Relevant Greek Words On Redemption


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There are a number of words used in the original Greek New Testament which relate to the teaching of redemption. The first of these words is “agorazo”. This word means “buy, purchase…acquire as property”. [1]

Revelation 5:9 uses a form of the word “agorazo” when saying Jesus’ blood was the price of Him purchasing or redeeming us: “…For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation’.”

The second key word in the Greek New Testament for redemption is “exagorazo”. This word means “buy, buy up something, redeem (literally ‘buy back’), deliver someone” [2] or “to buy out, especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom”. [3] Forms of “exagorazo” are used in Galatians 3:13 and 4:5.

The third key word used in relation to redemption in the original Greek New Testament is “lutroo”. “Lutroo” means in various contexts, “free by paying a ransom, redeem…set free…rescue”. [4] Forms of the word “lutroo” are used in Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 1:18.

Titus 2:14 shows Jesus’ death has purchased us from a life of slavery to lawlessness in relation to God’s commands: “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed…” Titus 2:14 says Jesus Christ redeemed us so we could be His own special people. In Greek, the expression “His own special” is a form of the word “periousios”. “Periousios” means “of one’s own possession, one’s own”. [5]

Let us now look at the other Greek words derived from “lutroo”: “lutron”, “antilutron”, “lutrosis” and “apolutrosis”. Bauer says, “lutron” means “price of release, ransom (especially also the ransom money for the manumission of slaves)”. [6] The word “manumission” means the setting free of slaves. Gustav A. Deissman  states: “When anybody heard the Greek word lutron, ‘ransom’, in the first century, it was natural for him to think of the purchase-money for manumitting (the setting free of) slaves. Three documents from Oxyrhynchus relating to manumissions in the years 86, 100 and 91 or 107 A.D. make use of the word.” [7]

“Lutrosis” means “ransoming, releasing, redemption”. [8] “Apolutrosis” is defined as “buying back a slave or captive, making him free by payment of a ransom”. [9] “Lutron means “a means of loosing” or “price of release, ransom (especially also the ransom money for the manumission of slaves)” [10] and “antilutron” refers to a “ransom”. [11]

A form of the word “lutrosis” is used in Luke 1:68, 2:38 and Hebrews 9:12. “Lutron” is used only in Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45 and “antilutron” in 1 Timothy 2:6. “Apolutrosis” and forms of it are used in Luke 21:28, Romans 3:24, 8:23, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 1:7, 14, 4:30, Colossians 1:14 and Hebrews 9:15.

Another relevant Greek New Testament word is “peripoieo” which means “get for oneself, purchase”. [12] A form of it is used in Acts 20:28: “…the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

The relationship between the New Testament teaching on redemption and the associated concept of God buying us as His exclusive personal possession can be seen in Ephesians 1:14 where a form of the Greek word “peripoieo” is used in relation to a form of the associated word “apolutrosis” which is translated “redemption” in the same verse. In the context of Ephesians 1:14, the form of the word “peripoieo” means “possessing, possession, property”. [13] Ephesians 1:14 says: “who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Here we see God has purchased us so we can be forever His exclusive possession.


Bible Study Question


1.       Describe the meanings of the New Testament words for “redemption” or “redeem”.




[1] Ibid, page 12.

[2] Ibid, page 271.

[3] Vine, page 515.

[4] Bauer, page 482.

[5] Vine, page 477.

[6] Bauer, page 482.

[7] Gustav A. Deissman, “Light from the Ancient East”, 1965, pages 327-328.

[8] Bauer, page 483.

[9] Ibid, page 96.

[10] Ibid, page 482.

[11] Ibid, page 75.

[12] Vine, page 498.

[13] Bauer, page 650.

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