[b-hebrew] Yom Kippur

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Sun Aug 22 01:14:47 EDT 2004

On Saturday 21 August 2004 17:51, Walter R. Mattfeld wrote:
> I recently came across some info on Yom Kippur and not being Jewish, but
> formerly  a Fundamentalist Protestant Christian, would like to know if the
> below information is correct :
> "Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the month of Tishri
> according to the Jewish claendar, is unique in its holiness ("the Sabbath
> of Sabbaths" - a day of solemn rest" as it is called in Leviticus 23:32).
> The Jews were granted this holiest of days at Mount Sinai while receiving
> the Torah. It was then that they became a people. The significance of Yom
> Kippur, as it appears on the medal, is to serve as a vehicle for the group
> forgiveness of a holy nation (the Jewish people) on a holy day (the Day of
> Atonement). And in fact, to forgive each individual for his sins. This day
> is the climax of the ten days of repentance which begins with the Rosh
> Hashana holiday (the New Year) and culminates with the Day of Atonement.
> The Torah declares that on Yom Kippur all sins will be forgiven: "for on
> this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your
> sins shall ye be clean before the Lord" (Leviticus 16:30). But our sages
> have interpreted that those sins made by man against the Lord will be
> pardoned, while those mades against a fellow man will be forgiven only upon
> direct reconcilitaion between man and his fellow man."
> The above is quoted from a brochure accompanying a medal issued by the
> Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation of Jerusalem for a medal
> commemorating Yom Kippur.
> If the above information is correct- then I have another question of
> Christian scholars on this list. If Christ as "the Logos" is presenting all
> this to Moses at Mount Sinai, telling Israel that on Yom Kippur the
> people's sins are forgiven, whence the later Christian understanding that
> forgiveness of sin occurs only when one becomes a Christian and is baptised
> into Christ's death ?

First, not all Christians agree with the "baptised" part, most free-church 
type Protestants maintain that belief is the only criterion.  Historic 
Christian understanding of events such as Yom Kippur is that they were 
prefigurements, looking forward to the coming and the sacrifice of Christ, 
which events fulfilled these foreshadowings.  From that POV, the forgiveness 
given at Yom Kippur was based, not on the Day of Atonement itself, but on the 
coming One who would pay the ultimate penalty that brought about forgiveness 
of sins.

As always, YMMV.

Dave Washburn
"No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list