Brief Thoughts on Psalm 8:4 & Hebrew 2:17

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Rippon, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    The thoughts are not my own, but those of D.A.Carson in his article :The Limits of Functional Equivalence in Bible Translation. And that article is chapter three of one of my favorite books :The Challenge of Bible Translation. The general editors were Scrogie,Strauss and Voth;but there were 17 other contributers. It was published in 2003.

    "The expression 'son of man' in the Old Testament can have powerful messianic overtones, of course (see Daniel 7:13,14) but it is far from being invariable:about eighty times it is used as a form of address to the prophet Ezekiel, without any messianic overtone whatsoever. So whether the expression has messianic content or not must be argued, not merely asserted. In Psalm 8, the overwhelming majority of commentators see the expression as a gentilic, parallel to the Hebrew for 'man' in the preceding line...In the context of the application of Psalm 8:4 to Jesus in Hebrews 2, one should at least recognize that the nature of the application to Jesus is disputed. Scanning my commentaries on Hebrews (I have about forty of them), over three-quarters of them do not think that 'son of man' here functions as a messianic title but simply as a gentilic, as in psalm 8. If this exegesis is correct...,Jesus is said to be 'son of man,' not in function of the messianic force of that title in daniel in Daniel 7:13,14, but in function of his becoming a human being --which all sides recognize is one of the major themes of Hebrews 2. If one wishes to take the opposite tack --that 'son of man' here is a messianic title --there are competent interpreters who have taken that line. But it is not a matter of theological orthodoxy, since undestanding the text one way does not mean that the translator (or the commentator) is denying the complementary truth but is merely asserting that the complementary truth is not in view here.

    ...But at the level of actual translation, it is difficult to find legitimate reasons for condemning the TNIV rendering in such absolutist terms." (p.88,89)
     
    #1 Rippon, Jul 8, 2014
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  2. Deacon

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    Psalm 8:3–6 (TNIV)
    3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
    4 what are mere mortals that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
    5 You have made them a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned them with glory and honor.
    6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:

    Psalm 8:3–6 (Revised English Bible)
    3 When I look up at your heavens, the work of your fingers, at the moon and the stars you have set in place,
    4 what is a frail mortal, that you should be mindful of him, a human being, that you should take notice of him?
    5 Yet you have made him little less than a god, crowning his head with glory and honour.
    6 You make him master over all that you have made, putting everything in subjection under his feet:

    Psalm 8:3–6 (Lexham English Bible)
    3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place—
    4 what is a human being that you think of him? and a child of humankind that you care for him?
    5 And you made him a little lower than heavenly beings, and with glory and with majesty you crowned him.
    6 You make him over the works of your hands; all things you have placed under his feet:
     
  3. Rippon

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    Psalm 8:3-5
    NIV 2011 :

    When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
    what is mankind that you are mindful of
    them,
    human beings that you care for them?
    You have made them a little lower than the
    angels
    and crowned them with glory and honour.

    NET Bible:
    When I look up at the heavens,
    which your fingers made,
    and see the moon and the stars,
    which you set in place,
    of what importance is the human race,
    that you should notice them?
    Of what importance is mankind,
    that you should pay attention to them,
    and made them a little less than the heavenly beings?
    You grant mankind honor and majesty.
    _________________________________________________
    Just for fun I will quote verse 5a from the YLT:

    And causest him to lack a little of Godhead,
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    The assertion that Hebrews 2:6 has Jesus in view as "in every respect like His brothers" (cf Hebrews 2:17) is without merit. The idea is He was made a little lower than Angels for a little while, so that He could "taste death" for everyone. Thus the "son of man" refers to Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one. And the author of Hebrews says, using inspired words of God, that this testimony was written in scripture.
    But these mistranslations (TNIV, NIV, NET) of Psalm 8:4 ignore Hebrews 2:9 which identifies the reference as to Jesus, not mankind.

    Note also that the NIV and NET have "son of man" at Hebrews 2:6.

    The solution is simple, if the translators, i.e. NIV or NET, or whoever, think mankind is in view, rather than Jesus, simply translate the Hebrew phrase "a son of man." Thus Jesus, who is not only the Messiah, but also a son of man in every respect (Hebrews 2:17), is not removed from the text.
     
    #4 Van, Jul 8, 2014
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  5. Yeshua1

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    The ultimate guide to how to view son of man is from the Son of God Himself, and he saw it as meaning/referring to the one prophesied in daniel, and whose rule was from everlasting, the messiah!

    Same reasoning can be used to support a young woman in isaiah IF just taking that into account, but mist also pour into it the meaning vested by the Holy Spirit in the NT to what it really meant!
     
  6. Deacon

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    It's important to note that the author of Hebrews often expounds upon the texts of the OT by quoting a Greek translation of the OT rather than the Hebrew text itself.

    Here the Greek text enhanced and interpreted the Hebrew text as some of our modern translations are prone to do.

    I don't think we should back-translate the Greek translations meaning into the Hebrew text.
    IMO, we should translate the Hebrew text with the original ambiguity of meaning.

    We can provide footnotes and references to provide later interpretational meanings.

    I think having the latitude/freedom to have differing translations is what Carson is saying in the OP's quote.

    Rob
     
    #6 Deacon, Jul 8, 2014
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  7. Yeshua1

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    But since Jesus Himself gave to us how he defined the term, is it not right to have it as Son of man in messaniac sense?
     
  8. Deacon

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    Examine the Genesis 47:31 in your bible.

    Almost all versions read something similar to:
    And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed. (ESV)

    But the NIV (and its close relatives) are different.

    “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. (NIV)

    Why is the NIV different?

    The in the consonantal Hebrew text (the Hebrew text without vowels) the word for "bed" and "staff" are the same. They only differ when the vowel points are added. The Hebrew text we have received with the vowels reads "bed".

    But the Greek text used the author of Hebrews translated the unpointed word as "staff".

    So who's right?

    In Hebrews 11:21 many versions read like this:
    By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. (NIV)

    You might say that the NIV merely "corrected" the Masoretic Hebrew text.

    Was the NIV correct in making this change based upon the difference written in the NT book of Hebrews?

    Rob
     
  9. Rippon

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    Hear, hear O people.
    Yes, but we should let the Hebew text, as translated, stand alone without manipulation as you were saying earlier.
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    That would depend on if you saw the Masoretic hebrew text as the one to base translation off from/on, which I do!
     
  11. Deacon

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    Picking this up after a while…

    Look at Job 1:6

    Many versions read something like:

    Note the underlined word, “Satan”.

    The Hebrew Masoretic text reads, “the satan”.
    Satan has a definite article before it in the Masoretic text and therefore it is not a proper name.
    In Hebrew as in English, proper names do not have an article before them.
    You don’t call me “the Deacon”, or “the Rob”, I’m just “Deacon” or “Rob”.

    The same applies to the word “satan”, if the Hebrew text has a definite article, the word is not a name, rather it is a title.

    Versions that translate the verse with “Satan” ignore the definite article because the NT uses the word “Satan” as a proper name (Matt 4:10; 12:26; 16:23; Mk 1:13 etc.).

    But a correct translation of the Hebrew text would be like that found in the Common English Bible [and The Tanakh and Young’s Literal Translation]:

    Many versions (God’s Word Translation, the Living Bible, the Message, New Living Translation, Revised English Bible take a middle of the road approach:

    So once again I ask, Is it proper to back-translate our understanding of the bible into the Old Testament text?

    Rob
     
  12. robycop3

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    While the Hebrew word "Satan" means 'adversary', it appears, in my limited knowledge of ancient hebrew, that its users often made proper names from common words, much as English does.(Smith, Shoemaker, Cooper, Brewer, etc.) and we see the devil called Satan 47 times in Scripture. (In 2 other instances, Jesus calls Peter "Satan" for opposing His words.)

    Another well-known instance of a common Hebrew word becoming a proper name in the context in which it's used is "Goliath", a Hebrew word meaning "splendor". (We don't know what Goliath's actual Philistine name was.)
     
  13. Rippon

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    George the Giant.
     

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