hUIOQESIA (Eph 1:5, etc.)

From: Randy Leedy (
Date: Mon Jan 17 2000 - 14:45:22 EST

In my circles, it is fairly common for "adoption" (hUIOQESIA) to be
explained along lines other than one's taking as his own son someone
born to another. Since Romans 8 equates "adoption" with "the
redemption of the body," adoption is viewed as restricted to the
believer's final glorification rather than something associated with
his regeneration. I have heard it said that the Roman custom of
adoption involved the entry of a son into the fullness of the family
privileges upon his reaching adulthood. This view is theologically
significant in that it allows a strict insistence on the believer's
being BORN, not adopted, into God's family, adoption then being
something reserved for naturally born children.

I don't see this viewpoint reflected in the several commentaries I
have consulted on Eph. 1:5 and Rom. 8:23, and, furthermore, I see from
minimal searching for the word "adoption" in the Fathers that
Augustine treats it as a man's taking as his own son one born to

If anyone knows anything about the origin of this view or where I
might find it presented in print with historical support, I'd
appreciate knowing it. Perhaps I should be more specific, to forestall
unnecessary replies. I am adequately acquainted with some points of
discussion regarding adoption: whether it is present or future;
whether it is Jewish or Graeco-Roman. What I'm inquiring about here is
this idea that there existed such a Roman custom as I described above.
Does hUIOQESIA (or a Latin equivalent) ever demonstrably refer to such
a thing?

If it's not too much trouble, I'd appreciate being cc'ed on any
replies, since I get the list only in digest form.

Blessings in Christ (Acts 3:26)!

Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University

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