Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Examples of Atonement: valid and invalid

The following is an excerp from Chapter Two of my manuscript "Love One Another"

“And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.’ ” (Genesis 6:13-14 KJV)

In verse 14, the first "pitch” is Kapher, in the Hebrew language. We saw it previously at the beginning of this chapter in preparation to discuss the concept of atonement. Kapher originally meant to cover. Over time it came to be used for appeasement, placate, or reconciliation; atonement. Here, in Genesis 6:14 the first “pitch” is cover. The second “pitch” is a little different in concept, leaning toward a price paid for atonement.

Kapher in Genesis 6:14 is specifically related to the material used to “cover”: Bitumen.

Kopher is the effect that kapher had. When God looked on the earth in its tempest of swirling, turbulent, unsettled water, the ark would be seen as having atoning qualities and God would not destroy it.

Nimrod’s Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 is a "migdalah", a Hebrew word that means rostrum, podium, or platform. (More commonly, you will see the word ziggurat is used instead of migdalah.) An odd definition for something that history has classified a “tower”. The Tower of Babel was in fact a tower, and its site thought to exist in Iraq.

"Migdalah" is used, possibly because its intent is of dual purpose. It is a podium because it was the center of attention in Babel. A platform because they believed that their God would step down from the sky descending and ascending its staircase as it visited its patrons.

Obviously, Nimrod had established a government center that also served as a place of worship.

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4, KJV)

City” is translated from the Hebrew word Iyr from its root uwr. Iyr is a city; a city that is guarded, maybe a mere encampment or base. Uwr has the idea of opening the eyes. It may be that the two ideas exist here, simultaneously and “city” may be a place that was built with the intent to open the eyes in a spiritual sense. I prefer this idea over others, given the fact that there was concern for being “scattered” (“scattered” may actually be considered as “spiritually lost”) and given consideration to other words in this passage, the idea shapes up well.

Top” from Hebrew is Rosh bearing the idea of someone of authority; a captain, commander, chief – self-appointed, appointed, or elected. It may even be a priest.

The marquee in verse 11:4 is “name”. Why, because in the Hebrew language the word shem is translated to English as “name”. Shem is a proper name as in the son of Noah. It was this son Noah referred to when he prophesied, saying: “Blessed is the God of Shem”. Or, happy is the God of Shem. Why? Shem is an ancestor to Abram. It is out of Shem’s lineage that the Messiah would come.

To read more on the concept of Atonement, Click on this link to go to Chapter Two of "Love One Another" from which this excerp comes.


satire and theology said...

I had to do some work on atonement theory for my PhD. It is a complex topic. Some of the references I used.

BAUER, WALTER. (1979) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Translated by Eric H. Wahlstrom, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

BROWNING, W.R.F. (1997) ‘Propitiation' in Oxford Dictionary of the Bible, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

DODD. C.H. (1935) The Bible and the Greeks, London, Hodder and Stoughton.

ELWELL, WALTER A. (1996) ‘Atonement, Extent of the’, in Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.

ERICKSON, MILLARD (1994) Christian Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.

FEINBERG, JOHN S. (1994) The Many Faces of Evil, Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing House.

GRENZ, STANLEY J., DAVID GURETZKI AND CHERITH FEE NORDLING (1999) Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, Downers Grove, Ill., InterVarsity Press.

PALMA, ANTHONY (2007) ‘Propitiation’ in Enrichment Journal, Springfield Missouri, Enrichment Journal.

STRONG, J. (1986) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Pickering, Ontario, Welch Publishing Company.

jeleasure said...

Thanks for the references, Russ.
Yes, atonement is a complex topic. Though I believe a person can come to Christ "as a child". I wonder, for how long will they hold to their "child like faith" without understanding atonement.
To me, atonement is one of the core doctrines of the faith. I believe, for opinionated persons who reason for "what" or "why should I", it is necessary for their relationship with God and man for them to understand atonement.
Thanks Russ,

Vicki said...

Your article on antonement is my favorite of all the chapters. I have read it many times, and when I need to remember the love of God for this sinner, I feel comfort in reading about atonement once again.
Thanks, Jim.

thekingpin68 said...

Cheers, Jim.

I replied to you and mentioned your somewhat related atonement article.


jeleasure said...

Hi Russ,
Just sent a blogger to you.
Yes, I did see your blog. I thought I left a comment. Sometimes, I mess up in the sending. I will visit again.

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Jim,

Great post on atonement. I also like the pictures of the swans they are beautiful.

I'll be checking out the Kermit blog today.. Blessings to you and vicki!


Greg said...

Hi, Jim. Very deep analogies. You can draw many parallels here. The pitch was physically intended to keep the water out, so likewise, the Holy Spirit protects our hearts to keep sin itself out. Or, we are called to live apart from the world (in the world, but of the world). Likewise, the ark, during the flood, was set apart from the world.

Woman on a Mission said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Um...the linking thing. You'll have to tell me how to do that exactly as I'm relatively new to the blogging world.

the_thinking_frog said...

Greetings Jim,

I appreciate the detail work you provide as evidence of the conclusions that you draw. These will be beneficial for references in the future.

It is amazing the Truth which is available as one delves into the Written Word. The atonement is fundamental to understanding the sacrificial death of Chris. Good work!

Joyfully Serving,


preacherman said...

Jim your blog is so thought provoking. I love it. I want you to know and everyone who reads my blogs and the blogs I visit that your blog is defiantely a must read. I know that through reading your blog it has strenched my faith and relationship with God. Keep up the fantastic job.

Oh, yeah you have a great wife who has been a source of encouragment! Thank you Vicki for your blog and your words of encouragement. God bless you richly sis!

jeleasure said...

Wow! Tamela, Greg, W.O.A.M, Kermit and Preacherman, I thought this blog was moving a bit slow. But, thanks for all showing up.
Blogging has been an excellent way to stretch my imagination and help me to have a place to organize my thoughts concerning various studies I have done.
This study was done on Love One Another. I just wanted to relax a little and give you something that really fascinated me in my studies.

Please, if you have not, follow the link over to Chapter Two, Atonement. We all have some different understanding of what atonement is. And, I think that each one of you would say that Atonement is definately the covering of sin. So, what I wanted to do is demonstrate the ancients in their understanding the need for atonement, and hopefully, you will see the covering of sin is present in all of these 'valid and invalid' forms of atonement.
I've enjoyed blogging with all of you. Be sure to visit the new bloggers. Encourage them to be a part of this network and even encourage them to join your other networks. (Each of you have bloggers on your list that some of us do not blog with.)

jeleasure said...

My wife pointed out that Hosea 9:5 asks "What will you do in that appointed day of the feast of the Lord?"

A parallel to the invitation that God, three times gives throughout history.

Farrah said...

Very interesting! I'm heading over to read atonement. :-)

jeleasure said...

Thanks Farrah,
Off topic, you may be interested to look up a fresh article in the World Net Daily on line. It is discussing how the case against Obama is beginning to catch like a brush fire around the country.
Also, I read the comcast headlines. The headlines said there is a lot of hostility being projected at Obama.

Jody said...

Hi Jim,
Thought I'd left a comment here, but guess I was wrong. I'm presently visiting my mom in Iowa where there is great Zeno's pizza, a local fav. and I grew up eating. Will read this post when I get home to my own computer. My mom's is dial up. Jody

jeleasure said...

Thanks Jody,
Have fun at your mom's.

Vicki said...

Hi Sweetheart,
I read all of the comments and thought how rich you and I are to have such wonderful fellow believers to share and to encourage.
Atonement is a source of great peace for me. I noticed in Russ's references there was the word "propitiation" which means "requirement". There is a second part of atonement that is so important: "Expiation", which means reconcilliation.
The law must be fulfilled by the shedding of blood for our sins. And then there is the love that is given freely to us.
Praise Jesus, the Worthy Lamb of God! No wonder we will be singing this in heaven. Let us not wait, but praise Him even now.
Blessings to you, Our Brothers and Sisters. I love you, Jim. Thanks for continually talking about the truths of our faith.