Made a Sin Offering for Us

Made a Sin Offering for Us

You may have been told, or you may have heard, that Yeshua (Jesus) took on our sins so that he literally became sin for us while we have become righteous in the sight of God, as if we had never sinned.

One of the verses used to bolster this blasphemous theology was, perhaps unsurprisingly, written by Paul the apostle, in 2 Corinthians 5:21. A typical rendering of this verse can be seen in, for instance, the WEB translation, as follows:

For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (II Corinthians 5:21)

By ignoring an important meaning of the word ’sin’ in both Greek and Hebrew, the translators have twisted the meaning of Paul’s words.

The correct translation goes like this:

The one knowing no sin, he made a sin offering on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God through him.

The word-for-word translation of this verse is shown in figure 1, demonstrating how Paul deliberately uses the word ’sin’ in two different ways. This is one of Paul’s signature rhetorical devices.

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Figure 1: 2 Corinthians 5:21. A word-for-word translation.

How do we know that this is what Paul meant?

First, we know that in Hebrew, and in the ancient Greek Septuagint translation, ’sin’ is used in the sense of ’sin offering’, and is an important meaning of the word. Refer to Leviticus 4:8, being one example of this (see figure 2).

Second, knowing this meaning of the word ’sin’, Paul’s verse makes perfect sense, unlike the idea of a person becoming “sin”, which makes very little sense at all.

Third, the idea is blasphemous that Yeshua, God-in-the-flesh, actually, literally, became sin on our behalf. It is also blasphemous to claim that God can believe a fiction that his innocent Son became guilty of our sins, while we became innocent of them. It is blasphemous, because God is the God of truth, and not of fiction. It is blasphemous also because there is no sin in God.

Fourth, once the blasphemous interpretation, believed by many Christians, is ruled out, we are left with only one interpretation of ’sin’ that could make any sense whatsoever, and that is: Yeshua took our place and received in his body the punishment that we ourselves deserve because we are guilty of sinning against God. And what does that describe? It describes a sin offering.

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Figure 2: Leviticus 4:8, showing the Greek (and Hebrew) usage of ’sin’ to mean ’sin offering’.

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Author: David K. Trudgett

Updated: 2019-03-19 Tue 19:37 UTC+1100

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