The most compelling reason to believe that Christ is God is, if it's true, that He is called God by the Bible.  So I want to hear from the Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo), did the Father really call  the   Son "God" in Hebrews 1:8?
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"Your throne, O God"
(Hebrews 1:8)

Letter to the Editor:
GOD'S MESSAGE, November 2007, p.4-5

AS A LAYPERSON who is trying his best to be objective by comparing the doctrines of different Christian   denominations, I personally believe that the most compelling reason to believe that Christ is God is, if it's true, that He is called God by the Bible. To affirm this, one author even asserts that no less than the Father Himself called Jesus "God" and submits Hebrews 1:8 as the proof. I  consulted different versions of the Bible but was confused for they are not united in their rendition of the verse as to whether the one referred to as God is Jesus Christ or someone else. So I want to hear from the Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo), did the Father really call  the   Son "God" in Hebrews 1:8?

Ken Yamazaki
Hokkaido, Japan

Editor's reply:

As  you  have  correctly observed, various Bible versions indeed differ in their renditions of Hebrews 1:8. For our readers to notice the difference, let us  quote the  verse from two different versions of the Bible:

"But of  the  Son   He says 'Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever',   ..."  (New American Standard Bible)

 "But  of   the Son  he says,  'God   is   your   throne   forever and ever!' ..." (Goodspeed Translation")

The  New American   Standard Bible's rendition exemplifies those translations of  Hebrews 1:8 in which it appears as though  the  Son   were addressed "O God" by the Father, whereas that of the Goodspeed Translation typifies those Bible versions where it has no indication  that  the  Father  called the   Son  as  God,   but states instead that the throne of the Son is God. One Bible version even combines the two differing translations and renders Hebrews 1:8 this way:

"But of the  Son he says,  'Your throne, O God,   is   {Or [God is your  throne]}  forever and   ever'   ..."    (New  Revised Standard version)

One thing that explains the disparity in various Bible translations is the fact that the Bible has been translated into several languages, that in the process, some   alterations    have    been made  resulting   from,    among others, the idiosyncrasy of languages,   differences in   shades of   meaning,  and  dissimilarity in  interpretation   by  different translators as well as their theo- logical  bias. It  cannot  be   denied that many Bible versions  are done by people or groups  of people with their own beliefs that subjectively influenced their versions, thereby producing translations with tainted, if not twisted, meaning.

So   how,   then,   are we to know  which  particular  translation of the Bible to use, for example, in a particular verse? Apostle Paul states the guiding principle we should employ thus:

"These    things   we    also speak,    not    in   words   which man's   wisdom    teaches    but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing    spiritual    things with spiritual."   (I  Cor.  2:13, New King James Version)

 Because      spiritual      things should    be    compared     with spiritual truths, there must  be no contradiction among verses of the Bible. As a rule therefore in determining which rendition of a particular verse expresses the truth,   a verse should   not be in opposition to any other verse of the Bible because God, in whose will and guidance the Bible was written,  is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).

It   is for   this   reason  that the Church of Christ believes that any translation of Hebrews 1:8 that puts it in such a  way  that Christ   is   being acknowledged as God by the Father is unquestionably   erroneous because such rendition categorically contradicts the   following  statements   of the Father Himself:

"Acknowledge that I alone am God and that there is no one else like me"  (Isa.   46:9, Today's English Version)

"... And  you  are  my witnesses!   Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any."  (Isa. 44:8,   Revised Standard Version)

"... I   am  the only  God, Besides me there is no other god:   there   never   was and never will  be"   (Isa. 43:10, TEV)

Lest  people  suppose that there is one  God  in  heave but there is another on earth, the Bible further adds:

'Therefore know this  day. and consider it in your heart, that the Lord Himself is God in heaven  above  and  on the earth   beneath;   there  is   no other." (Deut. 4:39, NKjV)

But what does it mean that "God  is  [the Son's]  throne"? The answer is found in Psalms 45:6,   the  very   verse   in   the Old Testament that is quoted in Hebrews 1:8: 

"Your throne is from God, for ever and ever, the scepter of   your   kingship    a   scepter justice."    (New   Jerusalem Bible)

Clearly   then,    that   God is the throne of the Son denotes that the Son's throne is from God. Is it also taught in the New Testament  that  the throne  or   authority   that   the Son    holds   comes    from    no other than  the Almighty  God who  is the Father? Yes, it is.   In fact, Christ Himself taught this when He declared:

".... 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth'." (Matt 28:18, NK/V)

"Ail  things have been delivered to Me by  My  Father, ...." (Matt. 11:27, Ibid.)

Contrary   therefore to the belief   of  some authors,   nowhere in the Bible, not even in Hebrews  1:8, does the Father acknowledge the Son as "God". What the Holy Scriptures openly teach  regarding the issue is that the Son Jesus Christ,   who   is   mistaken  by some to be God, is introduced in   the   same   epistle   to   Hebrews as "man"  (Heb. 7:24, King James Version), 

 24But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (Hebrews 7:24, King James Version)

and that He (Jesus) unmistakably acknowledged the Father, not Himself, as the "only true God":

"Father, the time has come for you to bring glory to your Son,   in   order  that  he   may bring glory to you  ...  Eternal life is to know you,  the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ,   the  one   you   sent." (John 17;1, 3, Contemporary English Version)


Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind.

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