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Confession Defined

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Also called reconciliation or penance, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the acknowledgment of sinfulness in public or private, regarded as necessary to obtain divine forgiveness.

The need for confession is frequently stressed in the Hebrew Bible. The mission of the Jewish prophets was to awaken in the people a sense of sinfulness and an acknowledgment of their guilt, both personal and collective. Before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (70 CE), the sin offerings on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) were prefaced by a collective expression of sinfulness (Leviticus 16:21), and, since the destruction of the Temple, the Day of Atonement has continued in Judaism as a day of prayer, fasting, and confession. - Britannica

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