There are several ways that translations render this verse. Here are a couple of them:
HCSB: And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church
NCV: God put everything under his power and made him the head over everything for the church
These are two popular renderings a good number of other translations have them (such as the [T]NIV & NRSV). The problem is that they are all wrong – very wrong.
Its the verb “appoint” and “made” in the two translations. The verb is δίδωμι. This is an issue in lexicons too (BDAG gives 15 definitions). There are times when either of these two words fit well with an instance of δίδωμι. But this isn’t one of them. When such a translation is possible the grammatical constituents of the clause very different. Like the English word, “give,” when δίδωμι has that particular meaning, it also takes an Agent (either a Nominative NP [Noun Phrase] or Pro-drop), Theme (Accusative NP), and recipient (Dative NP). That is, there is always some one who gives, something, to someone else. In linguistics these are called semantic roles required by a verb. And δίδωμι is consistent in this regard.
When there is an Accusative NP and Dative NP, δίδωμι always means to give. When translations make choices like this, they are ignoring the grammar of Greek. I’m not asking for syntactic transliteration. Just that the semantics are fairly represented. The two translations above take the Dative NP as a dative of advantage. Such a meaning unknown among occurrences of δίδωμι with an NP Acc, & NP Dat. If there’s a Dative NP is must be the recipient. I challenge anyone to give me an example otherwise where there is both an Acc NP & a Dat NP – and it has to be obvious if it could “go either way,” then it probably isn’t an example and actually probably can’t go either way. And for that reason, this verse is in accurate. God is not appointing his head for the church’s advantage or benefit, he is giving Christ the head, to the church.
Okay, rant over now.
By the way, the ESV & NET get it right.