A Ransom for "Many" or a Ransom for "All"?

Let us first take a look at the verse which says that the Lord Jesus died as a ransom for "many":

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for (anti) many" (Mt.20:28).

The Greek word "anti" means "instead of." The following verse is a good example that illustrates that usage:

"If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for (anti) a fish give him a serpent?" (Lk.11:11).

To paraphrase, "...if he ask for a fish, will he, instead of a fish, give him a serpent?"

We can also see the same meaning in the Greek version of the Old Testament:

"And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead (anti), who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?" (Gen.30:2; LXX).

"Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of (anti) the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren" (Gen.44:33; LXX).

Now let us look at the following verse which speaks of the Lord Jesus giving Himself a ransom for all men:

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;Who gave himself a ransom for (hyper) all, to be testified in due time" (1 Tim.2:6).

Here the Greek word "hyper" means "on behalf of." here is a verse that illustrates that meaning:

"Ye also helping together by prayer for (hyper) us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf" (2 Cor.1:11).

To paraphrase, Paul is saying that the "prayers of the believers in the churches at Corinth are said 'on behalf of" Paul and his co-workers."

Here are some more verses which use the Greek word hyper:

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for (hyper) our sins according to the scriptures" (1 Cor.15:3).

Christ died on behalf of our sins.

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for (hyper) the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Pet.3:18).

The Just suffered for sins on behalf of the unjust.

That explains the difference between the verse which speaks of the Lord Jesus dying as a ransom for "many" as opposed to the one which speak of Him dying as a ransom for "all."

In His grace,
Jerry

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