ransom theory


Definition of ransom theory

: a patristic theory of the atonement: on the cross Christ gave his finite soul as a ransom to the devil for the souls of sinful humanity over which he had acquired rights by the fall; hell could not hold a soul without sin; and in the resurrection divine love triumphed once and for all over sin and death — compare satisfaction theory

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Learn More about ransom theory

Statistics for ransom theory

Cite this Entry

“Ransom theory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ransom%20theory. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

Comments on ransom theory

What made you want to look up ransom theory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!