The Most Confusing Word


If you thought δικαιοσύνη was confusing, try ὑπόστασις…

Here are all 5 times the word appears in the New Testament, with the word hypostasis substituted for it’s translated equivalent:

  • 2 Cor. 9:4 “Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so hypostatic.”
  • 2 Cor. 11:17 “What I am saying with this boastful hypostasis, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool.”
  • Heb. 1:3 “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his hypostasis, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”
  • Heb. 3:14 “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original hypostasis firm to the end.”
  • Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the hypostasis of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

I’m definitely in the stage where I know just enough Greek to be dangerous, but not enough to actually be helpful, so don’t try to draw any conclusions from these hypostatic observations. Hypostasis is just a really confusing word, that’s all.

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