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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Torah of Genesis to Deuteronomy offers essential background to Christian understandings of sacramentality, including baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism’s associations with water and cleansing, initiation and covenant, death and resurrection, judgment and new life, and vocation and identity echo throughout the Pentateuch (the watery “deep” in Genesis 1, the flood story in Genesis 6–9, circumcision in Genesis 17, the Red Sea crossing in Exodus 14–15, and the rituals of bathing in Leviticus 14–15). The themes and images of the Lord’s Supper likewise are deeply rooted in the Torah: Abraham and Sarah’s lavish meal with the three divine “strangers” in Exodus 18, the Passover meal in Exodus 12–13, the manna in the wilderness in Exodus 16, “seeing God” as the Israelite elders ate and drank on Mount Sinai in Exodus 24, and forgiveness through the blood of sacrifices and other rituals on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16.

Keywords: Torah, Pentateuch, sacraments, baptism, Eucharist, circumcision, Passover, Covenant, hospitality, manna

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