"Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith."
When I read this verse, I hear the creak of saddle leather as I adjust my weary seat. I pat my horse's sweaty neck as I follow in a long line of warriors coming back from battle as we follow our leader whose flag is still waving. As we approach the castle, the people are cheering us on. We are heading to the safety of His kingdom where we will be able to take off our heavy armor and sit down at his banquet table and celebrate our victory.
One translation of this word 'author,' which is only used once in the New Testament, is that of 'Prince.' "He is the Leader of the whole army of faith, whose standard we are to follow, and whoso own completed victory is the enabling cause as well as the earnest of our own....He is regarded as the Head and Leader, in all ages, of the faithful; and in virtue of His future warfare for mankind the saints of old endured and triumphed."(Pulpit Commentary)
"He is more than an example...So let us look away from all others, who only give us example, to Him who can give us strength...They may teach us to fight, but He fights in us." (MacLaren)
He is the author. "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'...'Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last.'" (Revelation 1:8 & 1:17) He is the One who wrote the Book, kind of Author. He alone knows every thing past, present, and future. We just haven't finished reading it yet and are still turning the pages with bated breath because there is a chapter in which our stories are told. "He is the completer as well as beginner." (Barnes)
Our Leader wants to help us realize that, as great as they are, the cloud of witnesses, He is the Captain of our faith, "as if all the former witnesses are not enough (and they weren't) (Poole's Commentary)
Usually this verse is given as another example of the great race where "all these, the greatest names of old, are in one class, and He stands above in a class of which He is the only member." (MacLaren's) Adam Clarke says, "...every Christian is a contender in this race of life, and for eternal life. The heavenly course is begun under Jesus; and under Him it is completed. He is the finisher, by awarding the prize to them that at faithful unto death. Thus He is the author or the judge under whom, and by whose permission and direction, according to the rules of the heavenly race, they are permitted to enter the lists, and commence the race, and He is the finisher, the perfecter, by awarding and giving the prize which consummates the combatants at the end of the race."
"Only to Jesus we may look continuing to find unsullied purity and perfect faith."