Greek word - (exagorazo G1805, agorazo G59, lutroo G3084)
Quiz - Choose the answer that is closest to what you think REDEEM is.
A - to save from sins
B - to convert into cash
C - to purchase
D - to pay a price to release
Problem - Misleading, Incorrect
(exagorazo G1805) "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." (Galatians 3:13a)
(lutroo G3084) "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:14)
Look redeem up in an English dictionary and you may not find what it means in the Bible. Many definitions are given, but most of them are not what redeem means in the Bible. At dictionary.com, you have to click on the arrow to show more definitions before one of the Bible meanings is shown (and then you would not know that it is the right one unless you already knew what the Bible meaning is).
This is the danger of using an English dictionary to find out what Bible words mean.
When redeem is used today, it misleads the listener as to what it actually means in the Bible.
Four different Greek words are translated as redeem by the King James Version. In order to know what redeem means in the Bible and in the particular verse that you are reading, you must first know which Greek word is there.
If it is agorazo (G59) then redeem means to buy. Agorazo is the common Greek word for buy. When you see the word, buy, in the Bible it most likely is this word. In the King James Version, agorazo is translated as buy 38 times and as redeem 3 times. It could have been and should have been translated as buy everytime. To translate it as redeem adds meaning to the word that is not there.
If the Greek word behind redeem is exagorazo (G1805), it means to buy or to buy up. Exagorazo comes from the previous word, agorazo. It just has ex added to the beginning which means out. So the literal meaning would be to buy out of. We do not say that in English. We say buy or buy up. This word appears four times in the New Testament and is translated in the King James Version as redeem everytime. Two of these are the expression, "redeeming the time", which means "making good use of the time."
If the Greek word behind redeem is lutroo (G3084), it means to ransom, to pay a price to release. The root of this word and the next word means to loosen or to release. This word only appears three times in the New Testament.
If the Greek word behind redeem is lutrosis (G3085), it means a ransom payment or a release payment. Redeem only appears once in the New Testament for this Greek word. It is with the verb, to make. So together it is to make a release payment. The King James Version combines these two words into one word, redeem. If the King James Version had translated this literally, it would be to make a redemption.
There you have it, the meaning of redeem. Here it is one more time.
In the New Testament, three times redeem means to buy (agorazo), four times it means to buy or to buy up (exagorazo), three times it means to pay a price to release (lutroo), and once it means to make a release payment (lutrosis with its verb).
Many pastors, teachers, and songs try to make redeem something that it is not.
The pastor of a large church once told me over dinner that he was going to start using redeem more often in his sermons because his people needed to appreciate the rich meaning of the word.
I prefer erasing redeem out of our Bibles and using better words that accurately portray the meaning of the Greek. Redeem doesn't.
In the Bible, depending on the Greek word behind it, redeem is buy, redeem is buy up, redeem is pay a price to release, or redeem is make a release payment.
Modern Synonym - purchase (exagorazo G1805, agorazo G59) - pay a price to release (lutroo G3084)
Bible Version Tally (how other versions translate this word)
Galatians 3:13a (exagorazo G1805) - redeem (37 of 50), take away (4 of 50), bought (3 of 50), paid (2 of 50), bought (1 of 50), rescue (2 of 50), ransom (1 of 50), set free (1 of 50), saved (1 of 50)
Titus 2:14 (lutroo G3084) - redeem (29 of 50), free (11 of 50), rescue (4 of 50), pay the price to free (2 of 50), ransom (1 of 50)
(exagorazo G1805) "The Anointed King purchased us out of the curse of the law after becoming a curse on our behalf." (Galatians 3:13a)
(lutroo G3084) "who gave Himself on our behalf so that He might pay the price to release us from every crime and clean for Himself a special ethnic group with a strong desire for good actions." (Titus 2:14)
Click here to receive one of these lessons each week by email.