Jeffrey B. Gibson jgibson000 at mailhost.chi.ameritech.net
Fri Jul 30 10:11:08 EDT 1999

Jonathan Robie wrote:

> I am not sure that I have grasped the aspect of PEIRASQEIS in combination
> with the perfect verb PEPONQEN, and I am not sure what the force of
> PEIRASMOS is in this context. PEPONQEN is pretty clear here, but does
> PEIRASQEIS mean "having been tempted" in this context, e.g. "he has
> suffered, having been tempted"? I assume that the event time of PEIRASQEIS
> is the same as that of PEPONQEN, so that the suffering and testing occured
> at the same time, that the perfect focuses on the resulting state, and that
> PEIRASQEIS focuses on the time of the testing itself? Is the function of
> the phrase to bring out both the state of having been tested and the time
> of testing/temptation, saying that both knowing what it is to be tested and
> having made it through are reasons that Jesus can help those of us who are
> tested?

I think it might be important when attempting to answer the questions Jonathan raised
to first be clear what the referent of PASXW (PEPONQEN) is. That is to say, to
determine the relationship between the the suffering and the testing mentioned here,
we need to determine what suffering(s) of Jesus the author of Hebrews had in mind..

A side note. Burton in his _Moods and Tenses_, p. 433, regards PEIRASQEIS as an
adverbial participle of means and renders the expression "he himself has suffered by
being tested". Don't know if I buy that.

But in any case, I will stand firm on the point that Heb. 2:18 has nothing to do with
Jesus experiencing the general "temptations" i.e., enticements, that all flesh is
heir to, or that we find here a statement that is concerned to say that Jesus has
experienced every temptation that **anyone** can or has experienced. As the context
and the echo of 2:18 in 4:15 shows, the intent of the author of Hebrews is to assert
that Jesus has been tested over **the specific issue** which the readers of Hebrews
were facing and which provoked the author of Hebrews to write to them.  And this does
not involves the readers chance experience of the vicissitudes of  the human
condition,  but their having been confronted with the possibility that their way of
following God and living out the "confession" to which they had committed themselves
was NOT the way of God. In other words, the issue is apostasy.


Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626
e-mail jgibson000 at ameritech.net

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