Jul 21, 2010

Hebrews 2:9 - William Styles

“That He, by the grace of God should taste death for every man,” Heb. 2:9. These words have been quoted to prove that Christ died for the whole human race. Two consideration, however, lead to a contrary opinion. (1.) The context—The Apostle is discussing the grace of the Redeemer in identifying himself with the “many sons,” whom it is the sovereign purpose of God to bring unto glory. As the “Captain of their salvation,” it was needful that He should be made, relatively and officially, “perfect through sufferings;” and to this end He tasted death—not for every man universally—but for every member of the enrolled family whose cause He had undertaken. (2.) A critical examination of the original shows that the word man is inserted without authority in our translation. The latitude of the word pantos (every, or each) must, therefore, be determined by the connection, which, as we have seen, limits it to the children of God, for each or every one of whom Christ has tasted death. The force of the word “tasted” is often misunderstood. As in Psa. 34:8, and 1 Pet. 2:3; the force of the term is to drink slowly, as a wine taster might who wishes to ascertain the exact character of a sample. Christ did not simply die (see page 46), but died in the full cognizance of all the horrors of death. A popular modern view of this verse which regards it as teaching that all men are benefited by Christ’s mediation (true as that idea undoubtedly is) is untenable. It refers only to His dying for His elect.

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