Stephen D. Morrison
Author & Theologian
I enjoyed your article laying different views on the atonement, as I was particularly trying to understand the backlash against penal substitution I am seeing. (A question i have on that subject is without a penal substitution view what happens to the sacrificial system and Isaiah 53 etc? would this lead to a further diminishment of the OT?).
But all that to say, then I saw that you had interviewed my friend Mako, who I just reconnected with recently. Amazing and thoughtful guy. FYI – I am a pastor in Boston
Thanks for the comment, Garrett!
I have a video on PSA if you might be interested. I talk about Isiah 53 in part two. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9FhiokJO2bg2axyji9a_U8pl7c8GOaKf
Nice to make your acquaintance (online anyway)!
I appreciate the effort. But that really felt like some serious ju-jitsu of Isaiah 53. I think you ask too much of Robert Alter, who I agree is a brilliant scholar, to be able to translate Isaiah 53 objectively. He is (at least subconsciously but probably consciously at least in part) doing what he can to distance the translation from Jesus (albeit in good conscience as a scholar) . All that to say, it was not a good beginning to your argument to use Alter’s translation as your basis. It signaled to me that your argument was going to be in need. I would rather have seen you perhaps accept some of the obvious implications of the passage (which I would intrepret not via the NT but rather via the Torah, which I also thought was another easy out (NT intrepretive methods of OT)). I am not advocating for PSA, as I see it as problematic as well, just advocating you strengthen your argument here. It felt weak to me. Perhaps explain why putting the sins of a nation on a lamb at Yom Kippur was commanded (which is what clearly Is 53 is imaging and Zech 3 as well). Why not acknowledge there may be aspects to penal substitution that do handle these passages well, but that doesn’t mean the theory is right in its entirety? I left your argument thinking, “he doth protest too much”