|Dr. Couch, what does it mean in Hebrews 12:2 when it calls Christ the Author of The Faith?|
ANSWER: This is a bad translation. This is why I took about 40 hours of graduate Greek in order to get it straight, as to what the Bible was saying. The NT IS Greek and without understanding the language we are out to lunch in trying to interpret the Word of God.
The Greek word is "archagos." The word is better translated "leader." You can see the word Arch, or "top one, the highest one."
The great grammarians Balz & Schneider have a lot to say about this word. "God exalted [Christ] at His right hand as Leader and Savior" (Acts 5:31). "The predication 'Leader and Savior' is plainly near to Heb. 2:10, 'pioneer of their salvation.'" "Heb. 2:10 has: 'Make the Leader who delivers them perfect through sufferings.'" "Jesus' function as Leader results from the cross and the resurrection from the dead (13:20)." "God effects faith in Jesus as the Leader."
Ger adds: "Jesus is described here with two complementary designations. He is the "archegos," "the champion," "the leader," the pioneering source and heroic author of faith. This is a rare messianic title that is used by the author of Hebrews in 2:10 and 12:2 and only in additional two times in the New Testament in Acts (3:15; 5:31). ... His magnificent accomplishment, now serves as the very embodiment of faith itself."
The writer of Hebrews seems to be pulling this name from Jeremiah 30:21. The NAS there calls the Messiah "the Leader." It is the Hebrew word Ay'Der. It sometimes is translated as Prince, or "Mighty, Splendid One." Jeremiah 30:21 reads: "And their Leader shall be one of them [the Jews in the restoration]."
The word is used of God in Psalm 8:2. "O Lord, our Lord, How GLORIOUS is You Name in all the earth, who has displayed Your splendor above the heavens!"
The Hebrew word Ay'Der is related to other Hebrew words that are translated: "splendor, noble." The word can describe a splendid robe of a king!
Thus, on Hebrews 12:2 we might say: "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Glorious Splendid Leader of THE FAITH, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame [of it], and has [now] sat down at the right hand of the throne of God," waiting for the Lord to subdue His enemies (Psa. 110:1-2).
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (8/10)