Did the Father address His Son as “God”?

Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:25 am

Re: Did the Father address His Son as “God”?

Post by StevenD » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:28 am

StevenD wrote:
Who in their right mind could see God as a throne anyway?
Paidion wrote:
Everyone! Once he understands what I pointed out in an earlier post.

The throne of a king is the symbol of the king's authority. For God to be your throne forever figuratively means that God is your authority forever.
Hi again, Paidion,

I congratulate your enthusiasm and creative efforts. On the other hand, your construal of Ps. 45:6 (Heb. v. 7) seems unnecessary.

The history of the verse's interpretation supports the idea that an intuitive glance at the Hebrew sentence yields a translation something like:

"Your throne, God, is forever and ever."

One of the most widely read medieval Jewish commentators (Rashi) maintained this same syntactical arrangement, but argued that "Elohim" should be understood differently than the Greek ο θεοσ reasonably suggests. He argued that the word should be understood as "prince/judge" instead of "God". Rashi cited Exod. 7:1 in support of his interpretation. Exod. 7:1 (cf. also 4:16) involves the idea of Moses representing "Elohim" ("God" or "judge") to Pharaoh while Aaron functioned as Moses' prophet. (For the record, while judges are not known to speak through prophets, God is.)

https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cd ... ter-45.htm

The Targum of Psalm 45 reads:

"Your throne of honor, Yahweh [some mss add: "God of the heavens"], is established from eternity of eternity."
A more formal English translation of the Targum of the Psalm is located here:
The Jerusalem Publication Society 1917 rendering of the Psalm accords with the syntax of these translations (though one may wince at the translator's flagrant bias in adding the phrase "given of"):

"Thy throne given of God is forever and ever;"
Despite theological interests that doubtlessly influenced these rabbinic translators, none among this reputable sample understood the verse with reference to God as a throne. Personally, I am not aware of any rabbinic exegetes who read the verse as you have suggested. Yet, I imagine that anyone disinclined to honor the royal Messiah as one honors God might wish to avoid interpreting the Bible as venerating the Messiah on par with God. I'll guess that your innovative approach to Psalm 45 may appeal to readers thus motivated.

To be clear, I don't assume that there's any ill motivation behind your interpretive stance. However, the translation seems counterintuitive to me. Additionally, if it didn't require such an interpretive stretch, I would expect at least some rabbinic interpreters to have made hay with it by now.

User avatar
Posts: 5015
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Did the Father address His Son as “God”?

Post by Paidion » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:05 pm

Although the vast majority of translators of Hebrews 1:8 treat the words as a vocative, there are two translations in which they are regarded as a nominative. Perhaps you would reject these out of hand, but I thought I would quote them anyway:

But with reference to the Son: "God is your throne forever, and [the] scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness (Heb 1:8 NWT)

And an utterly literal translation:
...concerning but the son: The throne of thee the god for the age of the ages; a sceptre of rectitude the sceptre of the kingdom of thee.
(Heb 1:8 Diaglot)

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

Post Reply

Return to “Acts & Epistles”