Document Type



Biblical Studies | Christianity | History of Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Dr. Mathers is available at


The Pauline model of Romans 3:19-31 is a description of substitutionary atonement. Sin, guilt, righteousness, faith in Christ, justification, redemption, propitiation, Christ a covering, atonement in his blood, substitute, justice, justifier, and the principle of faith are descriptive of this view of the atonement. A barrage of literature has arisen against penal substitution. Penal substitution has been confused with substitutionary atonement. Penal substitution has also been referred to as penal substitutionary atonement which isn’t substitutionary atonement. Substitutionary atonement has been clouded by such atonement theories as Christus Victor. Aulen’s view of reconciliation doesn’t adequately describe the New Testament atonement. Substitutionary atonement has been clouded by such atonement teaching on both reconciliation and salvation. Secondly, by others who have objected to the violent nature of the atonement. Steve Chalke and Alan Mann are representative of this view. Thirdly, historical research on the atonement has been neglected. The Church Fathers held the view of substitutionary atonement. Fourthly, assaults have been made on penal substitution at the same time failing to comprehend the difference between penal substitution and substitutionary atonement. Critics of the nature of the atonement may lack the exegetical and historical skills to do justice to atonement theory.