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“Hilastērion (Rom 3:25) and the Union of Divine Justice and Mercy. Part I: The Convergence of Temple and Martyrdom Theologies"

Hultgren, Stephen (2019) “Hilastērion (Rom 3:25) and the Union of Divine Justice and Mercy. Part I: The Convergence of Temple and Martyrdom Theologies". Journal of Theological Studies, 70 (1). pp. 69-109. ISSN 0022-5185

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The meaning of ἱλαστήριον in Rom. 3:25 continues to be debated. This study favors the ‘mercy seat’ interpretation but also proposes a new way to conceive how temple and martyrdom theologies might have converged in Paul’s theology. Previous scholarship proposed a convergence through the generic concept of Christ as sacrificial victim. The lexical evidence does not support such a view. Rather for Paul Christ is ‘the place of atonement’ where divine justice and mercy meet. Part 1 lays the groundwork. In the priestly theology the sin offering purifies the temple, preventing a ‘build-up’ of sin and God’s departure in wrath, leading to death (a manifestation of divine justice), and also serves as a ransom (divine mercy) for those who would otherwise be ‘cut off’ for violating the temple. In the Old Testament the כַּפֹּרֶת on the Day of Atonement is the place of atonement par excellence. In 2 Maccabees the martyrs bear the death due the whole people for their sins (divine justice) and serve as a ransom for the people (divine mercy). Martyrdom is interpreted within a narrative framework centering on divine neglect and care for the temple. The conceptual parallelism between temple and martyrdom theologies enabled their convergence.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: Atonement; Pauline Theology
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: B - Biblical Studies, general
College/Association with University of Divinity: ALC: Australian Lutheran College
Depositing User: Dr Stephen Hultgren
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 03:44
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 03:44
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3842

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