daniel 3:25: "Son of God" or "a son of the gods"?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. robycop3

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    While some versions read "Son of God" at the end of this verse, others read "a son of the gods".

    I believe a little common sense will show us which one is correct. Remember, Nebuchadnezzar had the 3 Jews cast into the furnace for refusing to worship Neb's IDOL. Therefore Ned was NOT worshipping the REAL GOD at the time. thus, he'd have no knowledge that the real God would have a Son; that knowledge wasn't common even among the righteous Jews.

    I believe some translators used their hindsight insteada writing what Neb mighta REALLY said. We don't see even the righteous Daniel mentioning the Son of God in his writings. It simply wasn't time for Jesus to be fully revealed to mankind yet.

    It was awhile from that time before God humbled Neb enough so that he worshipped the REAL God.

    I know the translators who wrote "Son of God" meant well, but they subbed their opinion for the actual correct translation.
     
  2. Logos1560

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    The 1535 Coverdale's Bible, one of the pre-1611 English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision and one of the Bibles on the KJV-only view's line of good Bibles, has the following rendering at the end of Daniel 3:25

    "the fourth is like an angel to look upon."

    Perhaps Miles Coverdale was influenced by his use of "angels" for the name of God at Psalm 8:5. [After thou haddest for a season made him lower than the angels, thou crownedest him with honor & glory.]
     
  3. readmore

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    I've seen this verse used as a proof of the KJV's superiority. In One Book Stands Alone by Douglas Stauffer, he argues that the NIV blasphemes in this passage, changing what should be a reference to Jesus and calling him a mere "son of the gods". I wondered, "why would a pagan king be referring to Jesus?"
     
  4. Deacon

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    In the Babylonian Talmud, Rabbi Johanan wrote, “The world was created… for the sake of the Messiah.”
    Tractate Sanhedrin Folio 98b [link]

    And Rabbi Hiyya ben Abba said in R. Johanan's name:
    'All the prophets prophesied only in respect of the Messianic era; but as for the world to come 'the eye hath not seen, O Lord, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.'

    Tractate Sanhedrin, Folio 99a [link]

    With this reasoning, I see no reason why both rendering should not be noted within the text of a translation
    (one as text, the other as commentary).

    Rob
     
  5. robycop3

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    The thing is, Deacon, it's a quote of NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S words, not Daniel's. And I hardly believe that at that stage of his life, Neb woulds known who the Son of God is.

    And we don't know FOR SURE that the 4th person in the furnace was Jesus. It coulda been an angel.
     
  6. standingfirminChrist

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    Nebuchadnezzar knew who it was in the fire with the three Hebrew children. For when he called to them in the fire, he called them the servants of the 'Most High God.' He recognized the fourth in the fire to be like the Son of the Most High God.

    Remember, it was because the Hebrews would not bow to Nebuchadnezzar's statue nor serve his gods that they were thrown in the fire.
     
  7. tinytim

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    Is there any reason the word that is translate "God" in this phrase is only in Ezra and Daniel?

    I just ran an e'sword search on the word, and those are the only 2 books this word is in...
     
  8. standingfirminChrist

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    'elahh was the Aramaic spelling of God in the Old Testament. IN verse 17, it is used as well. We know they were not talking about a god, but God. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to believe Nebuchadnezzar was speaking of one like the Son of God in verse 26
     
  9. rsr

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    Doug Kutilek notes that the Septuagint renders it as "angel," which Coverdale apparently followed. The Latin Vulgate, however, renders it as filio Dei "son of God" (found in Daniel 3:92, the equivalent verse in the Vulgate.) which the KJV translators - who followed the Vulgate at several points — may have transferred into English through the Geneva Bible.

    Luther, BTW, translated it as "a son of the gods."

    (I also would note that in 3:28 Nebuchadnezzar identifies the being as an angel.)
     
    #9 rsr, Dec 22, 2007
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  10. standingfirminChrist

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    Wycliffe Translation:

    Daniel 3:25 (3:92) The kyng answeride, and seide, Lo! Y se foure men vnboundun, and goynge in the myddis of the fier, and no thing of corrupcioun is in hem; and the licnesse of the fourthe is lijk the sone of God.
     
  11. robycop3

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    SFIC: Nebuchadnezzar knew who it was in the fire with the three Hebrew children. For when he called to them in the fire, he called them the servants of the 'Most High God.' He recognized the fourth in the fire to be like the Son of the Most High God.

    Yeah, RRIIGGHHTT! A pagan king who'd worshipped Bel, Nergal, etc. his whole life & had just erected his own idol & commanded all to worship it knew just whom the Son Of God is...something not even Daniel knew!

    Remember, it was because the Hebrews would not bow to Nebuchadnezzar's statue nor serve his gods that they were thrown in the fire.

    It's because I remember it that I don't believe Neb knew just whom the 4th person in the furnace was. That's why I believe some translators used hindsight insteada literal translating here. And there's a good possibility it coulda been an angel.
     
  12. robycop3

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    It's QUITE unreasonable when, as a lifelong pagan, he'da had no idea who the SOG is.
     
  13. standingfirminChrist

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    The Hebrews told Nebuchadnezzar of the God they served prior to their being thrown in the fiery furnace. He would have know the entity in the flames with them was sent by their God... not by a god they did not serve.
     
  14. Deacon

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    Nor is it unreasonable to believe Nebuchadnezzar was speaking of one of the gods.
    The word “elohin[אלהין] is a common word, used in the ancient Aramaic translations called Targums in the place on the Hebrew word "elohim".

    Just as in Hebrew, the word can mean either “the gods” or “God”.

    Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell down, paid homage to [worshipped / adored] Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him. The king said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.”
    Daniel 2:46-47 HCSB

    Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent His angel and rescued His servants who trusted in Him. They violated the king’s command and risked their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I issue a decree that anyone of any people, nation, or language who says anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn limb from limb and his house made a garbage dump. For there is no other god who is able to deliver like this.”
    Daniel 3:28-29 HCSB

    In these verses, one must recognize that the capitalized letter “G” in God could just as well be rendered “god”, there is no capitalizing of letters in Hebrew or Aramaic.

    As any king, Ole Neb would be impressed with manifestations of power.
    He would want to associate or align himself with the ”most high god” (vs 26).

    I'm not convinced that Nebuchadnezzar, the raper of Jerusalem, had the faith necessary for eternal life .

    Rob
     
    #14 Deacon, Dec 22, 2007
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  15. standingfirminChrist

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    The fact that the Hebrew children told Nebuchadnezzar they would not bow to his gods, nor serve them...

    The fact that they told Nebuchadnezzar that their God was able to deliver them...

    Showed Nebuchadnezzar that they served the true God and He did deliver them that day.

    His gods would not have saved them, for they had already attested to the fact that even if God did not deliver them, they would not serve his gods.

    Nebuchadnezzar knew, once he saw, who was in that furnace. He knew it was not a god they would not serve.
     
  16. rsr

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    The Wycliffe Bible was translated from the Latin (filio Dei), which accounts for the above rendering.
     
  17. Armchair Scholar

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    It is not likely that Neb. knew who the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ was, especially when the children of Israel did not yet understand the full meaning of their Messianic prophecies. However, Neb. would have described what he saw in terms of what he had known all his life. To actually see "one of the gods" in person, not yet fully understanding that it was the Son of the one and only God by whom he would later be humbled. It's a case of "point of view" expression. Also, it could have been the Angel of the LORD, who was many times throughout the OT God's messenger and possibly a representation of the pre-incarnate Jesus, that Neb. saw.

    The KJV is not actually wrong and the MV's are not wrong either. Both descriptions work. One tells us that it could have been the Son or the Angel of the LORD and the other tells us the same thing but through the eyes of a king who knew nothing but Babylonian paganism and knew no other way to describe it. It definitely got his attention and probably helped him soften to the LORD as time went on.
     
  18. Logos1560

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    The 1611 edition of the KJV has "the sonne of God" at Daniel 3:25 ["Son" was not capitalized in the 1611 edition].

    The 1611 KJV has Nebuchad-nezzar saying in verse 28
    "Blessed bee the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his Angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him" ["Angel" was capitalized in the 1611 edition but not in most present KJV editions].
     
  19. Logos1560

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    The edition of the KJV I have that was printed at Cambridge by John Archdeacon in 1769 has "like the Son of God" at Daniel 3:25 with a small letter "l" before "the Son of God" and in the margin for that letter it has the references Job 1:6 & 38:7. The "sons of God" in Job 1:6 and in Job 38:7 are usually considered to be angels.

    I have a photocopy of an edition of the KJV whose title page says it was printed in London in 1672. That 1672 KJV edition has the letter "k" before "fonne of God" at Daniel 3:25 with the following marginal note for that letter:

    "For the angels were called the sons of God, because of their excellency: therefore the king called this angel, whom God sent to comfort his in these great torments, the Son of God."

    The 1672 KJV edition was one of the editions of the KJV printed with the marginal notes from the Geneva Bible. Thus, this marginal note in the 1672 KJV is the same marginal note found in the 1560 and 1599 editions of the Geneva Bible.
     
    #19 Logos1560, Dec 22, 2007
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  20. robycop3

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    I believe we can safely say that Neb was a very intelligent man; his accomplishments speak for themselves. He was astounded by the sight of FOUR men walking around unharmed in the hearth of a furnace large enough to hold men, a furnace prolly used to smelt metal....especially since he knew only THREE men had been cast in, with the 4th evidently someone vastly superior to mere men.

    Be this 4th person Jesus or an angel, he evidently didn't look like any of the images of Neb's own gods, and evidently had great power, to keep the three men from being harmed as well as himself. I'm sure Neb never forgot this as long as he lived.

    And, as was mentioned above, not even the most devout of the Jews such as Daniel knew just whom the Messiah would be. Daniel was most likely familiar with Isaiah's writings, and was expecting someone born of a virgin in Bethlehem to be the Messiah, but he had no idea whom it would be or when He'd be born. Later in his life, Daniel was given a timeline for Messiah's coming, but this was after Neb had been dead awhile. Nabodinus was the 4th king after Neb; when the Medes & Persians sacked the city of Babylon, Belshazzar, nabodinus' son, was killed, and Nabodinus became a vassal of Cyrus'. Now Cyrus was also a wise ruler, being guided by God, whether he realized it or not. Cyrus wisely retained the officials of the lands he'd conquered, long as they were loyal to him. And while he was off on military campaigns, his father Darius, who'd "retired" as king, governed the province of Babylon for him. It was during this time Daniel was given the timeline for the Messiah.

    It's not known if Daniel lived to see Cyrus' decree restoring the Jews to their own land.

    BTW, archaeology has confirmed the reign of Darius, and his later governorship while Cyrus was off to war.

    I've rambled for a few minutes, but it's highly-unlikely that Neb actually knew who the Son of God is. But maybe the 4th person in the furnace appeared to be young, so Neb thought he was a god's son.

    In summary...I'll hafta say "Son of God isn't entirely-incorrect, but neither is "a son of a god, or gods". But the KJVO argument is horse feathers.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!
     

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