Salvation (Latin: salvatio; Ancient Greek: σωτηρία,
translit. sōtēría; Hebrew: יָשַׁע,
translit. yāšaʕ; Arabic: الخلاص,
translit. al-ḵalaṣ) is being saved or protected from harm
or being saved or delivered from a dire situation. In religion,
salvation is saving of the soul from sin and its consequences.
The academic study of salvation is called soteriology.
2 Abrahamic religions
Sin and repentance
2.3.3 Five Pillars
3 Indian religions
4 See also
7 External links
See also: Redemption (theology)
In religion, salvation is the saving of the soul from sin and its
consequences. It may also be called "deliverance" or "redemption"
from sin and its effects. Historically, salvation is considered to
be caused either by the grace of a deity (i.e. unmerited and
unearned); by the independent choices of a free will and personal
effort (i.e. earned and/or merited); or by some combination of the
two. Religions often emphasize the necessity of both personal
effort—for example, repentance and asceticism—and divine action
See also: Atonement in Judaism
In contemporary Judaism, redemption (Hebrew ge'ulah), refers to God
redeeming the people of Israel from their various exiles. This
includes the final redemption from the present exile.
Judaism holds that adherents do not need personal salvation as
Christians believe. Jews do not subscribe to the doctrine of original
sin. Instead, they place a high value on individual morality as
defined in the law of
God — embodied in what Jews know as the Torah
or The Law, given to
God on biblical Mount Sinai.
In Judaism, salvation is closely related to the idea of redemption, a
saving from the states or circumstances that destroy the value of
human existence. God, as the universal spirit and Creator of the
World, is the source of all salvation for humanity, provided an
God by observing his precepts. So redemption or
salvation depends on the individual.
Judaism stresses that salvation
cannot be obtained through anyone else or by just invoking a deity or
believing in any outside power or influence.
The Jewish concept of Messiah visualises the return of the prophet
Elijah as the harbinger of one who will redeem the world from war and
suffering, leading mankind to universal brotherhood under the
fatherhood of one God. The Messiah is not considered as a future
divine or supernatural being but as a dominating human influence in an
age of universal peace, characterised by the spiritual regeneration of
In Judaism, salvation is open to all people and not limited to those
of the Jewish faith; the only important consideration being that the
people must observe and practise the ethical pattern of behaviour as
summarised in the Ten Commandments. When Jews refer to themselves as
the chosen people of God, they do not imply they have been chosen for
special favours and privileges but rather they have taken it upon
themselves to show to all peoples by precept and example the ethical
way of life.
When examining Jewish intellectual sources throughout history, there
is clearly a spectrum of opinions regarding death versus the
afterlife. Possibly an over-simplification, one source says salvation
can be achieved in the following manner: Live a holy and righteous
life dedicated to Yahweh, the
God of Creation. Fast, worship, and
celebrate during the appropriate holidays. By origin and nature,
Judaism is an ethnic religion. Therefore, salvation has been primarily
conceived in terms of the destiny of Israel as the elect people of
Yahweh (often referred to as “the Lord”), the
God of Israel. In
the biblical text of Psalms, there is a description of death, when
people go into the earth or the "realm of the dead" and cannot praise
God. The first reference to resurrection is collective in Ezekiel's
vision of the dry bones, when all the
Israelites in exile will be
resurrected. There is a reference to individual resurrection in the
Book of Daniel
Book of Daniel (165 BCE), the last book of the Hebrew Bible. It
was not until the 2nd century BCE that there arose a belief in an
afterlife, in which the dead would be resurrected and undergo divine
judgment. Before that time, the individual had to be content that his
posterity continued within the holy nation.
The salvation of the individual Jew was connected to the salvation of
the entire people. This belief stemmed directly from the teachings of
the Torah. In the Torah,
God taught his people sanctification of the
individual. However, he also expected them to function together
(spiritually) and be accountable to one another. The concept of
salvation was tied to that of restoration for Israel.
During the Second Temple Period, the Sadducees, High Priests, denied
any particular existence of individuals after death because it wasn't
written in the Torah, while the Pharisees, ancestors of the rabbis,
affirmed both bodily resurrection and immortality of the soul, most
likely based on the influence of Hellenistic ideas about body and soul
and the Pharisaic belief in the Oral Torah. The Pharisees maintained
that after death, the soul is connected to
God until the messianic era
when it is rejoined with the body in the land of Israel at the time of
Main articles: Economy of Salvation,
Salvation in Christianity, and
Atonement in Christianity
Salvation by Antonius Heusler (ca. 1555), National Museum
Christianity’s primary premise is that the incarnation and death of
Jesus Christ formed the climax of a divine plan for humanity’s
salvation. This plan was conceived by
God consequent on the Fall of
Adam, the progenitor of the human race, and it would be completed at
the Last Judgment, when the
Second Coming of Christ
Second Coming of Christ would mark the
catastrophic end of the world.
For Christianity, salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ.
Christians believe that Jesus' death on the cross was the once-for-all
sacrifice that atoned for the sin of humanity.
The Christian religion, though not the exclusive possessor of the idea
of redemption, has given to it a special definiteness and a dominant
position. Taken in its widest sense, as deliverance from dangers and
ills in general, most religions teach some form of it. It assumes an
important position, however, only when the ills in question form part
of a great system against which human power is helpless.
Wolf Huber (ca. 1543), Kunsthistorisches
Museum in Vienna
According to Christian belief, sin as the human predicament is
considered to be universal. For example, in Romans 1:18-3:20 the
Apostle Paul declared everyone to be under sin—Jew and Gentile
Salvation is made possible by the life, death, and resurrection
of Jesus, which in the context of salvation is referred to as the
"atonement". Christian soteriology ranges from exclusive
salvation:p.123 to universal reconciliation concepts. While
some of the differences are as widespread as Christianity itself, the
overwhelming majority agrees that salvation is made possible by the
work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying on the cross.
"At the heart of Christian faith is the reality and hope of salvation
in Jesus Christ. Christian faith is faith in the
God of salvation
revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. The Christian tradition has always
equated this salvation with the transcendent, eschatological
fulfillment of human existence in a life freed from sin, finitude, and
mortality and united with the triune God. This is perhaps the
non-negotiable item of Christian faith. What has been a matter of
debate is the relation between salvation and our activities in the
— Anselm Kyongsuk Min:p.79
Bible presents salvation in the form of a story that describes
the outworking of God's eternal plan to deal with the problem of human
sin. The story is set against the background of the history of God's
people and reaches its climax in the person and work of Christ. The
Old Testament part of the story shows that people are sinners by
nature, and describes a series of covenants by which
God sets people
free and makes promises to them. His plan includes the promise of
blessing for all nations through Abraham and the redemption of Israel
from every form of bondage.
God showed his saving power throughout
Israel's history, but he also spoke about a Messianic figure who would
save all people from the power, guilt, and penalty of sin. This role
was fulfilled by Jesus, who will ultimately destroy all the devil's
work, including suffering, pain, and death."
— Macmillan Dictionary of the Bible.
Variant views on salvation are among the main fault lines dividing the
various Christian denominations, both between Roman Catholicism and
Protestantism and within Protestantism, notably in the
Calvinist–Arminian debate, and the fault lines include conflicting
definitions of depravity, predestination, atonement, but most
A bumper sticker asking if one has found salvation
Salvation is believed to be a process that begins when a person first
becomes a Christian, continues through that person's life, and is
completed when they stand before Christ in judgment. Therefore,
according to Catholic apologist James Akin, the faithful Christian can
say in faith and hope, "I have been saved; I am being saved; and I
will be saved."
Christian salvation concepts are varied and complicated by certain
theological concepts, traditional beliefs, and dogmas. Scripture is
subject to individual and ecclesiastical interpretations. While some
of the differences are as widespread as Christianity itself, the
overwhelming majority agrees that salvation is made possible by the
work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying on the cross.
The purpose of salvation is debated, but in general most Christian
theologians agree that
God devised and implemented his plan of
salvation because he loves them and regards human beings as his
children. Since human existence on Earth is said to be "given to
sin",[Jn 8:34] salvation also has connotations that deal with the
liberation of human beings from sin, and the suffering associated
with the punishment of sin—i.e., "the wages of sin are death."[Rom.
Christians believe that salvation depends on the grace of God. Stagg
writes that a fact assumed throughout the
Bible is that humanity is
in, "serious trouble from which we need deliverance…. The fact of
sin as the human predicament is implied in the mission of Jesus, and
it is explicitly affirmed in that connection". By its nature,
salvation must answer to the plight of humankind as it actually is.
Each individual's plight as sinner is the result of a fatal choice
involving the whole person in bondage, guilt, estrangement, and death.
Therefore, salvation must be concerned with the total person. "It must
offer redemption from bondage, forgiveness for guilt, reconciliation
for estrangement, renewal for the marred image of God".
Main article: Plan of salvation (Latter Day Saints)
According to doctrine of the Latter Day
Saint movement, the plan of
salvation is a plan that
God created to save, redeem, and exalt
humankind. The elements of this plan are drawn from various sources,
including the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants,
Pearl of Great Price, and numerous statements made by the leadership
of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The
first appearance of the graphical representation of the plan of
salvation is in the 1952 missionary manual entitled A Systematic
Program for Teaching the Gospel.
Islam and Jannah
In Islam, salvation refers to the eventual entrance to heaven. Islam
teaches that people who die disbelieving in
God do not receive
salvation. It also teaches that non-Muslims who die believing in the
God but disbelieving in his message (Islam), are left to his will.
Those who die believing in the One
God and his message (Islam) receive
Narrated Anas that Muhammad said,
Whoever said "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah" and has
in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a barley grain will
be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, "None has the right to be
worshipped but Allah" and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the
weight of a wheat grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said,
"None has the right to be worshipped but Allah" and has in his heart
good (faith) equal to the weight of an atom will be taken out of Hell.
— Muhammad Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:2:43
Islam teaches that all who enter into
Islam must remain so in order to
"If anyone desires a religion other than
Islam (submission to Allah),
never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in
the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)."
— Quran, sura 3 (Al Imran), ayat 85
For those who have not been granted
Islam or to whom the message has
not been brought;
Those who believe (in the Qur'an), those who follow the Jewish
(scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in
Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no
fear, nor shall they grieve."
Tawhid and Shirk (Islam)
Belief in the “One God”, also known as the Tawhid
(التَوْحيدْ) in Arabic, consists of two parts (or
Tawḥīdu r-Rubūbiyya ( تَوْحيدُ الرُبوبِيَّة):
Believing in the attributes of
God and attributing them to no other
but God. Such attributes include Creation, having no beginning, and
having no end. These attributes are what make a God.
teaches 99 names for God, and each of these names defines one
attribute. One breaks this principle, for example, by believing in an
Idol as an intercessor to God. The idol, in this case, is thought of
having powers that only
God should have, thereby breaking this part of
Tawheed. No intercession is required to communicate with, or worship,
Tawḥīdu l-'ilūhiyya (تَوْحيدُ الإِلوهيَّة):
Directing worship, prayer, or deed to God, and
God only. For example,
worshiping an idol or any saint or prophet is also considered Shirk,
though prophets and saints may be asked for guidance or to pray for
Sin and repentance
Islam and Islamic views on sin
Islam also stresses that in order to gain salvation, one must also
avoid sinning along with performing good deeds.
Islam acknowledges the
inclination of humanity towards sin. Therefore, Muslims are
constantly commanded to seek God's forgiveness and repent. Islam
teaches that no one can gain salvation simply by virtue of their
belief or deeds, instead it is the Mercy of God, which merits them
salvation. However, this repentance must not be used to sin any
Islam teaches that
God is Merciful.
Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and
repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: For Allah is
full of knowledge and wisdom. Of no effect is the repentance of those
who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says,
"Now have I repented indeed;" nor of those who die rejecting Faith:
for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous.
— Qur'an, sura 4 (An-Nisa), ayat 17 
Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He
forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with
Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.
— Qur'an, sura 4 (An-Nisa), ayat 48 
Islam describes a true believer to have
Love of God and Fear of God.
Islam also teaches that every person is responsible for their own
If ye reject (Allah), Truly Allah hath no need of you; but He liketh
not ingratitude from His servants: if ye are grateful, He is pleased
with you. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. In the
end, to your Lord is your Return, when He will tell you the truth of
all that ye did (in this life). for He knoweth well all that is in
— Qur'an, sura 39 (Az-Zumar), ayat 7 
Al-Agharr al-Muzani, a companion of Mohammad, reported that Ibn 'Umar
stated to him that Mohammad said,
O people, seek repentance from Allah. Verily, I seek repentance from
Him a hundred times a day.
— Prophet Mohammad Sahih Muslim, 35:6523
Islam is not a state, but an action (a bad deed);
that a child is born sinless, regardless of the belief of his parents,
dies a Muslim; he enters heaven, and does not enter hell. Sahih
Narrated Aisha, that Mohammad said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely
and moderately, and receive good news because one's good deeds will
not make him enter Paradise." They asked, "Even you, O Allah's
Apostle?" He said, "Even I, unless and until Allah bestows His pardon
and Mercy on me." Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:76:474
Main article: Five Pillars of Islam
There are acts of worship that
Islam teaches to be mandatory.
built on five principles. Narrated Ibn 'Umar that Muhammad said,
Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and
Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.
To offer the compulsory prayers dutifully and perfectly.
Zakat to poor and needy (i.e. obligatory charity of 2.5%
annually of surplus wealth).
To perform Hajj. (i.e.
Pilgrimage to Mecca)
To observe fast during the month of Ramadhan. Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:2:7
Not performing the mandatory acts of worship may deprive Muslims of
the chance of salvation.
Moksha and Nirvana
Sikhism share certain key concepts,
which are interpreted differently by different groups and
individuals. In those religions one is not liberated from sin and
its consequences, but from the saṃsāra (cycle of rebirth)
perpetuated by passions and delusions and its resulting karma.
They differ however on the exact nature of this liberation.
Salvation is called moksha or mukti which mean liberation and
release respectively. This state and the conditions considered
necessary for its realization is described in early texts of Indian
religion such as the
Upanishads and the Pāli Canon, and later texts
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the
Moksha can be attained by sādhanā, literally "means of accomplishing
something". It includes a variety of disciplines, such as yoga and
Nirvana is the profound peace of mind that is acquired with moksha
Buddhism and Jainism, it is the state of being free
from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is union with the Brahman
(Supreme Being). The word literally means "blown out" (as in a candle)
and refers, in the Buddhist context, to the blowing out of the fires
of desire, aversion, and delusion, and the imperturbable
stillness of mind acquired thereafter.
Buddhism the emphasis is on one's own liberation from
Mahayana traditions emphasize the bodhisattva
path, in which "each Buddha and
Bodhisattva is a redeemer",
assisting the Buddhist in seeking to achieve the redemptive state.
The assistance rendered is a form of self-sacrifice on the part of the
teachers, who would presumably be able to achieve total detachment
from worldly concerns, but have instead chosen to remain engaged in
the material world to the degree that this is necessary to assist
others in achieving such detachment.
In Jainism, salvation, moksa and nirvana are one and the same.
When a soul (atman) achieves moksa, it is released from the cycle of
births and deaths, and achieves its pure self. It then becomes a
siddha (literally means one who has accomplished his ultimate
objective). Attaining Moksa requires annihilation of all karmas, good
and bad, because if karma is left, it must bear fruit.
Divine Mercy Sunday
Steps to Christ
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^ "The saving of the soul; the deliverance from sin and its
consequences". OED 2nd ed. 1989.
^ "The saving of the soul; the deliverance from sin and its
consequences" OED 2nd ed. 1989.
^ Wilfred Graves, Jr., In Pursuit of Wholeness: Experiencing God's
Salvation for the Total Person (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image,
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^ "Reb on the Web". Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish
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^ a b c Salvation, Judaism.  Accessed 4 May 2013
^ "How Does a Jew Attain Salvation?"  Accessed: 4 May 2013
^ a b Malekar,
Ezekiel Isaac. "THE SPEAKING TREE: Concept of Salvation
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^ "How do I achieve salvation according to Judaism?""Archived copy".
Archived from the original on 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
Accessed: 4 May 2013
^ a b Krell, Marc A. "
Afterlife and Salvation".
Judaism.  Accessed 4 May 2013
^ "Jewish views of salvation, faith and freedom".
^ a b  Accessed 4 May 2013
^ "Redemption." Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College.
July 2, 2009. 
^ Romans 5:12
^ "Christian Doctrines of Salvation".
Religion facts. June 20, 2009.
^ Newman, Jay. Foundations of religious tolerance. University of
Toronto Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8020-5591-5
^ Parry, Robin A. Universal salvation? The Current Debate. Wm. B.
Eerdmans Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-8028-2764-0
^ Min, Anselm Kyongsuk. Dialectic of Salvation: Issues in Theology of
Liberation. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1989.
^ Akin, James. "The
Salvation Controversy." Catholic Answers, October
^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Salvation".
^ Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Broadman Press, 1962.
ISBN 0-8054-1613-7. pp.11-13,80
^ See for example Matthew 13:43, John 14:2 ,2 Corinthians 12:2 , 1
Corinthians 15:40-41 , Genesis 2:4-5 , Genesis 2:7 , Job 38:4 ,
Ecclesiastes 12:7 , Jeremiah 1:5 , Zechariah 12:1 , and Hebrews 12:9
^ The Facts On Islam, By John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Dillon
Burroughs, p.37 
^ "Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement".
^ Quran 2:186
^ Quran 3:85
^ Quran 12:51–53
^ Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross, by Norman L.
Geisler, Abdul Saleeb, p.128 
^ Quran 4:17
^ Quran 4:48
^ Quran 39:7
^ Fast Facts® on Islam.
^ Sherma & Sarma 2008, p. 239.
^ a b c Tiwari 1983, p. 210.
^ Sherma & Sarma 2008.
^ V. S. Apte. A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary. p. 979.
^ a b Richard Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from
Ancient Benāres to Modern Colombo. Routledge
^ a b c Snelling 1987.
^ a b Joseph Edkins, Chinese
Buddhism (1893), p. 364.
^ Jaini, Padmanabh (2000). Collected Papers on Jaina Studies. Delhi:
Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 81-208-1691-9. : "Moksa and
Nirvana are synonymous in Jainism". p.168
^ Michael Carrithers, Caroline Humphrey (1991) The Assembly of
listeners: Jains in society Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 0521365058: "Nirvana: A synonym for liberation, release,
Braden, Charles Samuel (1941). Man's Quest for Salvation: An
Historical and Comparative Study of the Idea of
Salvation in the
World's Great Living Religions. Chicago & New York: Willett, Clark
Brandon, S. G. F., ed. (1963). The Saviour God: Comparative studies in
the concept of salvation presented to Edwin Oliver James by colleagues
and friends. New York: Barnes & Noble.
Brueggemann, Walter (30 September 2002). "Salvation". Reverberations
of Faith: A Theological Handbook of Old Testament Themes. Louisville:
Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 184–6. (Presentation)
Sharpe, Eric J.; Hinnells, John R., eds. (1973). Man and his
salvation: Studies in memory of S. G. F. Brandon. Manchester:
Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-0537-X.
Sherma, Rita D.; Sarma, Aravinda (2008), Hermeneutics and Hindu
Thought: Toward a Fusion of Horizons, Springer
Snelling, John (1987), The Buddhist handbook. A Complete Guide to
Buddhist Teaching and Practice, London: Century Paperbacks
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