Re: Heb 2:17

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Sun May 09 1999 - 21:38:23 EDT

John Oaklands wrote;
>Does any one have any thoughts on the word hOMOIWQHNAI in Heb 2:17? To
>what extent *like*? Is English adequate to express what this is saying
>in the Greek? There are those who would want to make this to mean
>*equal*, but to me that seems to be stretching he word, mood and tense
>a bit. Or does this link with the earlier phrase, as some translate,
I would ask to what extent we can ever translate completely from Greek to
English. We must try and use words, phrases, etc. that can convey what we
perceive the original writer is thinking (no mean task of its own).

Having said that I would point that hOMOIOW is often used in situations
where we would say "something is like something else," or "to what shall I
liken this?" The word in Heb. 2:17 is in what we all learned to call the
aor. passive and learned to translate "to be likened" or "to be made like."
The extent to which the English word conveys the meaning of the Greek term
might be indicated by KATA PANTA "in all things," or perhaps "completely."
"He must be made like to (his) brothers in all things so that . . ." It is
interesting that the Latin has SIMILARE here. Beyond this point this
discussion will get somewhat Christological, which is one reason I teach
New Testament and Greek not systematic theology. I read systematic theology
out of interest and also when I have trouble falling asleep.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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