The Blood of God, or the Blood of His Own: Our Unique Savior
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
A few modern
translators present alternatives to the blood of God. One alternative is use of Lord in lieu of God, allowing association of blood with the humanity of Jesus. There's substantial manuscript support for this rendering, but even so-called "best" Alexandrian manuscripts favor God, and most modern translators render it that way, but there is much disagreement about which is correct.
Another alternative is to render the phrase with his own
blood to read with the
blood of his own, as
if own were a
substantive (noun-like term) rather than an adjective, and it's
possible to read the Greek in this latter fashion. However, the KJV
rendering is the preferred one since the other resembles an
incomplete thought, and it can be taken to read like the KJV (the
blood of his own can
have the sense of the blood that is his
own). In an effort to ensure this alternative rendering Son
has been inserted after own to complete
the thought, offering the blood of His own
Son, but Son
isn't in the text, and can't be taken as implied; this rendering makes own
an adjective, rather than a substantive, so this would even abandon grammar preferred by scholars to avoid the concept of the
blood of God, that refers to Jesus Christ as having divine
*Our Savior didn't have human blood, both a human father & mother being needed to form it, and He had no human father. Blood forms in the fetus out of direct contact with blood of either parent (Borkert, D.T. - M.D. & Pulliam, K.R. - PhD, "The Blood of Christ www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/cbtj/03-2 _001.pdf )
Indeed, as has been pointed out, Lev.17:11 says that life is in the blood, and the life in Jesus was divine, not merely human,* so His blood would be part of His divine nature, along with His divine Spirit and Soul. His body would be generated by the Holy Ghost from Mary's genetics, and, along with His human spirit and soul, would constitute His human nature. The latter nature would be perfected by the divine nature of His blood as the only material part of His deity. Now earthly father/son relationships are those of blood, and the heavenly Father/Son relationship is that of Divine Blood. The Savior is the Son of God and Son of man, perfect God and perfect man without a sin nature, so He represents both, with a view to ultimately providing the perfection of mankind.
* Bromfield, E.L. smoodock45.wordpress.com/.../were-we-purchased-with-god’s-blood/
Now divided manuscript evidence supporting the different readings cannot of itself be decisive due to the humanity of copyists, and in such cases the textual evidence of context and grammar are decisive. Further, the early church provides reliable evid- ence in this case, understanding the true reading as speaking of the blood of God, as seen by use of this terminology by the martyr Ignatius in the early 2nd century.* He spoke of knowing he would soon die by facing lions at Rome, and considered it a great honor to die on behalf of His Savior who shed "the blood of God" for him. Now can yelping of modern scholars, who think they can correct scripture at a whim if it dis- pleases their sense of accuracy, have the slightest weight in comparison with Ignatius' magnificent testimony on the rendering? Which modern scholar believes his opinion with such devotion that he would be concerned enough to espouse and teach it while knowing that hungry lions await him because of his Christian testimony?
* "Ignatius to the Ephesians". www.earlychristianwritings.com › Church Fathers
We see strong evidence that Divine Blood was shed to atone for the sin of all mankind, and we can understand that the shedding of this blood would atone for sin. Indeed, we can see that the highest price in the universe was paid by God to guarantee forgiveness of sin to all who are sick of sin that otherwise would place an insurmountable barrier between Holy God and sinful mankind.
Note: Readers can follow-up on textual history of variant readings on this subject at the very informative website of Brother Will Kinney noted below.