1. Ransom Theory:

Description: This theory posits that Christ’s death was a ransom paid to Satan to free humanity from the bondage of sin and death.
Key Figures: This view originated in the early Church and was held by early Church Fathers such as Origen (184-253 AD) and Gregory of Nyssa (335-395 AD).

2. Christus Victor:

Description: This theory emphasizes Christ’s victory over the powers of sin, death, and the devil. The resurrection is seen as the triumph of Jesus over these forces.
Key Figures: Popularized by Gustaf Aulén in the 20th century, it was also a view held by early Church Fathers such as Irenaeus (130-202 AD).

3. Satisfaction Theory:

Description: Developed by Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century, this theory posits that Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice and honor, which had been offended by human sin.
Key Figures: Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109 AD).

4. Penal Substitution:

Description: This view holds that Christ took on the penalty of sin that humans deserved, thereby satisfying the justice of God. It’s a development of Anselm’s Satisfaction Theory.
Key Figures: Reformers like Martin Luther (1483-1546 AD) and John Calvin (1509-1564 AD) were proponents of this theory.

5. Moral Influence Theory:

Description: Proposed by Peter Abelard in the 12th century, this theory suggests that Christ’s death was meant to demonstrate God’s love and inspire humans to repent and live better lives.
Key Figures: Peter Abelard (1079-1142 AD).

6. Governmental Theory:

Description: This theory asserts that Christ’s death demonstrates the seriousness of sin and God’s justice, upholding the moral order of the universe without requiring a literal substitutionary punishment.
Key Figures: Hugo Grotius (1583-1645 AD).

7. Recapitulation Theory:

Description: This theory, primarily associated with Irenaeus of Lyon, suggests that Christ’s life and death recapitulated (or “re-did”) all stages of human life, thus reversing the disobedience of Adam and restoring humanity to communion with God.
Key Figures: Irenaeus of Lyon (130-202 AD).

8. Scapegoat Theory:

Description: Based on the anthropological work of René Girard, this theory views Jesus as the ultimate scapegoat who takes on the violence and sin of the world, exposing the mechanism of scapegoating and bringing peace.
Key Figures: René Girard (1923-2015).

9. Participatory (or Participation) Model:

Description: This model emphasizes the believer’s participation in Christ’s death and resurrection, viewing atonement as union with Christ and sharing in His divine life.
Key Figures: Eastern Orthodox theologians like Gregory Palamas (1296-1359 AD).

10. Healing (or Therapeutic) Theory:

Description: This view sees Christ’s work as healing humanity from the sickness of sin. It is often associated with the Eastern Orthodox understanding of theosis (deification).
Key Figures: Eastern Orthodox theologians, including Athanasius of Alexandria (296-373 AD).