1999 James A. Fowler
You are free to download
this outline provided it remains intact without alteration. You
are also free to transmit this outline electronically provided
that you do so in its entirety with proper citation of authorship
I. Representative Biblical references to "redemption"
A. Old Testament
1. Hebrew words
padah (to ransom), pidyon (ransom)
7:8 - "the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand, and redeemed
you from the house of
slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh of Egypt" (cf. 9:26; 13:5;
78:42 - "His power, when He redeemed them from the adversary...in
1:27 - "Zion will be redeemed with justice" (cf. 35:10;
13:14 - "I will redeem them from death" (cf. I Cor
words kopher (ransom), kippur (to make atonement)
1:4 - "burnt offering accepted to make atonement"
16:6-34 - "make atonement for the sons of Israel for all
their sins once every year"
9:24 - "make an end to sin, to make atonement...Messiah
words gaal (to ransom, redeem), guella (redemption),
2:20 - "the man is our relative, one of our redeemers"
4:14 - "the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer"
52:3 - "you will be redeemed without money"
59:20 - "a Redeemer will come to Zion"
B. New Testament
words agorazo (to buy, purchase), exagorazo (to
buy out, redeem)
Cor. 6:20; 7:23 - "bought with a price" (cf. II Pet.
5:9 - "purchase for God with Thy blood"
3:13 - "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law"
4:5 - "He might redeem those who were under the Law"
words lutron (ransom price), lutroo (to ransom),
20:28; Mk. 10:45 - "to give His life a ransom for many"
2:14 - "redeem us from every lawless deed"
9:12 - "through His own blood...obtained eternal redemption"
Pet. 1:18,19 - "redeemed...with precious blood...of Christ"
II. Background considerations for understanding "redemption"
A. Hebrew heritage most important
for contextual background
concepts take priority
words have limited meaning of transactional purchase
aberrations in Christian thought about redemption
Over-emphasis of Greek thought - Who is paying? What is paid?
Why is it paid? To whom
is it paid? What is the result of the payment?
Failure to apply balanced Hebrew concepts
Led to crude, outlandish explanations
God paid ransom to devil; stiffed him
Jesus bought God's favor; paid Him off to enact legal fiction
B. Physical analogies employed to express
not push analogies too far
maintain balance of all concepts
C. Historical perspective must be maintained
of man from the Fall
Why was redemption necessary?
Why did Jesus have to die?
life of Jesus Christ
Incarnation - perfect in Being
Obedience - perfect in Behavior
Death - Perfect in Benefit - remedial - for us
Resurrection - Perfect in Benefit - restorative - in us
III. Essential elements for understanding "redemption"
A. Event-payment redemption (padah)
- Israel redeemed out of Egypt
powerful intervention for man in grace
event of rescue and deliverance
payment of equivalence first-born
out of slavery, bondage, oppression
on repressive power
covenant relationship and kingdom
B. Ritual-sacrifice redemption (kopher)
- Day of Atonement
standards of God's character violated
establishes means for dealing with transgression
not canceled, but covered by vicarious offering
provides both priest and sacrifice; Lord and lamb
is sacrificed for guilty
out of defilement, guilt, estrangement
is satisfied; man is reinstated and restored
C. Relational-emancipation redemption
(gaal) - Ruth redeemed by Boaz
is identified with His people
takes the initiative and responsibility to restore what was intended
is one of us; a kinsman
is vindicator, avenger, emancipator, advocate
out of indebtedness, bondage, loss of what previously belonged
to full inheritance
IV. Necessity of a balanced perspective of "redemption"
A. Event-payment (padah)
ritual-sacrifice results in dualistic ransom to devil
relational-emancipation results in historicism of events and
theological benefits bestowed
B. Ritual-sacrifice (kopher)
event-payment results in placating and appeasing angry, vindictive
god by meritorious
relational-emancipation results in ritualistic superstition or
an overly objectified "legal
C. Relational-emancipation (gaal)
event-payment results in mere moral influence or existentialism
ritual-sacrifice results in mystic absorption of man into the
divine, or human deification
D. Contemporary need to recognize the
ontological factors of relational- emancipation alongside
factors of event-payment and ritual-sacrifice.