Hebrews 1:8, old posts
Hi, this is my first time posting here. I'm new to the list, and
first, I'd like to ask a FAQ: where can we find old posts? This
wasn't covered in the introductory mail message.
But on to a more meaningful question...
(Please forgive me if I say anything erroneous. My knowledge of
ancient Greek is not particularly extensive.)
Translations of Heb 1:8,
KJV: But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is]...
NIV: But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will...
RSV: But to the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is]...
TEV: About the Son, however, God said: "Your kingdom, O God, will...
and even in French: <<Ton trone, o Dieu,...
All of these versions - very common and influential versions - all
agree on the expression 'O God'. So in effect, these translations
are callind the Son 'God', for God (our Father in Heaven) would be
calling the Son (Jesus Christ) God. But that is only if God called
But in the Greek manuscripts, God does not call Christ God. The
Greek says 'ho theos', not 'o theos'. Since omnicron denotes the
nominative, and omega denotes the vocative, 'theos' is clearly in the
nominative (and could never be the vocative). So what does that make
'theos'? 'God' should be the the subject of the sentence, not the
person addressed in the sentence. So God is not being spoken *to* in
this sentence, but is being spoken *about*. But 'ho thronos' is also
in the nominative, so it would also be the subject. Why would this
sentence be constructed this way?
Well, in Greek (and in English as well), nouns may be in
apposition. "An appositive is a word or word group that renames the
word or word group before it. (The word appositive derives from a
Latin word that means "placed near to" or "applied to.") The most
common appositives are nouns that rename other nouns." (p. 198,
Fowler, _The_Little_Brown_Handbook_." So if the nouns 'ho thronos'
and 'ho theos' are in apposition, than this verse would be saying
that the throne is God. Even is this rendition is deemed incorrect,
'Thy throne, O God' can *never* be correct. Are there translations
that equate 'ho thronos' and 'ho theos'? Yes:
Moffatt: "...he says of the Son, 'God is thy throne,..."
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament: "..but with regard to the
Son, 'The throne of thee - God (is)..."
The latter translation agreeing more with my feelings.
So my questions are two:
(1) - Why did these translaters choose their translation?
(2) - Am I correct is my critique of the alleged incorrect
Thanks for your time...
David J. Moreau