MichaelGorman’s The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant: A (not so) New Model of the Atonement makes a welcome contribution to the ongoing task of theological reflection on Jesus’ death and atonement. Gorman is keen to bracket the question of how Jesus’ death effects atonement for humanity (i.e. the mechanics of the atonement) in order to focus instead on what Jesus’ death does for humanity (pp. 1–5). Gorman contends that, with respect to the atonement, the how questions are always penultimate to the what questions. The what of Jesus’ death is, he argues, the inauguration of the new covenant (where ‘new’ means renewal, not replacement; cf. p. 23) and the creation of the corresponding people with whom that covenant is established. This emphasis on the what...

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