You are here
|Title||The Israelite Roots of Atonement Terminology|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Spackman, T. Benjamin|
|Journal||BYU Studies Quarterly|
|Keywords||Atonement; Israelite; Redeemer; Redemption|
This article focuses on three common English terms—atonement, salvation, and redemption; their usual Hebrew equivalents as rendered in the King James Version of the Bible (KJV); and their associated conceptions found within the Hebrew Bible. In general, ancient Israelites understood redeem primarily in terms of kinship and family law and secondarily as a covenantal term. Salvation was found more often in political or martial contexts. And atonement was primarily a priestly term, dealing with ritual purity and pollution. The semantic lines between these Hebrew terms have been blurred in modern English usage, if not erased entirely; they have also become highly theological, eschatological, and heavenly, whereas their conceptual Israelite linguistic origins are often grounded in the concrete, this-worldly, and practical. The article suggests that recovering the Hebrew sources of the three terms yields more clarity about the theology of atonement.
Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.