This paper examines story (in Leviticus 10) of Nadab and Abihu and the implications that this story has for the importance (to both Jews and Christians) of the idea of sacrifice contained within it.
One of the most important themes running through the Old Testament is that of sacrifice. This message, of the importance of submitting one’s individual will to the will of God, also runs through the New Testament as well, of course, as well as through the canonical texts of a number of religions. This paper examines one particular rendering of this theme, the story of Nadab and Abihu as told in Leviticus 10. While this story is, of course, part of the Judaic heritage and orthodoxy as expressed within the Old Testament, the lessons set forth in this story are connected in fundamental and important ways to New Testament, Protestant concepts about the relationship of the individual to God.
It is imperative when examining precepts of Christian faith and doctrine to remember these connections between Jewish teaching and belief and Christian teaching and belief. While some Christian sects have been inclined to dismiss the importance of the Old Testament as being subsidiary or ancillary to the core teachings of Christianity, this is of course not true. The Old Testament is of great value to Christians of all sects. The writings in the books of the Old Testament should be seen as providing a great source of hope in God’s mercy and willingness to provide guidance to humans as well as a source of admonition and warning that Christians (like Jews) might learn from the failings of those who had come before them.
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