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2 In these last days he has spoken to us in his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things and through whom he created the ages. He being the radiance of the glory and the exact expression of his confidence and bringing [about] all things in the word of his power -- purification for the sins having accomplished -- he sat down at the right of the Majesty on High" -Hebrews 1:2-3

Please note that I'm asking strictly about Greek grammar and whether this is a legitimate translation.

I am not asking whether it is the correct translation.

And I am not asking for anything about doctrine or any implications of that translation.

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  • Those are some dense verses - which part are you asking about in particular? It might be better to ask separate questions about each feature.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented May 29 at 8:19
  • I find the question difficult. You word the question in "strict" terms of "Greek grammar" and yet you also ask it in terms of "translation." But you don't provide a mapping between the two (which would make for a very large question!). To make concrete my comment, here's one example: I don't know what "spoken ... in his Son" means. In English, what could "speak in another person" mean? It can't mean what the Greek means since it has no meaning in English. English uses 'by'. If your intent is to expose the Greek, then that's a hermeneutics tool (a good thing), but, not IMO a translation. Commented May 29 at 12:44
  • @MikeSangrey, I believe there are different translation philosophies. Some are more word for word and others are more interpretive. I prefer something closer to word for word as I don't fully trust translators to do much interpretation. This also forces the reader to better understand the idioms and reference of that time and biblical tradition. Regarding what it means for God to speak in his son, I believe it means that God has spoken to us via the leadership and guidance of His son where previously we were spoken to us via the leadership & guidance of the earlier prophets like Moses & Abram.
    – Austin
    Commented May 29 at 13:18
  • Getting into a discussion of translation philosophies would take us way too far field, especially in a comment section. My comment about not knowing the meaning of "speak in his son" was in reference to the English, not the Greek. The English has no meaning. One has to interpret the English as if one is reading the Greek. And that is why I said that such renderings are not a translation. One has to back-translate them into Greek, or individualistically redefine the English, in order to actually interpret the text so as to arrive at the meaning. Commented May 29 at 17:31
  • @MikeSangrey, I think it makes since in English if you understand what the Bible means by "in" in this context. I also think it conveys more information than simply saying "by." I'm not sure if it's more a Greek word definition issue or simply an issue of understanding how the Bible conceptualizes the concept of "in" with respect to a person.
    – Austin
    Commented May 29 at 20:00

2 Answers 2

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God made the ages through (dia) the son (as an instrument). Consider, if all things were made through (dia) the "Word" John 1:3, that means they were not made by (Upo) him. The "Word"/son is not the primary cause of creation, it is the God of the son.

Examining the words translated from Greek using Bible hub, I didn't not find any bias or any word that is mistranslated.thus, I consider it a legitimate translation of Hebrews 1:2-3.

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  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but have we not clashed before on the question of who made the world?? I, myself, see God as the "Architect" and the only begotten son as his "Contractor", but I'm not sure whether you, yourself, see it that way. I just recently upvoted your "locked" posting, where comments, at least for the time being, have been closed, but am reserving a possible positive acknowledgement here, pending clarification. Commented May 1 at 16:15
  • @OldeEnglish. By the world, do you mean ages? Jesus ascribed creation to Mark 13:19. 2 Peter 3:5 ascribes creation to God. Nothing is said about Jesus as His contractor. Isaiah 44:24. Psalm 102:25, Hebrews 1:10 -12 the heavens are the work of of YHWH's hands. Hebrews 2:7 says You made him a little lower than angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and appointed him over the works of your hands. Creation is the work of YHWH's hands, not Jesus'. Commented May 1 at 17:52
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    In the NASB (Ryrie's Study Bible) he uses the word "world", but in his notes he says:- Lit., the ages, including time, space, and the material world - The contractor designation is an implication, derived from John 1:3 and Proverbs 8:30 and elsewhere. Ryrie, who I don't always agree with BTW, even states in his notes to Heb, 1:10-12 - Quoting Ps. 102:25-27. Christ is the Creator of all things and the One who, in the midst of change, is unchanging. - Contradictions, seemingly at least, abound of course, as you point out. Consequently, we will have to agree to disagree, I guess. Commented May 2 at 7:28
  • @OldeEnglish. No problem. I see it very plainly. Jesus' own words and carefully examining whose hands work the creation. Reread Psalm 102:25, Hebrews, 1:10 and Hebrews 2:7, and asked yourself whose hands work the creation. That is why Jesus plainly attributed creation to God..I am willing to study your "contractor" view if you educate me further,. But be advised, I prefer explicit and plain statements over assumptions based on a text that is ambiguous. Commented May 2 at 8:20
  • @OldeEnglish. I'm glad you said that you don't always agree with that version of the scriptures. The truth about Psalm 102:25 - 27 does not change when it is quoted in Hebrews 1:10. Commented May 2 at 8:40
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OK - here is my translation of Heb 1:2, 3 -

in these last days, He has spoken to us by [the] Son whom He appointed heir of all through whom He made the world/universe; who being [the] radiance of glory, the exact copy of the substance of Him, then upholding all by the word of the power by Himself, having made purification for sins, he sat down at [the] right of the majesty on high.

By way of comparison, here is the translation of the BLB:

in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the ages, who, being the radiance of His glory and the exact expression of His substance, and upholding all things by the power of His word, through having made the purification of sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

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  • Hi Dottard. Thanks for responding. I hope that people would answer the question as to whether the OP translation is a legitimate translation solely based on the rules of Greek grammar.
    – Austin
    Commented Apr 29 at 2:47
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    @Austin - unless you want a complete parsing and discussion of each grammatical choice, you will need to be more specific in your question. Are there specific words you are asking about?
    – Dottard
    Commented Apr 29 at 7:07

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