There is no discussion of this subject as such in the Bible, and the word never occurs there. But the sinner's need of forgiveness, of which absolution speaks, is entirely scriptural. So is the truth that forgiveness of sin is the gracious work of God in, who died for our sins and was raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25; cf. 1 John 1:9). He alone has the authority to absolve (Luke 7:47f.; cf. Col. 1:13f.).
In the early church, when postbaptismal sin became a problem, the power to announce forgiveness to the penitent (stemming from the word of Jesus in Matt. 16:19; 18:18; cf. John 20:23, “if you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven”) was associated with the clergy. At first this declaration was public; but later, and with the development of sacramental theory during the scholastic period, absolution was mostly given after auricular confession in private, by means of the formula “I absolve you,” or (especially in the East) in the course of a prayer. The former tended to obscure the real source of absolution.
Since the Reformation and the decline of private confession, absolution in the technical sense has tended, in the Protestant but not in the Roman Catholic Church, to be confined to public worship. The Anglican, for example, returns to a biblical emphasis by following the general confession with an announcement of God's forgiveness in Christ.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
Not a Biblical, but an ecclesiastical term, used to designate the official act described in
H. E. Jacobs