In our church Bible study class we are studying the book of Hebrews. And as I was reading chapter 2, I came across something very interesting in verse 10 where it reads "to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings".
This wording struck me as odd. Why would Jesus need to be made perfect through sufferings? Isn't He already perfect? The answer is yes, He is perfect, and if He wasn't perfect He could not have been the unblemished sacrifice, the Lamb of God sent to take away the sins of the world.
So why does the Bible say that He was made perfect through sufferings? Or does it? Our English Bible says this, but this is merely a translation. To get the true fruit of the inspired Word we must read this in the original language of Greek to get this answer.
Below, on the left, is the Greek text of the true textus receptus and on the right we have the NKJV.
As a quick recap of this verse, verses 10 thru 18 explain Jesus, the Creator of the all, who became a man, led captivity out of hell, Eph 4:8, being the leader and chief captain of our salvation, proclaiming the Name of God and singing praise to the Father.
Jesus did this first at Calvary, specifically in the depths of Hades, and He is still doing this today for His brethren as our High Priest, the Advocate to the Father, 1 Jn 2:1.
So again I ask, "why would Jesus need to be made perfect or complete?" The answer is, "He doesn't". He was perfect, He is perfect, and He will always be perfect.
On the other hand, we are the ones who need to be completed. Jesus was sent to to this world to perfect and complete us, namely thru His blood and the redemptive act on the cross.
If we take a careful look at the Greek text, we find that this is exactly what the Word is saying. It is not saying that the captain of our salvation is perfected through suffering, but rather that the act of leading the sons of God to glory is what is being perfected and completed through the suffering of Christ on the cross.
If you look above at the English text, you will notice the words "to make" and "perfect" are separated by the phrase "the captain of their salvation". But look at the Greek text. This statement, "to make perfect" is one Greek word, τελειῶσαι. This comes from the same Greek word that Jesus cried out on the cross, Τετέλεσται, it is finished, Jn 19:30.
Now bear with me as I explain this Greek grammar to you because the treasure is hidden in the text.
τελειῶσαι-is an infinitive verb. These types of verbs are not limited by person, number or gender, and they do not modify nouns. So this is our first clue that it can't be talking about the captain of our salvation because that is a noun.
Instead they have two functions. They can either stand on their own and act as a noun, essentially acting as a direct object, or they can act or complete the meaning of a previous finite verb. Context is the only judge on this.
In the case of Hebrews 2:10, τελειῶσαι is acting upon the finite verb ἀγαγόντα- which means "leading". So this word "to finish or complete" is acting on the "leading" of sons to glory.
Therefore, it is the act of salvation and the leading of the sons to glory that is made perfect, not Jesus. Jesus is perfect, He has always been perfect, and will always be perfect. It is us and the plan of salvation for mankind that had to be made perfect and complete, and Jesus accomplished this on the cross, Τετέλεσται - It is finished!!!
Ah, the magnificent language of Greek!
Therefore a better translation of Hebrews 2:10 would be:
10 for He was fitting, because of Whom the all, and through Whom the all, for the leader of their salvation, to make perfect and complete the leading of many sons unto glory, through sufferings.
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen
Ἡ χάρις τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ πάντων υμῶν. ἀμην.