RE: [biblicalist] Hebrews 11:11 - Abraham or Sarah?
- 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.
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.
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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,
--- In email@example.com, "Suzanne McCarthy"
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Suzanne McCarthy" <smccarthy@>
> > --- In email@example.com, Harold Holmyard <hholmyard3@>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > The Good News Bible, NET Bible, and New American Bible (NAB)
> > otheris a
> > > translations that makes Abraham the subject in Heb 11:11. This
> > > recent trend in biblical studies. These translations, togetherwith
> > theparenthetical.
> > > NIV, NRSV, and NCV, all take KAI AUTN SARRA STEIRA as
> > I notice that the ESV and TNIV keep Sarah as the subject. Jerome
> > I'll look at a few other versions this evening.laid
> Nyland - By faith Sarah herself - although she was sterile - also
> hold of power for the depositing of offspring although she was wellsperma...
> past it in age.
> Vamva Greek version - Sarah ellabe dunamin eis to na sullabê
> NEB - By faith even Sarah herself received strength to conceive
> Jerome - ipsa Sarra sterilis virtutem in conceptionem seminis
> Darby - Par la foi, Sara elle-même aussi reçut la force de fonder
> postérité* [v. 11 : ou : de concevoir ; voir Genèse 21:1-7. ]My
> 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.
> sense is that those scholars who really read Greek, Jerome, Vamva etverb.
> al. simply cannot see a way to make Abraham the subject of the
> Suzanne McCarthy