The Jerusalem temple forms the core of Old Testament theology. For the temple understands itself not only as the very presence of God, but it shows also the special relationship between God and his people. This relationship can be further precisely described and characterized by form of God’s presence in the temple. The psalms also consist of individual and collective memories (including experiences) of the “Yahweh” who thrones in the temple as king. In the cultic and literary function of the psalms, these memories can be perceived as a personal and shared experience. These memories are passed down from generation to generation as the experience of God’s people. And this is the reason why the psalms can also be defined as a literary temple. Analyzing the psalms associated with the temple, a brief history of temple theology can be summarized.
In this study six psalms choosen for example will be analyzed in a theological-historical context, asking which role the temple, or more specifically, the relationship between the temple and the presence of God plays. For the purpose of analyzing the psalms selected, two research methods - the ‘literary criticism(Literarkritik)’ and the so called ‘theologiegeschichtliche Frage’ - are applied. This study focuses on the terms that relate to the visible temple (as a building) and the spiritualized temple. The relationship between the presence of God and the spiritualized temple will be clarified more precisely in order to find out ideas of the temple. In this way a history of temple theology in the Psalter can be described from its beginning to the later period.
In these selected psalms, some developments in temple theology can be recognized as in following form:
1) Ps 29; 68: Definition of classical temple theology and its first transformation.
2) Ps 74: Historical background of the temple theological transformation
3) Ps 48; 84: Spiritualization of the presence of Yahweh - preliminary stage of the spiritualization of the temple
4) Ps 114: Spiritualization of the temple - people as Yahweh’s temple, way to the “human sanctuary”