I’m happy to say my Secular Frontier blog post of my interview with Ed looks like it will be in this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival: https://secularfrontier.infide…nosticism/
Basically what I’m arguing is that I think Jesus’ words from the cross in Luke are really informative: “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).” So, from that quote, (i) the one point is that the issue is about forgiving sins rather than punishing them. And, (ii) the other point is that the people can’t see that they are sinful, so the veils over their eyes need to be lifted so they can truly see themselves for what they are and repent. Forgiveness is powerless without repentance, like a wife who continually forgives a spouse who won’t stop cheating. This is basically what I’m trying to argue against the penal substitution interpretation of the cross that says Jesus died in our place to pay our sin debt.
Dr. Ehrman comments:
- It is easy to see Luke’s own distinctive view by considering what he has to say in the book of Acts, where the apostles give a number of speeches in order to convert others to the faith. What is striking is that in none of these instances (look, e.g., in chapters 3, 4, 13), do the apostles indicate that Jesus’ death brings atonement for sins. It is not that Jesus’ death is unimportant. It’s extremely important for Luke. But not as an atonement. Instead, Jesus death is what makes people realize their guilt before God (since he died even though he was innocent). Once people recognize their guilt, they turn to God in repentance, and then he forgives their sins. (ehrmanblog, 2017)