Is Jesus the Sacrifice to end all Sacrifices? The Bible says no.

Rabbi Yisroel C. Blumenthal discusses the division between the Jerusalem council and Paul on the issue of sacrifices.


The idea that Jesus is the sacrifice to end all sacrifices is a religious innovation. The Jewish disciples who lived with Jesus did not believe in it.

Categories: Islam

50 replies

  1. It was a sin offering to end all sin offerings for repentance and confession or absolution of sin.

    The sin offering in the Nazarite vow was a sin offering for another purpose, which is open to debate.

    My own view would be that the sin offering of the Nazarite vow shows that the Nazarite could not justify himself regardless of his works. So this is saying the exact opposite of what Muslims and Jews want to see in this context.

    So there is no record of any Jew in the Jerusalem church repenting and confessing his sin through a sin offering.

    The final nail in this coffin is that the Gentiles went straight in to the full covenant blessings by faith alone. As Cornelius shows. And the Samaritans who were not Jews either. They were not allowed to worship in the temple. They believed and were filled with the Holy Spirit:

    14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.


    • Repentance can be expressed in different ways. Nazarite offerings is one way. Fasting is another way as demonstrated by the repentance of the people of Nineveh in the book of Jonah.They did not offer animal sacrifices even though they had plenty of animals. Neither of this means anything without sincerity and belief.

      If Acts 21 is true it shows James and the Jerusalem church did not believe that Jesus’s sacrifice abolished all the sacrifices including sin offerings.

      James asked Paul to facilitate the fulfilment of the Nazarite vow including the sin offering as a public demonstration of commitment to the law including sin offerings. This goes against what is found in the Pauline corpus about the law being a curse which the Jews were liberated from by the crucifixion.


  2. I believe that Isaiah (66:17) is a good a argument as well against pauline belief since God will destroy those who eat ( pig flesh) at the end of time.


    • “Pauline belief” = ?

      Jesus Himself declared all foods clean – Mark 7:19

      God Himself declared all foods clean and all cultures open to God’s love and forgiveness in Acts chapters 10-11 and 15

      And Peter, the Jewish disciple, had to learn that lesson in those chapters.

      so, it is not just a “pauline belief”.


    • Sorry, but that verse in Mark has nothing to do with canceling the food law. Read with its own context. However, for sake of argument, why would God at the end of time will destroy those who eat pig flesh? Hadn’t he know that he will change his law?


  3. off topic, but who designed and created every pig that has ever graced the earth with its spare ribs?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Brilliant one Burhanuddin. Truly brilliant youtube. Glory be to God.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Good one Burhanuddin: BTW in another thread this is what I posted.

    I am not sure our Christians commentators are following what I am asking. I am not discussing whether Jesus died on cross or otherwise. Lets assume that crucifixion is true and rising from the dead is also true.

    My argument is so what? Did Jesus ever ask you to believe in his death or resurrection for your salvation? I mean you can find plenty of examples of Prophets being tortured, abused, harmed or even killed. There are cases in bible where people rose from dead. but so what. If believing in ” death or resurrection of Jesus” is the vehicle for your salvation why believing in death and suffering and even raising from dead of others is not vehicle of your salvation. why play fast and loose with events in bible? Why insert your own meaning to events in Bible by your own liking?

    And how bout these events. You can add dozens more those this list

    Jesus cursed a fig tree
    Jesus rode donkey into Jerusalem
    Jesus drove daemons out
    Jesus turned water into wine

    Can you say that believing in any of these events is vehicle for your salvation? if not then why not? After all crucifixion is just another event in life of Jesus. Nothing more.

    Before you bring in St Paul, please realize that he started preaching many years after departure of Jesus and his formula of salvation was not known either to Jesus or to his disciples. So what will happen to Jesus (he was a man too according to your belief) and his followers who died or were even killed by St Paul (by his own admission)?

    So if you want to post a response, please respond to what is being asked.


  6. @RationalMuslim I will respectfully agree to disagree, your arguments are full of holes .
    surah 19 (Mary) verse 33 the Quran says
    “Peace on me the day I was born and the day I die and on the day I shall be raised alive”


    • Prashant,
      And read a little further in Surah 19 – “It befits not Allah that he should beget a son” 19:34 and Jesus says, “And verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship him (alone). 19:35

      You failed to address Rational Muslim’s central Question – “Did Jesus ever ask you to believe in his death or resurrection for your salvation?”

      Seems like it is your Church Doctrines that are “full of holes.”


    • Jesus said ” I am the way, the truth and the life, No one goes to the father except by me” John 3:16

      John 10:30 I and the father are one.

      John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies

      I can go on for ever… but I have no intention in starting a flame war. I respect your faith in the name of humanity…. but I dont agree with your statements


    • [Jesus said,]

      “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18 NIV)

      I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)


    • Prashant,
      when all else fails, quote scripture and preach.

      Thanks for this comment from you: “I respect your faith in the name of humanity…. but I dont agree with your statements”

      Please know that that feeling is mutual.


      Liked by 1 person

    • right, we can respectfully agree to disagree


  7. @Prashant : I hope you realize after giving all the quotes, that is no definitive teaching from Jesus where he teaches salvation through “belief in his death and resurrection”.

    These are made up ideas by later churches influenced by Paul. If there were any evidence, you would have found them. But there is none. May Allah guide you to right path.

    I write this with respect.


    • @Prashant: Do you see in the verse that you quoted there are two places where Jesus commands/demands that “Whoever believes in him ” . but not in his death and resurrection.

      That is the key. It is to believe in him, his God, his teachings, his commandments, his lifestyle. But not in his “death and resurrection”.

      I hope get this point.


    • He asked Thomas to believe in his death and resurrection.


    • @Erasmus: Evidence please


  8. The main point of the gospels, all 4 of them, is leading up to the cross, death, and resurrection of Christ. So when it says over and over “repent and believe” it includes that – whole chapters are about all of that – you cannot demand a verse with your own demand for exact words, when the whole books are telling you to believe in Christ and His work on the cross and His resurrection.

    Repent and believe the gospel – Mark 1:15 – means all of it.

    I already proved that Luke 24:25-27 and 24:46-47 and Mark 10:45 and 14:24 and 14:60-64 shows this anyway; along with Acts 2 and Acts 13:28-39.


  9. “Repentance can be expressed in different ways. Nazarite offerings is one way. ”

    There is nothing that speaks of repentance in connection with the Nazarite vow. It is about consecration to some form of sacred service.


  10. The sin offering of the Nazarite shows that he could not be saved by any good works performed in connection with his vow.


    • “The sin offering of the Nazarite shows that he could not be saved by any good works performed in connection with his vow.”

      The sin offering is a good work. Just as the fasting of the people of Nineveh was a good work.

      Repentance and good deeds go hand in hand. God in His mercy rewards sincere good deeds.

      In any case the real question is if the disciples and the Jerusalem church believed that the crucifixion was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices why did they ask Paul to demonstrate his commitment to the law by this offering?


    • @erasmus

      “The obvious and rational implication of this text”

      Look, the kind of text you and others are bringing are tertiary evidence at best. The primary evidence would like clear instruction by Jesus (like lords prayer or sermon on the mount), or his clear and repeated instruction to do repentance and seek forgiveness etc. The secondary evidence would be consensus of disciples on what Jesus had commanded and taught the tertiary evidence would be the type of verses you are bringing which could be “stretched” to fit these meanings. but in the absence of primary or secondary evidence how can u rely on tertiary evidences?

      Does it not occur to you that if mission of Jesus was what you believe it was then you would see dozen after dozens of saying on this matter?

      all i request you is to think seriously and honestly


  11. The apostles preached the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus as described in the book of Acts.


  12. Im pretty sure the whole of the book the Epistle to the Hebrews is about the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ.


  13. @irrationalmuslim

    24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

    The obvious and rational implication of this text is that Thomas will not believe that Jesus rose from the dead until he sees the body of Jesus for himself and puts his hand on the body of Jesus to feel the wounds that were left after the crucifixion.

    It is obvious to any intelligent and unbiased being what Jesus was proving to Thomas for the purpose of causing him to believe in his bodily resurrection.


  14. If you keep reading all of Acts 21 to the end of chapter 28, you will see that this incident was what led to Paul’s arrest and being taken to Rome.

    It is historical narrative (what actually happened), and took place around 57 AD; after he wrote the book of Romans (Acts 20:2-3). It is not a teaching passage; so Romans 6:10; 1 Peter 3:18 and Hebrews 7:27; 8:1-13; 9:12; 9:26; 10:10-14 (once for all time) are the teaching principle, and the fact that Paul goes along with James in order to be sensitive to the Jews does not contradict, since Paul may have been wrong in doing that (we don’t know as the text does not say; only that it caused other Jews to attack him and lead to his arrest); – but God allowed him to do it in order to get him arrested, taken to Rome, and give 2 more opportunities for him to explain himself and his testimony, and in Acts 9, in Acts 22 and 26.

    So, Paul was being sensitive to the Jewish disciples in Jerusalem and to James’ advice (see 1 Corinthians 9:19-23), but the unbelieving Jews from Asia (Acts 21:27) saw him there in the temple and assumed he was defiling the temple by bring Gentiles into the temple.

    This led to a mob scene and beating Paul and then the Romans arrested him (Acts 21:33) – the rest is about Paul’s defense (apologia / απολογια ) and opportunity to give his defense of his faith in Christ and as a Roman Citizen, to appeal to Caesar and go to Rome. It fits with the purpose of the whole book of Acts to show how the gospel spread from Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the earth, Rome being the capital of the pagan Empire at the time and symbol of the gospel spreading into major Gentile lands. (see Acts 23:11)

    It seems that the text in Acts 21 does not answer the question as to whether Paul (and James’ counsel and desire) was contradicting the book of Hebrews (written later in AD 68) or Romans 6:10 (written a little before the incident) or 1 Peter 3:18 (once for all time, used there also for Christ’s work on the cross, 1 Peter written around 64 AD.)

    The apostle Paul may have thought in his mind, “I am doing this to be a good witness to the Jews; and I take these sacrifices as symbolic looking back to the sacrifice of Christ; and for the opportunity to be able to explain that these sacrifices are pointing to Christ as the final sacrifice”. The temple was still standing and operating, so it seems like a transitional period.

    But neither James nor Paul require the Gentiles (Greeks, Romans, other cultures) to do the sacrifices. So it seems to do the ritual to respect the Jews.

    Just as I would never eat pork or drink wine in front of Muslims (even though I am free to do that – 1 Cor. 9:19-23), and I would take off my shoes when I visit a mosque – I am respecting their custom, even though that does not mean I agree with everything said inside the mosque.
    I Cor. 9:19-23 is the principle.

    But later, Jews who have come to believe Christ is the final sacrifice in Hebrews (68 AD), are told that they cannot reject that and go back to the temple and do sacrifices. Maybe one of the purposes of Hebrews and that it was later after the incident in Acts 21 in 57 AD, is to show that they (Jerusalem church and James) should not do that anymore.

    God then destroyed the temple in 70 AD to show that Christ was indeed the final sacrifice.


    • The conflict between St. Paul and the Jerusalem Church is obvious. St. Paul has to defend “his” Gospel against other Gospels. He even goes as far as speaking out against a possible correction by an angel from heaven. (Gal. 1). These are Christ’s words? Weird.


    • No, they all agreed with each other clearly in Acts 15 and Galatians 1-2. Peter, James spoke in Acts 15 and agreed with Paul. They even quoted from the OT. The passage in Acts 21 is about not offending the Jews in Jerusalem – ( 1 Cor. 9:19-23); it is not trying to say that those sacrifices had propitiating power.


    • Galatians 1:6-9 shows how high Paul understood his own revelation from God. Shows how some people think they have revelations from angels but they were not true angels. (like Muhammad and Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons – they were not angels from God.)


    • “The passage in Acts 21 is about not offending the Jews in Jerusalem”

      Seems you are prepared to make the disciples of Jesus look like hypocrites.


    • They were not infallible, and the apostle Paul rebuked the apostle Peter for hypocrisy in Galatians 2:11-16. But they all agreed with each other (Peter, James, John, Paul, and Barnabas and the other elders/leaders) in Galatians 2:7-9 and Acts 15:1-30


    • The earliest Curch in Jerusalem did not agree with what you believe. They did not believe in an atoning death of Christ.

      Your attempts to gloss over the disputes between earliest Jewish Christian belief and Pauline Christianity amount to a falsification of history. But alhamdulillah we have other historical evidence.

      Earliest Jewish Christian group Ebionites who trace themselves back to Jesus’ closest disciples and family were anti-Pauline and did not see Jesus as an atoning sacrifice.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes they did – read all of Acts 15:1-30 and Galatians 2:7-9.

      Ebionites faded out and were small; definitely they were not the victorious and manifest ظاهرین and uppermost فوق ones that Surah 3:55 and 61:14 spoke about, about the true disciples of Jesus. History proves the true disciples of Jesus believed in the Deity of Christ and provided the basis for the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.


    • “History proves the true disciples of Jesus believed in the Deity of Christ and provided the basis for the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.”

      That’s falsification of history. History tells us there was a vast variety of Christologies right from the start all over the place. The Jerusalem Church did not believe what you believe about Jesus nor did the Jewish Christian groups emerging from them. That’s what history tells us. Face the facts.


    • nope; those little groups like the Ebionites were heretics and died out very soon. Gnostics later were heretics and very much opposite of Islamic principles, since they did not believe in humanity of Jesus nor the OT. sorry, you are wrong.


  15. “God in His mercy rewards sincere good deeds.”

    Christians believe that too. With what though? Not justification.

    Where does it say in the OT that God rewards good deeds with justification or eternal life?


  16. Michael Brown is trying to debate rabbi Yisroel. Would be an interesting debate


  17. @rationalmuslim,

    who said: “Does it not occur to you that if mission of Jesus was what you believe it was then you would see dozen after dozens of saying on this matter?

    all i request you is to think seriously and honestly”

    I reply,

    Yes, please take your own advice.

    John chapter 12:

    24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

    32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.


  18. @irrational muslm

    The words of Jesus in John 3:

    13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

    14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    Irrational muslim please start thinking rationally and be true to the name that you have chosen.


  19. A human sacrifice is usually needed to appease the gods. We Aztecs have been doing it for eons and the Sun’s never failed to rise even once.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. ““but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

    That’s nonsense. If it dies, it will rot, no fruit.”

    I think what is meant is that the seed is cut off from the sap of the plant which hitherto fed it.

    In that sense it dies.



  1. Is Jesus the Sacrifice to end all Sacrifices? A discussion on Paul Williams blog BloggingTheology | Badmanna's Blog
  2. Answering Questions about Acts 21:17-26 | Apologetics and Agape

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