In Galatians 4:5 and 6, we read :
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. [KJV.]
'Υιοθεσια is rendered here 'adoption' as it is also rendered by the KJV on the four other occasions it occurs in Romans 8:15, Romans 8:23, Romans 9:4 and Ephesians 1:5.
My concern is with the concept of 'adoption' which, when used naturally, refers to taking another person's son and administratively assuming responsibility for that other person's son so that, legally and administratively, the son is perceived as one's own.
My thousand page Liddel & Scott (Amercian Edition 1864) has a word listed :
'υιοτες the state of a son (sonship) Eccl
The Eccl appears to mean that it is an ecclesiastical quotation but no more detail is given. So, presumably, 'Υιοθεσια cannot mean - precisely - sonship as such, if another word conveys that meaning.
But as to 'υιοθεσια, Liddel & Scott (Amer 1864) says it is :
adoption as a son (N.T.)
But the only reference to its etymology or usage is the above 'N.T.' reference.
Thayer says that Θετος υιος/Θετος παις means 'adopted son' and gives Pindar and Heroditus as references.
Then Liddel & Scott (Amer 1864) also gives 'Υιοποιεσις as 'adopt as a son' with the reference Polybius.
- Pindar, Heroditus and Polybius are referenced speaking of adoption . . .
. . . but not using the word 'Υιοθεσια.
L&S only reference the NT in connection with the word 'Υιοθεσια.
and 'sonship' is given as 'υιοτες
Is there, therefore, a special NT (or rather Pauline) meaning to 'Υιοθεσια that is neither precisely 'sonship' nor the administrative situation of adoption ?