[B-Greek] Hebrews 12:2
hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 22 15:23:33 EDT 2007
> I have a question on Heb 12:2:
> hOS ANTI THS PROKEIMENHS AUTW CARAS hUPEMEINEN STAURON
> In all English versions I see about the same translation of this phrase:
> "who for the joy set before Him endured the cross" (NASB). NLT even has "He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward".
> As I undersand, in the Greek text ANTI expresses the idea of the genetive of price, same as in Heb 12:16 about Esau selling his birthright FOR meal. Can anybody explain me, why all translators into English understand it as Jesus paid the price of His suffering to obtain joy afterword, and not as Jesus suffered on the cross INSTEAD OF having the joy He might have otherwise? That would be the same idea as with Moses in Heb 11 who preferred suffering with G-d's people instead of having pleasure with Egyptians, or in Phil 2:5-11 about Jesus who emptied Himself being obedient even to the point of the cross.
> BTW, two Russian translations have INSTEAD OF for ANTI.
HH: The Greek lexicon BAGD, under ANTI, gives both interpretations for
Heb 12:2. They say that the issue hinges on the meaning of PROKEIMAI. If
the verb means "set before" in the sense of "within his grasp," then
ANTI would suggest "instead of." If the verb means "set before" in terms
of a goal or destination that "is in prospect," then ANTI would imply
"for." The lexicon favors the later meaning (goal) for the verb
PROKEIMAI in nearby Heb 12:1, but favors the first alternative for
PROKEIMAI at Heb 6:18 (be present). I find the distinctions they are
making with PROKEIMAI could go the other way, since the hope in 6:18
seems a goal, and the struggle or race in 12:1 could simply be a reality
they face, something that is present. So I think the context in Hebrews
12 must be determinative.
There is a word play between PERIKEIMAI and PROKEIMAI in Heb 12:1. There
are witnesses set around believers as examples so that they might run
with endurance the race set before them. The fact that Jesus is given as
the supreme example suggests that he also ran a race with a goal set
before him. His goal would seem to be the joy set before him. Jesus, the
author and perfecter of our faith, demonstrated his faith by keeping his
eyes on the goal while he endured the cross. Likewise we can keep our
eyes on the cloud of witnesses we have, including Jesus, as we run our
race with similar endurance (there is wordplay is between the noun
"endurance" referring to believers in verse 1 and the verb "endure" in
verse 2 referring to Jesus). The text continues with this theme of the
need for endurance like Jesus in verses 3 and 7. The idea of "joy" comes
up again in verse 11, where present divine discipline does not seem to
involve "joy," but the writer implies that the outcome of
"righteousness" will bring it.
So I agree that ANTI is probably better as "for" than as "instead of."
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