Monday, February 19, 2024

The Master who Bought Them in 2 Peter 2:1

The Apostle Peter, writing 2 Peter 2:1, used the interesting phrase, "the Master who bought them," to refer to false teachers.  Translated in the KJV by, "the Lord that bought them," this verse has occasionally been brought out as a proof text against the Biblical doctrine of Limited atonement.

The Greek word, ἀγοράζω (agorazo), finds its entry in Strong's Concordance as G59.  The word refers to buying in the sense of a commercial transaction.  It's plainly derived from ἀγορά (agora), which means market.

Most of the New Testament uses are simply the plain commercial sense of buying something, such as food.  There are also some uses in which the buying is part of a parable.  In these cases, the usual sense of the Greek word is the literal meaning, though perhaps more is intended by the parable itself.  Likewise, nearly all the Old Testament Septuagint uses are in the sense of  plain commercial transaction, such as Joseph's buying (and selling) of corn/food. 

1. Two Illuminating Background Uses

One of the most interesting uses of agorazo is found in Isaiah 55:1 where there is an example of "buying" without money:

  • Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

This is an unusual or exceptional use of the term, because normally buying is conveying possession of something from the seller to the buyer in exchange for the purchase price.  However, in this case, there is no price, and yet it is still oddly described as buying.

The other interesting use of agorazo is found in Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians:

  • 1 Corinthians 7:30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, G59 as though they possessed not;

What's particularly interesting about Paul's usage is that through pairs of opposites, Paul is giving us a little further insight into the meaning of the word.  Specifically, Paul writes:

καὶ οἱ κλαίοντες (and who are weeping)

    ὡς μὴ κλαίοντες (as not weeping)

καὶ οἱ χαίροντες (and who are rejoicing)

    ὡς μὴ χαίροντες (as not rejoicing)

καὶ οἱ ἀγοράζοντες (and who are buying)

    ὡς μὴ κατέχοντες (as not possessing)

From Isaiah 55:1 and 1 Corinthians 7:30, it can be seen that the central feature of the verb agorazo is the transfer of possession.  In Isaiah 55, even without a price, it is still "buying."  How so? Because there is still a transfer of possession.  In 1 Corinthians 7:30 the negation of possession (of the thing being bought) is a negation of the buying.  Thus, while both the transfer of payment to the seller and transfer of possession of the purchased thing are components of the commercial transaction, it is the absence of transfer of possession that prevents something from being considered "bought."

In modern-day English, we can sometimes be a bit flexible in our usage, such that we speak of "buying," when we merely mean "paying."  I was unable to find any uses in this more flexible English sense in New Testament or Septuagint Greek (nor did such a meaning show up in the example of the Lexicons).

Thus, it is best to understand agorazo as being a word that is more specific than "obtain" in that it also expresses the way in which the thing "agorazo'ed" was obtained.

2. Redemption in Revelation Uses

In Revelation, there are three uses (in two passages) that appear to be soteriological and are translated with "redemption" language in the KJV. 

  • Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed G59 us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
  • Revelation 14:3-4 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed G59 from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed G59 from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

In this context, the buying is of people (the purchased item) by Jesus (the purchaser) by his blood (the price).  There is no seller in the discussion.  The purchasing is exclusivistic: "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" and "from the earth" and "from among men."  There is every indication that these people are presently possessed by the purchaser.

3. Buying in Paul

Paul uses agorazo twice more (in addition to the illuminating usage above).  In both cases, the purchased items are people.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought G59 with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought G59 with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

It's worthwhile considering each in context.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

In this case, Paul's argument is that fornication is a sin against one's own body, and that this body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.  It's no longer our own.  Why? Because we have been bought by God.  The argument made by Paul here depends on the possession having transferred.  Indeed Paul is explicit: your body and your spirit are "God's" (τοῦ Θεοῦ).

1 Corinthians 6:20 is the last verse of the chapter.  The next usage comes shortly after in the next chapter, on a slightly different issue:

1 Corinthians 7:20-24

Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

In this passage that is so controversial these days, Paul reminds people that the ownership that matters for believers is being the Lord's (κυρίου) or Christ's (Χριστοῦ).  This is linked by Paul to the time of calling.  Thus, the possession of these people is already conveyed to Christ our Lord.  The price is not explained here, though a price is mentioned.

4. Agorazo in 2 Peter 2:1

This bring us to what is arguably the most surprising and unusual usage of the word in the New Testament.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought G59 them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

4A. Bought (Aorist Active Participle) in the Past

The main take-away from the above discussion is that whatever "bought" them here refers to, it is a transfer of possession.  In this case, the transfer of possession is described as a completed past action.  The specific form, ἀγοράσαντα (agorasanta), is an aorist active participle, similar to the past participle "bought" in English.  Given that agorazo is a result verb, we could convey this connotation of the verb by translating it as "obtained for a price."

The people obtained here are the ψευδοδιδάσκαλοι (pseudodidaskaloi), "false teachers."  But who obtained these people?  

4B. Obtained by the Lord or Someone Else?

4B-1. Despotes Semantic Range

The KJV capitalizes "Lord," but of course the original Greek did not make any capitalization distinctions, and δεσπότης (despotes) is not the usual word translated as "Lord" in the New Testament.  

Peter uses despostes to refer to masters (i.e. slave owners) 

  • 1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters (τοῖς δεσπόταις) with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

This same sense is also used by Paul:

  • 1 Timothy 6:1-2 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
  • Titus 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;

Similarly, the Septuagint uses the word this way in Proverbs 17:2, 22:7, and 30:10. 

However, while it is less frequent than κύριος (kyrios), despotes is sometimes use of the Lord. This is sometimes in a more or less explicit Master/Slave metaphor:

  • Luke 2:29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 
  • Acts 4:24-25 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
  • 2Ti 2:21&24 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. ... And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  
  • Jude 1-4 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Revelation 6:10-11 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

There is also similar usage in Septuagint Joshua 5:14.  The term is sometimes used of the Lord without any other contextual clue of the Master/Servant relation between the Lord and the person, such as Septuagint Genesis 15:2&8 or Isaiah 1:24 (there are other examples as well).

An interesting use is Septuagint Proverbs 36:25 (partly corresponding to Masoretic Proverbs 29:25) in which the seventy provide a parallel between kyrios and despotes, which suggests a semantic similarity between the words: 

  • φοβηθέντες καὶ αἰσχυνθέντες ἀνθρώπους ὑπεσκελίσθησαν (Fearing and being ashamed, they were tripped up by men,)
    • ὁ δὲ πεποιθὼς ἐπὶ κύριον εὐφρανθήσεται (but the one having trusted in the Lord will be made joyful)
  • ἀσέβεια ἀνδρὶ δίδωσιν σφάλμα (ungodliness gives a man stumbling,)
    • ὃς δὲ πέποιθεν ἐπὶ τῷ δεσπότῃ σωθήσεται (but he who has trusted in the Master will be saved)

Thus, it would be a mistake to say that this word despotes cannot refer to God, simply because it is not kyrios.

4B-1. Despotes Applicability to the "Bought" Metaphor

In the first century, human beings were bought into (and out of) slavery.  While we may be disturbed by this practice, as noted above the Holy Spirit and the Septuagint translators were comfortable with portraying God as our Master and us as his Servants.

Within this metaphor, it makes sense for the Despostes to be the purchaser of his servants.  Indeed, the text explicitly says τὸν ἀγοράσαντα αὐτοὺς δεσπότην (ton agorasanta autous despoten) "the (bought them) master".  So, there is not doubt that the master (despostes) is the one who obtained them.

4B-2. Despotes in Jude

There is a lot of similarity between Jude and 2 Peter 2.  In fact, the similarity has led to an enormous amount of speculation about which was written first and whether one draws from another, or whether both draw from some previously circulating tract against false teachers.

In this case, Jude 1-4 states:

Jude 1-4 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

The first question is whether Jude 4 and 2 Peter 2:1 are talking about the same people (i.e. are Peter's "false teachers" the same as Jude's "ungodly" men?) or two different groups.  The second question is whether these two verses are talking about denying the same master or a different master (i.e. is Peter referring to the same despostes as Jude?).  The third question is whether they are denying in the same sense (i.e. there can be different senses and ways of denying a master).

The easiest aspect of this to resolve is that Jude is referring to Jesus Christ as the despostes.  This is clear from Jude calling himself "servant" of his physical brother Jesus, as well as from the Granville-Sharpe construction units "Despostes God" with "Kyrios Jesus Christ," as referring to the same person.

The similarities between 2 Peter 2:1 and Jude 4 are these:

2 Peter 2:1 Ἐγένοντο δὲ καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται ἐν τῷ λαῷ ὡς καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἔσονται ψευδοδιδάσκαλοι οἵτινες παρεισάξουσιν αἱρέσεις ἀπωλείας καὶ τὸν ἀγοράσαντα αὐτοὺς δεσπότην ἀρνούμενοι ἐπάγοντες ἑαυτοῖς ταχινὴν ἀπώλειαν

Jude 4 παρεισέδυσαν γάρ τινες ἄνθρωποι οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα ἀσεβεῖς τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν χάριν μετατιθέντες εἰς ἀσέλγειαν καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην Θεόν, καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι

In other words, the two same Greek words are "denying the master."  In itself that's a slender straw on which to hang the idea that these are talking about the same group. Moreover, there are other reasons to distinguish the groups:

  1. 2 Peter speaks of future false teachers, and the ungodly men of Jude have already crept in unawares.
  2. Jude's men are murmurers and complainers who have men's persons in admiration because of advantage, which seem to describe underlings.  By contrast, Peter's false teachers seem to have a leadership position.

Of course, we cannot rule out that Jude and Peter are writing about the same group at different stages of the process.  Moreover, there are similarities.

  1. Most significant to our discussion they both deny a despostes.
  2. They both are on the sly ("privily shall bring in ..." and "crept in unawares")
  3. They both speak "great swelling" words.
  4. They are both lascivious.

If we understand Jude to be speaking of the same group and in the same way as Peter, the answer is that the people were bought by the Lord Jesus Christ.  However, even if Jude and Peter are talking about different groups, that does not automatically tell us that Master in question is not Jesus in 2 Peter 2:1.

4B-3. Despotes / Douli in 2 Peter 2

We have seen that Master (despotes) is often connected with a Master/Servant metaphor (or even a literal master/servant relationship), and Master/Servant relationship is the most natural explanation for ἀγοράσαντα (agoransanta) "bought" in the context.

Whose servants are the false teachers?  It is easy to interpret them as servants of Christ, at least outwardly, as they are false teachers who are secretly introducing error "among you" as the false prophets did "among the people."  Moreover, as mentioned above, sometimes Christ is called Master and the Master/Servant metaphor is applied to him.  So, one option is that these men are servants of Christ.  

On the other hand, the text is explicit:

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

These false teachers are the servants (δοῦλοι douloi) of corruption (φθορᾶς phthoras).  Peter had earlier in this same chapter connected these false teachers to this corruption:

2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed (φθοράν phthoran), speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption (φθορᾷ phthora); 

Moreover, this state of corruption is what believers are promised that they will escape:

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption (φθορᾶς phthoras) that is in the world through lust.

Notice that this corruption is something from which we who trust in Christ escape (ἀποφυγόντες  apophugontes "having escaped"). 

Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, which Peter elsewhere in this letter alludes to (cf. 2 Peter 3:15-16 and Romans 2:4) speaks of the same concept of the bondage of corruption:

Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (τῆς δουλείας τῆς φθορᾶς tis douleias tis phthoras) into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Moreover, the gospel tells us that no one can serve two masters:

  • Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
  • Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

So, it seems inconsistent to say that these men are the servants of Christ or that he is their Lord who bought them.

5. Alternative Explanations

Given the above, what are the remaining explanations:

5A. The Master who bought them is Sin/Corruption/Satan

If this is the case, the biggest challenge is that the price element of buying has no clear correspondence, although the text does mention "the wages of unrighteousness" (2 Peter 2:15).  The usual way that people are said to be taken by sin is by a snare or the like, which the wages would seem to work as in this instance.  Nevertheless, the master/slave relationship is there in Scripture, and is not only found in 2 Peter (as mentioned above) but also in Romans, which Peter was familiar with:

Romans 6:15-19

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Granted there is no "price" that sin pays.  Nevertheless, if the key aspect of buying is the transfer of possession, then that is certainly present.

Under this explanation, "denying the master that bought them," fits well with the preceding and following context in which these false teachers are pretending to be part of us.

  • "there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies" (vs. 1)
  • "many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of" (vs. 2)
  • "Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;" (vs. 13)
  • "they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error." (vs. 18)

You may recall that Peter denied being a disciple of Christ.  In an opposite way, these people affirm being disciples of Christ, while they are actually servants of corruption.  This is one relative strength of this position, because these people are repeatedly described as deceptive and what 

5B. Peter refers to Christ as their Master, although He is not

The biggest challenge to this view is that while Peter attaches "pseudo" to their status as teachers, he does not similarly add an explicit disqualification to their being bought by Christ.  In other words, the question is whether Peter can reasonably describe these false teachers in terms of their profession (as distinct from the reality), and expect the reader to understand this from the context of them being "among you" and being false teachers, with reference to their "feigned words" (vs. 3) and "their own deceivings" (vs. 13) who are "beguiling unstable souls" (vs. 14).  These same folks also "speak great swelling [words] of vanity" (vs. 18) and deliver the opposite of what they promise (vs. 19).

There are at least two sub-divisions of this option:

5B-1. Peter refers to them Ironically/Charitably According to their Profession

In other words, Peter means that they say that the Lord bought them, yet they deny him.  After all, if they are denying being the servants of sin, the denial is straightforward.  However, if they deny as Peter did, how can they be among us, etc.?

The solution here may be that the denial is not so much verbal as ethical.  Peter's triple denial is an example of a verbal denial.  The denial of touching Jesus by the woman with an issue of blood was a verbal denial.  John the Baptist's denial of being the Christ was a truthful verbal denial. Likewise the denial of Jesus as the Christ described in 1 John 2:22 is a verbal denial.

Nevertheless, ethical denial is also possible. For example:

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

This kind of denial, particularly that of 2 Timothy 3:5 is particular applicable here.  Recall that passage:

2 Timothy 3:1-9

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Notice that these men identified by Paul have some similarities with those described by Peter, including the characteristic of being covetous and of deceiving people, and leading them into fornication, and the comparison of them to the opponents of Moses.  Especially notice how Paul speaks of a future situation as does Peter.

These have a "form of godliness," but Paul does not have to say "pseudo-godliness" for to understand that their form of godliness is not true godliness.

Likewise, although the "way of truth" is evil spoken of because of the false teachers, Peter does not have to explicitly state that the way of these false teachers is not actually the way of truth, but is instead a distortion of it.

In each of these cases Peter and Paul are speaking as to the profession of the people, not as to whether their profession is true.

5B-2. Peter speaks of them only as to their previous moral reformation

At the end of the chapter, Peter provides a warning regarding these false teachers:

2 Peter 2:18-22

For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Notice that the biographic arc of these people is that they had been in the pollutions of the world, they had escaped them, and then become entangled again. Peter says that for such people, they are worse for having been temporarily reformed.  

Considering that Peter says that their last state is worse than their initial state, this seems to rule out any kind of a "Free Grace Theology" style conversion followed by a relapse.  It also seems to rule out a temporary backsliding of an elect person for the same reason.

They had an ephemeral knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but they were not saved by Him.  In this way, there may even be some parallel to the discussion of Jude, which describes the people of Israel thus:

Jude 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

There was a kind of ephemeral salvation from Egypt, followed by destruction in the wilderness, of the entire generation from 20 years old and up, except for Joshua and Caleb.  

While the Septuagint may not speak of Christ as having "purchased" the people from Egypt using this identical Greek word, he is described as having brought them out of Egypt, and there is a kind of redemption associated with that.  

Moreover, the KJV has:

  • Exodus 15:16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.
  • Psalm 74:2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

This purchase of the people of Israel, particularly in light of Jude's reference to the salvation from Egypt and Peter's reference to the people who were entangled by Balaam in the wilderness, provides a model from a kind of purchase or salvation that is not unto eternal life.

6. Additional "Purchased" Thoughts

An additional buying word that is connected with Christ and his people is the word περιποιέω ("peripoieo").  This can mean something like to "get for oneself" or to "reserve for oneself" or the like.

  • Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased (περιεποιήσατο periepoiesato to "to make to remain for oneself") with his own blood.
  • Ephesians 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession (τῆς περιποιήσεως is peripoieseos), unto the praise of his glory.

This concept of being purchased is nearly balanced in its relevance to the preceding discussion.  On the one hand, the church is uniquely said to be purchased with Christ's blood.  Thus, anyone who is a member of the church can be characterized as being purchased with his blood in the sense of being obtained for Christ himself or reserved for Christ himself.  That strong sense is what is in mind in Ephesians.  On the other hand, there are those in the church that do not belong there, because they are not "of us" as described in 1 John.  Thus, the visible church is a mixed multitude, and people who are in the church may be described using the language appropriate to the church, when speaking as to the outward appearance or their profession

Perhaps, then, the false teachers can be described as "bought" or "purchased" in that they are part of  the visible church. 

7. The "Kai" Connection

The phrase "denying the Master that bought them" is introduced with the copulative kai.  This word is translated as "even" in many translations, and that sense makes sense.  Thus, whatever explanation we give for "denying the Master that bought them," it should be linked with what comes before namely "who privily shall bring in damnable heresies."

This works well if they are concealing their allegiance to corruption, although it also works well if they are denying the Lord as master by serving corruption.



Plain NT uses:  

  • Matthew 14:15  And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy G59 themselves victuals.
  • Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought G59 in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
  • Matthew 27:7 And they took counsel, and bought G59 with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
  • Mark 6:36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy G59 themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
  • Mark 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy G59 two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
  • Mark 11:15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought G59 in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
  • Mark 15:46 And he bought G59 fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
  • Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought G59 sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
  • Luke 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy G59 meat for all this people.
  • Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, G59 they sold, they planted, they builded;
  • Luke 19:45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; G59
  • Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy G59 one.
  • John 4:8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy G59 meat.)
  • John 6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy G59 bread, that these may eat?
  • Jhn 13:29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy G59 those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
Plain NT uses within parables:

  • Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth G59 that field.
  • Matthew 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought G59 it.
  • Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy G59 for yourselves.
  • Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, G59 the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
  • Luke 14:18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought G59 a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
  • Luke 14:19 And another said, I have bought G59 five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

Septuagint uses surrounding Joseph and the market for corn/food during his time under the Pharoah:

  • Genesis 41:57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.
  • Genesis 42:5 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
  • Genesis 42:7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.
  • Genesis 43:4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
  • Genesis 43:22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.
  • Genesis 44:25 And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food.
  • Genesis 47:14 And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.

Various references to other commercial purchases in the Septuagint:

  • Deuteronomy 2:6 Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.
  • 1 Chronicles 21:24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
  • 2 Chronicles 1:16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
  • 2 Chronicles 34:11 Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
  • Nehemiah 10:31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
  • Isaiah 24:2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.
  • Jeremiah 37:12 Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to separate himself thence in the midst of the people. (Septuagint has "to buy from there [land] in the midst of the people.")
Revelation uses in (at least in the literal sense) an ordinary sense:

  • Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy G59 of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
  • Revelation 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth G59 their merchandise any more:
  • Revelation 13:17 And that no man might buy G59 or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

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