Written by the Holy Ghost?

Dan Wagner Dan.Wagner at datastream.net
Fri Mar 2 17:51:21 EST 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Harold R. Holmyard III [mailto:hholmyard at ont.com]
> Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2001 15:02
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Written by the Holy Ghost?
> Dear Samuel,
> You write:
> >The Letter to the Hebrews (2.6) introduces a quotation from
> Psalm 8 with the
> >words "Someone has written somewhere that . . . "
> >
> >One can understand that as the product of a Christian
> preacher writing in a
> >hurry, or with no immediate access to a copy of the
> scriptures, or of an
> >arthritic old man who did not feel it was worth the struggle
> to get out and
> >unroll a hefty copy of the Hebrew Scriptures to search
> through it just for a
> >single quotation, but as a quotation by the Holy Ghost it
> does seem a bit
> >sloppy! Surely the Holy Ghost could have done a bit better than that!
> Wait! Who says that the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible by Himself?
> Anyway, the idea behind the form of citation might be that
> the passage was
> so well known that there was no need for particular
> ascription, since Psalm
> 8 is one of the first ones in the psalter and assigned to
> David. This may
> be a deliberate understatement for effect on the part of the author of
> Hebrews, yielding the effect of emphasizing the authority of
> the words.

Yes, to me it's evident that it's *intentional* for rhetorical purposes to
de-emphasize the human writer (David) and highlight the assumed fact of the
divine origin of Psalm 8. This serves the author's purpose of making an
inspired/divine basis for his argument concerning the person of Jesus in the
context, rather than merely appealing to his own apostolic authority, when
writing to a potentially hostile Jewish audience who yet accepted fully the
authority of the Hebrew Bible.

Dan Wagner 

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