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12 Mystical Motifs in a Greek Synagogal Prayer?

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Chapter Summary

The work called Apostolic Constitutions (AC) is a late-fourth-century church order, most probably compiled in Syrian Antioch in the 380s. The third prayer in this collection (AC 7.35) stresses God's holiness and his being praised by holy ones in the Trisagion, Israel's liturgical union with these holy ones, God's kingship, and it also has the characteristic combination of quotes from Isa. 6:3 and Ezek. 3:12. These elements qualify it as the Greek parallel to the third berakhah of the Seven Benedictions, Qedushah. This chapter presents the entire text of the prayer in AC 7.35 in author's own translation. It focuses on 3-4 paragraphs. It shows that here we have an originally Jewish text in which, even after its Christian reworking, several ideas and elements in the phraseology stand in a tradition that dates back to the Second Temple period and later resurfaces in Jewish mystical treatises from late antiquity.

Keywords: Apostolic Constitutions (AC); Christian reworking; Greek Synagogal prayer; Jewish mystical treatises; Qedushah; Second Temple period



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