Steven Craig Miller scmiller at
Tue Nov 30 23:25:52 EST 1999

To: Bart Ehrman,

<< So, would you translate Ps. 2:7, "You are my son, today I have produced 
you" ? >>

(That almost sounds like show-biz terminology. "What production was he in?")

I think what we have going on at Ps 2:7 is a double entendre of a sorts. 
According to Hans-Joachim Kraus, the king is being installed and adopted as 
a "son of God." And yet the Hebrew verb used is one that would be common 
for human procreation, the LXX translators chose a similar Greek term. The 
double sense of the word seems meant to cover the notion of physical birth, 
while legally making the king a "son" (of God) through adoption. Perhaps 
one way of conveying this double sense in English would be: "You are my 
son, today I have fathered you." Here one has a term which suggests a male 
parent in reproduction, and yet it might also serve as a metaphor for 
adoption. But I suspect that the real problem here is twofold, namely that 
in English we normally don't speak of males giving birth, nor do we 
normally speak of an adoption as a form of begetting, and so any 
translation of this is bound to sound strange to our ears.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
scmiller at

 From Luther's Large Catechism: "Why, do you think, is the world now so 
full of unfaithfulness, shame, misery, and murder? It is because everyone 
wishes to be his or her own master, be free from all authority, care 
nothing for anyone, and do whatever he or she pleases. So God punishes one 
knave by means of another" (BoC 386.154).

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