What is…

Hebrew: פִּדְיוֹן —transliteration: pidyowm (“ransom” or “redemption”)

ἀπολυτρώσεως —transliteration: apolutrósis
λύτρωσιν —transliteration: lutrósis

Redemption is paying the ransom price of something that has been lost, thereby purchasing it back.

The Greek word apolutrosis translated as “redemption” occurs 9 times in Scripture, and always with the idea of a ransom or price paid, i.e., redemption (lutrótés) by paying a ransom (lutron).

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” —Matthew 20:2 NASB and Mark 10:45

There are instances in the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament of the use of lutron in man’s relation to man (Leviticus 19:20; 25:51; Exodus 21:30; Numbers 35:31, 32; Isaiah 45:13; Proverbs 6:35), and in the same sense of man’s relation to God (Numbers 3:49; 18:15).

Christ the Redeemer

There are many passages in the New Testament which represent Christ’s sufferings under the idea of a ransom or price, and the result thereby secured is a purchase or redemption (compare Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Galatians 3:13; 4:4, 5; Ephesians 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18—19; Rev. 5:9).

The idea running through all these texts, however various their reference, is that of payment made for our redemption. The debt against us is not viewed as simply cancelled, but is FULLY PAID.

Christ's blood or life, which he surrendered for them, is the “ransom” by which the deliverance of his people from the servitude of sin and from its penal consequences is secured.

It is the plain doctrine of Scripture that…

Christ saves us neither by the mere exercise of power, nor by his doctrine, nor by his example, nor by the moral influence which he exerted, nor by any subjective influence on his people, whether natural or mystical, but as a satisfaction to divine justice, as an expiation for sin, and as a ransom from the curse and authority of the law, thus reconciling us to God by making it consistent with his perfection to exercise mercy toward sinners.” —Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology


Article Version: September 29, 2017