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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Author And Finisher

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In Hebrews 12:2 Jesus is called the ‘author (Authorized Version and Revised Version ; AVm [Note: Vm Authorized Version margin.] ‘beginner,’ Revised Version margin ‘captain’) and finisher (Authorized Version ; Revised Version ‘perfecter’) of (our) faith.’ The Gr. word rendered ‘author’ (ἀρχηγός) occurs in three other passages, viz. Acts 3:15; Acts 5:31 and Hebrews 2:10. It is translated ‘captain’ in Hebrews 2:10 (Authorized Version ; but Revised Version ‘author’); in Acts 3:15 ‘prince’ (Authorized Version and Revised Version ; AVm [Note: Vm Authorized Version margin.] and Revised Version margin ‘author’); in Acts 5:31 ‘prince.’ In classical Greek it is used for a ‘leader,’ one who precedes others by his example, and so for an ‘originator.’

The reference in Hebrews 12:2 is to the previous chapter. The writer, in summing up the list of heroes of faith, bids us look unto Jesus, who is pre-eminently the Leader in that great company, and the Perfect Example of that virtue of which to a certain extent they have been witnesses. The insertion of the word ‘our’ in the English Version obscures the meaning. ‘The faith’ refers to that which has been the main theme of ch. 11.

Alford, Bleek, Ebrard, Wordsworth, and A. B. Davidson translate ἀρχηγός Hebrews 12:2 by ‘leader’; Wyclif has ‘the maker’; but Tindale, Cranmer, the Geneva and the Rheims all have ‘author.’

As Jesus is the Leader in the great army of the Faith, so is He also the Finisher or Perfecter (τελειωτής). Therefore we run the race looking unto Him as our Leader and the only one who can sustain us to the end and perfect that which He has begun (cf. Davidson, in loc.).

Morley Stevenson.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Author And Finisher'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/a/author-and-finisher.html. 1906-1918.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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