Psalm 8:5

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JML

Puritan Board Junior
First of all, what got me started trying to figure this out was my recent purchase of the Book of Psalms for Worship. Psalm 8:5 in that particular psalter has psalm 8:5 as saying that "you have made him a little lower than God." As far as Bible translations go, here is what they have:

NASB: God
ESV: Heavenly Beings
KJV: Angels
NKJV: Angels

The NKJV has a footnote saying that the Hebrew is God but that the Septuagint and Jewish tradition translate it as angels. Paul in Hebrews 2 when quoting this verse says angels. Paul obviously would have known the Hebrew as well. So did he use a Hebrew manuscript that said "angels" or was he using the LXX?


Are there Hebrew texts that have "angels" instead of God? If not, do we know what the reason was for the transition from God in the Hebrew to Angels in the Greek?


Note: Sorry if this is in the wrong thread. I couldn't decide whether to put it here or in translations and manuscripts. You may move it if necessary.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
The word is elohim, though with a preposition "mem" prefixed to it.
Context will be key in rightly understanding the usage here.

Some comparison, from Psalms Chapter 8 - Parallel Hebrew Old Testament
5
Modern Hebrew
ותחסרהו מעט
מאלהים וכבוד והדר
תעטרהו׃

Paleo-Hebrew (Before 585 B.C.)
8:5

[okay, so that didn't copy & paste through]
.

Hebrew Transliterated
8:5 VThChSUrHV M'yT M'aLHYM VKBVD VHDUr Th'yTUrHV. [and this transliteration is weird!]

Latin Vulgate
8:5 minues eum paulo minus a Deo gloria et decore coronabis eum

King James Version
8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

American Standard Version
8:5 For thou hast made him but little lower than God, And crownest him with glory and honor.

Bible in Basic English
8:5 For you have made him only a little lower than the gods, crowning him with glory and honour.

Darby's English Translation
8:5 Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and splendour.

Douay Rheims Bible
8:5 Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour:

Noah Webster Bible
8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.

World English Bible
8:5 For you have made him a little lower than the angels, And crowned him with glory and honor.

Young's Literal Translation
8:5 And causest him to lack a little of Godhead, And with honour and majesty compassest him.

[that site could have chosen better translations for comparative purposes]
 

BertMulder

Puritan Board Junior
Dutch (Statenvertaling):

6 En hebt hem 19een 20weinig minder gemaakt dan de 21engelen, en hebt hem met eer en heerlijkheid gekroond?

21 Hebr. elohim, hetwelk hier beduidt engelen. Zie Hebr. 2:9


basically confirming what was stated above, with reference to Heb. 2:9
 

Nathan Riese

Puritan Board Freshman
Paul in Hebrews 2 when quoting this verse says angels. Paul obviously would have known the Hebrew as well. So did he use a Hebrew manuscript that said "angels" or was he using the LXX?


Are there Hebrew texts that have "angels" instead of God? If not, do we know what the reason was for the transition from God in the Hebrew to Angels in the Greek?

Sidenote: don't be too dogmatic in declaring that it is Paul specifically who authored Hebrews.

Psalm 8.5.
The greatness of the human being is seen in the fact that God made him inferior only to elohim, a word whose precise meaning here is disputed. Translations and their supporters are as follows:
(1) God: the ancient Greek versions by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion; Jerome; asv, rsv, tev.
(2) “Angels”: Septuagint (quoted in Heb 2.7), Syriac, Targum, Vulgate; KJV, nab, zür, frcl, njv footnote.
(3) “The gods”: Dahood. niv has “the heavenly beings.”
(4) “A god”: neb, bj, njb, tob, spcl. mft and njv have “little less than divine”; “almost divine” also represents this meaning.
The word elohim (the plural of el, “god”) can mean different things, depending on the context; its broadest sense is that of divine beings as distinct from human beings, and it is most likely that it is used in this sense in this passage. So the preferred translation is “God” or, perhaps, “the divine beings.”
The verbal phrase translated made him little less is the causative of the verb “to lack,” followed by the adjective “little”: “you have caused him to be little less than ….” Little less than God is not to be taken as rough equality with God, but viewed as higher than the rest of creation. In order to make clear the relation of less than and “inferior to,” it is sometimes necessary to indicate a complement of made; for example, “you made people to have a place only a little beneath you” or “you created people and gave them a place which is below only you.”
The Septuagint translation of 8.5–7 is quoted in Hebrews 2.6–8.

Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator's Handbook on the Book of Psalms, Helps for translators (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 82.

What is vital to the reformed hermeneutic?...Scripture interprets Scripture.

Consider this syllogism:

Hebrews is inspired
Psalms is inspired
Elohim in its broadest sense can refer to heavenly beings
Hebrews has angelos
Angelos are heavenly beings
Therefore, we should conclude that there is no contradiction, but that they accord just fine, and that Psalm 8:5 refers to angelos.


it is most likely that elohim is the plural form of the root word eloah, so if it is plural, and so are angelos, and they both can refer to heavenly beings, then what is the contradiction? There is none.

And if there is none, then the interpretation should not be made to be "God" or "gods" as is common, but "heavenly beings" or "angels" as the author of Hebrews states it is.
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
Sidenote: don't be too dogmatic in declaring that it is Paul specifically who authored Hebrews.


Wasn't trying to be dogmatic. I didn't even realize that I said that until you pointed it out. My pastor teaches that it was Paul, so I guess it just came out by habit. Plus our church uses the KJV which has Paul as the author in the subscription. Sorry if I offended you. I can edit the OP if necessary.
 

Nathan Riese

Puritan Board Freshman
Sidenote: don't be too dogmatic in declaring that it is Paul specifically who authored Hebrews.


Wasn't trying to be dogmatic. I didn't even realize that I said that until you pointed it out. My pastor teaches that it was Paul, so I guess it just came out by habit. Plus our church uses the KJV which has Paul as the author in the subscription. Sorry if I offended you. I can edit the OP if necessary.

Oops! in retrospect i guess i sounded kind of mean or offended. Nope, not offended at all! I'm inclined to believe it was Paul who authored it, but I just meant to say that I don't think there's a dogmatic case to be made for his authorship. sorry about that! I just meant it in passing as a note :)
 
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