Did God pay a “ransom” to the devil in order to redeem mankind?

We know that as a result of Adam’s Fall, all of mankind became permanently enslaved to Satan, sin and death, and without divine intervention, it would always be so.

But there seems to be a significant difference of opinion between Protestants and Catholics as to precisely what price Jesus paid for our redemption, and to whom.

Much of that difference is due to the particular translation found in the King James Bible, where the word “ransom” replaces the word “redemption”.

To put it very simply, the devil has never been known for honest dealing. Anyone who believes that God would enter into a ransom deal with the evil “Prince of this World” in order to redeem mankind, doesn’t understand the eternal realities of things.

Satan would never have “held up” his end of the deal!

There’s no doubt that Jesus paid a heavy price for our redemption … but that price was paid to God the Father … NOT to the devil … since in his divinity and his sinless, innocent humanity, every moment of Jesus’ earthly existence, every drop of blood he ever shed, every slight and/or injustice he ever bore, including his passion and death … served to honor God the Father, atone for the sins of mankind, and subsequently, turn aside God’s not inconsiderable (and totally justifiable) wrath.

Living for over thirty years in a putrid little “backwater” of a town in 1st century, Roman occupied Palestine wasn’t exactly Heaven, either!

As the undisputed “Prince of this World” … Satan knew that he could do whatever he wished with sinners … for over them, he was given the ultimate power of death. But that power didn’t apply to anyone who did not (or in Jesus’ case, could not) commit sin.

So, for illicitly orchestrating the totally unjust crucifixion of the sinless Son of God, Satan deserved only punishment … and he got it … losing everything he had earlier gained from Adam’s Fall.

All power in Heaven and on Earth was subsequently awarded to the risen Jesus, and with his Father’s complete approval, Jesus promptly and mercifully extended the grace of salvation to all men, through his Church. The offer is still available!

Saint Anselm of Canterbury explains it:

“God demanded that man should conquer the devil, so that he who had offended by sin should atone by holiness.”

“God owed nothing to the devil but punishment, so man must only makes amends (to God) by conquering the devil, as man had already been conquered by him.”

“Whatever was demanded of man, he owed only to God, and not to the devil.”

Fully God and fully man, perfect in every way, Jesus successfully accomplished all of this and more … and he did it without giving Satan anything at all!