Answering Rabbinic Judaism #34


I’ve heard it taught that we atone for our sins by prayer and charity. Let’s look at that.

‏כָּפַר‎ is the root word for “to atone”. ‏כָּפַרה‎ is the usual sense we see it in our Hebrew Bibles. As a matter of fact, it’s in the siddur, too. Look it up.

Kapparah (the dagesh in the peh is mighty small – I can’t see it) first found in Exodus 29. It’s connected with the atonement needed before the Kohenim could serve. Their sins had to be forgiven, because you could not offer anything with a blemish or not perfect… that includes the one officiating. There are laws that the High Priest, the Kohen, was invalid if suffering from certain injuries or birth defects.

In Bible study, we understand the rule that since this is the word of God, then God defines His words. Thus, the rule of first usage is studied. The first time a word is used, the context tells us the meaning of the word throughout the Bible. Literally, in one of the first Bibles put in English, there was at that time no English word for Kapparah. So, two words and a suffix were combined to make the word atonement.

At-One-ment.

20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. 21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him. Exodus 29:20-21 (KJV)

33 And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy. Exodus 29:33 (KJV)

Prayer is not mentioned here. Atonement, by the Bible’s own definition, requires blood.

11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11 (KJV)

24 And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 2 Chronicles 29:24 (KJV)

Prayer does not atone for the soul.

Neither does charity.

35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. 36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. 37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. Leviticus 25:35-37 (KJV)

That’s really the first reference in the Bible to charity. Just to be honest and fair, let’s look at another one.

7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. 9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. Deuteronomy 15:7-11 (KJV)

Two passages on Charity. nothing in there about Atonement. Nothing.

Blood is required to atone for the soul. There are several words in the Bible by which we understand this concept. In many ways, the New Testament (a thoroughly Jewish book, by the way) helps to illuminate what we’ve studied in our Tanakh.

Propitiation is one word used – this means “satisfaction of a debt.” Since blood is required to atone for sins, our blood must be shed for so much as a single lie. How much blood? Can you just cut your arm or something? No. “A part is the same as a whole”, is how the Gemara explains it. The Bible speaks of “Ha’dam” or “ha’Damim” – thus, the bloods, meaning ALL OUR BLOOD.

That means if you sin, you must die. That’s explained to Adam and Eve when they rebelled in the Garden. By putting our hands upon the sacrifice, our sins are transferred to the animal. It doesn’t mean the animal has now sinned, but the responsibility passes to that animal. And the animal must be put to death.

Without the Beis Miqdash, there’s been no way to atone for our sins for 2,000 years. The Gemara says that 40 years before the destruction of the Beis Miqdash. the temple, that they used to tie the doors shut on Yom Kippur with a red cloth, and it would turn white, showing that the sacrifices were accepted. In AD 30, it stopped turning white. The atonement was no longer accepted.

Guess who was crucified that year?

It means that sins the propitiation, the satisfaction of a debt, was paid that year. On Pesach, Passover. So, that year, there was no need for the atonement of Yom Kippur.

Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

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Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???

2 thoughts on “Answering Rabbinic Judaism #34”

  1. I’ve asked some Jewish friends of mine, what they do about sin. They always say, ALWAYS, say – “We just say we’re sorry.” Most of the Jews around here are of the reformed variety. Zero understanding of the Holy Book – and just like Catholics and main stream Protestants – rely on an authority (priest or rabbi) to handle all the spiritual stuff for them.
    That’s why it’s so important for everyone to understand why we say that you must accept Jesus Christ as your PERSONAL Savior – because no one can do it for you – and you have personally sinned against God.

    Great post Philip – I never tire of reading your articles. Chock full of meat!

    Like

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