[b-hebrew] Yom Kippur

Patrina patrina at bestmail.us
Mon Aug 23 19:01:59 EDT 2004

On Mon, 23 Aug 2004 07:06:57 -0600, "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur at nyx.net>

[Patrina wrote:]
> > The problem with that view of course is that YHWH does NOT accept human
> > sacrifice and forbids it, no matter how willing the victim.  The idea
> > of an innocent substitute being sacrificed to remove guilt was common
> > in the ANE. It wasn't always an animal but was often a firstborn child!
> > However, in Jeremiah YHWH states that human sacrifice never even entered
> > his mind (Jer 7:31).  In Torah terms a human sacrifice for atonement is
> > simply not valid, and was a practice that was bitterly opposed by
> > Jeremiah, since it was still being practised at the Tophets.  The very
> > idea of YHWH yielding his innocent "firstborn son" like worshippers
> > of Baal Hamon - who brought their innocent firstborn sons to the Tophet
> > as
> > whole burnt offerings - is totally absurd, and to be honest, as a former
> > Christian I never thought deeply enough on this issue.

[Dave wrote:]
> This reflects a drastic misunderstanding of the theology behind the
> central 
> event of Christianity.  It includes not only Jesus' death, but
> resurrection 
> as well.  Equating it with "human sacrifice," and particularly with
> Canaanite 
> practices, misconstrues the whole idea, but as this topic is very far
> afield 
> from list purposes, that's as much as I'll say.  Harold has already
> addressed 
> most of it much more eloquently than I can anyway.
Dave, I'll let this be my last word on the topic too.  Your mention of
resurrection is relevant to the topic of innocent firstborn sacrifice as
atonement for sin.  These firstborn children were MLK offerings (see
Carthage), who carried the sinner's penitence to "god" as the smoke rose
to the heavens - pure innocent intercessors.  It's not the same as
bodily resurrection obviously, but this ancient understanding obviously
made a new Christian application of these understandings very appealing
to 1st century CE minds and beyond.

Patrina Nuske Small
Adelaide, South Australia

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list