Moving Forward On Our Knees: Corporate Prayer In The New Testament -- By: Grant R. Osborne

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 53:2 (Jun 2010)
Article: Moving Forward On Our Knees: Corporate Prayer In The New Testament
Author: Grant R. Osborne


Moving Forward On Our Knees: Corporate Prayer In The New Testament

Grant R. Osborne

Grant Osborne is professor of NT at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015.

I. Prayer And Worship In Second Temple Judaism

Even a casual reader of the NT will realize the ties between Judaism and Christianity. Jesus was born and raised in a pious Jewish home, and his parents participated in the sacrificial cultus (Luke 2:22-24) and most likely frequently went on pilgrimage to the festivals (Luke 2:41-42). Jesus likewise attended the festivals often (John 2:13; 5:1; 7:10). We must also note Jesus’ attitude regarding the Temple. N. T. Wright has argued extensively that for Jesus Herod’s temple was “part of the problem, part of the exilic state of the people of YHWH, rather than as part of the solution.” Therefore Yahweh was no longer in Zion or the Temple and had to return.1

Yet is it true that Yahweh had departed from the Temple? Jesus’ condemnation of the Jewish authorities at the cleansing of the Temple did not mean Yahweh was no longer there. The presence of the daily burnt offerings and peace offerings and the participation by the populace, including Jesus and his disciples, would attest to the fact that they did not believe God had departed. Luke, for one, makes the Temple one of the points of continuity between the life of Jesus and the early church. Jesus was dedicated in the Temple, and there the prophecies of Anna and Simeon attested to his messianic nature (Luke 2:21-38). At the age of twelve he called the Temple “my Father’s house” (Luke 2:49) and expected his parents to know he would be there. Moreover, Jesus frequently taught in the Temple precincts and attended feasts there according to John’s gospel. At the cleansing he again called the Temple “my Father’s house” (John 2:19), meaning he still considered God to be present there. Moreover, the primitive Palestinian church worshipped regularly in the Temple and prayed (Luke 24:52-53; Acts 3:1) as well as engaged in teaching and witnessing there (Acts 5:12, 21, 42). Paul offered sacrifices in the Temple at the advice of the church leaders (Acts 21:20-26).You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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