Defending the Faith: 'A little lower than the angels'?

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    May 20, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    Daniel Peterson strikes again, once more demonstrating effectively how biased, dogmatic, and agenda-driven translations of the Bible have distorted the true doctrines of Christianity, and have caused misconceptions regarding the place and potential of humanity in the grand scheme of Creation.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    May 14, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    JediMormon, I agree. Mormons worship the Jesus of the New Testament.

    That said, where we disagree with much of the rest of the Christian world is the articulation of Jesus that was invented, argued about, and defined in the centuries after the New Testament (adding to and overshadowing the Scriptures themselves) in a series of ecumenical councils that progressively mystified Christ, while creating progressively more restrictive formulations that excluded more and more people from being considered Christian. This all happened, of course, as the Christian world itself was falling into apostasy. The further away from true apostles, the longer and more excluding the creeds became. I worship the Christ of the New Testament, not the Christ of Nicea in 325 (goodbye Arians and Melitians) or Constantinople in 381 (goodbye Apollinarians) or Ephesus in 431 (goodbye Nestorians) or Chalcedon in 451 (goodbye Miaphysites) or Constantinople in 553 (goodbye followers of Theodore, Theodoret, and Ibas) or Constantinople in 681 (goodbye Monotheletes) or Nicea in 787 (goodbye Iconoclasts--those who saw veneration of images as idol worship).

    And because of that, many of those, who accept these pronouncements by uninspired men, claim you and I aren't Christian.

  • JediMormon Omaha, NE
    May 14, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    With all due respect to brokenclay and anyone else who makes the claim that Mormons worship a "different" Jesus, I can dispel that myth rather quickly. When I personally think of Jesus Christ, I'm thinking of the Jesus the bible talks about. Every thing the bible says about Jesus, Mormons believe. Everything. Therefore, how can that be a "different" Jesus than the Jesus the rest of Christianity believes in? Only ONE Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. Do Mormons have a different opinion than other Christian religions about some aspects of Christ's life and deeds? Probably--but that doesn't mean the Jesus Mormons worship is a different Jesus than is worshipped by the rest of Christianity. The standard charge is "you claim that your Jesus did "this" or said "that", so that makes him a different Jesus.

    No, it doesn't.

    All it means is that Mormons attribute acts and words to Jesus (via the Book of Mormon, D&C, etc.) that the rest of Christianity doesn't believe He did or said. It's still the same Jesus, folks.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 11, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    RE: Job 38:4, God rebukes Job, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? ”When the morning stars sang together, and all ”the sons of God“ shouted for joy (Job 38:7.)
    ” Job wasn’t in existence when the world was created.”

    “The sons of God” generally refers to angels. They are not actually “sons” of Elohim; the idiom is a poetic way of describing their nature and relationship to God. The phrase indicates their supernatural nature, and their submission to God as the sovereign Lord. It may be classified as a genitive that expresses how individuals belong to a certain class or type, i.e., the supernatural

    Jer 1:5 God is omniscient, knows each person before birth. God’s foreknowledge (“I knew thee”), not humans know God.

    @Psalm 8:1. O LORD our Lord: Greek, KYRIE ὁ Kurios. Hebrew, Jĕhovah Adonai= Jesus in the O.T..

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 11, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    One must have access to knowledge of the source and meaning of the secret vocabulary of words to play the game and win the key to understanding ancient fables.

  • Scott Vanatter Fairfax, VA
    May 9, 2014 6:07 p.m.

    Psalm 8 (suggested outline)

    a. 1. O LORD our Lord,
    a. how excellent is thy name
    .b. in all the earth!
    .b. who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

    ..c. 2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies,
    ..c. that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
    ...d. 3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars,
    ...d. which thou hast ordained;

    ....e. 4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
    ....e. and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
    .....f. 5. For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,
    .....f. and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

    ...d. 6. Thou madest him to have dominion over
    ...d. the works of thy hands;
    ..c. thou hast put all things under his feet:
    ..c. 7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
    ..c. 8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

    a. 9. O LORD our Lord,
    a. how excellent is thy name
    .b. in all the earth!
    .b. [Ellipsis]

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    May 8, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    21st Century King James Version, Complete Jewish Bible, Darby Translation, Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition, Expanded Bible, Jubilee Bible 2000, King James Version, Authorized (King James) Version, New Century Version, New Life Version, Wycliffe Bible, New King James Version, Living Bible, New International Version

    all translate Psalms 8:5 as “angels”

    Orthodox Jewish Bible uses “elohim”

    1599 Geneva Bible, New American Standard Bible, American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, Amplified Bible, New Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised, New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, World English Bible, New Living Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible

    all use “God”

    New International Reader's Version, Lexham English Bible, New English Translation, and the English Standard Version

    all use “heavenly beings”

    GOD’S WORD Translation, Names of God Bible, Contemporary English Version, and the Good News Translation

    all use “yourself”

    the following translations also interpret “a little lower” differently:
    Easy-to-Read Version: “almost like gods”
    The Voice: “just beneath God”
    Young's Literal Translation “to lack a little of Godhead”
    The Message “we’ve so narrowly missed being gods”

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 8, 2014 5:36 p.m.

    RE: “elohim” is also,in Hebrew, a masculine plural noun.”?

    Elohiym H430) I.(plural) A. rulers, judges b. divine ones C. angels D. gods. But,II.(plural intensive)with “Singular Meaning” A. god, goddess B. godlike c. one. works or special possessions of God. D*the(true)God.

    RE: Russell Spencer, Elohim the construction is usually grammatically SINGULAR, (i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective) when referring to the Hebrew *God, but grammatically plural (i.e. taking a plural verb or adjective) when used of pagan divinities.

    If the Septuagint is thick with mistranslation, its errors are frequently sanctioned by the N. T. . For instance, if the word “virgin(parthenos)”in Isaiah 7.14 is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word *almah, Matthew 1:23 agrees to this error.

    Luke 1:35,“l know not a man”? Did Mary tell a lie? Mary knew the reality of her own virginity. She declared that her pregnancy was the result of the miraculous overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, not from a sex act with a man.

    Job 38:7 NIV …” and all the angels=sons)shouted for joy”. More on this later.

  • Russell Spencer Boise, ID
    May 8, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    "Elohim" can mean God or gods; there are no capital/lower case letters in Hebrew, so which is meant depends on usage. The word "elohim" in Hebrew is not the equivalent of "angels;" that's "malakhim" or "cherubim." "Malahkim" refers to messengers, whether divine or mortal (the Prophet Malachi's name means "my messenger"). "Cherubim" refers specifically to "strong" or "great" ones in the presence of God (I prefer to think of cherubim as the equivalent of "archangels").

    Brokenclay's arguments are invalid. That the translators who produced the LXX sacrificed some ancient Hebrew understandings to incorporate some Hellenist philosophies into their work is well known. That Paul quoted directly from the LXX (the common Bible of his day) is also well known. He also quoted Greek pagan poetry; does that change the Gospel into something pagan?

    I am curious though, often the way to determine whether "elohim" refers to God or gods is by looking at the attached verbs (Genesis 1:1 refers to God because the verb "created" is in the Hebrew masculine singular); is there anything in the Hebrew version of Psalm 8:4-6 which would indicate which is intended?

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    May 8, 2014 1:59 p.m.


    The Holy Spirit (aka The Holy Ghost) was, is, and will always be the mind of the Father and the Son (1 Cor.2:10-16; Philip.2:5, KJV Bible).

    In eternity, in the new heaven and the new earth, Jesus Christ (with a brand new name per Rev.3:12) will be an eternal Son of God (1 Cor. 15:24-28, KJV BIble). Up until then he is the God of the whole earth and sitteth at the right hand of the Father.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    May 8, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Michigander posted:

    =Jesus has said that in the resurrection of the just that we will be equal to or
    =as the angels of God, not the heresy of being Gods and Goddesses. There will be
    =only ONE God in the new heaven and the new earth in eternity: God the Eternal
    =Father, whose name alone is JEHOVAH.

    So, Michigander, are you saying that neither Jesus Himself nor the Holy Spirit are actually God?

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    May 8, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    This is a not only a wresting of Psalm 8:5, but of Hebrews 2:7, which are both translated correctly as "angels" in the KJV Bible. We are strongly warned in the scriptures that if we wrest them, we do it to our own destruction. Jesus has said that in the resurrection of the just that we will be equal to or as the angels of God, not the heresy of being Gods and Goddesses. There will be only ONE God in the new heaven and the new earth in eternity: God the Eternal Father, whose name alone is JEHOVAH.

  • Big 'D' San Mateo, CA
    May 8, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    @ Dan
    I thought brokenclay did a great job of using our blessedly large English vocabulary to communicate his/her thoughts with precise meaning.
    I don't personally agree with any of those thoughts, but none of the "big words" used were obscure terms that required the use of a dictionary. A bit wordy? Perhaps. Enough to attack his wordsmithery? I don't think so. Just because you have to think for a minute to fully process what was written doesn't mean it should have been written differently. Thinking is good for us.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    May 8, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    @ Dan Maloy

    "Common language works just fine."

    Common is a relative term. One should avoid simplifying language depending on the audience. Also, if one finds a subject difficult due to unfamiliarity with the jargon, perhaps more studying is in order.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    May 8, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    brokenclay said

    "The LDS use this reasoning with regard to Jesus Christ. Since they worship someone named Jesus, he must be the same Jesus of the orthodox Christians; therefore, the LDS must be Christian."

    This argument might mean something if Mormons actually worshipped just "someone" named Jesus. But since Mormons worship THE Jesus of the New Testament, the same New Testament that over a billion Christians use, then that tired, old, silly "different Jesus" argument just doesn't hold water.

  • brokenclay Tempe, AZ
    May 8, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    Perhaps we should also find fault with the author of Hebrews' theology? He quotes this same passage in 2:6-8, following the LXX, which reads, "angels." He further applies the teachings of this psalm messianically-- referencing the incarnation, suffering, and exaltation of Jesus Christ.

    But frankly, it really is inconsequential from a Hebrew perspective whether we translate it angels, gods, or heavenly beings. There was no distinction here in the Hebrew mind. The problem occurs when Mormons like Dr. Peterson anachronistically import a modern western understanding of the term "god" back three millennia-- i.e., a being who is to be worshiped and who shares the same qualitative nature as God, who then becomes one among many. Incidentally, Dr. Peterson has erred in the same manner with reference to the eastern church fathers. He imports an LDS understanding of theosis back into the eastern understanding of deification, reasoning that since they both use the same terminology they must be the same thing.

    The LDS use this reasoning with regard to Jesus Christ. Since they worship someone named Jesus, he must be the same Jesus of the orthodox Christians; therefore, the LDS must be Christian.

  • true huddersfield, england
    May 8, 2014 5:26 a.m.

    The following expressions by Nephi in the Book of Mormon give the same expression to those found in the psalm quoted.

    1 Nephi 1:14-15:

    “And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy Throne is high in the Heavens, and thy Power, and Goodness, and Mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish! And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him.”

    These verses show the originality of the Book of Mormon at the same time expressing the same truths found in the Bible.