3

In Hebrews 9:27 (the strongs concordance numbers listed below) the Greek word "meta" is translated using the concept of "after" in most versions of the Bible.

Heb 9:27 And <2532> as <2596> <3745> it is appointed <606> (5736) unto men <444> once <530> to die <599> (5629), but <1161> after <3326> this <5124> the judgment <2920>

Can this word which is generally translated as "with" be an inaccurate translation? I have come to the conclusion that this word should be translated more precisely as "amid". Apart from the obvious doctrinal considerations, are there any grammatical reasons that the translation of the word "Meta"cannot be more accurately rendered as "with or amid"?

Strong's greek lexicon comment -

  1. meta meta met-ah’; a primary preposition (often used adverbially); properly, denoting accompaniment; "amid" (local or causal); modified variously according to the case (genitive case association, or accusative case succession) with which it is joined; occupying an intermediate position between 575 or 1537 and 1519 or 4314; less intimate than 1722 and less close than 4862):— after(-ward), X that he again, against, among, X and, + follow, hence, hereafter, in, of, (up-)on, + our, X and setting, since, (un-)to, + together, when, with (+- out). Often used in composition, in substantially the same relations of participation or proximity, and transfer or sequence.
2

First and foremost, “Strong’s greek lexicon” is a misnomer. “Strong’s” is a concordance, not a lexicon.

In order to be translated as “with,” the word following the preposition μετά would need to be declined in the genitive case (i.e., τούτου).

Thayer,1

I. with the genitive; (the Sept. for אֵת, עִם, אַחַר, etc.), among, with (cf. Winer's Grammar, 376f (352f));

  1. amid, among;
  2. of association and companionship, with (Latin cum; German mit, often also bei);

As the word following the preposition μετά is declined in the accusative case (i.e., τοῦτο), μετά in this instance means “after.”

Thayer again,2

II. with the accusative (Winer's Grammar, § 49, f.);

  1. it denotes (following accompaniment), sequence, i. e. the order in which one tiring follows another;

a. in order of place; after, behind, (so from Homer down); once in the N. T. (Winer's Grammar, as above): Hebrews 9:3 (Judith 2:4).

b. in order of Time; after

Footnotes

        1 Thayer, p. 402
        2 id., p. 403


References

Wilke, Christian Gottlob. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Being Grimm Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti. Trans. Thayer, Joseph Henry. Ed. Grimm, Carl Ludwig Wilibald. Rev. ed. New York: American Book, 1889.

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  • As usual, an excellent and precise answer! +1. Great work - there is no question that in this context (with the accusative) "meta" means "after". BDAG makes the same distinction. – Dottard Sep 20 at 21:58
  • Thank you for clearing this up. Biblehub was not clear on the genitive/accusative distinction. +1. Is there an online link to Winer, do you know ? – Nigel J Sep 21 at 8:39
  • @NigelJ—Yes, of course. George Benedikt Winer has authored many works. When Thayer cites Winer, it could be one of three works (see XVII), but in this case, he is referring to Winer’s Grammar of the Idiom of the New Testament, which is the English title of his originally German work Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms. Thayer was quite familiar with the work as he translated it into English (it was edited by Gottlieb Lünemann). – Der Übermensch Sep 22 at 23:26
  • Two page numbers are cited: that of the English translation (7th ed.) with the page number of the German original (Vol. 1; Vol. 2, Part 1; Vol. 2, Part 2 in parentheses. – Der Übermensch Sep 22 at 23:28
  • @DerÜbermensch Many thanks. I have Thayer in hard copy and I prefer it to BDAG and Liddell & Scott. Thayer keeps within scripture whereas the others are too heavily influenced (in my opinion) by profane Greek literature. – Nigel J Sep 23 at 2:56

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