Holy Sacrifice

From the Introduction:
The expression “Holy Sacrifice,” which forms the topic I have been assigned, involves a redundancy. “To make holy” is what the word “sacrifice” means, derived, as it is, from the Latin ‘sacer’ – ‘sacred’, and the verb facere – to ‘make’. Yet neither Hebrew nor Greek has an equivalent generic term (despite its appearance in English translations of the Bible). Both languages have, indeed, a whole armory of terms used for specific offerings, but neither has an umbrella term covering all and thereby conveying the overall idea. Still more, nowhere in Scripture is the significance of sacrifice spelled out specifically, for all that sacrifice is spoken of from the first chapters of the Old Testament to the final chapters of the New. It appears simply as a fact of religious life whose meaning was presumably wellunderstood by worshippers. If we are to uncover its significance, it will most likely be as we examine its practice in the Old Testament, and its usage in the New. We may begin by attempting to discern the broad features of sacrifice, and then inquire as to whether and how they receive more exact definition in the Old and New Testaments.

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