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The atonement is a doctrine found within both Christianity and Judaism. It describes how sin can be forgiven by God. In Judaism, Atonement is said to be the process of forgiving or pardoning a transgression. This was originally accomplished through rituals performed by a high priest (Kohen) on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). In Christian theology the atonement refers to the forgiving or pardoning of sin through the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion, which made possible the reconciliation between God and creation.


The word atonement was invented in the sixteenth century by William Tyndale who recognized that there was not a direct English translation of the biblical Hebraic concept. The word is composed of two parts "at" and "onement" in order to reflect the dual aspect of Christ's sacrifice: the remission of sin and reconciliation of man to God. Tyndale's concept overcame the limitations of the word "reconciliation" whilst incorporating aspects of propitiation and forgiveness.[1][2][3]

For lessons on the topic of Atonement, follow this link.


  1. The Archbishop of Canterbury: William Tyndale; Reformer and Rebel. A Quincentenary Appreciation. Lambeth Palace, 5th October 1994 [1]
  2. Online Etymology Dictionary, Yom Kippur, 2001 [2]
  3. David Rolph Seely, PhD. "Words 'Fitly Spoken': Tyndale's English Translation of the Bible." [3]

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