The Greek text of Heb. 8:3 according to the Textus Receptus states,
Γʹ πᾶς γὰρ ἀρχιερεὺς εἰς τὸ προσφέρειν δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίας καθίσταται ὅθεν ἀναγκαῖον ἔχειν τι καὶ τοῦτον ὃ προσενέγκῃ TR, 1550
Some English translations and commentators translate the word ἀναγκαῖον as “was necessary,” assuming an implied ἦν (“was”),1 while others translate it as “is necessary,” assuming an implied ἐστίν (“is”).2 Such a distinction was emphasized by Göttlieb Lünemann when he commented,3
προσενέγκῃ is conjugated in the aorist tense, active voice, and subjunctive mood. It seems to me that some commentaries interpret προσενέγκῃ as though it is referring to an offering that occurred in the past (rather, than say, one that occurs (present tense) in heaven). But, is this a possible translation of the aorist subjunctive?
- It is necessary that he has something that he offers (or will offer).
- It was necessary that he has (had? to have?) something that he offered.
- What are the interpretative implications of each translation? (In other words, how does each translaton affect the interpretation of the verse and the related context?)
- What should be the English translation of the Greek text?
- Also, to what exactly does «τι» refer (in «ἔχειν τι»)?
1 For example: the NIV; Lünemann, Göttlieb. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, and to the Epistle to the Hebrews. (588); Beza, Theodore. The New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ. (99); Bengel, Johann Albrecht. Gnomon of the New Testament. Vol. 4. (411); De Wette, Wilhelm Martin Lebrecht. Kurze Erklärung der Briefe an Titus, Timotheus und die Hebräer. (197); Bleek, Friedrich. Der Brief an die Hebräer erläutert durch Einleitung, Ubersetzung, und fortlaufenden Commentar. Vol. 2, Part 2. (428); etc.