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Laying on of Hands
(781 words)

The gesture of laying hands on or over a person or an object conveys varied significance as an act of blessing, confirming, consecrating, commissioning, ordaining, setting apart for special use, absolving, healing, and other related uses. The act is understood to convey the transmission of authority, special grace, or spiritual power from someone recognized as specially authorized or charismatically endowed.

In the OT, laying on of hands is used to transmit a vital force (Gen. 48:14–20), to identify the offerer (Leviticus 1–8) or the transfer of sin (Lev. 16:21) in the sacrificial …

Cite this page
Senn, Frank C., “Laying on of Hands”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 07 December 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_L226>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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