Abstract

In this article I suggest a new reading of Heb 1:3b, wherein the Son is described as ϕέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτου. This is often rendered in English translations along the lines of “he sustains all things by his powerful word” (NRSV). A survey of previous scholarship on this clause yields three different readings of Heb 1:3b: a protological reading, a presentist reading (describing the Son’s current activity), and an eschatological reading. Instead, I suggest a fourth reading, which understands this clause as a reference to the faithful obedience of the Son on earth. I translate the passage as “enduring all things by the message concerning his [i.e., God’s] power.” This reading is to be preferred to prior alternatives since it more fully does justice to the vocabulary and syntax of the clause, the role of the clause in its immediate context, and the role of the faithfulness of the Son throughout Hebrews.

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