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Cyrus I. Scofield: "The Cross . . . made at-one-ment"

Cyrus I. Scofield, editor of the Scofield Reference Bible (1909, 1917), associated the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ with "at-one-ment," which is an occult term straight out of the New Age Movement. C.I. Scofield wrote:

"It was the Cross, not the Levitical sacrifices which made "at-one-ment."

Below is the complete footnote in the 1917 Old Scofield Study Bible (page 148):

Le 16:6
1 Atonement
Margin: atonement

Atonement. The biblical use and meaning of the word must be sharply distinguished from its use in theology. In theology it is a term which covers the whole sacrificial and redemptive work of Christ. In the O.T. atonement is the English word used to translate the Hebrew words which mean "cover," "coverings," or "to cover." Atonement (at-one-ment) is, therefore, not a translation of the hebrew, but a purely theologic concept. The Levitical offerings "covered" the sins of Israel until, and in anticipation of the Cross, but did not "take away" Heb 10:4 those sins. These were the "sins done aforetime" ("covered" meantime by the Levitical sacrifices), which God "passed over" Ro 3:25 for which "passing over" God's righteousness was never vindicated until, in the Cross, Jesus Christ was "set forth a propitiation." See "Propitiation," Cmt. on Ro 3:25.

 It was the Cross, not the Levitical sacrifices which made "at-one-ment." The O.T. sacrifices enabled God to go on with a guilty people because they typified the Cross. To the offerer they were the confession of his desert of death, and the expression of his faith; to God they were the "shadows" Heb 10:1 of which Christ was the reality. [bold emphasis added]

Also see the complete footnote in the 1917 Old Scofield Study Bible (page 110):

Ex 29:33
1 atonement

Heb. kaphar, "to cover." The English word "atonement" (at-one-ment) is not a translation of the Heb. kaphar, but a translator's interpretation. According to Scripture the legal sacrifice "covered" the offerer's sin and secured the divine forgiveness; according to the translators it made God and the sinner at-one. But the O.T. sacrifices did not at-one the sinner and God. "It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins." Heb 10:4. The Israelite's offering implied confession of sin and of its due desert, death; and God "covered" (passed over," Ro 3:25 his sin, in anticipation of Christ's sacrifice, which did, finally, "put away" the sins "done aforetime in the forbearance of God." Ro 3:25; Heb 9:15. Cmt. on Ro 3:25. The word "atonement" does not occur in the N.T.; Ro 5:11 meaning reconciliation, and so rendered in the R.V.

See "Sacrifice," Gen 4.4, and refs. Cmt. on Ge 4:4

At-one-ment and Atonement are not the same!


 The Meaning of At-one-ment


", the term relates primarily to the New Age idea that complete oneness with God can be experienced by human beings." [emphasis added]

(Quote source:


At-one-ment: Term used by several Mind Science or New Thought religions (such as Christian Science) referring to the supposed metaphysical unity or “oneness” of human beings and God as demonstrated by Christ. Contrast the Christian term “atonement,” which refers to Christ’s death on the cross as the means by which he reconciled sinful human beings to God.

(Quote source:

At-one-ment is New Age/occult "salvation":

At-one-ment, or absorption into the One energy that is God, is a prominently held view of most New Agers' understanding of salvation. It is the unfolding of one's consciousness to the point that the "True Self," the divine nature, is realized. As a flower unfolds petal by petal, so too does spiritual evolution unfold, revealing the deeper realms of God-consciousness.

(Quote source:


 The Meaning of Atonement

The Webster's 1828 Dictionary states the theological definition of atonement:

"In theology, the expiation of sin made by the obedience and personal sufferings of Christ."

The Free Dictionary's definition of atonement: "The reconciliation of God and humans brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus."

The Webster's 1913 dictionary's definition of atonement:

(Literally, a setting at one.) Reconciliation; restoration of friendly relations; agreement; concord. [Archaic]

Atonement (reconciliation with God by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross) does not have the same meaning as the theosophical term, at-one-ment, which Theosophists define as union with God.


Cyrus Scofield did not provide the correct meaning of the word, "at-one-ment" nor did he warn his reader that this word has a specific occult connotation. Instead, he set the stage for the insertion of the word, "at-one-ment," in place of the proper word, atonement in a doctrinal statement about the Cross of Jesus Christ. He accomplished this by first giving the correct theological definition of atonement. Next, he placed  "at-one-ment" in parenthesis next to the word, atonement. Lastly, he inserted the word, "at-one-ment" in his statement about the Cross:

"It was the Cross, not the Levitical sacrifices which made "at-one-ment."

C. I. Scofield's switch to New Age terminology linked the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross with the work of the New Age "Christ," who purposes to bring the planet into what New Agers call at-one-ment: "absorption into the One energy that is God." (1)



(1) Christ in a New Age

John Nelson Darby: Closet Theosophist?

 Scofield Study Bibles Marked With Masonic Symbolism

More on Scofield's use of occult terms: Theosophists Look for the "Consummation of the Age"

All charts in this series are listed here: The John Darby Version: Dispensationally Manipulated


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