Is Vicarious Atonement a Fundamental Belief?

I am hushed and quiet, meditating in the Holy of Holies of Isaiah 53, especially verses 4-6.

First, let me introduce my question with a few margin quotes from The Jewish Study Bible (Oxford University Press, 2004):

In the identification of the Servant,

Targum and various midrashim identify the servant as the Messiah, but this suggestion is unlikely, since nowhere does Deutero-Isaiah refer to the Messiah, and absence of a belief in an individual Messiah is one of the hallmarks of Deutero-Isaiah’s outlook (in contrast to that of First Isaiah).

Perhaps many LDS on the streets would disagree with this.

But what about the Jewish scholars’ explanation of Isaiah 53:4-6?

Either the servant suffered on behalf of the speakers (i.e., the guilty were not punished at all), or he suffered along with the guilty, even though he himself did not share in the guilt of his fellow Israelites.  The former idea (i.e., the notion of vicarious suffering) would be unusual for the Bible; the latter idea (the idea of corporate guilt) is not.

Would LDS easily agree with this latter quote?  Is vicarious suffering foreign to the Hebrew Bible and not to be considered a fundamental Christian belief either?


I googled “vicarious atonement,” and the first page proved very interesting.

One comment

  1. “vicarious suffering” should not be a foren idea to any christian follower, because Jesus Christ suffered vicariously for the sins of the world. All though I do not speak for the whole of Christindom, also I have no idea how the hebrew Bible deals with this.

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