Atonement #CFP

Atonement #CFP October 7, 2017

Atonement CFP

St. Andrews has a history of putting together fantastic symposiums and conferences, and I was asked to spread the word about another one that is coming up in 2018. It covers a wide array of fascinating topics, and it will be great to see scholars who work on a variety of ancient Israelite, Jewish, and Christian traditions come together in conversation around these themes that intersect with and run through each of them.

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  • John MacDonald

    Yom Kippur began with Abraham substituting an animal for the sacrifice of Isaac. But the ceremony had to be repeated every year. The theological point of Jesus in the epistles is that he replaces the Passover sacrifice and the Yom Kippur sacrifice. If you attach yourself to Jesus, the ritual doesn’t have to be repeated every year as was the case with the temple because Jesus’ blood magic was so powerful. The atonement theology is early and pervasive in the epistles, such as the pre-Pauline Corinthian creed, and Paul’s argument from Deuteronomy that Jesus became a curse for us being hung on a tree.

    And too in Mark, we have the withering of the fig tree, and the tearing of the temple veil signifying the dissolution of the barrier between God and humans, and the words of the soldier signifying the dissolution of the barrier between Jews and gentiles (and the women finding the empty tomb, signifying the dissolution of the gap between men and women – women as witnesses). The first Christians were an anti-temple sect, like the Qumran sect, because they believed the Roman loving temple cult had become corrupt and was preventing the end of the world where God would save them and sin would be abolished. Because of this there is no reason to think the temple tantrum pericope in Mark ever happened because it served a major theological purpose, and there would have been soldiers at the temple to prevent such a disruption.

    • John MacDonald

      The question is, what was it about Jesus’ blood that was so special and so powerful that spilling it created a blood magic spell that actually nullified the temple cult?