atonement

Why Did Jesus Need to “Die for Our Sins?”
April 20, 2018

One of the popular myths about Judaism is that there is no place in Jewish thought for the idea that someone can die for the sins of another person, yet both the Bible and Jewish tradition have much to say about dying so that another might have forgiveness.

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Judaism teaches… or does it?
August 21, 2015
Author: Moishe Rosen

If you want to share the gospel with Jewish friends, this article will help you understand some of the objections you are likely to face.

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A Jewish Prayer for Repentance
September 1, 2009

We thought you might like to see excerpts from the prayer that Stan Meyer mentioned in his article. Jewish people the world over will be reciting this on Yom Kippur (which begins at sundown on September 27). Our God and God of our ancestors! Let our prayers come before You and do not hide Yourself…

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Bits from the Branches
November 1, 2008

Chicago Lyn Bond says, I received the following message on my answering machine: ‘Hello, this is Joyce, trying to call a nurse named Ann; please call me back. If you are not Ann please call me and let me know that I have the wrong number.’ “I called Joyce and said, ‘I am not a…

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Thoughts on a Freeway Collapse
May 4, 2007
Author: Rich Robinson

Whether or not you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you’ve probably heard about the collapse of a busy freeway interchange that will have traffic snarled up for months. It was fortunate that the collapse happened in the middle of the night with almost no one around. No one, that is, except for the…

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The Akedah in Jewish tradition
January 1, 2005

Jewish tradition has much to say about dying so that another might have forgiveness. This page focuses on Jewish traditions about the Akedah. The Hebrew word akedah” means “binding” and refers to the well-known story in Genesis 22, in which God commands Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham…

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Atonement: Questions and Answers
Author: Karol Joseph

Note: Elaine the correspondent is fictional, but Karol Joseph is real and serves on the staff of Jews for Jesus. She can be reached

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I’m basically a good person and I’m very happy with my own religion, so why should I believe in Jesus?
January 1, 2000

To tell you the truth, if everyone were good in God’s sight, nobody would need Jesus and we wouldn’t be spending our efforts making web sites like this one. The psalmist long ago said that there is no one that does good, not even one.”1 Oh, to be sure, most of us aren’t murderers or…

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Judaism Teaches that … or Does It?
March 1, 1997
Author: Moishe Rosen

The teachings of Judaism contain a variety of viewpoints and cannot be looked upon as a monolithic explanation of what Jews believe.

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Don’t Worry, I’ll Sit in the Dark: A Bright Look at Guilt
March 1, 1992

It could be a scene from a Neil Simon play or a Woody Allen movie. As the curtain opens we see our character, a young mother of two. She has just finished cooking a large pot of chicken soup, filling her Minneapolis house with the fragrance of well-being. The phone rings. It is Mother—her sick…

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Whatever Happened to the Substitute Atonement of the Torah?
January 1, 1988

The young Jewish man asked, Do you really have an Orthodox Jewish background?” When I replied in the affirmative, he looked at me incredulously and was quiet for a moment. Then he queried, “If you have such a background, then why is it that you believe that the Messiah has already come?” I reflected, and…

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The Yom Kippur Dilemma
October 31, 1985
Author: Rich Robinson

If you journeyed back in time 3,500 years and saw Jewish life as our forefathers lived it, you would be astounded at how vastly it differed from today’s practices. Instead of synagogues and Jewish community centers, you would witness a tent-like tabernacle, or at a later date, Solomon’s magnificent Temple. And whether it were Temple…

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Dayenu at Yom Kippur
January 1, 1985
Author: Avi Snyder

Dayenu” on Yom Kippur? Whoever heard of such a thing! We sing, “Dayenu” at Passover, not on the Day of Atonement. But in one sense, Dayenu is appropriate on Yom Kippur. Dayenu is a Hebrew word which means, “It is sufficient for us; it is enough.” And on Pesach, we declare, “Dayenu!” in grateful response…

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What Is Man…
November 1, 1982

The Jewish community and the evangelical Christian community share a common aspiration toward a time when there will be universal peace. However, alongside this commonality of aspiration is a contrast of viewpoints as to how it will be realized. While evangelicals often stress God’s sovereignty in bringing in the world order described by the prophets,…

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Guilty But…
March 3, 1982
Author: Jeff Adler

How guilt haunts us! Picture yourself in Macbeth’s shoes. Here is a man who had ascended to the top. Everywhere men respected and feared him. At his slightest whim, a kingdom mobilized to please him. He knew wealth, fame, and power. Yet, instead of a sense of exhilaration and fulfillment, as we should expect, the…

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A Jewish Believer and Atonement
May 5, 1981

I still remember vividly the Day of Atonement from my tenth year. Though I was not yet bar mitzvah, I insisted that I, too, would fast and take part in the synagogue services, despite my parents’ objections. After all, I wanted my sins forgiven! With childish zeal, I entered into all that made up the…

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How One Jewish Sage Explains the Lack of Sacrifice
May 4, 1980

Since the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 C.E.and a place for sacrifice was not possible, rabbis sought to explain away the need for the Biblical sacrificial system. Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) is thought to be one of the greatest Jewish philosophers of all time and his writings have had a profound influence on Jewish…

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Varied Jewish Thoughts on Atonement
May 2, 1980

  A sinful world needs a scapegoat. -T. Lessing, DerJudesche Selbsthass, 1930, Introd. LR 188 We strike from all bequeathed prayerbooks any line that reminds us of the temple and sacrifices. -M. Lilienthal, address, 1876 As soon as one repents, one is forgiven. -Hanina b. Papa, Talmud: Hagiga, 5a We do not ask that our…

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