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“Forgiveness … is not simply one miscellaneous blessing which will accompany covenant renewal. Since covenant renewal means the reversal of exile, and since exile was the punishment for sin, covenant renewal/return from exile means that Israel’s sins have been forgiven – and vise versa … The point at issue was not that Jesus was offering forgiveness where the Rabbis were offering self-help moralism. The point is that

Jesus was offering the return from exile, the renewed covenant, the eschatological ‘forgiveness of sins’ – in other words, the kingdom of God. And he was offering this final eschatological blessing outside the official structures, to all the wrong people, and on his own authority. That was his real offence.”

                                                 N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God

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