Hello everyone and welcome to Deeper Waters once again. I thank everyone again for their continued prayers as there is a lot to be learned in a certain area and I believe I will learn it. Tonight, let us continue our Trinitarian Commentary. Last time, I left us on a cliffhanger of sorts saying that the Son was superior to the angels in a certain way. What way is that? Well let us go to our text tonight. We will be looking at Hebrews 1:8-9. Let’s go:
8But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,
and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
The Psalms were a favorite book for the New Testament writers to quote and the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews was no exception. This passage is also like Psalm 2, a passage to honor the king, yet all of a sudden in the text, we find the reference to God. What is going on?
Naturally, an Old Testament king was not God, however, they were in essence to have a godlike function. I believe the same is being said of the judges of Israel in Psalm 82. They were to lead Israel as God’s chosen person to sit upon the throne. There was also the Davidic promise that one of David’s descendants would forever sit on the throne.
The Trinitarian is fully prepared for the true fulfillment of this passage as while the others did function as gods, in the end, it truly is God who sits on the throne in the person of Christ. This is a psalm that ultimately is Messianic and looks forward to the age of the Messiah when the true king of Davidic descent would sit on the throne and as we saw in the question Christ stumped the Pharisees with on if the Messiah was the Son of David, this does end with the fulfillment of a human descendant of David who is both man and God.
How does a group like the Jehovah’s Witnesses handle this. They’re quite good at changing the Bible when it doesn’t fit with their doctrine. Here is what the New World Translation says:
But with reference to the Son: “God is your throne forever and ever, and [the] scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.
There is no doubt the Witnesses are in the minority among Greek grammarians throughout the ages (Of course, I don’t believe any Greek grammarians really worked on the text of the NWT). It would be more likely however that if this was meant to be read in that way, that Ho Theos, for God, would have appeared first. The idea of interpreting it as “God is your throne” has been called a grotesque interpretation.
I would also point out that I find this concept makes no sense. In what sense is God a throne? God is not a place for another to sit. God will not relinquish his rulership to another forever and ever. The Christian concept does have explanatory power, it fits in with sound theology in the church for ages, and it has had the backing of grammarians for ages.
But the question is asked “If this is saying Jesus is God, then haven’t we reached the pinnacle? Wouldn’t this best be saved for last?”
We shall answer that tomorrow.