What is the origin of sacrifice in the Hebrew and Christian Writings?

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  1. cam8510 profile image93
    cam8510posted 11 years ago

    Is sacrificial death a thing the biblical God CHOSE to require or is it innate to His CHARACTER?

    This question has to do with the sacrificial death for fogiveness of sins. Hebrew writings require animal sacrifices while Christian Scriptures require human sacrifice. I have pondered this question. If it was God's CHOICE, why did He choose sacrifice and not something else? Why require physical death and eternal damnation if something else would have sufficed? If it is part of His CHARACTER/NATURE, then God did not have a choice, which seems to be another conundrum. When you answer, indicate which (if either) is your belief and why you believe it.  Please save the Plan of Salvation for another time and place, and speak to the question at hand.

    This topic began in the Q&A area, but it quickly became obvious more space was needed for responses. 
    There was some good input in the Q&A, so you can check that out to get the old brain primed if you'd like.  Thanks for taking time to give your valuable input.

    1. Ceegen profile image69
      Ceegenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      In the "Old Testament" (I really see it as one big Testament, not a house divided), we see the origins of sacrifice arose out of a need to atone for sins. God said to us that in order to be saved from our sins, we are to offer sacrifice. A perfect and unblemished lamb, killed for our sins, in order that we are spared spiritual death, after our eventual physical death.

      God was basically setting this sacrifice up as a metaphor in the "Older-part-of THE Testament", so we could verify in the Law of sacrifice, that God and God alone is responsible for the forgiveness of sins. This is why Jesus is so-often referred to as "the Lamb of God" in places like Revelation 21:23. Jesus was declaring for all to see, that He and He alone was the one and only way we would ever be saved. By shedding the blood of a sinless man, the world was condemned in the blood of Jesus, when we turn away from our Creator AND Savior.

      "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." - Matthew 26:28.

      Jesus boldly stated every place He went, that He was God in the flesh. He healed people of sickness, restored sight to the blind, rose the dead out of the grave, and most importantly of all: He forgave sins.

      The Jews of His time were maddened and infuriated. They could not discredit Him based on His awesome works, so they instead accused Him of blasphemy. But the best part of it all, is they're forgiven too. So we can only hope and pray that we stop dividing the house of the Lord into "Old" and "New" testaments. It is one story that has continued throughout history, to show us how sinful we really are, and why we are so in need of a Savior.

      Don't be afraid to study some of the more biblical Jewish traditions, guys and gals! There is a ton of prophecy in those Jewish holidays, which God set down back in Moses' time for us to celebrate for all of time. The whole book is written for one guy, for a reason. It's all about Jesus, it really is.

      Don't be afraid of "Jewish" traditions and holidays, it will strengthen your faith. Never forget that the first Christians, were Jews! The whole history of the earth, and the very heavens themselves, declares the Glory of God. It's all real, trust Him.

  2. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 11 years ago

    I suppose you could say the first sacrifice was made on the exit from Eden. It states that God killed animals to offer clothes to Man. But, I think that sacrifice was a human custom that permeated all of the surrounding cultures. I don't know that the Israelites were any different from their neighbors.

    Christianity began within a culture that ordered sacrifices to all of the gods. I consider it to be unique because the thinking behind the crucifixion was revolutionary. Animal sacrifice is pointless. Killing another living thing has nothing to do with atonement of sin. That's why the sacrifice was represented as one of an eternal being. One that can't die. An offering to Man to end all offerings.

    I think, it solidified a philosophical idea in another corner of the world that life goes on after death. I've never quite understood the argument that Christianity is a form of human sacrifice.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That would give us a third option then, which would be to not believe that God had anything to do with the sacrificial system before Christ.  Thanks for bringing it up.  I had overlooked that as an optional answer in this forum.  So, to clarify, God either CHOSE sacrifice as the method of forgiveness, or sacrifice is part of who God is, His NATURE, or God didn't have anything to do with sacrifice before Christ.  It was all the idea of men. 

      Thanks Emile R.

      1. knighthawk68 profile image60
        knighthawk68posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I would like to address both comments first I will start with Emily R.
        When the Garden of Eden was open to Adam and Eve they were  created in Gods image  Genesis 1:26 " And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and the cattle and over all the earth, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Verse 27 reads " So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them". ( KJV)
        When Eve broke the law God had givin them which was not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve noticed they were unclothed and they covered themselves with fig leaves. In Genesis 3:21 reads " The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and he clothed them." (CHSB) It does not state that God killed an animal to use it skin for the clothing.
        In the time before Christ, animal sacrifice was used for atonement of sin and also a way to say thank you. When Christ Jesus the Messiah, lived, died and arose He himself took the sins upon himself. He lived a sin free life so when the time came he would be the savior for all who believed. Animal sacrifices were of no need any longer because the Lamb of God paid the price for mans sin.

        1. cam8510 profile image93
          cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          The forum question is not what was the purpose of sacrifice but what was the source of the idea.  Was it God's choice or did it extend from His character.  As I see it, if it was by God's choice, He could have chosen otherwise and saved a lot of animals' lives as well as His own son's.  If it was from His character, then He didn't have a choice.  That seems odd.

          1. knighthawk68 profile image60
            knighthawk68posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Two things, there were only a few types of animals that god choose as a sacrificial offering. Second if Jesus did not die on the cross and then be resurrected  there would be no way to God, because of mans sins.

        2. profile image0
          Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Are you suggesting that God skinned an animal  and left it alive? That's disturbing.

      2. knighthawk68 profile image60
        knighthawk68posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        cam8510,   Christian scriptures do not call for human sacrifices, There was a time when God was tested Abraham. God told Abraham to take his son Issac and offer him as a burnt offering. Abraham followed Gods commands and went to the place God told him, Abraham followed every request God asked of him, you also should know Issac was Abrahams' only son. Just before Abraham raised the blade to his son God spoke to Abraham . Genesis 22: 12-13 Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from Me". 13 Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son". The only other human sacrifice is when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. those are the only ones pertaining to death. There are sacrifices  that pertain to for instance, the sacrafice of giving up everything that you own to follow the Messiah,  In order for you to better understand the answer to your question pick up Gods Holly word and read it. There are many answers to many questions you may have.

  3. jacharless profile image75
    jacharlessposted 11 years ago

    The first recorded offering/sacrifice, in Hebrew scripts, dates back to Abel and Cain. It is unclear why the practice was adopted, as no writing suggests -nor demands- offering/sacrifice prior to Abram. However, it is highly noted that the first Cities of Cain were exceedingly "into" sacrificial practices of animals and food stuffs. Practices still used today in many cultures. Ur, the third largest city, was where Abram was born and grew up. Seems natural he would have had deep knowledge of the practice prior to his calling. Same applies to Moshe and the circumcision, which is a form of sacrificial offering.


    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting.  The first two comments are in favor of sacrifice before Christ being neither by God's choice nor from His nature, but was not His idea at all.  Fascinating.

      1. jacharless profile image75
        jacharlessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        From the information have gathered over the years, Chris, the instance of Abram and Issac initiated the "Act of Atonement". Some believe the origin stems from Cain, who is said to have been the first human to spill another humans blood. Blood being the active sustainable of life in the human body. Given that Abram was of the lineage of Seth, the "Replacement Son", many accept this idea. According to the lineage Noah died just two years prior to the birth Abram. The concept of human atonement directly relates to the physical, bodily aspect of the being.

        At which time Abram takes his 1st born to mountain altar, the plot thickens, as there is no animal within sight. Most know the rest as a call of restraint is requested by Creator and Abram looses Issac. This then metaphorically or actually sparks the requirement by Creator to fulfill His end of the covenant promise of complete cleaning of the tainted {unclean} blood, which is known as Atonement. This act is further exemplified at another major event known as Passover, where, once more the first born son(s) are spared the passing of physical death, by blood posted outside their huts.

        Was it an initial requirement, a premeditated choice? No. It was essentially forced into motion by the act of blood spilling. I also do not agree it had anything to do with the Adamic Inception, which was a spiritual and mental event that did effect the body afterward. But as with the Inception, a repair process or safeguard was activated. This safeguard basically sums up: blood is required to cleanse blood. Even in science today, this is true. Clean blood is transfused into unclean blood to restore it.



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