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How Jesus, a Jew, Got Tangled Up in the Atonement

A Bible and Beyond Discussion

Monday, December 18, 2023
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With guest scholar Dr. Robert Miller and host Dr. Shirley Paulson

How Jesus, a Jew, Got Tangled Up in the Atonement

Monday, December 18, 2023

Guest Scholar, Dr. Robert Miller
Hosted by Dr. Shirley Paulson

This Bible and Beyond Discussion is second in our “Jewishness of Jesus” series. It is relatively easy to recognize that Jesus was born into a Jewish family and lived in a Jewish community. But Christians tend to envision Jesus as the first person who became a Christian. One of the basic Christian notions is the meaning and role of atonement and Jesus’s role in it. We will ask about sin’s relation to death and whether the death of Jesus changed the Jewish views or whether there was a prior belief in Judaism that the death of an innocent person can atone for the sins of others. We will consider whether the authors of New Testament books understood his death the same way Jesus did. The answers to all these questions will help us understand the Jewishness of Jesus as well as when and why Christians may have altered the path from the days of Jesus. An example of one of the texts related to these questions is John 10:11, where Jesus claims his own identity as “the good shepherd,” and then he points out that good shepherds lay down their own lives for the sake of their sheep.

Focus text:

Luke 5:18-25

Problematic texts:

Mark 8:27-33
Mark 10:41-45
Rom 3:21-25
Heb 9:11-28
2 Macc 7:30-37
4 Macc 1:11
4 Macc 18:1-5