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atonement

[uh-tohn-muh nt] /əˈtoʊn mənt/
noun
1.
satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.
2.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Theology. the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind, especially as accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of Christ.
3.
Christian Science. the experience of humankind's unity with God exemplified by Jesus Christ.
4.
Archaic. reconciliation; agreement.
Origin
1505-1515
1505-15; from phrase at one in harmony + -ment, as translation of Medieval Latin adūnāmentum; compare Middle English onement unity
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for atonement
  • The mystery of evil and atonement remain, and the reader is left challenged on these most basic issues of meaning in human life.
  • The insult was too gross to be passed over without atonement of some sort.
  • The depth of its atonement, however, is a matter of debate.
  • This is all he requires and all that we can do, and if we sincerely do this, we are sure of salvation through his atonement.
  • He walked a path of atonement not necessarily required of other offenders.
  • For true guilty pleasures, atonement is not required.
  • It was atonement, American style, and there seemed few limits to how personal—or commercial—it could all be.
  • And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
  • Today Rwanda is a shattered country, with little sign of justice or atonement.
  • Those criteria can never be objective: atonement is not statistically measurable.
British Dictionary definitions for atonement

atonement

/əˈtəʊnmənt/
noun
1.
satisfaction, reparation, or expiation given for an injury or wrong
2.
(often capital) (Christian theol)
  1. the reconciliation of man with God through the life, sufferings, and sacrificial death of Christ
  2. the sufferings and death of Christ
3.
(Christian Science) the state in which the attributes of God are exemplified in man
4.
(obsolete) reconciliation or agreement
Word Origin
C16: from Middle English phrase at onement in harmony
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for atonement
n.

1510s, "condition of being at one (with others)," from atone + -ment. Meaning "reconciliation" (especially of sinners with God) is from 1520s; that of "propitiation of an offended party" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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atonement in the Bible

This word does not occur in the Authorized Version of the New Testament except in Rom. 5:11, where in the Revised Version the word "reconciliation" is used. In the Old Testament it is of frequent occurrence. The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is reconciliation. Thus it is used to denote the effect which flows from the death of Christ. But the word is also used to denote that by which this reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for his offences (Ex. 32:30; Lev. 4:26; 5:16; Num. 6:11), and, as regards the person, to reconcile, to propitiate God in his behalf. By the atonement of Christ we generally mean his work by which he expiated our sins. But in Scripture usage the word denotes the reconciliation itself, and not the means by which it is effected. When speaking of Christ's saving work, the word "satisfaction," the word used by the theologians of the Reformation, is to be preferred to the word "atonement." Christ's satisfaction is all he did in the room and in behalf of sinners to satisfy the demands of the law and justice of God. Christ's work consisted of suffering and obedience, and these were vicarious, i.e., were not merely for our benefit, but were in our stead, as the suffering and obedience of our vicar, or substitute. Our guilt is expiated by the punishment which our vicar bore, and thus God is rendered propitious, i.e., it is now consistent with his justice to manifest his love to transgressors. Expiation has been made for sin, i.e., it is covered. The means by which it is covered is vicarious satisfaction, and the result of its being covered is atonement or reconciliation. To make atonement is to do that by virtue of which alienation ceases and reconciliation is brought about. Christ's mediatorial work and sufferings are the ground or efficient cause of reconciliation with God. They rectify the disturbed relations between God and man, taking away the obstacles interposed by sin to their fellowship and concord. The reconciliation is mutual, i.e., it is not only that of sinners toward God, but also and pre-eminently that of God toward sinners, effected by the sin-offering he himself provided, so that consistently with the other attributes of his character his love might flow forth in all its fulness of blessing to men. The primary idea presented to us in different forms throughout the Scripture is that the death of Christ is a satisfaction of infinite worth rendered to the law and justice of God (q.v.), and accepted by him in room of the very penalty man had incurred. It must also be constantly kept in mind that the atonement is not the cause but the consequence of God's love to guilty men (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24, 25; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 4:9). The atonement may also be regarded as necessary, not in an absolute but in a relative sense, i.e., if man is to be saved, there is no other way than this which God has devised and carried out (Ex. 34:7; Josh. 24:19; Ps. 5:4; 7:11; Nahum 1:2, 6; Rom. 3:5). This is God's plan, clearly revealed; and that is enough for us to know.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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