of the major challenges and differentiating points of ritual action will be discussed and exemplified with examples from specific biblical rituals. The description (or prescription) of ritual action in biblical ritual is mostly general, sometimes specific, but seldom sufficiently nuanced. In other words, it provides ample space for imagination and interpretation. This point has also been observed by Frank Gorman, who writes: Many of the [ritual] actions may have had a certain style or nuance associated with them which the texts do not indicate. For example, the movements of the high priest in the ritual of Lev. 16 are noted, but they are not characterized (for example, he walked slowly or quickly, he walked erect or slightly bent). The texts present the primary actions, but they do not indicate the particular way these actions were performed. 28

An interesting illustration of the particular trait of biblical ritual texts can be found in Exod 19:14–19, which can be described as the execution of an earlier prescribed (Exod 19:10–13) consecration or purification ritual preceding the 26. Grimes, Research in Ritual Studies, 4. Grimes includes a useful bibliography of studies dealing with ritual action (up to 1982) on pp. 37–41. 27. Bell (Ritual, 93–137) includes a chapter on these topics in her helpful work on ritual. However, her interest in ritual action is shaped by her desire to find convenient types of ritual. Bell distinguishes between six main ritual types: (1) rites of passage; (2) calendrical and commemorative rites; (3) rites of exchange and communion; (4) rites of affliction; (5) rites of feasting, fasting, and festivals; and (6) political rituals. The category “ritual action” as employed in this study does not, however, refer to the ritual types but is on the same level as space, time, objects, participants, and so on. The total sum of all these elements and their characteristics will help to determine ritual type and function. 28. Gorman, Ideology of Ritual, 36.

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covenant-making between Yhwh and Israel as his people. 29 This particular narrative is framed by the geographical movement of coming down and going up. Moses descends (yarad ) from the mountain, set in the wilderness of Sinai (Exod 19:1) and generally known as Mount Sinai, 30 at the beginning of the ritual action, while Yhwh’s coming down (yarad ) and Moses’ going up (ªalâ) in Exod 19:20 mark the beginning of a new section. Movement and a change in location have been used as a marker to indicate new sections. 31 What are the ritual actions of this consecration rite, which is part and parcel of a larger covenant-making ritual? 32 First, Moses descends from the mountain to the people and sanctifies ( qadas) the people (Exod 19:14). The people then wash their garments. 33 In Exod 19:15, an interchange of verbal forms can be observed that indicates the interplay between Moses as the ritual initiator and the people who respond to his indications. 34 Moses speaks to the people in terms of two orders (expressed by an imperative, héyû, “be ready” [pl.], and a jussive imperfect form, ªal tiggésû, “do not approach”) that indicate general readiness and sexual abstinence. There is no rationale given for the latter command, although it appears to be connected to the general topic of holiness in the divine presence of Yhwh, 35 which was expressed in the first general ritual action of wayéqaddes, “and he sanctified” (Exod 19:14). 29. Exodus 19 is often connected to the “Book of the Covenant” (Exod 20:22–23:33). For a helpful literary analysis of this unit (including the larger context), see Joe M. Sprinkle, The Book of the Covenant: A Literary Approach ( JSOTSup 174; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994). More recently, Yitzhak Avishur (“The Narrative of the Revelation at Sinai [Ex 19–24],” in Studies in Historical Geography and Biblical Historiography Presented to Zecharia Kallai [ed. Gershon Galil and Moshe Weinfeld; VTSup 81; Leiden: Brill, 2000], 197–214) has looked at the chiastic structure of Exod 19–24 and has argued that the “centerpiece of the chiastic scheme is the literary unit 19,10– 25” (p. 199). Although Avishur considers this section a combination of primary and secondary units, one should not disregard a canonical reading. 30. For a good introduction to the name, traditions, location, history, and theology of Mount Sinai in the Hebrew Bible, see G. I. Davies, “Sinai, Mount,” ABD 6:47–49. 31. See for more discussion of the technique my “Up, Down, In, Out, Through and Back,” esp. pp. 285–86. 32. Most commentators struggle with the text contained in Exod 19–24, and different solutions—often involving the postulation of a creative, late, and even incompetent editors—have been put forward. However, as noted by Donald E. Gowan (Theology in Exodus: Biblical Theology in the Form of a Commentary [Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1994], 174), the “uniqueness of the material and its lasting impact on late Israel and early Judaism . . . raise serious questions about whether it can simply be explained as a work of a creative theologian of the exilic or postexilic period.” 33. The MT has wayékabbésû ¶imlotam, “and they washed [lit., ‘treaded’] their garments.” 34. This interplay is easily observable in the morphology of the employed verbal forms, which alternate between third-person masculine singular and third-person plural (or second-person plural in the case of the imperatives in Exod 19:15). 35. In Lev 15:16–18, a man’s semen rendered both the man and the woman with whom he was having intercourse unclean and therefore cultically unacceptable for a specific period. See also

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Exodus 19:16 (as well as 19:18) contains very little information about the performance of the ritual and mostly provides some ambience for the imminent theophany. There is thunder and lightning and a dense cloud on the mountain. However, the sound of a ram’s horn is heard. 36 The text does not provide any indication of the source of this trumpet blast, although the prescriptive section of the ritual (Exod 19:13) suggests it was an important part of the “bringing-close rite.” As a result of the manifestation of divine power, the people tremble (˙arad ). This is not mentioned in the prescriptive section but appears to be the involuntary reaction of “all the people.” Exodus 19:17 continues the thread of the quantifiable ritual action. Moses brings out (yaßaª) the people to meet God (= singular verbal form), and as a result the people take their station (yaßab) at the lower part of the mountain (= plural verbal form). Exodus 19:18 again provides more atmospheric information but no concrete verbal action connected to either Moses or the people. It is Yhwh who descends on the mountain in fire, while all the time hidden by the smoke of this fire. 37 While in Exod 19:16 the people tremble (˙arad ) as a result of the experience of the theophany, now the mountain trembles greatly. The text uses the same Hebrew root 38 but intensifies it by adding the adverb méªod, “very,” in the sense of an absolute superlative. 39 The intention of the author/editor of this passage seems to be clear. Both people and nature (specifically, the sacred space of the covenant-making ritual) tremble equally before Yhwh. The final verse of the consecration rite (Exod 19:19) at the foot of the mountain involves continued blowing of the trumpet, Moses’ speaking (dibber), and the deity’s audible response (ªanâ). The following verse again marks movement (Yhwh is coming down, while Moses is going up) and a change in location, which should be understood as the beginning of a new subsection. What can be learned about ritual action in general and in the context of this particular rite? First, it appears that at times the desired outcome or summary statement is set at the beginning of the ritual action. The reference to Moses’ sanctifying the people after his descent from the mountain should be understood in this way. This telling-it-all at the outset of a ritual or subrite John I. Durham, Exodus (WBC 3; Waco, TX: Word, 1987), 265. A good discussion of the semantic range of the verbal root ngs can be found in Cornelis Houtman, Exodus, Vol. 2: Chapters 7:14–19:25 (HCOT; Kampen: Kok, 1996), 454. 36. The MT has a type of superlative here, wéqol sopar ˙azaq méªod, “and there was the sound of a very strong (= loud) trumpet.” 37. Smoke is often part and parcel of theophanies, as can be seen in Gen 15:17, Isa 6:4, Joel 3:3, Ps 18:9, and so on. 38. The MT reads wayye˙érad kol hahar méªod, “and the entire mountain trembled greatly.” The imagery of trembling mountains in the context of a theophany occurs often in the Hebrew Bible ( Judg 5:4; Isa 5:25; Nah 1:5; Hab 3:10; Pss 18:8, 46:4, 68:9). 39. Waltke and O’Connor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 268.

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can also be observed in other biblical ritual texts. For example, in the morecomplex ordination ritual, involving many more ritual actions, the same root (qadas ) appears at the beginning of the particular anointing rites, in some type of explanatory statement. In Lev 8:10 Moses consecrates the tabernacle with all its utensils by anointing it, which is followed in Lev 8:11 by moreprecise descriptions of the action. 40 However, in Lev 8:12 the explanatory statement only appears after the description of the specific action. 41 To sanctify something is an important verbal action that appears in ritual or cultic contexts. Out of the 76 occurrences of the Piel form, 43 can be found in the Pentateuch, 42 particularly in the books of Exodus and Leviticus, which are mostly concerned with the construction of the sanctuary and the initiation of appropriate sacrificial services. Second, most of the ritual action involved is rather general in nature. The text does not contain any indications of the particular way in which the garments should be washed. Which clothing was included in this act? Where was the washing to be done? Who performed the washings? Were there other elements (such as a type of detergent) involved? None of these questions finds a satisfactory answer in the textual data. The reader is just informed that the Israelites had to wash their garments. A similar situation occurs in Exod 19:17 when Moses brings the people out to the foot of the mountain. The importance of movement and space has already been discussed before, and this is another example of this particular ritual category. However, the action connected to the movement is not specifically described. In which particular way were the Israelites brought out? 43 The close verbal connection to the Exodus event may be the reason for the use of the root yaßaª, “come out,” here, instead of the more common forms of the Hiphil of qarab, “draw near,” or nagas, “draw near, approach,” which are generally used in ritual contexts. 44 In this case, the verb choice of the author/editor of this passage may have been determined by narrative considerations rather than because it was standard ritual terminology. After all, the bringing out of Egypt was not complete without 40. What exactly did he anoint? How did he do it? These questions are only answered after the general introductory statement. 41. “And he poured from the anointing oil upon the head of Aaron, so that he anointed him in order to [expressed by the preposition lé followed by an infinitive form] consecrate him.” 42. Compare my Comparative Study, 238–44, for a more detailed discussion of Lev 8:10–12, including the verbal references of the root qadas. 43. It should be noted that the Hiphil of the root yaßaª, “come out,” is synonymous with the Exodus event, where Yhwh brings out (= causes to come out) his people Israel (cf. Exod 12:17, 42, 51; 13:3, 9, 14, 16; 14:11; and so on.). 44. See my Comparative Study, 220–22. See also Roy E. Gane and Jacob Milgrom ( “br'q,: ” ThWAT 7:159), who suggest that these two roots, when appearing together, seem to function as synonyms. The Hiphil form of qarab occurs 177x in the Hebrew Bible, of which 156x should be interpreted as being in a cultic context.

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the covenant between Yhwh and Israel. In this sense, the moving out of the camp of the Israelites toward the base of the mountain of God by Moses is an echo or reflex of the earlier divine “bringing out” from Egypt. As in Exod 19:14, Moses’ action is followed by the action of the people. Again, the stationing of the Israelites is not described in detail. Did they stand according to their tribes, clans, and families? Did they form a circle or half-circle around the base of the mountain? Did their “positioning themselves” include particular postures, as in bowing down, bending one’s head, or something else? The biblical text does not provide the answers to these questions. Furthermore, we are not told who blew the trumpet that was heard in Exod 19:16, 19. 45 Clearly, the intention of the narrator is not to provide a handbook of repeatable ritual acts but to clothe ritual in a narrative context; this results in general ritual indications that leave out the particulars and nuances of the ritual action and only paint the broad picture in bold brush strokes. 46 One additional element requires discussion. Should negative orders be considered part of a ritual action? The particular case involves the instruction by Moses “not to touch [lit., ‘not come near’] a woman” (Exod 19:15). Sexual abstinence before important events and ceremonies is a widespread motif attested in many cultures (also 1 Sam 21:5–6) and often involves issues of purity and holiness or may be an indication of a transitional stage, where the participants experience liminality. 47 In this sense, even negative orders should be considered ritual actions. Similarly, priests (including the high priest) were prohibited from entering the Holy of Holies on any day except the Day of Atonement, when the high priest symbolically carried the accumulated guilt of the people into the presence of Yhwh (Lev 16:2). This negative order is not always expressed by means of the negative particle ªal, as can be seen in Lev 8:35, where the explicit divine order requires Aaron and his sons to remain for seven days in the confines of the tabernacle. In other words, the biblical text expresses the negative command “do not leave the tabernacle” in a positive way. Ritual action also often appears in extremely abbreviated descriptions. The altar-construction texts (Gen 12:7, 8; 13:18; 22:9–10; 26:25, and so on) are a good example of this. Containing mostly two verb forms (the root banâ, “build,” and 45. The blowing of the trumpet is often connected to priestly duties in the Hebrew Bible: in Lev 25:9 it appears in connection with the preparation for the crucial Day of Atonement; in Josh 6 seven priests carry (and later on blow) the ram’s horn in the quasi procession around Jericho; in 1 Kgs 1:34 the priest Zadok together with the prophet Nathan seem to blow the trumpet as a sign of the inauguration of the new king. However, the blowing of the trumpet appears also in nonritual, military contexts ( Judg 3:27, 6:34, 7:8; 1 Sam 13:3; and so on). 46. For more, see D. P. Wright, Ritual in Narrative. 47. See, for more evidence and discussion, Meir Malul, Knowledge, Control and Sex: Studies in Biblical Thought, Culture and Worldview (Tel Aviv: Archaeological Center Publication, 2002), 242, 300–301.

spread is 6 points long

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the root qaraª, “call”), they do not provide information about the way in which the altar was to be constructed or whether a sacrifice was involved in the “calling on the name of Yhwh.” Similar characteristics can be found in the NT practice of baptism, which clearly marks a ritual event. 48 John the Baptist juxtaposes his baptism with water with the messianic baptism that will be done by the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt 3:11; also Acts 1:5), a possible indication of the experience of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4). John 4:2 includes a brief note on the fact that Jesus himself did not baptize but that his disciples did. There is no indication of what exactly this ritual act involved, which in later centuries resulted in increased discussions of adequate mode (immersion, sprinkling, or something in between) and age (adult or infant baptism). 49 The book of Acts is full of references to baptism in narrative contexts (Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12, 16, 36, 38; 9:18; and so on). In most cases it seems to be a marker for the growth and expansion of the movement and only secondarily to function as an important ritual act. The only exception can be found in Acts 8:26–39, which tells the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. After a dialogue focusing on passages from the Hebrew Bible and their messianic interpretation, Philip euj hggelÇsato auj tåÅ to;n ∆IhsouÅn, “announces to him the good news of Jesus” (Acts 8:35). The biblical text does not provide any more specific details of the entailing conversation, its duration, or the topics covered. However, the reaction of the eunuch in v. 36 when he sees water would suggest that the important initiation ritual of baptism had been introduced. The following verses can be used to reconstruct—at least partially—an apostolic baptismal ritual. First, the person to be baptized expresses the important credo of accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Acts 8:37). 50 Second, the chariot is stopped, and both evangelist and convert go down into the water. 51 Third, the convert is baptized by Philip. Once again there are no specific explanations of the particular baptismal technique. 48. In general, it appears that ritual is much more abbreviated in the text of the NT. Both literary conventions and theological considerations may have been responsible for this fact. 49. See Walter Schmithals, Theologiegeschichte des Urchristentums: Eine problemgeschichtliche Darstellung (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1994), 198–205, for a concise review of the evidence. Recently, Anthony N. S. Lane (“Did the Apostolic Church Baptise Babies? A Seismological Approach,” TynBul 55 [2004]: 109–30) has dealt with this question again. However, his argument seems to be based primarily on evidence ex silentio, which underlines the scarce amount of data in general. 50. It should be noted, however, that this verse is not present in the oldest manuscripts and seems to be a Western addition. See Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London: United Bible Societies, 1971), 359–60. Similar confessions (which William B. Decker, “Baptismal Confession,” ResQ 1 [1957]: 180–84, interprets as an oath of loyalty rather than a creed) appear in other early NT contexts, such as Rom 10:9–10, Phil 2:11, and 1 Tim 6:12. One should note, however, that these verses do not appear in a baptismal context. Recently, Cottrel R. Carson (“Acts 8:37: A Textual Reexamination,” USQR 51 [1997]: 57–78) has challenged the extraordinary consensus regarding the textual status of Acts 8:37, namely, that it is not original. 51. The Greek katabaÇnw indicates downward movement. See, for example, Matt 14:29, 27:40; Luke 8:23; and so on.

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However, the audible confession and the walking down toward the water are elements absent in the more abbreviated descriptions of the baptismal ritual in the NT. 52 After having reviewed some of the characteristics of ritual action in the Bible, we should consider a critical question: Why do most ritual texts either generalize or abbreviate? Should this tendency be interpreted in terms of a general literary strategy, or does it indicate a particular target audience? If the latter is correct, more-general, abbreviated ritual texts would point to a more general audience that was conceptually acquainted with the basic ritual building blocks and shared a similar world view. In other words, when reference to a particular sacrificial practice was made, it was inherently understood and only required additional (and distinguishing) information. Particular actions connected to the basic ritual building block were well known and often part and parcel of daily life. 53 Furthermore, basic concepts—often rooted in the underlying world view—such as purity/impurity and clean/unclean did not necessarily require the same introduction and explanations that they would in the 21st century in a Western European or North American context. If the texts were intended for a general audience, they would have differed from texts whose primary audience was religious specialists. Examples from the larger ANE seem to confirm this suspicion. For example, the long cuneiform text of Emar 369, describing the initiation ritual of the nin.dingir of dim dedicates a disproportionate amount of space to issues of payment and administrative instructions (369.76–94), which suggests that the audience was a particular group with an interest in these matters—that is, the supervising religious specialists involved. 54 A similar example can be found in Egyptian religious texts, particularly the few that treat the religiously important rites of mummification. 55 Most of our present knowledge concerning this significant process originates from archaeological discoveries or paleopathological stud52. Additional elements, not present in the passage of Acts 8, involve funerary imagery (Rom 6:3–4, 1 Cor 15:29), sharing important ritual characteristics of a rite of passage. See also Richard E. DeMaris, “Funerals and Baptisms, Ordinary and Otherwise: Ritual Criticism and Corinthian Rites,” BTB 29 (1999): 23–34. 53. For example, in order to eat, people had to kill animals and were in contact with blood, fat, meat, bones, and so forth. No easy supermarket solution was available to them. 54. See also my “‘Who Did What When and Why?’ The Dynamics of Ritual Participants in Leviticus 8 and Emar 369,” in Inicios, fundamentos y paradigmas: Estudios teológicos y exegéticos en el Pentateuco (ed. Gerald A. Klingbeil; SMEBT 1; Libertador San Martín: Editorial Universidad Adventista del Plata, 2004), 131–32. 55. The following discussion is based on the summary of the evidence found in Ann Rosalie David, “Mummification,” OEANE 2:439–44. A more in-depth discussion of the scientific process and its modern description can be found in idem, “Mummification,” in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (ed. Paul T. Nicholson and Ian Shaw; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 372–89.

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ies of ancient Egyptian mummies. The earliest available accounts occur in the writings of two Greek historians, Herdotous (5th century b.c.e.) and Diodorus Siculus (1st century b.c.e.). Yet, in Egyptian literature, there are scattered references to mummification and the associated religious rituals, probably due to the specialized, privileged knowledge of the religious specialists involved. 56 Biblical ritual texts are quite different, inasmuch as they presuppose public reading and oral communication. While they definitely contain specialized ritual vocabulary, they were intended for a larger audience that was familiar with the basic ritual building blocks but not necessarily interested in all the fine intricacies and nuances of the trade. 57

“Who Did What When and Why?” Ritual Participants and Ritual Roles Ritual texts do not communicate only important theological points or perspectives concerning space, time, objects, or action. They can also tell the modern reader something about the hierarchy and societal structure of a particular culture. These can be understood by examining the ritual participants and their respective roles. Some of the relevant questions that may guide in deciphering these roles and structures include the following: How are ritual roles determined—by heredity, personal choice, or divine calling? Who initiates, plans, and sustains the ritual? Who participates actively and who participates passively? What kind of authority do the ritual specialists wield? 58 What roles do the different groups play, and which group processes take place that need to be understood in order to grasp the meaning of the ritual? 59 How do the ritual participants interact with space?

56. One of the few texts describing the process and the accompanying rituals is entitled Ritual of Embalming; it provides a set of instructions for the officiant (= religious professional) who performs the rites, as well as a collection of prayers and incantations to be intoned after each rite (see Papyrus Boulaq 3 [in the Cairo Museum] and Papyrus 5158 [in the Louvre]). 57. Interestingly, in a recent discussion of a distinct theological perspective in the Psalms, which indicates blessings for the good and punishment for the wicked, Sticher suggested that current sociology of literature indicates that a common repertoire of terminology (even some specialized terms) may be available to all members of a particular social entity (be it tribe, nation, or religious group) without necessarily indicating a more limited and specialized subgroup. See Claudia Sticher, Die Rettung der Guten durch Gott und die Selbstzerstörung der Bösen (BBB 137; Berlin: Philo, 2002), 340. 58. A good introduction to this issue can be found in Catherine Bell, “The Authority of Ritual Experts,” StLit 23 (1993): 98–120. 59. Hanson (“Sin, Purification, and Group Process,” 167–91) has provided a fascinating study of group processes in regard to sin and the means to remedy it. It highlights the fact that Western 21st-century culture is entirely different and removed from the cultural context that “surrounded” and molded the ancient texts studied in this volume.

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Group processes and interaction are the means by which a social system is established and maintained. Rituals are finely tuned processes played out within the context of the accepted norm and are only understood by those who comprehend the underlying patterns and relations. It is interesting to note that the Western emphasis on individuality (especially the North American version of it) is “a rather peculiar idea within the context of the world’s cultures,” as pointed out by anthropologist Clifford Geertz. 60 It is important to note as well that all ritual processes occur in the context of a group and thus can only be understood within the dynamics of the ritual participants. One way of understanding the dynamics involves the study of the roles that the participants occupy. 61 Blenkinsopp defines roles in the context of society as follows: A role may be defined as a more or less standardized social position corresponding to the expectations of the society, or a segment of society, in which the role player is situated. It therefore involves certain rights and obligations and calls for the kind of performance that the society in question has come to expect from the position in question and which to that extent can be considered normative and prescriptive. 62

As indicated in Blenkinsopp’s definition, the roles of ritual participants need to be understood in the larger context of society—particularly when one remembers the holistic theological perspective in ancient Israel that connected law with the important concept of cause-effect. 63 In this scenario, religious ritual acts are always interconnected with the larger societal structures and

60. Clifford Geertz, Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology (New York: Basic Books, 1983), 59. Concerning the attempt to bridge this gap in academia, see Hanson, “Sin, Purification, and Group Processes,” 169–72, and the references provided there. To these, one could also add the insightful discussion of Joel S. Sticher, Corporate Responsibility in the Hebrew Bible ( JSOTSup 196; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), 16–29, in his study on corporate responsibility. Other helpful observations can be found in Neyrey, “Dyadism”; John J. Pilch, “A Window into the Biblical World: Individuals? Or Stereotypes?” TBT 39 (2001): 170–76; Richard A. Freund, “Individual versus Collective Responsibility: From the Ancient Near East and the Bible to the Greco-Roman World,” SJOT 11 (1997): 279–304. See also my comments in “Entre individualismo y colectivismo.” 61. See Blenkinsopp, Sage, Priest, Prophet, 3. See also D. P. Wright (Ritual in Narrative, 42–44), who speaks of “agents” and “recipients,” which clearly is a distinction based on the level of activity (active or passive) of the protagonists as well as ritual results connected to the participants. A more general introduction to the concept of roles in religious communities can be found in Jacques Waardenburg, Religionen und Religion (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1986), 177–88. 62. Blenkinsopp, Sage, Priest, Prophet, 3–4. 63. For a concise introduction to the topic with relevant bibliography and an application to the narrative of Ruth, see Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., “Ganzheitsdenken in the Book of Ruth,” in Problems in Biblical Theology: Essays in Honor of Rolf Knierim (ed. Henry T. C. Sun et al.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 192–209.

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world view, a concept that is quite distinct from modern Westernized compartmentalization. 64 In the following pages, I will look at the ritual participants of the complex priestly ordination ritual found in Lev 8. I have selected this ritual because it represents one of the more complex biblical rituals with a significant number of participants. 65 The chapter clearly describes a founding ritual, which is designed to bring into existence a certain state, institution, or situation, which is different from a maintenance ritual. 66 The human participants in the ordination ritual of Lev 8 play a voluntarily part, which cannot be said for other ritual participants, such as the animals that were involved in the sacrificial subrites. Leviticus 8 mentions three different animals connected to the ordination ritual: the par ha˙a††aªt, “the bull of the sin offering” (Lev 8:2, 14, 17) and sénê haªêlîm, “the two rams” (Lev 8:2). 67 This ratio of 2:1 (caprovine/bovine, two rams versus one bull) requires comment, since it represents a rather costly offering, which is in line with the founding nature of the ritual. Most sacrificial lists in the Hebrew Bible average 8.7 caprovines to 1 bovine, 68 a ratio that approximately corresponds to the ratio in biblical lists that describe the composition of herds in ancient Israel (ratio 8.2:1). 69 Interestingly, the paleozoological analysis of the bones of both caprovines and bovines in controlled excavations demonstrates a certain variation due to geography and climate. Sites located in the coastal plain display an average of 2:1 or even 1:1, while sites in the hill country and the Shephelah show a ratio of between 2:1 and 7:1. 70 It is clear that the ratio of the animal participants in the ritual is substantially different from the suggested ratio of desert conditions (10:1); neither does it tally with the average ratio found in biblical sacrificial lists (8.7:1). While these discrepancies have been attributed to inaccurate accounting or later (mixedup) sources, I suggest instead that the relatively large ratio in the Bible demonstrates the importance of the ritual for the community of Israel, in terms of the monetary value of the different types of animal. Furthermore, the choice of sacrificial animal also reflects the distinct status of the groups involved.

64. See also Malul ( Knowledge, Control and Sex, 435–49) for an in-depth discussion of biblical epistemology in contrast to modern Western epistemology. 65. A more complete discussion of the evidence in a comparative framework can be found in my “Who Did What When and Why?” 66. Gorman, Ideology of Ritual, 54; and Klingbeil, Comparative Study, 28, 576. 67. The two rams are further described in Lev 8:18 as ªêl haºolâ, “the ram of burnt offering,” and in Lev 8:22 as ªêl hammilluªîm, “the ram of ordination.” 68. This is based on data presented in Edwin Firmage, “Zoology,” ABD 6:1120. 69. Ibid. Firmage bases his data on the lists contained in Job 1:3, Num 31:31, and other places. He does not include Job 42:12 (14,000 sheep/goats and 1,000 cattle [ratio 14:1]). It is clear that the data presented in the lists “tell us something about what were thought to be proper proportions.” 70. Ibid., 1120–24. The data are based on Firmage’s table 4.

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Fig. 18. Quantitative Evaluation of Participants in the Ordination Ritual in Leviticus 8. While the bull is mostly associated with the high priest or the entire congregation (e.g, Lev 4:4, 13), the ram is mostly connected with the priesthood in general (Num 7:15, 21, 27 or 28:27). 71 In terms of human participants, Lev 8 mentions four individual participants or groups, which are distinguished from each other by different levels of participation (active to passive), different quantities of interaction (as can be measured in the quantity of actions ascribed to the different participants or groups), and different functions in the ritual. These four parties are: Moses, Aaron, the sons of Aaron, and the entire congregation. Figure 18 illustrates graphically the level of interaction based on quantity of references. Moses is mentioned explicitly 25x in Lev 8 72 and is the subject of 30 different verb forms. This amounts to 45.45% (or roughly 46%) of the action and makes him (at least from the outside) the most important participant. He speaks, intervenes, and functions as communicator between the participants and God and is active throughout. He directs and performs and also declares publicly the “success” (that is, the completion of its function and necessity) of the ritual. His role is not determined by heredity but by divine calling. The author/editor of Lev 8 has stressed this point on numerous occasions. For example, Lev 8:1–2 reads wayédabber yhwh ªel moseh leªmor, “and Yhwh spoke to Moses, saying,” while there is no specific indication throughout the entire chapter that 71. So also Rolf Rendtorff, Studien zur Geschichte des Opfers im Alten Israel (WMANT 24; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1967), 116. 72. The exact references are: Lev 8:1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13 (2x), 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 (2x), 23, 24 (2x), 28, 29 (3x), 30, 31, and 36.

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Yhwh spoke to Aaron or his sons. This exclusive act of God’s speaking to Moses is followed by the imperative qa˙, “take.” Clearly, it is not Moses’ choice or his status in society that qualifies him to be the active agent in performing the ordination of Aaron and his sons but God’s command and election. 73 However, it must be pointed out, that Moses does not act entirely as a priest. Leviticus 8:29 indicates that Moses only takes the breast of the ram of ordination offering as his manâ, “portion, share.” According to Lev 7:32–34, the officiating priest would normally receive the breast, the right thigh, and various cakes as his portion. The difference between Moses’ portion and the regular allowance for the officiating priest indicates the unique function of Moses, which is somthing between a regular priest and a special mediator. Jacob Milgrom comments: “Moses, then, according to P, was the interim priest only by necessity and divine dispensation.” 74 The fact that Aaron and his sons were the first high priest/priests is often stressed in the Hebrew Bible—thus suggesting that Moses was never perceived as a priest. 75

73. Hartley (Leviticus, 111) does not offer a comprehensive analysis of the role of Moses in the ritual process but remarks that “Moses acts as high priest on behalf of Aaron and his sons, who are still laity.” Erhard S. Gerstenberger (Das Dritte Buch Mose Leviticus [ATD 6; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993], 103) discusses the role of Moses in more detail, based on sociological and textual considerations. He notices that communication between Yhwh and the people is predominantly via Moses and concludes that the priestly office is not the highest religious authority; the Torah-office of Moses, as he calls it, should be interpreted as standing above it. The centrality of Moses in Lev 8 has also been recognized by Wenham, The Book of Leviticus, 132. 74. Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 558; Wenham, Leviticus, 132. Milgrom (Leviticus 1–16, 556) suggests that only Moses qualified for the function ascribed to him in Lev 8. “Someone had to install the priests and someone had to officiate in the sanctuary before the priests were installed (Exod 40:22–27). Because, according to P, Israel as yet did not have a legitimate, divinely ordained priesthood, the installer ipso facto had to be a nonpriest.” Milgrom’s suggestion that Moses acted during the ordination of Aaron and his sons as Israel’s king (ibid., 557) appears to have very little support from the text itself. Moses performs the rituals, because Yhwh tells him to. Milgrom argues his case mainly based on extrabiblical material in which the king is instrumental in ordaining the priest(s); Emar is a good example of a Syrian tradition in which the king apparently played no vital role in the ordination process, as already observed by Daniel E. Fleming, “The Emar Festivals: City Unity and Syrian Identity under Hittite Hegemony,” in Emar: The History, Religion, and Culture of a Syrian Town in the Late Bronze Age (ed. Mark W. Chavalas; Bethesda, MD: CDL, 1996), 106; and idem, Time at Emar: The Cultic Calendar and the Rituals from the Diviner’s Archive (MC 11; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000), 222. To say the least, Milgrom’s references from the Hebrew Bible are ambiguous. He cites 1 Sam 13:9–10 as a text substantiating the priestly aspect of Israelite kingship, but the context of the passage clearly indicates that Saul offered sacrifice against the will of God, since Samuel reprimands him severely afterwards (1 Sam 13:11–14). Roland de Vaux (Ancient Israel [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961], 113–14) has already pointed out that some of these texts can be taken in the causative (or factitive) sense—that “the king had sacrifice offered.” For a more in-depth discussion of this issue, see my Comparative Study, 210. 75. René Péter-Contesse, Lévitique 1–16 (CAT 3a; Geneva: Labor & Fides, 1993), 136. B. A. Levine (Leviticus, 49) has—in my opinion, correctly—suggested that the reference to Aaron and

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The second participant in the ritual is Aaron, who appears 16x in 13 verses. Aaron is predominantly connected with “his sons,” a phrase that appears 65x in the Hebrew Bible, predominantly in the Pentateuch. 76 He is involved in 12 verb acts, although in the majority of cases in a passive role. There are only 3 active verb forms connected with Aaron, all of which relate to Aaron’s laying his hands on the heads of the three sacrificial animals. All the other acts are performed in relation to him (or his sons). The wayyismok ªet yédêhem, “leaning on of their hands” (Lev 8:14), seems to emphasize 2 aspects important to the ordination ritual: first, it puts the tabernacle and the future priests on the same level of sanctity (Lev 8:15), and second, it prepares Aaron (and his sons) to be future instruments in the atonement rituals connected to the sanctuary (for example, Lev 9). Aaron has to pass through a rite of passage, 77 leaving behind his old societal role, being somewhere in-between, and then, finally, reintegrating himself in his new role as cult mediator in order to be able to represent the congregation in his future ministry. Aaron’s sons are predominantly mentioned in connection with their father. They appear 11x in 11 verses. There is no clear indication of how many sons were involved. According to Exod 6:23, Aaron had four sons from Elisheba, including Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 78 If one could differentiate between two passive participant groups, Aaron’s sons would be more passive than their father. This is indicated not only by the quantity of actions connected to them but also by the sequence in the standard phrase “Aaron and his sons.” Houtman has argued in his study of the word pair “heavenearth” that order often coincides with the importance of the members of the word pair. 79 In Hebrew poetry, these word pairs are identified as a merismus, a totality expressed in terms of two extremes. The totality of the priesthood in Israel is described in terms of “Aaron and his sons.” Figure 19 shows graphically the type of hierarchy indicated by the use of the phrase “Aaron and his sons.” 80 Moses’ prominent role is expressed in his close association with Yhwh. It is Moses who speaks to Yhwh. 81 It is Moses who is to come to the top of the mountain in order to receive the tablets Moses as kohen in Ps 99:6 does not use the term “priest” in its technical sense but indicates a “complete” historical period, which was represented by both Aaron and Moses. 76. The only exceptions are 1 Chr 6:34 and 23:13. 77. See here especially the motifs of washing, changing clothes, and laying on hands. 78. The same list can be found in Exod 28:1; Num 3:2, 26:60; 1 Chr 5:29, and 24:1–2. 79. Cornelis Houtman, Der Himmel im Alten Testament, 53–54. 80. It is this consciousness of rank that makes a preexilic date for the writing of this section more likely, since the conditions of the Second Temple priesthood were very different, as has been pointed out by David R. Hildebrand, “A Summary of Recent Findings in Support of an Early Date for the So-Called Priestly Material of the Pentateuch,” JETS 29 (1986): 132. 81. Only rarely does Yhwh speak to Aaron, as found in Lev 10:8 and Num 18:1.

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Yhwh and Moses

Moses and Aaron

Aaron and His Sons Fig. 19. Hierarchy of Status as Expressed in Word Pairs.

(Exod 19:20, 24:12–14). It is important to realize that there is a difference in how the ritual roles of both Aaron and his sons are determined. While Aaron is called by Yhwh’s explicit command, his sons inherit the priesthood. This is emphasized by the use of the phrase “his sons” several times in the text. Leviticus 8 does not refer to specific names but accentuates the biological relationship between Aaron and his offspring, which is their only qualification for office. Both Aaron and his sons are participants who receive the benefits of the ritual. 82 Finally, a faceless group of unknown size, kol haºedâ, “the entire congregation,” plays a semingly insignificant role in the ritual, since its primary function is to witness. However, looking at the social function of the ritual of ordination, this group is the important “defining point of reference,” 83 since it is only its presence that legitimizes the entire procedure. 84 Since the ºedâ can never be a subdivision of the nation (be it tribe, clan, or city), 85 one should conclude that the entire nation is meant here in Lev 8. Perhaps the entire nation was to be represented by its leaders, 86 especially in view of the geographical problem of fitting a nation into the confined space at the “entrance of the tent of meeting.” A similar witnessing function of the congregation can also 82. Gorman, Ideology of Ritual, 111. 83. Gerstenberger, Leviticus, 103. 84. D. Levy et al., “hd;[E,” ThWAT 5:1084. 85. Jacob Milgrom, “Priestly Terminology and the Political and Social Structure of PreMonarchic Israel,” JQR 69 (1978): 71. 86. Wenham, Leviticus, 138.

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be found in connection with other important events in the religious history of Israel, such as during the consecration of the Levites (Num 8:9–20) and during the dedication of the Solomonic temple (1 Kgs 8:5, 2 Chr 5:6). Twice the congregation is specifically called to witness the transfer of authority. 87 Despite the fact that the congregation is portrayed only as an observer of the ritual, it nevertheless receives the benefits of the successful outcome of the ritual. The establishment of the priestly institution is of societal concern and of the utmost importance. Ritual participants and their specific roles in the ritual communicate vital information for understanding societal structures and hierarchies more adequately. The complex ordination ritual in Lev 8 has been used to demonstrate the importance of looking at the ritual participants in terms of both quantity and quality.

“I Can’t Hear You”: Ritual Sounds and Language Ritual sounds and language represent one of the more difficult categories of biblical ritual, due to the textual nature of the data, which do not always supply the information we desire. The following questions should be considered when dealing with ritual sounds and language: 88 Does the ritual employ nonlinguistic sounds (for example, shouting or moaning)? If yes, are these sounds interpreted and, if so, by whom? Are musical instruments and singing involved? If yes, what style of music/singing is employed? Does the ritual presuppose literacy? Does it depend more on written texts or on oral lore? How important is the language for the performance of the ritual? Although not employed in the majority of rituals, musical sounds do appear in specific rituals of the Hebrew Bible, mostly connected with the use of the sopar, a curved ram’s horn, and the ˙aßoßérâ, “silver trumpet.” 89 The sopar is 87. Namely, in Num 20:27–29 for the transference of the high-priestly office from Aaron to Eleazar, and in Num 27:19–22 for the transfer of the leadership from Moses to Joshua. See Levy et al., “hd;[E,” 1085. 88. See Grimes, Beginnings in Ritual Studies, 26–27. 89. Joachim Braun (Die Musikkultur Altisraels/Palästinas: Studien zu archäologischen, schriftlichen und vergleichenden Quellen [OBO 164; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999], 137–40) has commented on the paradox relationship between the textual and the archaeological data concerning the sopar, “ram’s horn,” and the ˙aßoßérâ, “silver trumpet,” which are the two musical instruments mentioned most often in the Hebrew Bible (71x and 32x, respectively) but for which no prehellenistic archaeological examples exist. Instead, most archaeological discoveries in Palestine during the Iron Age are Triton horns, which were made out of snail shells (Charonia tritonis nodifera) and have been documented in archaeological contexts from the third millennium b.c.e. onward. In Palestine, the oldest finds originate from Tel Qasile (12th– 11th century b.c.e.) and from Hazor (9th century b.c.e.), while the most recent were found during the excavations of Shiqmona (2nd century b.c.e.) in both public and private contexts.

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used in the purification/consecration ritual preceding the covenant rite between Yhwh and Israel (Exod 19:13, 16), although as already mentioned there is no indication of who is to play the instrument or what kind of melody or tones are to be played. The biblical text only describes variation in volume. On the Day of Atonement, the blowing of the sopar seemed to mark the beginning of the ritual activities (Lev 25:9), but again there is no indication of who is to blow it. 90 Psalm 81:3 suggests that the sopar was blown in the context of the New Moon celebrations as well, although no specific ritual instructions exist concerning this musical intonation. A particularly interesting phenomenon is the use of the sopar during procession-like rituals. Two of these will be briefly introduced in this section. 2 Samuel 6 describes the transfer of the ark of the covenant to the new capital, Jerusalem. 91 The summary verse in 2 Sam 6:15 refers to the mode of procession in the following terms: bitrûºâ ûbéqôl sopar, “with shouts of joy and the sound of the horn,” a clear indication of the use of this musical instrument in a ritual framework, particularly considering the fact that this information is connected with the six steps and sacrificial pauses indicated in 2 Sam 6:13. Again, the biblical text does not provide sufficient information concerning the musicians or the particular tune or rhythm of the trumpet sounds. What seems to be apparent, however, is the signal function of the ritual sounds. 92 Everybody in the vicinity knew what was happening. This appears to be one of the crucial functions of ritual sounds in general, since they communicate without words. Another incident in which the sopar is used is the ritual procession around Jericho in Josh 6. 93 In the prescriptive section of the ritual ( Josh 6:2–5), Yhwh indicates the number of trumpets involved, their bearers, their spatial location (before the ark of the covenant), and the time when they were to be blown. After the procession has circled the city six days, accompanied only by the trumpet sounds (but no particular human sounds; see Josh 6:10–13), on the seventh day the procession circles the city seven times; after the seventh round— together with the sound of the trumpet—the people shout the victory signal 90. The MT has the singular form, wéhaºåbarta, “and you shall sound” (lit., “cause to pass over”). 91. For bibliographical references, see the above discussion of the ritual in the context of ritual space. 92. Note also the signal function of the blowing of the horn during the coronation ritual of Solomon (1 Kgs 1:34, 39, 41), followed by regular celebrations (including the blowing of flutes by the people; 1 Kgs 1:40). 93. See also the interesting review of ancient interpretations of Josh 6, which all seem to agree on the cultic flavor of the narrative ( Jacqueline Moatti-Fine, “Jéricho a la lumière des lectures anciennes,” FoiVie 97/4 [1998]: 81–94). Ritual elements of the narrative include the absence of any military strategy, the blowing of the trumpets, the prominence of the priests and the ark of the covenant, and the prevalence of the number “7,” which occurs 14x in the chapter. See David M. Howard Jr., Joshua (NAC 5; Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1998), 169.

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before the battle has even begun. 94 As has been pointed out by Hess, no comparative prebattle rituals are known in the ANE. 95 The shouting noise is described by the Hebrew root rûaº, which is commonly used in the Hebrew Bible to designate a war cry or shout of alarm ( Judg 7:21, 1 Sam 17:52, Isa 42:13, and so on), although it is also frequently found in contexts of praise in the Psalms and elsewhere (for example, Ezra 3:11, 13; Pss 95:1–2; 98:4, 6; 100:1). 96 The military and celebration connotations of the root are appropriate in the Jericho narrative and are theologically significant. In this sense, one can identify two sources of ritual sound in Josh 6, involving objects (= horns) and human participants ( Josh 6:20). The text does not specify exactly what kind of sounds the people had to make, but it emphasizes their stupendous volume. 97 This attention to the preparations for the ritual procession and for the battle is significant, especially when one considers that the actual “battle” is recounted in only 2 verses ( Josh 6:20–21), while the preparatory rites are narrated in 18 verses ( Josh 6:2–19). 98 Clearly, the biblical author wants to emphasize that “military matters belong to God”; 99 it is the covenant deity who fights the battles. A second important instrument is the ˙aßoßérâ, “silver trumpet,” which appears 31 times in the Hebrew Bible. 100 This is the only instrument the design and construction of which are indicated by divine revelation. According to Num 10:1–10, the two trumpets had to be made of hammered silver (Num 10:2) and had to be blown by religious specialists, that is, the priests (Num 10:8). The trumpets were blown on the feast days (Num 10:10) or when the ark of the covenant was moved (1 Chr 13:8, 15:28; 2 Chr 5:12) 101 During the laying of the foundations of the Second Temple, the trumpets were blown (Ezra 3:10), 94. The finely tuned narrative structure of Josh 6 needs to be recognized if one is to appreciate the story. The MT reads in Josh 6:16: harîºû kî natan yhwh lakem ªet haºîr, “Raise a shout [Hiphil plural imperative]! because Yhwh has given you the city.” Some helpful literary readings of the chapter include Robert C. Culley, “Stories of the Conquest: Jericho 2, 6, 7, and 8,” HAR 8 (1984): 25–44 (esp. 35–37); and, more recently, Robert Robinson, “The Coherence of the Jericho Narrative: A Literary Reading of Joshua 6,” in Konsequente Traditionsgeschichte: Festschrift für Klaus Baltzer zum 65. Geburtstag (ed. Rüdiger Bartelmus et al.; OBO 126; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), 311–35. 95. Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary (TOTC 6; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 129. 96. See Howard, Joshua, 171; and Cornelis G. den Hertog, “Ein Wortspiel in der JerichoErzählung ( Jos 6)?” ZAW 104 (1991): 99–100. 97. The MT has wayyarîºû haºam térûºâ gédôlâ, “and the people shouted a great shout” ( Josh 6:20). 98. The imbalance has also been noted by Marten H. Woudstra, The Book of Joshua (NICOT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 114, who explains it in terms of narrative strategy. 99. Howard, Joshua, 174. 100. Braun, Musikkultur, 38. Compare Ivor H. Jones, “Music and Musical Instruments: Musical Insturments,” ABD 4:936–7. 101. It is notable to see the different perspectives of 2 Sam 6 and 1 Chr 13. While the first one only refers to the more generic sopar, the later one employs specifically ˙aßoßérâ.

spread is 9 points long

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clearly indicating the ritual dimension of the event. Parallel to the lack of instructions concerning the use of the sopar, there are no particular biblical instructions for the playing of the trumpet. However, at Qumran in the apocalyptic scroll known as the War Scroll (1QM), more specific instructions are included: “blow with a sustained blast” (1QM VIII 5), “blow a second blast, low and sustained” (1QM VIII 8), “blow a shrill staccato blast” (1QM VIII 9, 12), and “blow a low blast, steady and continuous” (1QM VIII 14). 102 Music (either sung or played on instruments) also played an important role in mourning rites. In 2 Sam 3:32–34 during the funeral ritual of Abner, King David sings a lament accompanied by communal weeping. Judges 11:40 also refers to a commemoration rite but in the context of a yearly event remembering Jephthah’s daughter. The lamenting of the anonymous heroine resulted in a yearly festival, probably of local character, which fits the tribal nature of the book of Judges (and of that period in general). 103 However, music, or a specific ritual sound, is sometimes represented in a negative way in the biblical record, as can be seen in the account of the golden calf, where the idolatrous Israelites shout, sing, and dance around the golden image (Exod 32:17–19). As in the case of Josh 6, the biblical author employs the verbal root reaº, a cognate of rûaº ( Josh 6:20). A similar situation (although mostly expressed by the root qaraª) can be found in the encounter between Elijah, representing Yhwh, and the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:26–29), whose chanted invocation habbaºal ºånenû, “O Baal, answer us” (1 Kgs 18:26), does not result in a divine manifestation of the deity. Similar to the previous example concerning the gold calf episode, we are told that the prophets wayépassé˙û ºal hammizbea˙ ªåser ºa¶â, “limped around the altar that had been made,” indicating some type of ritual dance. 104 The ritual chant employed by the prophets includes one of the key terms of the narrative, the verb ºanâ, “answer,” which appears eight times in the chapter (1 Kgs 18:21, 24 [2x], 26 [2x], 29, 37 [2x]). 105 When Elijah challenges the people to take a clear stand for Yhwh, he receives no answer (1 Kgs 18:21). Similarly, the chant and dance of the prophets of Baal also result in no answer (1 Kgs 18:26), although the procedure is extended and intensified (1 Kgs 18:29). In contrast, Elijah’s request for divine manifestation

102. All translations were taken from García Martínez and Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition: Volume 1 (1Q1–4Q273). 103. See also Daniel I. Block, Judges, Ruth (NAC 6; Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1999), 375. 104. The nkjv has “leaped,” while the njb has “performed their hobbling dance.” Mordechai Cogan (1 Kings [AB 10; New York: Doubleday, 2001], 440) translates “they hopped about” and interprets the verb action as some type of ritual dance that includes a limping or hopping step. Together with the chanted song, it was meant to attract the god’s attention to his attendants’ request. 105. See here also Iain W. Provan, 1 and 2 Kings (NIBCOT 7; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 138.

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(expressed twice by use of the key term in 1 Kgs 18:37) receives an immediate divine reaction. The combination of dance and song or chant also appears in more-positive contexts, as can be seen in the song of Miriam after the miraculous delivery of Israel by Yhwh’s mighty hand (Exod 15:20–21). Interestingly, the Hebrew Bible employs the verb ºanâ, “answer,” again in Exod 15:21, where it may suggest some type of responsive or antiphonal singing. 106 William Propp has provided a helpful list of brief songs introduced by the verb ºanâ that include only one or two lines (Num 21:17; 1 Sam 18:7, 21:12, 29:5; Isa 27:2; Ezra 3:11). 107 The brief nature of the saying may be an indication of an intermittent chorus that was part of a longer (unrecorded) song, 108 or it may be a signal for chant-like, brief phrases that had to be repeated ad infinitum. The presence of these concise songs in ritual contexts is significant for the present analysis of ritual sounds and language and should also be connected with the Levitical singers, who appear predominantly in the historical books ( Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel) of the Hebrew Bible and seem to indicate an increasing specialization of religious experts, such as being in a choir or other musical duties (1 Chr 9:33; 15:16, 17; 2 Chr 5:12; 7:6; 8:15; 29:25, 30; Neh 12:27). 109 Up to this point, the discussion of ritual sounds and language has focused primarily on music and sounds, including brief and repetitive phrases or choruses. However, biblical ritual also seems to have included more-extensive spoken expressions, particularly when one considers blessings and prayers. While it is not always easy to distinguish the oral elements of a ritual from its literary design as part of a text, recent studies employing linguistic categories such as illocutionary types and force and formulaic expressions have provided helpful data for comparing biblical spoken expressions (embedded in a literary, often narrative context) with extrabiblical data. 110 Based on these pragmatic considerations, and in spite of the literary nature of the biblical text, the spoken ritual expressions should be taken as a genuine part of the ritual process. 106. It has long been recognized that Exod 15:21b is a brief poetic section that is intricately woven into the larger narrative context. See Martin G. Klingbeil, “Poemas en medio de la prosa: Poesía insertada en el Pentateuco,” in Inicios, fundamentos y paradigmas: Estudios teológicos y exegéticos en el Pentateuco (ed. Gerald A. Klingbeil; SMEBT 1; Libertador San Martín: Editorial Universidad Adventista del Plata, 2004), 61–85. 107. William H. C. Propp, Exodus 1–18 (AB 2; New York: Doubleday, 1999), 548. 108. A similar repetitive chorus appears, for example, in Ps 136, where the phrase kî lé ºôlam ˙asdô, “for his lovingkindness [exists/endures] forever,” seems to represent some type of refrain. 109. See my “Priests and Levites.” 110. Andreas Wagner, “The Archaeology of Oral Communication: In Search of Spoken Language in the Bible,” JNSL 26 (2000): 117–26. Wagner compared the rendition of stereotypical expressions (such as short laments) with similar extrabiblical epigraphical data and found no significant differences. While his data set is limited, he concludes that formulaic expressions often occurring in prayers or blessings show no particular trace of literary or theological intentions.

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A Introduction (8:1–2) All the people of Israel assemble Chronological reference (“in the seventh month”) B Dedication (8:3–13) Sacrifices and installation of ark C Solomon blesses the people (faces people) (8:14–21) Praise be to Yhwh X Center: Solomon’s dedicatory prayer (8:22–54) Cu Solomon blesses the people (faces people) (8:55–61) Praise be to Yhwh Bu Dedication (8:62–64) Sacrifices Au Conclusion (8:65–66) All Israel is dismissed Chronological reference (“on the eighth day after the feast began”) Fig. 20. Chiastic Structure of 1 Kings 8 according to Dorsey.

The “prayer of dedication” of Solomon during the inauguration rites for the First Temple (1 Kgs 8) is a good example of the way that a speech may function in a ritual context. The overall structure of the chapter is concentric and focuses on the dedicatory prayer of Solomon (1 Kgs 8:22–54). A suggested structural representation of important ritual elements is shown in fig. 20. 111 First, Solomon assembles all the major leadership groups of Israelite society and the religious specialists; thus, the ritual participants are introduced by the narrative. 112 Second, there appears to be an introductory series of sacrificial rituals, the moving of the ark of the covenant into the Holy of Holies of the temple and the subsequent filling of the temple with a cloud, representing the glory of Yhwh (1 Kgs 8:10–12). The following ritual section predominantly involves speech and is introduced by a deliberate change in ritual geography: Solomon turns around toward the people and blesses them (1 Kgs 8:14). The same use of ritual movement appears again in 1 Kgs 8:55, when the king stands up after his prayer facing the altar in the central courtyard and must turn around 113 in 111. This is partly based on the work of Dorsey, Literary Structure, 138. A more detailed analysis can be found in Eep Talstra, Solomon’s Prayer: Synchrony and Diachrony in the Composition of I Kings 8, 14–61 (CBET 3; Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1993), 83–170, which suggests a similar chiastic structure. 112. This is a common feature of written ritual texts, as can be seen as well in Lev 8:1–5, 14:2, and elsewhere. 113. Instead of wayyasseb hammelek ªet panayw, “and the king turned around his face” (1 Kgs 8:14), the Hebrew has wayyaºmod, “and he stood” (1 Kgs 8:55). However, the internal logic of the

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order to bless the people (1 Kgs 8:55–61). This is followed by another section describing dedicatory sacrifices (1 Kgs 8:62–64), which is parallel to 1 Kgs 8:3– 13. The concluding verses (1 Kgs 8:65–66) invert the action of the initial section, which had indicated the assembling of the people and leadership; they also include, parallel to the earlier passage, a chronological reference. This brief review of the ritual structure (which seems to correspond to the literary structure) has made it clear that different ritual elements such as time, space, movement, and actions played important roles in the ritual of temple dedication. However, in terms of presence and occurrence none of these elements equals speech, which is recorded in all major sections, but predominantly in the central portion that contains Solomon’s dedicatory prayer (1 Kgs 8:22–54). The biblical text mentions only three distinct acts of Solomon: standing before the altar of Yhwh (ºamad ), stretching out his hands toward heaven ( para¶), and the speech act (ªamar). Clearly, the major focus of the ritual is the speech act, which in turn seems to underline the public nature of the ritual. In contrast to the earlier short, refrain-like manifestations, the speech act in this context does not appear to be limited to a standard, repeatable, or even stylized pattern but instead represents free speech that seems to be patterned after well-known elements of covenant discourse. 114 In summary, based on the preceding observations, the following facts concerning ritual sounds and language emerge. First, it is often difficult to extract a precise description of ritual sounds in texts because of the nature of our (textual) database. Second, ritual sound played an important role in ritual in the Hebrew Bible even though it is not always easy to describe it clearly. 115

narrative requires some type of movement, since he had knelt before the altar and, in order to bless the people, had to face them. This is another example of an abbreviated summary statement involving ritual space. 114. The central term of the covenant discourse, bérît, appears in 1 Kgs 8:23. The basic elements of covenant discourse in the ANE (as well as in the Hebrew Bible) include the identification of the covenant giver, a historical prologue, stipulations of the covenant, and blessings and curses. See for more details George E. Mendenhall and Gary A. Herion, “Covenant,” ABD 1:1179–1202. 115. The importance of ritual sound/music in other ANE cultural context has been demonstrated elsewhere. See, for example, for Hittite material, Daisuke Yoshida, “Zur Kultmusik beim ‘Trankopfer’ (Gott NN eku-“trinken”) in Festen hattisch-hethitischer Kultschicht,” in Priest and Officials in the Ancient Near East: Papers of the Second Colloquium on the Ancient Near East—The City and Its Life Held at the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan (Mitaka, Tokyo), March 22–24, 1996 (ed. K. Watanabe; Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1999), 239–52. For Mesopotamian evidence, see Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat, Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia (Greenwood Press “Daily Life through History” Series; Westport, CT: Greenwood , 1998), 167–70; and for evidence from the Hebrew Bible, see Philip J. King and Lawrence E. Stager, Life in Biblical Israel (LAI; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001), 285–300. For evidence gleaned from the installation ritual of the nin.dingir of dim from Emar in Syria, see my “Who Did What When and Why?” 125–26.

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Third, it seems that ritual language can be abbreviated and formulaic or can be free, depending on the occasion and the larger religious or narrative context.

In Retrospect The discussion of the final four elements of ritual analysis, objects, actions, participants, and sounds/language, has again underlined their significant interaction as well as the need to pay attention to all the elements. Ritual objects can involve elements connected to ritual participants (such as clothing items) or separate from them. They can involve absolute (or fixed) objects or portable and mobile ones. While primary or past usage of a particular object (in the context of the Hebrew Bible or the NT) is important, one should not depend on it, since objects can also be reused in innovative ways. Sometimes, rituals include important explanations or hints as to the significance of a particular object in a particular ritual context. Careful attention needs to be given to these. Finally, it should be remembered that combining of objects that originated in distinct spheres or domains is a ritual strategy that often results in new meaning. Ritual action is often characterized by general or abbreviated descriptions that presuppose a general familiarity with a particular subaction in ancient times but that appear strange and sometimes vague to the modern reader. Often, ritual action also contains a brief summary statement at the beginning that describes the rationale or desired outcome of the ritual. This is particularly important considering the unique nature of biblical ritual texts. Although we can only access them nowadays in textual form, the textual histories of both the Hebrew Bible and (to a lesser degree) the NT presuppose a parallel history of oral transmission, with texts being read publicly and repeatedly and thus being assured future recognition and adherence. 116 These public readings (in whatever forum and size they may have occurred) guaranteed familiarity with basic ritual elements. In this scenario, an introductory summary statement involving ritual action and often describing the desired outcome of the ritual would make sense. The study of ritual participants and their roles provides an interesting window on the social structure of a particular culture. The researcher should aim for both quantitative and qualitative analysis, which will result in a more 116. See also Alan R. Millard, “Oral Proclamation and Written Record: Spreading and Preserving Information in Ancient Israel,” in Michael: Historical, Epigraphical and Biblical Studies in Honor of Prof. Michael Heltzer (ed. Y. Avishur and Robert Deutsch; Tel Aviv: Archaeological Center Publications, 1999), 237–41; as well as Victor Avigdor Hurowitz, “Spanning the Generations: Aspects of Oral and Written Transmission in the Bible and Ancient Mesopotamia,” in Freedom and Responsibility: Exploring the Challenges of Jewish Continuity (ed. Rela M. Geffen and Marsha B. Edelman; Hoboken, NJ: KTAV, 1998), 11–30.

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balanced appreciation. 117 Differentiating between active and passive participants is also helpful when one analyzes ritual participants and their roles. Furthermore, the association of participants with one another (or dissociation) provides further important data for the category of ritual participants and their roles. The last category of ritual elements involves sound and language. On first view, it appears to be a rather limited and unpromising category in biblical ritual texts, due to the textual nature of the data. However—as is often the case—the first look may actually be misleading. Ritual sounds, including instrumental and vocal music, played an important role in Israelite cult, a fact that can be seen from the inclusion of the Psalter in the Hebrew Bible as well as the many references to music in ritual contexts. The texts generally do not provide sufficient technical information about the specific nature of the employed instrument or the sound or melody that had to be produced, but the inclusion of the basic information indicates the importance of ritual sound. Ritual language can be abbreviated or in other contexts can dominate the ritual. Language is the central element in prayers and blessings.

117. After all, the fact that a certain ritual participant appears many times throughout the ritual does not necessarily translate into the most important ritual role, particularly when most of the actions connected to that person are passive or do not represent the major ritual elements.

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“What Does It All Mean?” Dimensions and Functions of Ritual Ritual Dimension: A Brief Introduction Up to this point, biblical ritual has been predominantly described from a phenomenological perspective. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)! Or is it? While one can sometimes find an explanation for a particular ritual (or subrite), this is not always the case. As a matter of fact, most biblical rituals do not provide a detailed elucidation of their significance, except perhaps by including introductory (or final) summary statements. 1 However—as in language—one cannot communicate about ritual by using only morphology or semantics; in order to communicate adequately, one must consider pragmatics. Figure 21 (p. 206) illustrates this added dimension using terminology borrowed from general linguistics. After describing phenomenologically what can be found in the text by looking at the nine suggested categories, we can begin to determine the meaning(s) of the ritual. However, a ritual is never an isolated event, executed in a “clean-room atmosphere,” the significance of which is crystal clear. It happens and is enacted in a concrete historical context and in a particular cultural and religious milieu. This is where ritual pragmatics comes in. Similar to pragmatics in general linguistics, ritual pragmatics tries to describe the illocutionary force of a given ritual or subrite and seeks to locate it in the larger societal context. 2 What is to be communicated by the ritual? What communication strategies are employed and why? What does the ritual tell us about the religious, historical, and cultural realities? Does it reflect the interests of a particular social class and if so, how does it fit into the larger societal context?

1. So also Jenson, Graded Holiness, 18. 2. The category of illocutionary force is borrowed from sociolinguistic research. The simple phrase “there is a dog in the room” carries more than mere information. It can be an urgent warning or a promise (if intended as a surprise for a child, for example), or it may represent a threat. For more, see Chantal Klingbeil, “Pragmática lingüística,” 127. Sociopragmatic failure stems from cross-culturally different perceptions of what constitutes appropriate linguistic behavior. Compare J. Thomas, “Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Failure,” Applied Linguistics 4/2 (1983): 99.

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Fig. 21. Interpretive Process of Ritual Analysis Involving the Linguistic Categories of Morphology, Semantics, and Pragmatics.

The basic issue that pragmatics seeks to address is ritual function. What function did the particular ritual play in the particular context? Researchers have given differing answers to these questions. Some have opted for a rather simplified typology of ritual function, focusing on two or three predominant dimensions. Frank Gorman, discussing the conceptual world of the Priestly texts of the Pentateuch, distinguishes three basic ritual types: 3 (1) founding rituals that are designed to bring into being a certain state, institution, or situation, resulting in the foundation of some elements of the larger order of creation; (2) maintenance rituals, which are designed to maintain an already-established order and, as such, function as protectors of the divinely created order of the cosmos, society, and cult; (3) restoration rituals, the aim of which is to restore the order of creation when it has been broken, ruptured, or damaged. Gorman suggests that this final ritual type is the dominant type found in the Priestly ritual system. 4 The system presented by Gorman is attractive, particularly in view of its simplicity. However, it is precisely this simplicity that tends to level the dif3. Gorman, Ideology of Ritual, 53–55. 4. Ibid., 55. See also his more elaborate remarks on founding rituals in Frank H. Gorman Jr., “Priestly Rituals of Founding: Time, Space, and Status,” in History and Interpretation: Essays in Honour of John H. Hayes (ed. M. Patrick Graham et al.; JSOTSup 173; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), 47–64.

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ferences and results in rather murky functional descriptions. What exactly marks the difference between a maintenance ritual and a restoration ritual, since both seek to restore a given order? Would not the high priestly ordination ritual recorded in Lev 8 (which Gorman considers to be a foundation ritual) 5 also fit into the category of maintenance rituals, especially when one considers it to be a general blueprint for future priestly (and high priestly) ordination rituals? Gruenwald does not provide in his introductory chapter a structured list of dimensions or functions of ritual, but he mentions several basic characteristics of ritual that may be relevant to our present discussion. Rituals are intentionally structured and transformative actions that are ideal vehicles of communication. 6 Beyond this point, Gruenwald does not appear to try to describe more-specific dimensions or functions, thus limiting the usefulness of his contribution. As has been demonstrated, ritual structure and ritual intentions are a mainstay of ritual theory and are present in all types of ritual. Their transformational nature is closely interconnected to their personal or societal importance. In this sense, Gruenwald is only stating the obvious. While oversimplification may be a result of Gorman’s 3-part classification scheme, the other extreme can be found in the 16 ritual categories (based on the function of a particular ritual) that Ronald Grimes proposed. 7 These include rites of passage, marriage rites, funerary rites, festivals, pilgrimage, purification rites, civil ceremonies, rituals of exchange, sacrifice, worship, magic, healing rites, interaction rites, meditation rites, rites of inversion, and ritual drama. The list is indeed exhaustive, but one wonders whether it is always easy to distinguish the categories. Will the interconnected feasts of unleavened bread and Passover—requiring a journey to Jerusalem—be included in the pilgrimage category or in the festival category or perhaps in both? 8 Can a particular ritual belong to more than one category? While nuanced classification is desirable and indeed points to the multiplicity of ritual content, in the final outcome it is overly restrictive, since one must decide whether a given ritual belongs to category A, B, or C—but not to all 3. 5. Idem, Ideology of Ritual, 138. 6. Gruenwald, Ritual and Ritual Theory, 6–7, 14, 16, 25–26. 7. Grimes, Research in Ritual Studies, v–vi, 68–116. 8. The emphasis of Deut 16:1-8 is used on the sanctuary (= temple), which suggests a journey to Jerusalem, which in turn changes the celebration from an exclusively domestic rite (Exod 1213) to part of a national gathering. For a more complete discussion of the available biblical (and extrabiblical) textual data, see Baruch M. Boxser, “Unleavened Bread and Passover, Feasts of,” ABD 6:755-65. For a discussion of the Passover in the context of ritual feasts, see Jan Holman, “An Approach from Biblical Theology of the Passover: A Critical Appraisal of Its Old Testament Aspects,” in Christian Feast and Festival: The Dynamics of Western Liturgy and Culture (ed.Paul Post et al.; LitCon 12; Leuven: Peeters, 2001), 167-84.

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Recognizing this dilemma, Catherine Bell has opted for a pragmatic compromise between completeness and simplicity and proposes 6 distinct categories: (1) rites of passage (or “life-cycle” rites); (2) calendrical and commemorative rites; (3) rites of exchange and communion; (4) rites of affliction; (5) rites of feasting, fasting, and festivals; and (6) political rituals. 9 Bell herself recognizes other ritual categories but maintains that the 6 chosen categories represent the core ritual types and may be taken “as prototypes for most classification systems.” 10 To be sure, Bell’s list (as well as the more complex classification scheme of Gorman) is useful and based on conservative elements. However, the wider variety of ritual and the polyvalence of ritual meaning make this classification system vulnerable to the compression, abbreviation, or even the bending of rituals that do not fit the mold. As an alternative I suggest that classification should not necessarily try to describe the particular category of any given ritual but should aim to outline different dimensions. This suggestion is based on work done by the Dutch scholar Jan Platvoet, 11 who in 1995, suggested a typology of 13 dimensions (instead of classifications) for ritual in any society. I have condensed Platvoet’s suggestion into 10 basic dimensions, in order to facilitate more-precise differentiation while maintaining his original framework. As will be seen in the following discussion, it is not always an easy task to distinguish between particular traits or dimensions of ritual, and more often than not they overlap. However, the employment of a classification system that describes dimensions instead of determining ultimate purposes and functions gives the researcher more freedom and may provide an interesting tool for future studies in researching dimensional combinations. This is why most rituals involve more than one dimension. As can be seen in the data contained in the appendix, the minimum amount of suggested dimensions involving the ritual texts of the Pentateuch is 3 and in some cases even 6 or 7. 12 In the following sections, I will introduce the 10 dimensions that are suggested here in both their theoretical and their real-life application as perceivable in biblical ritual texts. While some of these dimensions seem to be rather basic and inherent to ritual in general, it is their combination that makes this dimensional system so interesting. 9. Bell, Ritual, 94ff. 10. Ibid., 94. Bell continues: “They [these ritual categories] tend to be examples of rituals in which the action is primarily communal, traditional (that is, understood as carrying on ways of acting established in the past), and rooted in beliefs in divine beings of some sort. These types of rituals, usually associated with clearly defined religious traditions, have long been the dominant examples and primary data for ritual studies.” 11. See here Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 25–37. Before his retirement, Platvoet was a Senior Lecturer for the Comparative Study of Religions at Leiden University, from 1991 to 2000, and published extensively in the areas of comparative religious studies. 12. See also my observations in “El género olvidado.”

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The Interactive Dimension: Ritual as Social Facilitator The interaction dimension of ritual is deeply rooted in the social interaction of individuals or groups within the context of acquired social behavior. 13 This dimension presupposes that ritual constitutes a learned activity that is transmitted by processes of socialization in a particular cultural context. As pointed out by Platvoet, it “excludes compulsive repetitive behaviour which has no communicative intent, and instinctive interaction.” 14 Interaction is one of the basic characteristics of ritual behavior, since most ritual is public and involves more than one participant. By means of ritual action, people begin to interact, mostly in a stylized and repeatable way, thus providing a clear “script,” which reduces the possibility of unintentional friction. This dimension is particularly visible in the sacrificial rituals described in Lev 1–7. 15 At a minimum, sacrificial ritual denotes the interaction between the deity and the one who offers the sacrifice. Additional participants who interact include the officiating priest and—as an involuntary participant—the sacrificial animal. However, the interaction dimension goes even further. A particular sacrificial ritual was part and parcel of a public communal ceremony, such as the ordination ritual (Exod 29, Lev 8) or the crucial Day of Atonement ritual (Lev 16). 16 The public nature of the ritual event underscores the interactive dimension of the ritual action. As already indicated in the title of this section, the inter13. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 27. 14. Ibid. 15. There are distinct sacrificial classes, for example, the ºolâ offering or burnt offering (Lev 1:1– 17, 6:8–13), the min˙â offering or cereal offering (Lev 2:1–16, 6:14–23), the sélamîm offering or wellbeing offering (Lev 3:1–17, 7:11–21), the ˙a††aªt offering or purification offering (Lev 4:1–5:13, 6:24– 30), and the ªasam offering or reparation offering (Lev 5:14–6:7, 7:1–10). As can be seen, I am following Milgrom’s (Leviticus 1–16, 131–73) suggestions for the translation of these sacrificial terms. Gruenwald (Ritual and Ritual Theory, 180–230) has dedicated an entire chapter to the discussion of Israelite sacrifice against the larger framework of ritual theory. After a helpful introduction to the topic, he argues that the major factor in the shaping of sacrifices is the intimation that a certain reality, or existence, is either under threat or actually undergoing disintegration (ibid., 185); this is followed by a detailed discussion of the Day of Atonement ritual found in Lev 16. I would caution against looking for the basic underlying motivation of sacrificial practice. Compare my review of current opinions in Comparative Study, 247–55, which stresses the multivalency of sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible. 16. Many more public ceremonies involving sacrificial ritual could be mentioned here. Suffice to say that in all cases the witnessing public receives the immediate benefits of the successful performance of sacrificial ritual. During the ordination ritual, the successful inauguration of both the location and the religious specialists provides access to the religious system of sacrifices that ultimately results in the purification of the individual and the people as a whole. A similar motif is also visible during the inauguration rites connected to the Solomonic temple, as narrated in 1 Kgs 8:1–66.

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active dimension of ritual reflects and sometimes establishes or facilitates social limits. For example, rites of passage establish a new standing in society by means of particular ritual action. As a result, the nonspecialist suddenly becomes a specialist (as in the case of the priestly or Levitical ordination rituals in Lev 8 or Num 8:5–26). Similarly, by means of the covenant ritual (Exod 19:10–19, 24:4–8), the non-people become the people of Yhwh, elected by the deity and free to enjoy the benefits of the covenant while complying with the conditions of the covenant. 17 In this case, the ritual marks the important interaction between the human and the divine participants.

The Collective Dimension: Ritual as Community Builder Similar to the interactive dimension, the collective dimension requires as a minimum two participants, a “sender” and a “receiver,” if one applies terminology from communication theory. Writes Platvoet: “All rituals are ‘collective’ in this minimal sense. Many rituals, however, are collective in a stronger sense when they engage, among the visible participants, actors of several kinds, such as officiants, those for whom a ritual is conducted, and a congregation.” 18 As already noted above, many rituals only make sense in the collective dimension. The Day of Atonement ritual, while concerning itself with the altar and the sanctuary, was the means of purifying the sanctuary (and by extension, the entire community of Israel) of the mi††umªot bénê yi¶raªel, “the impurities of the sons of Israel,” which are then described as “their acts of rebellion and all their sins” (Lev 16:16, njb). In this sense, the collective dimension of ritual always involves a whole community or a large subgroup of a particular community. The collective dimension not only presupposes community but may also create or facilitate community or disrupt community. Reference has already been made to the important rituals connected to the making of the covenant in Exod 19, which result in a new quality of relationship between the people and the sponsoring covenant deity (= Yhwh). However, the collective dimen17. The close relationship between “my people” and “not-my-people” is well illustrated by the name-giving and name-changing acts, as found in Hos 1:9; Hosea, by divine order, is to name his third son loª ºammî, “not my people.” Hosea 2:3 seems to reverse the future judgment expressed by the name and refers to Israel again as ºammî, “my people.” Macintosh (Hosea, 37), who argues for an original connection between chs. 1 and 2 (and against a secondary insertion), suggests that the name change indicates restoration to the erstwhile status of Israel. Concerning the crucial theological concept of divine election as applied to the people of Israel, see Seock-Tae Sohn, The Divine Election of Israel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991); and earlier, J. Guillén Torralba, La fuerza oculta de Dios: La elección en el Antiguo Testamento (Institución San Jerónimo 15; Valencia-Córdoba: Publicaciones del Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros de Córdoba, 1983). 18. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 28.

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sion is also present in the covenant-rupture ritual that was identified in Exod 32:19–20, which occurred in the context of the golden calf episode. 19 In this particular context, the community is threatened by Yhwh due to noncompliance to the covenant stipulations. As part of the ritual answer to this existential and societal threat, Moses burns the golden calf, grinds its remains to powder, mixes it with water, and makes the Israelites drink this concoction. 20 However, this does not completely resolve the problem, and on Moses’ command the Levites execute about 3,000 men (Exod 32:28), threatening the community even further. As this example shows, ritual can also put pressure on religious communities that could be compared to the “pressure-cooker” metaphor, whereby the societal stress is finally resolved and the community is strengthened. Mourning rituals exemplify this dimension as well. The death of any member of a given community generally causes tensions, pain, and loss. The societal equilibrium is out of balance. 21 Communal mourning rites seek to bring this imbalance back into some sort of equilibrium. Genesis 50:3 contains an echo of this in connection with the 70 days of mourning 22 by the Egyptians after the death of Joseph’s father, Jacob. Only after this period is completed does Joseph reintegrate himself in Egyptian society and appear in Pharaoh’s household (Gen 50:4). It seems that the collective weeping period is not only a sign of appreciation of the deceased but also a constructive element, creating, renewing, and strengthening societal ties.

The Traditionalizing Innovation Dimension: Creating Something New without Discarding the Old Even though rituals are governed by rules and conventions, they are usually not static, closed systems. Generally, ritual action involves some type of change and innovation. This is often due to the nonspecific specifics that have been seen particularly in biblical ritual texts. While the general outline of a particular ritual is pretty clear, particular elements may be open to individual interpretation and may result in contextual innovation. A good example of 19. See my “Quebrar la ley,” 73–80. 20. The phrase employed in the MT (bénê yi¶raªel, “the sons [= people] of Israel, Exod 30:20) suggests at least the involvement of the entire community. No details as to the exact procedure are given, which again demonstrates the often abbreviated nature of ritual description. 21. Obviously, one has to distinguish between different levels of society. The death of a reigning monarch will result in a much higher level of imbalance than the death of a family member in a small clan in a tribal context. However, in both cases death causes societal tension. 22. The Hebrew root employed here is bakâ, “wail, weep, bewail,” which is mostly used to describe a physical reaction to extreme loss or pain. A very helpful discussion of the term in the larger context of laments in the Hebrew Bible can be found in Walter L. Moberly, “Lament,” NIDOTTE 4:866–84.

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this principle can be seen in the prescriptive ritual text concerning the altar to be constructed on Mount Ebal once the Israelites enter the Promised Land, as registered in Deut 27:1–8. The instructions indicate the use of uncut stones (Deut 27:5–6) that will be plastered and will have written on them kol dibrê hattôrâ hazzoªt, “all the words of this law” (Deut 27:3). It is not entirely clear if the same stones will be used for the altar and for commemoration purposes. Furthermore, the biblical text does not indicate the precise type of altar to be constructed, the construction personnel, the nature of the sacrificial rites involved, or the tools to be used in writing on the plastered stones. It is thus possible that a more complex ritual had a stable core, with fringe activities being more open to innovation. Another type of innovation has already been discussed in a section above. Times of religious or cultural change, revivals, or strife among different groups may result in ritual innovation. 23 A good example, already mentioned above, is the partial transformation of the Passover supper into the Eucharist celebration. This particular example involves fairly substantial innovations on the conceptual level (that is, the transfer from Judaism to Christianity), while important elements remain the same. Due to the conservative nature of ritual per se, however, such innovation is often short-lived and quickly becomes normative and, as Platvoet puts it, “is traditionalized by ritual’s capacity for routinisation.” 24 This phenomenon can be seen during the 1st century of Christianity and its subsequent “standardization” of the ritual practice of the Eucharist. Furthermore, it is interesting to note the renewed vigorous discussion of the relevant dimensions and underlying theological presuppositions of the Eucharist during the 15th century in the context of the Protestant Reformation. 25

The Communicative Dimension: Transmitting Messages Due to its dynamic and interactive nature, ritual also communicates various kinds of messages. As is known from communication science, these messages can be explicit or implicit, verbal or nonverbal, direct or indirect. Explicit messages generally include or determine much of the content of a ritual, while implicit messages, as observed by Platvoet, “constitute a more important agenda.” 26 This implicit agenda involves social relationships and interaction that are not easily perceived, particularly in the context of a relatively “frozen” 23. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 29. 24. Ibid. Compare with R. I. Rosaldo Jr., “Metaphors of Hierarchy in a Mayan Ritual,” American Anthropologist 70 (1968): 524–36; and Jonathan Z. Smith, “The Bare Facts of Ritual,” HR 20 (1980): 113. 25. See also Schnurr, “Eucharist: Development in the Church and Theology,” 168–73. 26. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 31.

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ritual—that is, a ritual that is primarily known from either prescriptive or descriptive texts. The communicative dimension seems to interact a great deal with the category of ritual participants and their respective roles. For example, in the enigmatic ritual generally known as the “test for an unfaithful wife” (Num 5:11–31), a glance at the participants involved and their interaction immediately suggests a hierarchy of social standing. 27 It is interesting to note that most of the action in this particular ritual is initiated by and attributed to the officiating priest, while the woman and the man are mainly passive participants. 28 These realities communicate implicitly regarding the social roles of the participants. Clearly, in Num 5 the focus is on the priestly officiant, who acts as an arbitrator and buffer in a highly emotional issue. 29 The implicit communicative dimension of this particular aspect of the ritual involves hierarchical issues (“the trial by ordeal is only available for the suspicious husband but not for the suspicious wife”), societal roles, and religious dimensions (“highly emotional issues such as suspected adultery need to be solved before Yhwh and his priest, not by employing violence or force”). However, the trial-by-ordeal ritual of Num 5:11–31 also carries an explicit communicative dimension. The public nature of the ritual, the involvement of the priestly specialist, the geography of the ritual that suggests the tabernacle/ 27. Besides the standard commentaries, which generally do not include a major discussion of the ritual, there are not many studies dealing with this particular ritual. See here the (mostly brief ) studies of Jack M. Sasson, “Numbers 5 and the ‘Waters of Judgment,’” BZ 16 (1972): 249–51; Tikva Frymer-Kenski, “The Strange Case of the Suspected Sotah (Numbers v 11–31),” VT 34 (1984): 11–26; Dennis Pardee, “Marîm in Numbers 5,” VT 35 (1985): 112–15; Jacob Milgrom, “On the Suspected Adulteress (Num 5:11–31),” VT 35 (1985): 368–69; and von Nordheim, “Das Gottesurteil als Schutzordal.” 28. A quick count of the verbal actions connected to the officiating priests resulted in 23 forms, while the man is active only 8 times, and the woman occurs as the subject (though mostly in a passive way) 8 times. These figures do not include the spoken parts of the ritual but focus exclusively on the ritual action. The man’s participation is predominantly connected to the bringing of his wife (which is narrated both at the beginning as well as at the end of the ritual [Num 5:13– 15, 29–30]) while the woman’s participation is even more marginal. The only clearly active participation involves her affirmative response to the curse ritual in Num 5:22. 29. Feminist theologians would be quick to point out that the priest, by definition, is also a male character and thus cannot be an adequate arbitrator. One should, however, consider the important element of legal (and thus institutionalized) recourse, instead of the other alternative, by means of which a husband could just abandon or divorce his wife on the grounds of mere suspicion. As has been pointed out by Ashley (Book of Numbers, 122–23): “On the sociological level this passage raises concerns about the fairness of the so-called trial by ordeal as well as the unjust treatment of women that this passage prescribes (since no procedure is recorded for the suspicious wife). First, we must recognize that this passage is not a product of modern Western concerns. The cultural life of the ancient Near East was very different from modern life as regards societal roles, and so on, and we must not make the text into something it is not just because what it is grates on our 20th-century consciences. But, once we have issued this warning, let us also be careful that this text is not made into an antiwoman trial by ordeal on the basis of a surface reading.”

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temple as the place where the ritual is performed—all these point to the explicit message of the ritual, which is the public nature of the event. 30 This is not a private or individual issue, but because of the tremendous repercussions for the couple involved (and their families), it needs to be played out in the public arena. An additional aspect described by Platvoet as being part of the communicative dimension involves emphatic and phatic messages. “Emphatic messages have a precise, often urgent content and usually a pragmatic intention requiring a response from the receivers. Phatic messages have a more diffuse content and usually a socio-structural function, which the receivers are expected merely to perceive and receive as ‘normal.’” 31 The ritual prescription of Num 5:11–31 does not contain many emphatic messages. However, there is one that stands out: at the end of the oath administered by the priest, the suspected woman is to respond ªamen ªamen, “Amen! Amen!” (Num 5:22). This repeated response is rather unusual. 32 In the list of the 12 curses found in Deut 27:11–26, the people reply to each curse with a single “amen” (Deut 27:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and so on). 33 It is possible that the repetition reflects the binary formulation of the execration, whereby the affirmative answer of the woman involves both the negative and the positive alternatives. 34 This emphatic response by a seemingly passive participant relativizes somewhat the marginal societal role of the woman.

The Symbolic Dimension: The Power of Symbols While most rituals contain communicative and expressive dimensions, in the majority of cases this communication is achieved through symbols. More often than not, these particular symbols (or symbolic actions) are connected to or represent other, core symbols of the cultural or religious system. Platvoet suggests that these symbols possess strong normative and emotive aspects, 30. Numbers 5:16 employs two terms borrowed from sacrificial texts that have important ritual connotations: wéhiqrîb, “and he shall bring” (Hiphil form of the root qrb) which is followed by the phrase wéheºémidah lipnê yhwh, “and he [the priest] shall make her stand before Yhwh.” Both terms are generally connected to the tabernacle or temple. Compare Levine, Numbers 1–20, 195. 31. See the relevant references found in Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 31 and n. 41. 32. It does, however, appear in Neh 8:6 and in Ps 41:13. 33. The simple manifestation of “amen” seems to be the general rule in Biblical Hebrew. The captain of the mercenary bodyguard of David, Banaiah, replies with a simple “amen” to the pronouncement of Solomon as the future king of Israel (1 Kgs 1:36). Similar replies, often found in the context of public assemblies, also appear in 1 Chr 16:36, Neh 5:13, Jer 11:5, and elsewhere. 34. Compare Levine, Numbers 1–20, 198.

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since they are anchored in the underlying structure of the system. 35 The importance of this symbolic dimension can be illustrated in the NT communion ritual, which employs food symbolism (involving eating and drinking) and connects it to blood symbolism, so well known in the Hebrew Bible. 36 “This is my body” (Matt 26:26), says Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, after taking the bread, blessing it, breaking it, and giving it to his disciples. “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out 37 for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:28), Jesus continues, when he takes the cup and shares it with his disciples. As has been argued by Douglas, 38 there is a continuity between the eucharistic doctrine and sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible based on (1) the importance and equality of animal life with human life; (2) the recognition that cereal offerings, far from being subsidiary to animal sacrifice, were recognized as separate, holy, and as bearing covenantal implications; and (3) the underlying concept suggesting that sacrifice in Leviticus is regarded as spiritual; note also the interchangeability of words for material and spiritual food, bread and flesh, wine and blood, and life and soul. 39 The employment of known symbols in new contexts underlines the powerful symbolic dimension of ritual in the Bible. Obviously, this requires a holistic reading—both of the entire Hebrew Bible and of the Greek NT—and a sense of continuity. This continuity is not necessarily based on Christian theological bias but on the shared cultural and religious symbols of the world of the Hebrew Bible and the 1st-century Jewish-Christian movement. 40 35. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 32. 36. On the symbolic importance of blood in the Hebrew Bible, see Abusch, “Blood in Israel and Mesopotamia,” 675–84; and Stowers, “On the Comparison of Blood in Greek and Israelite Ritual,” 179–94. 37. The Greek term used here is frequently employed in the LXX in sacrificial contexts that required blood manipulation (for example, Exod 29:12; Lev 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34, and so on). 38. Douglas, “The Eucharist.” 39. Concerning the eating metaphor employed by Jesus in the foundation of the communion service and its roots in the Hebrew Bible, see also Diana M. Swancutt, “Hungers Assuaged by the Bread of Heaven: ‘Eating Jesus’ as Isaian Call to Belief: The Confluence of Isaiah 55 and Psalm 78 (77) in John 6.22–71,” in Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel: Investigations and Proposals (ed. Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders; JSNTSup 148 / SSEJC 5; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 218–51. 40. There is a vast body of literature concerning the literary and conceptual relationship between the Hebrew Bible and the Greek NT. For a helpful introduction to the topic, I recommend Stanley E. Porter, “The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament: A Brief Comment on Method and Terminology,” in Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel: Investigations and Proposals (ed. Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders; JSNTSup 148 / SSEJC 5; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 79–96; and Hans Hübner, “New Testament Interpretation of the Old Testament,” in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation, Volume I: From the Beginnings to the Middle Ages (until 1300), Part 1: Antiquity (ed. Magne Sæbø; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996), 332–72.

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The Multimedia Dimension: Total Communication The “multimedia” dimension is characterized by the employment of visible, often public, mostly complex, polyvalent symbols that communicate powerfully both to the participants and to the more casual observer—or in the case of Scriptures, the later reading audience. Common elements that may point to this dimension are particular forms of body language, ostentatious dress, and ornaments. As has been pointed out by Platvoet, ostentatious behavior or lack thereof may also be a marker of the multimedia dimension of ritual. 41 Another area that contributes to this dimension is the design of the ritual space in which the ritual is performed. Is the ritual space ordered or adorned with the help of elements from the plastic or pictorial arts? A good example of this last category in the Hebrew Bible is the role that the tabernacle and, later on, the temple played in ritual. The design of the tabernacle was based on direct divine intervention, according to the instructions given by Yhwh in Exod 25:8–9. This is the business of the deity, and specific instructions follow this introductory statement (Exod 25–31). 42 The general layout of the tabernacle is clear: the sanctuary was to be made of wooden boards or frames draped with coverings of goat hair and leather done in a particular weaving/design style. It was to be divided by a veil, which was suspended on four pillars, into a Holy of Holies and a less holy antechamber. The tabernacle included the ark of the covenant, mercy seat, and two cherubim that would be placed in the Holy of Holies. A lampstand, incense altar, and table with 12 loaves of bread would stand in the antechamber. Around the sanctuary structure was to be a courtyard that would contain a bronze altar and laver for priestly ablutions. It is important to note that the design instructions of the tabernacle did not contain only a basic outline but indeed included very pre-

41. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 32. Platvoet includes music, dance, trance, comic drama, gift-giving, and so on in this category of ostentatious acts. 42. The historicity of the tabernacle has been questioned by earlier critical scholarship, but it appears that there is a growing consensus that the biblical data suggest an old tradition of a tent sanctuary, the historicity of which cannot be denied in view of the growing extrabiblical evidence. See Frank Moore Cross Jr., “The Priestly Tabernacle in the Light of Recent Research,” in Temples and High Places in Biblical Times (ed. Avraham Biran et al.; Jerusalem: Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology of Hebrew Union College, 1981), 169–80; C. R. Koester, The Dwelling of God: The Tabernacle in the Old Testament, Intertestamental Jewish Literature and the New Testament (CBQMS 22; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association , 1989), 6–11; Jorge Luiz da Silva, The Implications of the Arad Temple for the Question of the Dating of P (M.A. thesis, Andrews University, 1992); Kenneth A. Kitchen, “The Tabernacle: A Bronze Age Artifact,” ErIsr 24 (Malamat volume; 1993): 119*–29*; Cornelis Houtman, “Wie fiktiv ist das Zeltheiligtum von Exodus 25– 40?” ZAW 106 (1994): 107–13; and most recently, introducing evidence from Mari, Daniel E. Fleming, “Mari’s Large Public Tent and the Priestly Tent Sanctuary,” VT 50 (2000): 484–98.

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cise indications of size, materials to be used, and special construction techniques. As has been mentioned above in the context of ritual objects, the biblical text specifies not only the materials that had to be employed but also the particular weaving techniques to be used. 43 Clearly, this elaborate design served a particular purpose, and rituals set in this geographical space (such as ordination rites, sacrificial rites, vows, and so forth) communicated not only by their particular action(s) but also by their setting. The art, workmanship, and iconography of the tabernacle (and later on the temple) added a “multimedia” dimension to the ritual and spoke particularly to the visual sense. 44 In the NT context, I would suggest that the baptismal ritual also contained a strong “multimedia” dimension. This rite of passage is not connected to a particular “holy space” in apostolic Christianity but is set in nature, probably on the shore of lakes or rivers (Matt 3:6, Luke 3:3, Acts 8:36). In some passages of the gospels, John’s baptism is also connected to the wilderness (Mark 1:4–5, Luke 3:2–3), thus emphasizing even more the liminal nature of the rite of passage. In order to be baptized, a person had to move and get into the remote areas of the wilderness of Judah and the bordering depression of the Jordan Valley. Instead of a highly regulated and ornamented space such as the tabernacle or the temple, the baptismal ritual of early Christians seems to have emphasized the lack of ostentatious multimedia elements connected to these structures and by doing so made an important statement.

The Performance Dimension: Customary Rules, Play-Acting, and Conventions The performance dimension of ritual presupposes that all rituals, even the solitary rituals of an individual believer toward a postulated being, are collective events that alert and focus the attention of the participants or the audience on a central part of the message(s). Performance—or, more descriptively,

43. Exodus 26:1 employs the Qal participle ˙oseb, which indicates the most elaborate workmanship, containing designs that were employed not only in the making of the tabernacle curtains and coverings but also in the sewing of the Ephod (Exod 28:6, 8) and the high priestly breastpiece (Exod 28:15) as well as the high priestly robe (Exod 28:31–34). See, for more, my Comparative Study, 177–91. 44. Concerning the architecture and particular design of the Solomonic temple, see Zevit, “Preamble to a Temple Tour”; and Bloch-Smith, “Solomon’s Temple: The Politics of Ritual Space.” See also John M. Monson, “The Temple of Solomon: Heart of Jerusalem,” in Zion, City of Our God (ed. Richard S. Hess and Gordon J. Wenham; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 1–22; and most recently, Victor Avigdor Hurowitz, “Yhwh’s Exalted House: Aspects of the Design and Symbolism of Solomon’s Temple,” in Temple and Worship in Biblical Israel (ed. John Day; Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 422; London: T. & T. Clark, 2005), 63–110.

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“play-acting”—represents one of the most important means for achieving this end. 1 Samuel 16:12–13 describes David’s anointing rite. There is seemingly very little action in the narrative describing the ritual. After all the older brothers have been presented before the prophet Samuel, there is no divine choice of any of them. As has been so aptly pointed out by Greenspahn, the Leitwort of the passage is the verb root rªh, “see.” Samuel had been sent to Bethlehem because God had seen (raªîtî) a king among Jesse’s sons (v. 1). Once there, he was impressed when he first saw (wayyarª) the eldest Eliab (v. 6), leading God to explain, “It is not that which a person sees (yirªeh), since a person sees (yirªeh) the outer appearance, but the Lord sees (yirªeh) the heart” (v. 7). There is more than a little irony in this last remark, since Samuel, to whom it refers, had been introduced as a roªeh (lit. “seer,” 1 Sam 9:19). But he did not see, at least not as God does.45

Seeing is not necessarily an action word, although it is often used in the Hebrew Bible to introduce subsequent action. 46 Seeing something results in action. In the case of the anointing rite of David, after seeing David and receiving the divine order, Samuel rises and takes the horn of oil and anoints him in the midst of his brothers. This anointing rite clearly carries a performance dimension. Anointing was not a common daily practice in the cultural context of the Hebrew Bible. It carried important cultic 47 and legal functions in Israelite society and marked the anointed person for a particular position or status. Additionally, it is interesting to note that the earlier movement of bringing David before Samuel employs the Hiphil form of the verb root bôª, “come” (1 Sam 16:12), 48 which is also often employed in sacrificial contexts, marking the bringing of the object/animal that is to be offered (Lev 2:2, 8; 4:4, 45. Frederick E. Greenspahn, When Brothers Dwell Together: The Preeminence of Younger Siblings in the Hebrew Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 86. 46. Yhwh sees (wayyarª) the wickedness of man (Gen 6:5) and as a consequence he is grieved (wayyinna˙em) and determines to put an end to humanity’s evil doings (Gen 6:6–7), resulting in the flood. Yhwh sees (wayyarª) that Leah is hated, and in consequence he opens (wayyipta˙) her womb (Gen 29:31). Yhwh sees (wayyarª) the lack of justice and it displeases him (lit., wayyeraº béªênayw, “and it was evil in his eyes,” Isa 59:15). God sees (wayyarª) the people of Israel and he knows (wayyedaº ) them (that is, he acknowledges them [nkjv], Exod 2:25). 47. Concerning the cultic context of anointing rites, see my “Anointing of Aaron,” 231–43. The legal function of anointing rites found in the Hebrew Bible has been discussed by Åke Viberg, Symbols of Law: A Contextual Analysis of Legal Symbolic Acts in the Old Testament (ConBOT 34; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1992), 89–119. 48. Ironically, 1 Sam 15:20 employs the same verbal forms as the forms found in 1 Sam 16:12. However, in the earlier text it is Saul who claims to have done what he had been sent for (by Yhwh): the destruction of the Amalekite king Agag. His noncompliance with Yhwh’s explicit command to destroy the Amalekite king (and not just “bring him back”) represents the final cause of his divine rejection (1 Sam 15:22–23).

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5, 14, 16, 23, 28, 32; 5:6, 7, 8, 11, 12; and so on), although it is not the most frequently employed technical term. 49 Both the movement (send § bring) and the anointing rite suggest the important performance dimension of this election ritual.

The Esthetic Dimension: Ordering One’s World Neatly Any formal mode of communication also involves esthetic dimensions, especially the form that the communication takes (whether regular or irregular). 50 Ritual can be a manifestation of an esthetic that constructs and is constructed in the larger context of daily life. 51 The esthetic dimension of rituals may involve visual elements that interact in a pleasing manner. In the Hebrew Bible, the reference to turning all or part of sacrificial animals into smoke could be connected to the esthetic dimension of ritual, particularly the reference to the rêa˙ nî˙oa˙, “pleasing odor,” that often occurs in these contexts. 52 Smells have an esthetic quality, especially considering the importance of perfumes or ritual elements connected to smells. “Smell taps into all our emotions. It sets the patterns of behavior, makes life pleasant and disgusting, as well as nutritious.” 53 Smells help to divide rituals into different sections. The pleasing odor for Yhwh suggests a successful completion of a particular sacrificial rite and marks the final section of these rites. In this sense it marks the human compliance with Yhwh’s explicit commands that results in a “pleasing odor.” 49. As has already been mentioned, the technical terminology connected to the bringing of offerings involves the verbal roots qrb (predominantly in the Hiphil) and ngs (also in Hiphil). 50. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 35. Platvoet includes ample bibliographical references to the works of Turner and Leach that need not be repeated. 51. Simon Coleman and Peter Collins (The ‘Plain’ and the ‘Positive’: Ritual, Experience and Aesthetics in Quakerism and Charismatic Christianity,” JConRel 15 [2000]: 317–29) have published an interesting study drawing from anthropological fieldwork done with British Quakers and Swedish charismatic Protestants that focuses on the esthetic dimension of ritual, as well as other dimensions. 52. See, for example, the references in Gen 8:21; Exod 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 2:12; 3:16; 4:31; 8:21, 28; 17:6; Num 15:24; 18:17; 28:6, 27; 29:2, 6; Ezek 16:19, to mention a few. Some important studies dealing with this phrase include P. A. H. de Boer, “An Aspect of Sacrifice, I: Divine Bread; II: God’s Fragrance,” in Studies in the Religion of Ancient Israel (ed. G. W. Anderson et al.; VTSup 23; Leiden: Brill, 1972), 27–47; Cornelis Houtman, “On the Function of the Holy Incense (Exodus xxx 34–8) and the Sacred Anointing Oil (Exodus xxx 22–33),” VT 42 (1992): 458–65; Paul Heger, The Development of Incense Cult in Israel (BZAW 245; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1997); G. A. Klingbeil, Comparative Study, 281–84; and most recently, Ulrike Bechmann, “Duft im Alten Testament,” in Die Macht der Nase. Zur religiösen Bedeutung des Duftes: Religionsgeschichte—Bibel—Liturgie (ed. Joachim Kügler; SBS 187; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2000), 49–98. 53. Boyd Gibbons, “The Intimate Sense of Smell,” National Geographic 170 (1986): 327.

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Other esthetic elements in biblical ritual involve dance and other orchestrated movements that are not as easily defined as “dance.” The narrative of the transport of the ark of the covenant as recounted in 2 Sam 6 involves procession-like movements and engages at least four different senses. Through the sacrifice, smell and taste are incorporated into the ritual, while hearing and sight are elements of the music and procession-like movement. The sense of touch, in light of the tragic disaster with Uzzah, is noticeably absent. 54 While the involvement of various senses may point to multimedia dimensions, it definitely also carries an esthetic undertone. The first part of the narrative of 2 Sam 6 involves the negative results of a ritual that—apparently—had not been executed according to the preestablished ritual rules. Lack of compliance with the “proper” method of the ritual results in ritual failure and requires a renewed effort.

The Strategic Dimension: Determining Power Structures Ritual action often involves power structures. By various strategic means, the participants and audience need to be convinced that the ritual world (whether stylized or arbitrary) is a true reflection of the “natural world.” The employed strategies include repetition, redundancy, formality, distancing, and habituation. 55 In this sense, ritual action seeks to convince, persuade, or even manipulate its participants, audience, and later observers and therefore acts strategically. As a result, “critical analysis is anathema [in ritual]. It must be suspended. The fiction must be maintained that rituals are not made-up productions.” 56 Ritual also maintains or creates power structures, especially when it implies and demonstrates a relatively unified corporate body by suggesting more consensus than there actually is. 57 Naturally, it is difficult to ascertain the existence of consensus or deviation in written ritual texts, since issues of authorship, sources, audiences, and viewpoints complicate the task, which is much more easily accomplished in the context of a live anthropological field experiment. 58 What appears to be a fracture line in a particular text pointing to a 54. See the comments in David P. Wright, “Music and Dance in 2 Samuel 6,” JBL 121 (2002): 201–25. 55. Platvoet, “Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 35. 56. Ibid. 57. This has been described in more detail in Bell, Ritual Theory, 210. 58. On the important interaction of texts and artifacts, there is no scholarly consensus in sight. Pitard (“Tombs and Offerings,”147–51) has questioned if one can even be sure to find definite answers in the excavated material culture, particularly when focusing on death and its accompanying rituals and perspectives. In a study published in the same volume, Lewis seems to argue the opposite position and sees an important interaction of texts and artifacts (= archaeological data)

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different source may in reality be an important literary strategy aimed at holding the later reader’s attention. It would appear that festival ritual legislation (such as the Passover celebration [Num 28:16–25] or the feast of booths [Num 29:12–38] to mention two) carry important strategies because they aim at organizing and structuring the realities of time, space, and actions for a large body of persons. Generally, verb forms involving prescriptions are plural and suggest a larger audience rather than a limited group of religious specialists. In contrast to the more personal (or perhaps better: private) rituals such as prayer, individual offerings, or rituals involving purification rites, festival rites represent a way to order and structure public life and do not represent an individual response to a felt need (= prayer) or a ritual response triggered by an individual act of wrongdoing. Thus, when we look at ritual in the public sphere, we should consider strategy. While there are a large number of these public rituals in the Hebrew Bible, the NT picture is different. The early Christian church did not represent a coherent ethnic or culturally unified group. The NT church concept required an internationalization of the kingdom-of-God people idea found in the Hebrew Bible. 59 This kingdom-of-God concept is deeply rooted in the Hebrew Bible and the visible kingdom of Israel (and later on Judah) that was supposed to attract the attention of other people, resulting—at least in the prophetic vision of Micah (Mic 4:1–8) and Isaiah (Isa 2:1–5) 60 —in the coming of all the peoples to Zion. 61 Due to the lack of ethnic or even social coherence, 62 early Christian authors did not endorse a “universal” festival calendar but the ritual of communion especially seems to have included a strategy for making disparate elements into a meaningful whole—that is, the church (= body) of Christ. regarding this topic (see Theodore J. Lewis, “How Far Can Texts Take Us? Evaluating Textual Sources for Reconstructing Ancient Israelite Beliefs about the Dead,” in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel [ed. Barry M. Gittlen; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002], 169–217). 59. One should not, however, think that the idea of a special people of God so preeminent in the Hebrew Bible is discontinued in the NT writings. The body of believers in the NT is referred to as “the people of God” (1 Pet 2:9–10) and also as “the body of Christ” (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 1:22–23, 5:25) and “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (Phil 2:1, Eph 2:21–22). See also the pertinent remarks found in Boyd Hunt, “Church,” in New Dimensions in Evangelical Thought: Essays in Honor of Millard J. Erickson (ed. David S. Dockery; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998), 338–53. 60. Concerning the often-discussed relationship between the two oracles, which include a large amount of identical data, see Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman, Micah: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 24e; New York: Doubleday, 2000), 413–25. 61. Compare Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to the Nations (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), 51–63. 62. For a helpful discussion of the social life (and friction) of the early Christian church, see Justin J. Meggitt, “The First Churches: Social Life,” in The Biblical World (ed. John Barton; 2 vols.; London: Routledge, 2002), 2:137–56, and the many helpful bibliographical references provided there.

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Writes Meggitt: Within the first churches members of diverse gender, status and ethnic groups (women and men; slaves, the freed and the free; Jews, Greeks, Romans, Samaritans, Syrians and others) created relationships unparalleled in the period. . . . Only the initial Jerusalem church appears to have been somewhat less heterogeneous, and represents a partial exception to this picture, though even this was, if Acts is accurate, composed of a diverse, cosmopolitan group of Jews (Acts 2:1–47; 6:1–6; 15:5). 63

As can be seen from some parts of the NT, members of the first churches often continued to participate in the religious lives of other groups, both Jewish and pagan, in addition to their own. 64 Among the Christian ritual practices that can be identified (such as prayer [Acts 1:14, 2:42, 6:4, 12:5; Rom 12:12; etc.], singing [1 Cor 14:15, Eph 5:19, Col 3:16, etc.), reading [1 Tim 4:13, Acts 15:31, Col 4:16, etc.], the Lord’s Supper [Matt 26:26–30, 1 Cor 11:17–34], and baptism [Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38, 10:47–48, Rom 6:3ff., 1 Cor 1:13–17, etc.]), the celebration of the Lord’s Supper seems to have had the most potential for integrating the diverse members into a more unified “body,” “temple,” “construction per se,” “family”, or any other metaphor that is employed in the NT writings—in other words, the Lord’s Supper involved a tangible strategic dimension. 65

The Integrative Dimension: Creating Community Many of the above-mentioned dimensions ultimately result in the creation of community among the participants and later audience of a particular ritual. Many rituals function as great integrators. This integration can affect the reality of a particular society, as is often the case in state-sponsored ritual actions. Most ancient societies could be used as examples, particularly when one considers the function of the king in the specific religious context. In Mesopotamia, the evolution of kingship in early Sumerian society was intrinsically connected to the temple. 66 At Ugarit during the Late Bronze Age, the 63. Ibid., 151. 64. See Luke 24:53; Acts 2:46, 3:1, 18:26, 21:26, 22:17. See also Meggitt, “The First Churches: Religious Practice,” 2:157–72, for more references. 65. I have tried to paint a metaphor map of the Epistle to the Ephesians and was able to distinguish a sizable number of metaphors and related submetaphors. Since the Epistle to the Ephesians is one of the more important ecclesiological NT texts, the appearance and use of particular metaphors connected to the church is significant. See, for more details, my “Metaphors and Pragmatics: An Introduction to the Hermeneutics of Metaphors in the Epistle to the Ephesians,” BBR 16 (2006), 273-93. 66. See here the carefully documented study of Piotr Steinkeller, “On Rulers, Priests and Sacred Marriage: Tracing the Evolution of Early Sumerian Kingship,” in Priest and Officials in the

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king’s religious role was highlighted by his manifold appearance in the prescriptive ritual texts from that Canaanite port city. 67 Interestingly, the role of the king in Emar ritual seems to have been rather limited, 68 perhaps due to the fact that Emar society traditionally had a clan-based structure that was built around elders instead of kings. A similar situation seems to have been prevalent in early Israel, and even during the monarchic period the impression given is that religious activities were not necessarily presided over by the kings. 69 While this does not imply a total disconnection between kingship and religion in First Temple Israel, it does suggest less-direct royal control. Rituals in the Hebrew Bible that involve an integrative dimension definitely include the ordination rituals (Lev 8 [priests] and Num 8 [Levites]) and the important Day of Atonement ritual (Lev 16). I would also argue that burial rituals often seek to reintegrate the mourning family members into society. The narrative of Gen 25:9–10 marks the first interaction between the two sons of Abraham after the circumcision of the entire household of Abraham (Gen 17:26–27). Both sons are burying their father. While the biblical text does not contain particular indications of the burial rites involved, 70 the participation of the two sons is significant and suggests some type of interaction between the two heirs. Another interesting pentateuchal ritual that is not necessarily a public (or official) ritual but involves integration can be found in Deut 21:10–14. The legal injunction regulates the marrying of a wife captured during war. She is brought to the Israelite’s house, 71 involving important movement that may symbolize her passage from being an outsider (or even enemy) to becoming a member of a particular household—and by extension—a member of a particular community. After she has shaved off her hair and cut her fingernails Ancient Near East: Papers of the Second Colloquium on the Ancient Near East—The City and Its Life Held at the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan (Mitaka, Tokyo), March 22–24, 1996 (ed. K. Watanabe; Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1999), 103–37. 67. Compare David T. Tsumura, “Kings and Cults in Ancient Ugarit,” in Priest and Officials in the Ancient Near East: Papers of the Second Colloquium on the Ancient Near East—The City and Its Life Held at the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan (Mitaka, Tokyo), March 22–24, 1996 (ed. K. Watanabe; Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1999), 215–38. Del Olmo Lete (Canaanite Religion) also provides a vivid illustration of the importance of the king in Ugaritic religion. 68. Daniel E. Fleming, “A Limited Kingship: Late Bronze Emar in Ancient Syria,” UF 24 (1992): 61; and also more recently Murray R. Adamthwaite, Late Hittite Emar: The Chronology, Synchronisms, and Socio-Political Aspects of a Late Bronze Age Fortress Town (ANESSup 8; Louvain: Peeters, 2001), 188–89. 69. Uzziah’s story immediately comes to mind. According to 2 Chr 26:16–21, Uzziah’s leprosy was a direct punishment by Yhwh due to his intrusion into the holy part of the temple and his insistence on burning incense on the incense altar of the sanctuary. 70. This is similar to the brief altar-construction notices found in the same book. 71. Again the Hiphil form of the verbal root bwª is employed. See further above.

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(Deut 21:12), she has to take off her old clothes (in which she was captured) and mourn her parents for a full month (Deut 21:13), as part of house confinement. Only after these rites are performed (and the time has passed) is the marriage consumated, and she becomes the wife of the Israelite man. 72 In view of the first example discussed in this section (the burying of Abraham by Ishmael and Isaac), the mourning rites of the captured woman are significant. She is to mourn (bakâ) her parents for one month, and only after that rite of passage is she ready to reintegrate into society—this time, not as a captive (or even a slave) but as a wife. Reference was made above to the integrating dimension of the Lord’s Supper. The heterogeneous Christian community was to become “one body,” with no consideration given to social, economical, ethnic, or religious status. The coming together of Christian members resulted in a web of mutual obligations that was marked by interdependence and togetherness. Shared meals (Luke 14:12–14, Acts 2:46, Gal 2:11–14), hospitality (Mark 6:8–11; Acts 16:15, 18:3), care for the socially and materially powerless (Acts 6:1, 9:36–43; 1 Tim 5:3–16), and a general concern for the mutual building up of the community (1 Cor 14:26, 1 Thess 5:11) resulted. As Meggitt writes: “These new relationships were regarded as having precedence over those already established, and reshaping the norms of social interaction between believers (for example, 1 Cor 6:1–8).” 73

In Retrospect As has been argued above, ritual dimensions provide a convenient, precise, but also flexible way of describing ritual functions. Instead of overly simplified or specialized ritual categories, dimensions provide a way to understand the pragmatics of ritual. What were some of the purposes that the ritual was supposed to realize? The interactive dimension describes ritual as a social facilitator. It is the important interaction between humans or between the human and divine participants. The collective dimension is an extension of the interactive dimension. Collective ritual can create, renew, or even disrupt community. It can serve as an outlet helping to restore societal equilibrium. The traditionalizing innovation dimension recognizes that rituals are not static, closed systems. Times of challenge and change within a community often re72. The Hebrew reads wéhayétâ léka léªissâ, “and she shall be to you as a wife.” 73. Meggitt, “The First Churches: Social Life,” 151. Platvoet (“Ritual in Plural and Pluralist Societies,” 36) provides the theoretical background for this observation: “Moreover, many rituals, especially the collective or representative ones, express and re-create the solidarity, identity, and at times the boundaries, of a group or a society by their being performed at a particular time and place, in the special manner in which its participants are ordered, and by the prominent display and manipulation of objects which express the unity and distinctiveness of that group.”

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sult in ritual innovation. The communicative dimension interacts with ritual participants and their respective roles. Ritual is dynamic and interactive and consists in the communication of different kinds of explicit or implicit messages: verbal, nonverbal, direct, or indirect. Most rituals contain a powerful symbolic dimension. These symbols or symbolic actions often connect to other, core symbols of the cultural systems. The multimedia dimension is characterized by the employment of visible, often public, and mostly complex symbols that communicate powerfully. They often involve forms of body language, ostentatious dress, and ornaments. The omission of one of these elements can also be a marker. The performance dimension is often associated with playacting and alerts both participants and audience to the central part of the ritual. The esthetic dimension of rituals involves elements that interact with the human senses in a (mostly) pleasing manner. This includes rituals that tap into the senses of sight, smell, or taste and can involve dance or other orchestrated movements. The strategic dimension of ritual action seeks to convince, persuade, or even manipulate participants, audience, and later observers that the ritual world is a true reflection of the natural world. Ritual also maintains or creates power structures, especially when it implies and demonstrates a relatively unified corporate body by suggesting consensus. And finally, the integrative dimension overlaps with many of the dimensions that ultimately result in the creation of community among participants and the later audience of a particular ritual. Many rituals function as great integrators.

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“Looking over the Fence”: Ritual and Other Areas of Biblical and Theological Research Looking at the Larger Picture Ritual studies in the larger context of biblical studies represent only one particular angle in theological research. Although ritual studies have often suffered neglect and lack of interest, or have simply been overlooked, as I have demonstrated in previous chapters, 1 they represent a rich source of data that can be helpful in many areas of biblical and theological research. This chapter will highlight points of interaction with individual areas of biblical and theological research. This is not meant to be the final word on the subject matter but, rather, represents a tentative exploration. To be sure, ritual is such an important aspect of human life in general that its occurrence cannot be limited to a number of unique fields. However, it is a beginning and will hopefully generate more interaction in the future, or—at least—more willingness to look over the proverbial “fence” surrounding each hyperspecialized area of biblical and theological study. After all, the call to multi- and interdisciplinary research that has been heard repeatedly over the past decades has already had a tangible outcome. 2 1. It is interesting to note the lack of specialized introductions to ritual texts in the Bible, particularly in view of the fact that modern scholarship has produced an impressive number of introductions to historical, legal, prophetic, poetic, and wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible. See here the many bibliographical references included in my “Género olvidado,” 267–69. 2. I have argued for both multidisciplinary research design and interdisciplinary interaction with much additional bibliography in earlier studies. See, for example, my “Methods and Daily Life: Understanding the Use of Animals in Daily Life in a Multi-disciplinary Framework,” in Life and Culture in the Ancient Near East (ed. Richard Averbeck et al.; Bethesda, MD: CDL , 2003), 401– 11, where I have argued for a multidisciplinary methodological framework involving historical or cultural questions. The methodological discussion of this study involves the particular strengths as well as possible pitfalls of textual, archaeological, and iconographic data. A similar call was made in the area of biblical hermeneutics in an earlier study coauthored with my brother, Martin Klingbeil. See Gerald A. Klingbeil and Martin G. Klingbeil, “La lectura de la Biblia desde una perspectiva hermenéutica multidisciplinaria (I): Consideraciones teóricas preliminares,” in Entender la Palabra: Hermenéutica adventista para el nuevo siglo (ed. Merling Alomía et al.; Cochabamba: Universidad Adventista de Bolivia, 2000), 147–73.

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Ritual and Theology In 1995, Frank Gorman challenged biblical scholars “to take ritual seriously as a central element of the communities that composed and passed on the biblical texts.” 3 A year later he followed up on this with an interesting study pointing to the nexus between ritual and theology, particularly in the context of the Pentateuch. 4 In this study he offered four suggestions as to where ritual may contribute fruitfully to contemporary theological readings of the Hebrew Bible, especially the Pentateuch, pointing to (1) the necessary attention that should be given to the groups and processes behind the texts; (2) a reading of the Pentateuch in more concrete and less abstract theological terms; (3) a recognition of our distant location (as compared with the text’s location); and (4) a critical reflection on our different readings of the Pentateuch. 5 While Gorman’s suggestions to some degree reflect current hermeneutical issues that are generally summarized under the heading of “cultural criticism,” 6 his challenge to take ritual text seriously when describing (or systematizing) the theology of a particular book or body of texts is noteworthy. It seems that neither biblical theologies nor, to an even lesser degree, systematic theologies consider ritual per se in their theological formulation. 7 However, it seems that (at least) biblical theologians are aware of the disfavor done to ritual and cult in earlier studies and seek to reintegrate them into the theological discussion. 3. Gorman, “Ritual Studies and Biblical Studies,” 29. 4. Idem, “Ritualizing, Rite and Pentateuchal Theology,” in Prophets and Paradigms: Essays in Honor of Gene M. Tucker (ed. Stephen Breck Reid; JSOTSup 229; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), 173–86. 5. Ibid., 184–85. 6. In a recent study, I have tried to define cultural criticism and describe its manifold manifestations as well as some of the possible benefits and pitfalls of this particular hermeneutical approach. See my “Cultural Criticism and Biblical Hermeneutics: Definition, Origins, Benefits, and Challenges,” BBR 15 (2005): 261–77. 7. See also the careful analysis of recent major works focusing on biblical theology (for example, Horst Dietrich Preuss, Old Testament Theology [2 vols.; OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1995–1996]; Walter Brueggemann, Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy [Minneapolis: Fortress, 1997]; Paul House, Old Testament Theology [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998]; Bernhard W. Anderson, Contours of Old Testament Theology [Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999]; and James Barr, The Concept of Biblical Theology: An Old Testament Perspective [Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999]) concerning the use of ritual texts from the Hebrew Bible in my “Altar, Rituals, and Theology.” Somehow, ritual does not seem to fit into the classical subdisciplines of systematic theology, such as theology, anthropology, Christology, pneumatology, ecclesiology, or eschatology. This sixfold division can be found in most modern systematic theologies, such as Stanley J. Grenz, Theology for the Community of God (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994). Notably, in the subject index Grenz does not include any reference to ritual. Wayne Grudem (Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine [Leicester: Inter-Varsity / Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994]) follows a similar layout, although he differentiates between Christology and soteriology. Parallel to Grenz’s work, Grudem does not include ritual in his subject index.

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Unfortunately, due to the dominant historical-critical dating paradigm, which advocates a late date for the majority of the biblical data involving ritual (that is, the Priestly source), most ritual legislation is projected into a rather late period of Israelite history, following the Babylonian Exile. This in turn creates the curious situation of a virtually “ritual-free” premonarchic or monarchic Israel, particularly when one uses ritual legislation as the litmus test. On the basis of anthropological and sociological field research, this status quo should be questioned. Ritual is an integral part of any society, be it highly developed or more primitive. It acts as an important glue to generate communitas, 8 representing a type of bonding that does not depend on class, rank, wealth, or social status. As has been argued before, a canonical reading of the text of the Hebrew Bible involving the conscious bracketing of the standard paradigm would partially remedy this methodological problem. Biblical theology as a discipline of biblical or theological studies has experienced a roller-coaster ride, swinging between being fashionable and being demonized. 9 The question as to whether the biblical text allows only for a descriptive history of religion or for a more interpretive, systematic, and perhaps even normative theology of the Hebrew Bible (or both testaments) has been discussed extensively in recent scholarship and does not need to be repeated. 10 What seems important, however, is the fact that ritual may provide a means to cross this apparent methodological (and ideological) gap separat8. This term is borrowed from V. W. Turner, The Ritual Process, 82ff. 9. A good history of the discipline can be found in Gerhard F. Hasel, Old Testament Theology: Basic Issues in the Current Debate (4th ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 10–27. Present challenges and future possibilities of the discipline have been discussed in idem, “The Nature of Biblical Theology: Recent Trends and Issues,” AUSS 32 (1994): 203–15; idem, “Recent Models of Biblical Theology: Three Major Perspectives,” AUSS 33 (1995): 55–75; Walter C. Kaiser Jr., “Old Testament Theology,” in New Dimensions in Evangelical Thought: Essays in Honor of Millard J. Erickson (ed. David S. Dockery; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998), 32–45; Elmer A. Martens, “The History of Religion, Biblical Theology, and Exegesis,” in Interpreting the Old Testament: A Guide for Exegesis (ed. Craig C. Broyles; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 177–99; Walter Brueggemann, “The ABC’s of Old Testament Theology in the US,” ZAW 114 (2002): 412–32; and most recently the revised and augmented edition of Ben C. Ollenburger, ed., Old Testament Theology: Flowering and Future (2nd ed.; SBTS 1; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004). For a critical appreciation of the volume, see Richard S. Hess, “Review of Ben C. Ollenburger, ed., Old Testament Theology: Flowering and Future.” Denver Journal 9 (2006), http://www.denverseminary.edu/dj/articles2006/0100/0103.php (accessed 11 June 2006). 10. See here, for example, Bernd Janowski, “Theologie des Alten Testaments: Plädoyer für eine Integrative Perspektive,” in Congress Volume: Basel, 2001 (ed. André Lemaire; VTSup 90; Leiden: Brill, 2002), 241–76; or earlier, John Barton, “Alttestamentliche Theologie nach Albertz?” JBT 10 (1995): 25–34; Rainer Albertz, “Religionsgeschichte Israels statt Theologie des Alten Testaments: Plädoyer für eine forschungsgeschichtliche Umorientierung,” JBT 10 (1995): 3–24; and Iain W. Provan, “Canons to the Left of Him: Brevard Childs, His Critics, and the Future of Old Testament Theology,” SJT 50 (1997): 1–38.

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ing the two camps. Ritual texts generally prescribe or describe concrete actions connected to particular space, time, objects, and sounds and involve specific participants. In other words, they show a practice (at least from the perspective of the author[s] of the text) that points to important underlying concepts and presuppositions. These practices, taken seriously, represent an important ancient perspective that demands at least the same attention that is given to nontextual remains that are unearthed during an excavation. 11 It is clear that literary strategies need to be taken into consideration, particularly when one when one is dealing with exclusively textual data. However, the data themselves demand a hearing. 12 Interestingly, an increasing number of specialists working in the field of Old Testament Theology (or employing the alternative name, Theology of the Hebrew Bible) seem to be aware of this fact, although their systemization sometimes lacks the important methodological backbone of ritual theory. For example, Paul House contends that Leviticus (that is, the book with the highest density of ritual texts) “is one of the most theologically oriented books in Scripture.” 13 Walter Brueggemann dedicates a fairly large amount of space to the discussion of worship, recognizing the close link between practice and identity. He writes: I propose a model for considering this material [cult, worship and its subelements] theologically, but I do so with considerable diffidence, recognizing that we are only at the beginning of a reappropriation of the serious worship of Israel as an important theological datum. Israel understood, as the Western disestablished church is only now having to learn again, that there must be important and intentional lines of defense and maintenance if a peculiar identity is to endure, and worship is the most likely place in which such an identity is to be guarded and maintained. 14 11. Marc Verhoeven (“Ritual and Ideology in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B of the Levant and Southeast Anatolia,” CAJ 12 [2002]: 233–580) has provided a fascinating study of ritual and world view in Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB; ca. 8600–7000 b.c.e.), relying entirely on the excavated material culture of the Levant and southeast Anatolia. While some archaeologists (or specialists in the history of religion) consider this approach rather “unscientific” (p. 233), the evaluation of the available data coupled with a healthy dose of ritual theory should provide at least some indications of PPNB ritual behavior. Another interesting study of ritual as being visible in the archaeological record is Andrea Berlin, “The Archaeology of Ritual: The Sanctuary of Pan at Banias/ Caesarea Philippi,” BASOR 315 (1999): 27–45. 12. It should be noted that the material culture together with the extrabiblical textual data of Late Bronze Age or Iron Age Syria–Palestine provide ample evidence and parallels to biblical ritual. I have discussed these data in “Between North and South: The Archaeology of Religion in LBA Palestine and the Period of the Settlement,” paper read at the Critical Issues in Early Israelite History: Conference and Consultation (Horn Archaeological Museum, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan) on March 28, 2004. 13. Paul R. House, Old Testament Theology, 126. 14. Brueggemann, Theology of the Old Testament, 653.

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What we can learn from biblical ritual goes beyond the mere description of ancient Israelite religion and points to the essential identifying elements of biblical theology. After all, blood, sacrifices, holiness, and purification that are so prevalent in ritual texts of the Hebrew Bible mark crucial points in the history of salvation that find their counterparts in NT theology. 15 While they do not necessarily represent systematic treaties dealing with these important theological elements and were written for an audience that intuitively understood the basic elements and building blocks of ritual because they shared the same world view and cultural context, they provide an important window on theology. They challenge the 21st-century reader to employ the concrete categories suggested by the texts instead of a later (and perhaps even artificial) abstract design that is sometimes superimposed on the text. Furthermore, as has been demonstrated by Neusner, ritual is an important marker of corporal identity and thus makes important religious statements. He writes: “Only when we can match the medium of ritual to the message of theology and so account for the details may we hope to grasp the construction and architectonics of the whole: the ritual stated through normative law that in itself constitutes the theological statement of the religion, Judaism.” 16 Neusner’s observations are applicable not only to Judaism but also to a Christian reading of the Hebrew Bible (or of the two testaments combined).

Ritual and Law The study of the legal texts of the Hebrew Bible enjoys sound health. Monograph-length studies as well as up-to-date journal articles appear on a regular basis, 17 and there is a well-established section on biblical law that organizes several sessions during the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. Important research has been published that deals with legal sym-

15. It is not only the genre of ritual texts that has suffered near oblivion in biblical theology. Other genres, such as wisdom, have also generally been ignored. See here Gary V. Smith, “Is There a Place for Job’s Wisdom in Old Testament Theology?” TJ 13 (1992): 3–20. 16. Neusner, “Ritual as a Religious Statement in Judaism,” 169. 17. See, for example, Bernard M. Levinson, ed., Theory and Method in Biblical and Cuneiform Law: Revision, Interpolation and Development ( JSOTSup 181; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994); idem, Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997); Pietro Bovati, Re-establishing Justice: Legal Terms, Concepts and Procedures in the Hebrew Bible ( JSOTSup 105; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1994); or Gershon Brin, Studies in Biblical Law: From the Hebrew Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls ( JSOTSup 176; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1994). John W. Welch ( A Biblical Law Bibliography [TST 51; Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1990]), has published a helpful tool that includes thousands of studies dealing with biblical law and is arranged by subject and by author.

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bolism (which often marks the connecting seam to ritual) 18 as well as with the comparative analysis of legal texts against the larger ancient Near Eastern cultural context. 19 Other research has focused on the literary forms of biblical law. 20 While areas of law and ritual definitely overlap, and these areas have been highlighted by researchers in the past, 21 very little work has been done on the connection between narrative and law, or—to put it in other words— between descriptive ritual texts telling about the application of a particular ritual law and the establishment and function of law per se. There is wide agreement that ritual texts, often involving repetitive formulations, have not received the same type of attention that narrative sections of the Hebrew Bible have received. 22 David Damrosch describes the status quo very poignantly, although it should be noted that during the past 15 years since he penned these words hopeful signs are on the horizon. 23 “Leviticus customarily receives short shrift from literary analysts. Indeed, faced with such an unappetizing vein of gristle in the midst of the Pentateuch, the natural reaction of most readers is simply to push it quietly off the plate.” 24 18. See, for a comparative perspective, Malul, Studies in Mesopotamian Legal Symbolism; and also more recently the important study of Viberg, Symbols of Law; and Paul A. Kruger, “Symbolic Acts Relating to Old Testament Treaties and Relationships,” JSem 2 (1990): 156–70. 19. A few pertinent examples of this school include Malul, The Comparative Method in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Legal Studies; Greg C. Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery in Israel and the Ancient Near East ( JSOTSup 141; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993); Lucien-Jean Bord, “Le droit de rachat des gages: Etude juridique de Lv 25 et de ses parallèles,” Revue Historique de Droit Français et Étranger 75 (1997): 193–213; idem, “L’adoption dans la Bible et dans le droit cunéiforme,” ZABR 3 (1997): 174–94; idem, “‘You Shall Not Go into His House’: The Law of Deut 24:10–11 in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Laws,” in Inicios, fundamentos y paradigmas: Estudios teológicos y exegéticos en el Pentateuco (ed. Gerald A. Klingbeil; SMEBT 1; Libertador San Martín: Editorial Universidad Adventista del Plata, 2004), 157–64. 20. This has also been observed by Robert R. Wilson, “The Role of Law in Early Israelite Society,” in Law, Politics and Society in the Ancient Mediterranean World (ed. Baruch Halpern and Deborah W. Hobson; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), 90. 21. The work of Milgrom and also Schenker immediately come to mind. Recently a collection of previously published studies involving both law and cult in the Hebrew Bible by Schenker have been published in the OBO series. See here Adrian Schenker, Recht und Kult im Alten Testament: Achtzehn Studien (OBO 172; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000). 22. See Adele Berlin, “Numinous Nomos: On the Relationship between Narrative and Law,” in ‘A Wise and Discerning Mind’: Essays in Honor of Burke O. Long (ed. Saul M. Olyan and Robert C. Culley; BJS 325; Providence, RI: Brown Judaic Studies, 2000), 25–31. Compare Félix García López, “Narración y ley en los escritos sacerdotales del Pentateuco,” EstBib 57 (1999): 271–87. 23. The situation, however, does appear to be reversed, as the work of Douglas (Leviticus as Literature), Warning (Literary Artistry in Leviticus), and the narrative commentary of Sherwood (Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) demonstrate. 24. David Damrosch, The Narrative Covenant (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987), 262.

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In the Pentateuch (as well as in Leviticus) narrative texts, containing ritual elements, are generally interspersed with more-technical presentations of biblical law. While earlier critical scholarship has often associated different genres with distinct editors or schools, more-recent research has shown that genre-mixing, first, predates the Bible and, second, should be read against the larger background of authorial intention and literary design. 25 After all, the Codex Hammurabi (to be dated to the 18th century b.c.e.) exhibits the same genre-mix of legal and narrative sections. Berlin suggests that the interaction of law and narrative emphasizes the divine origin of the law, 26 while others have suggested that biblical laws constitute a commentary on critical matters arising in the narratives. 27 The fact remains that more work needs to be done on the interaction between ritual law and ritual narrative that should go beyond the general questions of genre identification and should seek to identify the rationale for this important interaction. Other important areas of interaction between law and ritual involve the ethics and practical spirituality of biblical ritual. As has been pointed out, “ritual law is perhaps more susceptible than other aspects of holy law to the charge of legalism since it embraces repetitive ceremonial acts whose meaning and value more easily elude the worshipper.” 28 How often are ethical considerations involving significant human (as well as human-animal) interaction visible in ritual prescriptions or ritual in general? A good example of this issue can be found in ritual legislation involving blood. While blood (and blood manipulation—that is, smearing, sprinkling, dipping, pouring, and so on) is a significant element in the ritual and theology of the Hebrew Bible and has generated many important studies, 29 the strict pro25. See here for more references Adele Berlin, “Numinous Nomos,” 27. Martin Klingbeil (“Poemas en medio de la prosa: Poesía insertada en el Pentateuco”) has argued for the importance of the sections marking the seams between poetry and prose in the Pentateuch. 26. Berlin, “Numinous Nomos,” 29. 27. This has been proposed by Calum M. Carmichael, Law, Legend, and Incest in the Bible (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), 6. While his quest for a feasible explanation for the interaction of law and narrative in the Pentateuch is laudable, his suggestion is not entirely convincing. See also my comments in my “Review of Calum M. Carmichael, Law, Legend, and Incest in the Bible: Leviticus 18–20,” JBL 120 (2001): 149–50. 28. This statement is part of the introduction in Jacob Milgrom, “Ethics and Ritual: The Foundations of the Biblical Dietary Laws,” in Religion and Law: Biblical-Judaic and Islamic Perspectives (ed. E. B. Firmage B. G. Weiss, and J. W. Welch; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990), 159. 29. See, for example, D. J. McCarthy, “The Symbolism of Blood and Sacrifice”; idem, “Further Notes on the Symbolism of Blood and Sacrifice”; Herbert Chanan Brichto, “On Slaughter and Sacrifice, Blood and Atonement,” HUCA 47 (1976): 19–55; Stowers, “On the Comparison of Blood”; and most recently, Abusch, “Blood in Israel and Mesopotamia,” with relevant bibliographical references.

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hibitions of blood consumption (for example, Lev 17:10–14) 30 by the individual Israelite are noteworthy. Was this just a way to ascertain a clear-cut distinction between the sacred and the profane, or does the solution to this dichotomy lie elsewhere involving important social or ethical considerations? An explanation involving social dimensions seems to be attractive. In this construct, the high visibility of blood (and the connected sacrifice) in Israelite ritual is explained as a means to establish kinship, both between the deity and the offerer and, on the horizontal plain, between human parties. Abusch suggests that this was typical for tribal people all over the ancient Near East and marked an important difference in the social organization of Mesopotamian urban society and the lack of blood-consciousness in the Mesopotamian temple ritual. 31 However, this does not explain the dichotomy in Israelite religion, which emphasizes blood in ritual contexts but strongly prohibits the consumption of blood. In fact this tension may reflect an important ethical element in biblical ritual and should not be considered the chance result of conflicting sources that an inept editor could not harmonize. Blood—representing life (Lev 17:14)—is sacred, and its important role in sacrificial ritual underlines the conceptual importance of the nexus between God and humanity. The prohibition of certain species for human consumption (Lev 11) could also be understood in the context of this concept, since it resulted in “(1) reducing the choice of flesh to a few animals, (2) limiting the slaughter of even those few permitted animals to the most humane way, and (3) prohibiting the ingestion of blood and mandating its disposal on the altar as acknowledgment that bringing death to living things is a concession of God’s grace and not a prerogative of human whim.” 32 This recognition of the sanctity of life and of the close interaction between humanity and animals is profoundly rooted in the concept of divine creation 33 that permeates the Hebrew Bible. 34 Jirí Moskala 30. In the brief space of five verses, the prohibition on ingesting blood occurs six times and represents a “staccato repetition [which] is unprecedented in law” (Milgrom, “Ethics and Ritual,” 162). 31. Abusch, “Blood in Israel and Mesopotamia,” 683–84. 32. Milgrom, “Ethics and Ritual,” 190. 33. After all, the prohibition on ingesting blood appears in the Noah narrative (Gen 9:4–6), set in a time prior to the existence of Israel as an ethnic entity. 34. See here Mary Douglas, “The Compassionate God of Leviticus and His Animal Creation,” in Borders, Boundaries and the Bible (ed. Martin O’Kane; JSOTSup 313; London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002), 61–73. An important study of the daily use of animals in ancient Israel can be found in Oded Borowski, Every Living Thing: Daily Use of Animals in Ancient Israel (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira, 1998). Some helpful studies that develop the theological aspect of the interaction between humanity and the animal world include A. de Pury, “Gemeinschaft und Differenz: Aspekte der Mensch-Tier-Beziehung im alten Israel,” in Gefährten und Feinde des Menschen: Das Tier in der

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has convincingly documented these literary allusions and echoes that connect Gen 1–3 to Lev 11. 35 Furthermore, economic realities in biblical times would have regulated meat consumption even further. The average Israelite could not afford to deplete his livestock and, consequently, meals involving meat were reserved for special occasions, often involving important social or religious events. 36 Summarizing this particular interpretation, ritual texts therefore reflect particular ethical and theological considerations that need to be discovered and described if we are to grasp the interaction between law and religious practice.

Ritual and Liturgy Over the past years, the study of liturgy and worship has benefited tremendously from the theoretical advances of ritual theory. 37 This applies both to ancient liturgy and to 21st-century liturgical discussions. 38 The fact is that most Lebenswelt des alten Israels (ed. Bernd Janowski et al.; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1993), 112–49; Marie Louise Henry, “Das Tier im religiösen Bewußtsein des alttestamentlichen Menschen,” in ibid., 20–61; and more recently, Hermann-Josef Stipp, “‘Alles Fleisch hatte seinen Wandel auf der Erde verdorben’ (Gen 6,12): Die Mitverantwortung der Tierwelt an der Sintflut nach der Priesterschrift,” ZAW 111 (1999): 167–86. 35. Jirí Moskala, The Laws of Clean and Unclean Animals in Leviticus 11: Their Nature, Theology, and Rationale. An Intertextual Study (ATSDS 4; Berrien Springs, MI: Adventist Theological Society, 2000), 199–233. 36. See also Schmitt, Das Essen in der Bibel, inter alia; also King and Stager, Life in Biblical Israel, 67–68. 37. Some relevant bibliography include Theodore W. Jennings Jr., “Ritual Studies and Liturgical Theology: An Invitation to Dialogue,” JRitSt 1/1 (1987): 35–56; Hoffman, “Reconstructing Ritual as Identity and Culture,” 22–41; Margaret M. Kelleher, “A Communion Rite: A Study of Roman Catholic Liturgical Performance,” JRitSt 5/2 (1991): 99–122; idem, “Hermeneutics in the Study of Liturgical Performance,” Worship 67 (1993): 292–318; and Ronald L. Grimes, “Liturgical Renewal and Ritual Criticism,” in The Awakening Church: Twenty-Five Years of Liturgical Renewal (ed. Lawrence J. Madden; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992), 11–25. 38. For ancient liturgy, see James R. Davila, Liturgical Works (ECDSS 6; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), which is the first in a new series of commentaries on particular genres identified among the Dead Sea Scrolls. An interesting study of early Christian liturgy and its origins can be found in Paul F. Bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship: Sources and Methods for the Study of Early Liturgy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992). For 21st-century liturgy, see, for example, Mike Parker, “Culture and Worship,” ScBEvTh 20 (2002): 161–76; Roy M. Oswald, Transforming Rituals: Daily Practices for Changing Lives (Bethesda, MD: Alban Institute, 1999); Terry L. Johnson, “Liturgical Studies. The Pastor’s Public Ministry: Part One,” WTJ 60 (1998): 131–52; Harry L. Poe, “Worship and Ministry,” in New Dimensions in Evangelical Thought: Essays in Honor of Millard J. Erickson (ed. David S. Dockery; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998), 427–42; Bernhard Lang, Sacred Games: A History of Christian Worship (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997); Monika K. Hellwig, “Twenty-Five Years of a Wakening Church: Liturgy and Ecclesiology,” in The Awakening Church: Twenty-Five Years of Liturgical Renewal (ed. Lawrence J. Madden; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992), 55–68.

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mainstream churches in the Western hemisphere report an increasing loss of participation in worship services—particularly when one considers the younger church members—while alternative church services, involving charismatic elements, powerful multimedia shows, and participatory, gripping song services report a tremendous growth. 39 An adequate understanding of ritual theory together with a conscious implementation of the important elements of ritual may provide a way to worship renewal that goes beyond the mere change of techniques or technology. Without sacrificing the essentials of worship—that is, keeping God at the center and transforming individuals into members of a living community 40 that can begin to reflect the image of God—the communicative, pedagogical, and community-building dimensions of ritual may just provide the needed impetus to a much-needed change in worship patterns. In contrast to a simple change in methods or techniques, the integration of ritual in worship services in the 21st century primarily requires conscious reflection. The problem facing many mainstream (or liturgical) churches 41 cannot (and should not) be resolved by exchanging musical instruments, types of music, or worship order. In other words, techniques and changed methods will not necessarily result in a more relevant worship experience. This requires a more profound change, and an even more profound understanding and appreciation of the power of ritual. Renewal must begin with an intentional contemplation of the underlying elements of worship that represent the essence or the main focus of worship. 42 This is clearly a theological task and requires serious reflection. Important elements that need to be present in worship include God as the center; the experience of community, perhaps using the family metaphor so common in Scripture; and also the character-shaping experience of shared salvation that motivates the believer to serve fellow humanity. 43 However, 39. For a more detailed description of the situation in Western (mostly U.S.) churches in their surrounding cultural context, see the insightful study of Marva J. Dawn, Reaching Out without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 3–72. 40. I am indebted here to Dawn, ibid., 75–80. 41. Generally, the terms “liturgical church” and “nonliturgical churches” are employed to distinguish between those churches who use fixed patterns of (sung or spoken) response from those whose worship seems to be more informal. However, the Greek term leitourgÇa actually means “the work of the people” and designates every action of the laity. In this sense every church is “liturgical.” For more information and references, see ibid., 242–43. 42. See also M. Daniel Carroll R., “Can the Prophets Shed Light on Our Worship Wars? How Amos Evaluates Religious Ritual,” Stone-Campbell Journal 8 (2005): 215–27. 43. The discussion of the center of worship seems to be a controversial and never-ending one. The three elements mentioned above seem to summarize well most current worship theologies while staying true to Scripture. Both the Hebrew Bible and the NT focus primarily on God as the subject as well as the object of worship. He is portrayed as creator, savior, and sustainer, and by

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these important elements are almost exclusively communicated by means of verbal communication. While words are powerful and are an integral part of worship, structured actions may sometimes speak louder and more clearly to the worship participants. Could it be that the knowledge and conscious implementation of important ritual elements such as space, time, objects, actions, roles, sounds, and so on together with a contemplation of the manifold dimensions of ritual may enable us to communicate profound theology in ways that are easily remembered and memorized? Considering particularly the element of memorization, the increased and conscious employment of ritual in worship services may be an excellent manner of creating memory maps in the mind of the worshiping community that are more easily remembered than lengthy discourses. After all, ancient Israel was first an oral society; texts were read in public contexts (and less frequently in private contexts) and were orally transmitted and internalized. Highly structured ritual was a unique vehicle for remembering important theological concepts that were orally transmitted. The important Day of Atonement ritual found in Lev 16 represents such an example, particularly when one considers a canonical reading of Scripture. The idea of a “model” or “pattern” already appeared in the divine instruction concerning the construction of the tabernacle found in Exod 25:9, where Yhwh stated that all these elements had to be designed and built according to the tabnît, “model, form, image.” The term occurs only 20 times in the Hebrew Bible and can refer to images that have the likeness of male or female human beings and function as an idol (Deut 4:16; similar also the use in Isa 44:13). In 2 Kgs 16:10 the same word is used in the sense of a model. After being summoned to the Assyrian center of Syrian military operations in Damascus by King Tiglathpileser III, King Ahaz sends Uriah the priest a model of the Assyrian altar to have it built for the temple in Jerusalem. In Ezek 8:3 tabnît refers to something unknown that has the form of something known. In 1 Chr 28:19 it refers to a design plan or pattern that was to be employed by King Solomon for the construction of the temple. In the NT the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews quotes Exod 25:9 and applies it to the ministry and sacrifice of Jesus in a heavenly sanctuary against the backdrop of the Day of Atonement ritual. 44 In this way the sacrificial system as prescribed in the Pentateuch is reinterpreted in

the act of worship the worshiping community is united, molded and shaped, and ready for service. A helpful discussion of worship in the Hebrew Bible can be found in Andrew E. Hill, Enter His Courts with Praise: Old Testament Worship for the New Testament Church (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996). A more systematic study can be found in Dawn, Reaching Out without Dumbing Down. 44. Hebrews 8:2 emphasizes the “true tabernacle” (nkjv).

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the NT as a type or model of the sacrifice and ministry of Jesus. 45 This suggests that, at least to the NT church and probably also in a more limited way to the believer in the Hebrew Bible, the sacrificial cult functioned as a model of a bigger and more relevant reality. Understood in this way, ritual connected to the cult not only had a communicative function but also was a pedagogical device. The institution of the communion supper with all its relevant elements seems to be another good example of this principle. 46 Highly important principles of service, sacrifice, liminality, death and resurrection, fellowship, new beginnings, and salvation are clearly perceivable in this ritual and are effectively communicated. 47 It is indeed the structure of the ritual that begins to order life and worship into a meaningful whole. In this sense I would argue that the conscious incorporation of ritual as a communicative tool is not only helpful but essential in order to reach a culture that is multimedia saturated. In contrast to the standard fare of current multimedia elements, such as large video screens, fast computers, elaborate PowerPoint presentations, and catchy video clips, the employment of ritual has a different benefit. Its very nature requires active or passive participation. The audience participates and is drawn into the communicative process. Instead of an oversaturation of technology, often resulting in a bored audience, ritual—wisely designed and employed—will be inclusive and (hopefully) will generate communitas. Worship leaders and practical theologians focusing on liturgy need to devise creative modern ritual acts that will communicate effectively to a visual generation.

45. There is ample literature about this concept. See, for example, MacLeod, “The Present Work of Christ in Hebrews”; idem, “The Cleansing of the True Tabernacle,” BSac 152 (1995): 60– 71; Brenda B. Colijn, “‘Let Us Approach’: Soteriology in the Epistle to the Hebrews,” JETS 39 (1996): 571–86; and, more recently, Richard M. Davidson, “Christ’s Entry ‘Within the Veil’ in Hebrews 6:19–20: The Old Testament Background,” AUSS 39 (2001): 175–90. Concerning the relationship between the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries, particularly in systematic theology, see also Canale, “Philosophical Foundations and the Biblical Sanctuary.” The sanctuary motif (together with the cultic interpretation of Christ’s sacrifice) appears not only in the Epistle to the Hebrews but also elsewhere in the NT writings. After all, both the “inspired word” and the conceptual world of the NT authors were heavily indebted to the Hebrew Bible. A discussion of this conceptual world in the context of the book of Revelation can be found in Jon Paulien, “The Role of the Hebrew Cultus, Sanctuary, and Temple in the Plot and Structure of the Book of Revelation,” AUSS 33 (1995): 245–64. 46. And as already discussed earlier, I am including here also the concept of the foot-washing preceding the communion supper. 47. See here the helpful discussion found in Gruenwald, Rituals and Ritual Theory, 231–66; and also the already-cited works of May, “The Lord’s Supper: Ritual or Relationship? Part 1,” and “The Lord’s Supper: Ritual or Relationship? Part 2”; as well as Post and van Tongeren, “The Celebration of the First Communion.”

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Ritual, Healing, and Therapy It is interesting to note that many diseases in the Hebrew Bible required some type of ritual action in order to be remedied. For example, skin diseases (Lev 14) and bodily discharges (Lev 15) required complex rituals that had to be performed prior to the reintegration of the diseased person into society. When the Aramean commander Naaman comes to the prophet Elisha with an incurable skin disease, 48 the prophet prescribes a ritual bath involving seven immersions in the Jordan River (2 Kgs 5:10). Both the washing rite and the number seven involved in the immersion rite suggest a ritual context. Furthermore, the Hebrew verb root employed in the prophetic order (ra˙aß) appears repeatedly in ritual contexts requiring washing rites. 49 The biblical text suggests a miraculous healing as the result of the sevenfold immersion rite, which goes beyond the washing off of some dirt. Naaman becomes clean (†aher) through powerful divine intervention (2 Kgs 5:14), and the accompanying ritual action is the visible and public confirmation. His healing (and resulting purified state) moves him to offer a sacrifice to Yhwh at his home, clearly underlining the spiritual dimension of healing. The God who heals is the God who needs to be worshiped. 50 Obviously, the concept of magic and its close association with religion should be considered here as well. As has been argued by Stephen Ricks, “magic in antiquity was not regarded as a separate institution with a structure distinct from that of religion, but was rather a set of beliefs and practices that deviated sharply from the norms of the dominant social group, and was thus considered antisocial, illegal, or unacceptable.” 51 Magic is ritual outside the acceptable social and religious norm, and its negative evaluation can be seen in both biblical law (Deut 18:10–14) and biblical narrative (1 Sam 28, 2 Kgs 21:6 || 2 Chr 33:6). 52

48. The Hebrew text reads the Pual participle, méßôraº, “struck with leprosy.” 49. For example, in the ordination ritual (Exod 29:4, 17; 40:12, 30, 31, 32; Lev 8:6, 21) as well as other rituals (Lev 1:9, 13; 9:14; 14:8, 9; and so on). 50. See here the insightful study of Walter A. Maier III (“The Healing of Naaman in Missiological Perspective,” CTQ 61 [1997]: 177–96), who comments on the fact that Naaman—even after his declaration of faith in Yhwh—intends to worship Rimmon on his return to Syria (2 Kgs 5:18). The fact that he takes Israelite soil back home to Syria (2 Kgs 5:17) suggests that he understood Yhwh only as a powerful territorial deity. 51. Stephen D. Ricks, “The Magician as Outsider in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament,” in Ancient Magic and Ritual Power (ed. Marvin Meyer and Paul Mirecki; RGRW 129; Leiden: Brill, 1995), 131. 52. The “witch” of En-dor narrative in 1 Sam 28 is particularly relevant to the issue of necromancy. See here also the study of Brian B. Schmidt, “The ‘Witch’ of En-Dor, 1 Samuel 28, and Ancient Near Eastern Necromancy,” in Ancient Magic and Ritual Power (ed. Marvin Meyer and Paul Mirecki; RGRW 129; Leiden: Brill, 1995), 111–29.

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The connection of ritual (or in contexts marking deviation, “magic”) and healing underlines an important concept of the Hebrew Bible—the unity and important interaction of body and mind. In this regard one should not automatically presuppose a somewhat “primitive” cause-effect relation between ritual and healing. Ancient believers in the Hebrew Bible were required to do the ritual (for example, in the leprosy purification rites found in Lev 14) after their healing as a public event that provided a symbolic means of reentering society. Sometimes ritual was employed as a visible expression of faith and preceded the healing, as can be seen in the story of Naaman. It is this particular aspect of reenacting, the public forum and stepping out of one’s comfort zone, that makes ritual an important element in distinct forms of therapy, including pastoral counseling, family therapy, and grief recovery. 53 Meaningful ritual can begin the healing process (for example, after the loss of a loved one) and also be a means of opening hearts and minds to God’s unfailing love. 54 Future studies involving therapy and restoration should consider the importance and possibility of ritual as part of this process. The transformational potential of ritual (including the area of psychosomatic conditions), particularly visible in the emotional qualities of ritual experience, should be pursued further. 55

Ritual and Missiology Missiologists have already recognized the immense potential of biblical ritual and ritual theory for missiology. 56 While Western societies are generally

53. A good introduction to the possibilities and connecting points of therapy and ritual can be found in Holle, “Strategic Family Therapy.” Compare Karen B. Westerfield Tucker, “When the Cradle Is Empty: Rites Acknowledging Stillbirth, Miscarriage, and Infertility,” Worship 76 (2002): 482–502; David Newson, “Christian Ritual and the Meaningful Language of Loss,” CurTM 29 (2002): 282–87; Cynthia S. W. Crysdale, “Crossing Boundaries: Virtue or Vice for the Twenty-First Century?” Cross Currents 52 (2002): 385–403; Gary W. Reece, “Disenfranchised Bereavement: Pastoral Care of Complicated Grief Reactions to AIDS-Related Losses,” AJPC 3 (2001): 207–28; Nathan R. Kollar, “Rituals and the Disenfranchised Griever” Liturgy 9/2 (1990): 71–79; and Evan Imber-Black et al., eds., Rituals in Families and Family Therapy (New York: Norton, 1988). 54. Interestingly, the study of Richard M. Litvak (“Rabbinical Counseling Strategies for Facilitating Grief: An Integration of Jewish Traditions of Mourning and Counseling Psychology Interventions,” CCARJ 41/3 [1994]: 25–38) draws on rabbinical and ritual conventions from the Hebrew Bible. 55. See here Heimbrock, “Ritual and Transformation: A Psychoanalytic Perspective.” 56. See the extensive doctoral dissertation by Matias H. Kung, The Ritual Dimensions of the Tabernacle Worship and Their Missiological Implications (Ph.D. diss., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2001). See also the insightful comments concerning healings and miraculous signs (often appearing in ritual contexts) in the context of transcultural missions found in Pardon Mwansa, “Healings and Miraculous Signs in World Mission,” in Adventist Mission in the 21st Century (ed. Jon L. Dybdahl; Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1999), 125–31. Successful contextualization also often

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lacking in ritual elements, countries in the “Two-Thirds World” often have a rich heritage of rituals as an integral part of their cultural systems. Most people in these countries will relate more easily to the multimedia approach of ritual from the Hebrew Bible than the more-theoretical theology found in Pauline writings. If one also takes into consideration the important history of storytelling in these countries, the use of ritual and narrative from the Hebrew Bible will facilitate reaching out to these people groups. 57 Furthermore, the conscious adaptation of known local ritual for teaching and preaching purposes needs to be considered, without falling into the trap of “paganizing” Christianity. 58 This Christian adaptation should follow a clear set of steps, including (1) phenomenological analysis, (2) ontological reflections, (3) critical evaluation, and (4) missiological transformations. 59 The final step of missiological transformations requires not only maturity but also constant interaction with scriptural principles. Connecting with existing ritual may be one way to realize this missiological transformation. As has already been observed before, ritual, while being traditionalizing and often conservative by nature, also has an important innovative potential whereby new structures, beliefs, and perspectives can be introduced. 60 It is this potential that missiologists should use in order to reach out with the gospel. Interestingly, this will mostly be a two-way street, since the analysis, ontological reflection, and critical evaluation not only will focus on the particular element of folk religion but also will reflect back on the missiologist’s own presuppositions, world view, and ritual universe.

requires adaptation of liturgy and ritual, since ritual is primarily dependent on world view and cultural contexts. See also Gordon Christo, “Staying within the Boundaries: Contextualization of Adventism for India,” JATS 13/2 (2002): 1–14; and Clifton Maberly, “Buddhism and Adventism: A Myanmar Initiative,” in ibid., 232–40. See also A. H. Mathias Zahniser, “Ritual Process and Christian Discipling: Contextualizing a Buddhist Rite of Passage,” Missiology 19 (1991): 3–19; and more critically David J. Hesselgrave, “Third Millennium Missiology and the Use of Egyptian Gold,” JETS 42 (1999): 577–89. 57. An interesting study of this aspect can be found in Pablo Richard, “Biblical Interpretation from the Perspective of Indigenous Cultures of Latin America (Mayas, Kunas, and Quechuas),” in Ethnicity and the Bible (ed. Mark G. Brett; BIS; Leiden: Brill, 1996), 297–314. 58. This can be observed in many areas of Roman Catholic theology and practice. See here, for example, the studies of Wonderly, “The Indigenous Background of Religion in Latin America”; and Holler, “The Origins of Marian Devotion in Latin American Cultures in the United States.” 59. I am basing this statement on the helpful discussion found in Hiebert, Shaw and Tiénou, Understanding Folk Religion, 20–29. 60. See here the important studies of Madge Karecki, “Religious Ritual as a Key to Wholeness in Mission,” Missionalia 25 (1997): 598–606; idem, “Mission, Ritual, World-View,” Missionalia 26 (1998): 309–23.

10 points short

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In Retrospect Biblical ritual not only represents a prized object of thoughtful analysis and theoretical reflection but also, due to its manifold dimensions and functions, affects other areas of life than the mind. In the preceding pages, we have glanced at five different areas within the paradigm of biblical and theological studies that may benefit from a more conscious interaction with ritual theory and ritual reality. Biblical and systematic theology or law are self-evident. Other areas belong to the field of applied theology and involve pastoral counseling, family therapy, and grief recovery. Liturgical studies against the larger context of worship renewal is another area that may benefit from an interaction with ritual studies. Finally, the challenging cross-cultural communication involved in missions is another area in which future research in ritual studies may be beneficial. Interestingly, when one looks at a common denominator for these five distinct (and also disparate) disciplines, one important element immediately comes to mind: communication. Rituals are the “Sistine Chapels” of communication. They form intricately tuned, meaning-loaded masterpieces of intercommunication, on both an interpersonal and a societal level. 61 They express and systematize beliefs. They tell stories and are part and parcel of a legal textual body. They speak effectively to church communities in the 21st century just as they did in the 1st century. They can transform lives and communicate healing as well as the Good News of the Gospel. They are truly a “Jack-of-alltrades” when it comes to communication. 61. See here Soukup, “Ritual and Movement as Communication Media”; Eric W. Rothenbuhler, Ritual Communication: From Everyday Conversation to Mediated Ceremony (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998); and also Michael S. Merrill, “Masks, Metaphor and Transformation: The Communication of Belief in Ritual Performance,” JRitSt 18/1 (2004): 16–33.

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Chapter 11

Ritual Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, or: Some Type of a Conclusion for a Christian Theology The study of ritual is not only a good way to understand more about a particular society, culture, time period, or religion but an excellent way to know more about ourselves. We are ritual beings, and by looking at ritual in the past we begin to comprehend more about ourselves. 1 As we have seen again and again, ritual is an excellent vehicle for communication. In fact, rituals form intricately tuned, meaning-loaded masterpieces of intercommunication. 2 30Joshua then built an altar to Yahweh, God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, 31as Moses, servant of Yahweh, had ordered the Israelites, as is written in the law of Moses: an altar of undressed stones, on which no iron has been used. On this they presented burnt offerings to Yahweh and communion sacrifices as well. 32 There, Joshua wrote on the stones a copy of the Law of Moses, which Moses had written in the presence of the Israelites. 33All Israel, with their elders, their officials and their judges, stood on either side of the ark, facing the levitical priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, foreigners with the nativeborn, half of them on the upper slopes of Mount Gerizim, and half of them on the upper slopes of Mount Ebal, as Moses, servant of Yahweh, had originally ordered for the blessing of the people of Israel. 34After this, Joshua read all the words of the Law—the blessing and the cursing—exactly as it stands written in the Book of the Law. 35Of every word laid down by Moses, not one was left unread by Joshua in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners living with them. ( Josh 8:30–35, njb)

Ritual provides a multifaceted mirror on the ancient word. It provides still-life pictures of different times and the social and political life of societies, as well as their religious thought and practice. Ritual in biblical times was not limited to certain areas of life but provided the arena within which cultures and individuals networked. Ritual helped bring stability by providing for maintenance, while also being innovative and projecting societies into the future.

1. Schechner, “Future of Ritual,” 20. 2. G. A. Klingbeil, “Who Did What When and Why?” 105.

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23For

I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Cor 11:23–26, niv)

Ritual also provides the bridge for the modern reader to enter the ancient world. This is not always a simple task, given the time and cultural evolution that separate us. However, using ritual as a key we can begin to unlock these ancient cultures and their written ritual expressions. The analogy between ritual and distinct elements of modern linguistic theory has proved helpful. The morphology of ritual corresponds to the textual description (or prescription) as we find it in the biblical text, as well as in other ancient texts. These are the basic morphemes of biblical ritual. The linguistic category of syntax as applied to this study involves the systematic analysis of the varied elements that are contained in the morphology of ritual. These elements include space, time, participants, language, structure, sequence, and action, to name the most important. Similar to sentence syntax, their interaction provides clues to our understanding of ritual. In linguistics, this latter category is known as semantics. Meaning depends heavily on context and the way the syntactic elements are combined. Semantics of ritual is always contextual (as is its language counterpart) and requires a thorough understanding not only of the language of the ritual but also of the larger cultural, historical, political, economic, and religious context of the ritual. Finally, modern linguistic theory, particularly sociolinguistics, has introduced the dimension of pragmatics as an important element of language. Ritual pragmatics as employed in this analogy focuses on ritual intention and its multiple dimensions in the larger societal and cultural context. It provides a tool to understand ritual meaning beyond the particular and opens up the larger vista. Ritual properly understood has far-reaching implications for the Church in the 21st century. It can be a powerful integrative agent and help to solidify the body of Christ in an age of lonely individualism and “island” mentality. The conscious, intelligent integration of ritual into worship services can provide a stairway for the communication with and adoration of God. By connecting easily to world views that emphasize ritual and corporeality, integration of ritual has the potential to be a powerful missionary tool in entering non-Christian areas. It can provide a common denominator between the visually-driven first world and the more traditional third-world communities. Each family member takes a handful of flowers or flower petals and tosses the petals into a river or lake. Each family member is encouraged to verbally express

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their love for the deceased and say good-bye. [instructions found in a funeral service somewhere in Europe or the U.S.A.]

The past decades have witnessed a discovery of the transformational power of ritual. Grief counselors and psychologists are employing distinct rituals as part of an important grieving process or in order to overcome subsurface challenges of individuals. Future studies will hopefully explore this field further. Let me conclude this study by sharing one of my dreams. I can see a future theological seminary training for the 21st century. In its curriculum, students encounter ritual right in their first year of study. Their familiarity with ritual will enable them to understand better the cultural and religious processes that shape our present world. Based on their knowledge of biblical ritual, they will also launch into other, connected areas of theological research. Biblical or systematic theology will not only present well-thought-through patterns or major themes but will also be able to discover these patterns or major themes by looking (among other things) at their particular ritual expression(s). Specialists in homiletics and pastoral counseling will look at the communicative power of biblical ritual and also at the healing potential of modern ritual. To put it more plainly, ritual could be used in all its nuances, dimensions, and expressions as a launchpad into distinct areas of biblical and theological research. I hope that this will not be understood as a call to some type of “panritualism” that will make ritual the all-encompassing, only viable element or motif in biblical religion. Rather, I am challenging educational administrators to develop curricula in terms of networking and interaction in which ritual represents an important point of connection that historically has been highly underrated. Ritual connects us back to the past, enlightens our present, and can help us prepare for the future. Jesus, who inaugurated the powerful ritual of communion based on the important Passover ritual, emphasized this aspect of connecting the past with the present by looking toward the future: “I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt 26:29, niv). 3 This surely hints at a special communion. The “I” meets the “Thou,” and together they form a part of the “us.” 3. The emphasis is mine.

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6–10 subrites

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

b/c/e

4

4

4

b/c/e

>10 subrites

1–2 subrites

4

3–5 subrites

Repeatable?

Brief description

Descriptive?

Reference

Prescriptive?

Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch

Dimension

Genesis 4:3–5 (3) 8:18–22 (5) 12:7–8 (2) 13:18 (1) 15:8–19 (12) 17:10–14 (5) 17:23–27 (5) 18:4–8 (5) 19:3 (1) 21:4 (1) 21:27–33 (7) 22:2 (1) 22:3–19 (17)

23:2, 19–20 (3)

Offering of Cain and Abel Noah constructs an altar Abraham constructs an altar Abraham constructs an altar Covenant between God and Abraham Beginning of circumcision Abraham and Ishmael are circumcised Abraham offers food to the angels Lot offers food to the angels Abraham circumcises Isaac Abraham makes covenant with Abimelech God instructs Abraham to offer his son Execution of God’s instruction to offer Abraham’s son Abraham buries Sarah

Dimensions (a) interactive (b) collective (c) traditionalizing innovation (d) communicative

a/c/e a/b/c/e

4

4

4

4

a/b/c/e

4

4

4

a/c/e

4

4

4

a/c/e

4

4

4

a/c/e

4

4

4

4

a/c/e

4

a/c/e

4 4

4

a/c/d/f

4

a/e/g a/e/g

4

4

4

4

(e) symbolic (f ) multimedia (g) performance (h) aesthetic

245

4 d/e/j

4

(i) strategic (j) integrative

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6–10 subrites

4

4

4

4

4

a/c/e

4

4

4

d/e/j

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

>10 subrites

4

3–5 subrites

1–2 subrites

Communal meal of Abraham’s servant with Rebekah’s family 24:67 (1) Isaac takes Rebekah as his wife 25:9–10 (2) Abraham is buried by his sons 26:25 (1) Isaac builds an altar 26:30–31 (2) Covenant meal between Isaac and Abimelech 27:23–29 (7) Isaac blesses Jacob 28:18–22 (5) Jacob erects a pillar and anoints it 29:22 (1) Laban gives wedding feast for Jacob 31:44–54 (11) Treaty between Laban and Jacob 35:1–7 (7) Jacob builds an altar 4 35:14 (1) Jacob sets up pillar of stone 46:1 (1) Jacob offers sacrifices to God 47:10 (1) Jacob blesses Pharaoh 48:9–20 (12) Jacob blesses Manasseh and Ephraim 50:1–13 (13) Joseph prepares Jacob’s body for burial and buries him Genesis: Total verses: 134 out of 1,533 (= 8.74%)

Repeatable?

Brief description

Descriptive?

Reference

Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch

Prescriptive?

246

24:54 (1)

Dimension a/c/e

b/c/e b/c/d/e

a/b/d/e c/e

4

a/c/e

4

a/b/e

4 4 4

b/c/e c/e b/c/e a/b/d/e a/b/d/e d/e/j

Exodus 3:5 (1) 4:24–26 (3)

God orders Moses to take off his sandals Zipporah circumcises her son

Dimensions (a) interactive (b) collective (c) traditionalizing innovation (d) communicative

4

4 4

(e) symbolic (f ) multimedia (g) performance (h) aesthetic

4

c/e/g

4 4

(i) strategic (j) integrative

a/c/e

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12:15–20 (6) 12:21–28 (8)

12:43–51 (9) 13:3–10 (8) 13:11–16 (6) 17:15–16 (2) 18:12 (1) 19:10–13 (4)

19:14–19 (6)

20:24–26 (3) 23:14–19 (6) 24:4–8 (5) 29:1–46 (46) 32:5–6 (2) 32:19–20 (2) 34:18–26 (9) 40:1–15 (15)

Dimensions (a) interactive (b) collective (c) traditionalizing innovation (d) communicative

>10 subrites

6–10 subrites

3–5 subrites

1–2 subrites

Instructions for Passover feast Instruction for feast of unleavened bread Moses communicates the divine instructions to people Restrictions for Passover feast Instructions for feast of unleavened bread The law of the firstborn Moses builds an altar Jethro brings a burnt offering Divine order for preparation for covenant consecration Moses executes divine order concerning covenant consecration Prescriptions for the building of altars Instructions for three main festivals Confirmation of covenant Prescription for priestly ordination Golden calf worship Covenant-rupture ritual Instructions for three main festivals Prescription for construction and consecration of tabernacle

Repeatable?

Brief description

12:1–14 (14)

Descriptive?

Reference

Prescriptive?

Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch

Dimension a/b/c/e/g/i/j

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/g

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/g

a/b/c/e/g

4

a/b/c/e/g 4 a/b/c/e

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

b/c/e/f b/c/e/f a/b/c/e/g

4

4

4

4

4

b/c/d/e/f 4 4

4

4

4

a/b/c/e

4

4 4

a/b/c/e/g

4

a/b/e/e

4 4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/f/g/j b/c/e b/d/e/f

4 4

a/b/c/e/g

4

b/c/e

(e) symbolic (f ) multimedia (g) performance (h) aesthetic

4

(i) strategic (j) integrative

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6–10 subrites

4

4

4

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a/c/e/g

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4

4

a/e/e/g

4

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

>10 subrites

4

3–5 subrites

4

Execution of tabernacle construction and consecration Exodus: Total verses: 174 out of 1,213 (= 14.34%)

1–2 subrites

Repeatable?

Brief description

Descriptive?

Reference

Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch

Prescriptive?

248

40:16–33 (18)

Dimension b/c/e

Leviticus 1:1–17 (17) 2:1–16 (16) 3:1–17 (17) 4:1–5:13 (48) 5:14–6:7 (13) 6:8–13 (6) 6:14–23 (10) 6:24–30 (7) 7:1–10 (10) 7:11–21 (11) 7:22–38 (17)

8:1–36 (36) 9:1–4 (4)

9:5–24 (20) 10:12–15 (4)

Instructions for burnt offering Instructions for grain offering Instructions for fellowship offering Instructions for sin offering Instructions for guilt offering Instructions for burnt offering Instructions for grain offering Instructions for sin offering Instructions for guilt offering Instructions for fellowship offering Additional priestly instructions (blood, portions, and so on) Priestly ordination ritual Eighth day of ordination ritual: prescriptions Eighth day of ordination ritual: description Portions for priests

Dimensions (a) interactive (b) collective (c) traditionalizing innovation (d) communicative

a/c/e/g

4

a/c/e/g

4

a/c/e/g

4

a/c/e/g a/c/e/g

(e) symbolic (f ) multimedia (g) performance (h) aesthetic

4

(i) strategic (j) integrative

a/c/e/g a/c/e/g

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249

12:1–8 (8)

Purification after child4 birth 13:1–59 (59) Ritual law about infectious diseases and their 4 purification 14:1–32 (32) Purification of skin dis4 eases 14:33–53 (21) Purification from mil4 dew 15:1–33 (33) Purification from 4 bodily discharges 16:1–34 (34) Day of Atonement 4 17:1–9 (9) Rules about ritual 4 slaughtering 17:10–16 (7) Blood and slaughtering 4 rules 19:5–8 (4) Instructions about fel4 lowship offering 19:20–22 (3) Instructions about guilt offering after par4 ticular offense 22:1–16 (16) Instructions about rit4 ual purity of priesthood 22:17–30 (14) Instructions about sac4 rifices 23:1–44 (44) Feast of Yhwh 4 Leviticus: Total verses: 520 out of 859 (= 60.53%)

4

>10 subrites

6–10 subrites

3–5 subrites

1–2 subrites

Repeatable?

Brief description

Descriptive?

Reference

Prescriptive?

Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch

Dimension a/c/e

4

a/c/e 4

4

4

4

a/c/e

4

4

a/b/c/e

4

a/c/e

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/f/g/j a/c/e/g

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

4

a/c/e/g

4

c/e/g

Numbers 3:45–48 (4)

3:49–51 (3)

5:1–3 (3)

Instructions about redemption of firstborn Execution of order regarding redemption of firstborn Instructions: purity of camp

Dimensions (a) interactive (b) collective (c) traditionalizing innovation (d) communicative

a/b/c/d 4

4

4

4

4

4

4

a/b/c/d 4 4

(e) symbolic (f ) multimedia (g) performance (h) aesthetic

a/b/c/e/g

(i) strategic (j) integrative

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5:5–10 (5) 5:11–31 (21) 6:9–12 (4) 6:13–21 (9) 8:5–19 (15) 8:20–26 (7) 9:1–3 (3) 9:4–5 (2) 9:6–14 (9) 15:1–21 (21) 15:22–31 (10) 16:41–50 (10) 19:1–22 (22) 20:24–26 (3) 20:27–29 (3) 23:1–3 (3) 23:14–15 (2) 23:29–30 (2)

Dimensions (a) interactive (b) collective (c) traditionalizing innovation (d) communicative

4

>10 subrites

4

6–10 subrites

4

3–5 subrites

Execution: purity of camp Restitution for wrongs Test for an unfaithful wife Purification rite for Nazarite Consecration rite for Nazarite Ordination of Levites: prescription Ordination of Levites: description Passover regulations: prescription Passover regulations: description Passover regulations: exceptions Regulations about secondary offerings Instructions about sin offering Aaron makes atonement for people Purification of the unclean Eleazar takes place of Aaron: prescription Eleazar takes place of Aaron: description Balaam blesses Israel (I) Balaam blesses Israel (II) Balaam blesses Israel (III)

1–2 subrites

Brief description

5:4 (1)

Repeatable?

Reference

Descriptive?

Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch

Prescriptive?

250

Dimension a/b/c/e/g

4

4

4

4

4

4

b/c/d/e/g

4

4

4

b/c/d/e/g

4

4 4

4 4

4

a/b/c/g a/b/f/g/i

4

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/g/i a/b/c/e/g/i

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/j

4

4

a/b/c/e/j

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/j

4

4

4

a/b/c/d/e/g/i/j

4

4

4

a/b/c/d/e/g/j

4

4

a/b/e

4

4

4

4

4

a/b/c/d/e

4

4

4

a/b/c/d/e

4

4

4

a/b/c/e

4

4

4

a/b/c/e

4

4

4

a/b/c/e

(e) symbolic (f ) multimedia (g) performance (h) aesthetic

4

a/b/c/d/e/g/h

4

(i) strategic (j) integrative

00-Klingbeil.book Page 251 Saturday, May 5, 2007 2:08 PM

251

Joshua is chosen to succeed Moses: 4 prescription 27:22–23 (2) Joshua is chosen to succeed Moses: 4 description 28:3–8 (6) Daily offerings 4 28:9–10 (2) Sabbath offerings 4 28:11–15 (5) Offerings at New 4 Moon feasts 28:16–25 (10) Passover feast 4 28:26–31 (6) Pentecost feast 4 29:1–6 (6) Feast of trumpets 4 29:7–11 (5) Day of Atonement 4 29:12–38 (27) Feast of Booths 4 30:1–16 (16) Instructions about 4 vows 31:19–24 (6) Purification of soldiers 4 and prisoners of war Numbers: Total verses: 257 out of 1,288 (= 19.95%)

>10 subrites

6–10 subrites

3–5 subrites

1–2 subrites

Repeatable?

Brief description

Descriptive?

Reference

Prescriptive?

Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch

27:18–21 (4)

Dimension a/b/c/d/e/g

4

4

4

4

4 4

4 4

4

4

4 4 4 4 4

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/g/i a/b/c/e/g/i a/b/c/e/g/i a/b/c/e/g/i a/b/c/e/g/i a/b/c/d/g

4

4

a/b/c/d/g/h

4

4

b/d/e/f

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/f/i

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/f/i

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/f/i

4

4

4

4

4

4

4 4 4

4 4 4

a/b/c/d/e/g

a/b/c/e a/b/c/e a/b/c/e

4 4 4 4

Deuteronomy 9:21 (1) 12:5–7 (3) 12:11–16 (6) 12:26–27 (2) 14:22–28 (7) 15:19–23 (5) 16:1–8 (8) 16:9–12 (4) 16:13–17 (5)

Covenant-rupture ritual Sacrifice only at the sanctuary Sacrifice only at the sanctuary Sacrifice only at the sanctuary Procedure to give tithe Firstborn belongs to the Lord Passover feast Feast of weeks Feast of Booths

Dimensions (a) interactive (b) collective (c) traditionalizing innovation (d) communicative

4

(e) symbolic (f ) multimedia (g) performance (h) aesthetic

4 4 4

(i) strategic (j) integrative

a/b/c/f/i a/b/c/f/i a/b/c/g/i a/b/c/g/i a/b/c/g/i

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Ritual purification of guilt for an unsolved 4 murder 21:10–14 (5) Marrying a captive wife 4 23:9–14 (5) Ritual for uncleanness 4 in the camp 26:1–15 (15) Procedure to give tithe 4 27:1–8 (8) Prescription: altar con4 structed at Ebal Deuteronomy: Total verses 83 out of 959 (= 8.65%)

>10 subrites

6–10 subrites

3–5 subrites

1–2 subrites

Repeatable?

Brief description

Descriptive?

Reference

Appendix: Ritual Texts in the Pentateuch

Prescriptive?

252

21:1–9 (9)

Dimensions (a) interactive (b) collective (c) traditionalizing innovation (d) communicative

(e) symbolic (f ) multimedia (g) performance (h) aesthetic

Dimension a/b/c/e

4

4

4

4

a/b/c/e/j a/b/c/e/g

4

4

4

4

a/b/c/f/i a/b/c/d/e

4

4

(i) strategic (j) integrative

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Culture Center in Japan (Mitaka, Tokyo), March 22–24, 1996. Edited by K. Watanabe. Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1999. Zahniser, A. H. Mathias. “Ritual Process and Christian Discipling: Contextualizing a Buddhist Rite of Passage.” Missiology 19 (1991): 3–19. Zenger, Erich. “Das Buch Levitikus als Teiltext der Tora/des Pentateuch: Eine synchrone Lektüre mit diachroner Perspektive.” Pp. 47–83 in Levitikus als Buch. Edited by Heinz-Josef Fabry and Hans-Winfried Jüngling. BBB 119. Berlin: Philo, 1999. . “Ritual and Criticism of Ritual in the Old Testament.” Pp. 39–49 in Liturgy and Human Passage. Edited by David Power and Luis Maldonado. Concilium. New York: Seabury, 1979. Zevit, Ziony. “Philology, Archaeology, and a Terminus a Quo for P’s ˙a††aªt Legislation.” Pp. 29– 38 in Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom. Edited by D. P. Wright, D. N. Freedman, and A. Hurvitz. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995. . “Preamble to a Temple Tour.” Pp. 73–81 in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel. Edited by Barry M. Gittlen. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002. . The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches. London: Continuum, 2001. Zias, Joseph E. “The Cemeteries of Qumran and Celibacy: Confusion Laid to Rest?” DSD 7 (2000): 220–53. Zillessen, Dietrich. “Ritual oder Theater im Spiel des Lebens.” IJPT 3 (2000): 229–50. Zuesse, Evan M. “Ritual.” Pp. 405–22 in vol. 16 of ER. Zwickel, Wolfgang. “Die Altarbaunotizen im Alten Testament.” Bib 73 (1992): 533–46.

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Index of Authors Abusch, T. 177, 215, 232–233 Achenbach, R. 141 Adams, R. 10 Adamthwaite, M. R. 136, 223 Aland, B. 134 Aland, K. 88, 95, 99, 101, 134 Albertz, R. 228 Albright, W. F. 62 Alexander, B. C. 43 Allen, D. 34, 36 Allen, L. C. 166–167 Alonso Schökel, L. 139, 156 Alt, A. 123 Amit, Y. 148, 154 Andersen, F. I. 221 Anderson, B. W. 227 Anderson, G. A. 46, 140, 171 Andreasen, N.-E. A. 137 Arnold, B. T. 62, 118 Ascough, R. S. 94 Ashley, T. R. 142, 213 Assis, E. 156 Auld, G. 155 Averbeck, R. E. 93, 143 Averbuch, I. 40 Avishur, Y. 167, 183 Bacchiocchi, S. 102, 179 Badenas, R. 124 Balentine, S. E. 50, 165 Bar-Efrat, S. 159 Barkley, G. W. 95, 97 Barr, J. 227 Barton, J. 228 Bauer, O. 41 Baumann, G. 15, 31, 144 Baumgarten, J. M. 83 Baylis, C. P. 143 Beard, L. 161

Beaulieu, P.-A. 159 Bechmann, U. 219 Bede, the Venerable 90, 104–107 Bekkum, W. J. van 175 Bell, C. 14, 17–18, 24–25, 27–36, 38–

42, 44, 46, 51, 69, 86, 127, 134, 144–145, 169, 182, 189, 208, 220 Bennett, P. R. 62 Bergen, W. J. 18, 48, 50 Berlin, Adele 231–232 Berlin, Andrea 229 Bieritz, K.-H. 179 Black, D. A. 134 Blanchetière, F. 87 Blasi, A. J. 87 Bleeker, C. J. 34 Blenkinsopp, J. 72, 190 Bliese, L. F. 149 Bloch-Smith, E. 161, 217 Block, D. I. 139, 199 Blomberg, C. L. 125 Bock, D. L. 179–180 Boda, M. J. 149 Boecker, H. J. 71 Boer, P. A. H. de 219 Boer, R. 32 Bonner, G. 102 Borchert, G. L. 88 Bord, L.-J. 231 Borgen, P. 81–82 Bornapé, A. 71 Borowski, O. 233 Boshoff, W. 35 Boudewijnse, H. B. 40 Bourdieu, P. 41 Bourdillon, M. F. 57 Boxser, B. M. 207 Bradshaw, P. F. 103, 234 Brauer, J. C. 99 287

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288

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Braulik, G. 137, 162 Braun, J. 196, 198 Bray, G. L. 104, 109, 112, 115–116 Breck, J. 156 Brereton, J. P. 160, 163 Brettler, M. Z. 46 Brichto, H. C. 232 Brin, G. 230 Britt, B. 156 Brooke, G. J. 83 Brown, C. 116 Brown, Gavin 40 Brown, G. H. 105, 108 Brueggemann, W. 227–229 Brumberg-Kraus, J. 41, 145, 179–181 Brunotte, U. 41 Buchanan, G. W. 145 Buckley, J. J. 90 Callaway, M. C. 71, 77 Calvin, J. 111–114 Cameron, M. 100 Camino, L. A. 134 Canale, F. L. 24, 237 Carmichael, C. M. 232 Carniti, C. 139 Carr, D. M. 50, 64, 78, 155 Carroll R., M. D. 235 Carson, C. R. 187 Causse, J.-D. 32 Chilton, B. 33 Chirichigno, G. C. 123, 231 Chisholm, R. B. Jr. 134 Christensen, D. L. 121 Christo, G. 240 Clark, G. R. 74 Clements, R. E. 116 Cody, A. 93 Cogan, M. 199 Cohen, M. E. 136, 169 Cohn, R. L. 160, 168, 171 Cole, R. D. 142 Coleman, S. 219 Colijn, B. B. 237 Collins, P. 219 Colpe, C. 19

Conway, C. M. 83 Cook, A. B. 28 Cooper, L. E., Sr. 139 Coppet, D. de 23 Cornelius, I. 165 Cornford, F. M. 28 Creehan, P. 156 Cross, F. M., Jr. 216 Crouzel, H. 95 Crysdale, C. S. W. 239 Culley, R. C. 198 Dahm, U. 56 Dahood, M. 62 Daly, R. J. 95 Damrosch, D. 231 Daviau, P. M. M. 161 Davidson, R. M. 237 Davies, G. I. 183 Davies, P. R. 52, 84 Davila, J. R. 234 Dawn, M. J. 235–236 Dearman, J. A. 7 Decker, W. B. 187 Deist, F. E. 35 Delitzsch, F. 62 Delius, H. 34 DeMaris, R. E. 188 Dennis, J. 56 DeRouchie, J. S. 136 deSilva, D. A. 120 DiCenso, J. 32 Dockery, D. S. 143, 159 Dogniez, C. 133 Dorsey, D. A. 149, 201 Douglas, M. 20, 27, 38, 180, 215, 231,

233 Doukhan, J. 59 Droogers, A. 137 Dube, M. W. 125 Dunn, J. D. G. 84 Durham, J. I. 184 Durkheim, É. 14, 27, 29–32, 36, 38, 43 Eberhart, C. 56 Edwards, D. R. 175

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Eliade, M. 35–36, 160, 169 Ephºal, I. 67 Evans, C. A. 84, 86 Evans, G. R. 104–105, 108 Fawcett, T. 20 Ferguson, E. 93 Fernández Marcos, N. 81 Fewell, D. N. 154 Filoramo, G. 88–90, 144 Firmage, E. 191 Fischer, G. 78 Fitzenreiter, M. 161 Flanagan, J. W. 167 Fleming, D. E. 46, 65, 136, 169, 193,

216, 223 Fonrobert, C. 128 Fossum, J. 80 Fowler, M. D. 178 Frazer, J. G. 26–28, 43, 169 Freedman, D. N. 221 Freud, S. 27, 31–33, 43 Freund, R. A. 190 Friedman, R. E. 78 Frymer-Kenski, T. 213 Gammie, J. G. 55, 162 Gane, R. E. 25, 45, 55, 74, 121, 141, 185 Ganoczy, A. 112 García López, F. 155, 231 García Martínez, F. 84–85, 199 Garnet, P. 85 Garr, W. R. 64 Gaster, T. 169 Geerts, H. 14 Geertz, C. 7, 10, 14, 19, 21, 190 Gennep, A. van 10, 14, 39, 43, 134 Gerhart, M. 154 Gerrish, B. A. 112 Gerstenberger, E. S. 193, 195 Gibbons, B. 219 Girard, R. 10, 32–33 Gitin, S. 58, 178 Goelet, O. Jr. 25 Goodman, M. 87–88 Gordon, R. P. 72, 124, 166

289

1, 19, 39, 46, 49–50, 123, 129, 135, 182, 191, 195, 206– 208, 227 Gowan, D. E. 183 Green, H. A. 89 Greenberg, M. 165 Greene-McCreight, K. E. 115 Greenspahn, F. E. 218 Greenstein, E. L. 73 Grenz, S. J. 11–12, 24, 227 Grimes, R. L. 16–18, 23, 26, 38, 40, 68, 129, 168, 182, 196, 207, 234 Gruber, M. I. 162 Grudem, W. 227 Gruenwald, I. 1, 14, 17–18, 47–48, 56, 179, 207, 209, 237 Grunlan, S. 25, 27, 29 Grypeou, E. 90 Guillén Torralba, J. 210 Gunn, D. M. 154 Gorman, F. H., Jr.

Hagner, D. A. 179 Hallo, W. W. 62–63, 132, 137–138 Hameline, J.-Y. 15 Hanson, K. C. 124, 189–190 Haran, M. 45, 176 Hardin, M. E. 10 Harrington, H. K. 83 Harrison, C. 99 Harrison, J. E. 28 Harrisville, R. A. 116 Hartley, J. E. 79, 152, 193 Hasel, G. F. 138, 228 Hastings, A. 95, 99, 115, 125 Heger, P. 219 Heimbrock, H.-G. 32, 239 Heine, R. E. 95 Heisig, J. W. 20 Hellwig, M. K. 234 Hendel, R. S. 140 Hendrix, R. E. 162 Hengel, M. 80 Henry, M. L. 234 Herion, G. A. 202 Hertog, C. G. den 198 Hess, R. S. 198, 228

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290

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Hesselgrave, D. J. 240 Hiebert, P. W. 12, 24, 28–29, 240 Hilber, J. W. 120 Hildebrand, D. R. 194 Hill, A. E. 236 Hillers, D. R. 72, 167 Hödl, L. 109 Hoffman, L. A. 26, 234 Holle, K. A. 40, 239 Holler, S. 115, 240 Holman, J. 207 Holt, E. K. 76 Hölzl, R. 131 Hooke, S. H. 28 Horwitz, L. 56 House, H. W. 120 House, P. R. 227, 229 Houtman, Cees 123 Houtman, Cornelis 155, 165, 184, 194,

216, 219 Howard, D. M., Jr. 121–122, 197–198 Hubbard, R. L., Jr. 136, 190 Hübner, H. 215 Hullinger, J. M. 120, 139 Hulse, E. V. 170 Hunt, B. 221 Hurowitz, V. A. 203, 217 Hurvitz, A. 79, 175 Hyatt, J. P. 70 Imber-Black, E. 239 Isaacs, E. D. 136 Isaacs, M. E. 160 Janowski, B. 49, 141, 228 Jennings, T. W., Jr. 234 Jenson, P. P. 46, 50, 123–124, 129,

140–141, 162, 205 Jobes, K. H. 81 Jodock, D. 124 Johnson, T. L. 234 Jones, I. H. 198 Jüngling, H.-W. 50 Jürgens, B. 49, 141–142, 154–156 Kaiser, W. C., Jr.

221, 228

Kaltner, J. 63 Karecki, M. 240 Kearney, M. 12, 24 Kelleher, M. M. 234 Kelley, J. T. 32 Kerbs, R. 116 Kertzer, D. I. 40 King, K. L. 89 King, P. J. 202, 234 Kitchen, K. A. 216 Kiuchi, N. 20, 55–56, 140–141 Klawans, J. 83 Kleven, T. 120 Kline, M. G. 120 Klingbeil, C. J. 11, 159–160, 205 Klingbeil, G. A. 5, 8–9, 34, 46, 49–50,

54, 56–58, 60, 65, 67, 73, 118–122, 138–139, 148, 150, 152, 155–161, 163, 169, 173–175, 183, 185, 188, 191, 200, 202, 209, 211, 217, 219, 222, 226–227, 229, 242 Klingbeil, M. G. 58, 61, 200, 226, 232 Kluckhohn, C. 28 Koch, K. 150, 152 Kochuparampil, X. 7 Koester, C. R. 216 Kollar, N. R. 239 Krafeld-Daugherty, M. 161 Kratz, R. G. 117 Kristensen, W. B. 34 Kroeze, J. H. 59, 75, 147, 153 Krondorfer, B. 33 Kruger, P. A. 73, 176, 231 Kugler, R. A. 56, 84–86 Kuhn, T. S. 10 Kung, M. H. 239 Lafont, B. 56 Lambert, W. G. 56 Lane, A. N. S. 187 Lang, B. 11, 234 Lange, A. 71 Laughlin, C. D. 31 Lawson, E. T. 35, 127 Leach, E. 10, 14, 38, 43, 219 Leeuw, G. van der 34–35

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Leithart, P. J. 122 Levenson, J. D. 116–117 Levine, B. A. 45–46, 53, 56, 74, 79,

142–143, 168, 193, 214 Levine, L. I. 62, 80 Lévi-Strauss, C. 38 Levy, D. 195–196 Lewis, T. J. 220–221 Lienhard, J. T. 100–101, 103 Limburg, J. 139 Linnemann, E. 118 Lints, R. 34 Litvak, R. M. 239 Logan, A. H. B. 89 Long, B. O. 160 Long, V. P. 148, 168, 181 Longman, T., III 133, 154, 168 Lowie, R. H. 30 Loyn, H. L. 105 Lubac, H. de 109 Lukes, S. 29–30 Lust, J. 137 Maberly, C. 240 Macchia, F. D. 145 Mach, M. 8 Macintosh, A. A. 73, 210 MacLeod, D. J. 120, 237 Magness, J. 80, 83 Maier, W. A., III 238 Malina, B. J. 8 Malinowski, B. 30 Malul, M. 61, 63, 133, 186, 191, 231 Martens, E. A. 8, 228 Martin, R. P. 145 Mattingly, G. L. 71 Maul, S. M. 138 Mauss, M. 30 May, G. 145, 179, 237 Mayers, M. K. 25, 27, 29 McCarter, P. K., Jr. 167 McCarthy, C. 134 McCarthy, D. J. 177, 232 McCauley, R. N. 36, 127 McConville, J. G. 49, 117, 122, 125 McGowan, A. 179

291

McGrath, A. E. 24 McGrath, M. A. 13, 38 McHugh, M. P. 105 McKay, H. A. 138 McLeod, J. R. 13, 38 McVann, M. 144 Meggitt, J. J. 221–222, 224 Meier, S. A. 138, 172 Mendenhall, G. E. 202 Merrill, M. S. 241 Merwe, C. H. J. van der 59, 75, 147, 153 Metzger, B. M. 187 Meyers, C. L. 50 Meyers, E. M. 165 Miles, M. R. 99, 101 Milgrom, J. 8, 10, 33, 45–46, 49–50,

55, 57, 63, 73, 79, 83, 141, 148, 150, 152, 176, 178, 185, 193, 195, 209, 213, 231–233 Millard, A. R. 69, 203 Miller, K. H. 76 Miller, P. D. 165, 167 Mitchell, N. 94 Moatti-Fine, J. 197 Moberly, W. L. 211 Monson, J. M. 217 Moor, J. C. de 159 Morgan, D. F. 136 Moskala, J. 233–234 Muller, R. A. 109–110, 112 Muraoka, T. 153 Murray, G. 28 Mwansa, P. 239 Myerhoff, B. G. 134 Naudé, J. A. 59, 75, 147, 153 Naugle, D. K. 12, 116 Nel, P. 159 Nemet-Nejat, K. R. 202 Neusner, J. 84, 230 Newing, E. G. 58 Newson, D. 239 Neyrey, J. H. 46, 145, 159, 175, 190 Niccacci, A. 147, 153 Nicholson, E. W. 155 Niditch, S. 54

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Niederwimmer, K. 93–94 Nielson, K. 127 Nijenhuis, W. 112 Nitzan, B. 86, 143 Noll, M. A. 119 Nordheim, E. von 142, 213 Nwaoru, E. O. 74 O’Connor, K. M. 76 O’Connor, M. 59, 74, 147, 149, 158,

184 Oakman, D. E. 1 Olmo Lete, G. del 53, 223 Olyan, S. M. 19, 46–47 Osborne, G. R. 118 Oswald, R. M. 234 Otnes, C. 13, 38 Otto, R. 34–36 Pagels, E. 90 Paget, J. N. B. C. 95 Pardee, D. 133, 213 Parker, D. 134 Parker, M. 234 Parker, T. H. L. 113 Parkin, D. 14–15 Parmentier, E. 41 Paseggi, M. R. 131, 148 Paul, S. M. 75 Paulien, J. 237 Payne, D. F. 136 Pearson, B. A. 88–89 Peña Castillo, J. 145 Penner, H. H. 34 Perkins, P. 89 Pesch, O. H. 109 Péter-Contesse, R. 193 Pettegree, A. 109, 115 Pfann, S. J. 143 Pham, X. H. T. 171 Pilch, J. J. 190 Pitard, W. T. 62, 220 Platvoet, J. 8, 14, 18, 25–26, 37–38, 40,

208–210, 212, 214–216, 219–220, 224 Poe, H. L. 234

Portefaix, L. 37, 167 Porteous, N. W. 70 Porter, S. E. 215 Porton, G. G. 80 Post, P. 179, 237 Preus, J. S. 100 Preuss, H. D. 227 Propp, W. H. C. 200 Provan, I. W. 168, 199, 228 Puckett, D. L. 112 Pury, A. de 233 Pusey, K. 93 Qimron, E.

84

Radcliffe-Brown, A. R. 30 Radday, Y. T. 156 Radin, P. 30 Raj, S. J. 40 Rand, T. A. 143–144 Rappaport, R. A. 41–42, 44 Rath, N. 116 Reece, G. W. 239 Regev, E. 84 Reichenbach, B. R. 120 Reik, T. 31 Reinhartz, A. 58, 181 Rendtorff, R. 50, 64, 78, 155, 192 Reventlow, H. G. 165 Reynolds, V. 23, 25, 28, 30 Richard, P. 240 Richter, K. 161 Ricks, S. D. 238 Ritner, R. K. 29 Roberts, J. J. M. 73, 167 Robinson, R. 198 Rodríguez, Á. M. 120, 141, 156 Romney Wegner, J. 162 Rooker, M. F. 50 Rordorf, W. 94 Rosaldo, R. I. Jr. 212 Rösel, M. 81 Rothenbuhler, E. W. 241 Rouwhorst, G. 91, 98, 102–103 Rudolph, K. 88–89 Ruppert, L. 20

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Sailhamer, J. H. 118, 155 Salamone, F. A. 27 Sanders, P. 159 Sandmel, S. 61 Sasson, J. M. 213 Saussaye, P. D. C. de la 34 Schäfer-Lichtenberger, C. 71 Schearing, L. S. 169 Schechner, R. 15–16, 242 Schenker, A. 55, 140–142, 231 Schiffman, L. H. 86 Schmidt, B. B. 238 Schmidt, W. H. 71 Schmithals, W. 187 Schmitt, E. 181, 234 Schniedewind, W. M. 73 Schnurr, G. 179, 212 Schoedel, W. R. 91–92 Schreiner, T. R. 124 Scribner, R. W. 110–111 Segal, R. A. 27 Seidel, B. 64, 78 Seidl, T. 141, 156 Seifert, B. 74 Seymour-Smith, C. 12 Shaw, R. D. 12, 24, 28–29, 240 Shedinger, R. F. 10 Sherwood, S. K. 50, 231 Silva, A. B. da 36 Silva, J. L. da 216 Silva, M. 81, 118 Simkins, R. A. 11–12, 24 Sloyan, G. S. 88 Smith, C. R. 156 Smith, G. V. 72, 75, 230 Smith, J. Z. 17, 28, 36, 51–52, 160, 169,

212 Smith, M. S. 62 Smith, W. R. 26–28, 31 Snyder, G. F. 91 Soggin, J. A. 11, 72 Sohn, S.-T. 210 Sørensen, J. P. 51 Soukup, P. A. 58, 241 Sparks, K. L. 54, 68 Spencer, W. D. 120

Spero, S. 165–166 Sprinkle, J. M. 183 Sproul, B. C. 168 Stager, L. E. 202, 234 Steinkeller, P. 222 Stendebach, F. J. 57, 131 Stern, P. D. 71 Sticher, C. 189 Sticher, J. S. 190 Stipp, H.-J. 234 Stowers, S. K. 56, 177, 215, 232 Sundberg, W. 116 Süring, M. L. 178 Swancutt, D. M. 215 Swanson, R. N. 108–109 Talbert-Wettler, B. 120 Talmon, S. 36, 61, 63, 68 Talstra, E. 201 Tambiah, S. J. 38–39, 42 Tanner, R. 23, 25, 28, 30 Taylor, J. E. 84 Theissen, G. 144 Thiele, E. R. 136 Thomas, G. 38 Thomas, J. 205 Thomas, J. C. 145 Thomas, L. E. 40 Thompson, J. A. 76 Throop, C. J. 31 Tiénou, T. 12, 24, 28–29, 240 Tigchelaar, E. J. C. 85, 199 Tongeren, L. van 179, 237 Toorn, K. van der 8, 169 Tov, E. 134 Tsumura, D. T. 223 Tuell, S. S. 139 Tull, P. 128 Turnau, T. A., III 120 Turner, E. 23, 39, 134 Turner, V. W. 10, 14, 20–21, 23, 26, 38–

40, 43, 134–135, 167–168, 219, 228 26–27, 35

Tylor, E. B.

VanderKam, J. C. Vaux, R. de 193

80, 83

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Verhoeven, M. 229 Vervenne, M. 177 Viberg, Å. 19–20, 65, 218, 231 Vogelzang, M. E. 175 Volp, R. 161 Vos, A. 115 Waardenburg, J. 5, 7, 33–37, 190 Wagner, A. 200 Wallace, D. B. 158 Walsh, C. E. 179 Walsh, J. T. 148 Waltke, B. K. 59, 74, 147, 149, 158, 184 Ward, B. 104–105, 108 Ward, K. 7 Warner, D. A. 108 Warning, W. 155, 231 Watson, W. G. E. 156 Watts, J. W. 173 Weinfeld, M. 72, 77 Weisberg, D. B. 62 Welch, J. W. 230 Wellhausen, J. 116–118, 123, 126 Wendebourg, D. 104 Wenham, G. J. 58–59, 64, 78–79, 118,

123, 155, 193, 195 Wessel, W. W. 80 Westerfield Tucker, K. B. 239 Westermann, C. 60 Wieringen, A. L. H. M. van 131

Wilhelm, G. 49, 141 Wilken, R. L. 96, 98 Wilkinson, J. 170 Williams, J. G. 32–33 Williams, R. J. 147 Williamson, R. 81–82 Willi-Plein, I. 56, 140–142 Wilson, B. 25 Wilson, R. R. 231 Wonderly, W. L. 115, 240 Worgul, G. S. 40 Woudstra, M. H. 198 Wright, B. G. III 133 Wright, D. F. 100 Wright, D. P. 45–46, 53, 63, 178, 186,

190, 220 163, 165–166

Wyatt, N.

Yamauchi, E. M. 89 Yon, M. 53 Yonge, C. D. 82–83 Yoshida, D. 202 Zahniser, A. H. M. 240 Zenger, E. 71, 155 Zevit, Z. 10–11, 58, 79, 161, 163, 217 Zias, J. E. 84 Zillessen, D. 32 Zuesse, E. M. 16 Zwickel, W. 57

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Index of Scripture Old Testament Genesis 1–3 234 2:1–3 138 2:2–3 138 3:12 72 3:15 115 6:5 218 6:6–7 218 8:20 57, 130 8:21 219 9:4–6 233 11 58, 160 11:1–9 58 11:4 58 12:2 58 12:6 59 12:7 57, 59–60, 130, 186 12:8 57–59, 130–131, 186 13:8 130 13:18 57, 59–60, 130, 186 15:17 184 17:5 58 17:10–14 60 17:12 135 17:23–27 135 17:26–27 223 18:4 8 18:19 76 19:2 8 21:4 135 22 59, 130 22:1–13 131 22:2 59 22:9 57, 59, 130 22:9–10 57–58, 60, 186 24:32 8

Genesis (cont.) 25:9–10 223 26:19 94 26:25 57, 130–131, 186 26:28–31 56 27:3 178 27:38 144 27:41 159 28:11–15 131 28:18 174 29:31 218 31:45–54 174 31:51–54 56 34:7 144 35:7 57, 130–131 35:14 174 37:18 159 37:34 73, 175 38:23–25 56 40:9–10 179 43:24 8 44:13 73 46–50 168 47:29 159 49:11 179 50:3 211 50:4 211 50:10 140, 169, 171 Exodus 1:9 168 2:25 218 3:5 161 6:23 194 12 56, 180 12:15 179 12:15–19 140, 169 12:17 171, 185

295

Exodus (cont.) 12:22–23 9 12:42 185 12:51 185 13:3 185 13:6–7 140, 169 13:9 185 13:14 185 13:16 185 14:11 185 15:20 159 15:20–21 200 15:21 200 16:7 163 16:10 163 18:12 56 19 183, 210 19–24 183 19:1 183 19:10–13 182 19:10–19 210 19:13 184, 197 19:14 183, 186 19:14–19 182 19:15 183, 186 19:16 184, 186, 197 19:17 184–185 19:18 184 19:19 184, 186 19:20 183, 195 20:8 138 20:8–11 137 20:10 138 20:11 138 20:22–23:33 183 20:25 174 23:14–17 136 23:15 140, 169

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296

Exodus (cont.) 24 158 24:4 174 24:4–8 210 24:6 9 24:8 9 24:11 56 24:12–14 195 24:16 163 24:17 163 25 107 25–28 95 25–31 216 25–40 175 25:8–9 216 25:9 161, 236 25:40 96 26:1 161, 176, 217 26:6 161 26:7 161 26:12 161 26:13 161 26:17 161 26:20 161 26:22 161 26:23 161 26:26 161 26:27 161 26:30 161 26:31 176 26:35 161 26:36 176 27:9 161 27:16 176 27:19 161 28 66, 106 28–29 168 28:1 106, 194 28:6 176, 217 28:6–39 175 28:8 176, 217 28:15 176, 217 28:31–34 176, 217 28:32 176 28:39 176

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Index of Scripture

Exodus (cont.) 28:42 174 29 148, 209 29:4 8, 238 29:12 215 29:17 8, 152, 238 29:18 219 29:20 9 29:25 219 29:30 140, 169 29:35–37 140, 169 29:38–42 137 29:41 219 29:42 137 30:18–21 8 30:20 211 31:17 138 32:1 158 32:2–6 158 32:5 158 32:11–13 158 32:14 158 32:15 158 32:17–18 158 32:17–19 199 32:19 158–159 32:19–20 158, 211 32:20 159 32:28 211 34:18 169 35:11 161 35:15 161 35:18 161 36:8 161 36:13 161 36:14 161 36:22 161 36:25 161 36:27 161 36:28 161 36:31 161 36:32 161 38:21 161 38:31 161 39 148

Exodus (cont.) 39:1 148 39:2–26 175 39:5 148 39:7 148 39:21 148 39:26 148 39:27–29 175 39:29 148, 175 39:31 148 39:32 148 39:33 161 39:40 161 39:42 148 40 148 40:9 161 40:12 8, 238 40:17 161 40:18 161 40:19 148, 161 40:21 148, 161 40:22 161 40:22–27 193 40:23 148 40:24 161 40:25 148 40:27 148 40:29 148 40:30 238 40:30–32 8 40:31 238 40:32 148, 238 40:34 161 40:35 161 40:36 161 40:38 161 Leviticus 1–7 48, 209 1:1–17 209 1:2–9 172 1:3 83 1:9 238 1:13 238 2:1–16 209

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Index of Scripture

Leviticus (cont.) 2:2 218 2:8 218 2:12 219 3:1–17 209 3:16 219 4 48, 152 4:1–5:13 209 4:2 141 4:3 141 4:4 192, 218 4:5 218 4:6 55 4:7 178, 180, 215 4:12 152, 180 4:13 192 4:14 218 4:16 218 4:17 55 4:18 180, 215 4:22–23 141 4:23 219 4:25 180, 215 4:27 141 4:27–28 141 4:28 219 4:30 180, 215 4:31 219 4:32 141, 219 4:34 180, 215 5 141 5:1 100 5:6 219 5:7 219 5:8 219 5:11 219 5:12 219 5:14–6:7 209 6:3 101 6:8–13 209 6:9–13 105 6:10 106 6:14–23 209 6:24–30 209 7 48

Leviticus (cont.) 7:1–10 209 7:11–12 209 7:32–34 152, 193 8 19, 66, 148–151, 153, 159, 171, 174, 191–193, 195–196, 207, 209– 210, 223 8–9 168 8–10 154 8:1 192 8:1–2 192 8:1–5 201 8:2 191 8:3 60, 160 8:4 148, 150, 160, 192 8:5 148, 192 8:6 8, 160, 164, 175, 192, 238 8:7–9 66 8:9 150, 192 8:10 66, 161, 163, 185, 192 8:10–11 163 8:10–12 185 8:11 185 8:12 65–66, 164, 185 8:13 192 8:14 191, 194 8:14–17 150 8:14–29 150–151 8:15 150, 153, 178, 180, 192, 194 8:16 192 8:17 150, 153, 160, 191– 192 8:18 191 8:18–21 150, 152 8:19 192 8:20 152–153, 192 8:21 8, 152–153, 192, 219, 238 8:22 191 8:22–29 150 8:23 9, 192

297

Leviticus (cont.) 8:24 192 8:26 152 8:27 152 8:28 192, 219 8:29 152, 192–193 8:30 65–66, 192 8:31 160, 192 8:33 160 8:33–35 140, 169 8:35 150, 160, 171–172, 186 8:36 192 9 194 9:5 60 9:9 150, 180 9:14 238 9:23 163 10:1–2 107 10:3 144 10:4–5 159 10:6 60 10:8 194 11 233–234 12 98, 104, 113 12–15 104 12:1–5 169 12:2 140, 169 12:2–5 85 12:3 102, 135 13 113–114 13:4–5 140, 169 13:21–54 140, 169 13:56 73 14 114, 170, 178, 238– 239 14:1–32 142 14:2 142, 201 14:2–7 170–171 14:4–7 114 14:5 94 14:8 85, 140, 170, 172, 238 14:8–9 8, 175 14:9 238

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Leviticus (cont.) 14:9–20 170–171 14:14 9 14:38 140, 170 14:41 180 14:50 94 15 238 15:5–8 175 15:5–11 85 15:13 94, 140, 170 15:16–18 183 15:19 170 15:24 170 16 48–49, 74, 97, 121, 141, 154, 156, 209, 223, 236 16:1 159 16:2 186 16:2–3 177 16:4 97 16:8 98 16:14–15 20, 55 16:16 55, 141, 210 16:18 55 16:20 142 16:21 142 16:29 113, 156 17 87–88 17:6 219 17:8–9 88 17:10–12 88 17:10–14 233 17:11 156 17:13–14 88 17:14 233 17:15–16 88 19:18 79 23:2 136 23:3 138 23:4 136 23:5 136 23:6 169 23:6–8 137 23:7 102, 138 23:8 138 23:9–22 56

Index of Scripture

Leviticus (cont.) 23:10–14 137 23:16 137 23:21 138 23:24–25 137 23:25 138 23:27–32 137 23:28–32 138 23:33–36 137 23:34 137 23:35–36 138 23:37 136 23:38–39 138 24:5–9 107 24:14 60 25:3–4 179 25:9 186, 197 Numbers 1:18 60 1:50 161 1:51 161 3:2 194 3:7 161 3:8 161 3:23 161 3:25 161 3:26 161 3:29 161 3:35 161 3:36 161 3:38 161 4:16 161 4:25 161 4:26 161 4:31 161 5 141, 213 5:11–31 142, 213–214 5:13–15 213 5:15 143 5:16 214 5:17 161, 178 5:22 213–214 5:29 142 5:29–30 213 5:29–31 142

Numbers (cont.) 7:1 161 7:3 161 7:15 192 7:21 192 7:27 192 8 223 8:5–26 210 8:9–20 196 9:15 161 9:18 161 9:19 161 9:20 161 9:22 161 10:1–10 198 10:2 198 10:8 198 10:10 198 10:17 161 10:21 161 12:6 72 14:6 73 14:21 163 15:22–29 141 15:24 219 15:30–31 141 16:19 163 17–18 168 18:1 194 18:17 219 19:4 9 19:17 94, 180 20:27–29 196 21:17 200 26:60 194 27:19–22 196 28–29 136 28:1–8 137 28:6 219 28:9–10 138 28:10 138 28:16–25 221 28:27 192, 219 29:2 219 29:6 219 29:12–38 221

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Numbers (cont.) 31:31 191 35:16 178 Deuteronomy 4:16 236 5:12–15 137 5:14–15 138 6:5 79 16 136 16:1–8 207 18:10–14 238 18:18 72 21:10–14 223 21:12 224 21:13 224 22:5 178 27:1–8 212 27:3 212 27:5–6 212 27:11–26 214 27:15 214 27:16 214 27:17 214 27:18 214 27:19 214 Joshua 1–3 121 1:11 121 2:22 121 3:2 121 4:5 174 4:20–24 135 5:2 102–103 5:3–8 135 5:10–11 135 5:15 161 6 71, 197–199 6:2–5 197 6:2–19 198 6:10–13 197 6:16 198 6:18 71 6:19 71 6:20 198–199

Joshua (cont.) 6:20–21 198 7:1 71 7:6 73, 175 7:11 71 7:12 71 7:13 71 7:15 71 8:30–35 242 9:3–27 56 22:20 71 24:26 174 Judges 3:27 186 5:4 184 6:34 186 7:8 186 7:21 198 9:12 179 11:34 159 11:35 73 11:40 199 16:25 166 16:27 166 18:11 178 19:21 8 21:21 159 Ruth 1 56 1 Samuel 1:3–15 56 6:19 166 7:15 72 7:17 72 9:12–13 56, 72 9:15–17 72 9:19 218 13 72 13:3 186 13:9–10 193 13:11–14 193 15 72 15:3 71

1 Samuel (cont.) 15:9 71 15:11 165 15:15 71 15:20 218 15:22 71–74, 80 15:22–23 218 15:28 73 16:1–3 72 16:1–5 72 16:12 218 16:12–13 218 17:52 198 18:6 159 18:7 166, 200 21:5–6 186 21:12 159, 200 25:21 8 28 238 29:5 159, 200 31:13 171 2 Samuel 1:11 175 1:12 56 2:14 166 3:32–34 199 6 166, 197–198, 220 6:1–10 166 6:1–23 166 6:5 166 6:11 166 6:11–12 166 6:12–15 166 6:13 197 6:14 167 6:15 197 7:12–13 77 8:15 76 1 Kings 1:34 1:36 1:39 1:40 1:41

186, 197 214 197 197 197

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1 Kings (cont.) 8 201 8:1–2 201 8:1–66 209 8:3–13 201–202 8:5 196 8:10–12 201 8:11 163 8:14 201 8:14–21 201 8:22 166 8:22–54 201–202 8:23 202 8:35 165 8:38 165 8:42 165 8:44 165 8:48 165 8:55 201 8:55–61 201–202 8:62–64 201–202 8:65–66 201–202 10:9 76 18:19 56 18:21 199 18:24 199 18:26 199 18:26–29 199 18:29 199 18:37 199–200 21:27 144 21:29 144 2 Kings 5:10 238 5:14 238 5:17 238 5:18 238 6:23 56 6:24–30 56 16:10 236 21:6 238 1 Chronicles 5:29 194

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Index of Scripture

1 Chronicles (cont.) 6:34 194 9:33 200 10:12 171 13 198 13:8 167, 198 15:16 178, 200 15:17 200 15:28 198 15:29 167 16:36 214 23:13 194 23:26 161 24:1–2 194 28:19 236 2 Chronicles 5:6 196 5:12 198, 200 6:21 165 6:26 165 6:29 165 6:34 165 6:38 165 7:6 200 8:15 200 26:16–21 223 29:25 200 29:30 200 33:6 238 Ezra 3:5 136 3:10 198 3:11 198, 200 5:1–2 78 Nehemiah 5:13 214 8:6 214 12:27 200 Job 1:3 191 1:4–5 56

Job (cont.) 1:20 175 2:12 171 2:13 169 5:22 166 29:24 166 42:12 191 Psalms 18:8 184 18:9 184 24 139 41:13 214 42:8 165 46:4 184 68:9 184 81:3 197 88:1–2 165 88:13 165 92 138 92:1 138 93 139 94 139 95:1–2 198 98:4 198 98:6 198 99:6 194 100:1 198 132:13–14 77 136 200 Song of Songs 7:1 159 Isaiah 1:11–17 80 1:15–18 75 2:1–5 221 5:25 184 6:4 184 27:2 200 42:13 198 44:13 236 56:7 76 59:15 218

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Isaiah (cont.) 61:10 178 Jeremiah 7 76 7:1–7 76 7:3 77 7:6 77 7:21 76 7:21–28 76 11:5 214 26 76–77 26:1–6 76 35:1–19 8 Ezekiel 3:15–16 169, 171 8:1 166 8:3 236 8:6 166 8:9 166 8:13 166 8:15 166 8:16–18 166 8:17 166 16:17 178 16:19 219 40–48 121, 139 40:1–42:20 139 43:1–12 139 43:13–46:24 139 46:3 139 47:1–12 139 47:13–48:35 139 Daniel 6:10 165 6:10–11 165

Daniel (cont.) 6:11 165 8:11 137 8:12 137 8:13 137 11:31 137 12:11 137 Hosea 1–2 74 1:4 74 1:5 74 1:6 74 1:7 74 1:9 210 2:1 74 2:3 210 2:16 74 2:21 74 3 74 3:5 74 4:1 74 4:15 74 4:16 74 5:1 74 5:3 74 5:5 74 5:9 74 5:10 74 5:13 74 5:14 74 6:1 74 6:2 75 6:3 75 6:4 74–75 6:5 75 6:6 74–75

Hosea (cont.) 6:10 74 6:12 74 10:12 74 12:7 74 Joel 3:3

184

Amos 5:7 76 5:18–20 75 5:18–27 75 5:21 75 5:21–27 75, 80 5:22 75 5:24 75 6:5 178 6:12 76 7:10–17 77 Jonah 1 160 1:5 160 Micah 4:1–8

221

Nahum 1:5 184 Habakkuk 3:10 184 Haggai 1:4–9 78 2:9 78

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New Testament Matthew 3:5 143 3:6 217 3:7 143 3:11 187 3:16 143 14:29 187 26:17–30 145 26:26 180, 215 26:26–30 178, 222 26:27 179 26:28 180, 215 26:29 244 27:40 187 28:19 222 Mark 1:4–5 217 1:5 143 1:9–10 143 6:8–11 224 10:35–37 160 12:28 79 12:33 80 14:20 180 14:22–26 179 14:23 179 14:24 180 Luke 3:2–3 217 3:3 217 3:12 143 3:14 143 3:21 143 8:23 187 14:12–14 224 22:1–20 145 22:17 179 22:17–20 180 22:19–20 179 22:20 180 24:53 222

John 4:2 187 13:1–21 145 15:1–5 179 15:19 98 Acts 1:5 187 1:14 222 2:1–4 187 2:1–47 222 2:37 144 2:38 143, 187, 222 2:40 86 2:41 143, 187 2:42 222 2:46 87, 222, 224 3:1 87, 165, 222 4:4 86 5:21 87 5:42 86 6:1 224 6:1–6 222 6:4 222 8 188 8:9–25 89 8:12 143, 187 8:13 143 8:16 187 8:26–39 187 8:35 187 8:36 187, 217 8:36–38 143 9:36–43 224 8:37 187 8:38 187 9:11 165 9:18 143, 187 9:40 165 10:14 87 10:24–48 143 10:28 87 10:30 165

Acts (cont.) 10:47–48 222 11:21 86 11:21–24 87 12:5 222 13:4–12 87 13:44–52 87 15 87 15:1 87 15:2 87 15:5 87, 222 15:7 87 15:20 87 15:31 222 16:13 165 16:15 143, 224 16:25 165 16:33 143 18:3 224 18:8 143 18:25 56 18:26 222 19:1–4 56 19:3–5 143 19:5 56 21:26 222 22:16 143 22:17 222 28:8 165 Romans 6 94 6:3 222 6:3–4 188 10:4 124 10:9–10 187 12:12 222 1 Corinthians 1:13–17 222 1:16 143 5:7 145 5:7–8 88

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1 Corinthians (cont.) 10:4 102–103 10:16 179 10:21 179 11:3 96–97 11:17–34 222 11:23–26 179, 243 11:25–27 179 12:27 221 14:15 222 14:26 224 15:21 98 15:29 188 Galatians 2:9 96 2:11–14 224 3:27 144 3:28 144 Ephesians 1:22–23 221 2:21–22 221 4:15 97 5:19 222

Ephesians (cont.) 5:25 221 5:27 96 Philippians 2:1 221 2:11 187 3:3 103 Colossians 3:16 222 4:16 222 1 Thessalonians 5:11 224 1 Timothy 4:13 222 5:3–16 224 5:10 145 6:12 187 Hebrews 1:4 92 6:9 92

Hebrews (cont.) 7:19 92 7:22 92 8:2 236 8:6 92 9:11 96 9:23 92 10:1 96 10:34 92 11:4 92 11:16 92 11:35 92 11:40 92 12:24 92 James 3:12

179

1 Peter 2:9 97 2:9–10 221 Revelation 13 121 14:18–19

179

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Index of Other Ancient Sources Augustine Contra du. ep. Pelag. 3.10 Quaest. Lev. 1 101 Sermones 169.3 103 270.5. 102

101

Bede, The Venerable In Genesim 1.1 108 On the Tabernacle 1.7 107 2.11 105, 106 3.2 106, 107 Dead Sea Scrolls 1QS II 1–2 85 1QS V 8–9 85 1QS VI 4–5 85 16, 18–19, 21 85 1QS IX 3–4 85 1QSa ii 17–20 85 1QSb iii 28 85 4Q164 85 4Q277 i 3–10 85 4Q414 2 ii 1–8 85 11QT a LVII 11–15 85 CD VI 11–15 85 CD X 4–10 85 CD XIII 4–7 85 CD XIV 6–8 85 Didache 1–6 94 1:1–6:3 93 7:1–4 94 7:1–10:7 93 11:1–15:4 93 16:1–8 93 Donation of Constantine 108 Emar 369.76–94 Gospel of Philip 59.1–6 90 64.24 90 67.4–9 90

188

Gospel of Philip (cont.) 67.20–22 90 69.5–14 90 72.30–73.1 90 75.20–26 90 77.10–15 90 Ignatius of Antioch Magn. 8:1 91 9:1 92 10:2–3 92 Phil. 5:2a 92 6:1 92 9:1 93 Mesha Stele

71

Origen Hom. Exod. 9 95, 97 9.2 95, 96 9.3 96 Hom. Lev. 4.3.2–4 98 9.3 97 9.5.2 98 9.6 97 Philo Legat. 370 81 Mos. 2.216 82 Prov. 2.64 81 Spec. 1.4–7 82 1.200 83 Virt. 198–210 82 Talmud m. Pesa˙. 10 180 10.4 180 Traditio Apostolica 32.21–23 104

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