Margaret Barker

Biblical scholar

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Margaret Barker
The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy  
Older Testament
The Lost Prophet
Gate of Heaven
The Great Angel
On Earth
The Risen Lord
Great High Priest
Temple Theology
Hidden Tradition
Temple Themes
Temple Mysticism
Mother of the Lord
King of the Jews

Most scholarship on the origins of Christian liturgy has concentrated upon the synagogues. Margaret Barkerís present work on the Jerusalem Temple makes a significant new contribution to our understanding. This book opens up important new fields of research.

The subjects addressed include: the evidence for an oral tradition of Temple learning in the early Church, and Christianity as a conscious continuation of the Temple; the roots of the Eucharist in the high priestly rituals of the Day of Atonement and the Bread of the Presence; the meaning of the holy of holies and the Christian sanctuary, and the development of Church architecture and iconography; the cosmology of Temple and Church and how this illuminates the New Testament; the significance of the Temple veil for understanding the Incarnation, and concepts of resurrection, time and eternity; priests as angels and the concept of their unity; the Holy Wisdom and the Mother of God; the ancient Temple traditions as an influence on Pythagoras and Plato; and the formation of the Christian Scriptures.

All readers whose interests encompass the Old Testament, early Christianity, and its relationship to Judaism, the origins of Christian theology as expressed in the liturgy, Platonism and the roots of Islam will find this book a hugely rewarding source of information and new ideas.


  "The Great High Priest is a remarkable, wide-ranging, exciting and controversial bookÖ  Its intricate web of arguments is sustained by the authorís great linguistic and textual scholarship."

David Melling, The Times Literary Supplement.

"Traditional scholarship has never been able to make sense of the origins of Christian worship and the wealth and beauty of its ideas. The Great High Priest asks fundamental questions not just about liturgical beginnings, but about the original spiritual milieu in which Jesus and his first followers lived.  By suggesting that most - if not all- central ideas and institutions derive from the ritual and intellectual world of the Jerusalem Temple, she makes an interpretative claim that is as convincing as it seems bold.  Not only scholars but also students and clergy will benefit from reading Margaret Barkerís fascinating book."

Professor Bernhard Lang.

"This book enables us to assess on a new and deeper basis the historical relationship of Christianity to Judaism and of Judaism to Islam.  The insights it offers into the nature of Christian liturgy are especially important - indeed revolutionary."

Bishop Basil of Sergeivo

Published by T&T Clark, Edinburgh, 2003. ISBN 0567089428





(c) Margaret Barker 2006.