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Essay/Term paper: Atonement

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Religion

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Atonement


Atonement in the larger sense deals with a common factor which is sin.
The definition is a making at on which points to a process of bringing those who
are enstranged into a unity(Douglas, 107). It is a theological term which
derives from the Anglo-Saxon. The word atonement appears eighty seven times in
the Old Testament in the RSV Bible(Nelson, 55). According to Strongs Exhaustive
Concordance, which is using the King James Version, appears seventy seven times
in the Old Testament and only once in the New Testament. In Leviticus, atonement
appears fifty one times, more than any other book of the bible. In Numbers it
appears seventeen times and in Exodus eleven times. The reason why it is used
so much in Leviticus is that during that time period priest were intercessor's
between the people and God. In the New Revised Standard Concordance, atonement
appears eighty seven times. Out of those eighty seven times, eighty one appear
with the word make or made. This would constitute that an atonement in these
uses would cause the person who prepares the atonement to work at making an
atonement. We find that in the New Testament we don't have to work to receive a
pardon from our sins. The whole bible leads up to the cross and everything
after the cross points back to the cross. Christ was the ultimate and final
atonement for us.
In the Old Testament their atonement to God was to always be unblemished
for the sake of perfection (Morris, 147). They believed that the perfect
atonement would set them free from all their sins and thus make them clean in
God's eyes. The Hebrew word for atone is. It is used frequently
for the process of sacrifice. It was thought that a man must make and
atonement to God that was adequate to give to Him to pay for his sin. In
Ezekiel 16:63 atonement is translated to mean "forgive".
Words in the Old Testament are translated from the kpr word group in
Hebrew. The Hebrew word for atonement is Kaphar. This is the main usage of the
word but there are other words that are associated with atonement.
or Kaphar means to cover. The figurative word which is used quite often is to
expiate or condone. Other words associated with Kaphar are to be merciful,
pardon, to pitch, purge(away), and to make reconcile. Or Kaphar
is used for a village that is protected by walls. Or Kopher is also
a cover or village covered. It is also bitumen which was used for a coating and
dyeing colors. Words associated with Kopher are redemption, price, bribe,
camphire, pitch, ransom, satisfaction, village. An interesting side point to
the word Kopher is that it also denotes finger nail polish. Oriental females
make a powder of camphire leaves then made the powder into a paste by use of
water and put in on their finger which gave them a reddish color. The word
camphire comes from the same root as atonement just as a sinner could pray for a
colorful cover for his soul that was ruined by sin. Or Kippur means
expiation but only in the plural. Expiation is found numerous times in the Old
Testament for example in 2 Samuel 21:3, 1 Chronicles 6:49, and 2 Chronicles
29:24. The denominative verb which is to make an atonement, make reconciliation,
or to purge is or Kapar.
There are three parent nouns for atonement and they are Koper, Kippur,
and Kapporet. Koper or means ransom or gift to secure favor. Exodus 30:12 and
Isaiah 43:3 uses ransom and this is parallel to the word redeem. In 1 Samuel
12:3 Koper is used as "bribe". Kapar means to atone by offering a substitute.
This may be better understood if you use ransom with Koper (Harris, 453).
Kippur or is used in the "Day of the Atonement". This was celebrated by a
special sin offering for the whole nation and only the high priest could be
allowed to sacrifice a goat. A second goat was released as an escape goat to
symbolize a total removal of sin.
Kapporet is a noun which means mercy seat. It is used twenty seven
times and always refers to the golden cover of the sacred chest in the inner
shrine of the tabernacle or temple (Harris 453). Kapar or is to cover over
with pitch. The cognate word is used in the Babylonian flood story and
denominative verb is used only once in Genesis 6:14 in waterproofing of the ark.
Atonement is use much more in the Old Testament because all of this was
before Christ suffered for our sins. A lot of the books always kept saying that
He died for our sins and that's true. But He also rose from the dead and they
often times leave that part out. Sacrifices were made to redeem themselves in
the eyes of God before Christ but since he atoned our sins, we no longer must
give sacrifices.
In the New Testament, atonement is found only once according to Strong's
exhaustive concordance and that is in Romans 5:1. In the NRSV it is found twice
in Romans 3:25 and Hebrews 2:17. Translated in Greek it means Katallage or
reconciliation. Reconcile is found two times, reconciled five times,
reconciling one time, and reconciliation four times. In Greek the most common
verb is and the noun. Paul is the only other in the New Testament that uses
the word atonement or reconciliation. The basic meaning of reconciliation is to
make otherwise. The transitive of it is to alter or to give exchange (Kittel,
251). Is to alter by removal, to do away, to liberate, to withdraw,
or to escape. Means to reconcile. Means the exchange effected. Then
the reconciliation, ( for which and are generally use). "It denotes the
result of the diving salvation, i.e. the new molding of the relation in
which the world stands to God, so far as it no longer remains the object of
His wrath(Bullinger, 75).
Reconciled or reconciliation seems to be the main usage in the New
Testament. In 2 Corinthians 5:19, Paul writes "God was in Christ reconciling
the world to himself, no longer holding people's misdeeds against them, and has
entrusted us with the message of reconciliation." Christ was referred to as
reconciling the world to himself. He was atoning the world to himself. He no
longer held our bad deeds against us, our sins where forgiven and that is the
message of reconciliation.
There are two main different ways of using atonement. One is in a human
trying to make an atonement so that he may be forgiven. The other is that we no
longer need to make an atonement because the price has been paid with Jesus
Christ. As said in class by yourself, "words don't have meaning, they have
uses." There are many uses of the word atonement in the Old Testament but that
was before the cross. After the cross there was no need to make an atonement
for ones sins. Without sin, there would be no atonement in the Old Testament.
Sin is the factor that of all atonement's. Sin is the reason for atonement
which is no longer needed because of Christ.
On a personal note, I would like to express how much more this paper
did for me just learning about how to do a word study or learning about
atonement. I was hungry one night so I headed to McDonalds to go eat. I took
my research with me to organize it and work on it. I met this couple with a
five year old daughter. They began asking me what I was working on and why.
What my major was and questions like that. I began to witness to them and they
were so receptive and want to know what I believed and stuff like that. They
did not seem to know a whole lot about the church, they did not even know what
a youth minister was. I felt sorry for their daughter. She probably didn't
have the best home life and they did not seem to care about her a whole lot. I
don't write this to try to get a better grade, I hope it doesn't affect my grade
at all. I just wanted to share with you how this paper was the reason I was
able to witness to a couple and their daughter and to spread happiness into
their lives.


Bibliography

George V. Wigram. The Englishmans Hebrew Concordance. Grand Rapids MI, Baker
Book House, 1980

John R. Kohlenberger III. NRSV Concordance Unabridged. Grand Rapids MI,
Zondervan Publishing House. 1991

Gerhard Kittel. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament Vol. I and Vol X.

Grand Rapids, MI/London WM. Eerdmanus Publishing Co. 1964

J.D. Douglas. New Bible Dictionary. Intervarsity Fellowship. 1982

James Strong. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Nashville, TN. Thomas Nelson
Publishers. 1984

R. Laird Harris, Gleason L Archer Jr., Bruce K. Walter. Theological Wordbook
of the Old Testament. Chicago, IL. 1980

Samuel Pri Deaux Tregelles. Hebrew and English Lexicon. Grand Rapids, MI WM B.
Eerdman's Pub. 1949

Colin Brown. The New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology.
Grand Rapids MI. Zondervan Publishing House. 1978

J.B. Smith. Greek-English Concordance. Scottsdale, Penn. Herald Press. 1955

Al Novak. Hebrew Honey. New York. Vantage Press. 1965

C.C. Morris. The Illustrated Bible Dictionary Pt. 1. Intervarsity Press. 1980

John W. Ellison. Nelson's Complete Concordance of the RSV Bible. Nashville, TN.
. Thomas Nelson Publishing. 1984



 

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