Temple Warning Inscription
Photo from: Frey (1936-52) Vol. 2
|Length:||1st copy: 7 lines of writing
2nd copy: 6 lines
|Approximate Date:||1st century CE|
|Place of Discovery:||Jerusalem|
|Dates of Discovery:||1st copy: 1871
2nd copy: 1935
|Excavators:||1st copy: C. S. Clermont-Ganneau
2nd copy: J. H. Iliffe
|Current Locations:||1st copy:
Istanbul Archaeology Museum
Rockefeller Museum, Jerusalem
(Corpus Inscriptionum Judaicarum)
(Orientis Graeci Inscriptionis Selectae)
(The SYMBOL font is required
to display this as Greek)
by K. C. Hanson & Douglas E. Oakman
REUESQAI . ENTOS . TOU . PE-
RI . TO . IERON . TRUFAKTOU . KAI
PERIBOLOU . OS . D . AN . LH-
FQH . EAUTWI . AITIOS . ES-
TAI . DIA . TO . ECAKOLOU-
QEIN . QANATON
Note: Since HTML tends to crowd letters (as did many ancient scribes!), I have inserted periods between the words for clarity. Furthermore, the original does not include hyphens to show word-breaks.
No outsider shall enter
the protective enclosure
around the sanctuary. And
whoever is caught will
only have himself
to blame for the
1. To what enclosure does this inscription refer?
2. What do we learn about this warning from Josephus? See Josephus, War 5.193-194; 6.124-126; Antiquities 15.417-418.
3. How does this inscription relate to Israelite purity standards? How many zones of purity were observed in the Jerusalem temple? Read Josephus, Antiquities 15.410-420.
4. What does this inscription explain about the anger directed at Paul in Acts 21:27-36?
5. What sort of "law enforcement" was available in the temple?
6. Do we know anything about the purity concerns at temples elsewhere in the Mediterranean world? Compare the article by Bickerman.
Bickerman, Elias J. "Warning Inscription of Herod's Temple." Jewish Quarterly Review 37 (1946/47) 387-405.
Binder, Donald D. "Second Temple Synagogues: Jerusalem."
Deissmann, Adolf. Light from the Ancient East: The New Testament Illustrated by Recently Discovered Texts of the Graeco-Roman World. Translated by L. R. M. Strachen. 4th ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1965. (79-81 + Fig. 9)
Frey, Jean Baptiste. Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaicarum. Vol. 2. Rome: Poniticio Instituto di Archeologia Christiana, 1936-52.
Hanson, K. C., and Douglas E. Oakman. Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998.
Illife, J. H. "The QANATOS Inscription from Herod's Temple, Fragment of a Second Copy." Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine 6 (1938) 1-3 + Plate I.
Rousseau, John J., and Rami Arav. Jesus and His World: An Archaeological and Cultural Dictionary. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995 (312-13).
Schürer, Emil. The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.—A.D. 135). Vol. 2. Edited by G. Vermes, F. Millar, M. Black, P. Vermes. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1979 (284-86).
Segal, P. "The Penalty of the Warning Inscription from the Temple in Jerusalem." Israel Exploration Quarterly 39 (1989) 89-94.
Seland, Torrey. Establishment Violence in Philo and Luke: A Study of the Torah and Jewish Vigilante Reactions. Biblical Interpretation Supplements 15. Leiden: Brill, 1995 (284-91).