Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Passover, the Day of Atonement, and Margaret Barker's Forthcoming Book

About a year ago I began reading Brant Pitre's Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.1 It has been an extremely interesting book and has been quite informative regarding parallels between the Passover and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. A synopsis and discussion of these parallels will follow in a subsequent post. While the parallels between these two events are striking, still, I was left to wonder why Christ's Atonement occurred in connection with the Passover, rather than on Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The rituals associated with Yom Kippur, which seem to me to best foreshadow the Atonement of Jesus Christ, intriguingly, was not concurrent with Christ's actual sacrifice. Passover commenced in the middle of the month Nisan, the first month of the Jewish calendar (the Jewish new year is celebrated during springtime), whereas, Yom Kippur takes place on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishrei). For various reasons that Pitre posits, the Passover festival provided an appropriate setting in which the infinite atonement took place, but did not explain why the Passover was a more appropriate context than the Day of Atonement (nor was it his intention to cover this topic in particular). In the foreword to Pitre's book, Scott Hahn writes: