Saturday, March 12, 2011

God Made the Worlds by His Son

Gurney, Joseph John. “God Made the Worlds by His Son.” Pages 163-68 in Biblical Notes and Dissertations, Chiefly Intended to Confirm and Illustrate the Doctrine of the Deity of Christ; with Some Remarks on the Practical Importance of That Doctrine. London: Rivington, 1833.

In this brief chapter Gurney deals with the relative clause in Hebrews 1:2: δι ου και τους αιωνας εποιησεν.  He objects to one translation: “for whom also he constituted the ages.”  He makes two points:

1) δια with the genitive case never refers to the final cause.  This would require the accusative case.  Instead, here it indicates agency: “by” or “through.”

2) αιωνας can be rendered as “ages” but it may also refer to the world or universe as it does in other Pauline passages (1 Tim 1:17; 1 Cor 2:7).  Elsewhere in Hebrews (11:3) αιωνας clearly signifies the world or universe, and so it is likely that is the same meaning in 1:2.  The Greek αιωνας corresponds to the Hebrew עלמ.

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