Abstract

It is commonly held that Paul’s atonement theology evinces the influence of the “Akedah” tradition in Judaism, a historical accretion based on Gen 22 affirming that Isaac was actually sacrificed and was a uniquely efficacious atoning sacrifice for the sin of Israel. One of the Pauline passages commonly supposed to exhibit this influence is Rom 8:32. Yet further examination of the documents espousing the Akedah tradition casts doubt on the plausibility of this supposed influence. It is unlikely that this tradition was formed when Paul was writing. Nevertheless, a preoccupation with the Akedah has dominated exegetical debates about Rom 8:32 and why Paul may allude to Gen 22 when he proclaims God gave up his son for us. Therefore, this curious reference needs a more plausible interpretation. This article aims to supply that by showing that Paul uses Gen 22 to illustrate the means, and the necessity, of atonement.

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