Note on the Atonement in the ante-Nicene Fathers

The consensus of the ante-Nicene fathers on the nature of the atonement is firmly Christus Victor – actually, I’m hardly able to find any kind of dissenting viewpoint at all. Virtually every father saw the atonement as the triumph of Christ over the powers – while it’s not as developed as it would come to be, I think it’s safe to say that the early church’s view of the atonement was Christus Victor, and almost nothing else.