Previous reference in Hebrews?

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sethknorr
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Previous reference in Hebrews?

Post by sethknorr »

It seems to me that ἅγιος follows a complex previous reference scheme for all occurrences in Hebrews, with exceptions of mentions to the Holy Spirit. If this is true, then I think τῶν ἁγίων in Hebrews 8:2 is mistranslated, and should be “saints,” instead of “holy place” or ”sanctuary.” The first occurrence is anarthrous, subsequent references are articular.

If that is true I would translate Hebrews 8:2 as:
“a priest of the saints, [which make up] the true [tabernacle,] the tent pitched by the Lord and not [by] a human.“

Based on context this also makes sense if you look at Hebrews 8:1: “Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” (ESV).

Here is the breakdown of uses of ἅγιος in Hebrews.

Holy SpirIt references (Hebrews 2:4; Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 6:4; Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 10:15).

Holy Ones / Saints
Hebrews 3:1 - Reference 1 (ἀδελφοὶ ἅγιοι
anarthrous) Holy Brothers
Hebrews 6:10 - Reference 2
( τοῖς ἁγίοις) The saints
Hebrews 8:2 - Reference 3
(τῶν ἁγίων) The saints
Hebrews 13:24 - Reference 4
(τοὺς ἁγίους) The saints

Sanctuary
Hebrews 9:1 - Reference 1
(ἅγιον anarthrous) Sanctuary

Holy Place
Hebrews 9:2 - Reference 1
(Ἅγια anarthrous) Holy [place]
Hebrews 9:8 - Reference 2
(τῶν ἁγίων) Holy [place]
Hebrews 9:12 - Reference 3
(τὰ ἅγια) Holy [place]
Hebrews 13:11 - Reference 4
(τὰ ἅγια) Holy [places]

Holy Place (NOT MADE WITH HANDS)
Hebrews 9:24 - Reference 1
(ἅγια anarthrous) Holy [places] (Referring to ones NOT MADE WITH HANDS)
Hebrews 9:25 - Reference 2
(τὰ ἅγια) Holy [places]
Hebrews 10:19 - Reference 3
(τῶν ἁγίων) Holy [places]

Holy of Hollies
Hebrews 9:3 - Reference 1
(Ἅγια ἁγίων anarthrous) Holy of Hollies

I don’t know how many on here believe there are double entendres in Koine Greek, but I think it is possible that τῶν ἁγίων in Hebrews 8:2; could also be one. If that is the case, maybe the translation should be; “a priest of the saints, [which are] the true tabernacle, the tent pitched by the Lord and not [by] a human.
Seth Knorr
I always wondered what Greeks think when they see that commercial "λέγω μου Ἐγὼ"
Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Previous reference in Hebrews?

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

Seth, all very clever (and a bit of hard work), but almost certainly wrong.
ⓑ ἅγια, ων, τά sanctuary (Jdth 4:12; 16:20; 1 Macc 3:43, 59 al.; Philo, Fuga 93 οἷς [sc. ἡ Λευιτικὴ φύλη] ἡ τῶν ἁγίων ἀνάκειται λειτουργία; Jos., Bell. 2, 341) Hb 8:2; 9:24f; 13:11. Also the front, or outer part of the temple, the holy place (3 Km 8:8; Philo, Rer. Div. Her. 226) Hb 9:2. τὰ ἅ. of the heavenly sanctuary (SibOr 3, 308) vs. 12; 10:19.—(τὰ) ἅγια (τῶν) ἁγίων the holy of holies (3 Km 8:6; 2 Ch 4:22; 5:7; GrBar ins 2; Philo, Leg. All. 2, 56. Cp. Polyb. 16, 12, 7 τὸ τοῦ Διὸς ἄβατον.—Formed like κακὰ κακῶν Soph., Oed. C. 1238, ἄρρητʼ ἀρρήτων Oed. R. 465; ἔσχατα ἐσχάτων Ael. Aristid. 46 p. 260 D.; B-D-F §141, 8; 245, 2) Hb 9:3; IPhld 9:1; GJs 8:3; 13:2; 15:3. Of Christians 1 Cl 29:3 (cp. 2 Ch 31:14; Ezk 48:12).
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 11). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

We have an established use of the plural that makes good sense in context.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
sethknorr
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Re: Previous reference in Hebrews?

Post by sethknorr »

Barry, thanks for responding.

I just realized I didn’t post a crucial aspect of the argument. Since τῶν ἁγίων could be genitive neuter plural (holy place of some kind) or genitive masculine plural (holy people/saints), selecting the most logical would seem the best way to go. I agree with you, I doubt anyone would argue that neuter plural is “saints,” I don’t know of any evidence for that, and it wouldn’t make sense. But if the writers intention was for τῶν ἁγίων to be masculine in 8:2, then it should be translated “saints” or “holy ones”, unless it’s a double entendre.

I assume you would agree with the translation of “saints/holy ones” to be correct if it is masculine. I guess, that is part of why, to me at least, the author would have used previous reference to add clarity to show it was masculine and not neuter; assuming this was the writers intention.
Seth Knorr
I always wondered what Greeks think when they see that commercial "λέγω μου Ἐγὼ"
Stephen Carlson
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Re: Previous reference in Hebrews?

Post by Stephen Carlson »

Hi Seth, the big issue is context. When a word is ambiguous between a person and place, and it's surrounded by other adjacent places, here, different parts of the temple, the reader is really primed to go with the place sense. If the other sense was intended, then the author would (or should) have done more to forestall the confusion.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia
Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1950
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Previous reference in Hebrews?

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

sethknorr wrote: April 7th, 2021, 6:31 pm Barry, thanks for responding.

I just realized I didn’t post a crucial aspect of the argument. Since τῶν ἁγίων could be genitive neuter plural (holy place of some kind) or genitive masculine plural (holy people/saints), selecting the most logical would seem the best way to go. I agree with you, I doubt anyone would argue that neuter plural is “saints,” I don’t know of any evidence for that, and it wouldn’t make sense. But if the writers intention was for τῶν ἁγίων to be masculine in 8:2, then it should be translated “saints” or “holy ones”, unless it’s a double entendre.

I assume you would agree with the translation of “saints/holy ones” to be correct if it is masculine. I guess, that is part of why, to me at least, the author would have used previous reference to add clarity to show it was masculine and not neuter; assuming this was the writers intention.
The fact that it can means "saints" in other contexts does not mean it is so used here. Look at what is actually being said in the text -- the neuter is by far the most likely.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
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