The origins of atonement are found in Paul's writings. Popular Christian theology has understood them to mean that God demanded a bloody victim to pay for human sin. In Problems with Atonement Stephen Finlan examines the Christian doctrine of atonement and current debates about it. He considers its biblical foundation in Pauline texts, the Old Testament background, and the theological questions under discussion about atonement. He provides ancient historical background and raises questions, such as whether the Incarnation must be understood through the lens of atonement.
Chapters are "Chapter 1: Sacrifice and Scapegoat," "Chapter 2: Paul’s Use of Cultic Imagery," "Chapter 3: Atonement after Paul," "Chapter 4: Rationalizing the Atonement Doctrine," and "Chapter 5: The Incarnation."
Stephen Finlan, PhD, is an adjunct professor of New Testament at Seton Hall University and Fordham University. He is the author of The Background and Content of Paul's Cultic Atonement Metaphors (Society of Biblical Culture, 2004).