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Christ made Sin?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Feb 7, 2019.

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  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    2 Corinthians 5:21. ‘For He [God] made Him who knew no sin [Christ] to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’

    Greek transliteration. Ton gar me gnonta hamartian huper hemon hamartian epoiesen, hina hemeis ginometha dikaiosune theou en auto.

    There has been much discussion concerning this verse in various threads, and I thought it might be helpful to dedicate a thread to it. In this initial post I want to declare what I believe the verse does not mean, and discuss that, before moving on to posit want I think it does mean

    It has been suggested that Christ was not made ‘sin’ in 2 Cor. 5:21, but a ‘sin offering.’ There are three reasons why I believe this suggestion should be rejected:

    Firstly, and most simply, hamartia, the |Greek word translated ‘sin occurs twice in the verse, very close together as may be seen above, and it would be strange if it had two meanings in one sentence; but to say, “God made Him who knew no sin offering to be a sin offering for us” makes no sense.

    Secondly, hamartia never means ‘sin offering’ in the New Testament, though it sometimes does elsewhere. In the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the O.T., it sometimes appears, but always in the genitive case, hamartias, ‘of sin’ or ‘for sin.’ In 2 Cor. 5:21, it is in the accusative case, hamartian epoiesen; ‘He was made sin.’ There are five places in Hebrews 10 where the words ‘sin offering,’ ‘offering for sin’ or sacrifice for sin’ appear. In verse 12, ‘sacrifice for sins’ is huper hamartion thusian, and in verse 26 it is peri hamartion thusia. Huper means ‘on behalf of’ and peri means ‘concerning.’ In verse 6, quoting the Septuagint, ‘sacifices for sin’ is simply translated peri hamartias, but both thusia, ‘sacrifice’ and prosphora, ‘offering’ appear in the previous verse. In verse 8, the quotaion is repeated. In verse 18, ‘offering for sin’ translates prosphora peri hamartias. All this rather complicated stuff is to show that hamartia on its own never means ‘sin offering.’

    Thirdly, in John 3:14, the Lord Jesus declares, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up……” The reference is, of course, to Numbers 21:8-9, where Moses made a ‘fiery serpent,’ lifted it up on a pole, and everyone who looked upon it was cured of snake-bite. The serpent is clearly not any sort of offering, but it is some sort of type of the Lord Jesus, but what sort? Well where do we see in Scripture a red, fiery serpent? Well in Revelation 12:3, we are introduced to ‘A great fiery red dragon’ who, in verse 9, is seen to be the serpent, alias Satan himself.

    So how can Satan possibly be a type of Christ? He can only be a type of Christ made sin for us. The Lord Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 2:8). The primary satanic work was the luring of mankind into sin. Christ on the cross was made the very epitome of sin for us, figured by the brazen serpent, and paid the penalty of His people’s sin in full, so that ‘the accuser of our brethren…..has been cast down’ (Revelation 12:10). Satan can no longer accuse Christians of sin because Christ has taken away their sin debt, nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:14) marked tetelestai, ‘Paid in Full’ (John 19:20; c.f. Matthew 17:24). Therefore, ‘Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies; who is he who condemns?’ (Romans 8:33-34).

    The Lord Jesus declared, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32). We in our witnessing and preaching, are to lift up Christ crucified before all people and declare, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” And whoever looks at Christ crucified and trusts in Him for salvation will indeed be saved.
     
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  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Some good observations which I an unequipped to refute. For example, same word in same form with two different meanings. I agree, not likely.

    Since the word is used to refer to a sin offering, I do not think the meaning can be excluded from a possible translation choice. However, that takes back to the first observation, so the choice is not likely.

    Let's try a different approach, a more literal translation and see what pops.

    I will put two "."between different Greek words, and put a "-" between words translating the same Greek word:

    For.. the-One.. knowing.. no.. sin.. for-the-sake-of.. us..
    He-took.. sin.. that.. we.. may-become.. the-righteousness.. of-God.. in.. Him..

    This translation choice does not appear to be unlikely given:

    “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

    This translation choice avoids all the theological problems with God becoming sin.


     
  3. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    No good, I'm afraid. 'The One knowing no sin' (Christ) is in the accusative and must therefore be the object; it cannot be the subject. Secondly, epoiensen means 'He made.' The verb poieo means either 'I make' or 'I do;' never, 'I take.'
     
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  4. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Perhaps, if instead of "He took" we just render it "took" the issue of grammar goes away. Thus, For the One knowing no sin for our sake took sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    As far as no one ever translating that word as "took" several versions do, not in this verse, but in another verse using the same form of the word.

    So, the literal word meaning for word meaning translation presents the message without the theological dilemma.
     
  5. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    My friend, please try to understand. 'The One knowing no sin' cannot be the subject of the sentence. Please ask anyone who knows even a little Greek and he will confirm his to you.
    Also, please give me chapter and verse of where poieo is translated as 'take' or 'took.'
     
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  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Of course, the "for" is a conjunction putting the whole verse as part of a longer sentence in Greek. God through us as ambassadors of Christ, begs you: Be reconciled to God, for the One knowing no sin for our sake took sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    2 Cor. 5:21 GOD'S WORD® Translation
    God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God's approval through him.
    Acts 7:24 New American Standard Bible
    "And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian.
    Acts 7:24 GOD'S WORD® Translation
    When he saw an Israelite man being treated unfairly by an Egyptian, he defended the Israelite. He took revenge by killing the Egyptian.
    Acts 7:24 Good News Translation He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his help and took revenge on the Egyptian by killing him.
     
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Oh boy! You are determined that 'the One knowing no sin' be the subject of the sentence. It can't be done!!!! It doesn't matter what the context is. It would mean contradicting the most basic rules of grammar! In English, when you see the word 'he,' you know that it has to be the subject of the sentence; and when you see 'him,' you know that it can't be the subject. Likewise, when you see the Greek word ton, you know that it is in the accusative case and so cannot be the subject of the sentence. If it was ho, it would be nominative and would be the subject. End of story.
    I've never heard of 'God's Word' translation before, but here, at least, it's a rank bad one and a total paraphrase. It does at least make God the subject of the sentence, but it gives two verbs -- 'had' and 'take' when there is only one. Go with any reputable translation to get the truth.
    To 'take revenge' is an English idiom. You don't actually 'take' revenge anywhere, you inflict it. In Greek, the idiom is 'make revenge.' I repeat, the Greek word poieo means to 'do' or to 'make.' But even if it did, you can't make it mean what you want it to mean, because in 2 Cor. 5:21, 'Him who knew no sin' is the object of the sentence not the subject.

    Look, Van; I know you think I'm lying to you, or making it up out of ignorance, but go and ask someone who knows some Greek. If you don't trust @John of Japan or someone else on the board, surely you must know someone who can explain it to you?
     
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  8. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I did not see where you addressed that the subject is in the prior verse?
     
  9. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    :Rolleyes If you want, but it makes no difference to the Greek language which you are currently pillaging.
    2 Corinthians 5:20-21. ‘Now then, we are Christ's ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on God's behalf, be reconciled to Christ. For He [God] made Him who knew no sin [Christ] to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’

    There are two sentences in verse 20, and 'we' -- that is, Paul and his associates -- is the subject of both of them. All v.20 does is to confirm that the 'He' in v.21 is God. Reconciliation with God is possible for sinful humans because God has made the sinless Christ to be sin for us so that we become the righteousness of God in Him.
     
  10. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    God through us as ambassadors of Christ, begs you: Be reconciled to God, for the One knowing no sin for our sake took sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
     
  11. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    There is just no way to get from the Greek text Jesus being a sin offering, as He took upon Himself the sins of His own people on that Cross, and while there as the sin bearer, God the Father saw and treated Him as If he had actually committed all of those sins, and yet He still always remained the sinless Sin of God!
     
    #11 Yeshua1, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  12. Forever Settled

    Forever Settled Active Member

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    Isaiah 53:6

    6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned every one to his own way;
    and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
     
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  13. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I bet that was not your intention.
    [​IMG]

    God through us as ambassadors of Christ, begs you: Be reconciled to God, for the One knowing no sin for our sake took sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Jesus was our sin bearer while on the Cross, correct?
     
  15. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    What do you make of this: God through us as ambassadors of Christ, begs you: Be reconciled to God, for the One knowing no sin for our sake took sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
     
  16. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Actually there is. ἁμαρτία means "sin offering" in Hebrews 10:6 ("sacrifices for sin"). Paul uses the word to mean "sin offering" in Romans 8:3 (God sent Christ as a "sin offering", not as sin). Additionally the possibility of ἁμαρτία meaning "sin offering" is established as the author of Hebrews is referencing Psalm 40:6 (chăţâ'âh), which is referring to "sin offering".

    This is why, in the past, many (like John Gill) pointed out that the word here means "sin offering" and points to our sins being laid upon Christ.

    The idea that the Greek word ἁμαρτία in the context of the passage cannot mean "sin offering" is asinine. Whether it does or doesn't can be discussed but the exclusion is foolish.

    This is why I do not like word studies. Some grab onto a language tool or commentary and "go for it". Some end up viewing Satan as a "Christ type".
     
  17. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    MM said, "the Greek language which you are currently pillaging." Actually it looks to me like group think translators have pillaged 2 Cor. 5:21. I have been told, He made Him provides the subject verb and object of verse 21. But He and Him have been added by the translators, thus those words do not appear in a literal translation. I have been told, we might become are the subject and verb of verse 21, in which case they appear in my version.
     
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  18. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Still not possible. 'The One knowing no sin' cannot be the subject.
     
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  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I like word studies, but for the rest of your post, spot on!
     
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  20. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Hebrews 10:6 I covered in the O.P. the expression is peri hamartias, 'concerning sin.' It has reference to thusia and prosphora in the preceding verse.
    Romans 8:3, NKJV. 'For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin (Gk. peri hamartias): He condemned sin in the flesh.' The KJV and ESV have 'for sin.' I understand that the NIV has 'to be a sin offering' but the words simply mean 'on account of sin.' Anything more is an interpretative gloss.
    It certainly points to our sins being laid on Christ, but that is something I intend to bring out in my next post.
    If you read my O.P. again (?) you will see that I said that 'I believe' that 'sin offering' is not possible. The whole purpose of the thread is to discuss. If I didn't want discussion I would have put it on my blog.

    But the fact is that hamartia -- ἁμαρτία if you prefer -- is never used in the NT to mean a sin offering. Peri hamartias or huper hamartion, yes, but never hamartia on its own.
    :rolleyes:
     
    #20 Martin Marprelate, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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