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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Free, Freedom, Freely, Freeman, Freedman, Freewoman

A — 1: ἐλεύθερος

(Strong's #1658 — Adjective — eleutheros — el-yoo'-ther-os )

primarily of "freedom to go wherever one likes," is used (a) of "freedom from restraint and obligation" in general, Matthew 17:26; Romans 7:3; 1 Corinthians 7:39 , RV, "free," of the second marriage of a woman; 9:1,19; 1 Peter 2:16 , from the Law, Galatians 4:26; from sin, John 8:36; with regard to righteousness, Romans 6:20 (i.e., righteousness laid no sort of bond upon them, they had no relation to it); (b) in a civil sense, "free" from bondage or slavery, John 8:33; 1 Corinthians 7:21,22,2 nd part (for ver. 22,1st part, see C, No. 2); 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 6:8; Revelation 13:16; 19:18; as a noun, "freeman," Colossians 3:11 , RV; Revelation 6:15; "freewoman," Galatians 4:22,23,30,31 . RV.

Notes: (1) In Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:11 , the words "he shall be free," AV, have nothing to represent them in the Greek. (2) In Hebrews 13:5 , RV, "be ye free from the love of money," is an abbreviated rendering of the adjective aphilarguros ("not loving money") with the noun tropos, "turn (of mind);" hence the marg., "let your turn of mind be free, etc.," for AV, "let your conversation be without covetousness."

B — 1: ἐλευθερόω

(Strong's #1659 — Verb — eleutheroo — el-yoo-ther-o'-o )

"to make free" (akin to A), is used of deliverance from (a) sin, John 8:32,36; Romans 6:18,22; (b) the Law, Romans 8:2; Galatians 5:1 (see, however, under C); (c) the bondage of corruption, Romans 8:21 . See DELIVER.

Note: In Romans 6:7 , the verb dikaioo, translated "is freed," signifies "to justify," as in the RV, "is justified," i.e., in the legal sense; death annuls all obligations. The death penalty which Christ endured holds good for the believer, through his identification with Christ in His death; having been crucified as to his unregenerate nature, and justified from sin, he walks in newness of life in Christ.

C — 1: ἐλευθερία

(Strong's #1657 — Noun Feminine — eleutheria — el-yoo-ther-ee'-ah )

"liberty" (akin to A and B), is rendered "freedom" in Galatians 5:1 , "with freedom did Christ set us free." The combination of the noun with the verb stresses the completeness of the act, the aorist (or point) tense indicating both its momentary and comprehensive character; it was done once for all. The RV margin "for freedom" gives perhaps the preferable meaning, i.e., "not to bring us into another form of bondage did Christ liberate us from that in which we were born, but in order to make us free from bondage."

The word is twice rendered "freedom" in the RV of Galatians 5:13 (AV, "liberty"). The phraseology is that of manumission from slavery, which among the Greeks was effected by a legal fiction, according to which the manumitted slave was purchased by a god; as the slave could not provide the money, the master paid it into the temple treasury in the presence of the slave, a document being drawn up containing the words "for freedom." No one could enslave him again, as he was the property of the god. Hence the word apeleutheros, No. 2. The word is also translated "freedom" in 1 Peter 2:16 , RV. In 2 Corinthians 3:17 the word denotes "freedom" of access to the presence of God. See LIBERTY.

C — 2: ἀπελεύθερος

(Strong's #558 — Noun Masculine — apeleutheros — ap-el-yoo'-ther-os )

"a freed man" (apo, "from," and A), is used in 1 Corinthians 7:22 , "the Lord's freedman." See the illustration above under No. 1. Here the fuller word brings out the spiritual emancipation in contrast to the natural "freedman."

Note: (1) In Acts 22:28 , the word politeia, rendered "freedom" (AV), denotes citizenship, as in the RV (see CITIZENSHIP); in the next sentence the Greek is, lit., "But I was even born;" the necessary word to be supplied is "Roman," from the previous verse; hence the RV, "But I am a Roman born." (2) For "free gift" (charisma), Romans 5:15,16; 6:23 , see GIFT.

D — 1: δωρεάν

(Strong's #1432 — Adjective — dorean — do-reh-an' )

from dorea, "a gift," is used as an adverb in the sense "freely," in Matthew 10:8; Romans 3:24; 2 Corinthians 11:7 (RV, "for nought"); Revelation 21:6; 22:17 . Here the prominent thought is the grace of the Giver. See CAUSE.

Notes: (1) In Acts 26:26 parrhesiazomai, "to be bold in speech," is translated, "to speak freely." (2) In Acts 2:29 the noun parrhesia with the preposition meta, "with," is rendered "freely," lit., "with free-spokenness." (3) For charizomai, "to give freely," Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 2:12 , see GIVE. (4) In 2 Thessalonians 3:1 , AV, the verb trecho, "to run," is rendered "may have free course;" this the RV corrects to "may run." (5) For charitoo, "to bestow freely," Ephesians 1:6 , see ACCEPT , Note. (6) For "have drunk freely," John 2:10 , RV, see DRINK , B, No. 2.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Free, Freedom, Freely, Freeman, Freedman, Freewoman'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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