Jesus, The Author & Finisher of FaithVolume 3, Number 1
Created Date: June 23, 2008
Posted Date: June 23, 2008
The faith of Jesus, Introduction Part 1:
Over the past four and a half years, in Volumes 1 & 2 of Faith Studies, we have examined how the 16 Old Testament Saints named in Hebrews 11 were born witness to by their faith. Now, inthe author, inspired by the Holy Spirit, exhorts the believing Hebrews to whom this book was written to remember the witness of faith of all those mentioned in the eleventh chapter and in he writes: "looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of (the word "our" is not in the original) faith, Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." This study will examine what being the "Author" of faith means. The next will deal with the implication of Him being the "Finisher" thereof.
The Greek word used in the original manuscripts of the Bible that is translated "Author" by the King James translators in Hebrews 12:2 is "archegos" and it is only found four (4) times in the New Testament, twice in Acts and twice in Hebrews. "A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament" by Ethelbert W. Bullinger gives the meaning of this word as: "beginning, originating, with article - the leader, founder, princely-leader." The four verses,and 5:31; and 12:2, in which this word is used will be quoted with the English word used to translate "archegos" highlighted, followed by comments on each, as follows:
First it is noted that we could learn much by studying these four verses in depth but space does not permit here. The primary fact we note for the purpose of this study is that the Holy Spirit always used the word "archegos" to identify an office/ attribute of Jesus Christ and this in reference to the Jews.
1.- "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you: And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."
Jesus Christ is named as the "Prince of life." Current English Dictionaries give a number of meanings for the word Prince but the one that best fits the present context is: "History/Historical. a sovereign or monarch; king." and "a person or thing that is chief or preeminent in any class, group, etc.: a merchant prince."
The Greek word translated "life" here is the same word that Jesus used to describe Himself in: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." So, from John 14:6 and Acts 3:14 & 15, using the definition found in the Lexicon we come to understand that Jesus Christ was/is the "beginning, the originating, the leader, founder, princely -leader" of life. It was He as the Word of God Who breathed life into the first man Adam when He created Adam and it is certainly He that gives eternal life to all who believe in Him, .
2.- "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
The Lord Jesus Christ is named here as being exalted as the Prince and Savior to provide repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. The context of this verse is the Apostle Peter telling the unbelieving Jewish High Priest and Chief Priests of the Temple of his time,, that the man Jesus, Who God had raised up and Who they had killed, was now exalted as the "beginning, the originating, the leader, founder, princely -leader" and Savior to provide repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. The High Priest and Chief Priests of the Temple did not like what Peter said but it nevertheless was/is true. The man Jesus who they had killed, was raised up from the dead and exalted in a position in the heavens as the Captain, the Prince, the Author and Savior to provide repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
3. Hebrews 2:10 - "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
Jesus Christ is named as the "Captain of their salvation." The current English Dictionaries give a number of meanings for the word Captain but the one that bests fits the context here is: "a person who is at the head of or in authority over others; chief; leader."
So according to Hebrews 2:10 the second person of the Trinity was made a little lower than the angels,, in order to suffer death as a man that through suffering He might bring salvation to all who believe on Him, . Thus Jesus was/is the Captain, the Prince, the Author of salvation to those who believe in Him, John 3:16.
4. Hebrews 12:2 - "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of (the word "our" is not in the original) faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Jesus Christ is here named as the "Author and Finisher of Faith." The current English Dictionaries give a number of meanings for the word Author but the one that best fits this context is "the maker of anything; creator; originator:" and "the author of a new tax plan. to originate; create a design for: She authored a new system for teaching chemistry."
In order to further grasp the meaning of the Greek word "archegos" I called a Greek friend of mine who lives in Athens, Greece. He was born, raised and educated in Greece. I asked him what the word archegos means to him. I did not tell him how this word is used in the Bible but just spelled the word out to him and asked for the meaning thereof. Without looking in a dictionary, etc., he spontaneously said it means "the first of a group, captain, leader, the one who leads other people."
Hebrews 12:2 teaches that Jesus was/is the "archegos" of faith. So, from a Greek Lexicon, from a man educated in the Greek language, from the contexts in which this word was used in the New Testament, we can understand that He was/is the originator; the first in order; the One responsible -- for faith. We know from other Scripture that before His incarnation on earth (that is, His life as a man) He stood as the second person of the Trinity of God,; , for He was God. In fact He was the Word of God, , and as such it was He Who spoke to all those Saints we have studied in the Old Testament at various times and in different ways, . Faith came to them by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, . Each of those saints were born witness to by their faith, Hebrews 11. In each of their individual cases God did what He said He would do and all that each individual Saint did was obey God's Word by faith to carry out God's Word. Then, at a point in history approximately 2000 years ago, that Word Who spoke to each of those Saints became flesh and dwelt among mankind, , that is, Jesus was born.
Jesus went on as a man to live a perfect life of faith. Our next study will examine the use of the Greek word translated "Finisher," as in "Finisher of faith" in an attempt to understand what it means that He finished faith, as stated in Hebrews 12:2.