Blood or no blood?

Forgiveness comes without blood

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons)

What exactly is the  cause behind the fascination with blood sucking vampires in the western culture that has given rise to a plethora of vampire themed movies like Twilight and the like? Christianity is the predominant religion in the west. It spends so much time talking about drinking blood and its importance for the attainment of “eternal life”. Could it be that this blood based salvation/atonement doctrine is the impetus behind the popular culture phenomenon of vampires? In the vampire myth the creature sustains its existence by consuming blood. In Christian theology to attain eternal life one must accept the blood of Jesus and in Catholicism in particular the partaking of the Eucharist which involves the drinking and eating of the actual blood and flesh of Jesus is foundational. Can you see the parallel? Is it possible that the popular vampire myth has its roots in the Christian obsession with blood? I leave that for the readers to dwell upon. In this article we shall explore the issue of forgiveness in Christianity and if what it teaches is coherent and true or just plain false.

As we have mentioned above in Christian theology the shedding of Jesus’ blood is foundational. In fact, it is the key to forgiveness and salvation. One Christian blogger named John Chingford wrote an article entitled “Reply to a Rabbi Why There Can’t Be Forgiveness Without Blood Sacrifice”  in which he argues for the Christian case that blood is absolutely necessary to render void the sins of man. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary in its commentary on Hebrews 9 says, “God’s principle is that blood must be shed before sin can be forgiven (Lev. 17:11).”[1] The People’s New Testament Commentary on Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without shedding of blood is no remission. Every sin under the law required atonement, and no atonement could be made without blood.” [2] The average Christian says that the only way for sins to be absolved or atoned is through the blood of Jesus.

When we examine the Bible closely we see that what is preached by Christians and Hebrews 9:22 which says that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” are not compatible with the overwhelming verses and passages found in both the Old and New Testaments that convey the idea of forgiveness without the need of anyone’s blood, Jesus or otherwise. In Mark 1:4 we read the following:

“John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”

This was years before the alleged crucifixion ever took place. There was no blood involved. He was calling for the remission of sins from the baptism of repentance. The People’s New Testament says that John in the above verse, “makes the temple sacrifices unnecessary for forgiveness and reconciliation with God…”[3] which means that blood is not really necessary for forgiveness of sins after all! In the next chapter in Mark 2, verse 5 we read the following:

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Where was the blood atonement to remove the sins of the paralytic? This too took place long before the alleged crucifixion yet he was forgiven! What was the purpose behind the alleged sacrifice of Jesus exactly? Christians tell us that it is to facilitate the forgiveness of sins which is necessary for entrance into paradise. But we have just illustrated with two explicit verses that God is not incapable of forgiving sins without the shedding of blood. Be it the blood of Jesus, sheep, ram, bulls or cows. If God can forgive without blood then that clearly renders the alleged crucifixion redundant and simply cruel, inhumane and barbaric.

In Luke 15, verses 11 to 32 we read about the parable of the Prodigal Son. In this story the son runs away from the father and goes into difficulty and suffering. He later comes to his senses and makes a return to his father. The father is overjoyed and calls for celebration. The son confesses that he sinned against heaven and against his beloved father, but because of his realisation and repentance the father remarks, “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found”. This parable captures the true and original teaching of Jesus about forgiveness and atonement. One has only to make a sincere resolution not to commit past errors and sincerely pray and ask God for forgiveness to earn His pleasure and be cleansed of sins. Blood is not necessary for the forgiveness of sins.

More passages dealing with this issue are cited in Salvation Only Comes Through Sacrifice!

References:

[1] Wiersbe, W.W. (2007). The Wiersbe Bible Commentary. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook. p. 830

[2] Boring, M.E. & Craddock, F.B. (2004). The People’s New Testament Commentary. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 701

[3] Ibid. p. 107

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5 Responses to “Blood or no blood?”

  1. rob says:

    why can’t people just admit the fact that these books have different authours?

    for example:

    For Matthew being Jewish:

    The fundamental affirmation of the Law (cf. Matt 5.17-20; 23.3a,
    23b).
    The sustained reference to the Old Testament and the emphatic
    application of the idea of fulfilment (cf. e.g. Matt 1.22-23;2.5-6,
    15, 17-18; 3.3; 4.4-16; 8.17 and others).
    The fundamental limitation of Jesus’ mission to Israel (cf. Matt
    10.5-6; 15.24).
    The Matthean community still keeps the Sabbath (cf. Matt 24.20).
    The Matthean community still lives within the jurisdiction of Judaism
    (cf. Matt 17.24-27; 23.1-3).
    The Moses typology in Matt 2.13ff.; 4.1-2; 5.1 and the five great
    discourses in the Gospel present Jesus as having an affinity to
    Moses.
    The language, structure, reception of the Gospel of Matthew point to a
    Jewish Christian as its author.

    Against:

    The Gospel’s offer of salvation to all clearly points to a Gentile
    mission that has been underway for some time (cf. Matt 28.18-20;
    8.11-12; 10.18; 12.18, 21; 13.38a; 21.43-45; 22.1-14; 24.14; 25.32;
    26.13).
    The nullification of ritual laws (cf. Matt 15.11, 20b; 23.25-26).
    The Matthean critique of the Law. Especially in the Antitheses of the
    Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5.21-48) Jesus places his own authority
    higher than that of Moses, for which there is no parallel in ancient
    Judaism.
    Matthew presents a thoroughgoing polemic against Pharisaic casuistry
    (cf. Matt 5.20; 6.1ff.; 9.9ff.; 12.1ff., 9ff.; 15.1ff.; 19.1ff.;
    23.1ff.)
    Matthew avoids Aramaisms (cf. Mark 1.13/ Matt 4.2; Mark 5.41/ Matt
    9.25; Mark 7.34/ Matt 15.30; Mark 7.11/ Matt 15.5).
    The Matthean community understands its life to be at some distance
    from that of the synagogue (cf. Matt 23.34b ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς ὑμῶν
    [in your synagogues]; Matt 7.29b καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς αὐτων [and
    not as their scribes]).
    Ritual prescriptions for the Sabbath have lost their significance (cf.
    Matt 12.1-8).
    The rejection of Israel, i.e. that Israel has lost its distinct place
    in the history of salvation, has been accepted by Matthew as reality
    for some time (cf. Matt 21.43; 22.9; 8.11-12; 21.39ff.; 27.25; 28.15).

    Another possibility for explaining the for and against is that we are
    dealing with two different authorings which reflect different times
    and states of the religion in the locale of writing.

    I find the assumption that there was only one evangelist writer per
    gospel preposterous.

    SEE? instead of pathetic how it could have been explanations to try to fit different doctrines together, why not admit that the books are written by more than one person?

  2. Ali.H says:

    Just to add to the great point made by the brother above-
    Not only was the bible written by numerous authors, but these unidentifiable authors (with a few exceptions) usually had different things to say. A quick reading of the gospel of Mark and some of Paul’s letters would clearly outline this issue (as the brother above me correctly points out).

    Not only is what they have to say different, but their understanding of their religion was also different. One example is this: the opening of John is surprisingly different from all the other gospels. Why? Well when was it written? It was written when Christian theology was advancing and being added to. And John’s introduction to the gospel is a clear reflection of this (Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus Interrupted).

  3. mrY says:

    lukes ressurected jezuz eats fish and chips
    and lukes jesus asks a doubter to feel the wounds on his body
    is it a suprise that the consumption of food and feeling of wound is not found in paul , mark and matthew?

    is it possible that the late writer of the gospel of luke was trying to make jesus more human after his ressurection , because their were christians denying a physical ressurection?

    i think it is possible

    the gospels don’t seem to be concerned with the truth , but make up any argument as long as it support the lies in the gospel. it is like you make a new t.v and then critics point out all the flaws and then you got to answer the flaws by making modifications to the t.v

    check this out

    http://the-anointed-one.com/divorce11.html

    c how they come out with all escuses ? ” high context, low context” to make jesus say what he plainly didn’t say

  4. heathcliff says:

    salaam

    i am wondering why is there not 1 muslim website which uses common christian apologetic arguments to make case for ISLAM?

    for example, they say that the deciples were willing to die ,but we have no articles discussing about the hundreds of sahabah who willingly FOUGHT side by side with prophet (pbuh) ready to give up thier life for islam

    jesus’ deciples only amazing conversion in the nt is when they got thier “magical powers” before that they were WEAK FAITH slow learners and COWARDS who were not even EXPECTING that the pauline god is going to come back to lie. AND where in the nt they are READY to die ? under oath they completely change thier stories.

    as you know the deciples do not use thier bodies to shield jesus’ body from harm

    they do not get NAILED next to jesus

    they ran away

    who wants to be associated with a BLASPHEMER who make claims about him being a god? no wonder the deciples legged it.

    why would the christians and jews contemporary to prophet (pbuh) EMBRACE islam? why did the pagans? and if Muhammad was a millitary leader he needed to have huge membership

    to get that membership he had to make a powerful CASE

    what was that powerful CASE?

    sadly no muslims are wrting out articles including information like the above. contrasting FAITHFUL MUHAMMAD followers with faithless jesus followers.

    i thought that this would be good amunition for muslims

    about paul

    he say he used to be a persecuter of the christians

    he then receives a vision

    he is converted

    what experience paul descrbes is kind of found in the books paul was readings and fiddling

    “I would argue that Paul’s conversion in Acts 9 is an emulation of Heliodorus’ conversion in 2 Maccabees 3. The topoi of the narratives are in the same order and reflect the same sort of conversion (i.e. divine intervention): (1) In both stories, a nonbeliever (non-Jew, non-Christian) are on their way to persecute the righteous (loot the temple, persecute Christians), (2) the two nonbelievers are knocked down and their companions struck with dread, (3) both suffer at the hand of the lord, (4) and their recovery is only given to them by trusting faithful servants of the lord. This emulation is upheld by a number of scholars”

    my point is that if it can be proven that pagans PERSECUTED jews and then those same PAGANS EMBRACED Judaism and were ALSO pERSECUTED , then christianities argument is flushed down the toilet.

    paul would not only be LOSING membersHIP but also he would be jeolous because people were going back to the jewish God and practicing jewish law.

  5. holy ghost says:

    Indeed the Sahabah of Rasoolullah (saw) were ready for martyrdom while peter, the greatest disciple, denied knowing “jesus”

    the miracles didn’t convince the jews and they didn’t seem to convince his own disciples, who betrayed him for 30 coins … jesus is worth 30 coins in ur bible

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