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RE: [biblicalist] Hebrews 11:11 - Abraham or Sarah?

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  • Charles Savelle
    David asked: Bruce suggests that while Sarah is not irrelevant (she was involved in Isaac s birth!), the Greek term used for generation can only refer to the
    Message 1 of 35 , Apr 1, 2008
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      David asked:


      Bruce suggests that while Sarah is not irrelevant (she was involved in

      Isaac's birth!), the Greek term used for generation can only refer to

      the male's role, being best translated as "the depositing of seed" -in

      which case it is still Abraham who is in view.



      I want to know if our knowledge of koine Greek in the intervening 44

      years (!) has turned up any clear usages of the term in a passive sense,

      in which case it could be referred to Sarah and it could be her faith

      that is in view.

      My response:

      Not that I am aware of.

      There are actually two major interrelated problems.
      For one, there is some disagreement over the correct reading of the Greek text.
      (See Metzger, Textual Commentary, 602.)
      For another, there is disagreement concerning the proper subject of v. 11 (Sarah,
      NASB or Abraham, NIV). It seems that having Abraham as the subject is
      preferable for at least three reasons. (1) The context centers on Abraham in
      both the verses that precede (vv. 8-10) and the verse that follows (v. 12). As P.
      E. Hughes notes, "Abraham, admittedly,
      is as obviously the subject of verse 12, although his name is not repeated
      there, as he is of verses 8 to 10, for in the Greek both the pronoun 'one' and
      the qualifying participle translated 'as good as dead' are in the masculine
      gender" (Hughes, Hebrews, 471). (2) The phrase translated by the NASB, "received the ability to conceive" (eis katabol� spermatos) usually and
      idiomatically refers to the male, not female, role in conception (e.g., Greek Apocalypse of Ezra 5.12). (3) The Genesis account does not appear to present Sarah as acting in faith. As H.
      Attridge notes, "against all of these desperate construals is the fact that
      Sarah of Genesis is not a believer but an amused skeptic" (Hebrews, 325).
      None of this of course is meant to demean or diminish Sarah's role in the birth
      of Isaac, but simply that the emphasis here appears to be on Abraham's faith.

      Charles Savelle













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    • lmlkes
      Dear Suzanne, Hi!!! And isn t the final collective result of the seed usually feminine. For example, Ephesians 5:23-33,(wife); Revelation 21:2, 9 and
      Message 35 of 35 , Apr 5, 2008
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        Dear Suzanne, Hi!!! And isn't the final collective result of the seed
        usually feminine. For example, Ephesians 5:23-33,(wife); Revelation
        21:2, 9 and 10,(bride); even the early verses in the the book of
        Revelation should be translated HER candlestick, where each
        candlestick represents an individual church. Of course in the Old
        Testament we have Israel as the wife of God, and in Revelation 12:1,2
        and 5 Israel is female as well.
        With Much Gratitude,
        Sincerely Yours,
        Mike Welch
        Deltona, Florida
        --- In biblicalist@yahoogroups.com, "Suzanne McCarthy"
        <smccarthy@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In biblicalist@yahoogroups.com, "Suzanne McCarthy" <smccarthy@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > --- In biblicalist@yahoogroups.com, Harold Holmyard <hholmyard3@>
        > > wrote:
        > > >
        > > > The Good News Bible, NET Bible, and New American Bible (NAB)
        are
        > > other
        > > > translations that makes Abraham the subject in Heb 11:11. This
        is a
        > > > recent trend in biblical studies. These translations, together
        with
        > > the
        > > > NIV, NRSV, and NCV, all take KAI AUTN SARRA STEIRA as
        parenthetical.
        > >
        > > I notice that the ESV and TNIV keep Sarah as the subject. Jerome
        also.
        > > I'll look at a few other versions this evening.
        >
        > Nyland - By faith Sarah herself - although she was sterile - also
        laid
        > hold of power for the depositing of offspring although she was well
        > past it in age.
        >
        > Vamva Greek version - Sarah ellabe dunamin eis to na sullabê
        sperma...
        >
        > NEB - By faith even Sarah herself received strength to conceive
        >
        > Jerome - ipsa Sarra sterilis virtutem in conceptionem seminis
        accepit
        >
        > Darby - Par la foi, Sara elle-même aussi reçut la force de fonder
        une
        > postérité* [v. 11 : ou : de concevoir ; voir Genèse 21:1-7. ]
        >
        > Oddly this varies from his English translation but I take the French
        > as his first and most original translation.
        >
        > Darby English - By faith also Sarah herself received strength for
        > [the] conception of seed,
        >
        > Also Calvin, Luther, David Martin, Louis Segond
        >
        > I'll stick with Darby, the French version, and Nyland on this one.
        My
        > sense is that those scholars who really read Greek, Jerome, Vamva et
        > al. simply cannot see a way to make Abraham the subject of the
        verb.
        >
        > Suzanne McCarthy
        >
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