Did the ransom sacrifice even work?

by Sharpie 58 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Sea Breeze,

    Christians are ransomed and redeemed now... so it is not only sheol that we are delivered from.


    Deliverance of humankind from its state of alienation from God has been accomplished through the death and resurrection of Christ (Rom 4:25; 2 Cor 5:18-19). In the New Testament, redemption requires the payment of a price, but the plight that requires such a ransom is moral, not material. Humankind is held in the captivity of sin from which only the atoning death of Jesus Christ can liberate. ("Entry for 'Redeem, Redemption'". "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology")

    Therefore, since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through him. Ro.5:9

    Rom_3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

    1Co_1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

    Eph_1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

    Col_1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

    Heb_9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    Are you aware that more than a dozen early christian verbal creeds are found in the new testament? These are dated by non-christian scholars to anywhere from a few weeks from the cross to a few years after the cross. Just WOW!

    As much as 90 % of Jesus' followers were illiterate. These creeds had rhymes or some sort of meter to them so that they were easiy rememberd and taught to others.

    This is amazing evidence illustrating what the earliest Christians believed immediately after the cross.

    The Earliest Christian Creed is found in 1 Cor. 15: 3-8

    “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:

    that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

    that he was buried,

    that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

    The earliest believers knew that Jesus died as a "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world", just as John the Baptist introduced him. As Jews, they were also very well familiar with the animal substitution sacrificial system. So, they also understood that it was a personal individual payment for the believer - "Christ died for our sins".

    One of the main reasons that we have the new testament was to keep the doctrines and meanings pure from heretics who sought to corrupt and obscure the work of Jesus. So, they wrote their arguments down at the direction of the Holy Spirit.

    In so doing, it is possible to firmly refute most every heresy from the scriptures. The leaders that the apostles trained wrote even more than what the apostles did... mostly battling heresies as well. This is also a valuable resource of history that records not only what the heresies were, but also who was responsible for them.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze
    should that not read "gehennah" the lake of fire?


    Probably, but what the hell.

  • Jeffro

    See Breeze:

    Using atheist scholars' own strict criteria, a person can be certain that the message of the death, burial, and resurrection was widely believed and preached upon prior to Paul leaving on his trip to Damascus (2-3 years after the cross)..... and probably just weeks or months afterward.

    😂 A fallacious argument from authority and ad hominem in the same sentence. Christianity Today is hardly an objective source for claiming what ‘atheist scholars’ say. But in any case, it’s entirely possible that a Jewish preacher was executed, an eclipse happened around the time he died, and the superstitious people made a superstitious connection and started a bunch of superstitious stories. 1 Corinthians was about 20 years after Jesus’ death and there isn’t any reliable contemporaneous attestation to the actual events. The fact that they believed something is not evidence that Jesus was actually resurrected. Even the stories about his resurrection say he wasn’t recognised, so someone else could have just claimed to be the resurrected Jesus.

  • peacefulpete

    Seabreeze. ..None of your comment explains the wide diversity of views very early in Xtian history. It seems clear to me that the story took hold in the imagination before theologians formulated it through metaphor.

    The NT (and later theology) use a number of images in their interpretive schemes; taken literally they are, often, mutually exclusive. For instance, a ransom (paid to the master of a slave or captive to obtain his freedom, or, rather, make him a slave of or a captive to the redeemer) has nothing to do with a sacrifice (offered to a deity, either to make it favorable, as in propitiation, or to erase a certain "sin," as in expiation). The conflation of those two images (one from a commercial setting, the other from a sacral setting) in the WT catchphrase "ransom sacrifice" is literally nonsensical: if taken allegorically a ransom would have to be paid to the devil, or to personified "sin," whereas a sacrifice would be offered to "God". There is no problem in using mutually exclusive images as long as they are taken metaphorically: we simply have an indefinite number of metaphors pointing from different angles to "something" which remains essentially undefined. In one word: a mystery.

    Redemption, Reductions.

  • peacefulpete

    As regards your appeal to Christain creed, your example illustrates the problem. First, as you are aware I'm sure, the creed is widely regarded as an interpolation that interrupts the discussion. Since we have reason to be at least skeptical of it's being Paul, and more importantly it doesn't define anything bearing on this topic, it doesn't form much of an argument regarding the theory of ransom.

    But since you brought it up, notice that the creed contradicts the Gospel/Acts tradition and Galatians on a number of points. It is for this reason many scholars, even highly critical ones date (at least the first 2 verses of) the creed to a period before the Gospels and introduced into Paul fairly early.

    R.Price has made reasonable arguments that the entirety was introduced post-Acts and was a result of a merging of rival Petrine and Jamesian sects' creeds.

    Consider carefully reading this somewhat long article: Apocryphal Apparitions by Robert M. Price (mindvendor.com)

    Something else I find glaring about the Creed is repeated appeal to "according to the scriptures". What scriptures? if the Gospels are implied, we have come to end of the discussion, it is clearly a late interpolation. If they refer to the Tanakh OT, then more difficult questions arise. Most assume the "scriptures" meant the Jonah story or possibly Hosea 6:2. This itself supports the position that the Christ story in all aspects were drawn from OT and seen through eyes of faith and eisegesis. This was subsequently allegedlyy confirmed through apparitions and visions of James the Just (not yet brother of Jesus) and Cephus. (not yet the rock of proto-catholic tradition). The 12 reference creates another set of issues I don't have time to discuss here.

    So what we might reasonably conclude is that elements of the creed date to a period before the Gospel traditions. Likely the creed as it reads today is a patchwork of these early elements with later addenda referencing 500 and Paul.

  • waton

    Sea Breeze
    16 hours ago
    should that not read "gehennah" the lake of fire?


    Probably, but what the hell.--"

    well, if that is the case, in a full equivalency of the "second Adam", including total annihilation in the second death,

    how could Jesus have been resurrected? and not Adam himself escaped Gehenna? If overriding the gehennah boundaries was possible for the Christ, why not for the other immature, befuddled, in love, erring first earthly son? after all, the tree of life was just begging to be used, no sacrifice or ransom needed. just a generous magnificent act, without legal wrangling.

    If Jesus did not die the same death as Adam, without possible redemption, how could the stake/Cross be a "corresponding ransom"?

    No wonder the " ransom sacrifice" as defined by wt does not yet detectably, will not work.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    Even the harshest critics concede the very early nature of creeds, found in the NT., as well as their agreement with each other and consensus with the apostles. That is not the point here.

    The conclusions these same critics draw are what is hard to make sense of. They are examined here.

  • peacefulpete

    Clearly you have not read the link I supplied nor carefully read my comments. I read the link you provided; it contains nothing that wasn't addressed in the information I shared. The sum of the argument is that critical scholars are wrong to analyze the textual history and content of the creedal passages and should rather just accept they somehow prove the unity of thought of the earliest Christians. In the case we have looked at, in 1 Cor 15, the creed content and composition are simultaneously what leads many to conclude that the insertion is at least partly early, perhaps even prePauline, but also represents a tradition not consistent with the Gospel tradition nor even Paul. IOW, What the creedal material reveals is not unity of thought but the opposite.

    Further, Price's position that the creedal material is best seen as an interpolation from a generation later may be a minority view at this point, but it is not easily dismissed.

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