Heb 1:1-3

Well, it looks like the Forums are finally back up and running (but not a lot of people know that yet!). I thought I would post the following just to get things going again in Biblical languages.


Hebrews 1:1-4

An Exegetical Exploration

Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις 2 ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ, ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι’ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας· 3 ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, 4 τοσούτῳ κρείττων γενόμενος τῶν ἀγγέλων ὅσῳ διαφορώτερον παρ’ αὐτοὺς κεκληρονόμηκεν ὄνομα.

Heb 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. Heb 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Heb 1:4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. [ESV]

Introductory Statement

Hebrews opens with the theme of the revelation (λαλήσας, ἐλάλησεν) of God’s redemptive purposes in their eschatological fulfillment (ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων) in the Son (ἐν υἱῷ). The central motif is the contrast between the old covenant (πάλαι… τοῖς προφήταις) and the New Covenant fulfilment in Christ, the latter being clearly superior (κρείττων, διαφορώτερον) to the former. Throughout Hebrews, this contrast will be described extensively in several ways, but in the first chapter it is the superiority of the Son as the revelator Dei versus the “shadows and types” of the OT prophets.

Grammatical and Stylistic considerations

While questions of punctuation are necessarily interpretative, from the modern perspective Heb 1:1-4 is one sentence. The main verb is ἐλάλησεν in vs. 2. The former λαλήσας is in fact an aorist participle clearly in this context marking antecedent action. ὃν in vs. 2 begins three relative clauses which describe the Son in terms of his nature (ὢν) and work (φέρων, ποιησάμενος). With exception of ἐκάθισεν and κεκληρονόμηκεν, all the verbs translated idiomatically as finite verbs in the ESV above are in fact participles, the precise nature of which will be discussed below.

The balanced nature of the clauses (as roughly equal in length) and the heavy use of participles (compared to the paratactic style of most NT writings) marks this sentence as periodic in the classical Greek rhetorical style. This rhetorical effect is heightened by the use of anaphora (ὅν, δι’ οὗ [and not the elided form of διά, common in classical Greek, but not the Koine of the NT], and ὅς). Another rhetorical feature employed by the writer is asyndeton. Each of the clauses has no conjunction joining it to the previous clause. The overall effect of these devices is to highlight the unity of the thought and to communicate the ideas in a particularly vivid and powerful way, the perfect introduction to the lofty themes the writer wishes to discuss throughout his treatise. [For definitions and examples of these rhetorical devices, see the Silva Rhetoricaewebsite (http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm).]

Exegesis Proper

The writer begins by describing the varied nature of the Old Covenant revelation (Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως), most likely considering the different prophets and possibly the different literary genres used to express that revelation. This is in contrast to the revelation in the Son. The suggestion between the “one and the many” here suggest the authoritative and final nature of the Son’s revelation. The ESV above correctly captures the perfective nuance of ἐλάλησεν, “has spoken.” The aorist may sometimes be translated idiomatically by the English perfect, where the action is clearly completed. This contrast, and the finality of the revelation in the Son, is also emphasized by the chronological, or better, eschatological reference, “long ago” (πάλαι) vs. “in these last days” (ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων).

The relative clauses then describe the work and nature of the Son, and this description answers the question as to why the Son is the superior and final revelation of God.
 

civic

Active member
Well, it looks like the Forums are finally back up and running (but not a lot of people know that yet!). I thought I would post the following just to get things going again in Biblical languages.


Hebrews 1:1-4

An Exegetical Exploration

Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις 2 ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ, ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι’ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας· 3 ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, 4 τοσούτῳ κρείττων γενόμενος τῶν ἀγγέλων ὅσῳ διαφορώτερον παρ’ αὐτοὺς κεκληρονόμηκεν ὄνομα.

Heb 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. Heb 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Heb 1:4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. [ESV]

Introductory Statement

Hebrews opens with the theme of the revelation (λαλήσας, ἐλάλησεν) of God’s redemptive purposes in their eschatological fulfillment (ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων) in the Son (ἐν υἱῷ). The central motif is the contrast between the old covenant (πάλαι… τοῖς προφήταις) and the New Covenant fulfilment in Christ, the latter being clearly superior (κρείττων, διαφορώτερον) to the former. Throughout Hebrews, this contrast will be described extensively in several ways, but in the first chapter it is the superiority of the Son as the revelator Dei versus the “shadows and types” of the OT prophets.

Grammatical and Stylistic considerations

While questions of punctuation are necessarily interpretative, from the modern perspective Heb 1:1-4 is one sentence. The main verb is ἐλάλησεν in vs. 2. The former λαλήσας is in fact an aorist participle clearly in this context marking antecedent action. ὃν in vs. 2 begins three relative clauses which describe the Son in terms of his nature (ὢν) and work (φέρων, ποιησάμενος). With exception of ἐκάθισεν and κεκληρονόμηκεν, all the verbs translated idiomatically as finite verbs in the ESV above are in fact participles, the precise nature of which will be discussed below.

The balanced nature of the clauses (as roughly equal in length) and the heavy use of participles (compared to the paratactic style of most NT writings) marks this sentence as periodic in the classical Greek rhetorical style. This rhetorical effect is heightened by the use of anaphora (ὅν, δι’ οὗ [and not the elided form of διά, common in classical Greek, but not the Koine of the NT], and ὅς). Another rhetorical feature employed by the writer is asyndeton. Each of the clauses has no conjunction joining it to the previous clause. The overall effect of these devices is to highlight the unity of the thought and to communicate the ideas in a particularly vivid and powerful way, the perfect introduction to the lofty themes the writer wishes to discuss throughout his treatise. [For definitions and examples of these rhetorical devices, see the Silva Rhetoricaewebsite (http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm).]

Exegesis Proper

The writer begins by describing the varied nature of the Old Covenant revelation (Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως), most likely considering the different prophets and possibly the different literary genres used to express that revelation. This is in contrast to the revelation in the Son. The suggestion between the “one and the many” here suggest the authoritative and final nature of the Son’s revelation. The ESV above correctly captures the perfective nuance of ἐλάλησεν, “has spoken.” The aorist may sometimes be translated idiomatically by the English perfect, where the action is clearly completed. This contrast, and the finality of the revelation in the Son, is also emphasized by the chronological, or better, eschatological reference, “long ago” (πάλαι) vs. “in these last days” (ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων).

The relative clauses then describe the work and nature of the Son, and this description answers the question as to why the Son is the superior and final revelation of God.
I would be very interested in your exegetical analysis of Hebrews 1:8-10. Thanks !

BTW- great OP
 
Thanks, I'm glad it was helpful for you. With regard to Heb 1:8-10, did you have any specific issues you would like to see addressed?
 

civic

Active member
Thanks, I'm glad it was helpful for you. With regard to Heb 1:8-10, did you have any specific issues you would like to see addressed?
Yes the Person of the Son in those passages. Thanks !

But of the Son He says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
And the righteous scepter is the scepter of [a]His kingdom.
9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”
10 And,

“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the works of Your hands;
 

civic

Active member
One must indeed hope that quīdam turpis will not be making an appearance again.
I sure hope that is the case but only time will tell. If so all we have to do is not respond to any of said persons posts since all they are is trolling.
 
Well, it looks like the Forums are finally back up and running (but not a lot of people know that yet!). I thought I would post the following just to get things going again in Biblical languages.


Hebrews 1:1-4

An Exegetical Exploration

Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις 2 ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ, ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι’ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας· 3 ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, 4 τοσούτῳ κρείττων γενόμενος τῶν ἀγγέλων ὅσῳ διαφορώτερον παρ’ αὐτοὺς κεκληρονόμηκεν ὄνομα.

Heb 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. Heb 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Heb 1:4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. [ESV]

Introductory Statement

Hebrews opens with the theme of the revelation (λαλήσας, ἐλάλησεν) of God’s redemptive purposes in their eschatological fulfillment (ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων) in the Son (ἐν υἱῷ). The central motif is the contrast between the old covenant (πάλαι… τοῖς προφήταις) and the New Covenant fulfilment in Christ, the latter being clearly superior (κρείττων, διαφορώτερον) to the former. Throughout Hebrews, this contrast will be described extensively in several ways, but in the first chapter it is the superiority of the Son as the revelator Dei versus the “shadows and types” of the OT prophets.

Grammatical and Stylistic considerations

While questions of punctuation are necessarily interpretative, from the modern perspective Heb 1:1-4 is one sentence. The main verb is ἐλάλησεν in vs. 2. The former λαλήσας is in fact an aorist participle clearly in this context marking antecedent action. ὃν in vs. 2 begins three relative clauses which describe the Son in terms of his nature (ὢν) and work (φέρων, ποιησάμενος). With exception of ἐκάθισεν and κεκληρονόμηκεν, all the verbs translated idiomatically as finite verbs in the ESV above are in fact participles, the precise nature of which will be discussed below.

The balanced nature of the clauses (as roughly equal in length) and the heavy use of participles (compared to the paratactic style of most NT writings) marks this sentence as periodic in the classical Greek rhetorical style. This rhetorical effect is heightened by the use of anaphora (ὅν, δι’ οὗ [and not the elided form of διά, common in classical Greek, but not the Koine of the NT], and ὅς). Another rhetorical feature employed by the writer is asyndeton. Each of the clauses has no conjunction joining it to the previous clause. The overall effect of these devices is to highlight the unity of the thought and to communicate the ideas in a particularly vivid and powerful way, the perfect introduction to the lofty themes the writer wishes to discuss throughout his treatise. [For definitions and examples of these rhetorical devices, see the Silva Rhetoricaewebsite (http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm).]

Exegesis Proper

The writer begins by describing the varied nature of the Old Covenant revelation (Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως), most likely considering the different prophets and possibly the different literary genres used to express that revelation. This is in contrast to the revelation in the Son. The suggestion between the “one and the many” here suggest the authoritative and final nature of the Son’s revelation. The ESV above correctly captures the perfective nuance of ἐλάλησεν, “has spoken.” The aorist may sometimes be translated idiomatically by the English perfect, where the action is clearly completed. This contrast, and the finality of the revelation in the Son, is also emphasized by the chronological, or better, eschatological reference, “long ago” (πάλαι) vs. “in these last days” (ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων).

The relative clauses then describe the work and nature of the Son, and this description answers the question as to why the Son is the superior and final revelation of God.

I love the alliteration at the beginning of this passage. It always makes me smile when I read it.
 
I love the alliteration at the beginning of this passage. It always makes me smile when I read it.
Oh, very good, I didn't even mention that in my short treatment above, but it is striking, isn't it? It also reminds me of the first line of the Odyssey:

ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ

Not only the use of πολύτροπος, but also the mild alliteration.
 
Oh, very good, I didn't even mention that in my short treatment above, but it is striking, isn't it? It also reminds me of the first line of the Odyssey:

ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ

Not only the use of πολύτροπος, but also the mild alliteration.
Greek is wonderful. I have not read much Classical, not because I am not interested, but because I am more interested in other things and lack the time.
 
I don't doubt that what you say is true. There is one text I have on my bucket list.

A Greek grammar by Apollonius on Greek syntax, in particular what he says about the Greek article having the general meaning of Anaphora.



 
Actually, the more Greek you read outside of the the NT, the better your "biblical Greek" becomes. So if you find the time, it's well worth it.

Do you have any examples to share from your personal reading of non-biblical Greek and how it has enhanced your interpretation of specific biblical passages?
 
Roger, I'm not sure I can pinpoint any one "special" insight, but when you've seen, let's say the preposition ἐκ in several thousand contexts outside of the NT, it certainly informs your reading of the preposition in the NT.
 
Roger, I'm not sure I can pinpoint any one "special" insight, but when you've seen, let's say the preposition ἐκ in several thousand contexts outside of the NT, it certainly informs your reading of the preposition in the NT.

Wow, if you have read thousands of passages in Classical Greek with εκ, that's simply amazing! There are over 3000 instances of εκ in the LXX and over 700 in the GNT.

How is that different than reading the same number of passages in biblical Greek?

I will admit that looking at the translation Greek of the LXX would not be definitive for me.

But if I was to attempt to survey every passage in the NT, that used εκ I'd get burnt out in a hurry.

Does BDAG show fewer usages of εκ than Liddel Scott? I'd be surprised if it did.
 
Wow, if you have read thousands of passages in Classical Greek with εκ, that's simply amazing! There are over 3000 instances of εκ in the LXX and over 700 in the GNT.

How is that different than reading the same number of passages in biblical Greek?

I will admit that looking at the translation Greek of the LXX would not be definitive for me.

But if I was to attempt to survey every passage in the NT, that used εκ I'd get burnt out in a hurry.

Does BDAG show fewer usages of εκ than Liddel Scott? I'd be surprised if it did.
Roger, I was simply using ἐκ as an example. Notice that I said "several thousand contexts" that's a bit different from "thousands of passages of Classical Greek," though having started Greek in 1977 I have read a fair amount. The point is that the broader your reading approach, the more intuitively you can read any Greek passage. So many people doing "biblical Greek" restrict themselves to that corpus, often for purposes of time. It can be tough to be a busy minister and to keep up with reading Xenophon or Homer (but not imopossible), and I understand this. Reading the LXX is excellent, although it has its own unique challenges as translation Greek, but why not add the early church Fathers? There are also "easy" authors such as Lucian of Samasota or Xenophon which have a lot of support with reader editions and other types of helps. You don't need to start with massive amounts, but even a little every day pays good benefits on the investment.
 
I have read some of Josephus and a bit of the Fathers during research projects. However I would never count that as significant.

I have met some who have read much more broadly than I and admire them for doing it.

I have met others who use their experience as a way to add subjective weight to their exegesis as evidence for a particular position in a discussion. You have not done this, so please don't be offended. I am merely relating my experience.

This is one reason for my question about a concrete specific example.

It would also help me understand the benefits and give me incentive to modify my reading habits.
 
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