In most translations, the verse goes something like "In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subjected to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him." (NIV 1984, emphasis mine). This would indicate that all things were subjected to Jesus. One might understand then the author to be saying that there is already aspect of Jesus' total reign which has not yet fully appeared, but we do see him already crowned with glory.

But in the 2011 update of the NIV, they have changed the object to them, which would give the interpretation of all things having been subjected at one time to the angels, but now that Jesus has come - in the present age - we no longer see things subjected to the angels, but to Jesus.

What arguments can be given to support either choice of translation?

1 Answer 1


This is because the author of Hebrews was quoting Psalm 8:6, which uses the plural pronoun, and the NIV 2011 translation committee likely was attempting to line the quote up with the original verse. However, the singular pronoun is used in the Greek for this passage in Hebrews 2:8. It appears that all of the pronouns are singular until verse 11 ("He (singular) is not ashamed to call them (plural) brothers and sisters"). The text note in the NIV 2011 update contains this reference to the Psalms passage and the verse rendered correctly with singular pronouns, which is good.

I believe that it should be translated as it was in the 1984 NIV version, because this is more faithful to the original text. The author of Hebrews was likely modifying the pronouns used in the verse to support his (or her) argument, which makes sense in the context of the quote.


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