Sunday, 13 October 2013

Response to Jono Vandor and Jason Spiritual Babies: Blood Atonement


Once again another set of texts that I want to deal with regarding atonement. This article is going to address some of the texts that Jono Vandor and JasonSpiritualBabies raise. Let's take a look at some of the texts, although some I won't touch due to other articles dealing with those particular texts. I'll focus on the texts they quote from the Old Testament to back up their points.
Nehemiah 1:9
"9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’"
Regarding this first text, it doesn't speak of the atonement of the Israelites. Although it does speak of a restoration of Israel if there is a return to the LORD. There isn't any need to speak of atonement in the verse because it is not the issue. Nehemiah is alluding Deuteronomy 30.
Joel 2:12
"12 “Even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting and weeping and mourning.”"
This text is similiar to Jeremiah 36:3 that sacrifices are not HaShem's point, he is exhorting his people to repent of their evil ways and to seek his favour. There is no need to mention blood atonement in every single passage when repentance is mentioned because it is not HaShem's point in the first place in those contexts, those are not his concern but it doesn't prove atonement without blood.
Psalm 130:3-4
"3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you."
This speaks of the overwelming mercy of HaShem, like the previous passage, atonement is not an issue that is raised in the passage. It speaks of his forgiveness and his love that he has for his people but there isn't need to mention blood atonement because the person is once again, not focused on that issue.
Micah 7:18-19
"18 Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."
Another text that speaks of God's mercy to those who earnestly humble themselves and turn to him in repentance. It also speaks of God's character as one who is wanting to forgive us for our transgression.
Numbers 14:19
"17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ 19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”"
This is simply Moses' intercession for the people Israel and averting God's wrath away from them, that's all there is to it.
Jeremiah 2
No actual verse was cited regarding atonement, repentance or anything like that. If I am missing something here, please let me know.
Jeremiah 4:1-2
 "4 “If you, Israel, will return,
    then return to me,”
declares the Lord.
“If you put your detestable idols out of my sight
    and no longer go astray,
2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
    you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
then the nations will invoke blessings by him
    and in him they will boast.”"
Bare one thing in mind is that this is before the exile, the temple still stood in Jeremiah's day and besides, atonement is not the point that YHWH is trying to get across. He is demanding the people of Israel to return to him.
Jeremiah 24:7
"7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart."
In this context, HaShem is watching over the rightous remnant of the exiles who are in the land of their enemies and will bring them back. Of course the people are in diaspora so it is understandable that they would not be able to make a sacrifice at the temple. Another argument that could be made as with individuals like Daniel, they may have also looked forward to the Messiah's future atonement. However, That is another issue which I mention in my response to Eli Cohen so I needn't go into much here.
Isaiah 44:22
"22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
    for I have redeemed you.”"
Atonement needn't be mentioned every single time when forgiveness and repentance is mentioned. The same happens when it comes to sin, YHWH speaks generally of the sins of the people, he doesn't mention EVERY law. Since that is the case, he needn't always mention specific details every single time repentance is mentioned. That is the same thing with this topic as with the topic of sin.
Isaiah 55:7
"7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon."
The text doesn't address atonement either, though I can say about this, Christians have often pointed to this text to show that No matter what you have done, Christ will cleanse you from those sins by his blood and you may be pardoned. This is used by us to show one can be forgiven no matter how big or how small your sin. 
Ezekiel 18
Israel is in diaspora with no temple to atone for them, as for the subject of the chapter, it no doubt deals with sins commited by those of the rightous and the wicked and what will happen if one or the other goes off into the opposite point they once held. 
Genesis 4:15
"15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so[e]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him."
WOW, Complete eisegesis of the text, this doesn't even speak of atonement or repentance at all. Not really much to comment on this text at all except, Such mandhandling. Not to mention Cain certainly did not amend his ways.
Zechariah 1:3
"3 Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts."
Simply an exhortation to repent and seek the favour of the LORD, no need to mention blood here.
Exodus 34:6-7
"6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”"
AMEN to the whole text, HaShem affirming his very character, Remember, HaShem is God, forever the same, he never changes, the same goes for Yeshua who himself is HaShem, but is not the Father. However the Trinity is another issue which I have covered in depth in other videos. Anyway, the text itself within the given context is not addressing blood atonement as has been said many times before in the past.
Other texts like Numbers 16:47, Hosea 14:2, and Proverbs 28:13 so those won't be mentioned and once again the text in 2 Chronicles 7:14 already taken care of in my response to Eli Cohen: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/response-to-rabbi-eli-cohen-on-blood.html.

The text in Jonah 3 may be addressed in a future article.

As for Numbers 31:50, that was a one time action, the same thing with Isaiah 6:6-7. If these two other means of atonement, I wonder why these options aren't considered today by Jews? Very strange.
As I mentioned in the past regarding Daniel and Abraham that they were saved by responding to the Revelation that was given to them. Regardless of the vision being different, they nevertheless point to a Messianic application. Daniel 9 speaks of the anointed one who is cut off and Abraham is told that all nations will be blessed through him, which Paul quotes in the New Testament in his letter to the Galatians because of their faith, and that faith is in the Messiah. Regardless of the different nature of the visions, it is what they point to that counts.

I shall address their point on Hebrews 9:18-22, Leviticus 14 and Exodus 24:3-8 in another article.

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