Defending Substitution: An Essay on Atonement in Paul (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology)

Gathercole, Simon

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In recent decades, the church and academy have witnessed intense debates concerning the concept of penal substitution to describe Christ's atoning sacrifice. Some claim it promotes violence, glorifies suffering and death, and amounts to divine child abuse. Others argue it plays a pivotal role in classical Christian doctrine. Here world-renowned New Testament scholar Simon Gathercole offers an exegetical and historical defense of the traditional substitutionary view of the atonement. He provides critical analyses of various interpretations of the atonement and places New Testament teaching in its Old Testament and Greco-Roman contexts, demonstrating that the interpretation of atonement in the Pauline corpus must include substitution.

About the Author

Simon Gathercole (PhD, University of Durham) is senior lecturer in New Testament studies in the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge and Fellow and director of studies in theology at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. A leading British New Testament scholar, he has written hundreds of articles and several groundbreaking volumes, including The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; The Gospel of Judas: Rewriting Early Christianity; The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas; and The Gospel of Thomas: Introduction and Commentary.

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In recent decades, the church and academy have witnessed intense debates concerning the concept of penal substitution to describe Christ's atoning sacrifice. Some claim it promotes violence, glorifies suffering and death, and amounts to divine child abuse. Others argue it plays a pivotal role in classical Christian doctrine. Here world-renowned New Testament scholar Simon Gathercole offers an exegetical and historical defense of the traditional substitutionary view of the atonement. He provides critical analyses of various interpretations of the atonement and places New Testament teaching in its Old Testament and Greco-Roman contexts, demonstrating that the interpretation of atonement in the Pauline corpus must include substitution.

About the Author

Simon Gathercole (PhD, University of Durham) is senior lecturer in New Testament studies in the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge and Fellow and director of studies in theology at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. A leading British New Testament scholar, he has written hundreds of articles and several groundbreaking volumes, including The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; The Gospel of Judas: Rewriting Early Christianity; The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas; and The Gospel of Thomas: Introduction and Commentary.

  • Cover Type:
  • 128 Pages
  • Publisher: Baker Book House
  • Publication Date: May 2015
  • ISBN: SGATHESIDEFENDINGSUBSTITUTIO9780801049774