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Table and Temple
The Christian Eucharist and Its Jewish Roots
David L. Stubbs
Foreword by John D. Witvliet

HARDCOVER; Published: 9/17/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7480-1
Price: $ 41.99
421 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.125 x 9.25
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In most modern discussions of the Eucharist, the Jewish temple and its services of worship do not play a large role. They are often mentioned in passing, but little work is done in grounding, organizing, or explicating the connections between these things and the Eucharistic celebration. 

In Table and Temple, David Stubbs sheds light on the reasons for this neglect and shows the important role the temple and its worship played in the imagination of Jesus and his disciples about what was to become a central Christian practice. He then explores the five central meanings of the temple and its main services of worship, demonstrating their relationship to the five central meanings of the Christian Eucharist. 

These central meanings of the temple itself, the daily, weekly, and monthly sacrifices, and the three pilgrim feasts are linked to the history of salvation. Stubbs distills them to (1) the real presence of God and God’s Kingdom among God’s people, (2) thanksgiving for creation and providence, (3) remembrance of past deliverance, (4) covenant renewal in the present, and (5) a hopeful celebration of the feast to come. They provide a solid ground upon which to organize contemporary Christian Eucharistic imagination and practice. Such a solid ground not only expands our theology and enriches contemporary practice—it can also bring greater ecumenical unity to this central Christian rite.

Table of Contents

Foreword by John D. Witvliet
Part One: Bridging the Gap between Table and Temple
     1. Ancient Connections, Modern Gaps
     2. Reconnecting Table and Temple
Part Two: The Table in Light of the Temple
     3. The Jewish Temple
     4. The Eucharist in the Early Church
     5. The Table Today
Part Three: Table Practices in Light of Temple Practices
     6. Central Practices at the Temple
     7. Foundational Meanings of the Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Celebrations
     8. Passover
     9. Pentecost
     10. The Feast of Booths
Part Four: Cultivating a Table-Temple Imagination among Protestants
     11. On Music, Intentions, Space, and Prayers

“David Stubbs invites us to discover—or, more precisely, recover—an understanding of the Eucharist that is grounded in figural interpretation of Israel’s scripture and worship traditions. This provocative study, written with great clarity and hermeneutical insight, will encourage all Christians to think more deeply about the roots of our practices of coming together at the Lord’s table. Stubbs’s book is a fresh, incisive work of constructive theology; it must be pondered by everyone engaged in the leadership of Christian worship.”
— Richard B. Hays
author of Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness
“With the care of a scholar and the clarity of a master teacher, David Stubbs invites us into the ancient Jewish context that shaped the meal at the center of Christian worship. Employing figural reading of Scripture, he links five dimensions of eucharistic theology to their ancient roots in Jewish temple practices. At every step, he attends to the practical implications of his scholarly historical and theological discoveries. Above all, Stubbs seeks connections everywhere: connection of Christians to our common Israelite and Jewish history, Christians to one another, people to creation, and creation to the living triune God. All these things, Stubbs argues, are—or ought to be—nourished at the common table.”
— Martha L. Moore-Keish
Columbia Theological Seminary
“This book shows the ongoing liveliness of the ‘oracles of God’—from both testaments—for a proper understanding and appreciation of the Lord’s Supper. David Stubbs is among the best theologians active today in his careful attention to Scripture; that ability is again on display here, though Scripture is just one of a treasure trove of theological, ecumenical, liturgical, even architectural resources he deploys. Stubbs has thought long and hard about his subject matter and, as a result, has given us a beautiful and inspiring book that will change how we think about—and practice—the Eucharist. We are in his debt.”
— Brent A. Strawn
Duke Divinity School
“Stubbs invites us into a deeper, richer eucharistic life by reclaiming a temple imagination and harvesting its abundant theological and practical fruits. Come taste and see!”
— Amy Plantinga Pauw
Louisville Seminary
“For those who think biblically and theologically about the Lord’s Supper, ‘Remember the future’ often functions as a paradoxical rallying cry. In this deeply Reformed and generously ecumenical work, Stubbs invites us to enter into a much deeper ‘remembrance’ and a much richer imagination of the future by exploring the roots of this sacrament in the Jewish temple. This book helps us to see that long-lost memories of the interplay between the temple in Jerusalem, the incarnation of Jesus, and early church typological exegesis can stimulate fresh theological imagination about creation, redemption, eschatology, ethics, mission, and Triune presence on the earth. New lines of inquiry among various Christian traditions and between Christians and Jews open up as a result of what Stubbs has contributed in this study.”
— Gordon Mikoski
Princeton Theological Seminary
“One of the gifts of this book is that David Stubbs does this careful work in such a generously orthodox and symphonic way, weaving together insights from biblical, historical, systematic, and practical theology, defying the tight boundaries that too often keep these disciplines apart. He does so in ways that invite all of us to pay attention to some of the most dearly loved and also some of the most rarely read passages of the Bible.”
— John D. Witvliet
from the foreword
Review of Biblical Literature
Table and Temple deserves to be read by pastors, church leaders, and laity; the incorporation of the story and themes it presents promises to put spiritual food on the table.”
“David Stubb’s Temple and Table is a book of expanding currents, skillfully weaving together biblical perspectives of Israelite worship and Christian sacrament with later temple practice and early church interpretations.”
James M. Arcadi in Scottish Journal of Theology
“An excellent resource that I hope will shape eucharistic theology and practice for years to come.”