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Westcott and Hort / [NA27 variants] πιστὸν ὄντα τῷ ποιήσαντι αὐτὸν ὡς καὶ Μωυσῆς ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ.

Here is the context:

3 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Heb 3:1–6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

BDAG suggest "to him who appointed him". Is it compelling?:

...ⓑ of divine activity, specifically of God’s creative activity create (Hes., Op. 109; Heraclitus, Fgm. 30 κόσμον οὔτε τις θεῶν οὔτε ἀνθρώπων ἐποίησεν, ἀλλʼ ἦν ἀεὶ καὶ ἔστιν καὶ ἔσται; Pla., Tim. 76c ὁ ποιῶν ‘the Creator’; Epict. 1, 6, 5; 1, 14, 10; 2, 8, 19 σε ὁ Ζεὺς πεποίηκε; 4, 1, 102; 107; 4, 7, 6 ὁ θεὸς πάντα πεποίηκεν; Ael. Aristid. 43, 7 K.=1 p. 2 D.: Ζεὺς τὰ πάντα ἐποίησεν; Herm. Wr. 4, 1. In LXX oft. for בָּרָא also Wsd 1:13; 9:9; Sir 7:30; 32:13; Tob 8:6; Jdth 8:14; Bar 3:35; 4:7; 2 Macc 7:28; Aristobulus in Eus., PE13, 12, 12 [pp. 182 and 184 Holladay]; JosAs 9:5; Philo, Sacr. Abel. 65 and oft.; SibOr 3, 28 and Fgm. 3, 3; 16; Just., A II, 5, 2 al.) w. acc. ἡ χείρ μου ἐποίησεν ταῦτα πάντα Ac 7:50 (Is 66:2). τοὺς αἰῶνας Hb 1:2 (s. αἰών 3). τὸν κόσμον (Epict. 4, 7, 6 ὁ θεὸς πάντα πεποίηκεν τὰ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ καὶ αὐτὸν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον; Sallust. 5 p. 10, 29; Wsd 9:9; TestAbr A 10 p. 88, 21 [Stone p. 24]) Ac 17:24. τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν (cp. Ael. Aristid. above; Gen 1:1; Ex 20:11; Ps 120:2; 145:6; Is 37:16; Jer 39:17 et al.; TestJob 2:4; Jos., C. Ap. 2, 121; Aristobulus above) Ac 4:24; 14:15b; cp. Rv 14:7. τὰ πάντα PtK 2 p. 13, 26 (JosAs 12, 2; Just., D. 55, 2; also s. Ael. Aristid. above). Lk 11:40 is classed here by many. Of the relation of Jesus to God Ἰησοῦν, πιστὸν ὄντα τῷ ποιήσαντι αὐτόν=appointed him Hb 3:2 (cp. Is 17:7).—W. a second acc., that of the predicate (PSI 435, 19 [258 B.C.] ὅπως ἂν ὁ Σάραπις πολλῷ σὲ μείζω ποιήσῃ) ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς (God) created them male and female Mt 19:4b; Mk 10:6 (both Gen 1:27c).—Pass. Hb 12:27.—ὁ ποιήσας the Creator Mt 19:4a v.l....

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 839). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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Both are possible, for the verb can be used in both senses (in the sense of "appoint", "make smbd. something" we have this verb already in Classical Greek, for example in Homer's "Odyssey" I:387: μὴ σέ γ᾽ ἐν ἀμφιάλῳ Ἰθάκῃ βασιλῆα Κρονίων ποιήσειεν - "to make/appoint someone a king"; or in Thycidides Αθεναιον ποιειν τινα “make/appoint somebody an Athenian citizen” (Liddle&Scott) etc.; in patristic literature the same verb is used with the meaning of "appoint" by Athanasius (Ar. 2.8.), or in Chrysostom who explains: “εποιεσεν, τουτεστι κατεστησεν» (“made, that is to say, appointed”) (Lampe), etc.). However, here, in Hebrews 3:2, it is not entirely unequivocal (like, e.g., in Mark 3:14, where it is unequivocally "appointed" and not "created, or in Gen. 1 where it is unequivocally "created" and not "appointed"). The Vulgate preserves this equivocation by "fecit", which also can mean both actions.

Probably the "appointed" is more plausible, for Paul refers to Jesus not as a creature, saying elsewhere that the Father brought into existence the entirety of creation through Him (Hebrews 1:2), thus excluding Him from this entirety. And here in the immediate sequence Jesus' glory is counterposed to the glory of Moses as that of Maker to the made, a house builder to a house, the verb κατασκευαζω applying both to Jesus and God, and the "house" is referred to Moses, as a part of this house and acting in it as a servant, and also all humans, including Paul himself (ου οικος εσμεν εμεις), but Jesus together with God is outwith the "house", a.k.a. creation, expressed by the prefix ἐπὶ which with accusative οικον means "onto", i.e. "upper surface of", as in "got up onto the horse", thus not a part of the surface of the horse, in this instance, not part of the creation.

However, "created" is also plausible, for Jesus is created in His human nature and in His human nature remained faithful to God, always performing things pleasing to Him (cf. John 8:29), and having lived a life of utter obedience, up to the death on cross (Phil. 2:8). Some ancient translations, thus, e.g. a Georgian canonical translation of 11th century make this option, putting "created" unequivocally.

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    Yes, sure. Already in Ancient Greek the ποιέω could mean “appoint” as in Homer’s “Odyssey” ποιειν τινα βασιλεα “make/appoint somebody a king”, or in Thucydides Αθεναιον ποιειν τινα “make/appoint somebody as an Athenian citizen” (Liddle&Scott), in the same sense as Jesus "makes them apostles" in Mark 3:14; In theological literature also it is quite common, e.g. Chrysostom explains: “εποιεσεν, τουτεστι κατεστησεν» (“made, that is to say, appointed”) (Lampe), etc. – Levan Gigineishvili Sep 27 '17 at 6:52
  • Thanks for notifying about the disappearance of the comments; I have just made the addition. – Levan Gigineishvili Sep 28 '17 at 11:52
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    There is an error of reasoning here. Just because everything might be created through something/someone else - does not mean that this "actor" wasn't created. The doctrine of the "Trinity" rests on Jesus being the Logos/Wisdom of God, standing before God, creating all things. John 1 is a direct parallel to Proverbs - Proverbs 8:25 - Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought [born] forth; In other words, it is presumptuous to declare that Paul certainly believed Jesus was not created, if even Wisdom was the "first" created, but through it everything was made. – elika kohen Sep 28 '17 at 12:02
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    @elikakohen "Error of reasoning"? I guess, it is a greater error of reasoning and quite counterintuitive to suggest that the term "everything that is created" leaves out something that is also created, but not included in the "everything". Father and the Son had common glory before creation of world (John 17:5), that is to say, before time began, in eternity; it is a gross implausibility to imagine that there was a super-temporal but sub-eternal time before world's creation in which God created His Instrument for creation of world - very strained and unphilosophical, counterintuitive fancy. – Levan Gigineishvili Sep 28 '17 at 14:30
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    Levan - you are "Begging the question": "nobody would in right reason suspect that "word" in this passage is a created entity" But this is exactly what this question is asking - and it IS reasonable. In Scripture the Logos, Word, and Wisdom of God are interpreted as references to Jesus. This very question is asking if Jesus was "created" or not. Again, this is just a red-herring, (an ad-hominem too), from an otherwise great answer. These theologies are relevant to the precedence you pointed out - from Greek literature. Anyway, I feel the objection has been clearly/validly made. – elika kohen Sep 28 '17 at 21:22
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The exact morphology of ποιήσαντι appears in the Greek NT three times:

"Who was faithful to him that appointed him (ποιήσαντι), as also Moses was faithful in all his house." Hebrews 3:2

"For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed (ποιήσαντι) no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment." James 2:13

"Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made (ποιήσαντι) heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:7

Revelation is translated "that made", and it is clearly stating that God made heaven and earth. The word ποιέω is also used in the Septuagint version of Genesis 1, and can mean "to accomplish" or "to cause".

James 2:13 is translated "that hath shewed", but this could clearly say "that hath made no mercy".

"Who was faithful to him that made him". Yeah it can be translated like that.

To answer your question "Why isn't τῷ ποιήσαντι αὐτὸν translated as “to him who made him”?

The trinity.

  • As to James 2:13, I think "done no mercy" would be closer to the sense though in English that is rendered as "not shown mercy". There is a lot of nuance in language. – Ruminator Sep 28 '17 at 15:50
  • @Ruminator Yes, done means accomplished so that would work as well. The English "not shown" works as a paraphrase. The point of the passage is that Yeshua is God's accomplishment- the perfect human. "But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?....For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Yeshua..." – Cannabijoy Sep 28 '17 at 16:13
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Hebrews 3:2 alludes to 1 Samuel 12:6 (1 Kingdoms 12:6 in the LXX):

Brenton LXX 1 Samuel 12:6And Samuel spoke to the people, saying, The Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron is witness, who brought our fathers up out of Egypt.

1 Kingdoms 12:6 καὶ εἶπεν Σαμουὴλ πρὸς τὸν λαὸν λέγων Μάρτυς Κύριος ὁ ποιήσας τὸν Μωυσῆν καὶ τὸν Ἀαρών, ὁ ἀναγαγὼν τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν ἐξ Αἰγύπτου. Swete, H. B. (1909). The Old Testament in Greek: According to the Septuagint (1 Kgdms 12:6). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

This in turn is a translation of the Hebrew:

Douay-Rheims Bible 1 Samuel 12:6 And Samuel said to the people: It is the Lord, who made Moses and Aaron, and brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt.

12:6 Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex וַיֹּ֥אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל אֶל־הָעָ֑ם יְהוָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֤ר עָשָׂה֙ אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֣ה וְאֶֽת־אַהֲרֹ֔ן וַאֲשֶׁ֧ר הֶעֱלָ֛ה אֶת־אֲבֹתֵיכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

So the interpretation rests largely on the use of the word עָשָׂה֙.

The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi's commentary has this:

CJB 1 Samuel 12:6 And Samuel said to the people, "(It is) the Lord Who made Moses and Aaron, and Who brought your forefathers up from the land of Egypt.

And Rashi makes this comment:

Who made Moses and Aaron: to be prepared for His mission to take your forefathers out of Egypt. http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15841#lt=primary&showrashi=true

The word is in the Hiphil tense suggesting causation. For example, the Hebrew word "remember", when in the Hiphil would be "cause to remember" or "remind":

http://www.becomingjewish.org/pdf/hiphil_stem-hebrew.pdf

Based on this I think I would render this as "tasked" or "charged". I think one is "appointed" to an "office" but "tasked" or "charged" with a duty.

The comparison is being drawn between Moses and Aaron who were tasked with bringing "your forefathers up from the land of Egypt" and Jesus who is charged with bringing "many sons to glory":

NIV Hebrews 2:10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.

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