Friday, May 27, 2011

Seal of Melchizedek - Eight-Pointed Star

May 27, 2011
Last updated October 9, 2011
by Tim Barker

In my initial posting on the Seal of Melchizedek, I noted that this symbol has been gaining popularity in LDS culture.  The eight-pointed star was illustrated in Hugh Nibley's book Temple and Cosmos, and was discussed by Bryce Haymond in his blog with respect to its connection with the architectural design of the San Diego Temple.  Nibley's book includes an illustration by Michael Lyon of a mosaic in St. Apollinare in Classe, in Ravenna, Italy, wherein the above symbol is located on the front of the altar cloth.  I discussed this mosaic and the symbol in terms of Christological symbolism.  I also cited the apocryphal Book of the Secrets of Enoch, noting that Melchizedek was purportedly born with the "seal of the priesthood" upon his chest, following which; I discussed the connection of the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God with the Melchizedek Priesthood.  I then pointed out that the mosaic in St. Apollinare in Classe, as well as the mosaic of Melchizedek and Abel in the Basilica of St. Vitale, both lend themselves towards being a temple setting.  Additionally, I pointed out that Freemason Henry P.H. Bromwell identified an eight-pointed star connected with the 47th problem of Euclid as the "signet of Melchizedek."  Additionally, I briefly noted the connection between the six-pointed star and Melchizedek.  Lastly, I stated that each of these elements come together within the temple.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Margaret Barker on Melchizedek

May 16, 2011 (updated June 21, 2011)
by Tim Barker

"Melchizedek arrayed in his royal robes"1

For those unacquainted with Margaret Barker and her contributions to Biblical studies (primarily on the Jerusalem Temple and Christian liturgy), a brief biography and curriculum vitae is provided.  Margaret Barker is a British scholar who studied theology at the University of Cambridge, a former President of the Society for Old Testament Study, a Research Fellow of the University of Wales, awarded "Doctor of Divinity" in 2008 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, a Methodist preacher, and author of 14 books and numerous papers.  She is known for developing an approach for studying ancient Christianity known as "Temple Theology."2  Her books include the following titles: The Older Testament, The Lost Prophet, The Gate of Heaven, The Great Angel, On Earth as it is in Heaven, The Risen Lord, Commentary on Isaiah, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, The Great High Priest, Temple Theology, An Extraordinary Gathering of Angels, The Hidden Tradition of the Kingdom, Temple Themes in Christian Worship, Christmas: the Original Story, and Creation: A Biblical Vision for the Environment.