4 Maccabees 17:22


19 For Moses says, "All who are consecrated are under your hands." 20 These, then, who have been consecrated for the sake of God, are honored, not only with this honor, but also by the fact that because of them our enemies did not rule over our nation, 21 the tyrant was punished, and the homeland purified—they having become, as it were, a ransom for the sin of our nation. 22 And through the blood of those devout ones and their death as an atoning sacrifice, divine Providence preserved Israel that previously had been mistreated. 23 For the tyrant Antiochus, when he saw the courage of their virtue and their endurance under the tortures, proclaimed them to his soldiers as an example for their own endurance,

Romans 3:25

New Testament

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (although it is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed— 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.

 Notes and References

"... Stuhlmacher suggests that Paul uses a creedal text in Rom 3:25 to elucidate God’s offering up of Jesus as atonement. This creedal text incorporated the Yom Kippur ritual. Christ’s death, seen by all, replaced the Yom Kippur ritual, only seen by the high priest and God. The primitive church’s critique of the Yom Kippur ritual may have had its provenance with Stephen and his followers (Acts 6). After Stephen’s martyrdom and after the expulsion of his followers from Jerusalem, the tradition probably entered Antioch. Paul and fellow missionaries, who took the gospel to Rome, became acquainted with the tradition in Antioch. In Rom 3:25, Paul consciously refers to “statements of the faith that unite him with the Roman Christians.” The translation “sacrifice of atonement” for i9lasth/rion has no support in the Greek sources, but can only be derived from a hypo-thetical reference to the Jewish martyrs in 4 Macc 17:21–22. However, Martyr Theology’s influence on Paul’s use of i9lasth/rion does not fit philologically with the content of Rom 3:25 since the NT presents Jesus as more than a Jewish (prophetic) martyr. The term i9lasth/rion in Rom 3:25, then, refers to the mercy seat ..."

Williams, Jarvis J. Maccabean Martyr Traditions in Paul’s Theology of Atonement: Did Martyr Theology Shape Paul’s Conception of Jesus’s Death? (pp. 1-22) Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010

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