Codepoke asks on the Share page:
I’m prepositionally challenged, but I’m not sure what to make of Ann Nyland’s Heb 12:2. She says,
“We must fix our eyes on Jesus, the originator and completer of faith. Instead of the happiness set in front of him, he chose to undergo the cross, thinking nothing of the shame. He has taken his seat at the right side of God’s throne.”
Of 13 translations I checked, only Young’s maybe agrees with her. (who, over-against the joy set before him — did endure a cross). Does Ann have a leg to stand on here?
I’ll give a quick answer here and maybe someone else will give this a fuller treatment. It’s ambiguous to translate ἀντὶ as “for” but often the meaning of prepositions like this is determined by the context.
1. INSTEAD OF/IN EXCHANGE FOR
Matt. 5:38 an eye ἀντὶ an eye
2. ON BEHALF OF
Matt. 17:27 give to them ἀντὶ you and me
3. BECAUSE OF
Eph. 5:31 ἀντὶ this cause a man shall leave
So it looks like most translations have chosen 3. while Nyland chose 1. The use in Hebrews 12:2 does look a lot like the structure of Eph. 5:31.
The question is, what does “the happiness” refer to? If the writer of Hebrews was saying that Jesus came to a fork in the road, so to speak, and instead of happiness chose suffering then Nyland’s translation is correct.
The only other occurrence of ἀντὶ in Hebrews is at 12:16, “ἀντὶ one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” This is an instance of meaning 1.
Does anyone else have a different explanation ἀντὶ mine?