Atonement in Scripture: Why Evangelicals Scapegoat Gays, Muslims, Etc.

Two days after the Tuesday, September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Jerry Falwell discussed the attacks with fellow evangelical Pat Robertson, host of The 700 Club television program.  Falwell said: ‘The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked.  And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we…

Atonement in Scripture: Donald Trump’s Scapegoating and the Scapegoating of the Black Community

U.S. History and Scapegoating by Conservatives and Liberals Let’s look at how Rene Girard’s definition of ‘scapegoating’ (as in, blaming one instead of the community) takes place in American public life.  Scapegoating is politically effective.  It is continually reinvigorated by American political campaigns.  On December 21, 2015, The Washington Post observed: ‘The same rhetoric that…

Atonement in Scripture: The Tabernacle and the Priests

In my past blog posts about atonement in Scripture, I’ve explored the role of circumcision as a controlling concept.  Circumcision affects how we interpret the Passover as the cleansing of the first generation of Israelites out of Egypt, and the bronze serpent as the cleansing of the second generation from the sins of the first….

Atonement in Scripture: The Bronze Serpent and Passover, Part 2

Returning to John 3, Jesus suggested in his interview with Nicodemus that his death would accomplish the reversal of a poisoning.  He said: 3:14 ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in him have eternal life.  16…

Atonement in Scripture: The Bronze Serpent and Passover, Part 1

To develop further my argument regarding John’s Gospel and the Pentateuch simultaneously, I will examine the incident of Moses holding up the bronze serpent (Num.21:4 – 9) in the book of Numbers and in the Pentateuch as a whole as a motif of atonement.  Sailhamer again makes very intriguing observations.[1]  He argues for a literary…

Atonement in Scripture: Christ as Passover in John’s Gospel

I would also like to address the claim of Jeffery, Ovey, and Sach that John in his Gospel sees Jesus as a penal substitute in Passover terms.  Simply because John makes very rich literary connections between Jesus and the Passover lamb does not mean that the Pentateuch or John’s Gospel regards penal substitution as the…

Atonement in Scripture: Christ as Passover in 1 Corinthians

In my last post, I observed how the Pentateuch itself interprets the Passover by the motif of circumcision.  The theme of cleansing connects them.  To corroborate my analysis of the Pentateuch and my proposal that the Passover was God’s judgment on Israel for cleansing, I turn now to the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.  My comments here…

Atonement in Scripture: Circumcision and Passover

Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey, and Andrew Sach, in their book Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution, argue that ‘the Passover lamb functioned as a penal substitute, dying in the place of the firstborn sons of the Israelites, in order that they might escape the wrath of God.’[1]  They argue that the…

Atonement in Scripture: Circumcision

Circumcision marked the entrance of a man into Judaism.  Circumcision also became a primary language of salvation and image for it.  Moses used ‘circumcision’ to express the internal change that God would bring about in His people after Israel went into exile:  ‘Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of…