ABSTRACTS

The last five words of Heb 4:12–13 are curiously enigmatic: πρὸς ὃν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος. Interpreters throughout history do not agree on the meaning of the short clause. Most modern English renderings treat it as a nod to human responsibility, the necessity of giving an account of ourselves back to God ("to whom we must give an account"). Although this interpretation has a long and venerable history, which can be traced back to Athanasius of Alexandria and Chrysostom, it is forced to treat the nominative ὁ λόγος as an object, and it mutes the repetition of the double-λόγος, which brackets 4:12–13 and forms a neat chiasm obscured by most English translations. Instead, I propose that the most satisfactory reading of the clause in 4:13b hears in the λόγος a multilayered reference both to divine speech and to the incarnate Logos, an interpretation that allows 4:12–13 to be a true bridge in its context, because the previous verses are primarily about God's message in Ps 95, and the following verses discuss Christ as the great high priest. Thus, possible translations are "concerning which, this word is spoken to us" or "with whom, the Word is for us," both of which cohere with the overall message of Hebrews. The ambiguous grammar of the clause itself, and Hebrews's own view of the word of God as a living and active Word that continues to speak to us today, give us room to imagine both possibilities.

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