Thanks for bringing those passages to my attention. I will have to look into them deeper tomorrow, but from the first one you quoted the context is not talking about a substitutionary punishment by God on Jesus which is the Protestant understanding. From the context both before and after I dont think Augustine was teaching substitutionary atonement. 3. Death comes upon man as the punishment of sin, and so is itself called sin; not that a man sins in dying, but because sin is the cause of his death. … … So sin means both a bad action deserving punishment, and death the consequence of sin. Christ has no sin in the sense of deserving death, but He bore for our sakes sin in the sense of death as brought on human nature by sin. This is what hung on the tree; this is what was cursed by Moses. Thus was death condemned that its reign might cease, and cursed that it might be destroyed. By Christ’s taking our sin in this sense, its condemnation is our deliverance, while to remain in subjection to sin is to be condemned.
The apostle boldly says of Christ, “He was made a curse for us;” for he could also venture to say, “He died for all.” “He died,” and “He was cursed,” are the same. Death is the effect of the curse; and all sin is cursed, whether it means the action which merits punishment, or the punishment which follows. Christ, though guiltless, took our punishment, that He might cancel our guilt, and do away with our punishment.
- These things are not my conjectures, but are affirmed constantly by the apostle, with an emphasis sufficient to rouse the careless and to silence the gainsayers. “God,” he says, “sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, that by sin He might condemn sin in the flesh.” Romans 8:3 Christ’s flesh was not sinful, because it was not born of Mary by ordinary generation; but because death is the effect of sin, this flesh, in being mortal, had the likeness of sinful flesh. This is called sin in the following words, “that by sin He might condemn sin in the flesh.” Again he says: “He has made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 Why should not Moses call accursed what Paul calls sin?
Here he links 2 Cor 5:21 with Rom 8:3 and he does not appear to be describing the Protestant notion of penal substitution.
Taking a look at the second quote really quick I would say you are misreading that as well for you left off the rest of the context:Now the punishment of sin cannot be blessed, or else it would be a thing to be desired. The curse is pronounced by divine justice, and it will be well for us if we are redeemed from it. Confess then that Christ died, and you may confess that He bore the curse for us; and that when Moses said, “Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree,” he said in fact,** To hang on a tree is to be mortal, or actually to di**e. He might have said, “Cursed is every one that is mortal,” or “Cursed is every one dying;” but the prophet knew that Christ would suffer on the cross, and that heretics would say that He hung on the tree only in appearance, without really dying. So he exclaims, Cursed; meaning that He really died.
Augustine is not arguing for penal substitution in this context but rather trying to prove that Christ really died in opposition to the Manichaeans. The “curse” here is dying a humiliating death on a tree/cross, thus the “punishment of sin cannot be BLESSED” in this context appears to contrast CURSED, and cursed means he really died a human death. “He bore the curse for us” is equivalent to taking the punishment, yet Augustine is simply talking about Christ undergoing an actual death.
From what I remember is this from the Enchiridion ch 41 he comments on 2 Cor 5:21:…therefore having no sin of His own; nevertheless, on account of the likeness of sinful flesh in which He came, He was called sin, that He might be sacrificed to wash away sin. For, under the Old Covenant, sacrifices for sin were called sins. And He, of whom all these sacrifices were types and shadows, was Himself truly made sin. Hence the apostle, after saying, “We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God,” forthwith adds: “for He has made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” He does not say, as some incorrect copies read, “He who knew no sin did sin for us,” as if Christ had Himself sinned for our sakes; but he says, “Him who knew no sin,” that is, Christ, God, to whom we are to be reconciled, “has made to be sin for us,” that is, has made Him a sacrifice for our sins, by which we might be reconciled to God.