Thursday, June 28, 2012

Atonement in 1 Peter

Dan G. McCartney, in his chapter investigating atonement in the biblical books James, Peter, and Jude, from The Glory of the Atonement, discusses the reconciling work of Christ in 1 Peter:

To accomplish the goal of helping the believer identify with the Lord, 1 Peter develops at least five different types of metaphor or imagery to depict and elaborate on the atoning work of Christ, a work that both makes that identification possible and real, and motivates the believer to live accordingly. These are:

1. Servant imagery, especially the notion of representative or substitutionary obedience.

2. Cultic imagery, which uses the language of ritual cleansing, sacrifice and the sacrificial system of the OT.

3. Marketplace imagery, or the idea of purchasing or buying back out of hock and particularly the notion of purchase out of slavery.

4. Conflict resolution imagery, which speaks of reconciling of enemies or propitiating the anger of the offended party.

5. Military imagery, the notion of monomachy or representative single combat as warfare.

What links all of these is the idea of substitution or representation, where one party or thing stands in place of, or works on behalf of, another. 

(Nicole, Roger R., Charles E. Hill, and Frank A. James. The Glory of the Atonement: Biblical, Historical & Practical Perspectives : Essays in Honor of Roger Nicole. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004. Print. 180)

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