Dr. Jeffrey P. García is Associate Professor of New Testament and Second Temple Literature at Nyack College. He holds a PhD in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University. His specializes in the Gospels and ancient Jewish literature. He is the author of On Human Nature in Ancient Judaism: Creation, Composition, and Condition (JAJSup 34; Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh; Leiden: Brill, 2020); Understanding the Gospels as Ancient Jewish Literature (Jerusalem: Carta, 2018), and co-editor (w/ R. Steven Notley) of The Gospels in First-Century Judaea (Leiden: Brill, 2016). Jeffrey has also contributed to the Lexham Bible Dictionary (Lexham Press, 2016), and The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions (Routledge, 2015). Currently, he is working on Understanding Acts as Ancient Jewish Literature for Carta Publishing, Jerusalem, and preparing a manuscript on charity in the Gospels and ancient Judaism (under contract with Fortress Press). Since 2012, Jeffrey has worked as a teaching guide in Israel, Jordan, and Turkey for students, church groups, and lay people. Originally from Spanish (East) Harlem, NYC, he now lives in Baldwin, NY with his wife, Maureen, and their family.
Spring Bible & Archaeology Fest 2022, April 2 – 3, 2022
“Going Up to Jerusalem”: Temple Pilgrimage in the Gospels and Acts
Pilgrimage to Jerusalem’s Temple in the first century C.E. was a dynamic and meaningful practice. Even Jews in the Diaspora, some living hundreds of miles away, would on occasion make the journey to the Holy City during one of the three pilgrimage festivals. Yet this journey was about much more than reaching the Temple to offer the appropriate sacrifices; it also included other customs, including giving to the poor and needy. Unfortunately, our ancient sources provide few details about the pilgrimage experience, while later traditions about the practice accrued long after the Temple’s destruction. Despite pilgrimage being an integral part of Jesus’s ministry and remaining so among the Apostles, insufficient attention has been given to the New Testament Gospels and Book of Acts as sources for this ancient Jewish practice. This presentation will show how the Gospels and Acts function as a source for ancient Jewish pilgrimage, in particular shedding light on major and minor pilgrimage routes, as well as the customs that were central to both ancient Judaism and Jesus’s ministry.