Technically, what is the Definition of the Word “Ransom?”

By definition of the word RANSOM, it is an exact and equal exchange – one life perfect life (Jesus)  for one perfect life (Adam) – NOT one life for many lives.

Following are definitions provided by New Testament Greek Scholars:

Adam Clarke’s Commentary: Verse 6. Who gave himself a ransom The word lutron signifies a ransom paid for the redemption of a captive; and antilutron, the word used here, and applied to the death of Christ, signifies that ransom which consists in the exchange of one person for another, or the redemption of life by life…

Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary: ransom—properly of a captive slave. Man was the captive slave of Satan, sold under sin. He was unable to ransom himself, because absolute obedience is due to God, and therefore no act of ours can satisfy for the least offense. #Le 25:48 allowed one sold captive to be redeemed by one of his brethren. The Son of God, therefore, became man in order that, being made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted, as our elder brother He should redeem us (#Mt 20:28 Eph 1:7 1Pe 1:18,19). The Greek implies not merely ransom, but a substituted or equivalent ransom: the Greek preposition, “anti,” implying reciprocity and vicarious substitution.

Nazarene Commentary 2000: ² A substitionary ransom: The Greek is unique here, ANTI-LYTRON [Strong’s Concordance <487>, corresponding, opposite, atonement, redemptive price].

Matthew Poole’s Commentary: Ver. 6. Antilutron, the word here translated ransom, is very emphatical; it signifies the exchanging of condition with another, the laying down of one’s life to save another’s.

The Pulpit Commentary: What means a ransom? …It is the price given as an equivalent for setting free the prisoner, or sparing the forfeited life;

Robertson’s NT Word Pictures: A ransom for all (antilutron uper pantwn). “A reminiscence of the Lord’s own saying” (Lock) in #Mt 20:28 (#Mr 10:45) where we have lutron anti pollwn. In the papyri uper is the ordinary preposition for the notion of substitution where benefit is involved as in this passage. anti has more the idea of exchange and antilutron uper combines both ideas. lutron is the common word for ransom for a slave or a prisoner.

John Wesley Notes on the Bible: Verse 6. Who gave himself a ransom for all—Such a ransom, the word signifies, wherein a like or equal is given; as an eye for an eye, or life for life: and this ransom,

Parkhurst’s A Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament (p. 47): a ransom, price of redemption, or rather a correspondent ransom. ‘It properly signifies a price by which captives are redeemed from the enemy; and that kind of exchange in which the life of one is redeemed by the life of another.’ So Aristotle uses the verb antilytroo for redeeming life by life.”

2 comments to Technically, what is the Definition of the Word “Ransom?”

  • Scholars lose events in words, rather than deeds. I am a writer. Words which express deeds must be explored to create a picture. The reader must not see the words…they must see a picture. A writer will always ask, “What if?”
    Millions upon millions of the human family are in the grave, and before Jesus returns, millions more will follow. One life for all those?
    “What if there is more to the death of Jesus than just his life?” “What if his three days of death have a meaning of great interest?” “What if the meaning of his death has been hidden?”
    The picture Scholars have painted with words: The Son of God nailed to a cross, or stake. Head down, clothed only in a loan cloth. Picture number two: The Son of God back from death, shinning in all his holiness.

    What we are told in these two pictures: Jesus died for our sins, and after three days come back to life. Do these pictures pass the test of History, and science?

    When the Romans crucified people, they stripped them of all clothing. Nailed them to an upright pole, or tree. Both hands nailed above the victims head, and both legs broken*. In the case of Jesus, his legs were not broken. Jesus was killed with a spear. Why were his legs not broken, and why were the other two killed with him not speared?

    People who were crucified could not be left hanging on the stake during the Passover. Before they could be taken down from the stake, they had to be dead. The sun was starting to set. The Passover was within one to a few hours away. The two men impaled with Jesus did not have to be speared, which indicates they had already died. Jesus was still alive. If the Romans broke his legs, he would have been alive on the stake after sunset…thus he was speared to kill him so he could be taken down.

    There has been debate by Scholars for many years as to the three days of Jesus death. Some claim it was hours short of three days, others claim the Jews would count half days as full days.

    To me as a writer, the beating, and the death of Jesus for three days is a small price to pay for the death of the whole human family, plus all the suffering the human family has suffered…there had to be more to the story? Lets examine how a man dies;

    His heart stops. Blood stops slowing. All the parts of the body that require oxygen start to die. The last thing in a mans body to die, is his reproductive sperm. Sperm, the seed of life.

    Sperm…the seed of life. Scholars do make comment of the seed of life within Jesus body. Jesus was born a perfect man…the second Adam. “What if?” If Jesus had married, and had children, they would have also been perfect as Jesus was perfect. They would not have aged, or died. Medical fact: It takes two to three days for a mans sperm to die, after the man dies.

    Conclusion? When Jesus died, and was dead for two to three days, his sperm also died. His seed was a perfect sinless unborn human race…that one for this one.

    I have often thought of that unborn human race. At times I see them as happy children , playing, growing to adulthood. They were given for us. Would you gladly jump off into everlasting death so one of these could be given life? I would…they were better than me.

    *Why the legs were broken: With the hands nailed above the head, and the legs broken, the victim could not hold their body weight up. This would make the suffocate. This sometimes took hours. Jesus being a perfect man must have meant the Romans understood him to be strong, and would have stayed alive after sunset.

    As I said, I’m just a writer. I put my face into the barrel of water to see what is on the bottom.

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