Who did Jesus Die a Ransom for?

The reason everyone is born in sin and dies is because of Adam.  Rom 5:12 says, “…just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned-.” (NWT).  When Adam disobeyed, he lost his right to live and he lost his family’s right to live.

Under Moses’ Law, justice demanded “a life for a life.” This was God’s perfect law.  If a man killed someone, he must pay with his own life: a life for a life. (Exodus 21:23-25; Deuteronomy 19:21).  Jehovah solved the problem by satisfying justice with the Ransom price of Jesus perfect human life paid for Adam’s lost perfect human life.

The Apostle Paul uses the Greek word anti-lutron, signifying, “a corresponding price,” saying, “The man, Christ Jesus, gave himself a ransom [anti-lutron—corresponding price] for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Tim. 2:6.  The Greek word lutroo is rendered “redeemed.”  Prof. Young defines lutroo to signify “to loose by a price”—that is, to set free by the payment of a price.  The basis or root of this word is lutron, which, as noted above with anti, used either as a prefix or a suffix, signifies a corresponding price.

Put in simple terms, Ransom means that something was lost and that you have to pay something of equal value to get it back.

Salvation comes by substitutionary atonement. One man, Jesus Christ, died for one man, Adam, so that Adam and all his posterity might live.   The Apostle Paul outlines this concept of substitutionary atonement in two passages:

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Corinthians 15:21, 22

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” Rom. 5:15

Since the first man, Adam, was a perfect human being, it follows that Jesus, as a corresponding price, must also be a perfect human being and that the resultant life for Adam’s posterity must be perfect human life.

As Adam, through disobedience, forfeited his life, so Jesus, by his death, as a corresponding price, paid a full and exact offset for Father Adam’s life, and in consequence for all Adam’s posterity—every human soul—sharers in his fall and in his loss.  With Adam redeemed, all his posterity are entitled to a resurrection from the dead to human perfection and a trial for life under the favorable conditions of Paradise Earth.


Until Jesus came, no human man could provide that Ransom price, because they were all sinners.  No one was the perfect human equivalent of Adam.

Psalms 49:7 (NASV) “No man can by any means redeem his brother Or give to God a ransom for him”

Romans 3:10 (NKJV) “There is none righteous, no, not one”

Job spoke prophetically of Jesus Ransoming mankind and resulting in their restoration back to life and youth.

Job 33:23-25 (NASV) 23  “If there is an angel as mediator for him, One out of a thousand, To remind a man what is right for him, 24  Then let him be gracious to him, and say, ‘Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom’; 25  Let his flesh become fresher than in youth, Let him return to the days of his youthful vigor”


The Ransom is explained in detail by the founder of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Pastor Charles Taze Russell) here:

This is taken from chapter 15 of volume 5, The Atonement Between God and Man, of his Studies in the Scriptures series.

You can also view a great video that explains the Ransom here:

21 comments to Who did Jesus Die a Ransom for?

  • Hi,
    Wondering how little I can contribute to this topic or of how small a value it will deemed to be.

    Jesus said he only came for Israel. He sent his disciples just to Israel. The Apostles only went to Israel locally and the Synagogues in the wider Diaspora. Only to Israel were the Good News GOOD news, for only they had law to sin against, which condemned them to annihilation. Jesus was their redeemer. Humans had no inherited condition i.e. sin, guilt and a death sentence to be redeemed from.

    All you Christians out there in the wider world of mankind have been had. Absolutely.


    This brings me to a what I consider to be a massive change in the way the WTB&TS, and the FD-Slave running them, have distanced themselves from Types and Antitypes so prominently featured by C. T. Russell and the Witnesses of my earlier years. The March 2015 WT pages 17-18 details the reasons for their changed attitude.

    I am very sorry to say this, even though I may seem to suffer from undue self-importance, but I think they are trying to distance themselves from the two most important types in the O.T. needed to understand the New Testament featured on my website 1. Abraham’s almost sacrifice of Isaac and 2. the Elijah-Elisha handover.

    I won’t bother you here with the boring details. It’s all on my Website.

    Bless you all

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Deiter – Last time we had a discussion, I got lost with your reasoning. Let’s try again. First can you answer some questions for clarification? No need for detail, I just want to understand your concept. After that, we can work on the details and scriptural support.

      1) Are you saying that the Jewish people are condemned to eternal destruction? Or do you acknowledge that Jesus became a curse for them by hanging on a tree (Galatians 3:13).

      2) Are you saying that all people have NOT inheritied sin from Adam?

      3) Are ALL people sinners or not? If so, how did they become sinners? If not, then why do they die as if under Adams condemnation?

      4) Who do you think are not sinners?

      5) Are your views based on your interpretation of Types and Antitypes, not the direct statements of scripture?

      6) Have you received an exclusive revelation from God or Jesus or an angel explaining these truths to you so that you can teach the rest of us? (Gotta ask this question as I keep finding people who believe this and we need to know where you are coming from.)

      • Hello Peter K.,
        Getting lost with reasoning is usually concomitant with lack of information. I understand that you would not bother all that much with checking out every claim clamouring attention on the Internet, especially if of the religious genre.

        You suggested for me to be brief as in “No need for detail” which is strange, because Charles T Russell’s works are the very antithesis of that, however valuable his contribution.

        You have not read a thing on my site about Israel and/or Jesus, but OK nonetheless, here are the points:

        1. Israel were redeemed and saved IN Jesus, their final Atonement and second Passover. The Witnesses teach that Israel is finished, while they have invented another (spiritual) Israel.

        2. Yes indeed, Humans have NOT inherited sin from Adam. Verse 13 of Romans 5 simply says while we may all sin, it is not counted without clearly defined Law. All in the context of Romans 4:15. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:56 the law was the power for sin. Only Israel had Law. Genetically impossible to inherit sin.

        3. C. T. Russell defined the life we were meant to have in Volume 5 pages 390-394 subheading “Was Adam Created Mortal or Immortal?” with ‘lasting life’ which would last as long as one eats food and obediently yields to Jehovah. Anyway, Paul’s discussion in Romans only involved Israel under Law and being freed from that. MANKIND WAS NOT HERE UNDER DISCUSSION.


        5. All understanding and all NT contributors from Jesus to Apostles based their entire discussions, arguments and explanations on the only scripture they had access to: THE OLD TESTAMENT! Just read the New Testament and you shall find that to be true. When Paul said that ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED he meant the Old Testament, because the New was yet to be written and he did not brag about his own Epistles yet to be completed and compiled.

        6. A good question given that the world of religion has an over-abundance of what the bible calls stupid ones.
        Please read this entire page:


        where you will find a brief reference to my lack of inspiration, education, whatever and that no visions or nightly visits by ghosts and other spirit critters have made their presence felt, visually, audibly or somehow inside me; Shudder! Shudder! PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE PAGE because it covers all your points.

        May Jehovah bless you

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Dieter – This summary is good. I think it will be easier to digest the details on your webite with these simple summarizing statements. It may take a few days for me to respond, however perhaps others will join the discussion.

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Dieter – Thanks for your responses. I do understand that you do not believe anyone inherits sin from Adam. You also believe that sinners are not condemned where there is no law, hence you only see Israel as having been condemned under the Law Covenant from Moses.

          If I am in any way misrepresenting your point of view, please correct me and clarify.

          On your website you say, “Humanity’s sinful condition in need of salvation as an alleged legacy bequeathed from Adam, is an invented lying deception uploaded upon gullible mankind by Christianity under the auspices of the arch deceiver.”

          I would like some more clarification on your views.

          Are you saying that Christ’s death having exclusively been to redeem the Jews from death, not you, me or any of the rest of mankind?

          If people did not inherit sin from Adam, how did they become sinners in the first place? Why aren’t people born perfect without sin?

          Why do people die if they are not condemned by any law? Or in your view are they?

          Who are to be resurrected from the dead, other than the “Little Flock” you refer to on your website. On what basis (why) are people raised from the dead if Jesus only died for natural Israel?

          Perhaps I have misunderstood you. Feel free to clear things up.

          • Thank you Peter for the opportunity,
            May I respond to each point in sequence:

            1. “Are you saying that Christ’s death having exclusively been to redeem the Jews from death, not you, me or any of the rest of mankind?”
            No I am not. Same principle applies here as it currently does on earth: One needs to have a government, a governing authority in place before the people can benefit. That authority was present in the ‘land’ of Eden. Adam rejected that.
            The Seed of Abraham Israel (Isaiah 41:8) was to be that government originally chosen to restore that authority in order to benefit the entire human race as that Kingdom of Priests and a Holy People (nation) as promised to Abraham Genesis 22:18; and instituted here Exodus 19:3-8. That has not changed. A promise is a promise, in connection with which Jehovah DOES NOT LIE –Hebrews 6:13-20.
            The individual Jews/Israelites are as much part of the beneficiaries of the promises as the rest of the human race. Only a little flock out of that redeemed people Israel joined by a number of supplementing Gentiles (Romans 11) were to given kingdom governance by Jehovah and everlasting life Luke 12:32; Revelation 21:3-4 – generic men staff and dwell with Jehovah in heaven as the Kingdom. It is they for whom there will be no more death and for whom the former earthly things will have passed away, even the curse upon Israel Revelation 22:3 in context with Deuteronomy 27:15-28-68 will no longer exist.

            2. “If people did not inherit sin from Adam, how did they become sinners in the first place? Why aren’t people born perfect without sin?”
            2/a They DID NOT nor can they without a law to define sin. God will NEVER hold anyone to account without first clearly spelling out to them the specifics of His requirements. This would then be the measuring stick for Judgment –Recall the measuring of the temple Israel by Ezekiel and again by John. The anointed Israel of God had to measure up to quality for Kingdom governance.
            2/b Only programmed robots would qualify as being born perfect (relative to their intended design) and without sin. Jehovah wants His human children to choose obedience from the heart not to sin. A willingness to yield to God and good practice to benefit ourselves, others, and our earthly home would make our heavenly father feel proud of us. Obedience is of little value if forced upon us. The law may have succeeded to imbue Israel with a right cooperative attitude, but if failed because they just did not want to –Matthew 23:37.

            3. “Why do people die if they are not condemned by any law? Or in your view are they?”
            Death is the natural part (law) of ALL life on earth, humans no exception. Recycling is the common denominator in the material world.
            Humans however, had, and soon shall have again*, an opportunity for lasting life restored to them which may last forever if they choose to listen to these words of Jesus: “. . . It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” –Luke 4:4. Eat AND yield to Jehovah shall forever be the governing motto for continuing life.
            * all humans past, present and future.
            After failing to yield to God, humanity in the person of Adam accompanied by his wife, had to emigrate from Eden, the LAND OF OPPORTUNITY FOR LASING LIFE to A LAND OF DEFAULT DEATH AND HOPE outside the sample garden, for all humans to regain the opportunity for lasting life, now temporarily put on hold, with an immediate veiled promise in Genesis 3:15.
            That promise embedded in the assignment of Genesis 1:26-28 was made with all who were to fill the earth. That is our birthright we hand in when we die through no fault of our own. It shall be redeemed at our new-start resurrection under the benign reign of the kingdom.

            4. “Who are to be resurrected from the dead, other than the “Little Flock” you refer to on your website. On what basis (why) are people raised from the dead if Jesus only died for natural Israel?”
            All humans! It is their birthright to participate in the Genesis assignment given to Adam and the entire human race still in his loins. Impossible while dead. Not their fault that they die. Only Adam will not; he was not deceived. Eve shall because she was deceived.
            Jesus died in Israel’s stead to redeem them from out of their debt to God for their blatant transgression of their law so that a little flock from out of that redeemed Israel could continue to run with the promises to the fathers to be the Kingdom for the blessing of all humans including all Jews/Israelites.
            The dead of the entire flock of Jacob, Israel, will be resurrected along with all humans gone before. Then they shall be judged by the small flock of resurrected Disciples in Kingdom governance by what they do AFTER they come back, for he who has died has been acquitted from sin Matthew 19:28; Luke22:30; Romans 6:7.

            Please avail yourself of are resurrection, Atonement and other relevant pages on my site.
            Sorry Peter, about my long-windedness. May God bless you.

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Dieter – Regarding point # 1 and natural Israel, I agree with you from the standpoint that Israel is the earthly seed (“sands of the seashore” Genesis 22:17) of Abraham and will be a blesser nation (Genesis 28:14), part of the earthly kingdom government. I think Rev 22:3 applies primarily to the curse on Adam and Eve, however also applies to Israel as you have said.

              Scriptures on Israel as a Blesser Nation:

              Isa 27:6 – Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. (NKJ)
              Zech 8:22-23 – many nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem (NKJ)
              Jer 3:17 – Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD (NKJ)
              Isa 61:5&6 – Other nations will look to Israel as priests and will bring their wealth and services.
              Isa 2:2-4 – People seek the LORD in Jerusalem and worship Him there (Zech 14:16)
              Zech 14:17 – Whoever doesn’t go to Jerusalem to worship will receive no rain (blessings, see
              also Micah 5:7)
              Zech 8:13 – Israel shall be a blessing

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Dieter – I like your generous view of salvation. Perhaps we can arrive there with a clearer display of scriptures. Let me touch on some of your comments which relate to sin and atonement.

              From 2b, you said, “Only programmed robots would qualify as being born perfect.”

              Human perfection is free will without sin. Was Jesus perfect? Yes. Was he a robot? NO.

              2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASV) “he made him who knew no sin to be sin [a sin-offering] on our behalf…”

              Hebrews 7:26-28 (Rotherham) “26 For, such a high-priest as this, for us, was [[even]] suited: Loving, noble, undefiled, set apart from sinners, and become, higher than the heavens; 27 Who hath no daily necessity, like the high-priests, beforehand, over his own sins [priest’s sins – Jesus had no sin], to be offering sacrifices, after that, over those, of the people,–for, this, he did once for all when, himself, he offered up. 28 For, the law, constituteth, men, high-priests, having, weakness; but, the word of the oath-taking, which cometh after the law, A Son, age-abidingly, made perfect.”

              Here Jesus is described as “undefiled, set apart from sinners… made perfect.” We are told that he “knew no sin.” In contrasts, the priests under the law of Moses had “weakness” [sin].

              More to come…

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Dieter – In 2a, you said, “They DID NOT [inherit sin from Adam] nor can they without a law to define sin. God will NEVER hold anyone to account without first clearly spelling out to them the specifics of His requirements.”

              Are you saying that mankind in general are not sinners since they were not under the law covenant of Moses?

              We are all sinners, regardless of whether or not there is a law condemning us.

              Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

              Psalms 51:5 (NKJV) “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”

              Jas 3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

              1John 1:8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

              1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

              1John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

              Dieter – I know you are familiar with these scripture. You must agree all people are sinners? Also, I just don’t understand how you say, “God will NEVER hold anyone to account without first clearly spelling out to them the specifics of His requirements.”

              Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

              How is everything spelled out to the people in India and China before Christ? Yet for them, the wages of sin is death. Otherwise they would not die. Right?

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Dieter – You said, “All humans [will be resurrected from the dead]! It is their birthright to participate in the Genesis assignment given to Adam and the entire human race still in his loins. Impossible while dead. Not their fault that they die. Only Adam will not; he was not deceived. Eve shall because she was deceived.”

              I do not understand your explanation for why men die. I believe mankind dies because they inherited sin from Adam. You say it is “Not their fault that they die.” Then whose fault is it? If it is Adams fault, then why are they condemned for Adam’s sin (as opposed to inheriting sin from Adam)? Is God unjust in that he would condemn the human race for the sin of Adam?

              The Jews could never have followed the law because they were sinners and not perfect. If was impossible for them to follow a perfect law. That was one of the main points of the law, to demonstrate that mankind are sinners needing a savior.

              Deut 24:16 (NASV) “”Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.”

              Romans 3:20 (Amplified) “For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For the real function of the Law is to make men recognize {and } be conscious of sin not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character.”

              Romans 8:3 (NKJV) : “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh…”

              Romans 2:12 (NKJV) “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law…”

              Hebrews 8:7-8 (Rotherham) “7 For, if, that first [Priesthood], had been, faultless, not, in that case, for a second [priesthood], had there been sought, a place. 8 For, finding fault with them [priests], he saith–Lo! days are coming, saith the Lord, when I will conclude, for the house of Israel and the house of Judah, a covenant of a new sort [with a perfect priesthood]:”

              So the problem is not with the law. If the priests were perfect, they could perfectly follow and implement the law. As sinners they fail. Hence the perfect Christ (Melchizedek priesthood) replaces the priesthood of Aaron.

              The big difference of opinion that we have is that I believe that every man is born a sinner with sin inherited from Adam. Before Adam sinned he was perfect like Jesus.

              I encourage you to study the concept of the Ransom (Greek “anti-lutron”) corresponding price. Without understanding this concept, you cannot understand the mechanism for the removal of sin here: https://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/category/ransom-answers/

              Start with the three articles at the bottom of the list.

      • Hi Peter,

        just a P.S. on this point: “5) Are your views based on your interpretation of Types and Antitypes, not the direct statements of scripture?”

        There are many types one can find or manufacture from out of the OT for whatever personal or denominational reasons. Preoccupation with these can distract: ‘of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh’ Eccl 12:11-12 LXXE.
        Had a bit of a look about types and antitypes on the net. My Goodness, what a mess.

        OT types and analogies pertain to the role of Israel in the purpose of God, their wanton transgressions, their lack of respect of their God, Father and Husband and how in spite of that, Jehovah would honour all His promises to the fathers through His Christ.
        That is my focus along with the two principal types: The Abraham-Isaac-Sheep drama prefiguring the Jehovah-OBson-LambJesus reality and the Elijah-Elisha handover. To clarify what it means, the history of Israel naturally forms THE definitive basis for the substance of the new testament, covenant and narrative.


  • max

    To Jaqulin;

    You are welcome.


  • max

    To Peter K.

    Thank you. Christ ransom is for mankind. Adam and Eve’s offspring. Is that an incorrect statement then?

    Where does the eye for eye fit? Satan was perfect? Adam was perfect. Satan willfully went against Jehovah God. Adam willfully went against Jehovah God.
    Ransom doesn’t apply to Satan.
    Ransom applies to Adam.

    To me there is something wrong with that picture. I don’t see eye for eye.

    But if they both did the unforgivable sin and receive the same punishment, I see eye for eye. Mt 1231,32,”On this account I say to you, Every sort of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven. For example, who ever speaks a word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the holy spirit, it will not be forgiven him, no, not in this system of things, nor in that to come.”

    If people who are inherited sinners can do this, how much more so for perfect people? As a matter of fact at the end of the thousand years and man has sinned totally removed a large number go against the truth and are destroyed forever.

    Again the eye for eye. Adam Perfect goes bad, gets a chance. Man made perfect goes bad, doesn’t get a chance.

  • max

    Adam and Eve’s offspring, not Adam and EVE?


  • humbleman

    Max do you believe. Jesus died a ransom for all ? do you believe he tasted death for every person ?

    • Jacqueline

      Christ ransom is for mankind. Adam and Eve’s offspring.

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Max – Romans 5:18 (NASV) “So then as through one transgression [m]there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [n]there resulted justification of life to all men.” 1 Tim 2 (AKJV) “4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” The word Ransom comes from the Greek “anti-lutron” = corresponding prices. Jesus was a corresponding price for Adam. A perfect human life for a perfect human life. (The Law of Moses said “and eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life.) All Adams posterity inerited death from Adam (Rom 5:12). Adam and his posterity ALL get one full opportunity for life from Jesus. 1 Cor 15 (NASV) “21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits [includes his body members – the anointed bride], after that those who are Christ’s at His coming [world of mankind]”

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Max – The Ransom applies to Adam and his offspring – not to Satan in any way.

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