Hebrews 2:7

Kyle Dillon spiffy at learningstar.com
Tue Oct 13 21:13:56 EDT 1998

Based on just the text of Hebrews 2:7 alone, I don't that think you can
determine if either translation of BRACU ("a little" or "for a little
while") is more accurate than the other. But it is possible to show that "a
little" is the more accurate rendering on other grounds.

Firstly, Hebrews 2:7 is a quote from the LXX Psalm 8. And LXX Psalm 8 is a
translation of the Hebrew text. In the Hebrew text, the word "little" is
"me'at." It does not refer to a temporal duration (at least to my
knowledge), but only refers to a slight quantity or extent. In the Hebrew
Psalm 8:5, man's inferiority is said to be slight in extent, not temporary.

Another basis for translating it as "a little" instead of "for a little
while" is that in the Hebrew text  of Psalm 8:5 (remember, the author of
Hebrews is quoting the LXX, a translation of the Hebrew text), we do not
find the word "angels," but "God" (Hebrew "elohim"). The Jewish scholars who
wrote the LXX thought that calling man only a little lower than God might
belittle God, so they chose to use the alternate meaning of "elohim" (the
plural "gods" or "godlike beings," interpreted as "angels") in their
translation. So if we do translate we do translate BRACU in Hebrews 2:7, it
could possibly be traced back to the Hebrew text of Psalm 8:5, and one could
reach the conclusion that man is only temporarily less than God, which most
would consider heretical (I'm not saying that such a doctrine is wrong, just
that it is not grounded in the text of Psalm 8:5 or Hebrews 2:7).

-----Original Message-----
From: Theodore H. Mann <thmann at juno.com>
To: Biblical Greek <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Date: Tuesday, October 13, 1998 2:23 PM
Subject: Hebrews 2:7

>Apparently HLATTWSAS AUTON BRACHU TI, in Hebrews 2:7, can be translated
>either "You made Him a little lower...," or "You made Him lower for a
>short time..."  I would like to know what the rationale is for
>translating this passage one way or the other, and my rather meager
>resources are of no help.  I tried to find some info in the archives, but
>came up with a blank.  (Perhaps I looked in the wrong place.) Many
>In Christ,
>Theodore "Ted" H. Mann
>thmann at juno.com
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