Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

‘On Earth as it is in Heaven …’ The heavenly sanctuary motif in Hebrews 8:5 and its textual connection with the ‘shadowy copy’ of LXX Exodus 25:40

Gert J. Steyn
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a885 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.885 | © 2011 Gert J. Steyn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 June 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

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Gert J. Steyn, Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This study investigates the explicit quotation from Exodus 25:40 in Hebrews 8:5 where the motif of the earthly sanctuary, understood to be modelled on that of the heavenly sanctuary in some circles of early Judaism and early Christianity, is to be found. Hebrews’ application and interpretation of Exodus 25:40 – in light of the terms [foreign font omitted] [example or plan or copy] (foreign font omitted [model or design or archetype] by Philo) and [foreign font omitted [shadow] – is studied within the context of Hebrews 8:1–5. The purpose of this investigation is to explore the possible Graeco- Jewish background(s) of the ‘heavenly sanctuary’ motif in Hebrews 8:5, the presence of its key terminology and some of its intertextual occurrences in, amongst others, the Testament of Levi and Colossians 2:17.


Hebrews; Septuagint; Philo of Alexandria; Heavenly Sanctuary


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