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Document Details :
Title: The Function of חטאת Sacrifice in the Priestly Literature
Subtitle: An Evaluation of the View of Jacob Milgrom
Author(s): DENNIS, John
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 78 Issue: 1 Date: April 2002
Without a doubt, Jacob Milgrom has established himself as the leading authority on the חטאת sacrifice in the Old Testament. Milgrom’s understanding of this sacrifice has been highly influential and many have followed his lead. His view can be summarized as follows: the חטאת sacrifice does not function to purify the sinner but rather to purge the sanctuary from the defilement caused by the sin/impurity of the people. The purpose of this article is to evaluate this view of the חטאת sacrifice in the Priestly literature.
We shall begin our investigation by laying out the three pillars of Milgrom’s understanding of the חטאת sacrifice: the contexts and morphology of the term חטאת the object of the חטאת sacrifice; and כפר and its prepositions. We shall then evaluate these arguments and attempt to show that Milgrom’s view of the function of the חטאת sacrifice is only partly correct.