How much was Christ's ransom sacrifice? Equal to Adam?

by jonathan dough 189 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TheWonderofYou

    @CalebinFloroda, kind regards.

    Your scripture passages of Ezekiel emphazise that sin is a dsturbance of the connection between man and god, and that god is ready to forgive a repented sinner.

    But its a fact too that jews knew sacrificies for sins. I cant explain yet why the jews had sacrificies in the temple at all? Was that an optional ritual? Animal were killed although the prophets said it was useless? Of some sacrifice was said that they would atone sins of the highpriest and of the people ..oxen.., the asasel was not killed but sent to the desert with the sins that were not atoned, the lamb was a daily sacrifice for sin at the morning whorship in the temple called Tamid sacrifice, we have the pesach passah lamb which was slaughtered and sacrified once a year for blessing and welfare. At Jom kippur the highpriest spelled the divine name but not after s sacrifice and after one person forgave its next.

    So ...was not the jewish religion and its pictures actually the basis for applicstion of "sacrifice"pictures unto jesus?

    what was the addional sense of the sacrificies a the temple, if a sin was forgiven bx god directly

    only for discussion, to come further thx.

  • Lieu

    Jesus or the Messiah was the ultimate "repurchaser", so to speak. With his blood buying back mankind from sin. No amount of goat, sheep, pigeon, or ram's blood would equal a human. There ya go.

    Besides, Jesus was not saddled with sin. Why? No human sperm. Remember, it's because of a man sin entered into the world, not because of a woman.

    (Even though Adam's lady part Eve was complicit in the whole lying-thievery episode.)

    Also, there's no just the act of Adam. It's everyone that came in history through his, well, boyz. His unborn progeny. Paul? rattled on about Abraham giving (when giving Melchezideck a tenth of everything he had) while the Levites gave too because they were considered to be inside Abraham at the time. That line of thinking pretty much covers everyone.

  • CalebInFloroda

    @TheWonderofYou And Lieu

    Read 1 Corinthians 8 and 10. Did you notice that the discussion is about "meat sacrificed to idols"? What is that all about?

    Did you know that for a large part of the ancient world ALL ANIMAL PRODUCTS including meat was processed via cult sacrifices...even in Judaism?

    Most Gentiles get very lost and bored when it comes to reading Torah (and so do Jews). Unfortunately for non-Jews, the Torah gets read in a vacuum without exposure to our customs and history, without Halacha or understanding Mizvot from the standpoint of a people who are absorbed in our complex tradition, day in and day out.

    Becuase of this most Gentile Chrisitans go about imagining that Jews were just slaughtering animals at the Temple for the blood, then tossing the carcasses and going on to the next animal to kill it and drain it for its blood.

    Nope. That's how ancient cultures got their meat, leather, etc. Ancient Jews viewed animal life as a sacred gift from HaShem. Therefore in gratitude the blood would be offered back to HaShem on the altar, often to beg forgiveness for our errors and sins at the same time (convenience), and the meat divided among the priests (who could not raise their own livestock) and families in order to have food to eat. (If you notice offerings were foodstuffs: meat, wine, bread, etc.)

    Because food came from G-d, eating was seen as a communion meal with Adonai. In some instances certain forms of thanksgiving required eating meals in view of the Temple, but most of the time this is how food got distributed (and cooked) in ancient societies, especially meat.

    After the Second Temple fell, Jews in an attempt to find a way to interpret their customs in the "modern" Roman world and keep Judaism relevant decided that the time for offering sacrifices was past. The sacrifice/food model was outdated. Sins could still be forgiven by living up to the Law. Meat could be obtained in different ways. The altar of the Temple was soon replaced with our altar of our home tables.

    Other cultures still got their meat this way in the first century, and Christians had to find a way to deal with this fact. They even saw Holy Communion as a meal like that once enjoyed at the Temple, but instead of eating actual animals they would teach that they were eating Christ's flesh and drinking his blood, but in a sacramental manner. All this stems back to the fact that the sacrifices were not about just pouring blood out for forgiveness. That is what the Jews attributed to their "meat processing" of the Temple era.

    This is why Jews don't sacrifice animals today. We can obtain forgiveness without slaughtering an animal. We can give thanks without pouring out the blood of a beast. We can go to the market for our meat. It's not about Jesus. It was about eating.

  • Island Man
    Island Man
    If memory serve me right wasn't Jesus pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Romans before being crucified? How can Jesus be a sacrifice in such a condition in light of Deuteronomy 17.1:
    You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect of a serious kind, for that is abhorrent to the Lord your God.

    I think Watchtower's response to that would be something like:

    Evidently, Jesus' sacrifice began, in a sense, from the start of his mistreatment after his arrest. Jesus sacrifice was not limited to his death on the stake but includes his suffering leading up to his death. At the start of his suffering - the start of his sacrifice - he was physically sound in every respect. Thus any disfiguring wound Jesus had before his actual execution do not disqualify his body from being a suitable offering to Jehovah, since these wounds were inflicted as part of the process of the sacrifice.

  • CalebInFloroda

    Despite my personal convictions as a Jew, I do want to stress and make very clear that I think it can be a very healthy thing to leave the religion of the Watchtower and freely embrace a new path.

    As long as one does it with their eyes open and uses an intellectually honest approach, open to testing, that the path of embracing Christianity can be a valid and productive way of life.

    While I have a ready supply of answers and replies for each and every challenge raised, I have to make clear that I am not one of Jehovah's Witnesses anymore, neither do I think or feel like them.

    I don't care to attempt to prove myself right or others wrong about Jesus. And I don't believe it is right to constantly challenge another's convictions as long as there is evidence that they are freely exercising their conscience. As Jehovah's Witnesses we have had enough of being stifled from exerting freedom, and I am not about to do that here with those that choose to believe Jesus is the Messiah.

    I am someone who has worked for years shoulder-to-shoulder with Christians to help make Bible translations clearer, more accurate and useful to the public. I probably know Christian theology better than most Chrisitans do. If there was a chance that Jesus was the Messiah hoped for by my people, that all Jews are wrong, that we don't know our culture, our theology and our sacred texts as well as Gentiles do, that we as Jews are blinded, I have learned not to act as ignorant or proud as I have when I was a Jehovah's Witness and I would have embraced that by now, some 20 years out of the Borg.

    That being said, Jews don't have the same concept of Messiah that Christians have. The entire concept of Messiah is a Jewish one, anyway, just like kashrut, Mizvot, davening, and a lot of other Jewish words that most Christians don't know. I think we Jews have the right to use our own concepts and define them the way we see fit without being told we are mistaken or even challenged.

    If you believe in Jesus, great I say. As long as you don't hold on to the darkness that kept us blind when we were JWs, super!

    But an animal sacrifice was always humanely killed before it was sliced and diced and placed on an altar. If you did this before, sliced it or maimed it, and then killed it in a torturous fashion, the sacrifice would not be acceptable. Besides, as Ezekiel states the sins of our parents are not visited upon us. Becuase Jews believe these words, the sin of Adam and Eve has not affected us so there is no need for a sacrifice.

  • TheWonderofYou


    I grew up with catolic shool education, with 16 I was baptized as JW, about 24 I left. Now am 49. with 18 I bought an expensice encyclopedia of a catolic university, a comparison of theological terms of Jewish faith, christian faith and muslim faith to get a better picture of the biblical terms. It was complicated to read, the language ist scientifical, but it lead me to the conlusion that JW have false picture of the church. Issues like blood and sacrificies seemed important for me.

    Many years I didnt read religious literature at all because my wife didnt allow me to read, out of fear that I am going back to the witnesses. I married catolic, returned to the church. Nobody of my collegaues of my actual friens knows that I have ever been a witness. Even my daughter doesnt knows of it. About 2000 I got a Bible as christmans present of my daughter. And i liked the comments therein. About 2005 I found some theological book of pope benedikt in a church for free and read it, than I visited a church which functions as central catolic mission basis in my country and i began to read and like to booklets. How much simplier than JW-faith I thought, And now I can say that for each question, were the JW right or not, I found an answer in the catolic mission books for me personally.

    This is the reason no why I would like so much to share my discoveries about sacrifice, ransom, redemption, sin, guilt,... all these complitaed old words, sometimes like labyrinth withouth not way out. sometimes I said, I dont wanna hear those theories anymore. But now I am happy that I didnt give up. I am a couch theologian and I wished I had a professional eduation, theological and biblical earlier.

    I am trying to put all things togehter and get a picture that is my image of god now.
    and I hope that I am not boring anyone with my sometimes complicated insights.

    But I think that escpially for ex-jw we should be well informed about terms like:

    ransom, sin, sacrifice, redemption.... shouldnt we?

    As Paul said:

    "To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law."

    Wasnt that our motivation as JW? Why did we then not study the jewish religion, why dont we know what HaShem means, why cant we talk with a catolic about the meaning of the ten commandments, because JW dont learn anything really deepgoing about other religions.

    The Awake said "in the preaching work we learn about other cultures and to have respect of other religions", while the Watchtower at the same time condemns the other religions as Babylon that is only awaiting the final innihilation, the clerks would be the first feeling the hand of the UN-lead forces innihilating them.

    That is no respect of other religions and so they will never learn anything about other religions, how can you help someone without knowing the other religion better than mentioning: they have the trinity, they are supporting war, they bless weapons, they adore Mary that is idolatry, they have pagan tradition, christmas, easter. They dont need to know more?

    If you would like to discuss the terms, ransom, sacrifice further with me, I would be glad.

  • punkofnice

    I used to believe in the JW delusion...then I left and went to a Christian church. One day it struck me that with all the prayers that were being said, no one was listening. Certainly, no god was listening to me. So the whole Jesus blood, sacrifice, talking snake became irrelevant. I observed that the believers all quote scriptures to prove their points with glee, but it now seems so disinteresting to me. Although I try not to be rude about it the idea of using the Bible as a guide for life seems silly, even dangerous to me.

    If there is a god, he hates me. If there is no god......well, there you go.

    All this debate is a waste of time for me either way.

    Carry on......lugubrious rant over.

  • CalebInFloroda


    Are you asking to help me teach you the Jewish meaning behind these terms? Or are you thinking I don't know the Catholic side of the issue?

    I should let you know that Catholicism is adamantly against the proselytizing of Jews. St. John Paul the Great, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have all made formal and repeated statements that Catholics do not and should not concern themselves with converting Jews to Christianity as it undermines the Catholic teaching that the convenants with Israel have NOT been superseded by the new covenant with Christians, and that the call and providential purpose for Israel in the divine economy is irrevocable.

    Attempts at proselytizing Jews is denounced as anti-Semitism by the Catholic Church.

  • TheWonderofYou

    I am interested in learning ..thats everything. If my comments are useful to strenghten your faith I would be honoured, although my knowledge is about is little compared to you. Im mainly fascinated about the fact how much material is available even in free googlebooks and theological essays in internet. And i like to share a perhaps useful explanation of a certain word and apprecitate your jewish view.
    I think that I am implanted in the jewish olivetree, how this works together with covenant-theology is a unsolved mystery.

    ad sacrifice
    Were the animal and other sacrifices than social and spiritual communion.( korban = coming close to God).

    Is it true that the sacrivices according to Leviticus "demonstrated" the might of the sin, by putting the guilt on stage the guilt had consequence for the representative medium, so that the wrongdoer was released of the guilt. Than the victim/sacrifcie was no price in anyway that was to be paid ("like in the corresponding ransom idea) but a medium to make aware of the reality of sin.

  • CalebInFloroda


    While I don't mind going back and forth a bit and some give and take on an issue for a while, my main objective is merely to give pause to a JW who might be reading or add something useful from a rarely tapped source that can be of use to exJWs when facing challenges. Other points of view are just as valid and necessary, including that of non-theists and agnostics too--not just the Christian view which is predominate in our Western culture which more people have some basic knowledge of.

    A back and forth dialogue for the sake of showing others both sides, well that already exists in many formats and many places. I think that is outside the scope of this site as it mainly deals with issues that face ex-JWs in general.

    And frankly I really don't care to be exposed to any more Christian doctrine as I've had my fair share, even helped teach Catholicism and basics of Christianity to a classroom or two over the years. What you find on the Internet might be of interest to you and others, but if you want to know the Jewish take on these issues you can find that on the Internet too. You don't have to drag me into it.

    I add a lot of Judaism to this board, but I try to keep myself in check. Eventually there will be little more to add, and I even think I am almost there to be honest. There are other voices just important to be heard (yours too), and I think my adding a little here and there from this point on is just enough.

    It took two decades for me to decide on the issue of whether Jesus was the Messiah or not, and I came to it and made peace with it and embraced it. That is over for me. I've moved on. I don't buy it for one minute. But if you do, hey, great. Embrace your truth, love it. So I really have no interest in listening to or discussing counter-issues regarding my culture and the way I live it. I believe in encouraging people to step out of the Watchtower and find their place in the world and supporting them in that, but not in acting like the JWs and looking for ways to try to win them over to my philosophy or way of thinking.

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