An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | V | W | Y | Z

Salvation History

The study of salvation history identifies the theological elements and influences in historical narratives. God's offer of salvation and humanity's response to that offer are expressed and visible in history. The importance of the biblical narratives of salvation history is reflected in the scripture readings for the Easter Vigil of the BCP (pp. 288-291), including the story of creation, the flood, Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, Israel's deliverance at the Red Sea, and other stories of redemption and renewal. The celebrant may introduce the scripture readings at the Easter Vigil with the invitation, "Let us hear the record of God's saving deeds in history, how he saved his people in ages past; and let us pray that our God will bring each of us to the fullness of redemption." The concept is based on the German term Heilsgeschichte (history of salvation, or redemptive history). It was used by J. C. von Hofmann (1810-1877), who urged that all sacred history can be deduced from the fact of personal conversion.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.