Work as worship in the Garden and the Workshop: Genesis 1-3, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and liturgical hermeneutics.
The Liturgical Sitz im Leben of Genesis 1-3
Genesis 1-3 depicts the world as a macro-temple, and humanity as created for liturgical worship as cosmic-priests on earth, which suggests a liturgical Sitz im Leben (situation or setting in life). (4) Ever since Henning Bernhard Witter (1711) and Jean Astruc (1753), scholars have argued for two different sources underlying Genesis 1-3. (5) The first portion, namely, Genesis 1:1-2:3, is usually taken as the later priestly account (P), whereas the second portion, Genesis 2:4-3:24, is understood as an earlier Yahwistic account (J). (6) A century after Astruc, Hermann Hupfeld (1853) became the first to isolate the priestly source (which he called the "older Elohist"), even though a long tradition had already developed for over a century distinguishing between the two accounts of creation. (7)
These critical distinctions concerning foundational sources not-withstanding, liturgical concerns link both accounts in their final form. Form critics like Moshe Weinfeld have underscored numerous priestly and liturgical elements in the first creation account. (8) The emphasis on the seventh day reflects priestly concerns for Sabbath observance. (9) Not only is the seventh day the narrative climax, but there is a sevenfold dimension to the three formulae involved in creation: fulfillment, description, and approval. This sevenfold structure is retained through the omission of specific formulae where we might expect them. In Genesis 1:6-8 there is no approval formula "God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:9 omits any description of the act whatsoever. Finally, Genesis 1:20 omits the fulfillment formula, "and it was so." The significance of these omissions is highlighted by the fact that the Greek Septuagint (LXX) fills in these missing formulae; the sevenfold structure of the Hebrew text is thus lacking in the LXX. (10)
The priestly and liturgical nature of the creation account is further indicated by its many parallels with the priestly account of the construction of the tabernacle, which is portrayed as the chief liturgical structure in the book of Exodus. (11) There are nearly identical Hebrew phrases linking both passages, and both are structured with the heptadic pattern of the number seven. (12) More recently, Crispin Fletcher-Louis's textual analysis of Sirach indicates that Sirach relies upon a tradition of interpretation that assumes the parallels between creation and tabernacle construction. (13)
Unsurprisingly, in the biblical canon these accounts orient readers toward the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem under Solomon. (14) This passage parallels those of Genesis and Exodus, primarily inasmuch as the account is based upon a heptadic sevenfold structure. (15) Moreover, this practice of connecting creation stories with temple-building extends beyond the Hebrew tradition. Scholars of the ancient Near East have shown how temples were often connected to acts of creation, from the Akkadian Enuma Elish to the Sumerian Gudea Cylinders. (16) As John Bergsma explains, "In the ancient Near East it was an almost universal commonplace that any given temple mystically represented the great 'cosmic mountain' that was the first to break above the primordial waters of the abyss at creation, and rose to form the habitable land." (17)
Although the priestly character of Genesis 1:1-2:3 has been well established for over a century, some scholars like Gordon Wenham have also emphasized priestly and liturgical elements in Genesis 2 and 3. (18) This is particularly the case with the imagery found in Genesis 2 and 3 that form associations with the tabernacle and Temple: that is, Adam is told to 'abad "work" and shamar "guard" the garden (2:15), using precisely those two verbs that in the Pentateuch only occur together again with the task the Levites are given in their tabernacle service (Nm 3:7-8; 8:26; and 18:5-6); the depiction of God walking back and forth in both the Garden of Eden (Gn 3:8) and moving back and forth in the tabernacle (Lv 26:12 and Dt 23:14), both involve forms of the verb halak; cherubim in the garden (Gn 3:24) are reminiscent of the cherubim images on the ark of the covenant (e.g., Ex 25:18-20, 22; 37:7, 9; and Nm 7:89) as well as in the Temple's holy of holies (e.g., 1 Kgs 6:27-28 and 8:6). (19) When we turn to Wirkungsgeschichte, or reception history, we find that the Adamic and Edenic traditions are linked in Ezekiel 28's treatment of the king of Tyre as well as Sirach 24's handling of Genesis 1-3, which Sirach appears to read as a unified whole. (20) These connections between the Temple in Jerusalem and Eden are further elaborated in later second temple and rabbinic literature. (21)
Genesis 1-2 specifically depicts Adam as a royal priest, or priest-king. (22) Adam not only is given the priestly command to guard and work the garden (2:15), but also royal dominion (1:28). (23) This view of Adam specifically as high priest of creation becomes quite commonplace in later Jewish tradition, where the Jewish high priest is interpreted as a new Adam, and thus a cosmic priest of creation. (24) The human person thus emerges as created for the purpose of worship. Sin becomes understood as a failure to correspond to God's grace as priest-kings. In the words of Fagerberg, "The fall is the forfeiture of our liturgical career." (25)
The poetic priestly framework and symmetry of Genesis 1:1-2:3 has led one scholar to describe its theme as the "Cosmic Liturgy of the Seventh Day." (26) It is for these and similar reasons that Weinfeld identifies the liturgy as Genesis I's Sitz im Leben. (27) The world itself is depicted as a macro temple, and the temple in later biblical and post-biblical traditions is depicted as a microcosm of the world. (28) As Scott Hahn explains: "The close correspondence between the building of the Tabernacle and the creation of the cosmos indicates that the tabernacle-building is a recapitulation of creation, and thus the tabernacle is in some sense a microcosm, a small embodiment of the universe. Conversely, we may conclude that the universe is a macro-tabernacle, a cosmic sanctuary built for the worship of God." (29) In light of the preceding comments on the priestly character of the final form of Genesis 2-3, we might extend Weinfeld's insight and speak of the final form of Genesis 1-3 as having its Sitz im Leben in communal liturgy and worship. Fletcher-Louis sums up well the overarching message thus: "Creation has its home in the liturgy of the cult." (30)
Scripture's Living Environment in the Church's Liturgy
Priestly elements regarding liturgy and worship in Genesis are not the only, nor even the primary, reason for reading the creation account in the context of liturgy; the lived history of Christians throughout two millennia provides another reason for reading the Bible liturgically. More than simply noticing themes and associations concerning liturgy and worship within specific biblical narratives, studying and meditating upon biblical passages as they appear juxtaposed within the Church's liturgy is a rich reservoir from which theological insights may be gained and the streams of salvation history may be imbibed to provide spiritual nourishment. This is the primary way the Christian faithful have encountered Scripture alive in the tradition up to the present. (31)
There has been much talk in recent years about canonical biblical interpretation. Although Christians for two millennia have been reading books of the Bible in light of other books of the Bible found within the biblical canon, the conscious modern return to such a reading is often associated with the Yale School in the United States, and especially with the work of Brevard Childs. (32) In its 1993 recommendation for Catholic biblical interpretation, the Pontifical Biblical Commission mentioned the importance of such canonical reading. (33) It is important to recognize, however, that the canon itself was formed for the purpose of determining precisely which texts should be read in the sacred liturgy. (34)
Prior to the invention of the printing press at the end of the fifteenth century, most Christians encountered Scripture in liturgical contexts, especially at the Eucharistic liturgies. Even as late as the sixteenth century, Bibles tended to be prohibitively expensive for average families to own. (35) Even those monks and scribes in the monasteries and scriptoria who had more ready access to the sacred page in the medieval period, had the liturgical cycle in their bones. They frequented the Eucharistic liturgy regularly and their lives were regulated by the liturgical seasons. In fact, their entire days were punctuated by their communal praying of the Divine Office. In such an environment, the liturgy could not but become an important context for their Scripture study. (36) The full panoply of senses was often involved in such liturgical encounters, as Talal Asad explains.
The divine word, both spoken and written, was necessarily also material. As such, the inspired words were the object of a particular person's reverence, the means of his or her practical devotions at particular times and places. The body, taught over time to listen, to recite, to move, to be still, to be silent, engaged with the acoustics of words, with their sound, feel, and look. Practice at devotions deepened the inscription of sound, look, and feel in his sensorium. ... The proper reading of the scriptures that enabled her to hear divinity speak depended on disciplining the senses (especially hearing, speech, and sight). (37)
Centuries later, we too can benefit from reading and praying the Bible in light of the liturgy, especially because of how the sacred texts in the liturgy provide new contexts for biblical interpretation. (38) One of the most significant benefits of such a context is in facilitating christological interpretations. Reading Scripture in the liturgy is a natural way to read the Bible christologically, with Jesus as the key to reading the Old Testament as a Christian text. The liturgy is a privileged site for linking biblical interpretation with prayer.
Furthermore, the liturgical juxtaposition of Scripture passages provides unique contexts for biblical interpretation, facilitating a reading that unites the Old and New Testaments. Mystagogy is the key concept that makes the sacred liturgy such a unique location for uniting prayer and interpretation. Mystagogy is not simply that time after Easter when the newly baptized participate fully in the Church's liturgical and sacramental life, but rather sums up our entire post-baptismal life. Mystagogy is our immersion in the sacred Christian mysteries, which we initiate in the sacred liturgy, which is, in Fagerberg's words, "our trysting place with God." (39)The Eucharist brings to completion the work begun in us through Scripture. Mystagogy, then, is our continued experience living the sacramental life. (40) Catholic biblical exegesis should be mystagogical, moving from the visible signs to the invisible realities that the signs signify. (41)
The Second Vatican Council taught that the Eucharist is the "source and summit of the whole of Christian life" (Lumen Gentium, 11). (42) The Eucharistic liturgy is transformative and reconfigures the faithful so that they may live cruciform lives and be the presence of God's grace in creation. To paraphrase Abraham Heschel, our work, the labor of our lives, is oriented toward the Sabbath. (43) As Heschel explains, "The work on weekdays and the rest on the seventh day are correlated. The Sabbath is the inspirer, the other days the inspired." (44) Thus the ordinary work we perform during the week is sanctified by the worship and rest in which we participate on the Sabbath. In a Christian context, this takes on added meaning in the Eucharistic liturgy of the Lord's Day. (45) As Blessed John Paul II suggests in Dies Domini, "Sunday in a way becomes the soul of the other days." (46) Thus, the relationship between the days of the workweek and Sunday becomes mystagogical, the ordinary pointing and moving toward the extraordinary; the natural labor itself becomes bound up with the divine labor of redemption and is sanctified by the Eucharistic celebration, the participation in the heavenly liturgical reality. (47)
Liturgical hermeneutics promise to be both "literary and historical, liturgical and sacramental," seamlessly integrating the findings of historical research, incorporating the full range of Scriptural senses, read in light of the rule of faith and the Church's Magisterium. This hermeneutical method underscores Scripture's "mystagogic purpose in bringing about, through the sacramental liturgy, the communion of believers with the God who has chosen to reveal himself in Scripture." (48) Just such a liturgical hermeneutic has been at the forefront of Pope Benedict XVI's concerns. (49) Benedict's 2010 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini highlights just how the sacred liturgy is Scripture's privileged setting. (50) The Holy Father goes so far as to write that "a faith-filled understanding of sacred Scripture must always refer back to the liturgy, in which the word of God is celebrated as a timely and living word." (51) It is in this context that we turn to a concrete example in the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
In the Carpenter's Workshop:Work as Worship
Although the most notable liturgical use of creation in Genesis is certainly the Easter Vigil, there is another liturgical celebration that also makes use of this passage. May 1 has been the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker since Pope Pius XII inaugurated the feast in 1955. (52) The readings for that day make it an especially appropriate moment for investigation in light of this article's present concerns, since the first reading may be taken from the account of creation in Genesis 1. The Genesis text, however, is not the only aspect of the liturgy that makes associations with the creation material covered in this article, rather the very structure of every eucharistic liturgy links creation, the very fabric of our lives, and worship, in a way that provides a natural biblical hermeneutic, as Luke Timothy Johnson explains: "The ordinary of the Mass is built upon the basis of biblical language, from the kyrie to the agnus Dei. Participation in the Eucharist meant an invitation to the world constructed by Scripture. The proper portions of the Mass included not only readings from Scripture ... and preaching on the basis of the readings, but also subtle interpretations of those readings through antiphons, responses, and prayers. ... Catholics learned their Scripture through the practices of faith, and those practices also interpreted Scripture." (53) The very structure and makeup of the eucharistic liturgy itself creates biblical associations for the active participant. As Benedict proclaims, "At the centre of everything the paschal mystery shines forth, and around it radiate all the mysteries of Christ and the history of salvation which becomes sacramentally present." (54) It is this mystery that imbues our labor with the qualities necessary to transform such labor into worship, which is part of what the very Feast of St. Joseph the Worker teaches. (55)
The first reading for the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker may be taken from Genesis 1:26-2:3. (56) This passage concerns the creation of humanity in the image of God on the sixth day of creation. The passage ends with God resting from work on the seventh day, the day that God makes holy. In this text, God's labor is ordered to the seventh day of rest. This parallels the actual liturgy itself, which moves from the liturgy of the word, celebrating Creation, to the liturgy of the Eucharist in which we anticipate and participate in the eternal heavenly rest, through entering into the very divine life of the Most Holy Triune God.
The responsorial psalm is taken from Psalm 90 (2-4, 12-14, 16), where we hear sung the words: "Before the mountains were born, the earth and the world brought forth, from eternity to eternity you are God" (90:2). (57) Again, this Psalm hearkens back to creation in Genesis, to the work of God. Although not in the readings for the day, work was one of the tasks God gave in the Garden of Eden (Gn 2:15) well before the Fall. Such labor in the Garden is just one of the many forms of work we find in Scripture. Regarding this passage, Heschel emphasizes that "labor is not only the destiny of man; it is endowed with divine dignity." (58) In the life of St. Joseph, this labor takes on a special hue: at some point, Joseph performed his work with Jesus at his side. (59)
In the Gospel reading for the memorial from Matthew 13:54-58 we find the crowd asking about Jesus, "Is he not the carpenter's son?" (55). We can imagine the kinds of things Jesus learned as the son of a carpenter. In his Apostolic Exhortation on St. Joseph, Redemptoris Custos, John Paul observes that "the Gospel specifies the kind of work Joseph did in order to support his family: he was a carpenter. This simple word sums up Joseph's entire life." (60) It is in connection with Joseph's work, and Jesus's hidden life as Joseph's apprentice, that we find labor transformed into worship, into divine work. In the words of John Paul, "At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption." (61)
Although Scripture does not record Joseph making a single sound, let alone uttering any words, his actions and his life speak volumes. In the words of one modern saint, "A master of interior life, a worker deeply involved in his job, God's servant in continual contact with Jesus: that is Joseph. ... With Saint Joseph, the Christian learns what it means to belong to God and fully to assume one's place among men, sanctifying the world." (62) Joseph is not one of the characters in the New Testament that stands out in a dramatic way, but rather, is offered to us in a more hidden fashion. (63) This serves as an important model for most of us. As the spiritual writer Federico Suarez points out, like Joseph, "It is not necessary for all of us to shine before men; they do not even need to know of our existence. ... It is sufficient merely to carry out the little, commonplace, almost banal duties of each day with love and humility and with the intention of pleasing God." (64) This is the message of the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and it is a message driven home especially well in light of Genesis 1-3. John Paul, with his characteristically penetrating insight, summarizes the central point: "What is crucially important here is the sanctification of daily life, a sanctification which each person must acquire according to his or her own state, and one which can be promoted according to a model accessible to all people." (65)
Robert Wilken's comments about the liturgical context of early Christian thought and life are particularly apropos here, when he writes "Before there were treatises on the Trinity, before there were learned commentaries on the Bible, before there were disputes about the teaching on grace, or essays on the moral life, there was awe and adoration before the exalted Son of God alive and present in the church's offering of the Eucharist. This truth preceded every effort to understand and nourished every attempt to express in words and concepts what Christians believed." (66) Our reading of Genesis 1-3 underscores the message of the feast of St. Joseph the Worker; that the world is created as one expansive sanctuary for us to dwell in and worship God with the ordinary work of our lives oriented toward sacramental worship. In addition to this, what we might call liturgical justification--the ecclesial juxtaposition of biblical passages together in the Mass--shows how reading and praying Scripture in light of the liturgy can be a fruitful means of encountering the living word of God, and of making biblical interpretation theological once again. (67)
(1.) David W. Fagerberg, "Theologia Prima: The Liturgical Mystery and the Mystery of God," Letter & Spirit 2 (2006): 55. Writing further, in the context of Reformation debates, he contends that "there is a problem with allowing these fault lines to continue. It just may be that a particular scroll only blooms if it remains securely rooted in the whole Scripture; and the whole Scripture may only be intelligible if read as the marching orders for a liturgical procession; and the theology that comes from this liturgical life is about participation in the life of God. Liturgy, Scripture, and theology must be seen in light of the mystery of God" (57).
(2.) For a more thorough discussion of this reading, see Jeff Morrow, "Creation as Temple-Building and Work as Liturgy in Genesis 1-3," Journal of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies 2, no. 1 (2009): 1-13.
(3.) For a more thorough argument and description of a liturgical hermeneutic, see Scott W. Hahn, "Canon, Cult and Covenant: The Promise of Liturgical Hermeneutics," in Canon and Biblical Interpretation, ed. Craig G. Bartholomew, Scott Hahn, Robin Parry, Christopher Seitz, and Al Wolters, 207-35 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006); Scott W. Hahn, "Worship in the Word: Toward a Liturgical Hermeneutic," Letter & Spirit 1 (2005): 101-36; and Scott Hahn, Letter and Spirit: From Written Text to Living Word in the Liturgy (New York: Doubleday, 2005).
(4.) See the important discussion in Brant Pitre, "Jesus, the New Temple, and the New Priesthood," Letter & Spirit 4 (2008): 56-63.
(5.) Henning Bernhard Witter, Jura Israelitarum in Palaestiniam terrram Chananaeam, commentatione perpetua in Genesin demonstrata (Hildesheim: Schroder, 1711); and Jean Astruc's anonymously published Conjectures sur les memoires originaux dont il paroit que Moyse s'est servi pour composer le Livre de la Genese (Brussels: Chez Fricx, 1753). Although the original printing of Astruc's work lists Brussels as the location, it appears that it was in fact published in Paris. A more recent edition of Astruc's work is now available: Jean Astruc, Conjectures sur la Genese, ed. Pierre Gibert (Paris: Editions Noesis, 1999). For the history of the role double narratives played in Pentateuchal source criticism, see Aulikki Nahkola's important work, Double Narratives in the Old Testament: The Foundations of Method in Biblical Criticism (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2001).
(6.) What is less well known is that in contrast to their predecessors in the previous century (like Isaac La Peyrere, Thomas Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, and Richard Simon), who denied the substantial Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch based upon their historical and philological analyses, a number of eighteenth century scholars who built upon these earlier works (particularly Simon's) and further paved the way for modern Pentateuchal source criticism, including Astruc and Johann David Michaelis, and who understood Genesis to have come from different sources, adhered to the traditional Mosaic authorship of Genesis, as well as of the rest of the Pentateuch. These scholars simply held that Moses used sources in his composition. The irony is that a number of twentieth century scholars who argued for a theory of single authorship for Genesis, like Umberto Cassuto, Gary Rendsburg, and Roger Whybray, denied Mosaic authorship, dating Genesis anywhere from the tenth century (Rendsburg) to the sixth century B.C. (Whybray). See Astruc, Conjectures sur la Genese; Johann David Michaelis, Einleitung in die gottlichen Schriften des Alten Bundes (Hamburg: Bohnsche Buchhandlung, 1787); Umberto Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch: Eight Lectures (Jerusalem: Shalem Press, 2006 ); Gary A. Rendsburg, The Redaction of Genesis (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1986); and R. N. Whybray, The Making of the Pentateuch: A Methodological Study (Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999 ).
(7.) Hermann W. Hupfeld, Die Quellen der Genesis und die Art ihrer Zusammensetzung von neuem untersucht (Berlin: Wiegandt und Grieben, 1853).
(8.) Moshe Weinfeld, "Sabbath, Temple and Enthronement of the Lord--The Problem of the Sitz im Leben of Genesis 1:1-2:3," in Melanges bibliques et orientaux en l'honneur de M. Henri Cazelles, ed. A. Caquot and M. Delcor, 501-12 (Kevelaer, Germany: Butzon & Bercker, 1981). See also Michaela Bauks, "Genesis 1 als Programmschrift der Priesterschrift ([P.sup.g])," in Studies in the Book of Genesis: Literature, Redaction and History, ed. A. Wenin, 333-45 (Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press, 2001); Peter J. Kearney, "Creation and Liturgy: The P Redaction of Ex 25-40," Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 89, no. 1 (1977): 375-87; and Joseph Blenkinsopp, "Structure of P," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 38, no. 3 (1976): 275-92.
(9.) Scholars have long noted the preponderance of the number seven, and its multiples, within Genesis 1:1-2:3: from the number of words in a single verse (e.g. 1:1 and 1:2) to the repetition of specific words (e.g. 'elohim "God" and 'eres. "earth") to the repetition of specific phrases (e.g. ki-tob "it was good," with a special emphasis the seventh time it is written: wehineh-tob mod "and it was very good"). Umberto Cassuto probably pushes this line of reasoning too far. See his extensive discussion in U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis Part I: From Adam to Noah: Genesis I-VI, trans. Israel Abrahams (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1961 ), 13-15. See also Jon D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil:The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988), 67-68. Levenson, although critical of Cassuto here, concedes the basic point concerning Genesis 1:1-2:3's structure based on the number seven.
(10.) Johann Cook, "The Septuagint of Genesis: Text and/or Interpretation?" in Studies in the Book of Genesis, ed. Wenin, 317-18 and 320; and Wenham, Genesis 1-15, 6.
(11.) Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam: Liturgical Anthropology in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2002), 23, 63, 76; and Jon D. Levenson, Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (Minneapolis: Winston Press, 1985), 142-43.
(12.) Weinfeld, "Sabbath, Temple and Enthronement," 503. When it comes to the heptadic pattern of the account of the building of the tabernacle, Scott Hahn mentions that "in the Sinai covenant we see an obvious recapitulation of the heptadic patterning of Genesis 1. God's glory covers Sinai for six days and on the seventh he calls Moses from the cloud of his glory (Exo 24:16). The divine blueprint for the Tabernacle is given in a series of seven divine addresses. The instructions for the making of the priests' vestments are punctuated by seven affirmations of Moses' obedience to God's command. The Tabernacle is built according to divine command and seven times we are told that Moses did 'as the Lord had commanded him.'" Scott W. Hahn, "Christ, Kingdom, and Creation: Davidic Christology and Ecclesiology in Luke-Acts," Letter & Spirit 3 (2007): 124.
(13.) Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory, 76-77.
(14.) Silviu N. Bunta, "Yhwh's Cultic Statue after 597/586 B.C.E.: A Linguistic and Theological Reinterpretation of Ezekiel 28:12," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 69, no. 2 (2007): 234; and Jon D. Levenson, "The Temple and the World," Journal of Religion 64, no. 3 (1984): 286-89. For parallels between the accounts of the tabernacle construction in Exodus and the Temple construction in 1 Kings see especially Victor Hurowitz, I Have Built You an Exalted House: Temple Building in the Bible in Light of Mesopotamian and Northwest Semitic Writings (Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1992); and Victor (Avigdor) Hurowitz, "The Priestly Account of Building the Tabernacle," Journal of the American Oriental Society 105, no. 1 (1985): 23-25.
(15.) Levenson, "Temple and the World," 286-89; and Jon D. Levenson, "The Paronomasia of Solomon's Seventh Petition," Hebrew Annual Review 6 (1982): 131-35.
(16.) Richard E. Averbeck, "Sumer, the Bible, and Comparative Method: Historiography and Temple Building," in Mesopotamia and the Bible: Comparative Explorations, ed. Mark W. Chavalas and K. Lawson Younger, Jr., 88-125 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2002), 89, 95-96, 116, 118-21; Rikki E. Watts, "On the Edge of the Millennium: Making Sense of Genesis 1," in Living in the Lamblight: Christianity and Contemporary Challenges to the Gospel, ed. Hans Boersma, 129-51 (Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 2001), 145, 146, 148; Richard E. Averbeck, "Ritual Formula, Textual Frame, and Thematic Echo in the Cylinders of Gudea," in Crossing Boundaries and Linking Horizons: Studies in Honor of Michael C. Astour on His 80th Birthday, ed. Gordon D. Young, Mark W. Chavalas, Richard E. Averbeck, 37-93 (Bethesda: CDL Press, 1997), 37, 51-54, 51 n. 46, 54 n. 50, 64-66, 64 n. 71; and Bernd Janowski, Gottes Gegenwart in Israel: Beitrage zur Theologie des Alten Testaments (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1993), especially the chapter entitled, "Tempel und Schopfung: Schopfungstheologische Aspekte der priesterschriftlichen Heiligtums Konzeption," 214-46. Loren Fisher has commented further on the connection between the number seven and ancient Near Eastern temple building projects, Loren R. Fisher, "Temple Quarter," Journal of Semitic Studies 8 (1963): 40-41. See also Hurowitz, Exalted House, 288 n. 1 and 296 n. 1.
(17.) John Bergsma, "Cultic Kingdoms in Conflict in the Book of Daniel," Letter & Spirit 5 (2009): 55. See also Watts, "Edge of the Millennium," 139; James K. Hoffmeier, "Sacred" in the Vocabulary of Ancient Egypt (Freiburg, Germany: Universitats Verlag and Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985), 171-77; and James K. Hoffmeier, "Some Thoughts on Genesis 1 and 2 and Egyptian Cosmology," Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 15 (1983): 46.
(18.) Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 1-15 (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987), 64, 86; and Gordon J. Wenham, "Sanctuary Symbolism in the Garden of Eden Story," in Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Division A: The Period of the Bible, 19-25 (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1986).
(19.) Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, "Solomon's Temple: The Politics of Ritual Space," in Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, ed. Barry M. Gittlen, 83-94 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 85, 87-88. Cherubim imagery abounds in priestly contexts. Not only do we find them carved on the ark of the covenant and in the Temple's inner sanctuary, but they are also artistically depicted on the curtains within the Tabernacle (Ex 26:31; 36:8, and 35) and in the Temple we even find them carved on the walls of various rooms as well as on the inner sanctuary's doors and on the panels of moveable stands (1 Kgs 6:29, 32, 35; 7:29, and 36).
(20.) Bernard Gosse, "Les traditions sur Abraham et sur le jardin d'Eden en rapport avec Is 51, 2-3 et avec le livre d'Ezechiel," in Studies in the Book of Genesis, ed. Wenin, 424-26; Dexter E. Callender, Jr., Adam in Myth and History: Ancient Israelite Perspectives on the Primal Human (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000), 89, 100-103, 132, 210; Lawrence E. Stager, "Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden," in Eretz-Israel: Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Studies: Volume Twenty Six: Frank Moore Cross Volume, ed. Baruch A. Levine, Philip J. King, Joseph Naveh, and Ephraim Stern, 183-94 (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society with Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion, 1999); Martha Himmelfarb, "The Temple and the Garden of Eden in Ezekiel, the Book of Watchers, and the Wisdom of ben Sira," in Sacred Places and Profane Spaces: Essays in the Geographics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, ed. Jamie Scott and Paul Simpson-Housley, 63-78 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991), 63, 65-66, 75; and Jon D. Levenson, Theology of the Program of Restoration of Ezekiel 40-48 (Cambridge, MA: Scholars Press for the Harvard Semitics Museum, 1976), 21-36.
(21.) Jonathan Ben-Dov, Head of AllYears: Astronomy and Calendars at Qumran in their Ancient Context (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2008), 204-05; Stephen Hultgren, From the Damascus Covenant to the Covenant of the Community: Literary, Historical, and Theological Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2007), 492 n. 67; G. K. Beale, The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God (Downers Grove, IL: Apollos, 2004), 67, 67 n. 90-91; Gary A. Anderson, The Genesis of Perfection: Adam and Eve in Jewish and Christian Imagination (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), 46-50, 56-57, 61-62, 122; Michael D. Swartz, "Ritual about Myth about Ritual: Towards an Understanding of the Avodah in the Rabbinic Period," Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 6 (1997): 135-55; Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, "'Who Is the King of Glory?' Solomon's Temple and Its Symbolism," in Scripture and Other Artifacts: Essays on the Bible and Archaeology in Honor of Philip J. King, ed. Michael D. Coogan, J. Cheryl Exum, and Lawrence E. Stager, 18-31 (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1994); Stager, "Jerusalem and the Garden," 183-94; and Michael Owen Wise, "4QFlorilegium and the Temple of Adam," Revue de Qumran 15 (1991): 126-32. For the Wirkungsgeschichte of this tradition within other Jewish (and also Christian) interpretive traditions, see, for example,Targum Neofiti of Genesis 2:15, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan of Genesis 2:7, Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer 11 and 12, and Breshit Rabbah of Genesis 14:8. Hahn explains that "the link between the Temple and creation is manifested also in various Edenic motifs associated with the Temple.... Eden was atop a mountain ... and characterized by abundant gold, precious gems ... flowering trees, and cherubim. Most of these elements are incorporated by Solomon into the design and decoration of the Temple. ... The sacred river that flows from Eden ... is later associated with Mount Zion, site of the Temple." Hahn, "Christ, Kingdom, and Creation," 126.
(22.) Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis, "Jesus as the High Priestly Messiah: Part 1," Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 4, no. 2 (2006): 165 n. 38.
(23.) For a reading of Adam and Eve as cosmic priests on earth, see David W. Fagerberg, "Divine Liturgy, Divine Love:Toward a New Understanding of Sacrifice in Christian Worship," Letter & Spirit 3 (2007): 108. For parallels between Adam's royal role and the later reign of King David, see Hahn, "Christ, Kingdom, and Creation," 127-28. Earlier Hahn explains that "Adam is portrayed in biblical texts as king over all creation, and similar language and imagery is also applied to David" (122).
(24.) Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis, "Jesus as the High Priestly Messiah: Part 2," Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 5, no. 1 (2007): 76; Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis, "God's Image, His Cosmic Temple and the High Priest: Towards an Historical and Theological Account of the Incarnation," in Heaven on Earth: The Temple in Biblical Theology, ed. T. Desmond Alexander and Simon Gathercole, 81-99 (Carlisle, UK: Paternoster Press, 2004). In his essay, "The Temple Cosmology of P and Theological Anthropology in the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira," in Of Scribes and Sages: Early Jewish Interpretation and Transmission of Scripture, ed. Craig A. Evans, 69-113 (London: T & T Clark, 2004), Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis shows how Aaron's responsibilities with the menorah for the Tamid offering (Ex 27:20-21 and 30:7-8) parallel God's role in creation (Gn 1:3-5). Moreover, as Brant Pitre shows, the Jewish high priest was understood within second temple Judaism as embodying both the temple itself and the entire created cosmos, which was symbolized in the priest's liturgical vestments. Pitre, "Jesus, the New Temple," 61.
(25.) David W. Fagerberg, "Liturgical Asceticism: Enlarging our Grammar of Liturgy," Pro Ecclesia 13, no. 2 (2004): 208. Writing further on the same page, Fagerberg explains, "God expelled us from the environs of the tree of life lest we be eternally disfigured."
(26.) Marc Vervenne, "Genesis 1, 1-2, 4: The Compositional Texture of the Priestly Overture to the Pentateuch," in Studies in the Book of Genesis, ed. Wenin, 48.
(27.) Weinfeld, "Sabbath, Temple and Enthronement," 508-10.
(28.) Ben-Dov, Head of All Years, 204; Janowski, Gottes Gegenwart in Israel, 214-46; and Levenson, "Temple and the World," 283-84. See also Gregory Beale's comments regarding the correspondence of the regions in the Edenic narrative with specific regions of the Temple in Beale, Temple and the Church's Mission, 74-75.
(29.) Hahn, "Christ, Kingdom, and Creation," 125. Continuing further on the same page, he writes, "The same heptadic patterning of the Tabernacle construction narrative is recapitulated in the building of Solomon's Temple ... now the Temple of the Davidic covenant recapitulated ... [creation]. The Temple is a microcosm of creation, the creation a macro-temple." On the connection between Genesis 1-3 and the later tabernacle and temple, see Hahn, "Christ, Kingdom, and Creation," 122-28; Hahn, "Canon, Cult and Covenant," 213-15; and Hahn, "Worship in the Word," 106-10.
(30.) Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory, 63.
(31.) Jeffrey L. Morrow, "The Bible in Captivity: Hobbes, Spinoza and the Politics of Defining Religion," Pro Ecclesia 19, no. 3 (2010): 289-91.
(32.) See Brevard S. Childs, "The Canon in Recent Biblical Studies: Reflections on an Era," in Canon and Biblical Interpretation, ed. Bartholomew, Hahn, Parry, Seitz and Wolters, 33-57; and Brevard S. Childs, Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985). See Pope Benedict XVI's comments: "The individual writings [Schrifte] of the Bible point somehow to the living process that shapes the one Scripture [Schrift]. Indeed, the realization of this last point some thirty years ago led American scholars to develop the project of 'canonical exegesis.'" Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, trans. Adrian J. Walker (New York: Doubleday, 2007), xviii, as well as the rest of his comments concerning canonical exegesis through page xix.
(33.) Pontifical Biblical Commission, "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church" (1993), in The Scripture Documents: An Anthology of Official Catholic Teachings, ed. and trans. Dean P. Bechard, SJ, with a foreword by Joseph A. Fitzmyer, SJ, 244-317 (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002), [section] IC1.
(34.) See Lee M. McDonald, "Identifying Scripture and Canon in the Early Church: The Criteria Question," in The Canon Debate, ed. Lee Martin McDonald and James A. Sanders, 416-39 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 420, 423, 432-34, 439; and James A. Sanders, From Sacred Story to Sacred Text (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), 162.
(35.) Peter van der Coelen, "Pictures for the People?: Bible Illustrations and their Audience," in Lay Bibles in Europe 1450-1800, ed. M. Lamberigts and A. A. den Hollander, 185-205 (Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press and Peeters, 2006).
(36.) Peter M. Candler, Jr., Theology, Rhetoric, Manuduction, Or Reading Scripture Together on the Path to God (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 7, 152-55, 162; Denys Turner, Eros and Allegory: Medieval Exegesis of the Song of Songs (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1995), 162; and Ivan Illich, In the Vineyard of the Text: A Commentary to Hugh's Didascalicon (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 82. For a more detailed discussion on how this played out in medieval monasteries and the schools, see Jean Leclercq's classic study, L'Amour des lettres et le desir de Dieu: Initiation aux auteurs monastiques du moyen age (Paris: Cerf, 1957).
(37.) Talal Asad, Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003), 37-38.
(38.) Robert Louis Wilken, "Allegory and the Interpretation of the Old Testament in the 21st Century," Letter & Spirit 1 (2005): 15; and Robert Louis Wilken, "In Dominico Eloquio: Learning the Lord's Style of Language," Communio 24 (Winter 1997): 849. For an example of how this worked in the early church, see chapters 2 and 3 of Robert Louis Wilken, The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (New Haven, CT:Yale University Press, 2003).
(39.) Fagerberg, "Theologia Prima," 57. On the same page he writes, "In the liturgy we do what the angels do, namely, lose ourselves in a joy that erupts in praise."
(40.) Here I am echoing the call for such a liturgical hermeneutic voiced in Hahn, "Worship in the Word," 101-36; and Hahn, "Canon, Cult and Covenant," 207-35. In addition to mystagogy, Hahn emphasizes the importance of the divine economy and typology ("Worship in the Word," 130-35; and "Canon, Cult and Covenant," 226-29). On mystagogy in its relation to theology (including biblical exegesis), see especially Enrico Mazza, La mistagogia: una teologia della liturgia in epoca patristica (Rome: C.L.V.-Edizioni liturgiche, 1988); and Hieromonk Alexander (Golitzin), Et Introibo Ad Altare Dei: The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita, with Special Reference to Its Predecessors in the Eastern Tradition (Thessaloniki, Greece: Patriachikon Idryma Paterikon Meleton, 1994). See also the important work by Jean Corbon, Liturgie de source (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1980). On the Christian mysteries, see especially Matthias Joseph Scheeben, Die Mysterien des Christentums: Wesen Bedeutung und Zusammenhang derselben nach der in ihrem ubernaturlichen Charakter gegebenen Perspektive dargestellt (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 1941).
(41.) See the very helpful discussion, which is an examination of Jesus's conversation with Nicodemus (Jn 3:1-21), in Scott W. Hahn, "Temple, Sign, and Sacrament: Towards a New Perspective on the Gospel of John," Letter & Spirit 4 (2008): 115-20. Hahn writes that "this form of pedagogy from the 'earthly' to 'heavenly' may aptly be described by the Church's term 'mystagogy.' In particular, in the Nicodemus dialogue there is a mystagogy that leads from the signs that Jesus performs to the activity of the Spirit in the sacraments--in this case, the sacrament of baptism" (120).
(42.) Norman P. Tanner, SJ, ed., Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils Volume Two:Trent to Vatican II (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1990). Indeed, Dei Verbum no. 23 even encourages the study of the sacred liturgies within the context of biblical interpretation and of the role of Scripture in the Church's life.
(43.) Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005 ).
(44.) Ibid., 22. Earlier he writes, "The Sabbath is not for the sake of the weekdays; the weekdays are for the sake of the Sabbath" (14).
(45.) See Pope John Paul II, Dies Domini (1998), http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_05071998_dies-domini_en.html. He explains, "When its significance and implications are understood in their entirety, Sunday in a way becomes a synthesis of the Christian life and a condition for living it well" (81).
(46.) Ibid., 83.This is because, as he writes earlier in the same apostolic letter, "The grace flowing from this wellspring [the Eucharist] renews mankind, life and history" (81).
(47.) See Ibid., 67, where he notes, "Through Sunday rest, daily concerns and tasks can find their proper perspective: the material things about which we worry give way to spiritual values."
(48.) Hahn, "Canon, Cult and Covenant," 229.
(49.) On Pope Benedict's exegesis, see Scott W. Hahn, Covenant and Communion:The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2009); Frederic Raurell, "Metode d'aproximacio de la Biblia en el Jesus de Natzaret de Joseph Ratzinger/Benet XVI," Revista Catalana de Teologia 32, no. 2 (2007): 435-58; Scott W. Hahn, "At the School of Truth: The Ecclesial Character of Theology and Exegesis in the Thought of Benedict XVI," in The Bible and the University, ed. David Lyle Jeffrey and C. Stephen Evans, 80-115 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007); Scott W. Hahn, "The Hermeneutic of Faith: Pope Benedict XVI on Scripture, Liturgy, and Church," The Incarnate Word 1, no. 3 (2007): 415-40; and Scott W. Hahn, "The Authority of Mystery: The Biblical Theology of Benedict XVI," Letter & Spirit 2 (2006): 97-140.
(50.) Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010), 52-72. Pope Benedict states that "the liturgy is the privileged setting in which God speaks to us in the midst of our lives" (52).
(51.) Ibid., 52.
(52.) This memorial has been optional since 1969.
(53.) Luke Timothy Johnson, "What's Catholic About Catholic Biblical Scholarship?" in The Future of Catholic Biblical Scholarship: A Constructive Conversation, by Luke Timothy Johnson and William S. Kurz, SJ, 3-34 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002), 6.
(54.) Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, 52.
(55.) Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos (1989), http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_15081989_redemptoris-custos_en.html, 22: "In our own day, the Church has emphasized this by instituting the liturgical memorial of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1. Human work, especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel."
(56.) The first reading instead may be taken from Colossians 3:14-15, 17, 23-24.
(57.) The translation here is taken from the NAB.
(58.) Heschel, Sabbath, 27. See also the comments in Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens (1981), http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_14091981_laborem-exercens_en.html, "Man's work is a participation in God's activity" (25). Earlier in the same encyclical, John Paul II explains, "Since work in its subjective aspect is always a personal action, an actus personae, it follows that the whole person, body and spirit, participates in it, whether it is manual or intellectual work... an inner effort on the part of the human spirit, guided by faith, hope and charity, is needed in order that through these points the work of the individual human may be given the meaning which it has in the eyes of God and by means of which work enters into the salvation process on a par with the other ordinary yet particularly important components of its texture" (24).
(59.) See John Paul II's comments regarding St. Joseph's role in being Jesus's father: "The growth of Jesus 'in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man' (Lk 2:52) took place within the Holy Family under the eyes of Joseph, who had the important task of 'raising' Jesus, that is, feeding, clothing and educating him in the Law and in a trade, in keeping with the duties of a father" (Redemptoris Custos, 16).
(60.) Ibid., 22.
(61.) Ibid. In the same section, he elaborates, "Along with the humanity of the Son of God, work too has been taken up in the mystery of the Incarnation, and has also been redeemed in a special way."
(62.) St. Josemaria Escriva, "In Joseph's Workshop" (homily, March 19, 1963), in Christ Is Passing By, 72-88 (Princeton, NJ: Scepter, 2002 ), 88.
(63.) See the insightful comments in Federico Suarez, Joseph of Nazareth (Princeton, NJ: Scepter, 2004 ), 13: St. Joseph "is more appropriately to be included in the long and less colorful list of men and women who, if by some accident they happen to be noticed at all, will hardly incline an observer to give them a second glance. ... Joseph passes through the Gospel without our hearing him utter so much as a single word."
(64.) Ibid., 19.
(65.) John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, no. 24. Writing earlier, he explains that "work was the daily expression of love in the life of the Family of Nazareth. ... If the Family of Nazareth is an example and a model for human families, in the order of salvation and holiness, so too, by analogy, is Jesus' work at the side of Joseph the carpenter" (22). In his encyclical Laborem Exercens, John Paul II explains further that Jesus "looks with love upon human work and the different forms that it takes, seeing in each one of these forms a particular facet of man's likeness with God, the Creator and Father" (26). This work becomes redemptive also by uniting the suffering involved with work after the Fall with Christ's work of redemption on the cross: "By enduring the toil of work in union with Christ crucified for us, man in a way collaborates with the Son of God for the redemption of humanity. He shows himself a true disciple of Christ by carrying the cross in his turn every day in the activity that he is called upon to perform. ... The Christian finds in human work a small part of the Cross of Christ and accepts it in the same spirit of redemption in which Christ accepted his Cross for us. In work, thanks to the light that penetrates us from the Resurrection of Christ, we always find a glimmer of new life, of the new good, as if it were an announcement of 'the new heavens and the new earth' in which man and the world participate precisely through the toil that goes with work" (27).
(66.) Wilken, Spirit of Early Christian Thought, 36.
(67.) I wish to thank Maria Morrow and Biff Rocha for critiquing drafts of this article. I owe thanks to Scott Hahn, John Bergsma, and Silviu Bunta for many fruitful conversations concerning the material in this article.
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|Publication:||Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2012|
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