The Person and Work of Christ Part IX: Redemption -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 119:473 (Jan 1962)
Article: The Person and Work of Christ Part IX: Redemption
Author: John F. Walvoord

The Person and Work of Christ
Part IX:

John F. Walvoord

The doctrine of redemption both in Scripture and in theology is an important aspect of the work of God in salvation. Though it is difficult to find any one term which is comprehensive of the entire work of God on behalf of sinful men, if the term salvation be understood as the comprehensive term of the complete work of God in time and eternity for man, then redemption is particularly concerned with that aspect of salvation which was accomplished in the death of Christ.

Inasmuch as the historic concept of redemption has been subject to considerable criticism in modern theology, it is most important in the study of the death of Christ to determine the precise Scriptural teaching on the act of redemption. A rich linguistic background is afforded in the Old Testament and upon this the New Testament builds its more complete doctrine. In general the study concerns itself with two major groups of words, namely ἀγοράζω and its derivatives and λυτρόω and its cognate forms. A third term περιποιέω adds a confirming statement in Acts 20:28. From the study of these words and how they are used in the Scriptures a solid doctrine of redemption in Christ can be erected. The etymological study in this instance is prerequisite to the theological conclusions which follow.

The Idea of Purchase

The use of ἀγοράζω. This basic expression for redemption in Scripture is a verb derived from ἀγορά, i.e., a forum or a

market place, and therefore means simply to buy or purchase.1 Ordinarily it has reference to simple purchases of items in the market place, but in six instances in the Bible Christians are said to be redeemed or bought in reference to the death of Christ (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23; 2 Pet 2:1; Rev 5:9; 14:3–4 ).

In the Septuagint and in general Greek usage the idea of purchase is the common concept of ἀγοράζω. It does not seem to be used in a theological sense in the Old Testament. Though not found in connection with the purchase and freedom of slaves, Morris after Deissmann believes that this idea may be involved, because of the use of...

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