God is addressing his SON when he says ”thy throne, O GOD….”, and if God the Father can call his son GOD, then so can we. The Greek text allows for a couple of alternative ways to understand the text; ”God is your throne for ever and ever…” or ”Your throne God, is for ever and ever …”. The world’s Bible translators and Greek scholars have chosen the last alternative for good reasons, and why should we believe that they were are all wrong? Because we personally don’t like their conclusions? It’s not logical to say and believe that God is Jesus THRONE, and nowhere else in the Bible can we see a similar statement. God is not a throne or a monument for Jesus, but he is his Father and a partner in the same Deity and they also SHARE the same throne since Jesus is sitting on the right hand of God on this throne. If someone has decided beforehand that Jesus cannot be God, then of course he would prefer the first alternative at the same time as he RULES OUT the second alternative, to not let it disturb his desired conclusion. Or else the only outcome would be that Jesus in fact IS God, precisely as God the Father has declared, but cult members (like Jehovas witnesses, christadelpians, etc) do their utmost to avoid any translation that smells ”Jesus is God”, and of course muslims do the same.
- Hebr. 1:8 But of the Son he says,“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (ESV)
- Hebr. 1:8 But of the Son He says,“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (NASB)
- Hebr. 1:8 and unto the Son:`Thy throne, O God, [is] to the age of the age (Young’s Literal)
- Hebr. 1:8 Mas del Hijo dice: Tu trono, oh Dios, por el siglo del siglo (Reina Valera 1960)
- Hebr. 1:8 Mais au sujet du Fils, il dit: Ton trône, ô Dieu, subsiste pour toute éternité (La Bible du Semeur)
- Hebr. 1:8 aber von dem Sohn: ”Gott, dein Stuhl währt von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit (Luther Bibel 1545)
The verse is also a reference to psalm 45:6-8 with almost the exact same phrase:
Psalm 45:6 Thy throne, O God (Elohim), is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God (Elohim), thy God (Elohim), hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
It’s common that Biblical texts make parallels between people, cities and nations and Ezekiel 28 is a good example of this since one section is about Satan despite that the chapter starts out speaking about an earthly the King (the King of Tyrus). Psalm 45 starts out addressing a King (which also applies to Jesus but not in a worldly sense) and continues by addressing GOD, so if this psalm is in relation to God then Hebr. 1 should be in relation to God as well because the phrases are the same! It’s hard to get around the fact that the son is indeed called GOD by his Father. We also know from the Bible that there is only one true God (not several true Gods) OR false gods, so which category fits Jesus? A false God or a true God?
Hebr. 1:1 God (theos), who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Adam Clarke Commentary on Hebrews 1:8:
”Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever – If this be said of the Son of God, i.e., Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ must be God; and indeed the design of the apostle is to prove this. The words here quoted are taken from Psalm 45:6, Psalm 45:7, which the ancient Chaldee paraphrast, and the most intelligent rabbins, refer to the Messiah. On the third verse of this Psalm, ‘Thou art fairer than the children of men,’ the Targum says: ‘Thy beauty, מלכא משיחא malca Meshicha, O King Messiah, is greater than the children of men.’ Aben Ezra says: ‘This Psalm speaks of David, or rather of his Son the Messiah, for this is his name, Ezekiel 34:24 : And David my servant shall be a prince over them for ever.’ Other rabbins confirm this opinion.
”This verse is very properly considered a proof, and indeed a strong one, of the divinity of Christ; but some late versions of the New Testament have endeavored to avoid the evidence of this proof by translating the word thus: ‘God is thy throne for ever and ever;’ and if this version be correct, it is certain that the text can be no proof of the doctrine. Mr. Wakefield vindicates this translation at large in his History of Opinions; and ὁ Θεος being the nominative case is supposed to be sufficient justification of this version. In answer to this it may be stated that the nominative case is often used for the vocative, particularly by the Attics, and the whole scope of the place requires it should be so used here; and with due deference to all of a contrary opinion, the original Hebrew cannot be consistently translated any other way; כסאך אלהים עולם ועד kisacha Elohim olam vaed, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and to eternity.’ It is in both worlds, and extends over all time, and will exist through all endless duration. To this our Lord seems to refer, Matthew 28:18 : ‘All power is given unto me, both in Heaven and Earth.’ My throne, i.e., my dominion, extends from the creation to the consummation of all things. These I have made, and these I uphold; and from the end of the world, throughout eternity, I shall have the same glory – sovereign unlimited power and authority, which I had with the Father before the world began; John 17:5. I may add that none of the ancient Versions has understood it in the way contended for by those who deny the Godhead of Christ, either in the Psalm from which it is taken, or in this place where it is quoted. Aquila translates אלהים Elohim, by Θεε, O God, in the vocative case; and the Arabic adds the sign of the vocative ya, reading the place thus: korsee yallaho ila abadilabada, the same as in our Version. And even allowing that ὁ Θεος here is to be used as the nominative case, it will not make the sense contended for without adding εστι to it, a reading which is not countenanced by any Version, nor by any MS. yet discovered. Wiclif, Coverdale, and others, understood it as the nominative, and translated it so; and yet it is evident that this nominative has the power of the vocative: Forsothe to the sone God thi troone into the world of worlde: a gerde of equite the gerde of thi reume. I give this, pointing and all, as it stands in my old MS. Bible. Wiclif is nearly the same, but is evidently of a more modern cast: But to the sone he seith, God thy trone is unto the world of world, a gherd of equyte is the gherd of thi rewme. Coverdale translates it thus: ‘But unto the sonne he sayeth: God, thi seate endureth for ever and ever: the cepter of thy kyngdome is a right cepter.’ Tindal and others follow in the same way, all reading it in the nominative case, with the force of the vocative; for none of them has inserted the word εστι is, because not authorized by the original; a word which the opposers of the Divinity of our Lord are obliged to beg, in order to support their interpretation.”
Excuses – Anyone can be called God, so it’s not a big deal that Jesus too was called God in Hebr. 1:8?
We can read that Moses was to be AS GOD for Pharao, and it’s not to be understood as though Moses is one God among many other gods. That would only make God the Creator to be a liar for suggesting that he is the only God if the truth is that polytheism is a reality. JAHVE (God) is only applied to our only Creator God in the Bible, but here Elohim is used.
Ex. 7:1 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god (Elohim) to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. (KJV)
Ex. 7:1 And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you LIKE God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (ESV)
Ex. 7:7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you AS God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (NASB)
God said something similar about Aaron, and his position in relation to Moses:
Ex. 4:15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and THOU SHALT BE TO HIM INSTEAD OF GOD. (KJV)
Ex. 4:16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and YOU SHALL BE AS GOD TO HIM. (ESV)
Ex. 4:16 Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and YOU WILL BE AS GOD TO HIM. (NASB)
Most of the time when we read about GOD in the Bible it’s obviously in relation to our only Creator God, but sometimes we can also read about God (using the word Elohim and never Jahve) in relation to FALSE gods, which are no real gods at all according to the Bible. The only exception is when Jesus referred to gods in John. 10:34, which in turn is a reference to Ps. 82:6
Ps. 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Psalms contain much poetry which mirrors the reality, and Jesus point is that if those are ”called” gods who are set up to do the work of God here on earth as God’s representatives and judges, then this term would be applicable to him as well since he is God in flesh and has come to earth to do the will of his Father – both as a representative and as a manifestation of him. Despite this psalm (which of course the Jews knew very well) there is no evidence of that a God’s representative/judge on earth has ever literally been called and addressed as God. As soon as Jesus made a reference to his right to be called GOD, they wanted to kill him and they openly stated that they wanted to stone him precisely because he, a mere man, made himself to be GOD (John 10:33). Evidently that was a sin in the eyes of the Jews, because only GOD should be called GOD! Again, each time we read about the term GOD, it’s most of the time in relation to our Creator God, and secondly in relation to false gods who are no real gods. So WHY pretending that people being called God is commonly done, and that this would be the reason to why also Jesus was called God? Being called GOD by the Father means you’re God!
If we constantly run into a bunch of gods any given day, and if we can be called THEOS as well, shouldn’t the authors of the Bible make sure to explain whether they are talking about THEOS the Creator or other ”ordinary” THEOS who are not really Creator-gods? In reality we never have any difficulties understanding which THEOS the authors are talking about because we have learned that there is only ONE THEOS/God, and all others gods are no real gods at all but made up IDOLS.
It seems like the only place where some people have difficulties understanding who the authors are talking about, are those instances where JESUS is claimed to be THEOS, because no other verses with THEOS are disputed! Hebr 1 starts out talking about THEOS (God) and about his son, so if we the chapter starts out talking about our CREATOR THEOS, why not believing that the subject always concerns our real Creator God? When we read ”therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee”, both the Father and the son are called THEOS, so why not believing they are both THEOS and our Creator? That doesn’t result in multiple gods, but multiple persons in the godhead.
Not only is Jesus called GOD, but many godly attributes are connected to him throughout Hebr. 1 so this is not about people like you and me even if we were to be workers of God’s here on earth. We can read that he:
- is heir of all things
- is the brightness of his glory
- is the express image of his persoon
- upholds all things by the word of his power
- by himself purges us from our sins
- sits down at the right hand of the Majesty
- is better than the angels (despite that we can read in Phil. that he is lower than the angels as man on earth)
- is begotten, unlike the angels
- shall be WORSHIPED by the angels (we are to worship God alone)
- has an eternal throne
- has a sceptre of righteousness which is the sceptre of his kingdom (attributes to God in OT)
- is called GOD, LORD and ANOINTED
- has in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of HIS hands (despite that the exact same thing can be said about GOD)
- remains the same and is eternal
These are attributes which can hardly be linked to those representatives/judges that we read about in psalm 82:6! The fact that some people try to use Joh. 10:34+Ps. 82:6 as support for their idea that it’s not a big deal to be called God, only shows their desperation when they run out of good arguments.
God doesn’t share his honor with anyone (Isaiah 42:8) but shares it with his son. Note also the expressions in Hebr. 1:10-12:
Hebr. 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
The above is a reference to the psalm below with identical phrases. This psalm is in relation to GOD who created all things with his own hands, and if these attributes are linked to GOD in this psalm, why would the exact same attributes and phrases not be linked to God in Hebr. 1?
Psalm 102:24 I said, O my GOD, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
Isaiah 44:24 says that God was alone in his creation, so how come there is no mention of Jesus? That’s because Jesus is God, so God was indeed alone when he made his creation:
Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth BY MYSELF;
Isaiah 42:5 Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Why fight against the Bible’s clear teaching that Jesus is God? Why siding with Antichrist who fights against the teaching that Jesus is the word, who was God, who came to earth in flesh and died for our sins?
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I AM he, ye shall die in your sins.