Is this a rock or not? I Would like to know

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Mon Feb 19 13:11:16 EST 2001

Dear Charles,

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them greatly. I wouldn't go quite
as far as you against Dan's views, especially as I don't want to disagree
too openly with one whose basic beliefs and motivations I probably share.
But I agree that his approach is not always appropriate, especially in this

No time now to write more except to answer your specific questions below.

Peter Kirk

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles David Isbell [mailto:cisbell at]
Sent: 18 February 2001 17:44
To: Peter Kirk; Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Is this a rock or not? I Would like to know

...Am I not correct that the early
Christians also worshipped regularly at this same Temple?...

PK: Yes. Paul even went through purification rites there, long after his
conversion (Acts 21:26).

... And that none of
the gospels was written [as we now have them] until after 70 CE and the loss
of the Temple?...

PK: This one is disputed.

... Does this not mean that Christianity is forced to deal with
the reality of how to worship in light of this loss?  Is not the idea of
Jesus as the once for all sacrifice, making unnecessary the system of
continuing sacrifices, exactly such a reconstruction?...

PK: This thought is not, as I understand it, simply a reaction to the loss
of the Temple. It is at least implicit in the letters of Paul which are
almost certainly pre-70 CE and is most clearly expounded in Hebrews which
apparently written when the Temple was still standing. (If not, why were the
sacrifices spoken of in the present and why was the argument that the Temple
had been destroyed ever used as part of the argument?) I would argue that it
was the presence of such ideas even before the destruction of the Temple
that allowed Christianity to survive this crisis.

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