News and Notes -- By: Anonymous
BSP 3:1 (Winter 1990) p. 29
News and Notes
Build A New Temple In Jerusalem?
Since 1967 when Israel captured the Old City up to the Temple Mount, there has been increasing talk of rebuilding the temple. Many evangelicals have been deeply interested because it is felt that this would signal the return of Christ. But, of course, to Muslims who still retain possession of the Temple Mount, the idea is an outrage. This is the very spot where their Prophet ascended to the seventh heaven. Even among Israelis there is great difference of opinion regarding the obligation and feasibility of rebuilding, although almost 20% feel it is time to do so.
During the week of October 23 the first ever Conference of Temple Research met to discuss whether contemporary Jews are obligated to rebuild. However, several small organizations in Jerusalem believe the question is settled. They point out that a third of the 613 commandments are taken up with animal sacrifices and Temple worship. So they are zealously making preparations for the new Temple in spite of the doctrinal obstacles and the certainty of provoking Muslim fury.
Some of the preparations include: 200 students learning elaborate details of Temple service; researching family genealogies to discern those of the priestly line; finding the exact location of the Holy of Holies; reconstructing ritual implements, clothing, and musical instruments; searching Europe for unblemished red heifers (the ashes of which can be used to cleanse priests); and preparing blueprints for an elaborate Temple model.
Historian David Solomon insists that a new Temple is imperative: “It was the essence of our Jewish being, the unifying force of our people.” No one knows how soon building will begin. But, when it does, the plan is to have everything ready for its use. [From Time magazine, 10/16/89, pp. 64-64.]
Last Word On Book Of Acts?
[Although we said in our last issue that we would not review books under News and Notes, we may have to change our position. This is simply because many excellent new books are being published which need to be drawn to the attention of the evangelical community. However, due to lack of space, the “reviews” may be little more than notices.]
The newest is The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1989). It is the magnus opus of the late Colin J. Hemer (1930–87). Hemer gave up a school teacher’s career to research and write on early Christian churches in Asia Minor and Greece. No one has delved more deeply into the enormous variety of material available for New Testament backgrounds. As a result, he has jammed so much information into the ten chapters and two appendices that one need never lack for resources on Acts. No seriou...
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