In my last post, Mike Parker pointed to for some good temple-related resources for Latter-day Saints. Interestingly, just moments before I had added a link from that site on my LDSFAQ page about LDS Temples. The link was to an interesting article by John Lundquist - more on that later.

The book that may have helped me most appreciate and enjoy the LDS temple was actually written by a Jewish scholar. The book Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (Minneapolis: Winston Press, 1985) was written Jon D. Levenson who was at the University of Chicago at the time, but now is at Harvard. I read his book while finishing graduate school at BYU over 20 years ago. On page after page, I encountered what seemed to be possible evidence that ancient Temple practices - covenant making, symbols, meanings, themes - had been restored to some degree in the modern LDS Temple.

Levenson's book is out of print, sadly, but a related summary of information about the ancient Middle Eastern temple concept is available online in John M. Lundquist's scholarly article, "What Is a Temple? A Preliminary Typology" (PDF link), originally printed in H. B. Huffman, F. A. Spina, and A. R. W. Green, eds., The Quest for the Kingdom of God: Studies in Honor of George E. Mendenhall (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 1983), which was republished in Temples of the Ancient World, ed. by Donald W. Parry and Stephen D. Ricks (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1994, pp. 83-118). While Lundquist's article is not explicitly about the LDS Temple, those familiar with LDS temples may see fascinating evidence for ancient roots. Really, a tremendously exciting paper - at least for some of amateur LDS apologist geeks ("apologeeks?").
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