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The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance Paperback – April 6, 1984


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (April 6, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877848262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877848264
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leon Morris (1914-2006), one of the leading evangelical New Testament scholars of the twentieth century, served as principal of Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. He was the author of more than forty works, including The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, The Atonement, and comprehensive scholarly studies on Matthew, Luke, John and Romans. He was the general editor of the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries and wrote the volumes in that series on Luke, 1 Corinthians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians and Revelation.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on December 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
There are some books that do such a wonderful job covering a single biblical concept that you wonder, why would anyone else want to write on the topic? I believe Bible scholar Leon Morris has accomplished such a fete with his book on atonement. Although not a skim-through kind of book that might appeal to all Christian laypeople, it is not difficult to read this book word by word and come away with a far greater appreciation of how God worked in both the Old and New Testaments when it comes to the atonement of God. (Trust me, he could have been much more technical and have lost many average readers, but thankfully he doesn't.) He fully describes the words associated with the atonement, including Passover, redemption, reconciliation, and justification. Salvation is such a rich idea, it's a shame many Christians go through life not fully understanding the gift that they've been given.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Douglas VanderMeulen on September 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Atonement - Its meaning and significance is one of the best books ever written on this subject. Much more readable then his work The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross which covers the same material in a much more scholarly manner, this work will open up for you the treasures of the cross of Christ. There is nothing more central to Christianity than the death of Christ - what does it mean. His chapters deal with - covenant, sacrifice, the day of atonement, the passover, redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, and justification. These are Biblical themes that are just not taught on in today's seeker friendly churches - to the hurt of all who truly believe on Christ. Though readable, this work is not short on material. Great work for a Bible class, Bible study, Sunday school class or home Bible study. Also a great gift for your pastor if he doesn't already have this book. Give it to him as a gift and some of it will certainly end up in his sermons. If you are looking for additional material on this subject see John Murray's Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Together these two works rock and will give the reader significant understanding of these vital Christian doctrines. Enjoy!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Stark on November 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Leon Morris was an Australian New Testament scholar and author most noted for The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, his scholarly work examining the biblical words related to the cross of Christ and defending the historical doctrine of the atonement from the testimony of Scripture. It is considered by many to be a classic, but it's also a technical book, written by a scholar for other scholars, and not accessible to the layperson.

The Atonement was put together from the material in The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, but presented in a simpler, less technical form. We might think of it as the average Christian's version of Apostolic Preaching. It's a biblical study of the terms associated with the atonement--"the great words," to quote the introduction, "used to bring out the meaning of the cross."

Morris shows us the multi-faceted nature of the cross work of Christ as described through biblical words--justification, sacrifice, propitiation, redemption, and reconciliation, to list a few. Christ's death can be viewed through many lenses: as payment in exchange for freedom (redemption), as the turning of enemies into friends (reconciliation), or the turning away of wrath (propitiation), and more. Each perspective on this gracious act at the center of Christianity adds to our understanding of its significance.

What's more, even though it was written in the 1980s, drawing from research done in the 1950s, many of the arguments in The Atonement, especially those found in the chapter on propitiation, are applicable to current debates about the nature of the atonement.

The Atonement is on a very short list of basic theology books I'd recommend to any believer. It's of classic quality, but not difficult to read--and short enough for those who do a page count first and eliminate anything over 200 pages. And what's more important than understanding what Christ accomplished for us on the cross?
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By Carol on June 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The doctrines stated in this book are solid as a rock. The only problem with reading it is that the author seems to restate the same thim
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grant Marshall on August 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book and really learned a lot about the atonement from it. However I was still left with a lot of questions which the book never answered. The book is a study on the concepts and words used to describe the atonement. It is a little dated but still helpful nonetheless.

I learned that Covenants were made between people who represented people groups and nations. So in this way I could understand how God could make a covenant with Abraham and it covered all Israel. In the same way Jesus could then embody / represent Israel and stand in their place taking their punishment. Substitute and representative come together in Jesus. Morris believes that there is no Adamic covenant which will give some cause for concern. Morris was right to highlight that the new covenant would mean the forgiveness of sins, not just an annual reminder of them (Heb 10:4) but I wanted to know what forgiveness of sins might mean to a first century audience, not what we've read back into them from the 16th century reformation. The chapter on Sacrifice was good, but Morris found so many commonalities between the sacrifices that they all seemed to blend into one, and their distinction was lost. There was a lengthy discussion on rabbinic interpretations of the day of atonement, which provided a helpful insight into the the day of atonement come alive, but much of which was also unnecessary. Morris was right to go on to say that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross went further than the day of atonement. Jesus was like the priest securing access to God for his people, and forgiveness of sins not through the blood sacrifice of an animal but through his own blood. So his sacrifice was better!

Morris did not like the idea of Jesus as the passover lamb, he preferred to say that Jesus was our passover.
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