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Featured How Christ Was "Made Sin"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by KenH, Feb 19, 2023.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I'm less asking "why" (although my language may be mistaken for that purpose). I know why.

    I am asking "why not?".

    Why not just take the passage for what is written in the text?

    What I mean is, why not take the word "sin" to literally mean "sin" (a literal use of "sin" in the Greek language)?

    We agree that Jesus was not literally made "sin" meaning "to miss the mark" of divine righteousness.

    As you noted, you are aware of the use of hamartia in the Greek (in the Greek literature avaliable to 1st Century Corinth) to indicate an inner movement or quality that leads to the death of the protagonist or to a tragic event.

    I suggest Paul is using hamartia literally, but not to express a heresy (that Christ was literally made to "miss the mark", as that would negate the first instance of hamartia in the verse). Instead I believe Paul was speaking of Christ being made a sin offering, being made a curse.

    BUT you maintain that Paul used hamartia in an entirely new way - a way not used elsewhere in the NT, in Scripture, or in the Greek language.
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    So I don't have much time this week, since we are having our Bible conference and I'm still grading papers from the two week class I taught. But I got very curious about the idea that "sin offering" in the LXX is just the word hamartia (ἁμαρτία), "sin." So I chose some random verses and looked at the LXX, and here is what I found. I'll list the KJV verse then the LXX.

    Ex. 29:14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it [is] a sin offering.
    ἁμαρτίας γάρ ἐστιν (Exo 29:14)—genitive, “It is ‘of sin’”--So there is more going on there than just "sin." It is "of or pertaining to sin."

    Lev. 4:24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it [is] a sin offering.
    ἐνώπιον κυρίου ἁμαρτία ἐστίν (Lev. 4:24), “it is sin before the Lord.”--This seems to fit the hamartia = sin offering thesis.

    Num. 7:46 One kid of the goats for a sin offering:
    περὶ ἁμαρτίας (Num. 7:46)--"for sin," a prepositional phrase. Here it is not just the word hamartia, but the preposition that gives it the "offering" meaning.

    2 Chron. 29:21 And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer [them] on the altar of the LORD.
    περὶ ἁμαρτίας (2Ch 29:21 BGT)--Again we have the prepositional phrase, not just hamartia.

    Ezra 8:35 [Also] the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats [for] a sin offering: all [this was] a burnt offering unto the LORD.
    περὶ ἁμαρτίας (Ezra 8:35 BGT), “for sin”--Once again, the preposition gives added meaning, not just the word "sin."

    Ezek. 40:39 And in the porch of the gate [were] two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.
    ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτίας (Ezek. 40:39 BGT), “for sin”--Again we have the prepositional phrase, not just hamartia.

    So, in six examples, four of them are the prepositional phrase "for sin," and I would agree that the phrase means "sin offering," but not that the single word hamartia means "sin offering" in these cases.

    There is one example where the word is genitive, "of sin," making it more than just "sin" meaning "sin offering."

    There is only one out of six that might have hamartia by itself meaning "sin offering." This is only preliminary, but I think it's significant. And it certainly casts doubt on the idea that hamartia in the NT can mean "sin offering."
     
  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Thank you, John, for taking the time to look it up.

    I was primarily using "sin offering" to mean Christ giving Himself as a sin offering, Christ becoming a curse for us, bearing our sins (the culmination of this being the Cross).

    This is literally hamartia (as used in Classic Greek literature), but as far as I know hamartia is not used this way elsewhere in Scripture.

    That said, insofar as translation goes I prefer "sin" (I realize interpretation is involved, by necessity, in translating any ancient text but I prefer interpretation to be post-translation).

    That said, you explained that you view Paul's use of "sin" (the second instance in the verse) to be metaphorical to represent the idea that Christ was separated from God the Father on the cross when He bore our sin, just as sin itself separates us from God.

    Is hamartia used elsewhere in the NT metaphorically to represent that theological idea?
     
  4. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Being I know, no Greek I would like to ask if the following has any effect on the argument?

    The accusative of sin and the Aorist Active Indicative of he did make.

    A question concerning the, aorist, does it have any lasting effect, as to how long he would be considered as, sin?

    BTW I know, no Hebrew either.

    One more question relative to Num 19:11,

    'He who is coming against [touches] the dead body of any man [to any, of soul, human] -- is unclean seven days;


    My thoughts relative. Following the Lord's Passover Lev 23:5 in the first month, on the fourteenth of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to Jehovah;


    Lev 23:11 then he hath waved the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance; on the morrow of the sabbath doth the priest wave it. Num 1912 ESV He shall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean. But if he does not cleanse himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become clean.
    Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: From John 20:17
    From Acts 2:32&33 NKJV “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit,

    Titus 3:5 NKJV not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of Holy Spirit,
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Not as far as I know. Simply because a metaphor is single usage does not disprove its use as a metaphor. A word is a metaphor by dint of it having a figurative meaning. In this case, it is impossible for a person (Christ or anyone) to become a noncorporeal thing (sin), so therefore it is a metaphor. Christ is the Lamb of God, but He cannot literally become an animal, so therefore that is a metaphor.
     
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  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The word for sin is accusative simply because it is the direct object of the verb. The verb for "made" is aorist, as you say. The significance (verbal aspect) of the aorist tense is that the action is observed as a whole.

    There is no imperfective (continued) or perfective (the result considered) aspect with the aorist. It simply points to the action as a whole.

    Interesting thoughts, but do you have a question for me?
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree that simply because a metaphor is single usage does not disprove its use as a metaphor.

    And I agree it is impossible for Christ to become a non-corporeal thing ("sin" as "missing the mark", "to err", ect.).

    To me it seems more likely that Paul, if speaking metaphorically rather than playing off hamartia as used in Greek literature, would have used "sin" to represent something already stated in Scripture about Christ.

    Is there a reason you interpret Paul's use of hamartia as a metaphor for Jesus' separation from God on the Cross as He bore our sins rather than as a metaphor for something actually stated in the text of Scripture (like my view - Christ as a sin offering, bearing our sins, becoming a curse for us)?
     
  8. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I do take the passage for what is written in the text. I take the passage to mean that Jesus was made sin, which is what the text says.
    No. What we agree (I hope) is that the Lord Jesus was not made a sinner. The Greek word for 'sinner' is hamartolos (eg. Luke 7:37; Galatians 2:15 etc.), which does not appear in 2 Cor. 5:21.
    [/QUOTE]
    As you noted, you are aware of the use of hamartia in the Greek (in the Greek literature available to 1st Century Corinth) to indicate an inner movement or quality that leads to the death of the protagonist or to a tragic event. [/QUOTE]
    I am not aware of any ancient secular Greek literature that speaks of someone being made sin or becoming righteousness.
    If you know of any, I'm sure you will let me know.
    To make hamartia to mean 'sin offering' is not to use the literal meaning. In the NT, hamartia means 'sin' and so it is translated more than 170 times in the NT.
    As I say, the text does not say that our Lord was made a sinner - to miss the mark - but that He was made sin. What does that mean? To discover that we have to follow basic hermeneutical rules and look at other Scriptures. When we do so we find that God made the sin of all the elect to land on Him (Isaiah 53:6), and that He bore that sin, and the curse of them, in His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).
    No. I am saying that He did not use hamartia in an entirely new way but translated it as 'sin.' You are saying that he used it in a new way, a way unknown to the New Testament, which is the book we are considering, by translating it as 'sin offering' when there is a phrase used for 'sin offering' - prosphera peri hamartias - which is used in the NT.

    Now here AGAIN are my reasons for taking hamartia to mean 'sin' and not 'sin offering' in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
    1. Hamartia appears twice in the verse in the space of four words: ... hamartian huper hemon hamartian... . It beggars belief that the Holy Spirit would use the word twice that quickly with two different meanings, but to say 'He made Him who knew no sin offering to be a sin offering for us' makes no sense.
    2. Christ being made sin (not a sinner) is contrasted with us becoming righteousness ( not 'righteous'). Therefore spiritual is being compared with spiritual (2 Corinthians 2:13). We cannot 'literally' become righteousness any more than our Lord could 'literally' become sin
    3. Hamartia is never used to mean 'sin offering' in the NT. It is used to mean 'sin' 170+ times.
    4. Christ being made sin is explained elsewhere in the Scriptures (Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 2:24).

    PLEASE do not ask me for this again as a refusal often offends.
     
  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    No, you don't. As JoJ pointed out, it is impossible that Christine rally be made "sin" using your definition because "sin" is a non-corporeal "thing".

    You replace "sin" with your theology (whether you recognize it or not).

    I never said Greek literature speaks of one being made sin. I said that hamartia in Greek literature often spoke to an inner quality or movement that culminated in the death of the protagonist or some other tragic event.

    I can offer numerous examples, but you said that you've studied the Greek classics so you already know you are wrong here (I suspect that may be why you changed my claim in the above quote).

    No. To translate hamartia as "sin offering" is not a literal translation.

    But to use hamartia to mean the Son offering Himself as a sin offering by becoming flesh, becoming a curse for us, bearing our sins and redeeming us by dying for us IS a literal use of hamartia.
    This is an incorrect statement.

    You should have said that it makes no sence to you that the Father made the Son (who is sinless) a sin offering.

    I am not sure why that doesn't make sense to you.

    In the OT it is the "spotless lamb" that is offered. Consider that John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb.

    You already admitted that Jesus is sinless. So I take it you reject that He was made an offering for us....for our sins.

    Consider:

    Isaiah 53:10–12 But the Lord was pleased
    To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
    If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,

    He will see His offspring,
    He will prolong His days,
    And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
    11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
    He will see it and be satisfied;
    By His knowledge the Righteous One,
    My Servant, will justify the many,
    As He will bear their iniquities.

    12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
    And He will divide the booty with the strong;
    Because He poured out Himself to death,
    And was numbered with the transgressors;
    Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
    And interceded for the transgressors

    I am claiming that hamartia is being used to represent what occurred in Isaiah 53.

    Goes back to my question.

    You say that you believe Paul is saying Chriat was literally made "sin" while in your explanation denying that Christ was literally made "sin".

    Why insert your theology into the verse?
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    First of all, let's make sure we know what a metaphor is. The rest of this discussion is useless without that. A metaphor is a “Figure of speech in which a word or expression normally used of one kind of object, action, etc. is extended to another”P. H. Matthews, Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics, 243).

    An English textbook defines it as “an implied comparison, one that does not use like or as" (James A. Chapman, College Grammar and Composition Handbook, 132).

    Christ the human sin-bearer was separated from the Father on the cross in some way we cannot possibly comprehend. I see no other way to explain His saying on the cross, "My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?"


    We already have an incredible metaphor in Scripture portraying Christ as the sin-bearer, as you know: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

    And again, you've certainly not proven to my satisfaction that sin in Greek = sin offering in the NT
     
  11. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I understand what a metaphor is. I'm not a Greek expert...heck...I'm not even Greek :Biggrin...but I am versed in literature and poetry as well as Scripture.

    I need to clarify something that may have been somewhat obscured.

    I am not saying that "sin" in Greek = "sin offering".

    I am, however, saying that I believe Paul was using "sin" here to refer to already stated passages (specifically the Son becoming man and giving Himself as a sin offering, bearing our sins, and becoming a curse for is to redeem us which culminated in His death on the cross).

    And I am saying that this is how hamartia is used in Greek literature (a quality in the protagonist culminating in his death or another tragic event).

    I'm actually not saying Paul used hamartia as it was used in the literature with which those in Cornith would have been familiar. I don't have enough evidence to make that claim. But it is a literal use of hamartia.

    I disagree that the Jesus was separated from God on the Cross. I believe He was forsaken to suffer and die on the cross, but not outside God's presence. I base this on Psalm 22 (where the Servant calls out "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" while also acknowledging God will never leave Him but will deliver Him....i.e., relying on God's righteousness).

    So I am fine with Paul using hamartia metaphorically. It doesn't change my position. I believe that "sin" is a reference to the events foreshadowed in Isaiah 53 (actually, for all passages dpeaking of Christ's work of redemption).

    The problem, however, with viewing hamartia as a metaphor for something not actually in the text of Scripture is, IMHO, it makes the verse highly subjective. All one needs to do is insert ther theology for that second use of "sin".

    It seems to me that using your explanation, Paul could have simply been saying Christ died (the wages of sin is death, Christ knew no sin, yet Christ died).
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the clarification.

    Well then, neither of us is satisfied with the other's position. That's nothing new. :)

    Never said that. Didn't mean that. Don't think that.

    The atonement is that "Christ died for our sins." End of story.
     
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  13. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    My apologies. I did not mean that you said, meant, or thought that.

    I was saying that using your process (that sin separates, Paul was using "sin" as a metaphor for Christ's separation from God on the cross) that would be more less a valid interpretation (probably even more valid as Christ separating from God is not universally believed by Chriatians, but Christ dying is).

    Using your pricess, the wages of sin are death. Christ became sin for us. Therefore "sin" here is a metaphor for Christ dying for us.

    My point is that the interpretation of "sin" becomes more subjective with the second "sin" in the verse if there is no way of taking it literally.

    My main point was to @Martin Marprelate , that it is impossible for both instances of "sin" in the verse to hold the same meaning.

    A person cannot literally be made "sin" if "sin" is defined as "missing the mark", "disobedience to God", "evil", or "falling short".

    The only literal interpretation I can think of (as far as legitimate definitions go) is hamartia as used in Greek literature (and contemporary as an element in drama).

    I believe Paul had this idea in mind when he penned the verse, but I wouldn't go so far as saying Paul had that in mind when he chose the word "sin". (I believe Paul was speaking of our redemption - of Jesus offering Himself to save us, bearing our sin, becoming a curse for is, ending in the Cross).

    We don't need to agree on everything. If we did, that'd be boring.

    If everybody was right, like me, there'd be no room for discussion. :Biggrin
     
  14. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    No, you are replacing 'sin' to suit your theology. I laid out four reasons for my position (and I can't help noticing that you have not engaged with any of them!) and they are linguistic and contextual. Once again you are playing the man instead of the ball.
    You, on the other hand, have a theological golden calf, which is your denial of the Doctrine of Penal Substitution, which leads you to deny that Christ can be made sin, even if the Bible says He is, which it rather plainly does.

    Once again, Christ was made sin in just the same way that we become righteousness - by imputation. Our sins are laid upon the sinless Christ, and His perfect righteousness and obedience to the Father are credited to us.
    I addressed this in a previous post (#90). Liddell & Scott list the meanings of hamartia as 'a failure, error, sin.' If you have clear examples of hamartia being used in Greek literature to indicate something different, I shall be interested to hear of them. My Greek degree was 50 years ago, and sometimes memory plays tricks. Bear in mind though that what the Bible views as a sin was not necessarily so viewed by pagan Greeks
    You have repeatedly claimed that it is.
    No it isn't. That would be prosphera peri hamartias (Hebrews 10:18), or mian huper hamartion .... thusian ('One sacrifice for sins) in Hebrews 10:12. Hamartia means 'sin.'
    Oh for goodness' sake! Do you never bother to read what I write? Here it is again, with the bit you didn't read underlined.
    1. Hamartia appears twice in the verse in the space of four words: ... hamartian huper hemon hamartian... . It beggars belief that the Holy Spirit would use the word twice that quickly with two different meanings, but to say 'He made Him who knew no sin offering to be a sin offering for us' makes no sense.
    I don't 'admit' that the Lord Jesus was sinless; I joyfully proclaim it.
    That our Lord was made a sin offering, I quite agree. It's there, of course, in Isaiah 53:10 and Hebrews is full of it. But that is not the meaning in 2 Cor. 5:21.
    I am not inserting my theology into the verse; you are. Christ was made sin. I'll repeat what I said above in the hope that if I write it often enough you will actually read it. Once again, Christ was made sin in just the same way that we become righteousness - by imputation. Our sins are laid upon the sinless Christ, and His perfect righteousness and obedience to the Father are credited to us. God does not justify the righteous; He justifies the ungodly. He declares them righteous on the basis of the perfect life and sin-bearing death of the Saviour.

    I really can't spend any more time writing the same thing over and over again. I will not be replying to any more posts until I have finished preparing my sermons and doing other work for the Lord. When I have finished that I will start a new thread.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
    #114 Martin Marprelate, Mar 1, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2023
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I really didn't intend to get this involved in this discussion. I was simply drawn to the Greek element, being a Greek geek. :)

    It's our Bible conference, and I'm on security, so I have little time. I'll just say that whatever someone else thinks of my exegesis is no concern of mine. (You mentioned someone possibly drawing the wrong conclusions from what I wrote.)

    Carry on. :Coffee
     
  16. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for your reply, know you are busy. I have read thru the balance of thread and do not think it was metaphorical but literally made sin as you stated he said, "My God My God why have you forsaken me," It [sin] is finished," . James by the HS says in 1:15 and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

    Christ, "then being sin," then gave the soul/life of the flesh, in the blood, of him for sin [of the soul], Christ died, the wages of sin. The atonement.---

    I have asked in the past if the having been made sin, dead, Son was unclean relative to God the Father, of him?
    Was he made clean from sin and death? How? When?

    IMHO Christ was dead from between the 9th hour to 12th hour on the 14th to the 9th hour to the 12th hour on the 17th the weekly Sabbath when he then became the first-born out of the dead [regeneration anyway one looks at it] Col 1:18 the first-fruit of them that sleep 1 Cor 15:And now, Christ [the, whole, of him] hath risen out of the dead -- the first-fruit of those sleeping he became,
    I believe the see the whole of the matter in;
    Rev 1:5 YLT and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born out of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth; to him who did love us, and did bathe us from our sins in his blood,

    for if dead persons do not rise, neither hath Christ risen, and if Christ hath not risen, vain is your faith, ye are yet in your sins;

    If Christ, to date the only one raised to die no more, is not raised you have not been washed of your sins, You ar still in your sins. Yes or No?
     
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  17. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    @percho,
    If Christ was made sin, it follows that Habakkuk 1:13 would apply.
    Written in haste, ence the brevity.
     
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  18. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    In my post #114, I made a foolish error. I wrote:
    I should have written, 'Which the Bible says He WAS.' Obviously, He is no longer made sin. When our Lord declared, "It is finished," it was.
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    No surprise, but I disagree.

    I believe that our purchase by Christ's blood is speaking of His death, not something that ended prior to Christ dying.

    In your theory (as you stated across several threads) we were saved and forgiven of our sins by Christ becoming sin for us as the Father looked upon His Son as not only a sinner but the "chief of sinners" and punished our sins laid upon Him.

    That means, in your theory, that Christ's death was not necessary - it was just the inevitable conclusion after His work of redemption was completed.
     
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  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    You do not treat hamartia the same in the passage.

    I do believe Paul is speaking of Jesus giving Himself as a sin offering, bearing our sins, be owing a curse for us, and dying on the Cross.

    You believe it means a philosophical idea just short of Christ's death.

    But you have not yet defended or explained why you view that second use of "sin" to be a symbol of your theory.

    All you have done is claim "sin" means some type of transfer of non-corporeal qualities.

    Then you stated that Christ becoming sin so that we could become the righteousness of God was accomplished without Christ's death.

    Why do you believe Christ died? Was his body just too damaged after our redemption? Was He just done with His work and didn't want to stick around?

    NO. Christ died for us. His death is essential to our salvation. It is on the basis of Christ's death and resurrection that we are redeemed.
     
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