Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pre-Nicea and Post-Nicea Universal Reconciliation

I don't need a doctrine to be supported by the "Early Church" for me to consider it true.  But I study the Early Church because history interests me, and I'd like to think that in every era there were was someone somewhere who understood what I consider to be the True Gospel.

Here is a Website on Early Church History that doesn't agree with Universalism.

I definitely feel my fellow Universalists often overstate their case on this issue.  Outside of Origen I'm not aware of many Pre-Nicene fathers clearly indisputably expressing Universalist views.  However outside of maybe Tertulian and Tatian no one is clearly contradicting it either, and they were both influenced by Heretical movements.  The writings of the Pre-Niene Fathers were mostly either Apologetics or refuting Heresies, and yet Universalism was not ever listed among those Heresies, the Soterology they objected to was the Predestination of the Gnostics and Valentinians.

I can also understand why during the era of persecution Christians might have been less inclined to emphasize it, they found comfort in emphasizing the Judgment that will fall on their persecutors. 

It's become popular in Protestant/Evangelical and Hebrew Roots circles to think anything that became more popular after the Edict of Milan must be bad.  But that's an oversimplification in my view.  For those who were already believers before, the weight of that threat being removed may have allowed them to dig into questions they weren't likely to before.

Not to mention how both Origen and whoever wrote the version of the Apocalypse of Peter that supports Universal Reconciliation held the view that this truth should be hidden from the casuals because fear is a good motivator.  This of course is another area where I disagree with Origen and don't like him being propped up as the standard bearer of Unviersalism.  Our motivation to do good should be Love not Fear.

The above linked to site concedes that Aionios and Aonion comes from words for Age and don't inherently mean Eternal.  But they try to insist it does mean that in the context of Aionios fire or punishment for reasons that I responded to in the post I made yesterday.

This site I feel overstates the extent to which Post-Origen Universalists held that view because they were influenced by him.  But I feel Pro-Unviersalists do the same thing.  Yes Gregory of Nyssa and Athanasius of Alexandria probably had read Origen.  But the fact is they clearly disagreed with Origen on issues like the Pre-Existence of Souls and and whether or not the Resurrection is of the Flesh.  And Origen's version of Apokastasis was tied to his views on those matters.  So the Universalism expressed by the Cappadocian Fathers and people of the Antiochian school was in-spite of not because of Origen.

As far as any Universalists who signed the Nicean Creed and opposed Arianism goes.  Many of them blamed the origins of Arianism in part on Origen's view that Jesus was originally just another Pre-Existent Human Soul that got untied to the Logos.

And evidence that it existed before Origen is implied in how Augustine described Origen as different from other Univeralists, saying he didn't go as far as them, not that they went further then he did.

But let's go on to some people who this site wants to insist weren't Universalist.

Theophilus of Antioch I can now agree can't clearly be defined as a Universalist.  But here is what this site says on him.


He quotes Theophilus as saying:
And God shewed great kindness to man, in this, that He did not suffer him to continue being in sin for ever; but, as it were, by a kind of banishment, cast him out of Paradise, in order that, having by punishment expiated, within an appointed time, the sin, and having been disciplined, he should afterwards be recalled.
I didn't look this up. I'm sure he did say this. However, the context is clearly Adam to Christ, not the eternal kingdom. The punishment to man, being cast out of paradise, was not forever. Now, in Christ, paradise is offered again to us.
On the subject of eternity, here's what Theophilus said:
But to the unbelieving and despisers, who obey not the truth, but are obedient to unrighteousness, when they shall have been filled with adulteries, fornications, filthiness, covetousness, and unlawful idolatries, there shall be anger and wrath, tribulation and anguish, and at the very end everlasting fire shall possess such men. Since you said, "Show me your God," this is my God, and I counsel you to fear him and to trust him.
That is the very last sentence of book 1 of To Autolycus.
To publicize the first quote while ignoring the second is the product either of ignorance—in which case this man shouldn't be writing on the subject—or dishonesty unworthy of a Christian.
For the latter quote, if Theophilus said Aionios/Aionion then he's just quoting what Scripture says and not interpreting it.

On the above quote being about "Adam to Christ" I agree what we don't know what Theophilus thought that meant.  The problem is to me what Paul said about contrasting Adam and Christ in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 should be viewed as unambiguously Universlaist.  In Adam all are made Sinners and in Jesus all are made Righteous.  If the number made righteous is less then the number made sinners then Jesus was lesser then Adam, which is clearly not what Paul taught.

His attempt to show Clement of Alexandria didn't teach Universal Salvation I also find similarly inadequate, they're quotes about the Judgment but do not prove it would be endless.

And likewise with the attempt to prove Methodius of Olympus believed in Eternal Punishment, it is again just a quote that proves the Judgment will happen.  And the article doesn't include every Methodius quote from On the Resurrection that can be interpreted as supporting Universal Reconciliation, only two of them.  Some others are

"The Scriptures usually call 'destruction' the turning to the better at some future time." 

 "The world shall be set on fire in order to purification and renewal."

 "Christ was crucified that he might be adored by all created things equally, for 'unto him every knee shall bow,'"

Not all believers, all Created things.

Methodius died in 311 AD, two years before the Edict of Milian.  And he wrote On the Resurrection specifically against Origen defending the Resurrection as being Bodily.

Regardless of how long the Early Church Fathers thought God's Anger would last.  Psalm 30 defines His Anger as being but a moment.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Age of the Ages

 I already used Scripture to interpret Scripture proving that Aionion/Aionios can't always mean Eternal.  And I also have my kind of rhetorical KJV only Universalism post.

So I was reading a website against Universalism yesterday that acknowledged that Aionion/Aionios doesn't inherently mean Eternal or Forever.  In fact they said something I hadn't seen before yet, that the phrase commonly translated "for ever and ever" (in verses like Revelation 14:11), which is two forms of Aion used side by side, would most literally be translated "Age of the Ages".

I found that pretty enlightening.  I know that some Secular ancient Greek usage of Aion seemingly used it as a term for all of Time, and this makes sense in that context.  The Eon with other smaller Eons within it is from when Time began in Genesis 1:1 (as well as John 1:1) to when Time as we currently know it at least will end either in the last verse of Revelation 20 or some point soon after New Jerusalem descends, possibly at Revelation 21:8&9.

This article however made the same objection I made back before I was a Universalist.  That the same word is used to define the Life of Believers, sometimes with the clear intend of contrasting them.

First of my confidence in the ending life of believers isn't dependent on Aionion/Aionios verses.  Jesus promised those who believe in him will Never Die in John 11:26.

Meanwhile some of our promises of Aionion Life are specifically in the Aion to Come (world to Come in the KJV).  That future Aion will be one that doesn't end because it is ruled by God dwelling with Humanity. But the Judgment of the wicked is limited to the current Age of the Ages.

This notion that his judgment on the wicked must by equivalent to the life of believers ignore the clearly teaching of passages like Psalm 30:5 that His Anger endurance but a moment.

Fact is, it creates contradictions in The Bible to interpret Aionion verses as referring to endless punishment or annihilation, because we're told Sodom will be restored in Ezekiel 16, and that Jesus is the Savior of ALL not just Believers in 1 Timothy 4:10.

And now today I found a YouTube video on the Age of Ages phrase.
That video possibly suggests that the Age of the Ages is the coming age, which is also interesting.

Here is another.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

When does All Mean All?

Here are four passages where the use of the word "all" is viewed as pretty significant by Universalists such as myself.  By no means all of the "all" verses Unvierslaists would site, but I want to limit myself here to ones where the counterarguments are most difficult to make, and also to what I personally recall at this moment in time.

John 12:32
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
Romans 5:17-21
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:21-22
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
1 Timothy 4:10
"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe."
But one could respond to that by pointing to many Bible Passages where the use of the word All does not preclude exceptions.  Here is a Calvanist questing if all ever means all, mostly for the purpose of responding to Arminiasm, in which context verses where All has at face value a Unvierslaist implication are part of his proof it can't mean "all".  There is an article by a skeptic called 10 Bible verses where "all" does not mean "all".  In both of those cases it involved a lot of cases where the qualifier is right there in the verse, all of something specific. But even then, was every single individual in Jerusalem upset about the Magi's arrival?  Probably not but that can't be proven.  In most of the verses I'm talking about the qualified classification is humanity.

Anthropos is the Greek for "Men" in each of these, so don't even think about saying it precludes women, if it meant all males or adult males in the Greek it would have been Asren or Andros.

When "All" truly has an exception to it, it's a rare exception, maybe one only.  So no that can't be used to make these verses consistent with the usual position of Conservative Christians that the vast majority of Humanity will not be saved.

The verse in Timothy specifically rules out the possibility that the "all" in mind is only those that believe, as does 1 John 2:2 but it doesn't quite use the word all, in English at least.  Those verses at least destroy the Limited Atonement doctrine of Calvinism.

John's Gospel uses "all men" quite a few times.  Some in passages that you might say at face value imply all men become believer in this life which is demonstrably not true.  However I believe that is fulfilled by all men believing once they're Resurrected.

Speaking of which, 1 Corinthians 15 is specifically about the Resurrection.  So I know they'll say that we know from Revelation 20 all unbelievers will be Resurrected, to then immediately be sent to Burn for all Eternity or Annihilated.  I feel that's inconsistent with the tone of what Paul says here, but traditionalists can say Unvierslaists' interpretations of passages on Judgment are inconsistent with their tone.  Revelation can be shown to be consistent with a Universalsit message, but that's for other posts.  What I can say in short is God many times say His Anger is what's limited, His Mercy endures forever.

The most important of the above passages is Romans 5.

There is one exception to all Men becoming sinners, that's Jesus.  Jesus however was able to be that Spotless Lamb because He was The Word of God made Flesh.  So to suggest that there could be an equivalent exception to Jesus making All men Righteous suggests there can be an entity who is equally as without righteousness as Jesus is without Sin.  That Satan is just as Sinful as Jesus is Sinless.  And that is Dualism and thus Blasphemy.

Verse 19 is suddenly saying "many" instead of "all", but that goes for the statement about being condemned as sinners as well.  The fact remains that the same people who became sinners are now made righteous.

Paul concludes the Chapter by saying that Grace abounds MORE then Sin did.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Free Will vs Predestination

Much of where I differ from other modern Evangelical Universalists may come down to how for most Origen is their favorite of the Early Church Fathers while I prefer the Church Fathers who were Universalists yet critical of Origen.  Because I'm concerned about the ways Origen anticipated things like Arianism via his Platonic ideas.

However my past uncomfortably with their tendency to reject Free Will isn't one of them.  Origen strongly taught Free Will and condemned those Gnostics who rejected it.  And so did Methodius of Olympus who was critical of Origen but possibly a fellow Universalist.  I do not however agree with Origen's desire to explain what Malachi says about Jacob and Esau via a Prexistence of Souls doctrine.  That verse is talking about them as nations not as individuals.

I made a post on this blog already providing quotes about Free Will before Pelagius.  Pelagius's teaching may have included something I'd find heretical, I don't know, we know him only via what his critics said.  But the point is he didn't invent it.

My perspective on the issue of Free Will and Predesintation has been, not changed so much as clarified since watching this video explaining what Calvin originally taught.

Calvin mentioned Universalism but without taking it seriously.  Because to him that was an absurdity. So he concluded that God must choose not to Save people in order to maintain God's Sovereignty.  Even though more then one passage in Scripture says it's not God's Will for any to Perish.  Matthew 18:14, 2 Peter 3:9 and 1 Timothy 2:3-4.

Non Calvanist opponents of Unviersalism would respond that the context is explaining why the Parusia is being delayed and clearly implies those who aren't saved before the Parusia are screwed.  That validity of that arguments depends on other passages.  Calvinists however need to convince themselves that those verses are only talking about the Elect even though the context clearly doesn't support that.

As far as the claim that Romans 1 talks about "Reprobates".  Much of Romans 1 is rhetorically lays the views of those Paul is about to scold.  The rest of the Epistle goes on to refute the notion that God gives up on Sinners.

I have come to realize that instead of putting Universalism into the context of the position I already had on the Free Will/Predestination conflict, I should rather view Universalism as the solution to that conflict.  The Bible clearly teaches both Free Will and Predestination, and it is only an assumption that some are will not be saved that sees a conflict there.

Jesus says in John 12:32 that He will draw all men unto him, the Greek terminology clearly implies the one being drawn isn't in control. 

We don't have Free Will in terms of Salvation, God won't allow us to destroy ourselves, nor destroy us for rejecting Him.  But we do have Free Will in terms of being a Believer in this Life, being a Citizen of the Kingdom, entering a Relationship with him.  God makes the first move as Luther would say, because he's made that first move towards everyone, it's now on us to accept it.

1 John 2:2 destroys limited Atonement "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.".  As does 1 Timothy 4:10 "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe.".

Protestants spend so much time emphasizing the importance of us not having any reason to boast of our works.  But we do so in denial that Faith is itself a Work.  We consider it important that we do not think we contribute to our Salvation, yet will still think the Salvation of others is dependent on our Evangelism.

We're supposed to preach the Good News, not an Ultimatum.  We were told to Be A Witness, not to force our beliefs on people.  There is no Biblical Basis for door to door soul winning.

Here is one more Link I want to share.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Perpetua and Felicity

In light of KyleKallgrenBHH and his significant other's recent video lamenting the lack of Queer Women of Color representation, their review of The Watermelon Woman. And my desire to eventually spend more time on this blog deconstruction the European bias on how we view Church History.  I figure I should add my Surprising Church History on Sexuality series a post about Perpetua and Felicity.

Wikipedia Page

 Or course I don't have much to say that hasn't been said already.  So here are some Links.

The speculation of Montanism on the Wikipedia article I think is a product of Secessionists who want to think Montanists were the only Contuniations in the Early Church.  When in fact it's been repeatedly noted the objectors to Montanus were not denying the continuance of the Gift of Prophecy but criticism them for how they went about it.

The images below are taken from the first article.

Friday, April 6, 2018

The Heresies of Asia Minor

I'm annoyed by people appealing to the Early Church Fathers as if a doctrine being affirmed by them form very early on must make it valid, because The New Testament informs us heresies were emerging already in the first generation of The Church.

In Acts 20:16 Paul arrived in Ephesus and proceeded to warn them about false teachers who will emerge as soon as he leaves them.  Verses 29-31.
"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
And later in 2 Timothy 1:15 Paul laments that all of Asia has departed from him.

In Revelation 2:2 the Ephesians Church being addressed in commended for rejecting False Apostles.  But the same false Doctrines Ephesus resisted here we can infer were not so well resisted by the other churches, especially Pergamos.

Now the Anti-Paul people insist Revelation is on the other side of this conflict, that Paul and his Clique are the false Apostles Jesus refereed to.  After all Paul said "All of Asia" seemingly not allowing Ephesus as an exception.

The Bible will sometimes use the word "all" hyperbolically when exceptions do exist.  That Ephesus is where Paul gave the warning, and also the only of the Seven Churches to also be recipients of a Paulian Epistle, is sufficient reason to expect them to be the exception.

Meanwhile it could be a specific Church in Ephesus that John was in contact with being addressed.  It can be inferred that Ephesus is the city these False Apostles were operating in and that's why they're relevant to that message.

I talked about the Apostles of Ephesus on this blog before, in that post mostly accepting the traditions at face value.  But now, given this direct Biblical Evidence of False Apostles in Ephesus, I should perhaps be just as skeptical of the traditions about John and the Marys going to Ephesus as I am of Peter going to Rome.  My theory that traditions of Mary Magdelene going to France are derivative of earlier traditions of her going to Ephesus because of Ephesian Christians migrating to France remains valid however. 

It's interesting then how much of the alleged "Apostolic Succession" of the Early Church Fathers goes back to Asia.  Polycarp, Ignatius and presumably Papias were all direct students of "John of Ephesus".  Students of Polycarp founded the early church of Lyon in France, one of whom Irenaus was the mentor of Hipolytus an early Bishop of Rome and only Early Church precedent for Dispensationalist interpretations of Daniel 9 and 11.  Ignatius who is given much of the credit for the development of Early Church Hierarchy was a Bishop of Antioch so also played a role in spreading these doctrines beyond Asia.

The Montanists also had their origin in Asia Minor, and were an influence on Tertulian the first Church Father to write in Latin and thus a major influence on later Latin Church Writers like Augustine. 

Marcian also first emerged in Asia Minor.  Now at face value he's the opposite of departing from Paul.  But we see in 1 Corinthians that Paul was also annoyed by people saying they are "Of Paul" he would not like the term "Paulian Christianity".  Paul's warning in Acts 20 was of multiple heresies not just one, some emerging from without and some emerging from within.

Frankly the reason why so much confusions exists about the Nicolatians is because people keep turning to the Early Church Fathers to identify them when in my view they were the Nicolatians and so in constant denial about who the Nicolatians really were and what they taught.

What Papias is quoted as saying about John The Presbyter I view as evidence that the original John of Ephesus was not an authentic Biblical John, but that his followers confused him with John later.

The canonocity of 2 John and 3 John were often disputed in the Early Church.  Including attributing them to John the Presbyter.  But that early dispute gave them the same author, some today think these tow Epistles were actually a condemning each others.  That 3 John's description of Diotrephes fits what the author of 2 John like a glove.  And so likewise the author of 3 John could be one of the people 2 John complains about.  Neither text actually identifies itself as having been written by a John.

But assuming they have the same Author, they still both show heretics had emerged within the presumed Johnian community.

Diotrephes has been seen as the first Monarchial Bishop.  Some early Church references do imply that in Asia Paul's Churches had many Elders who were all Bishops while Churches founded by "John" had one Bishop and multiple elders, a Structure elaborated upon by his student Ignatius.  So whether he wrote 2 John or not I think Diotrephes which means "nourished by Zeus" could be a name for the false John of Ephesus.

The origins of identifying the Beloved Disciple with the name of John are based on Polycrates statements about the John of Ephesus who he doesn't say was one of the 12.  He does say this John was a Priest (as in Kohen not as in Presbytr) possibly specifically a High Priest since he wore the Sacredotal Plate.  There was a High Priest of the Jerusalem Temple in the First Century named John, he was one of the sons of Ananias and probably the John kindred to the High Priest mentioned in Acts 4.  He served as High Priest twice both very briefly and we don't know what became of him afterwards.

Crenthius was one of the earliest Proto-Gnostics, and he spent time in Asia Minor.  Some all speculate he specifically was among those John's Epistles were written against.   What's distinct about Crenthius is that while Gnostic in many ways including separating the Demiurge form The Father.  He didn't view the Demiurge as Evil but rather taught we had to still follow The Law of Moses.  In way that makes him a lot like Rob Skiba, who's an ardent Hebrew Roots believer but believes a lot of quasi Gnostic stuff.

The claim that Crenthius's Gospel was a version of Matthew I think must be wrong.  His doctrines make much more sense if he was focusing on Mark.  In fact I now think his Hersey was the origin of removing the last portion of Mark 16.

This does not mean Asia Minor was the only source of Hersey.  Simon Magus I believe was the real Peter of Rome, Justin Martyr was another mystic from Samaria who started his own school in Rome, and Tatian (the first to teach Eternal Damnation and other Gnostic ideas) was a student of his. Justin was an early example of seeking to justify claiming that Socrates and Plato taught Christian ideas because they were in contact with the Logos.

I'm not trying to demonize anyone.  Some of the people I mentioned in this post were Martyred for their Faith in Jesus, and for that I firmly believe they won the Crown of Life no matter how flawed their doctrines were.  My point is simply that being an early belief of The Church doesn't make it a correct one.

A website called Church-History.Org which has some good information on it, says that Protestants were right to reject not the Catholic Understanding of Tradition, but were wrong to reject "Apostolic Tradition".   The problem is this Apostalic Tradition becomes exactly the same thing as the "Oral Torah" of Rabbinic Judaism aka The Pharisees Jesus preached against.

All references in the New Testament to "traditions" that seem positive are to teachings that became written down in the New Testament.  You need to remember when Paul was writing not even all 4 Gospels had been written down yet, and most of his Epistles predate Luke-Acts which were written while he was in Rome.  One of the things Jude refers to as a teaching from the Apostles is written down in 2 Peter, which some scholars think was written later then Jude.  But for the most part these "traditions" are what Jesus taught in The Gospels and what Peter and John taught in the first 11 chapters of Acts.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Human Sacrifice in The Torah

So the New2Torah (Zachary Bauer) YouTube channel did a video about Human Sacrifice in The Torah in the context of The Messiah being an Atonement Sacrifice.

Then another video was made in response to it.  That second video I'm not able to embed directly it seems, so here is a Link.  Human Sacrifice and Messiah Answering New2Torah.

Bauer was definitely stupid to bring up the conspiracy theory that Isaiah 53 is removed form Jewish Bibles.  The latter video is also wrong however, no you can't get around that the Suffering Servant is an individual suffering for the sins of the people.  The Melchizedek Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls Interpreted it that way before the time of Christ.  The Talmud cites it as Messianic at least once in Sanhedrin 98b, the Leper Scholar.  The idea of it referring to the Nation doesn't show up till after 1000 AD.

Other criticisms the second video makes of the first are also valid.

For outside The Torah Zach should have referred to when David had seven sons of Saul hung on trees to appease the Gibeonites.  That is clear Hebrew Bible precedent for people being executed not for their own Sins but for the Sins of a blood Kinsman.  And five of them were maternal grandchildren interestingly.

The people in the latter video love to emphasize Repentance.  The Problem is I don't believe Yahuah is going to Save only those who Repent.  They love to point to Ezekiel 18, I point to Ezekiel 16 where even Sodom is promised to be restored.

The common claim that the Passover sacrifice isn't an Atonement Sacrifice I find to be rather semantic. The Passover is unique and doesn't easily fit into the other five general Sacrifice categories at all.  But it sure as heck resembles Atonement that ti does offering something to Yahuah just out of devotion.  God is carrying out a Judgment on Egypt for not letting Israel go, and putting The Blood on Doorposts protects your Household from that Judgment.  The Levitical Atonement Sacrifices also involve Covering things with The Blood.  The Passover Lamb covers a Household not an individual, Jesus was offered for the Household of Adam.

The people in the second video say that Atonement Sacrifices have to be female, I don't know where they got that.  The Yom Kippur Sacrifice is a male Goat in Leviticus 16.  Leviticus 4:3 requires a male Bullock to Atone for the Sin of a Priest, and Leviticus 4:14 and Numbers 15:24 require it to be a male Bullock and/or male kid of the Goats if it's offered on behalf of the Community.  And Leviticus 4:22-23 says if a Nasi sins the Atonement offering has to be a male of the Goats.  And of course The Passover had to be a male.

The Trespass offering in Leviticus 5 is what requires a Female.  But Jesus defined the Sins of Humanity as unknowing sins on The Cross.  But at any rate, I believe Jesus was ultimately both male and female.  Jesus also fulfilled the Red Heifer offering by being killed on the Mount of Olives.

The second Video also got persnickety about saying you don't Anoint a Sacrificial Offering.  You know Torah Only people love to say the only person who's Anointed in the Torah is the Priest, there is no Anointing of Kings.  Jesus is both the Offering and the one Making the Offering.  The Torah does say to anoint the Wafers of Unleavened Bread.  Now they made it sound like your forbidden to Anoint the animal, and the Torah doesn't say that either.

Both Isaac and Joseph play the role of a sacrificial offering in narratives even though they weren't literally.

Now here is a subject many are uncomfortable with.  Technically Yahuah demands Human Sacrifice in The Torah of all maternal firstborns.

Exodus 22:29-30.
"Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.  Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me."
However this situation is clarified in Numbers 18:15-17.
"Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto Yahuah, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem.  And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.  But the firstling of a bullock, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto Yahuah."
This is not about the Firstborns losing Priestly status to the Levites, Numbers 3:12 dealt with that.  This is specifically about a demand for every First Born to be Sacrificed to Yahuah.

It's interesting that Humans are distinguished from unclean animals, even though when viewed as animals we lack both requirements for being Levitically clean.  Humans aren't animals however.  With animals these physical characteristics of cleanness are merely symbolic representations of moral purity.  The only thing keeping most Humans from being an acceptable Sacrifice is being Sinful.  Only someone without Sin can truly Atone for the Sins of another.

Moses' blessing of Joseph is the foundation of the Messiah Ben Joseph doctrine.  Deuteronomy 33:17 says.
"His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh."
The Hebrew words for firstling and Bullock here are the same as in Numbers 18:17.  It was firmly established in the minds of all Israel hat every Firstling Bullock was to be Sacrificed, no exceptions.  So this passage has been taken even by non Christians as saying someone of Joseph will be sacrificed and then risen again (the "Unicorn" representing him Resurrected).

The context is about Maternal Firstborns.  Galilee in NT times wasn't just Naphtali anymore. Both the traditional site of Nazareth and the location I think Nazareth really was, were in lands that became-inhabited by the Tribe of Manasseh even though they were originally allotted to Asher and Issachar.  And when reading about Hezekiah's Passover it becomes clear plenty of Manasseh was still left behind after the Captivity.

Manasseh was the firstborn of Asenath and Joseph was the firstborn of Rachel.  It's interesting that Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:7 both emphasize that Jesus was the Firstborn of Mary even though the Virgin Birth already made that obvious.

And hey, I made that case without even addressing the awkward issue of Jephthah's Daughter.