The means of warding off the justifiable anger of God. Often used in AV when ‘expiation’ would be a sounder translation, being the means by which an offender's guilt can be removed or forgiven. Expiation does not enter the realm of divine wrath as needing to be appeased. AV translates ‘propitiation’ in Rom. 3: 25, Heb. 2: 17, 1 John 2: 2 and 4: 10 of the sacrifice of Christ; NRSV has a ‘sacrifice of atonement’ and NJB ‘a sacrifice for reconciliation’, and REB ‘the means of expiating sin’. The modern translations are intended to make it clear that the NT does not assert that an angry God is placated (propitiated) by the death of Jesus. Rather, expiation is directed towards sinners by removing their guilt.
Subjects: Biblical Studies.