In Christ Died for Our Sins, Jarvis J. Williams argues a twofold thesis: First, that Paul in Romans presents Jesus' death as both a representation of, and a substitute for, Jews and Gentiles. Second, that the Jewish martyrological narratives in certain Second Temple Jewish texts are a background behind Paul's presentation of Jesus' death. By means of careful textual analysis, Williams argues that the Jewish martyrological narratives appropriated and applied Levitical cultic language and Isaianic language to the deaths of the Torah-observant Jewish martyrs in order to present their deaths as a representation, a substitution, and as Israel's Yom Kippur for non-Torah-observant Jews. Williams seeks to show that Paul appropriated and applied this same language and conceptuality in order to present Jesus' death as the death of a Torah-observant Jew serving as a representation, a substitution, and as the Yom Kippur for both Jews and Gentiles. Scholars working in the areas of Romans, Pauline theology, Second Temple Judaism, atonement in Paul, or early Christian origins will find much to stimulate and provoke in these pages. ""New Testament scholars have too often argued for an either/or when tracing Paul's understanding of the cross of Christ . . . I]n this detailed exegetical argument, Jarvis Williams ably and convincingly defends for a both/and instead of an either/or. He demonstrates that Paul's theology of the cross includes both representation and substitution . . . E]ven those who disagree with Williams will have to reckon with this monograph which is marked by rigorous exegesis and irenic dialogue with a multitude of scholars."" --Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky ""Jarvis Williams approaches atonement with a remarkable scholarly thoroughness and respect for complexity. He argues for the presence of substitutionary thought in Paul while allowing that this does not account for all aspects of Paul's soteriology. This is an essential book for any thorough study of atonement in Romans."" --Dr. Stephen Finlan, United Church of Christ, author of Problems with Atonement ""This book represents the culmination of a decade of research on the part of Dr. Williams into Jewish martyrology as a potentially illuminating background for Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus. Wisely avoiding either/or thinking, Dr. Williams advances the case for the contribution that Jewish reflection on its own heroic martyrs, alongside other Jewish scriptural resources, made to Paul's theology and thus to the emergence of the distinctive Christian confession."" --David A. deSilva, author of Introducing the Apocrypha and The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude ""In this rewarding book, Jarvis Williams articulates his interpretation of the beneficial meaning of the death of Christ presented in his previous work. Focusing on the Letter of Romans, Williams argues that Paul builds on Jewish martyr theology by presenting Jesus' death as both a representation and a substitution for Jews and Gentiles, i.e., Jesus acted as the sinner in life and death representing Jews and Gentiles and died in place of them."" --Jan Willem van Henten, Director, Graduate School of Humanities, Universiteit van Amsterdam Jarvis J. Williams is an Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.
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