Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




In one of his letters to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul sets forth as one of the basic facts of the primitive Gospel that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. "l In the same passage, he asserts that it is by this Gospel that men are saved - that is that there is a definite relationship between the death of Christ and the salvation of men. To define this relationship has been a task that has occupied the thinking of some of the greatest minds of the ages since the day that Jesus of Nazareth hung on the cross on Golgotha's hill. The writers of the New Testament deal with the question from a Variety of viewpoints. Consequently, practically every theory of Atonement that has been developed during the centuries since the close of the apostolic age can find some Scriptural support.

In the consideration of this subject, we shall begin with a consideration of the subject-matter which, at least in theory, lies at the foundation of all the views of Atonement that have been developed: the New Testament teaching. We shall then devote a chapter to each of the three main types of theories of the Atonement. These we may define as the classic or patristic theory, the satisfaction or Anselmic theory, and the subjective or exemplary theory. A fifth chapter will deal with some of the modern views that have been expounded by modern scholars. We shall endeavor in the concluding chapter to draw from our study some pertinent conclusions regarding the significance and the understanding of that bedrock truth of the ChristIan Gospel - that Christ dIed for our sins according to the Scriptures.