Misconceptions about ancient Jewish sacrifice have led scholars to overlook the significance and symbolism of the Jerusalem temple to the ancient Jewish worshippers. The author of "Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple," Jonathan Klawans, challenges the idea that the eucharist replaced ancient Jewish sacrifice and that these cultic rituals were meaningless primitive superstitions. Klawans integrates the study of sacrifice with the study of purity, a ritual structure that has often been viewed as symbolic. By removing contemporary religious and cultural biases, Klawans enables readers to better understand the meaning of sacrifice to early Jewish communities. Klawans reevaluates ideas about the temple from various ancient sources, including Josephus, Philo, Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and Rabbinic literature, with an emphasis on illuminating the symbolic meanings of sacrifice for ancient Jews.
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