Heb 1:8 - Why did you make it so difficult?

cjab

Well-known member
Nonsense. both are S-PN constructions. The language is the same --

Ὁ θρόνος σου ὁ Θεὸς and κύριος στερέωμά μου
That is the problem: the S-PN construction doesn't convey the sense that you contend for.

To say "Thy throne is God" equates the throne of the king with God, and is literally blasphemous, because the meaning then becomes not "Thy throne is of God" but "Thy throne is (as if) God".

Here the sense becomes "the King's throne is a rival to God's throne." Whatever figurative sense might be imputed is heavily overshaddowed by the far more obvious literal blasphemous meaning.

Whereas "God is my rock" is plainly figurative speech, as the sense cannot be that God is a rock in the possession of the speaker.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Quite true, but as God has his own throne, the meaning becomes that the King's throne is God's throne.
Nah..”Throne” signifies authority, here it denotes God’s authority. So the sense is that it is from God that Messiah derives any and all of his power. Remember, Revelation tells us that he sat on God’s throne .
 

cjab

Well-known member
Nah..”Throne” signifies authority, here it denotes God’s authority. So the sense is that it is from God that Messiah derives any and all of his power. Remember, Revelation tells us that he sat on God’s throne .
However you look at it, such a translation is monogenes, conflating the "king" with God, either by throne or by authority, which is hardly appropriate when the subject seems to be a human king.

Only if you disallow any application other than to "the Messiah" associated directly with God's throne could your translation stand, which would make Ps 45 unintelligible to all its readers until the New Testament era. Your translation is so advanced in theology, that it becomes too advanced.

Even then the translation is still imperfect. The human Jesus didn't sit on God's throne. Rather he was (re-)elevated to God's throne on his ascension. In his humanity, Jesus made use of his Father's throne.

So by your own words, Ps 45 would relate as far into the future as Jesus' ascension.
 

Rivers

Member
Quite true, but as God has his own throne, the meaning becomes that the King's throne is God's throne.

I agree. There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that God himself has a throne and that the kings of Israel were said to sit upon that throne.

There is no reason to say "God is my throne" just for the sake of insisting on a wooden literal translation of the passage.
 
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Rivers

Member
Nah..”Throne” signifies authority, here it denotes God’s authority. So the sense is that it is from God that Messiah derives any and all of his power. Remember, Revelation tells us that he sat on God’s throne .

I agree.

Hebrews 1:8-9 and Hebrews 1:10-12 are citations of OT passages about YHWH that the writer is using to demonstrate that God possesses the throne and was the One who established the first order of things with the intent to change it (cf. Hebrews 8:13).

Thus, God has the authority and the means to appoint and empower the son as the inheritor.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
However you look at it, such a translation is monogenes, conflating the "king" with God, either by throne or by authority, which is hardly appropriate when the subject seems to be a human king.

Only if you disallow any application other than to "the Messiah" associated directly with God's throne could your translation stand, which would make Ps 45 unintelligible to all its readers until the New Testament era. Your translation is so advanced in theology, that it becomes too advanced.

Even then the translation is still imperfect. The human Jesus didn't sit on God's throne. Rather he was (re-)elevated to God's throne on his ascension. In his humanity, Jesus made use of his Father's throne.

So by your own words, Ps 45 would relate as far into the future as Jesus' ascension.

Why not say the same where God is said to be someone's rock ? Clearly in such passages the meaning of the inanimate object is being used metaphorically. If you can understand that "rock" in κύριος στερέωμά μου is a metaphor for "strength," the only reason you would not understand that Ὁ θρόνος in Ὁ θρόνος σου ὁ Θεὸς is a metaphor for authority/power is because of theological a priori.

I need to see substance.
 

Rivers

Member
Why not say the same where God is said to be someone's rock ? Clearly in such passages the meaning of the inanimate object is being used metaphorically. If you can understand that "rock" in κύριος στερέωμά μου is a metaphor for "strength," the only reason you would not understand that Ὁ θρόνος in Ὁ θρόνος σου ὁ Θεὸς is a metaphor for authority/power is because of theological a priori.

I need to see substance.

That's not necessarily the case.

"God is my rock" is a metaphor because God is the title of a person and a person cannot literally be an inanimate rock.

A person can literally sit upon a throne. Thus, there is no reason to infer a metaphor in Psalms 45:6-7 or Hebrews 1:8-9. This is not a theological presupposition but a matter of linguistics.
 

Rivers

Member
Nonsense. both are S-PN constructions. The language is the same --

Ὁ θρόνος σου ὁ Θεὸς and κύριος στερέωμά μου

Nonsense. The language is clearly not the same.

You are just interpreting the grammar to suit your own explanation. Everyone has to do that to some degree. Other options are available.
 

cjab

Well-known member
I agree. There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that God himself has a throne and that the kings of Israel were said to sit upon that throne.
I think that any such instance of God's throne being on earth is strictly metaphorical for God establishing his authority and / or judgement in some place. cf. Jer 49:38 where Jeremiah prophesies that God will set "set his throne in Elam." He doesn't mean it literally, but rather in the sense that he will bring judgement on a place: "and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD. But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD." (Jer 49:38,39).

I can't see how this can help the translation "Thy throne is God" because as you say, it is "wooden;" and contextually different from the above, which talks about God's throne qua his own judgement and authority, not someone else's.

The reality is surely this: Isaiah 66:1 "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool."
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
I've explained to you that the same grammar doesn't always have to be interpreted the same way.

It's fallacious to think that grammar determines meaning. Usage and context determine meaning.
And I've explained to you why "God is your throne" makes good sense. Take it from yet another Trinitarian if you won't believe me:

“Thy throne, O God” or “God is thy throne”/“thy throne is God” may be proper renderings: “Either makes good sense.”

A. T. Robertson - p. 339, Word Pictures in the New Testament.

This is a verse where almost as many Trinitarian scholars contend that "God is your throne" is correct as those who say "Thy throne, O God" is true.

I need to see substance or this conversation is coming to an impasse.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
I think the entirety of Westott's comments on this issue are worth printing. Commenting on Hebrews 1:8, 9, B. F. Westcott wrote in his work "The Epistle to the Hebrews," London, 1892, pp. 25, 26:

"ho thronos sou ho theos...dia touto...ho theos, ho theos sou...It is not
necessary to discuss here in detail the construction of the original words
of the Psalm. The LXX admits of two renderings: ho theos can be taken as a
vocative in both cases (_Thy throne, O God,... therefore, O God, Thy
God..._) or it can be taken as the subject (or the predicate) in the first
case (_God is Thy throne,_ or _Thy throne is God..._), or in apposition to
ho theos sou in the second case (_Therefore God, even Thy God..._). The only
important variation noted in the other Greek versions is that of Aquila, who
gave the vocative thee in the first clause (Hieron. _Ep._ lxv. _ad Princ._
13) and, as it appears, also in the second (Field, _Hexapla_ ad loc._). It
is scarcely possible that 'elohim in the original can be addressed to the
king. The presumption therefore is against the belief that ho theos is a
vocative in the LXX. Thus on the whole it seems best to adopt in the first
clause the rendering: _God is Thy throne_ (or, _Thy throne is God_), that
is, 'Thy kingdom is founded upon God, the immovable Rock'; and to take ho theos as in apposition in the second clause.

"The phrase 'God is Thy throne' is not indeed found elsewhere, but it is in
no way more strange than Psalm lxxi. 3 _[Lord] be Thou to me a rock of
habitation...Thou art my rock and my fortress._ Is xxvi. 4 (R.V.) _In the
LORD JEHOVAH is an everlasting rock._ Ps xc. 1 _Lord, Thou hast been our
dwelling-place._ Ps xci. 1 _He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most
High..._ v. 2 _I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress,_ v.
9; Deut. xxxiii. 27 _The eternal God is thy dwelling-place._ Comp. Is. xxii.
23.
 

Rivers

Member
The reality is surely this: Isaiah 66:1 "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool."

This language is different because you have God speaking for Himself.

In Hebrews 1:8, there is an author quoting a passage about "God" in regards to a third person ("the son").
 

cjab

Well-known member
I think the entirety of Westott's comments on this issue are worth printing. Commenting on Hebrews 1:8, 9, B. F. Westcott wrote in his work "The Epistle to the Hebrews," London, 1892, pp. 25, 26:

It is scarcely possible that 'elohim in the original can be addressed to the
king. The presumption therefore is against the belief that ho theos is a
vocative in the LXX. Thus on the whole it seems best to adopt in the first
clause the rendering: _God is Thy throne_ (or, _Thy throne is God_), that
is, 'Thy kingdom is founded upon God, the immovable Rock'; and to take ho theos as in apposition in the second clause.

"The phrase 'God is Thy throne' is not indeed found elsewhere, but it is in
no way more strange than Psalm lxxi. 3 _[Lord] be Thou to me a rock of
habitation...Thou art my rock and my fortress._ Is xxvi. 4 (R.V.) _In the
LORD JEHOVAH is an everlasting rock._ Ps xc. 1 _Lord, Thou hast been our
dwelling-place._ Ps xci. 1 _He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most
High..._ v. 2 _I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress,_ v.
9; Deut. xxxiii. 27 _The eternal God is thy dwelling-place._ Comp. Is. xxii.
23.
As I have pointed out the only way "Thy throne is God" isn't blasphemous is if elohim IS addressed to the king, who is the the very Messiah from heaven cf. "God is the Word" in John 1:1c. You can't go around flippantly talking about things "being God" even if it is the king's throne.

I note in all the examples Wescott cites, the subject is God, and the predicate is figurative. But in Ps 45:6, Westcott proposes either making the predicate "God" stand in place of his own throne or own authority, or else the subject is figurative, or both subject and predicate are figurative at the same time. As such Wescott's rendition is not just strange, but bizarre.

"God" is never figurative, except when applies to judges or rulers (Psalm 82:1). Angels speaking with God's authority referred to themselves as YHWH. Psalm 82:1 is one reason why elohim could in this instance have been applied to the king, especially an oriental despot, i.e. a priest-king, but not so as to give the rendition "Thy throne is God."

Indeed the phrase "Thy throne is God" is so clumsy it scarce be contemplated as intended. God's throne and his authority isn't treated so clumsily elsewhere. I just don't get where Wescott is coming from with his rendition. IMO he hasn't made any case for preferring it over any of the alternatives. There's not much to discuss here.
 
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Rivers

Member
Indeed the phrase "Thy throne is God" is so clumsy it scarce be contemplated as intended. God's throne and his authority isn't treated so clumsily elsewhere. I just don't get where Wescott is coming from with his rendition. He hasn't made any case for preferring his rendition over any of the alternatives.

I think I agree with what you're saying.

"Your throne is God" and "God is your throne" simply don't have any precedent and is an unlikely reading. It seems to be derived from trying to take the grammar too literally.

I think a better option is to understand it as something like "Your's [is] the throne of God" (speaking to the son himself acquiring God's throne) or to take Hebrews 1:8 as a proclamation about God's own throne and kingdom and then taking Hebrews 1:9 with reference to the son (who is anointed by God above men and angels to rule).

These options seem more consistent with how the writer of Hebrews referred to God and His throne everywhere else.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
"God" is never figurative, except when applies to judges or rulers (Psalm 82:1). Angels speaking with God's authority referred to themselves as YHWH. Psalm 82:1 is one reason why elohim could in this instance have been applied to the king, especially an oriental despot, i.e. a priest-king, but not so as to give the rendition "Thy throne is God."
Who says God is “figurative” ?

It’s the “throne” that is figurative. “God is your seat of authority/power/foundation/strength.” Nothing different than “God is your /my rock.”

Unless I see substance next post, this will be my final comment.
 

Rivers

Member
Who says God is “figurative” ?

It’s the “throne” that is figurative. “God is your seat of authority/power/foundation/strength.” Nothing different than “God is your /my rock.”

Unless I see substance next post, this will be my final comment.

It probably should be you last post because, as long as your eyes are closed, you won't see anything of substance.
 
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