Leon Morris delivers a theological robust rebuttal of CH Dodd's explanation, and the modernist view of Christ's sacrifice being too bloody for a just God. The word "hilaiskos" is hermeneutically proven to mean "propitiation" and not just "expiation". Sadly many Bible versions persis in opting in favor of translating the word as "expiation" which fails to assert that God's wrath was appeased. There is correspondingly a lesser need for repentance.
Luther's Nr 1 thesis of the 95 nailed to the Wittenburg Church door, was:
'That the life of the faithful should be one of perpetual repentance.'
This was obviously, at that time, intended to counter the repentance brought through mass, confession to a priest and other means invented by Catholicism. Today, the need for repentance is once again being downplayed by those wishing to describe God as so 'loving'.
'Wrath has occupied such an important place in the argument leading up to this section (Romans 3:21-31) that we are justified in looking for some expression indicative of its cancellation in the process which brings about salvation.' p 169
The word-study of the major words in soteriology is exegesis of the highest biblical standard.
'It was inevitable that the wrath of God should be the divine reaction to sin.' p 253