Re: Hebrews 12:2, "our" faith

From: Mike Sangrey (
Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 08:06:04 EDT

Mark Beatty <> said:
> I agree about the "beginning and end" translation. I question whether
> this is the "beginner and finisher". But first a related question,
> why do many translations translate the definite article of "THS
> PISTEWS" as the possessive pronoun "our"? (The pronoun is singular
> feminine.) If you take the possessive idea out, then you get "Jesus
> is the beginning and end of the faith"--meaning there is no other
> besides Him. This would fit into the major theme (as I see it) of
> Hebrews as believers are tempted, at a variety of levels, to finish
> with something else that which was first a faith in Jesus.

Thank you for pointing this out. IMO, the average person reading
"our" in a translation would immediately individualize it--Jesus is the
beginning and end of MY faith. Which, if I understand the text correctly,
is NOT meant. I wonder if a better translation would not be:

    Fix your attention on Jesus: the beginning and end of that kind
    of faith.

"That kind of faith" refers then to the faith of the panorama of
witnesses and to what it takes to run the race marked out for us.
The article makes PISTIS definite. I fail to see the reason to make
it possessive.

A thought just occurred to me: Could a somewhat verbose translation be:
    Fix your attention on Jesus: the starting line and finishing
    line of that kind of faith.

What did the Greeks call the 'starting line' and 'finishing line' in
their races? Anyone know?

Mike Sangrey
Landisburg, Pa.
       There is no 'do' in faith, everywhere present within it is 'done'.

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