In Hebrews 12:2, are there any alternate translation choices for endured, (ὑπομένω) -- that connote "Firmly Resolved to Face", as in the sense of bearing down to face a profound challenge -- rather than "endurance" -- which carries with it a sense of "time / duration"?

The Text

In Hebrews 12:2, it is stated that Jesus "endured" death on a cross.

NASB, Hebrews 12:2 - 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured, (ὑπομένω, Lexicon Entry) the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

But from the texts -- this is exactly what Jesus didn't do:

NASB, John 19:33 - but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

Are there other translations or senses of this word that may be used to clarify the contradiction?


In discussion, "endurance" was used to emphasize the death of Jesus, and the suffering - that there was redemptive power in these acts.

However, in response it was argued - It wasn't Jesus' suffering, or death, that brought life, or forgiveness -- it was Jesus' righteous act of "advocating" for the forgiveness of others -- from the cross -- unconditionally, even for the ones that were crucifying him, Luke 23:34).

However, that argument would be strengthened if there is another reasonable interpretation for "endure" -- in this context.

And again, in response - the entire context of Hebrews 12 is about "not growing weary" - which seems to establish that "ὑπομένω" should be translated as "endurance".

Are there any other resolutions for these conflicts?

1 Answer 1


Koulaki Megalo Etymologiko

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Liddell & Scott, Greek-English Lexicon


C.WITH ACCUS. II.of subjection, ποιεῖσθαι ὑπὸ σφᾶς id=Thuc., etc.

Georg Autenrieth's Homeric Lexicon

μένω c. c. acc. & inf., wait “οὐκ ἔμειν᾽ ἐλθεῖν τράπεζαν νυμφίαν” P. 3.16

The word ὑπέμεινεν in the context implies "waiting patiently", or "submitted unto", or "resolved unto" - the cross ...

My own translation of Hebrews 12:2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him resolved himself to the cross, disregarding the affront, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hb 12:2

  • Betho's - Thank you. I feel that "humbly" carries the sense that he was in submission - "being subject to", "in submission", like a lamb would have been. Would "submitted to the cross" be as accurate? I feel that that the writer is trying to convey resolution, and determination -- rather than "humility" -- though humility is supported by similar passages. Thank you for the help! Feb 1, 2016 at 21:18
  • I am not fluent in English (Brazil). Thank you very much for your help, because it is right.
    – Betho's
    Feb 1, 2016 at 22:32
  • Thanks again. I proposed an edit - could you think about it and add your thoughts? Feb 1, 2016 at 22:48
  • Ok! highly satisfied.
    – Betho's
    Feb 1, 2016 at 23:27

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