Heb. 12:4

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jgibson000
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Heb. 12:4

Post by jgibson000 » January 14th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Οὔπω μέχρις αἵματος ἀντικατέστητε πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἀνταγωνιζόμενοι

It is my understanding that this text is usually taken to be a statement that the readers of Hebrews have not yet experienced martyrdom (cf. how this is witnessed to respectively in the translations of it in the Holman Christian Standard Bible and the International Standard Version -- "In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood" "In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood".) But is this the case? Is there any reason to say that it is actually a note on the part of the author of Hebrews to his (?) readers that they have not yet engaged in, but are perhaps on the brink of, the taking of someone else's life?

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Jeffrey B. Gibson
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Heb. 12:4

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 15th, 2018, 9:51 am

jgibson000 wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 3:00 pm
Is there any reason to say that it is actually a note on the part of the author of Hebrews to his (?) readers that they have not yet engaged in, but are perhaps on the brink of, the taking of someone else's life?
Are you suggesting that there is? If so, what reason would you give to see it that way?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Heb. 12:4

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 15th, 2018, 12:13 pm

jgibson000 wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 3:00 pm
Οὔπω μέχρις αἵματος ἀντικατέστητε πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἀνταγωνιζόμενοι

It is my understanding that this text is usually taken to be a statement that the readers of Hebrews have not yet experienced martyrdom (cf. how this is witnessed to respectively in the translations of it in the Holman Christian Standard Bible and the International Standard Version -- "In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood" "In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood".) But is this the case? Is there any reason to say that it is actually a note on the part of the author of Hebrews to his (?) readers that they have not yet engaged in, but are perhaps on the brink of, the taking of someone else's life?
I think that's an impossibility considering both the local context of the verse and what we know about the ancient church in general. Another interesting, but somewhat unlikely, interpretation derives from Luke 22 (which admittedly also has text critical issues, but the tradition may have been familiar to the writer of Hebrews):

44 καὶ γενόμενος ἐν ἀγωνίᾳ ἐκτενέστερον προσηύχετο· καὶ ἐγένετο ὁ ἱδρὼς αὐτοῦ ὡσεὶ θρόμβοι αἵματος καταβαίνοντες ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν...

The theory is that Jesus exerted such effort that capillaries may have broken and his sweat was actually tinged with blood.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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