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Is this the same cup?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Hammster, Jun 12, 2019.

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  1. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Penal Substitution in Church History

    The concept of penal substitution in which Christ’s death is viewed as being on behalf of sinners to satisfy divine justice was a common belief of the church of the 1st 1000 years. Many theologians of the early church held to a penal substitution view.12

    In a survey of these statements, one point should be understood. Many of the statements do not come within extended discussions of salvation. They appear to be noncontroversial at the time uttered. The nature of the atonement was not a major item of CONTROVERSY or debate in the early church. Thus, the statements are most probably declarations of generally accepted truths, adding more credibility for the case that the early theologians held to penal substitution.

    13Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey, Andrew Sach, Pierced for our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2007) 163.


    15Clement,First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians 49, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers (hereafter ANF), eds. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, 10 vols. (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, 1994) 1:18.

    16Ignatius, Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 2, ANF 1:87.

    As Jeffery, Ovey & Sachobserve, “f a writer makes a passing, but nonetheless explicit, reference to the doctrine of penal substitution in a work largely devoted to another subject, this probably indicates that penal substitution was both widely understood & fairly uncontroversial among his contemporaries.”13

    Plus, it would have confused the readers for the author to bring up any other view of the atonement.14

    Clement of Rome (d. 96)

    Clement was a bishop in Rome. Eusebius says Clement became bishop in AD 92. Like the apostle Paul, Clement wrote a letter to the Corinthians to deal with their schisms. His Epistle to the Corinthians(c. 95) is the earliest extant Christian writing after the NT. Clement declared that Jesus gave His life in His atonement:“Because of the love he felt for us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave his blood for us by the will of God, His body for our bodies & His soul for our souls.”15

    Ignatius (d. 107)

    Ignatius was the 3rd bishop of Antioch in Syria. He may have been a personal disciple of the apostle John & had a special fondness for Paul whom he quoted & of whom he spoke highly. Ignatius is known for refuting Docetism, an early heresy that claimed that Jesus only appeared to be human. Ignatius believed that Jesus died on behalf of sinners when he declared: “Now, He suffered all these things for our sakes, that we might be saved.”16

    Epistle of Barnabas

    The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek treatise with features of an epistle. It has been traditionally ascribed to Barnabas who is mentioned in the Book of Acts, though some ascribe it to Barnabas of Alexandria or another unknown early Christian teacher. The epistle was probably written in Alexandria, Egypt, between AD 70 & 135.

    In it are several explicit statements concerning Jesus’ sacrificial death for sins: "For to this end the Lord endured to deliver up His flesh to corruption, that we might be sanctified through the remission of sins, which is effected by His blood of sprinkling."

    "For it is written concerning Him, partly with reference to Israel & partly to us; & [theScripture] saith thus: 'He was wounded for our transgressions & bruised for our iniquities; with His stripes we are healed. He was brought as a sheep to the slaughter & as a lamb which dumb before its shearer."17

    17Epistle of Barnabas 5, ANF 1:139.

    18Epistle of Barnabas 7, ANF 1:141.

    19Mathetes, The Epistle to Diognetus 9, ANF 1:28.


    "Moreover, when fixed to the cross, He had given Him to drink vinegar & gall. Hearken how the priests of the people gave previous indications of this. His commandment having been written, the Lord enjoined, that whosoever did not keep the fast should be put to death, because He also Himself was to offer in sacrifice for our sins the vessel of the Spirit, in order that the type established in Isaac when he was offered upon the altar might be fully accomplished."18

    Epistle to Diognetus (2nd century)

    The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus is a 2nd-century work that some believe is one of the earliest examples of Christian apologetics. It also reveals early thinking in regard to Christ’s atonement. This epistle declared that “when our wickedness had reached its height...He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the Holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous.”19

    It then goes on to say, “O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation, O benefits surpassing all expectation: that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One & that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors.”20

    This epistle stands as a clear example of early belief that Jesus paid the price for unjust sinners so that they could be forgiven of their sins.

    Justin Martyr (c. 100-165)

    Justin was arguably the greatest apologist of the 2nd century, defending Christianity from both Jewish & pagan critics. He also emphasized that Christ became a curse for the whole human race.

    "For the whole human race will be found to be under a curse. For it is written in the law of Moses, ‘Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them’ [Deut 27:26].

    "And no one has accurately done all, nor will you venture to deny this; but some more & some less than others have observed the ordinances enjoined. But if those who are under this law appear to be under a curse for not having observed all the requirements, how much more shall all the nations appear to be under a curse who practice idolatry, who seduce youths & commit other crimes?"

    If,then, the Father of all wished His Christ for the whole human family to take upon Him the curses of all, knowing that, after He had been crucified & was dead, He would raise Him up, why do you argue about Him, who submitted to suffer these things according to the Father's will, as if He were accursed & do not rather bewail yourselves? For although His father caused Him to suffer these things in behalf of the human family, yet you did not commit the deed as in obedience to the will of God.21

    21Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 95, ANF 1:247.22Eusebius, Demonstratio Evangelica 10.1, trans. W. J. Ferrar, Eusebius of Caesarea: Demonstratio Evangelica. Tr. W.J. Ferrar (1920) -- Book 10 (accessed June 29, 2009).


    24Eusebius of Emesa, “Catena,” in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture NT XI (hereafterACCS), ed. Gerald Bray (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2000) 96.

    Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 275-339)

    Eusebius was the most important church historian of his time & a religious advisor to the emperor Constantine. He evidenced his belief that Christ became a curse for sinners when he stated,

    "Thus the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, became a curse on our behalf.” He then stated, “And the Lamb of God not only did this, but was chastised on our behalf & suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins."

    "And so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us & transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults & the dishonour, which were due to us & drew down upon Himself the appointed curse, being made a curse for us."22

    He also declared: “But since being in the likeness of sinful flesh He condemned sin in the flesh, the words quoted are rightly used. (Rom 8:3; Acts 13:39; Heb 2:14,17, etc.) And in that He made our sins His own from His love & benevolence towards us.”23

    Eusebius of Emesa (c. 300–360)

    This bishop of Emesa & leader in the Greek church said in regard to 1 Pet2:24: “But his wounds became our saviors.”24

    Hilary of Poitiers (c. 300-368)

    Hilary was Bishop of Poitiers and one of the more important Latin writers before Ambrose. In his Homily on Psalm 53, Hilary affirms Christ’s sacrificial death & how Jesus became a curse for other human beings:

    'For next there follows: I will sacrifice unto Thee freely. The sacrifices of the Law, which consisted of whole burnt-offerings & oblations of goats & of bulls, did not involve an expression of free will, because the sentence of a curse was pronounced on all who broke the Law.'

    "Whoever failed to sacrifice laid himself open to the curse. And it was always necessary to go through the whole sacrificial action because the addition of a curse to the commandment forbade any trifling with the obligation of offering. It was from this curse that our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed us, when, as the Apostle says: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made curse for us, for it is written: cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" [Gal. 3:13].

    "Thus He offered Himself to the death of the accursed that He might break the curse of the Law, offering Himself voluntarily a victim to God the Father, in order that by means of a voluntary victim the curse which attended the discontinuance of the regular victim might be removed."25

    This statement from Hilary includes the major elements of the penal substitution view. Jesus offered Himself on behalf of sinners becoming a curse on their behalf.

    Athanasius (c. 300-373)

    Athanasius is probably the most important Christian theologian before Augustine. This theologian of the Eastern church is recognized as the champion of orthodox Christology as he defended the deity of Christ against Arianism that was so influential in the 4th century. Yet Athanasius was also an explicit promoter of penal substitution.

    As William C. Weinrich states, “Athanasius frequently says that Christ suffered & died ‘for all’ or ‘in the stead of all.’”26

    For instance, Athanasius stated, "Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death in place of all & offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die & the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men."

    "This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption & make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body & by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire."27

    Athanasius also said, "The Word perceived that corruption could not be got rid of otherwise than through death; yet He Himself, as the Word, being immortal & the Father’s Son, was such as could not die. For this reason, therefore, He assumed a body capable of death, in order that it, through belonging to the Word Who is above all, might become in dying a sufficient exchange for all & itself remaining incorruptible through His indwelling, might thereafter put an end to corruption for all others as well, by the grace of the resurrection."

    It was by surrendering to death the body which He had taken, as an offering & sacrifice free from every stain, that He forthwith abolished death for His human brethren by the offering of the equivalent."

    "For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple & bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required."28

    25Hillary,Homilies on the Psalms 13, The Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers (hereafter NPNF), Series2, ed. Philip Schaff, 12 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976) 9:246.

    26William C. Weinrich, “God Did Not Create Death: Athanasius on the Atonement,” ConcordiaTheological Quarterly 72 (2008):301.

    27Athanasius,De Incarnatione Verbi Dei, trans. and ed., A Religious of C.S.M.V., Intr. by C. S.Lewis (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1996) 34

    In his Four Discourses Against the Arians, he said: “Formerly, the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment & having suffering in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all.”29

    And then, For, as when John says, ‘The Word was made flesh we do not conceive the whole Word Himself to be flesh, but to have put on flesh & become man & on hearing, ‘Christ hath become a curse for us,’ & ‘He hath made Him sin for us who knew no sin,’ we do not simply conceive this, that whole Christ has become curse & sin, but that He has taken on Him the curse which lay against us.

    (As the Apostle has said), ‘Has redeemed us from the curse,’ & ‘has carried,’ as Isaiah has said, ‘our sins’ & as Peter has written, ‘has borne them in the body on the wood.’30

    Athanasius also said, “He also carried up our sins to the Tree.”31

    In Ad Epictetum he said, “For what John said, ‘The Word was made flesh’ has this meaning, as we may see by a similar passage; for it is written in Paul: ‘Christ has become a curse for us.’ And just as He has not Himself become a curse, but is said to have done so because He took upon Him the curse on our behalf, so also He has become flesh not by being changed into flesh, but because He assumed on our behalf living flesh & has become Man.”32

    Thus, Athanasius stands as a clear promoter of penal substitution.

    Basil the Great (330-379)

    Basil was one of the most important defenders of the Trinity in the 4th century.
    In regard to Christ’s death he declared, “By the blood of Christ, through faith, we have been cleansed from all sin.”33

    28Ibid., 35.

    29Athanasius, Four Discourses Against the Arians, NPNF² 4:341.

    30Ibid., 4:374.

    31Athanasius, Letter to Maximus, NPNF²2:4:578.32Athanasius, Ad Epictetum, NPNF²4:573.33Basil, “On Baptism,” in ACCS NT XI, 96.

    Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 330-390)

    Known as the “Trinitarian Theologian,” Gregory also argued that Jesus became a curse for humanity & took human disobedience upon Himself: "Take, in the next place, the subjection by which you subject the Son to the Father."

    "What, you say, is He not now subject, or must He, if He is God, be subject to God? You are fashioning your argument as if it concerned some robber, or some hostile deity.

    But look at it in this manner: that as for my sake He was called a curse, Who destroyed my curse & sin, who taketh away the sin of the world & became a new Adam to take the place of the old {Adam}, just so He makes my disobedience His own as Head of the whole body."

    "As long then as I am disobedient & rebellious, both by denial of God & by my passions, so long Christ also is called disobedient on my account. But when all things shall be subdued unto Him on the one hand by acknowledgment of Him, & on the other by a reformation, then He Himself also will have fulfilled His submission, bringing me whom He has saved to God."

    For this, according to my view, is the subjection of Christ; namely,the fulfilling of the Father’s Will."34 (to be continued)
  2. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Ambrose of Milan (339-397)

    Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, was a mentor for Augustine & one of the most important theologians of the Patristic Era. His views on the substitutionary nature of Christ’s atonement are evident in the following statements:

    "Who, then, is He by the wound of Whose stripes we are healed but Christ the Lord? Of Whom the same Isaiah prophesied His stripes were our healing, of Whom Paul the Apostle wrote in his epistle: “Who knew no sin, but was made sin for us.”

    "This, indeed, was divine in Him, that His Flesh did no sin, nor did the creature of the body take in Him sin. For what wonder would it be if the Godhead alone sinned not, seeing It had no incentives to sin? But if God alone is free from sin, certainly every creature by its own nature can be, as we have said, liable to sin."35

    "A glorious remedy—to have consolation of Christ! For He bore these things with surpassing patience for our sakes—& we forsooth cannot bear them with common patience for the glory of His Name! Who may not learn to forgive, when assailed, seeing that Christ, even on the Cross, prayed,—yea, for them that persecuted Him?"

    "See you not that those weaknesses, as you please to call them, of Christ’s are your strength? Why question Him in the matter of remedies for us? His tears wash us, His weeping cleanses us,—& there is strength in this doubt, at least, that if you begin to doubt, you will despair."

    "The greater the insult, the greater is the gratitude due."36

    34Gregory, The Fourth Theological Oration 5, NPNF²7:311.

    35Ambrose, Of the Holy Spirit 9, NPNF²10:108.36Ambrose, Of the Christian Faith 9, NPNF²10:236.

    "Let us bethink ourselves of the profitableness of right belief. It is profitable to me to know that for my sake Christ bore my infirmities, submitted to the affections of my body, that for me, that is to say, for every man, He WAS MADE SIN & A CURSE, that for me & in me was He humbled & made subject, that for me He is the Lamb, the Vine, the Rock, the Servant, the Son of an handmaid, knowing not the day of judgment, for my sake ignorant of the day & the hour."37

    John Chrysostom (c. 350-407)

    John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was known for his preaching eloquence. With this quotation he discusses the concept of the transfer of sin from one to another:

    "If one that was himself a king, beholding a robber & malefactor under punishment, gave his well-beloved son, his only-begotten & true, to be slain & transferred the death & the guilt as well, from him to his son (who was himself of no such character), that he might both save the condemned man & clear him from his evil reputation."

    "And then if, having subsequently promoted him to great dignity, he had yet, after thus saving him & advancing him to that glory unspeakable, been outraged by the person that had received such treatment: would not that man, if he had any sense, have chosen 10,000 deaths rather than appear guilty of so great ingratitude?"

    "This then let us also now consider with ourselves & groan bitterly for the provocations we have offered our Benefactor; nor let us therefore presume, because though outraged he bears it with long-suffering; but rather for this very reason be full of remorse."38


    38John of Chrysostom, Homilies on Second Corinthians 6, NPNF¹ 12:335

    Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

    Augustine is widely recognized as the most important and influential theologian of the Patristic Era. He explicitly states that Jesus bore the curse for man’s sins with His death:

    "If we read, ‘Cursed of God is every one that hangeth on a tree,’ [Gal. 3:13; Deut 21:23] the addition of the words ‘of God’ creates no difficulty. For had not God hated sin & our death, He would not have sent His Son to bear & to abolish it."

    "And there is nothing strange in God’s cursing what He hates. For His readiness to give us the immortality which will be had at the coming of Christ, is in proportion to the compassion with which He hated our death when it hung on the cross at the death of Christ."

    "And if Moses curses every one that hangeth on a tree, it is certainly not because he did not foresee that righteous men would be crucified, but rather because He foresaw that heretics would DENY the death of the Lord to be real, & would try to DISPROVE the application of this curse to Christ, in order that they might disprove the reality of His death."

    "For if Christ’s death was not real, nothing cursed hung on the cross when He was crucified, for the crucifixion cannot have been real. Moses cries from the distant past to these heretics: Your evasion in denying the reality of the death of Christ is useless. Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; not this one or that, but absolutely every one."

    "What! the Son of God? Yes, assuredly. This is the very thing you object to & that you are so anxious to evade. You will not allow that He was cursed for us, because you will not allow that He died for us. EXEMPTION FROM ADAM'S CURSE IMPLIES EXEMPTION FROM HIS DEATH."

    "But as Christ endured death AS man & FOR man; so also, the Son of God as He was, ever living in His own righteousness, but dying FOR our offenses, He submitted as man & for man, to bear the curse which accompanies death."

    "And as He died in the flesh which He took in bearing our punishment, so also, while ever blessed in His own righteousness, He was cursed for our offenses, in the death which He suffered in BEARING OUR PUNISHMENT."

    "And these words ‘every one’ are intended to check the ignorant officiousness which would deny the reference of the curse to Christ & so, because the curse goes along with death, would lead to the denial of the true death of Christ."39

    Augustine also said that Christ’s blood was shed for sins: “For then that blood, since it was His who had no sin at all, was poured out for the remission of our sins.”40

    In summing up Augustine’s views on the atonement, Stephen Finlan observes, “[T]he crucified Christ provides that SATISFACTION, DYING AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR SINFUL HUMANS.”41

    39Augustine, Reply to Faustus the Manichaean 6, NPNF¹ 4:209.

    40Augustine, On the Trinity 15, NPNF¹ 3:177.

    41Stephen Finlan,Options on Atonement in Christian Thought (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press,2007) 55.

    42Cyril, De adoratione et cultu in spiritu et veritate iii, 100–102, in J. P. Migne (ed.), PatrologiaeCursus Completus: Series Graeca, vol. 68 (Paris, 1857-) 293, 296.

    43Finlan, Options on Atonement 55 (emphases in the original.)

    Cyril of Alexandria (c. 378-444)

    Cyril, a theologian of Alexandria, wrote that Jesus bore human sin on the cross: "The Only-begotten was made man, bore a body by nature at enmity with death & became flesh, so that, enduring the death which was hanging over us as the result of our sin, He might abolish sin."

    "And further, that He might put an end to the accusations of Satan, inasmuch as we have paid in Christ Himself the penalties for the charges of sin against us: ‘For He bore our sins & was wounded BECAUSE of us’, according to the voice of the prophet. Or are we not healed by his wounds?"42

    Gregory the Great (c. 540-604)

    A powerful pope of the Western church, Gregory built upon Augustine’s substitutionary views. As Finlan observes, “Gregory the Great taught that sin REQUIRES sacrificial payment, so that human sin necessitated a human sacrifice.”43

    In Morals on the Book of Job, Gregory declared, "When then the first man was moved by Satan from the Lord, then the Lord was moved against the second Man. And so Satan then moved the Lord to the affliction of this latter, when the sin of disobedience brought down the first man from the height of uprightness."

    "For if he had not drawn the first Adam by wilful sin into the death of the soul, the second Adam, being without sin, would never have come into the voluntary death of the flesh & therefore it is with justice said to him of our Redeemer too, Thou movest Me against him to afflict him without cause."

    "As though it were said in plainer words; ‘Whereas this man dies not on his own account, but on account of that other, thou didst then move Me to the afflicting of this one, when thou didst withdraw that other from Me by thy cunning persuasions.’

    "And of him is it rightly added, without cause. For ‘he was destroyed without cause,’ who was at once weighed to the earth by the avenging of sin & not defiled by the pollution of sin. He ‘was destroyed without cause,’ Who, being made incarnate, had no sins of His own & yet being without offence took UPON HIMSELF the punishment of the carnal."44

    Gregory’s views on Christ’s sacrificial atonement were influential. Finlan states that Gregory’s “atonement logic” became the “standard in Western Christendom, backed up by the authority of this persuasive pope.”45

    Severus of Antioch (d. c. 512)

    Severus was a Greek monk, theologian & patriarch of Antioch. In regard to 1 Pet 2:24 he declared: “The one who offered Himself for our sins had no sin of His own. Instead He bore our transgressions in Himself & was made a sacrifice for them."

    "This principle is set out in the law, for what sin did the lamb or the goat have, which were sacrificed for sins & which were even called ‘sin’ for this reason.”46

    Oecumenius (c. 990)

    An author on various books of the NT, Oecumenius explicitly stated that Christ died for our sins: “The righteous person suffers for the salvation of others, just as Christ did. This is why Peter mentions our Lord’s example, since Christ did not die for His own sins but for ours.

    This is the point he makes by adding ‘the righteous for the unrighteous.’”47 He then goes on to say, “So great was His passion that however often human beings may sin, that ONE ACT OF SUFFERING is sufficient to take away all our transgressions.”48

    44Gregory,Morals of the Book of Job, in Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (London:Oxford, 1844) 1:148.

    45Finlan, Options on Atonement 55-56.46Severus of Antioch, “Catena,” in ACCS NT XI, 96.

    47Oecumenius, “Commentary on 1 Peter,” in ACCS NT XI, 107.


    Martin Luther

    At this point it has been established that the concept of penal substitution was firmly held by the church of the 1st 1000 years. Yet one more individual in the debate over penal substitution must be mentioned—Martin Luther.

    Luther is important in the debate over penal substitution since Gustaf Aulen claimed that Luther broke with Anselm’s satisfaction view in favor of the Christus Victor view.49

    But Luther did affirm penal substitution also as the following statements show: "Therefore Christ was not only crucified & died, but by divine love sin was laid upon Him."50

    He has & bears ALL THE SINS OF ALL MEN IN HIS BODY—not in the sense that He has committed them but in the sense that He took these sins, committed by us, upon His OWN BODY, in order to make SATISFACTION FOR THEM WITH HIS OWN BLOOD."51

    For you do not yet have Christ even though you know that He is God & man. You truly have Him only when you believe that this altogether pure & innocent Person has been granted to you by the Father as your High Priest & Redeemer, yes, as your slave."

    "Putting off His innocence & holiness & putting on your sinful person, HE BORE YOUR SIN, DEATH & CURSE; He became a sacrifice & a curse for you, in order thus to set you free from the CURSE of the Law."52

    Timothy George comments on Luther’s view of the atonement: “Luther makes clear that there was no remedy for sin EXCEPT for God’s only Son to become man & to take upon Himself the load of ETERNAL WRATH thus making His own body & blood a sacrifice for sin.”53

    Wolfhart Pannenberg said of Luther that he saw “with full clarity that Jesus’ death in its genuine sense is to be understood as VICARIOUS PENAL SUFFERING.”54

    In an orthodox view, Aulen draws too sharp a distinction. Luther was not inconsistent. He saw both views—classical & penal substitution.55

    As Luther’s Larger Catechism says: "He has snatched us, poor lost creatures, from the jaws of hell, won us, made us free & restored us to the Father’s favor in grace...Christ suffered, died & was buried that He might make satisfaction for me & pay for what I owed, not with silver & gold, but with HIS OWN PRECIOUS BLOOD."56

    49Aulen, Christus Victor 101–2.

    50Martin Luther, Luther’s Works (hereafter LW), eds. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut Lehmann, et al. 55vols. (St. Louis: Concordia & Philadelphia: Fortress, 1955-1986) 26:279.

    51LW 26:277.

    52LW 26:288.

    53Timothy George, “The Atonement in Martin Luther’s Theology,” The Glory of the Atonement, eds.Charles E. Hill and Frank A. James III (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP, 2004, 273). See also Finlan, Optionson Atonement 58.

    54Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus—God and Man (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1974) 279.

    55See Timothy George, “The Atonement in Martin Luther’s Theology,” in The Glory of theAtonement, eds. Charles E. Hill and Frank A. James III (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2004) 2


    Jeffery, Ovey & Sach rightly point out that the doctrine of penal substitution has “an impeccable pedigree in the history of the Christian church.”57

    The assertion that the doctrine of penal substitution is a latecomer, a development of the Reformation, IS NOT TRUE. It is REFUTED by many statements from theologians of the 1st 1000 years that Jesus died on behalf of sinners, becoming a curse on their behalf to satisfy God’s righteous requirements.

    Recent opponents of penal substitution are correct that many in the early church believed in the classical or Christus Victor view of the atonement in which Christ’s death is a victory over the powers of darkness, but often the early theologians also believed in the penal substitution view as well.

    This is a “both/and” scenario, not an “either/or.” The opponents of penal substitution have erred in thinking that belief in the classical view meant that the early church did not believe in the penal substitution position, but that is not the case.

    Nor are these opponents correct in claiming that Martin Luther held to the classical view but not the penal substitution view. The evidence showing that the early church believed& taught penal substitution is impressive & as Jeffery, Ovey & Sach have put it, “quite overwhelming.”58

    Those who hold to the doctrine of penal substitution can be encouraged that their belief has been clearly articulated throughout church history.

    It is not an invention of the Protestant Reformation or the result of common cultural beliefs of the day. One can only speculate as to WHY ANY would claim that penal substitution was not taught in the early church.

    Perhaps those who have a theological aversion for this doctrine want it to be the case that penal substitution is a more recent invention. Or, opponents have not taken into consideration that statements in favor of a classical view of the atonement are not mutually exclusive with the view that Christ died on behalf of sinners.

    Either way, they are in error & need to take an honest look at the evidence. Regardless, Christians should not be confused on this matter. From a historical perspective, penal substitution has been widely held throughout church history. The declaration that “the myth of the ‘late development’ of penal substitution has persisted quite long enough. It is time to lay it to rest for good”59 IS CORRECT.

    56Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1959) 414.

    57Jeffery, Ovey & Sach, Pierced for our Transgressions 31.58Ibid., 163.59Ibid., 163–64.
  3. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

    Excellent. You are a true mathetes, following the Lord in opening Scripture to all His sheep, feeding both them and the lambs.

    In my first post I will post a totally different doctrine of the atonement.

    I will then show it is a doctrine supported by Scripture itself.

    I will then show that my method is not grammatical historical (language is a lion, devouring whoever it wills!), but one that is prescribed, again, by Scripture.

    I will then show how as early as the first century church, doctrine went astray.

    Big, proud claims? Not really. Just illuminating the pitfalls to avoid. Like any other mathetes would do.
  4. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

    In my first post, I will explain my theory of the atonement, which I will call the "Wordkeeping Theory". You will see why!

    John 8
    51Truly, I tell all of youaa emphatically, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

    52Then the Jewish leadersbb told him, “Now we really know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets, but you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’

    First, let us study what the word "cross" means. Since Jesus commanded us to pick up our cross every day, it must mean more than just the eponymous act on Calgary.

    Did Jesus Himself pick up a cross everyday?

    The word cross conveys a sense of death. Criminals are put on a cross. They don't voluntarily pick one up. So the phrase "pick up your cross" means lay down your life. This is confirmed when we search among the various Scripture verses that link to the cross:

    John 10
    17This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it back again. 18No one is taking it from me; I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This is what my Father has commanded me.”

    Why would the Father command Christ to lay down His life?

    Here is the explanation:

    Exodus 4
    8“Then if they don’t believe you and respond to the first sign, they may respond to the secondo sign. 9But if they don’t believe even these two signs, and won’t listen to you, then take some water out of the Nile Riverp and pour it on the dry ground. The water you took from the Nile Riverq will turn into blood on the dry ground.

    Of course, there is no guarantee that Israel will come out of Egypt. I mean spiritual Egypt. You can take the man out of Egypt, but can you take Egypt out of the man?

    Psalm 106
    11The water overwhelmed their enemies,
    so that not one of them survived.d
    12Then they believed his word
    and sung his praise.

    13But they quickly forgot his deeds
    and did not wait for his counsel.
    14They were overwhelmed with craving in the wilderness,
    so God tested them in the wasteland.
    15God granted them their request,
    but sent leanness into their lives.

    Acts of the Apostles 8
    9Now in that city there was a man named Simon. He was practicing occult arts and thrilling the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 10Everyone from the least to the greatest paid close attention to him, saying, “This is what we callf the great power of God!” 11They paid careful attention to him because he had thrilled them for a long time with his occult performances. 12But when Philip proclaimed the good news about the kingdom of God and about the name of Jesus the Messiah,g men and women believed and were baptized. 13Even Simon believed, and after he was baptized he became devoted to Philip. He was amazed to see the signs and great miracles that were happening.

    A real Havana Cohiba for the person who points out where Simon the Sorcerer became filled with craving...
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  5. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    The pitfalls to avoid in your first post show me you fell right into them. When someone abandons the hermeneutical method of historical grammatical interpretation, they open themselves to all kinds of eisogetical meanderings, such as the Apostle Peter described:

    2 Pet 3:2ff ...You should remember the predictions of the holy prophets & the commandment of the Lord & Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

    They deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago & the earth was formed out of water & through water by the word of God & that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water & perished. But by the same word the heavens & earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment & destruction of the ungodly.

    Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness & godliness, waiting for & hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire & dissolved & the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens & a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish & at peace. 15And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of THESE matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant & unstable TWIST to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this BEFOREHAND, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people & lose your own stability.

    2 Pet 1:16-21 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power & coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor & glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”—& we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

    So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you DO WELL TO PAY ATTENTION as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns & the morning star arises in your hearts. 20But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of ONE'S OWN INTERPRETATION, 21for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

    What happens when someone abandons & departs from sound principles of Scripture interpretation & goes about establishing their own interpretation?

    That is just what is happening with you & that is placing yourself on dangerous ground.

    You start with saying:

    You do just what the Apostle Peter says not to do.

    Second, you admit you will not use a sound interpretational method of understanding the Scriptures but your own.

    And you illustrate it by changing & distorting a passage of Scripture, to whatever you want it to mean, totally devoid of what Scripture is actually saying!

    Your interpretation: "Language is a lion, devouring whoever it wills!"

    Scripture: I Pet 5:6-12 Therefore HUMBLE YOURSELVES under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8Be of SOBER SPIRIT, BE ON THE ALERT.


    9But RESIST him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen & establish you. 11To Him be dominion forever & ever. Amen.

    Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting & testifying that THIS IS the true grace of God. STAND FIRM IN IT!

    Third, you say the following:

    I will...
    ...totally different doctrine of the atonement.
    ...my method

    This is what Jude, the writer of Scripture WARNS US about NOT doing & why we are to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

    Jude 1:3,4 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our COMMON salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you CONTEND EARNESTLY FOR THE FAITH WHICH WAS ONCE FOR ALL HANDED DOWN TO THE SAINTS. 4For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    As I showed in my prior posts, the doctrine of the atonement has been handed down to us through history but some have sought to distort & twist it to their own interpretation, such as you are now doing.

    You further illustrate this dangerous path you are on by the following:

    Instead of doing a study on the cross in Scripture, you pick passages totally unrelated & do not even mention the cross, pulling verses out of their contexts & then mixing these unrelated passages, making your own pretext for what they mean, devoid of what they actually mean IN THE CONTEXT. I showed how you did that at the beginning of this post & you are continuing to do that!

    An eponym is a person, place, or thing after whom or after which something is named, or believed to be named.

    You treat the cross of Christ as just some name--rather than the cruel instrument of death that our Lord Jesus Christ chose as the way He would die in order to atone for the sin of the world as the Lamb of God & the means by which we of faith can be redeemed by His precious shed blood as our substitute.

    You are on unstable & dangerous ground, Wordkeeper! Take heed to Scripture & the warnings in it. It is not good to be where you are now. Examine yourself & what you are saying. I have to do the same as well, to make sure I am not going astray but aligning myself with the Scriptures as the saints have understood it down through history.

    When you seek to show "how as early as the first century church, doctrine went astray--Big, proud claims? Not really--contrary to what Scripture actually teaches & the attitude you use in doing this, you are on dangerous ground! It is not a good place to be at all, let alone trying to teach others. I take heed to the warning of the Apostle James. We are not to trifle with God's Word or add to it or take away from it, changing it.

    James 3

    Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. 2For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.

    See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.

    8But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

    13Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy & selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant & so lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16For where jealousy & selfish ambition exist, there is disorder & every evil thing. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy & good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    Proverbs 30:2-8 Surely I am more stupid than any man & I do not have the understanding of a man. 3Neither have I learned wisdom, nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One. 4Who has ascended into heaven & descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!

    Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. 7Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: 8Keep deception & lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion...
  6. Grumman Tomcat

    Grumman Tomcat Living in the Misinformation Age Staff Member Administrator CF Staff Trainer Supporter

    United States
    Closed at request of OP
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