Chapter 23 – Ephesians Atonement Passages

Author: Kevin George

This book is a work in progress. Posts on this blog are to enable readers to examine the manuscript and make commentary. These blog posts are NOT the final version!

Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace”

The words “redemption” (apolytrōsin, Gr. 629) and “forgiveness” (aphesin, Gr. 859).

The word “apolytrōsin” means “to release”, or to “free from”. This is how that word is used in Hebrews 11:35, “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release…”.Yes, it can be used in a commercial sense where a buyer frees the purchase from its prior owner, but the action of the word points to being released, and not the transaction itself.

The word “aphesin” means “sent away, released”. It can mean forgiveness in the sense of being released from an obligation, but the act of being released comes first, and the forgiveness would be a byproduct of that release.

Based on the above, an alternate translation of Ephesians 1:7 would be, “In whom we have freedom through his blood, the release/letting go/deliverance of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” ESV

The phrase “gave himself up for us…” again has the Greek word “hyper” which indicates the reason. “Christ…gave himself on account of, or because of, us.” Again, no substitution is given, or it has to be assumed and forced into the text.

Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”