Gregory of Nyssa's Tabernacle Imagery in Its Jewish and by Ann Conway-Jones

By Ann Conway-Jones

Intergrating patristics and early Jewish mysticism, this booklet examines Greogry of Nyssa's tabernacle imagery, as present in Life of Moses 2. 170-201. prior scholarship has frequently excited about Gregory's interpretation of the darkness on Mount Sinai as divine incomprehensibility. besides the fact that, precise to Exodus, Gregory keeps with Moses's imaginative and prescient of the tabernacle "not made with fingers" got inside that darkness. This leading edge method of heuristic comparability does not attempt to turn out impact, yet to exploit heavenly ascent textsas a foil, to be able to shed new gentle on Gregory's imagery. Ann Conway-Jones provides a well-rounded, nuanced knowing of Gregory's exegesis, during which mysticism, theology, and politics are intertwined.

Heavenly ascent texts use descriptions of non secular event to assert authoritative wisdom. For Gregory, the excessive aspect of Moses's ascent into the darkness of Mount Sinai is the secret of Christian doctrine. The heavenly tabernacle is a kind of the heavenly Christ. This secret is past highbrow comprehension, it will possibly in basic terms be grasped by means of religion; and basically the decide upon few, destined for positions of accountability, should still even try and achieve this.

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9 The King James version has ‘badger’, the RSV ‘goat’, and the NJPS ‘dolphin’; the LXX opts for blue skins (δέρματα ὑαϰίνθινα). 14 The wings of the cherubim overshadow the mercy seat; their faces are turned to one another, but facing downwards towards the ark. 15 ‘The Divine Presence was believed to settle, as it were, in the space between the two cherubim 4 Benjamin D. Sommer, The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 93. 371. 6 Menahem Haran, Temples and Temple-Service in Ancient Israel: An Inquiry into the Character of Cult Phenomena and the Historical Setting of the Priestly School (Oxford: Clarendon, 1978), 150.

16 Runia, Philo in Early Christian Literature, 158. Alan F. ), Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung.  Principat. 2 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1980), 1354. 12 13 14 15 Spec. 1–3. Spec. 207. Abr. 48, 58. Post. 173. 16 Gig. 54. 10 11 38 Gregory of Nyssa’s Tabernacle Imagery In Questions on Exodus the entry into the darkness becomes an ascent to God: What is the meaning of the words, ‘Come up to Me to the mountain and be there’ [Exod.

Its influence can be seen in Revelation’s description of the heavenly throne with its four living creatures. 3 PAULINE EPISTLES 37 Gregory interprets 2 Corinthians 12:2–5, which refers to a man in Christ being caught up to the third heaven, as a description of Paul’s ascent to the supercelestial sanctuary. 40 He assumes that Hebrews was written by Paul, and therefore includes its interpretation of the tabernacle curtain as the flesh of Jesus, even though it does not fit his overall scheme. He makes particularly creative use of Pss.

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