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Atonement

(3,742 words)

Author(s): Janowski, Bernd | Stuhlmacher, Peter | Gunton, Colin E.
1. OT and Judaism 1.1. Atonement is a central concept in biblical theology. Along with the traditional misunderstanding of appeasing an angry deity, the penal definition of making good an offense and the viewing of the cultus as a human work have impeded a more relevant approach. In the OT, atonement breaks the nexus of sin and its evil consequences by “channeling ¶ the baneful influence of the evil into an animal that died vicariously for the man (or for the cultic object). Expiation was thus not a penalty, but a saving event” (G. von Rad, 271). The basis …

Sacrifice

(4,171 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten | Janowski, Bernd | Hahn, Ferdinand
1. General 1.1. Words and Concept The English words “sacrifice” and “offering” come from Lat. sacrificium and offero. Ger. Opfer goes back to Lat. operari, “be active.” The terms suggest an active relation to the reality concerned in the different religions. The various ways in which the relation is described may thus affect the concept. Even though a distinction might arise between real and symbolic sacrifice, sacrifice is always at the heart of religion and widely influences human conduct in other spheres as well. In religious history we may un…