[B-Greek] Hebrews 9:28

Leonard Jayawardena leonardj at live.com
Fri Oct 9 07:46:23 EDT 2009


Hebrews 9:28: hOUTWS KAI hO CRISTOS hAPAX PROSNECQEIS EIS TO POLLWN ANENEGKEIN hAMARTIAS, EK DEUTEROU CWRIS hAMARTIAS OFQHSETAI TOIS AUTON APEKDECOMENOIS EIS SWTHRIAN.

Is it possible to understand CWRIS hMARTiAS as describing the state of those who wait for Christ while taking these words as an adverbial modifying hORAW? The sense is "So also christ, having been offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin (on the part of those who wait for him) to those who are waiting for him unto salvation?

I am still not satisfied with the translation of CWRIS hMARTiAS as "without reference to sin," "not to deal with sin," "not to bear sin," etc., as often done in Bible translations, which seems to me, in view of the usage of CWRIS in the NT as a preposition, to be too much of an ad hoc translation. As I pointed out in my earlier post, CWRIS hMARTiAS occurs in 4:15 in relation to Christ and there clearly refers to the absence of sin in Christ. The use of CWRIS elsewhere in Hebrews, too, involves the idea of absence and that is the sense of this word in the NT generally when used as a preposition. Therefore the normal sense of this word would seem require the translation in Hebrews 9:28 either that Christ will appear a second time without sin or that those who wait for him are without sin when he appears to them. In short, when Christ appears, either he is without sin or those to whom he appears are without sin.

My proposed interpretation seems to be supported by the usage of CWRIS in the following passages:

(1) Romans 3:28: LOGIZOMEQA GAR DIKAIOUSQAI PISTEI ANQRWPON CWRIS ERGWN NOMOU.

(2) Romans: 4:6: ... DAVID LEGEI TON MAKARISMON TOU ANQRWPOU hW hO QEOS LOGIZETAI DIKAIOSUNHN CWRIS ERGWN.

Note that in (1) above, a man is justified by faith apart from works of law on his part. We can turn this into active voice and say "God justifies a man by faith without works of law (on the man's part)." In (2) above, God reckons righteousness to a man without works (on his part).

In both cases, although the doer of the action described in the verbs is God, the adverbials CWRIS ERGWN NOMOU and CWRIS ERGWN describe the condition or state of the ones who receive the action of the verb. Similarly, in Hebrews 9:28, "Christ once having been offered to take away the sins of many, for a second time, without sin (on the part of those who wait for him) appears to those who are eagerly waiting for him unto salvation."

Any comments?


Leonard Jayawardena 		 	   		  
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