The paper is a comparison of pilgrim identities between the Passover Feast and
Bernard Mzeki pilgrimages. Bernard Mzeki is one of the most celebrated
martyrs in the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe and worldwide. 18 June is
reserved as the day of celebrating his martyrdom. Anglican pilgrims from all
over the world travel to Bernard Mzeki shrine in Marondera, Zimbabwe in
honour of his sacrificial life towards the propagation of the gospel. The form-critical approach helps in the reconstruction of the identities of Passover
pilgrims and the Comparative analysis help in comparing the two. The paper
established some significant similarities in terms of the pilgrim identities of the
two, while certain peculiarities had been considered as well. Though religious
pilgrimages are the purpose of worship and encountering the Holy One, not all
pilgrims attend the festival for these primary focuses. Some have different
purposes hence the quest for these different pilgrim identities.
Key Words: Identity, Pilgrim, Festival, Passover, Bernard Mzeki, Temple, Shrine, Sacrifice
, Comparative Analysis.
Pilgrimages were common in the ancient world dating back to as far as the Old Testament and are still a common phenomenon in many religions today including Christianity. Duran-Sanchez (et al) concurs that “since ancient times, traveling for fervor and religious devotion purposes have been present in humanity. It is estimated that 300 and 330 million people travel for religious reasons annually” (Duran-Sanchez et al 2018:1-2). This is one of the reasons why there is a serious discussion on religious tourism among economists today. Among the pilgrims, one can discern different identities and it is the purpose of this paper to analyze the pilgrim identities in Matthew 21:12-13 and then compare them to the
pilgrims that gather at the Bernard Mzeki shrine every year. The Comparative Analysis will be employed as the methodology to compare these two pilgrimages. The point of departure is to exegete Matthew 21:12-13 as a way of discerning the identities of people who were at the temple when Jesus cleansed it. Then a historical-critical analysis of the Bernard Mzeki pilgrimage will be done before comparing it to the Jewish pilgrimage
narrated in Matthew 21:12-13.
An Analysis of Pilgrim Identities in Matthew 21: 12-13
A form-critical analysis of Matthew 21:12-13 is key in discerning the identities of the characters that form the text. The paper is not going to engage in the theological debate of the text. What is of interest are the identities of the characters that attended the festival. The setting of the text is the temple during the Passover feast. It is, therefore, significant to
understand the activities that transpired in Jerusalem and at the temple during the Passover feast. How was the structure of the temple in ancient Israel especially during the time of Jesus? The Jewish temple consisted of three main elements which were the Great or Outer Court, where people assembled to worship (Jeremiah 19:14, 26:2), and the Inner Court (1 Kings 6:36) or Court of the Priests (2 Chronicles 4:9). Daniel J Harrington postulates that “the term ἱερόν (hieron) refers to the whole temple enclosure rather than the holy of holies.” (Harrington 1991:214). The other word for temple is ναος (naos) but should be distinguished from ἱερόν in that the former is reserved for sanctuary, especially the Holy of Holies while the latter includes both the Holy of Holies and the outer
enclosure. Historically around 19 B.C.E, Herod the Great made some renovations by doubling the size of the Temple Mount. He added large areas to the north, west, and south of the pre-Herodian complex. Above the southern wall of the Temple Mount, he built a huge colonnaded structure called the Royal Stoa. R.S. Ascough (2001:96) argues that,
“When compared with others in the Roman Empire it is clear that this edifice served as a sacred marketplace”. Normally the changing of money and buying of sacrificial animals took place in this building. John Nolland argues “the southern side of the outer court is the likely location of the selling and buying of the money changing” (Nolland 2005:843). Based
on archaeological findings of shops alongside an adjoining street outside the temple wall, Sanders in Keener rejects that the buying and selling occurred within the temple precincts. (Keener 2009:496). However, this will cast in doubt Jesus’ activity of cleansing the temple, therefore, those shops were there to serve the tourists who came for the feasts. The outer
court was for the gentles, then further in was the court of Israelite women, then the court of Israel (men), and finally the Holy of Holies meant for the priests. The temple structure itself testifies to the layers of identity in Israel. Therefore, the presents of the temple in Jerusalem facilitated the identity of priests who were the temple officials. According to Vacaru, “it was required by law that after reaching the age of twelve, every Israelite male was obliged to go on pilgrimage to the temple, three times a year, during the three great Jewish Feasts of pilgrimage” (Vacaru 2015:61). These three great feasts are; Passover,
Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Those living in the diaspora were then not obliged to attend all the three but at least one, the Passover. This requirement did not apply to women. This is the context that created the flowing of pilgrims to Jerusalem for the purpose of participating into these feasts. What is pilgrimage? We need to define this
word before going further. Coleman and Elsner define pilgrimage as “the move toward the sacred centre in order to be exposed to God’s presence” (Coleman & Elsner 1995:2). Jerusalem was therefore the centre of sacredness and the temple was the abode of God.
Deuteronomy 16:16-17 is the key text in understanding the Israelite pilgrimage. Pilgrimages are not only religious phenomenon but they are also secular in nature especially when one travels to certain places for political, economic, and social reasons to get inspiration or connects with history. A good example in the Zimbabwean context is when people travel to Chimoi Mozambique to connect with the second chimurenga1
narrative of the bombings that killed many innocent civilian refugees.
The word ‘Chimurenga’ is a vernacular (Shona) name for war. This is a political pilgrimage to connect with the past and history of the nation. Pilgrimages to Israel, therefore, created the identity of pilgrims. Another important aspect in the background of this text is the aspect
of taxation. In ancient Israel, taxes were paid in three ways; money, percentage of crops or animals, and forced labour. This means that no one was unable to pay tax and the collection of the tax was not limited to Palestine but also to Jewish communities throughout the diaspora. Importantly for this paper was the temple tax. This tax was paid to the temple during the pilgrimage festivals (Numbers 18:15-19) and its major
function was to maintain the priests and the temple (2 Kings 12:5). The tax was mandatory for every adult Jewish male and was paid annually. Keener argues that “in Jesus’ time the temple tax was half a shekel (or two drachmas), approximately the cost of two days’ wages for a labourer” (Keener 2009:5). We have a scenario of pilgrims from the diaspora, earning forex and coming to Jerusalem on pilgrimage to pay tax in local official currencies. According to Matt 17:24, people were required to pay the temple tax in Tyrian coinage and the question is, where would these pilgrims get the coinage from? This is the context that facilitated the presence of money changers. These money changers would “give out
Jewish or Tyrian coins in exchange for Greek or Roman money” (Harrington 1919:214). These money changers were unlikely temple officials themselves but were operating under their license. However, one cannot rule out opportunists or corrupt priests. For example, the ancient historian Josephus calls Annas the high priest ‘a great hoarder up of
money.’ “The sons of Annas had bazaars set up in the Court of the Gentiles for the purpose of money changing and the purchase of sacrificial animals” (Dolin 2006:83) The need for legal currencies created the identity of money changers at the feasts. Another important component of the pilgrimage was worship, especially in the form of sacrifices. According to Donald C. Harlow (2012:99), “Pilgrims came from all parts of the world to keep the
Passover, to offer their sacrifices, sin-offerings, or thank-offerings, according to the circumstances of each case”. According to John 2:14, these sacrifices were in form of cattle, sheep, and doves. In addition to animals, offerings were also made in form of wine, grain, and oil. The situation posed challenges to the pilgrims from the diaspora, how would
they bring these animals, grain, and oil to Jerusalem? It was very difficult
for the diaspora Jews to travel a long journey with sacrificial animals. These were other necessities on top of money for the temple tax and this means that someone was supposed to provide these necessities. According to Keener, “authorized money changers and dealers in sacrificial animals would need to be nearer the activity in the temple, further priests had to examine the animals” (Keener 2009:496). These dealers would be allowed to be in the temple for at least a week before the event to avoid congestion on money-changing tables. Therefore, besides the money changers, they were also other groups of people to
provide for the sacrificial needs and these were merchants. The term identity had been used without being defined, so as we reconstruct the pilgrim identities in Matthew 21:12-13 we need to be clearer with how the term is used in this paper. Kodl and Lokay define
the term identity as “the condition of being a specified person or the condition of being oneself and not another” (Kodl & Lokay 1995:130). So here we are referring to concepts, beliefs, qualities, and expressions that define a person. The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) defines identity as “a compass by which we orientate ourselves” (KAICIID 2017:12). Some of the types of identities are; ethnicity, race, sex, gender, age, language, nationality, education, social status, religion, spirituality, ideology, professions, travel, networks, opportunities, neighborhood, and family. In every person, there are bound to be sub-identities and these are not equally strong as primary identities. In summary, this paper reconstructs the pilgrim identities of Matthew 21:12-12 in the following way;
- Temple Officials, these were probably priests and security officers. The priests were there to preside over sacrifices and liturgies. They would materially benefit from their services since not all the portions were burnt in the offering. They would consume the other portions of the meat with the pilgrim. It is likely they were also undercover deals with the money changer and merchants. They are possibilities that they would
rent out the tables to money changers and space for trading grain and animals. So, despite their spiritual duties, they were likely material benefits from the feast. Obviously, the security officers would benefit from the system as they would act as front runners of the priests. Therefore, the temple officials would look forward to this feast and Jesus’ action should therefore be understood as a reaction to such
- Local Pilgrims, these were pilgrims from Palestine and surrounding areas. They neither need the services of money changers nor the merchants since they were local people. Their business probably was strictly devotion but chances were that some could have joined in the deals of making money from the festival. These people could double
up as both pilgrims and merchants providing the needed resources for the diaspora pilgrims. Some could have developed their houses for accommodation business for the pilgrims.
- Diaspora Pilgrims, these were Jews from the diaspora who would travel back to Jerusalem for the Passover pilgrimage. These were Jews who travel days to Palestine to attend the festival. They invested lot of money for the trip and other pilgrim related expenses. These were the clients of the money changers, merchants, and local pilgrims. Their ultimate goal was devotion but for some it was an opportunity to tour the historic temple and city of Jerusalem. The pilgrim would be an adventure for traveling and connecting with their roots. Therefore, connected to pilgrimage was leisure.
- Merchants, this group was composed of money changers and dealers in selling grain, oil, and animals for sacrifices. We can term these ones, ‘pilgrimepreneurship’ because their attendance of the pilgrimage was to make money. The general argument by the majority of scholars such as Keener, Harrington, and Davies are that they (money changers) did not make huge profits from the business. The issue is that this was a crowd-pulling event, hence making money is a game of numbers, so chances are high that they made some significant money. These were people who planned well ahead of the event and connect well with the temple officials. Their ultimate goal was not devotion but business. What was important for them was the starting and ending dates for the festival and cares nothing about the spiritual programming of the festival.
- Criminals, these were robbers who come to steal valuables from the pilgrims. They would look for this day with great preparedness. It is common that wherever people gather in large numbers, robbers tend to follow. Such festivals were opportunities for a bumper harvest and it is likely that some would hide from the pilgrims on the highways and rob them even before they arrive in Jerusalem. This is a reconstruction of the possible identities of pilgrims who came to Jerusalem every year for the Passover feast. Let us see how would this compares with the pilgrims who attend the Bernard Mzeki pilgrimage
An Analysis of Pilgrim Identities at Bernard Mzeki Shrine
A brief history of who was Bernard Mzeki, why there is a shrine dedicated to him and why pilgrims visit the shrine every year is needed before exploring the identities of the pilgrims.
Historical Background of the Bernard Mzeki
Bernard Mzeki was from Mozambique, born in the bay of Inhambane, a remote place almost 150 km from Marxixe towards Maputo. In the Anglican Church of the Province of Southern Africa, this place is the Anglican Diocese of Lebombo. It is assumed that he was born on 18 March 1861. According to John Chawarika, “his real name at birth was
Mamiyeri Guambe Mitseka” (Chawarika 2018: 2). The general understanding is that Mzeki was a corruption of the surname ‘Mitseka’ by the white missionaries. Mzeki grew up in the village setting where he had to learn the survival skills and customs of the Gwambeni people. In the village, there was a white man who owned a grocery shop business and Mzeki had an opportunity to work for him. At a tender age, Mzeki then
migrated to Cape Town and managed to work as a house servant and gardener for an English family in Rondebosch, Cape Town (Farrant 1966:9). Farrant (1966) writes that Mzeki proved to be an exceptionally faithful, obedient, and trusted servant. It was during this time that Mzeki met the Crowley Fathers and this was a religious community of dedicated men. According to Chawarika, “he enrolled at the night school, which was being administered by Fraulein von Bloemberg. He loved school and
made tremendous progress in Western education. When he was allowed to join the scripture class” (Chawarika 2018: 4). His desire for God grew noticeably and other colleagues were baptised by Father Puller on 7 March 1886 at the Feast of St Perpetua and her Companions. During this period, plans to establish Anglicanism in Rhodesia by the newly appointed bishop, George Whydham Hamilton Knight Bruce were already at advanced stage. Mzeki offered himself to travel to Rhodesia as a catechist doing missionary work. According to Chawarika, “In 1891, Mzeki was left in Mangwende village in Marondera by his Bishop Knight-Bruce, after the bishop had negotiated with the chief Mangwende to leave him there to establish the Anglican Faith”
(Chawarika 2018:6). Archford Musodza further writes, “Chief Mangwende allowed Mzeki to build a large mission hut in his village, which served as a church, school, and dwelling” Musodza (2008:85). In Mangwende village, Mzeki had to live among the local people who had a completely different worldview from him. According to Snell (1986: 11), “Mzeki’s life was rooted in prayer. He was raised in a tradition of Catholic practice based on personal austerity, self-discipline, penitence and the sacraments”. He drew the attraction of catechumens such as John Kapuya, Chigwada, Miyewu, and Mutwa. Mzeki late fell in love with Mutwa who was a relative of Chief Mangwende and the two eventually got married. This was the first recorded white wedding in Rhodesia. Close relatives of the Mangwende family did not approve of the marriage. His Christian teachings were not received well by practitioners of Africa Traditional Religion and led to tensions between these two worldviews. Politically, he represented western interests and this deepened the souring of relationships. On 18 June 1896, Mzeki was martyred at his hut by three men. His death is considered mysterious because after being
stabbed with a spear by the three men, Mzeki while bleeding managed to crawl to the top of a hill at the back of his hut and lay in the cave. Chawarika narrates that “the huge rock had cracked, the bark of a big tree nearby was torn and only smoke and blood stains remained in the cave, where Mzeki had lain. Mutwa and her friend suddenly heard a rushing sound and a swirling, darting flame leaped down from the sky to
the place where he was laying” (Chawarika 2018:7). His body was never seen again and the general story is that his body was swallowed by the rock. This is how Mzeki became a martyr in the Anglican Church. The formative history of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe is incomplete without mentioning the well-known martyr, Bernard Mzeki.
His martyrdom is recognized in the lectionary of the Anglican Communion worldwide. He is celebrated and venerated annually in the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, in the Church of the Province of Central Africa and in the Anglican Communion worldwide. Many shrines, institutions, and objects have been named after him all over the Anglican
Communion as a way of showing his importance and position in the spirituality of the Anglican Church. 18 June is the official date for commemorating his martyrdom and pilgrims from Zimbabwe and the rest of the world congregate at the shrine dedicated to him near Marondera. This is a place of his martyrdom and his reconstructed hut
still stands symbolically at the place when mass is held. The commemorations begin on Friday with a night vigil dedicated to prayer and preaching. The main activity is a Saturday morning Eucharist service by the bishops from the province and other dioceses in the communion. This is a colorful event marked by a very long procession of servers, subdeacons, priests, and bishops. The Eucharist service is then spiced by
beautiful singing by the choirs from all the five dioceses from Zimbabwe and other visiting choirs outside Zimbabwe. In the afternoon, after the main service comes to a drama performance on the life of Mzeki by the drama group from the diocese of Harare and some biblical teachings from selected priests. At night is another vigil of prayer and preaching. The program ends on Sunday with a Eucharist service presided
mainly by the Bishop of Harare and music is normally led by the youth
choir. It is an event that every Anglican in Zimbabwe wishes to attend in
their lifetime. In summary, this paper analyses the identity of these pilgrims who
attend the pilgrimage before comparing them to the Passover festival
pilgrims in ancient Israel. The following identities constitute the Bernard
- Bishops, these are the chief shepherds of the church. In normal
circumstances, all the five bishops from Zimbabwe attend the festival.
They are, however, joined by the two bishops from Mozambique and
other provincial bishops. They are responsible for the worship and
devotions that take place at the shrine. They normally come to the
festival on Saturday morning and leave in the afternoon. The bishop of
Harare normally represents them on Friday and Sunday. Like pilgrims,
they have the privilege of presiding and preaching on the main Saturday
service. The bishop of Harare is then responsible for celebrating the
Sunday Eucharist service because he will be the only one left among
the college of bishops. They receive executive treatment, through
parking spaces reserved for them closer to the venue for services, free food
from the approved caterers, houses reserved for them for changing and
sleeping, and toilets. They occupy the front seats during the service and
are the only ones who are introduced individually to the pilgrims.
Among the bishops are the retired ones as well as their spouses.
- Priests, this group comprises all the ordained clergy and according to
their ranks. Not all of them attend the festival, some remain in their
parishes to minister to those who cannot afford to come. They assist
the bishops during the Eucharist services through reading the gospel,
intercession, and distribution of Holy Communion. They are also
responsible for teaching at designated times and preaching on Sunday
Eucharist service. They are also responsible for the organization of
night vigil services and programs. They are also privileged in terms
of getting free food and special toilets reserved for them. They have
special seats reserved for them behind the bishops at the sanctuary
during the Eucharist service. They do not have special parking slots like
bishops nor do they have special houses reserved for them. These
priests are also joined by their spouses.
- Festival Organisers, these are responsible for organizing the proceedings of the festival. They work some months before the festival. They are responsible for preparing the budget, soliciting donations and engaging business partners. They are also responsible for organizing tables for hiring out to merchants. The is a multi-identity team composed of women, men, laity, and clergy from all the dioceses. They have the privilege of free food and parking space. Through association with people from different levels, they are bound to be some hidden benefits.
- Subdeacons are licensed male and female altar party teams from the laity. They are licensed to assist the priests and bishops in their pastoral work. Their prime duty at the festival is to help the priests and bishops with the distribution of Holy Communion during the Eucharist service. They have the privilege of having special seats closer
to the sanctuary during the main service. They do not have the privileges of having free food and special parking space. No special toilets are reserved for them. They have to buy their own food or bring it from home.
- Zimbabwe Pilgrims, these are pilgrims from Zimbabwe and they are a mixed bag. Some are concerned with devotion and spiritual growth. They attend all the worship programs without fail and including going up to the mountain for prayer. Others are concerned with entertainment and they spend most of the time singing and dancing in
their respective places. They normally pose challenges to the organizers as they do not attend organized programs. They normally occupy spaces away from the main arena so that they do not disturb those participating in the main service. They normally come to the festival on Friday so that they secure their choice places ahead of others. The third
group is food lovers. These are the ones who bring the whole pantry to the festival. They spend the whole festival cooking and eating without attending any service. They like their food and fellowshipping with other colleagues. The fourth group in this category are the love birds. These are normally young people in the dating stage and they come to have good love making time at the shrine. These ones are a security challenge to the security department as they love dark spots very far away from others. Most of the time, they are caught in compromising postures.
- Mozambique Pilgrims, these are pilgrims who travel for days all the way from Mozambique to attend the festival. They normally arrive at the shrine on Friday night and depart on Saturday afternoon after the main service. They speak Portuguese and so they need an interpreter during the sermon. They are normally accompanied by their bishops and priests. They represent the ethnic identity of Bernard Mzeki, so they occupy a special position before other pilgrims. Among them are holidaymakers enjoying traveling for days to a foreign country? They spend lots of money on traveling, eating, and shopping. They have special positions reserved for them at the shrine and free food as well. In their devotions, they connect with one of their own, Mzeki.
South Africa Pilgrims, these are pilgrims from South Africa, especially from the province of Cape Town. They also travel days to Zimbabwe via Botswana to attend this festival. The majority of them are men from the guild of Bernard Mzeki. They represent the early conversion life of Mzeki. Therefore, they are instrumental to the spirituality of Mzeki. By coming to the festival, they are connecting with the youthful Mzeki. They spend lots of money on traveling, food, and shopping. So, among them are also holidaymakers enjoying traveling, sightseeing, and shopping. They are normally accompanied by their priest. They enjoy free food and special places at the shrine.
- Merchants, this is a full assortment of business-minded people who takes the festival as business opportunity. First are approved, business partners. These are companies that sponsor the festival in one way or another and in return are offered opportunities to do business or market their products. They are given tables at strategic places to sell
their products. Those in communication industry are allowed to set temporary boosters to increase their network. During teaching series, they are commercial breaks meant for them to market and advertise their businesses. They do not have anything to do with the worship or programming of the festival. The second group of these merchants are
the churches selling food. These one buy tables from the organizers to sell food to the people and fundraise for their churches. Again those involved in the catering have no time for worship. The third group are professional music groups selling their new albums. Usually, it is a norm among Anglican gospel musicians to release a new album towards the festival since it is a strong market force not to be missed. These gospel
singers will be marketing their music through playing them in their radios and displaying the CDs on the car. Those popular or connected organizers are given slots to perform their music during break times as a way of marketing them. Many of them are not interested in the official programming. The fourth group is the freelance traders selling vegetables, firewood, fruits, clothes, and books. These might be local people or some who travel as far as Harare and other cities. The last category of merchants are transport providers who provide transport to pilgrims. Common to this identity group is money-making more than worship. Robbers, these are opportunists who take advantage of the huge gathering to steal and make money. They pretend to be worshippers while
their prime targets are people’s purses. These are some of the identities one can discern from the festival. However, they are other hundreds of sub-identities that one can discern.
A Comparative Analysis of the two Pilgrimages.
According to Chris Pickvance, a comparative analysis is, “concerned with the theories that drive the widespread interest in comparative research, or with what concepts can meaningfully be used in comparative research” (Pickvance 2001:7). It is a multi-disciplinary methodology that focuses on similarities and differences. Michael Adiyia and William Ashton concur that “comparative analysis emphasized the explanation of differences and the explanation of similarities” (Adiyia & Ashton 2017:1). In a comparative analysis, one, therefore, attempts to establish the relationships that occur between the two or more phenomena. Therefore, it requires an in-depth knowledge of the case under study. (Simister & Scholz 2017). Tilly isolated four types of comparative analysis as; Individualizing comparison, Universalizing comparison, Variation-finding comparison, and Encompassing comparison. (Tilly 1984:82). However, this paper’s comparison is made from a form-critical perspective of the two pilgrimages. The following points of comparison have been established;
- Religious Nature of the Two Pilgrimages.
The two pilgrimages are both of religious nature and are commemorated once every year. They are both centered on a fixed geographical space, the temple, and shrine. Therefore, in both festivals, religious functionaries are of great importance, priests in both festivals, and ultimately bishops at the Bernard Mzeki festival. There are also special benefits associated with those offices. The difference is in the nature of the priesthood in both festivals and the absence of the office of the bishop at the Passover festival. Worship is central in both festivals, but different in many aspects and one such aspect is an animal sacrifice at the Passover and Eucharist service at Bernard Mzeki. The central theme of worship is different in both festivals, deliverance from the Egyptians at the Passover and martyrdom at Bernard Mzeki. Ultimately, the two festivals are centered on memory.
- The centrality of Pilgrims in both Festivals Pilgrims play a central role in both festivals. Both are characterized by both local and foreign pilgrims. The presents of a huge number of pilgrims create conditions for bringing different service providers and
business ventures. The difference is that the Passover was attended mainly by Jewish pilgrims, while the Bernard Mzeki pilgrimage is open to people from all ethnic and racial identities. Anglicanism is the common denominator of the majority of pilgrims at Bernard Mzeki, unlike ethnicity which was a common denominator for the Passover pilgrims.
- The Presents of Merchants in both Festivals
It has been established that merchants are a common phenomenon in both festivals. Their primary business was to make money and not worship. The presents of huge numbers of both local and foreign pilgrims create necessary conditions for the presents of these merchants. Their presents were positive in providing required services
to the pilgrims but negative in disrupting the focus on worship. In many cases, these merchants were approved by the authorities, except few freelance merchants. However, it seems as if the concept of business partners in form of companies was not present in ancient Passover festivals, while it is central in sponsoring the Bernard Mzeki festival.
They had been several pilgrim identities between the two festivals. Though the two festivals are separated by time and space, one can use the Bernard Mzeki festival to mirror what might have been the composition of pilgrim identities during the Passover festival. The form-critical approach has helped us to do a comparative analysis of the two festivals and establish some common findings. Though they are significant similarities, the research has established some notable differences between the two, especially in terms of identity categories that are peculiar to each festival. For example, variations in religious offices such as priests, bishops, and subdeacons point to peculiarities of each religion and time frame.
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