(Note: This answer, imported from Christianity StackExchange, is more technical and scholarly in style than most of my posts here. However, the subject is worthwhile and informative for people who wish to gain a better understanding of atonement as presented in the Bible, in contrast to faulty and unbiblical traditional Christian understandings of atonement.)
Preface: 1 John 2:2 in Swedenborg’s writings
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) does not comment directly on 1 John 2:2 anywhere in his published or unpublished theological writings.
He does quote 1 John 2:2 in one of his unpublished notebooks, traditionally titled Scripture Confirmations, which served as a specialized Bible concordance for the composition of his final comprehensive work of systematic theology, True Christianity. In that single quotation of the passage, he translates the Greek word ἱλασμός (hilasmos) into the Latin word propitiatio, which is the standard Latin word for “propitiation.” You can see his original Latin here (it occurs in the fourth line of text), and an English translation here.
Introduction: Swedenborg’s general approach to “propitiation”
Although Swedenborg does not comment directly on 1 John 2:2 anywhere in his theological writings, he does discuss the concept of the propitiation for sins, mostly in his explanation of the meaning of the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant in the ancient Jewish tabernacle, and also in explaining the meaning of various Old Testament sacrifices and rituals of atonement.
The Ark and the Mercy Seat
Swedenborg largely skips over the traditional Christian theology that had grown up over the centuries around the concept of Jesus as the propitiation for sins. Instead, he draws his explanation of the meaning of this concept directly from the biblical text. And rather than relying upon later Greek- and Roman-derived philosophical concepts of “propitiation,” he seems to assume that the use of the Greek word ἱλασμός and its related forms in the New Testament draw their meaning primarily from the terms in the Hebrew Bible that are commonly translated in the Septuagint using various forms of ἱλασμός—and that this Old Testament usage is the primary referent of the term ἱλασμός as used in the New Testament. The writers of the (Greek) New Testament drew heavily on the Septuagint, which was a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures produced two or three centuries before the birth of Christ.
To understand Swedenborg’s interpretation of Jesus as “the propitiation for our sins” as used in 1 John 2:2, then, it will be necessary to delve into the Hebrew word כָּפַר (kaphar) and its derivatives, which are the words most commonly translated in the Septuagint as ἱλασμός and its derivatives, and which therefore provide the primary meaning of ἱλασμός as used in the New Testament.
This we will do below. But first we must cover Swedenborg’s view of the traditional Christian understanding of Christ as a propitiation for our sins.
For more on Swedenborg and propitiation, click here to read on.