[b-hebrew] God vs angels in Ps 8:5

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Mar 29 14:12:02 EST 2005

On 29/03/2005 12:27, Deborah Millier wrote:

> ...
>Oh come now Revd Crick, is it possible to leave MT Psa
>8:5 “as is”? Or even desirable? Then what have you
>To arrive at *meaning* for a biblical text,
>interpretation must be employed, right? People have
>gone to other HB passages . . . even books to shed
>light on MT Psa 8:5.
>And a Jew might draw from usage, quotes, and/or
>allusions to said passage in the Mishnah, Midrashim,
>Targumim, Rashi, etc. Correct? He/she might even dip
>into the NT along the way for its say on a text’s
>history of interpretation.
>How much more Christians!
>I understand that you are trying to sensitively avoid
>pushing Christian beliefs on a biblical Hebrew forum
>open to members of various communities. But where the
>NT touches on a topic germane to Hebrew, why take the
>long way around? NT evidence is at least that:
>--Michael Millier
>Manila, Philippines
Michael, I am not sure quite what you are getting at here. Perhaps you 
need to distinguish more clearly between exegesis, which is usually 
understood as finding out the meaning intended by the original author, 
and the meaning of this passage which may be applied today, to your life 
and to that of those around you. Or maybe you are understanding exegesis 
as trying to find the meaning intended by God as the ultimate author of 
inspired biblical texts - and assuming a harmony in God's intentions 
between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. As an evangelical 
Christian, I would agree with you on this last assumption (although of 
course many on this list would not), but would consider it presumptious 
to try to find God's ultimate meaning for a text rather than that of the 
human author.

Or maybe you are simply suggesting that Jews of the 1st-2nd century CE 
(whether NT or Rabbinic authors) had a better understanding of the 
Hebrew Bible than we do today and so their writings may inform our 
exegesis. I would have no quarrel with this one, but it must be 
recognised that they made use of the texts in ways which we would not 
nowadays consider to be valid exegesis. And I think the use of Psalm 8:5 
in Hebrews 2:9 is surely an example of this. But the quotation of the 
psalm in Hebrews 2:6-8 is rather different: it does not identify the 
"son of man" of the Psalm with Jesus, but the interpretation starts in 
verse 9 where Jesus is introduced as a (possibly partial) fulfilment of 
the message of the Psalm.

I have written more on this theme on the Bible Translation list, 
http://www.geocities.com/bible_translation/list/. See for example 
That may be a more appropriate place than this is for a discussion which 
inevitably includes looking in detail at NT interpretations.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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