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In: Preaching after Easter: Mid-Pentecost, Ascension, and Pentecost in Late Antiquity
In: Jewish Identity and Politics between the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba
In: Ritual Dynamics in Jewish and Christian Contexts


The essay discusses and rejects the presumption that Israel celebrated a ritual of covenant renewal at Shavuot in Second Temple times. Narrative texts like 2 Chronicles 15 and Jubilees 6 may associate the establishment of Israel’s covenant with God and the festival of Shavuot without any connection to a ritual. The Rule of the Community from Qumran hints at the performance of a ritual for the integration of new members which is geared to the special situation of its type of group and hence by no means applicable to throngs of pilgrims who come to the Temple in Jerusalem at Shavuot let alone to the whole people of Israel. Furthermore, the sources presume that the covenant between God and Israel is not abolished and does not require an annual renewal. As ancient Judaism did not know a ritual of covenant renewal, Christian texts (including Acts 2) cannot allude to such a ritual. Whatever the origins of the Christian festival of Pentecost, it does not continue or supersede a Jewish ritual of covenant renewal.

In: Sanctifying Texts, Transforming Rituals
In: Erinnerungskultur in der pluralen Gesellschaft