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High Priests temple garb and Ephesians 6


mercyngrace

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Please pardon me if this is a really stupid question or if this is common knowledge that I just missed out on... but I was reading Ephesians 6 tonight and suddenly I started to wonder if Paul's description of armour was actually a description of the priestly garments described in Exodus. It's possible I read this somewhere but if so I just can't remember.

Here's what Paul wrote:

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Here's what I saw in my mind: (from Exodus 29)

girdle of truth----------------------------------------------------curious girdle of the ephod

breastplate of righteousness-----------------------------------breastplate with the urim and thummim

feet shod with the gospel of peace---------------------------bare, washed feet (Exodus 30:18-21)

shield of faith------------------------------------------------------coat or robe of the ephod

helmet of salvation-----------------------------------------------mitre

sword of the Spirit or word of God---------------------------the knife used for shechita (representing the atonement?)

Is there anything other than my imagination to suggest this is a possibility?

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I always thought this was obvious.

Perhaps a non-Mormon [or RCC] Christian who doesn't like temples could opine.

There's a lot of stuff about this in the European knightly literature. Gawain and the Green Knight has a great take on this, as the Green Knight's wife "disarms" Gawain, taking off all of those protections.

RC Priesthood rituals are very much in this vein as well. I'm hardly an expert, but what I've read about it, the vestments very much hearken back to OT temple themes.

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I always thought this was obvious.

Really? I'm fairly sure I've never heard this before. I even checked the Institute Manuals and ran some searches at lds.org and come up with nothing. I guess all those lessons in SS and seminary that depict Paul's armor as something Roman just framed my thinking and I didn't give it much thought beyond that.

Perhaps a non-Mormon [or RCC] Christian who doesn't like temples could opine.

There's a lot of stuff about this in the European knightly literature. Gawain and the Green Knight has a great take on this, as the Green Knight's wife "disarms" Gawain, taking off all of those protections.

RC Priesthood rituals are very much in this vein as well. I'm hardly an expert, but what I've read about it, the vestments very much hearken back to OT temple themes.

The medieval knight symbolism I've heard of before and it's been used to represent religious themes in literature so that one I'm more familiar with.

All very interesting.

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If you can, show me something that will open this high grade steel gated closed mind of mine. Like I said, your hypothesis sounds kinda fun

I wish I could show you something that would support my idea :P That's why I posted it here to see if anyone else had ever thought if it this way or read anything suggesting it... It was just a thought that popped into my head while I was reading last night. Probably because I have been studying Exodus lately. And like you said "sounds kinda fun" ;)

Like you, I have always understood Ephesians to be describing Roman soldiers and that imagery fits perfectly, as you pointed out.

Wouldn't it be fun to teach using Paul's imagery but discussing the power of the priestly robes to battle the powers of darkness and withstand the evils of the day?

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Please pardon me if this is a really stupid question or if this is common knowledge that I just missed out on... but I was reading Ephesians 6 tonight and suddenly I started to wonder if Paul's description of armour was actually a description of the priestly garments described in Exodus. It's possible I read this somewhere but if so I just can't remember.

Here's what Paul wrote:

Here's what I saw in my mind: (from Exodus 29)

girdle of truth----------------------------------------------------curious girdle of the ephod

breastplate of righteousness-----------------------------------breastplate with the urim and thummim

feet shod with the gospel of peace---------------------------bare, washed feet (Exodus 30:18-21)

shield of faith------------------------------------------------------coat or robe of the ephod

helmet of salvation-----------------------------------------------mitre

sword of the Spirit or word of God---------------------------the knife used for shechita (representing the atonement?)

Is there anything other than my imagination to suggest this is a possibility?

Good morning MnG,

The things that make you go " Hmmmmmmmmmmm " !!

I have little to add but pretty interesting stuff indeed ( Thanks for sharing )

Peace,

Ceeboo

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The armor of God is really the armor of God. He is a divine warrior and God's armor is described in several places in the Old Testament. For example, the Lord is described this way:

"For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke." Isaiah 59:17

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The armor of God is really the armor of God. He is a divine warrior and God's armor is described in several places in the Old Testament. For example, the Lord is described this way:

"For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke." Isaiah 59:17

You betcha he is a Warrior.

Ex. 15: 3

3 The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

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Sorry to be a party pooper, but I just don't envision pious High Priests wearing army boots and carrying shields and swords with helmets on their heads dodging arrows. :P It does seem like a perfect analogy to compare spiritual warfare with military combat (which those people would have been very familiar with.) Ephesus was an absolutely enormous city at the time--probably close to half a million people so I imagine there was a very large military presence there and it would have been a powerful object lesson to people just learning about their spiritual relationship to a single God.

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Sorry to be a party pooper, but I just don't envision pious High Priests wearing army boots and carrying shields and swords with helmets on their heads dodging arrows. :P It does seem like a perfect analogy to compare spiritual warfare with military combat (which those people would have been very familiar with.) Ephesus was an absolutely enormous city at the time--probably close to half a million people so I imagine there was a very large military presence there and it would have been a powerful object lesson to people just learning about their spiritual relationship to a single God.

You really should check out the War Rule from Qumran

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I checked this out a bit once. We do have a control text in the Septuagint for Greek vocabulary. IIRC Pauline terminology in this passage is martial (based on Isaiah as noted above), and not derived from the Greek vocabulary of priestly attire.

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I checked this out a bit once. We do have a control text in the Septuagint for Greek vocabulary. IIRC Pauline terminology in this passage is martial (based on Isaiah as noted above), and not derived from the Greek vocabulary of priestly attire.

I think the consensus has always been that Paul's description is just as you suggest. And realistically, you could probably make comparisons to symbolic temple garb and any number of 'uniforms'.

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I think the consensus has always been that Paul's description is just as you suggest. And realistically, you could probably make comparisons to symbolic temple garb and any number of 'uniforms'.

Potential chicken/egg thing here, IMO. Battle dress is simply stylized and specialized and adapted regular dress, but with ritual significance related to temple cultus. I wish I could remember where I read the treatment comparing the knightly ritual battle dress with RC vestment, tying both to the OT temple garb, which both derive from.

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I always thought this was obvious.

Perhaps a non-Mormon [or RCC] Christian who doesn't like temples could opine.

An assumption that no RCC I know would agree with.

I have understood it as comparing to Roman soldiers, and also using the language of Isaiah 11:5, Isaiah 59:16-17 and Wisdom 5:17-23. I know LDS don't use Wisdom, so here is the passage:

17 He shall take his zeal for armor and he shall arm creation to requite the enemy; 18 He shall don justice for a breastplate and shall wear sure judgment for a helmet; 19 He shall take invincible rectitude as a shield 20 and whet his sudden anger for a sword, And the universe shall war with him against the foolhardy. 21 Well-aimed shafts of lightnings shall go forth and from the clouds as from a well-drawn bow shall leap to the mark; 22 and as from his sling, wrathful hailstones shall be hurled. The water of the sea shall be enraged against them and the streams shall abruptly overflow; 23 A mighty wind shall confront them and a tempest winnow them out; Thus lawlessness shall lay the whole earth waste and evildoing overturn the thrones of potentates.

RC Priesthood rituals are very much in this vein as well. I'm hardly an expert, but what I've read about it, the vestments very much hearken back to OT temple themes.

Vestments of the Latin Rite developed from the secular dress of the Graeco-Roman world.

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An assumption that no RCC I know would agree with.

I have understood it as comparing to Roman soldiers, and also using the language of Isaiah 11:5, Isaiah 59:16-17 and Wisdom 5:17-23. I know LDS don't use Wisdom, so here is the passage:

17 He shall take his zeal for armor and he shall arm creation to requite the enemy; 18 He shall don justice for a breastplate and shall wear sure judgment for a helmet; 19 He shall take invincible rectitude as a shield 20 and whet his sudden anger for a sword, And the universe shall war with him against the foolhardy. 21 Well-aimed shafts of lightnings shall go forth and from the clouds as from a well-drawn bow shall leap to the mark; 22 and as from his sling, wrathful hailstones shall be hurled. The water of the sea shall be enraged against them and the streams shall abruptly overflow; 23 A mighty wind shall confront them and a tempest winnow them out; Thus lawlessness shall lay the whole earth waste and evildoing overturn the thrones of potentates.

Vestments of the Latin Rite developed from the secular dress of the Graeco-Roman world.

I disagree. And I wish I could find the following reference online and in full, as I don't have it in hard copy, but here's a summary with reference:

"The Catholic Liturgy and the Mormon Temple" by Marcus von Wellnitz in BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1, Winter 1981, pp. 3-35. Wellnitz shows that a variety of elements in ancient Catholic rites and architecture are shared with the LDS Temple. Tracing Catholic concepts to early Christian and ancient Jewish concepts provides meaningful insights into related LDS concepts. For example, rituals of washing and anointing were important, and the oil was applied to specific regions in a specific order with blessings being spoken that all reverbates remarkably well with the modern LDS Temple. (See especially pages 10 and 11 of Wellnitz.) Then, after application of water and oil, the Christian would receive a new white garment.

Other aspects of Catholic rites discussed by Wellnitz include:

* the giving of new names to those entering monasteries

* the ancient practice of keeping men and women separate in the church, just as they were kept separate in the temple at Jerusalem

* the use of a veil or covering for women's heads

* the atrium of the church as a symbol of paradise or the garden of Eden

* the porter at the door of the chapel in the primitive church to ensure that only worthy persons entered

* details of ritual clothing and related symbolism

* altars and veils in church buildings

* the use of the All-seeing Eye as a symbol in Renaissance and Baroque churches (shown in photographs of two old churches in Germany)

* the raising of the hands of the priest done anciently

* the hand symbol of a hollowed palm in the left hand when approaching the altar (see Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 23:21-22)

* the prayer offered for the church and the world by the priest which was repeated by the congregation, praying for names of people written on folded parchments (diptychs), especially for those who were ill or needed special consideration

* the ritual embrace and "kiss of peace" to welcome the initiate into the community

* ritual knocking (three times) with a hammer on the portal of a door, now acted out in the ritual of the Porta Santa at St. Peter in Rome, representing entry of the children of God into the presence of the Lord.

This isn't what I was trying to remember, but it does deal with some of the same material.

We share a lot with our RCC cousins: the vestments and other ritual clothing definitely hearken back to the ancient Temple.

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I disagree. And I wish I could find the following reference online and in full, as I don't have it in hard copy, but here's a summary with reference:

This isn't what I was trying to remember, but it does deal with some of the same material.

We share a lot with our RCC cousins: the vestments and other ritual clothing definitely hearken back to the ancient Temple.

I agree, the form of Mass has the same form of Jewish temple worship. Most especially in our Liturgy of the Word. However, the topic was vestments in particular. For the first 400 years or so of the Church, people wore their regular clothes to Mass, including the priests. Early writings show people chose the best clothes they had, but there was no special clothing beyond that.

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For the first 400 years or so of the Church, people wore their regular clothes to Mass, including the priests. Early writings show people chose the best clothes they had, but there was no special clothing beyond that.

And this differs from current (and historical) LDS practice in what, exactly? Why did the priests start vamping up their wardrobes to lord it over the people they were supposed to be serving?

Lehi

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And this differs from current (and historical) LDS practice in what, exactly? Why did the priests start vamping up their wardrobes to lord it over the people they were supposed to be serving?

Lehi

Interesting, we go from how LDS temple attire is similar to Roman Catholic priests to this.

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Interesting, we go from how LDS temple attire is similar to Roman Catholic priests to this.

I agree . . . the issue is off-topic and shouldn't be pursued here . . . or even in its own thread.

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