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 Ἀνασταυροῦντας and crucify afresh
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Posted - 11 Jun 2008 :  12:22:03  


A reader of the New Testament wonders about the translation of ἀνασταυροῦντας with "crucify afresh":

"The NAS has 'again crucify,' and the NIV says, 'they are crucifying the Son of God all over agin.' The Vulgate has the 'again,' too: 'rursum crucifigentes.' But where is this 'again' in the Greek? There is only ἀνασταυροῦντας... How many people are 'crucified afresh?' Why do the translations add the 'again' here?"

The 'crucify afresh' translation (see Hebrews 6.4-6) is supported by the preposition ἀνα of ἀνασταυροῦντας, which here is equal with the english re- (re-crucify). However this should not pose a problem, since any dictionary explains it and someone who thinks on such matters is supposed to have at least a dictionary. The wondering of this reader, his trouble to understand the 're-crucify' translation, even coming to the point of doubting about all of the existing translations of the Bible, wouldn't have a place if he had understood what Paul says here.

Paul speaks in a metaphor (therefore the question "How many people are 'crucified afresh?'" has no place), explaining that those who have been enlightened need no further help - they know already the truth of faith - so that if they fall again, they can only return by themselves if at all. Paul identifies this falling again with a re-crucifixion of the Christ, teaching thus that Christ, who lives inside men, suffers the same pain and dishonor being denied by them in their words and/or actions, in spite of all that He did and does for them. He suffers the same pain means also: even He can not help them, He is obliged to stay useless, on the cross again, unable to move. He suffers the same dishonor means also: He can not be transmitted by these men's actions; they who could more than anyone else testify for Him, they deny Him.


 

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