The Trinity Delusion An examination of the doctrine of the Trinity

Hebrews 1:8


"But to the Son He says, 'Your throne O God'?



The Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians claim God (the Father) is calling Jesus "God."


Examination of the Claim


1. Obvious Bias

Hebrews 1:8 is a quotation of Psalm 45:6. The above translation of Hebrews 1:8 is another example of extreme Trinitarian translation bias. Here they outrageously try to claim that God is addressing Jesus as "God." Their translation is not the most natural reading of the original Greek text and it crudely violates the context in order to promote Trinitarian doctrine.

Trinitarian Greek scholars themselves openly admit the Greek grammar does indeed allow for a different translation. Therefore, the proper translation of this passage is not a Greek grammar question, but a question of theological interpretation in order to determine which one is correct. For example, the RSV, a Trinitarian version, translates the original passage quoted here as, " Your divine throne endures for ever and ever." (Psalm 45:6). This demonstrates Trinitarian Greek scholars admit a different translation is just as accurate on grammatical grounds alone. However, most Trinitarian academics are so eager to look for reasons why they can justify the preferred Trinitarian translation that they fail to see the obvious meaning intended in this passage as well as the overall context of Hebrews chapter one. The main intention of this passage is to indicate and describe the authority of Jesus that resulted due to his resurrection glory.

The Greek text literally reads, "the throne of you the god to the age of the age." The writer of Hebrews is simply saying that Jesus is exalted to the throne of God in heaven and as such he is not trying to demonstrate that "Jesus is God" but that Jesus has ascended to the throne of God and is therefore above the angels with all authority.

"God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

"All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me" (Matthew 28:18).

Baptism... an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him. (1 Peter 3:21-22; see Heb 4:14).

"He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne." (Revelation 3:21).

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:17).


2. Psalm 45:6

Hebrews 1:8-9 is a quotation of the Septuagint translation of Psalm 45:6-7. The 45th Psalm is a love song for the Davidic king's marriage to a foreign princess from Tyre in Phoenicia - probably Solomon. The following represents how an English translation would look by translating the verse as "Your throne O God." Remember, this Psalm is referring to a human Davidic King who is marrying the princess of Tyre a thousand years before Jesus was born.

You are the fairest of the sons of men. Grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, In your splendor and your majesty! And in your majesty ride forth victoriously, for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let your right hand teach you awesome things. Your arrows are sharp; the peoples fall under you; Your arrows are in the heart of the King's enemies. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you With the oil of joy above your fellows. All your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad. Kings' daughters are among your noble ladies; at your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir. Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father's house; Then the King will desire your beauty. Because he is your Lord, bow down to him. The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; the rich among the people will seek your favor. The King's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is interwoven with gold. She will be led to the King in embroidered work; the virgins, her companions who follow her, will be brought to You. They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing; they will enter into the King's palace. In place of your fathers will be your sons; you shall make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the peoples will give you thanks forever and ever. (Psalm 45).

Psalm 45:6 is one of several dual prophecies in Scripture with a near fulfillment and a far fulfillment.

Anyone should be immediately able to see a very serious problem here with the Trinitarian claim. The Rabbis had various views on this passage. Ibn Ezra translates the passage in question as "your throne is [the throne of] God" and understands the person in question to be King David. The Targum and Kimchi understood this Psalm to refer allude to the Messiah, and the marriage referred to his redemption of Israel. Many others believe this Psalm most likely refers to Solomon. Like many Psalms, it likely refers to both the ancient Davidic King and the Messiah because of God's promise to David (cf. 2 Samuel 7:14ff.).

Now this passage must apply to an ancient human King a thousand years before Jesus was born. He is marrying the princess of Tyre. Now it should be rather obvious to most people that God would not be referring to the Davidic human King as "God." The RSV translates the passage as "Your divine throne endures forever and ever." This captures the sense of the passage. Also notice verse 11, "because he is your Lord bow down to him." One bows down to the Davidic King because he is Lord (see 1 Chronicles 29:20,23; 1 Kings chapter one). This is common in the Old Testament. The same thing is occurring here in Hebrews chapter one (see Acts 2:34-36).

We can see from a review of the original passage that God is not identifying this ancient Davidic King "God" but is referring to that fact that he sits upon a divinely established throne. This is similar to 1 Chronicles 29:20-2 which says, "And all the assembly blessed YAHWEH, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and worshiped YAHWEH and the King.... Then Solomon sat on the throne of YAHWEH as King instead of David his father and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him." This is the divinely established throne God established through his covenant with David, "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to me... Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever" (2 Samuel 7:14-16). This is also quoted by the writer here in chapter one, "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to me," in reference to the risen Jesus. (1:5). And concerning Jesus the Messiah we are reminded of this same covenant promise by Luke, "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (1:35). Clearly, this Psalm is not a reference to the King as "God" but to the divine establishment of his thronal authority. We have the very same situation here in Hebrews 1:8.


2. God's God? (God the Son has a God?)

At Hebrews 1:8-9, the Greek term ho theos occurs three times. This is the Greek way of referring to God and "God" is the normal way to translate this into English. While ho theos occurs three times, Trinitarians inconsistently translate ho theos as "O God" in verse 8 and "God" in verse 9.

Let us cite the Trinitarian translation and then ask ourselves honestly how their translation of theirs fits with the very next verse, Hebrews 1:9.

"But to the Son he [God] says, 'O God, your throne is forever and ever. The sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your kingdom/kingship. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your partners.'" (Hebrews 1:8-9)

Something is obviously very, very wrong. In the Trinitarian translation/interpretation, God the Father speaking to God the Son, "O God," and then God the Father tells God the Son that he, God the Father, is God the Son's God, "God, your God." It is ridiculously preposterous. God's God? God's God anoints God to be above his peers? How can Trinitarians expect anyone to believe anything they say when they are so blind to such an obvious absurdity?

The writer says that he BECAME better than the angels. God became better than the angels? If we look into the next chapter we find the writer discussing how Jesus, being a MAN was made, lower than the angels. But now in his resurrection glory he is above the angels having been made superior to them because he sat down on the throne of God at His right hand.

The very fact that verse 9 says, "you have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness therefore God, your God, has anointed you," shows us that there is something most definitely wrong with the Trinitarian translation. The implications of the Trinitarian translation are simply absurd.


3. The Grammar of the Original Greek

Let us first look at the original Greek text as it was originally written:

'oqronoVsou'o qeoVeiVtonaiwnatouaiwnoV
hothronossouhotheoseistonaionatouainos
thethroneof youtheGodtotheageof theage

While we use a capitalized form of the word "god" to refer to the one Supreme God, the Greeks referred to the Creator as "the god." There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to translate the Greek words ho theos as "O God" at Hebrews 1:8 when this term is used throughout the New Testament to refer to "the God." However, there is a very good reason NOT to translate ho theos as "O God" - it results in the absurdity of God's God anointing God to be above His peers in the next verse. The passage simply says, "the throne of you the God to the age of the age."

Now as we shall soon clearly see, the passage is intended to mean the Son has ascended above the angels to the throne of God his Father. The idea expressed here is that Jesus has ascended to the right hand of God and sits in authority and power at the throne on God's right hand in a very similar manner to Joseph sitting at the right hand of Pharaoh in Egypt and was given authority of the whole estate. This is true by virture of his resurrection glory. Nowhere do we find in the context the writer trying to advocate the concept that Jesus is to be identified as "God." The intent of this entire chapter is to demonstrate that Jesus has greater authority than angels because they are only ministering servants (1:14) but Jesus, being made a man lower than the angels (2:6-7), has now ascended to the right hand of the throne of God and is therefore now superior to the angels with all the angels now subject to him (see 2:7-8; 1 Peter 3:22).


4. Trinitarian Translation Inconsistency

Trinitarian translators are inconsistently translating the Greek words ho theos. The Greek term ho theos occurs three times at Hebrews 1:8-9.

Your throne ho theos to the age of the age
A scepter of righteousness the scepter of your Kingdom.

You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness
Therefore ho theos, ho theos of you, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above your fellows.

Now observe how Trinitarian translators interpret/translate ho theos in one way at verse 8 but another way in verse 9.

Your throne O God to the age of the age
A scepter of righteousness the scepter of your Kingdom.

You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness
Therefore THE God, THE God of you, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above your fellows.

The Greek term ho theos is the standard Greek way of referring to God. It is translated many times as "THE God" in the Scriptures. The definite article is sometimes dropped in English translations due to English speaking conventions. Instead of a definite article, we simply capitalize the word. For example, we don't say, "THE God of you" in English. Rather, we say, "Your God" and it would not be appropriate in English to say, "Your THE God" and so the article is dropped for the sake of our English speaking conventions. However, in all these cases it still is a reference to THE God and to translate ho theos as "O God" is to uniquely depart from the usual convention of interpreting this Greek term as "THE God."


5. The Structure of the Passage

"The throne of you the God to the age of the age.
A sceptre of righteousness the sceptre of your kingdom/kingship."

Notice the parallelism between "the throne of you the God" and the sceptre of righteousness and kingdom authority. The predominant theme is the authoritative power Jesus has appropriated by sitting at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus' resurrection glory of being clothed in the fullness of the Spirit of the Living God is his throne and power (cf. Matthew 16:27; 25:31).

Also notice the structure of the entire quotation:

Your throne the God to the age of the age
A scepter of righteousness the scepter of your Kingdom.

You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above your fellows.

Clearly verse 8 parallels the words "God your God has anointed you" which necessarily refer to his enthronement on his God's throne. This anointing is his coronation as King, when he is given authority, the authority signified by his God's throne. He was given the right to execute his God and Father's authority. Jesus was anointed to be positionally above the angels by sitting down on his Father's throne. As it says in verse 4, Jesus became superior to the angels inheriting a better name than them by sitting down at the right hand of the Majesty on High, "Your throne the God to the age of the age." Jesus sat down on the throne of his God; Jesus was crowned with glory and honor; the man Jesus was anointed to be above his peers.


6. The Context

In the book of Hebrews, the concept of Jesus sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God occurs numerous times. Notice the consistent theme of Hebrews is that Jesus is our great High Priest because he has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God in the heavens above the servant angels. Also carefully regard the similar language used in chapter one and and how the writer sums up what he has been saying all along at Hebrews 8:1.

"Having made purification for our sins, sat down at the right hand of Majesty on High having become so much better than the angels." (1:3).

"To which of the angels did He ever say, "Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" (1:13).

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (4:14-16).

"And the sum concerning the things having been said: we have such a high priest, who has sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (8:1).

"Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (12:2).

"And He, having offered one sacrifice for sin once for all time sat down on the right hand of God" (10:12)

"Having made a purification for our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High" (1:3).

"To the Son He says, 'The throne of you the God to the age of the age. The sceptre of righteousness the sceptre of your kingdom/kingship" (1:8).

Now notice the recurring theme in the immediate context of Hebrews 1:8:

"Having made purification for our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High having become so much better than the angels." (1:3-4).

"To which of the angels did He ever say...."Your throne the God to the age of the age." (1:5,8).

"To which of the angels did He ever say, "Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" (1:13).

Notice how the interpretation which says verse 1:8 means that Jesus sits on God's right hand at His throne is perfectly consistent with the flow of thought in the immediate context. In each case, Jesus is being contrasted with the angels. In each case, Jesus is sitting down on the throne of His God.

"He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on HIS throne ." (Revelation 3:21).

Your throne THE GOD to the age of the age. (Hebrews 1:8).


7. The words "Your throne the God"

Jesus has sat down on God the Father's throne. This basically means that he has been given the Father's authority. This is not about a chair in heaven but about what authority Jesus has been given: all authority in heaven and earth. That would be equivalent to the authority which the Father had prior to giving it to Jesus.

When we honestly regard both the context and the words in question, the truth becomes quite clear. The context is about how Jesus became superior to the angels when he ascended to God's throne. Ancient Koine Greek speakers referred to the one God as "the God." Therefore when we see the words, "your throne the God," and the following words "the God, the God of you, has anointed you," it should be obvious that "the God" in question in verse 8 is God the Father and that God the Father is saying to the Son that the risen Son's throne, the Son's authority, is the authority of God the Father, the Son having ascending to the throne of "the God" in his resurrection and exaltation. In other words, "your throne the God" simply means that that Jesus' thronal authority is the authority of God the Father.



A Review of the Evidence

There is abundant evidence to demonstrate the complete error of the Trinitarian claim. Hebrews 1:4, 1:5,8, and 1:13 all say essentially the same thing. It does not makes sense for God to be calling the Son God and then telling the Son in that very context that he is the God of that God. And we can see the intention in the passage is to show Jesus has been exalted above the angels and so he is better than the angels. Becoming superior to the angels does not result in being God. Indeed, we are told that God will judge all through a man (Acts 17:30-31) and the Scriptures say that we ourselves will be judging angels.

The force of the context of Hebrews is powerful and indicates that the proper interpretation of Hebrews 1:8 is to understand that the man Jesus, who was made lower than the angels, has now ascended to the throne of God and sits at God's right hand in power, "Your throne the God to the age of the age." Any other interpretation seriously does violence to the immediate context. The entire theme of the passage is that the human being Jesus, who was made lower than the angels, and suffered for our sins, ascended to the right hand of the throne of God and for this reason he has become positionally above the angels in authority having sat down on the throne of the God of Israel. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to suppose Hebrews 1:8 is suggesting Jesus is God. None. Trinitarian scholars are forced to admit their translation is not the only one possible with respect to the Greek grammar. And indeed, the translation discussed in this article is one of those grammatical possibilities. But what does the Trinitarian have at Hebrews 1:8 in support of his translation? Absolutely nothing but his own desire to have the passage appeal to his doctrine of the Trinity.

"To which of the angels did He ever say... 'the throne of you the God to the age of the age" (1:5-8).

Just five verses before verse 8 and five verses after verse 8, the writer of Hebrews says the very same thing with slightly different words:

"Having made purification for our sins, sat down at the right hand of Majesty on High." (1:3).

"To which of the angels did He ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" (1:13).


The Determining Factors

  • The Greek text literally reads, "the throne of you the god to the age of the age"
  • The verse is a quotation of Psalm 45:6 where we read the Davidic king is marrying the princess of tyre
  • 2 Samuel 7:14, quoted in verse 4, applies to both the Davidic King, Solomon, as well as Jesus.
  • The Davidic King, Solomon, sat on the throne of YAHWEH.
  • This chapter is about Jesus sitting down on the throne of YAHWEH.
  • The structure of the verse parallels "the throne of you the god" with "the sceptre of your kingship/reign"
  • The chiastic structure of verses 8-9 also parallels "Your throne O God" with "God, your God anointed you... above your fellows," another referance to the man Jesus becoming superior to the angels.
  • The Trinitarian translation absurdly results in God having a God
  • The context is explaining that Jesus is positionally superior to the angels because he has ascended to the throne of his God.
  • The entire chapter is about Jesus ascending to the right hand of the throne of God.
  • To translate the verse as "Your throne the God" fits the context perfectly and parallels "God your God has anointed you."
  • The Trinitarian translation does not fit the context which is about a man becoming superior to the angels.

Conclusion

If we are truly honest with ourselves here the truth is quite plain. The man Jesus became better than the angels. Hebrews 1:8 obviously means that this man's authority is the thronal authority of sitting at the right hand of the throne of His God and he obtained that authority by virtue of his resurrection glory. His throne is God's throne. As he himself says, "I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne"

"Having made purification for our sins, sat down at the right hand of Majesty on High having become so much better than the angels as much as he has inherited a better name than them." (Verse 3).

"To which of the angels did He ever say... 'the throne of you the God to the age of the age" (Verse 5-8).

"To which of the angels did He ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" (Verse 13).

The only reasonable interpretation of Hebrews 1:8 is to understand the words "Your throne ho theos to mean that Jesus has the inherited the authority of God's throne, he has been anointed to be above his fellows, he was crowned with glory and honor; he sat down on his Father's throne.

"I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne." (Revelation 3:21).

Last Updated: January 31, 2014

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