This is a follow-up to an article I wrote previously. Hopefully this will make clearer my interpretation of 2 Cor. 5:21, and I offer a paraphrase of this difficult verse.
the tendency toward literalism that seems characteristic of what is termed “Western theology” is often incongruent with the nature of Scripture itself. This becomes a serious impediment for understanding many Old Testament Scriptures and New Testament books such as The Revelation of John, and it also becomes problematic in many New Testament passages.
Many scholars interpret 2 Corinthians 5:21 quite literally and conclude that Christ literally became sin when He was crucified. Unfortunately, this is a serious mistake, in my opinion. Let me explain why. In this verse, Paul uses antithetical parallelism to contrast our sin and His righteousness.