[B-Greek] hUPOSTASIS Hebrews 3:14
cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu Jan 10 15:35:12 EST 2008
On Jan 10, 2008, at 2:32 PM, Michael Abernathy wrote:
> I note that most translations interpret hUPOSTASEWS in Hebrews 3:14 to
> mean something along the line of confidence.
> ἐάνπερ τὴν ἀρχὴν τη̂ς ὑποστάσεως
> μέχρι τέλους βεβαίαν κατάσχωμεν
> EANPER THN ARCHN THS hUPOSTASEWS MEXRI TELOUS BEBAIAN KATASXWMEN
> Is there any reason that this could not be understood to mean
> along the line of,
> "If we hold firmly to the end the beginning of existence" referring to
> Jesus as the creator.
> Since the two concepts are found in Hebrews 1:1-2, in connection with
> hUPOSTASIS, it seems to me like the author may be continuing the
> same idea.
In 1:3 hUPOSTASIS is used in an Aristotelian sense of "essential
substance" -- that which underlies all attributes that may inhere in
something at different times and under different circumstances. Here
in 3:14 the sense is rather like that in Heb. 11:1 Ἔστιν δὲ
πίστις ἐλπιζομένων ὑπόστασις,
πραγμάτων ἔλεγχος οὐ βλεπομένων. [ESTIN
DE PISTIS ELPIZOMENWN hUPOSTASIS, PRAGMATWN ELEGCOS OU BLEPOMENWN]
hUPOSTASIS here has the sense "basis" -- what we rely upon. While I
wouldn't ordinarily appeal to etymology, the elements are evident
there: "what one stands upon." The adjective BEBAIAN reinforces the
sense, I think, BEBAIOS is commonly associated with what is "rock
solid" or "unshakable" or "secure."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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