Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Atonement Series #3: Are There Other Means of Atonement Than Blood Sacrifice?

Everyone can agree (or should anyway) that blood atonement in the Temple system atoned for all manner of sins:

"When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat.  He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites--all their sins--and put them on the goat's head.  He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task.  The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert," (Lev. 16:20-22).

But is it possible that after the Temple was destroyed that G-d allowed alternative means of atonement?

That's the question.

To be fair, there's evidence for and against.

But I believe the greatest argument that there are NOT alternatives to blood sacrifice is found by combining Scripture with common sense:

If all that was needed for forgiveness was merely good works or repentance then...
  • Why did Abel think that a blood sacrifice was necessary?
  • Why did Noah think that a blood sacrifice was necessary?
  • Why did Abraham think that a blood sacrifice was necessary?
  • Why did Moses think that a blood sacrifice was necessary?
And if all these men were wrong then wouldn't G-d have corrected their mistake?  


6 comments:

  1. how about when David sinned and Nathan said that G-d forgave him on that spot when David said i'm guilty before G-d???

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    1. We don't know that David didn't go and make an offering, and I suspect he did.

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    2. Alexey,

      Shalom! I see that you're in London, one of my favorite places on earth. Welcome!

      Re: "how about when David sinned and Nathan said that G-d forgave him on that spot when David said i'm guilty before G-d???"

      David's sins were covered under the provisions of Lev. 16:20-22 ("all their sins").

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    3. I miss the kosher restaurants of Golder's Green...

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  2. whole idea of Leviticus is in 1st chapter verse 2 when any of you "wills" to offer something to Adonai!!!

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  3. Well, I would think about Daniel and others in the exile. But we know that the lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world, so time is not a limiting factor according to the heavenly economy, as it is with us.

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