Talk:Salvation in Christianity

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I believe that this page is too philosophical in it's construction (covering Epicureanism and Stoicism), whereas soteriology seems to be more of a specifically theological area of understanding. --Tom Morris 13:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


This is a biased article. The author of this article mistakenly categorized Christianity as Contemporary Christianity or Decision-Theology Christianity or Basic Christianity or Reformed Protestant Christianity. It does not take into account the views of Orthodox Christians, such as Roman Catholics. Y22y 15:21, 22 February 2007 (UTC)


I edited the page to include Catholicism and remove that anti-Christain NPOV bias that permeated the Christian section.--Epiphyllumlover 03:14, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


The section included a great deal of rant about the relationship of Buddhism to Christinaity. I have copied it over to this talk page and removed it from the article. steven (talk) 11:02, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I removed the following paragraphs.

"The following paragraph represents one individual's personal belief and proposes an argument that is inconsistent with this section. I would suggest the submitter and readers consider that it does not meet the Wikipedia Neutral Point of View (NPOV) standard:

A previous editor has mentioned that this is very different from the Christian concept of salvation. However, this difference disappears if the Christian concepts of sin or transgression are seen to be culturally constructed (i.e., a social construction) within a relative or "conventional" framework of belief, and the guilt that is produced from sin is seen as a state of suffering of an afflicted mind. From the Buddhist perspective "salvation" can be accomplished by alleviating the afflicted state of the guilty mind that is experienced by a transgressor. Christ's offering of salvation as an atonement of sin by blood sacrifice can be seen as an offering to reduce afflicted mental states. Thus the Christian salvation can be seen to be very similar to the Buddhist salvation in its effect if not in its method of delivery. The apparent distinction, that there is an absence of blood sacrifice in Buddhist salvation and its presence in Christian salvation, is more an artifact of the two teachers' cultural/historical contexts than it is a reflection of any soteriological truth. Buddhism is rooted in working toward your salvation, when in Christianity, Jesus did the work for us through the atoning sacrifice of his blood shed on the cross."steven (talk) 11:05, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Mahayana buddhism[edit]

The section on Buddhism, in particular Mahayana, is miserably ill-informed. I don't have time to do a good job right now (I'll add it to my to-do list) but while one might argue that, say Japanese Shin Buddhism is in some sense "savior-based", in fact Shinran Daishonin isn't a "saint", Amitabha isn't a "God", and nirvana is not a "god like" state. -- 00:30, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

I strongly suggest that the whole contents of the Buddhist section be replaced with a link to the main article on Buddhism for the time being. The current content is mostly wrong, even by any reasonable wide interpretation. It does not meet wikipedia conventions, and it has no scholarly merit. -- (talk) 23:00, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

BIG Praise![edit]

This article is very good! It's short, it informs in a concise and pretty unambiguous way. It is a pleasure to read it! Said: Rursus 11:20, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I read the wikipedia article on soteriology and had a few questions.

First, why, for Christianity, is the focus on modern theories only? It would be great to have more information on theories of salvation as they have developed over time: e.g., perspectives of Church Fathers (for instance, Origen of Alexandria), perspectives of gnostic Christian communities, etc. Jaroslav Pelikan's work on the history of doctrine might be a good basis for beginning.

Second, the section on Judaism was too brief and therefore misleading (e.g., it was missing any information on the kabbalistic tradition). Again, like Christianity, it appears to assume a static view of the religion.

Third, I assume that the above questions hold for the other religions as well (though, I know much less about other religions). That is, the view of the religion is static rather than dynamic. It would be very helpful to see variation not only on a "horizontal" plane (that is, variations in beliefs at the current time), as well as an historically "verticle" plane (i.e., the development of the different perspectives or sub-traditions over time).

I am new to the discussion function of wikipedia, so I don't quite understand how to post questions and comments. So, perhaps this message does not appear in the appropriate forum. Any help on this would be appreciated. Scott.parrott 13:19, 19 August 2007 (UTC) Scott.parrott 17:59, 19 August 2007 (UTC)Scott

Sections wrong[edit]

The tiny section on "Hellenic philosophy" doesn't add much to the discussion on soteriology-salvation. The section on Confucianism is almost completely wrong. They don't really have a soteriology. They stress self-culivation for its own sake. There is nothing to be saved from, and no Heaven to seek. Chinese ancestor worship has nothing to do with salvation. "Karma" is not a Confucian concept (or Chinese for that matter). I'm removing the section. Bao Pu (talk) 01:23, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

The first sentence[edit]

The initial sentence of this article is the following: "Soteriology is the branch of Christian theology that deals with salvation." If this is the correct definition of soteriology (which I contend it is not, as it's too limited), then why does the article then go on to talk about Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism, among others? Soteriology is not a uniquely Christian concept, so I'm going to remove the word "Christian." Lori belle (talk) 17:21, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Wow OK somebody did what i just did before...? ʄ!¿talk? 10:12, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Taoism I think that a subheading of Taoism would be an excellent addition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:53, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

revision of definition does not match reference given[edit]

Here is a quote from the reference given: "In Christian systematic theology it is used to refer to the study of the biblical doctrine of salvation.'--Editor2020 (talk) 16:47, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes with "Christian" being an adjective. Before that when discussing the words' etymology it makes fairly clear that soteriology is can be used in a broader theological sense, as it makes no claims that it's solely a Christian term. Lets not waste any more time on this OK? ʄ!¿talk? 02:03, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Not according to the source. Soteriology, according to the source, is a term specific to Christianity. "The doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ" is pretty clear. I am going to remove the references to other religions and see if any of it needs to be combined into other articles. I am not who I appear to be (talk) 23:09, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't appear that the respective articles for each religion need the information in the deleted sections, as it seems to be there already. I've just removed them. I am not who I appear to be (talk) 23:12, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

What? Your just reading what you want to read. A quick search on google showed studies of soteriology in plenty of other religions[1], the point is it is not an exclusively Christian term. However seeing as the other religions sections were unreferenced they can be re-added at a later date. ʄ!¿talk? 04:37, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Here are the definitions from the reference given.[edit]

so·te·ri·ol·o·gy –noun Theology. the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ. [Origin: 1760–70; < Gk sōtérí(a) salvation, deliverance (sōtér- (s. of sōtr) deliverer + -ia -y3) + -o- + -logy]

—Related forms so·te·re·o·log·ic adjective Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This so·te·ri·ol·o·gy n. The theological doctrine of salvation as effected by Jesus.

[Greek sōtērion, deliverance (from sōtēr, savior, from saos, sōs, safe; see teuə- in Indo-European roots) + -logy.]

so·te'ri·o·log'ic (-ə-lŏj'ĭk), so·te'ri·o·log'i·cal (-ĭ-kəl) adj. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. WordNet soteriology

noun the branch of Christian theology that deals with salvation as the effect of a divine agency

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This

Soteriology So*te`ri*ol"o*gy\, n. [Gr. ? safety (from ? saving, ? a savoir, ? to save) + -logy.]

1. A discourse on health, or the science of promoting and preserving health.

2. (Theol.) The doctrine of salvation by Jesus Christ. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

"the study of salvation is called soteriology, from the Greek soteria meaning "salvation". Salvation, virtually synonymous with the overall concept of redemption, includes a past, present, and future sense."

Your just using most likely out of date references(that can't be verified I might add) that are contradicted by other sources. Wikipedia should err towards a more inclusive definition, regardless of what a minority of sources claim. Being made in the western world its understandable that a regular dictionary entry might assume a Christian standpoint, but on wikipedia thats not going to cut it. ʄ!¿talk? 08:44, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I provided ALL of the definitions from the website listed as a reference in the article, which I just copy and pasted from the site, and which you could easily verify by clicking on the reference link provided and going to the site.
My sources are Random House Unabridged Dictionary, American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language and Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary.
Your "source" is Theopedia, a WIKI which calls itself "an encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity." Wikis are not considered reliable sources.--Editor2020 (talk) 16:06, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't consider reliable. Heres yet another occurrence of this term being used in the context of another religion[2](being used as the adjective "soteriological"). I'm aware of WP:NPA, but at this point I really have to ask the question, are you being belligerent or are you just not that smart? Do you think Buddhists worship Jesus? Just because your a Christian it doesn't give you the right to try and misguidedly annex theological terms as an extension of your own beliefs. ʄ!¿talk? 18:17, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Would you stop assuming bad faith here? We have been trying to present evidence based only on sources, so you have no reason to assume we are trying to "annex theological terms". Please assume good faith on the part of others. I am not who I appear to be (talk) 03:10, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
It's basically impossible to assume good faith when someone is going to insist on WP:edit warring to push their POV. By saying it's a Christian term, which it clearly isn't, you are claiming that the definition of religion = worshiping Jesus. ʄ!¿talk? 07:15, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
My 2 cents. Definition from the Webster´s Third New International Dictionary Unabridged ISBN 3829052928: "a branch of theology that deals with salvation as the effect of divine agency". Jesus is not cited at all.Randroide (talk) 21:21, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, most modern dictionaries don't call it a Christian term or mention Jesus, and the very fact that the word is used extensively in not Christian contexts proves that is a general theological term. In the cases where it is linked to Jesus—a dictionary may have been published recently, but many of the entries can be complied from much older versions. ʄ!¿talk? 22:23, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
IMO the lead should be like this... Soteriology is the branch of theology that deals with salvation. "Christian soteriology" should be a section of Soteriology. If the section literally "eats" the whole article (maybe the term is used mainly by Christians), "Soteriology" could be reduced to a sum of definition plus glorified disambiguation page, with Christian soteriology as the "big article". Randroide (talk) 22:41, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I was thinking of the separate Christian soteriology article solution. However seeing as this article is just a stub anyway, and one editor is editing with bias extensively to insist point-blank that it only has to do with Christianity, I'm concerned about being able to do this. ʄ!¿talk? 23:42, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I did it[edit]

Moved "Soteriology" to "Christian Soteriology". Please check if I did a good job. Randroide (talk) 13:37, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Great job, by the way. ʄ!¿talk? 11:43, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Change in direction to other article, now that this is 'christian soteriology.[edit]

This line is from the intro--"For similar concepts in other religions, see Salvation." Shouldn't it now read "see Soteriology"?

Or should this be left as is, and 'soteriology' be redirected to 'salvation'?--Editor2020 (talk) 01:30, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

seeing as the salvation article has more material, as well as being a more recognisable term, just stick with that. ʄ!¿talk? 11:49, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Use of Ephesians 2:8-9[edit]

The body of this article previously included the sentence, "This grace in Christ (1 Cor. 1:4) is received not by works but through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) in Him (Gal. 3:22, Rom. 10:9), which is brought about by hearing God's Word (Rom. 10:17)." There's no dispute amongst Christians that works done prior to one's conversion don't merit grace, but the question of whether works done post-conversion are rewarded with grace is central to soteriological debates between Catholics and Protestants, and it should be carefully noted as such. Since the article goes on to qualify that only some Christians believe that faith alone merits grace, I've changed this sentence to reflect what's universally held by Christians and removed the references that are irrelevant to this assertion. I've also removed the Scripture citations for "in Him," since this sentence no longer discusses faith directly.

In the long run, I think this article would probably be best off with separate sections explaining the views of each branch of Christianity, but that's a much more significant project. GJ (talk) 20:19, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

I clarified that "works done prior to one's conversion don't merit grace" is a position of all Christians, also reworking the intro and first section so far for clarity and checked the references and NPOV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Clnewman (talkcontribs) 04:24, 18 May 2012 (UTC)


The following statements are either erroneous, lack references, or are misleading:

  • It describes the rapid growth of Jesus’ ministry, his lack of sleep, his arrest on assault charges[5] and his resignation.[6] Before his breakdown, the teachings of Jesus were similar to those of his cousin John the Baptist: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”[7] After his resignation, he was considered to be the founder of the Christian Church, which considers God to be tame (as opposed to in need of an sacrifice): "Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."[8]

"breakdown" and "resignation" are not found in the gospels to describe the life of Jesus and this is the first time I have encountered them in literature. Some references should be provided to explain what they mean.

"arrest on assault charges" (Mat 21:10-46) is inconsistent with the reference cited, "But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet." (Mat 21:46). This was the first time Jesus entered Jerusalem and he went straight to the temple where he kicked out the thieves and robbers and healed the sick and infirm. He returned the next day and continued his ministry in the temple ... but this has little to do with the article.

"After his resignation ..." makes no Christian sense nor does it add to the subject matter.

The statements were anon edited to correct this, but the edits were reverted. This article should adopt a similar approach to Christian theology, imho, by focusing on the history and current state of Christian Soteriology and only cite the Bible as key references for a particular view.

Christians refer to John 3:16 when explaining salvation which may form the basis of Soteriology and this article. I propose either deleting these statements, replace them with the earlier edit, or revise them. PeterMG (talk) 16:06, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Salvation is by Grace Thru Faith. Salvation comes to us by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. “We believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus…” (Acts 15:11). “Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:5). And then to make his point emphatically clear the apostle Paul wrote, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Absurdly Protestant Bias[edit]

In the section discussing Christian soteriology, use of the weasel word "mainstream" to discuss what that editor conceives of as the majority view within Christianity is not only reflective of that individual's Reformed Bias, but is a logical fallacy. The Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Orthodox traditions, when taken together, constitute at the very least an absolute plurality within Christianity. All of these traditions have consistently believed, since the age of the Church Fathers, that while Salvation is indeed a freely given gift from God, it is contingent upon human acceptance and is therefore completed through works. If anything, use of the loaded term "mainstream" for Christian concepts should never be applied to anything not held by Orthodox and Catholics, given that by numbers alone, more Christians are Catholic or Orthodox than anything else!

The discussion was written with the clear agenda of presenting the dominant theological tradition of Christian Soteriology as somehow "obscure." Catholic Orthodox (talk) 03:31, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

The column on Calvinism isn't accurate, either[edit]

Unconditional election is mistakenly connected with double predestination, while Dordt describes reprobation working like Arminian conditional election. Unconditional election is about Christians. Reprobation is conditional, but characteristic of unregenerate people. (talk) 02:15, 22 February 2011 (UTC)mike woolsey

What is accurate here?[edit]

Based on the above, one has to ask, is anything accurate here? And there is an amazing mess everywhere, with the article on salvation having a larger section on Salvation in Christianity than this article. And of course there is inconsistency between the two as well as another article called soteriology. It will take serious work (and I do not have the time this year) o fix these. So help from knowledgeable editors will be appreciated. A rewrite is in order. History2007 (talk) 07:55, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Catholic Soterioolgy[edit]

The section on the Catholic concept of salvation only refers to doctrine existing prior to Vatican II. After that council doctrine changed extensively. (talk) 21:04, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

In the section "Salvation of non-Catholics" the explanation of 'extra ecclesiam nulla salus' is misleading, in that it mentions the Catholic Church explicitly and implies that the statement is understood this way by the Catholic Church. The article referenced in the text gives a discussion of the meaning and gives a more accurate translation. I have changed the text to that translation: "outside the Church there is no salvation". Bear475 (talk) 12:52, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Grammatical and punctuation changes[edit]

I made some minor punctuation changes and changed the wording of some of the sentences to make them more easily understood.


Substantial portions of this article appear to be lifted directly from "Paul of Tarsus: Apostle to the Gentile" by Ian Lyall. Revanneosl (talk) 00:25, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

5.5 Baptist[edit]

This article ist on the topic of salvation, not baptism. How do Baptist views and practice of baptism relate to that? Unsuspecting readers might draw the conclusion that the Baptist concept of salvation includes baptism. As to my knowledge nowhere do Baptists relate the two. Baptists relate salvation and repentance, not salvation and baptism. Catholic, orthodox and many protestant theologies believe in baptism as a sacrament that gives salvation. Not so Baptists. Here baptism is usually understood as a mere consequence of and reaction to repentance and salvation. Either this should be clarified or 5.5 should be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Poco4 (talkcontribs) 17:00, 8 May 2013 (UTC) Does anyboy mind if I just delete this? Poco4 (talk) 14:15, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

A discussion about language[edit]

There seems to be a disagreement over whether we should use generic terms or gendered male terms in the article when discussing all of humanity. In keeping with WP:BRD I've brought the subject here so that everybody can weigh in. Here [3] is a diff to illustrate the difference of opinion. Revanneosl (talk) 14:57, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Changing it from ´God´s only son´ to ´God and human´ doesn´t help the article and takes gender neutrality to a damaging level. The article doesn´t need to change in the other areas either, this language is commonly used today and it´s just pointy to change it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hoytoysoy (talkcontribs) 20:21, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
1) You are right that "God and human" fails to express the relationship between the first & second persons of the trinity. However, that relationship isn't central to Anselm's argument. Anselm was positing that Jesus accomplished the salvation of humanity because he subsumed within his own person both the human nature and the divine nature, and therefore had both the capacity to offer satisfaction for sin and the responsibility for doing so. Jesus' sonship is, in this case, not important. It is his dual nature which is the essential aspect.
2) Your concern with my overall edit seems to be confined to the single instance of changing "God's only son" to "God and human". Do we have consensus that the rest of my edit (changing "mankind" to "humanity", "man" to "human" or "humanity", "men" to "people", "sonship" to "children of God", etc. is an improvement to the article? ETA Oops forgot to sign. Revanneosl (talk) 14:58, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I don´t think it´s an improvement. That language is commonly used today and as the Wikipedia guideline says (I can´t remember what the link is), it is not Wikipedia´s job to right the wrongs of the world; so although you may see it as sexist, sources still use that language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hoytoysoy (talkcontribs) 23:58, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Bumper sticker[edit]

A bumper sticker asking about one's salvation

Why would "no value added" be the conclusion drawn by the addition of this picture? The picture shows is a public-facing protestation of one's faith and the importance of salvation. Is is directly related to the topic of this page. How is this without value? Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 19:22, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

First, it is not unambiguously Christian in expression. Second, it's a picture of a bumper sticker. Completely unencyclopedic and not notable. ScrpIronIV 20:46, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 21 July 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. -- Tavix (talk) 20:50, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Salvation (Christianity)Salvation in Christianity – per WP:NATURAL and WP:CONSISTENCY with Atonement in Judaism. ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 19:32, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.