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June 2, 2010


The Tabernacle… in rural Norfolk!

by quaesitor

Staying with the folks in Norfolk again for half term. In a nearby village, a friend of theirs (Lorie Lain-Rogers – see below) is part of a group (Call2Prayer) that has set up a 1:1 scale reconstruction of the OT Tabernacle. I don’t know much about this group, but recreating the Tabernacle is a fascinating idea. It travels the country apparently – so I suppose you can book it if you want to.

They’ve tried to do everything as authentically and faithfully as possible (from the clear and explicit instructions in the Pentateuch) – though I’m not 100% clear about whether or not the original had provisions for parking

Most striking to me was its size – despite not being in a desert but enjoying glorious Norfolk sunshine in a fabulous garden, one could well imagine the tribal elders gathering in the space within the linen walls. Anyway, here are a few pics – click to get to the rest…

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. An amazing initiative! (& I grew up in Norfolk, a wonderful county). Perhaps it should make an appearance at the CRE exhibition next year…

  2. Stephen Gutmann
    Jun 4 2010

    The pictures do show a remarkably well made lifesize model of the Tabernacle, for which I congratulate the creators. However, I wad more than a little perturbed to see the large wooden cross in one of the pictures. Yes I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour, and He is also the Messiah of Israel. I am Jewish by descent, and I did not lose that by embracing Yeshua, and becoming a Minister within a Gentilized denomination! The Cross belongd in a separate place, perhaps where the New Testament interpretation and fulfilment are set out. If the organizers of this Tabernacle are going to welcome Jewish neighbours, friends, or even relatives, may I suggest this course of action. Otherwise the Cross placed in the setting of a model re-construction of the Tabernacle will cause unnecessary offence to Jewish people, the very ones G-d instructed through Moshe His prophet to build the Tabernacle. And I include Jewish believers in Jesus in that statement!

  3. Stephen Gutmann
    Jun 4 2010

    For “wad” please read “was” and for “belongd” please read “belongs.”

  4. Gerald Barlow
    Jun 6 2010

    i agree with Stephen above – biggest question is what is this for exactly and how is it to be used……
    Apart from anything a great initiative and a very great effort. Be nice to read or hear the rationale for how each item was interpreted and thus constructed – just a comment from the view of the Ark of the covenant but i suspect would apply to everything generally.

  5. Nick
    Jun 7 2010

    You say you don’t think the tabernacle had provisions for parking, but I disagree. The Bible often refers to Israel’s triumphs. Must have parked them somewhere.

  6. Jun 7 2010

    Thank you for all your comments.

    As I’ve not been involved, nor know precisely what the theological persuasions of the group are – Lorie is the practical one who makes it all happen but not the initiator (I don’t think) – i’m not really in a position to comment on how they might respond.

    But I do realise that there are genuine sensitivities here which we should do well to note. What i would say is that as far as I can tell, they are doing this as a means by which to explain the biblical and therefore profoundly Jewish, gospel – the overarching metanarrative of scripture being one of redemption. Therefore, this whole enterprise can only ever be a visual aid to this – and the cross being strategically placed in the place where sacrifices were made is to evoke the profound point that the writer to Hebrews makes in Hebrews 9 & 10 – namely that Christ’s sacrifice is once and for all (in contrast to the priests’ repeated sacrifices). This explains why (in the set up photographed) the grid at the centre of the sacrificial altar where the cross stands is symbolically broken. Obviously that is not historically accurate, but i would argue that it is theologically accurate. That is not a Jew/Gentile point – but one which the Jewish writers of the New Testament frequently insist upon.

    Now, of course, this may cause some questions if not disturbance for those from a Jewish background. But if one was to do a full and accurate reenactment, no one could ever enter the Most Holy Place at all. Ironically enough, though, for Christian believers, especially those from a Gentile background like myself, this is a helpful means by which to reinforce our Jewish inheritance and the privilege of being ingrafted.

    I guess this debate will run and run – but i hope this helps a little bit.


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