Is Jesus called God in Psalm 45?

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Psalm 45:6

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”

 

-This text is thought to refer to Jesus, perhaps because it is quoted and applied to Jesus in Heb. 1:8.

-The psalm seems to be referring to one of the Davidic kings who is married and with children (cf. 45:9-11, 13-14). The most likely application for this psalm is arguably Solomon, but Jesus certainly does not have a wife or virgin daughters.

-Therefore, the Davidic king, who is promised an eternal throne (cf. 2 Sam. 7:13, 16), is addressed by the psalmist as God. The very next verse (45:7) says that, “Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy.” The Davidic king has a God who is his superior.

-The title God is in this psalm used in two different senses. In 45:6 it is used of the king,   clearly in a representative sense. The king is ruling on God’s behalf and can therefore be given the title through the principle of agency. The Davidic king’s God (45:7) is the one   true God who has anointed the king with oil.

-Some translations (NAB) recognize the different ways in which elohim is used in the psalm by differentiating the two individuals. The king is “god” (lowercase) while his God is “God” (uppercase).  

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2 thoughts on “Is Jesus called God in Psalm 45?

  1. Latreuo, when used of the True God, is a Greek word denoting service given to the Lord God Almighty. Some have said that since Jesus is never given latreuo, He cannot be God. Besides being an argument from silence, Scripture explicitly disagrees with this position.

    Revelation 22:3 – And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.I want to note that the word translated “serve” is latreuo. The object of latreuois the pronoun “Him.” In language, the antecedent of a pronoun is generally the closest noun that agree with the pronoun in gender and number. In this case, the closest antecedent is “the Lamb.” Some would consider “God” to be the antecedent.But John takes pains to show the unity the Almighty and the Lamb. Just a few verses earlier John writes:

    Revelation 21:22 – But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

    The word translated “are” is NOT the plural form of the “to be” verb here. Instead, it is the singular form of the verb. In a literal translation, Revelation21:22 would say:Revelation 21:22 “for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb is its temple.” (literal)Grammatically, John indicates the most intimate unity of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb with a singular verb.So whether one would argue that the antecedent of “serve Him” in Revelation22:3 is God or the Lamb, John has already indicated their unity. Even if one were to say that God is the one who receives latreuo, service would also be done to the Lamb by virtue of their unity expressed just a few verses earlier.That is the language of the New Testament, and it is clear and explicit. I affirm that the Lamb is God and the Lamb receives latreuo. Those who denyJesus’ divinity disagree. In doing so, they disagree with Scripture. Could those who deny Jesus’ divinity please explain how you disagree with the clear language of biblical text cited?

    http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Jesus_Latreuo.htm

    Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 01:47:06 +0000 To: heisonly1@hotmail.com

  2. Latreuo, when used of God, is in every other NT instance used of the Father, not Jesus. Although Rev. 22:3 has the Lamb as the nearest antecedent, the nearest antecedent in Greek is not always the best choice. The definition of the critical words and context always take precedence over Greek word order. Consider 1 John 2:22, where the nearest antecedent to ‘The Antichrist’ is Jesus Christ himself (Τίς ἐστιν ὁ ψεύστης εἰ μὴ ὁ ἀρνούμενος ὅτι Ἰησοῦς οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Χριστός; οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἀντίχριστος). One must be careful when examining the Greek of the Apocalypse, which nearly every critical scholar admits is irregular and often confusing.

    I have no problem affirming the divinity of Jesus, but it depends on what you mean by divinity. Perhaps it would be wise if we stick to biblical language, because divinity is not a word with a definition shared by all its users. I can affirm that God was in Christ, and that when you looked at Jesus you could see that Father revealed. The Father has exegeted Jesus (John 1:18b). Jesus is the shaliach of the Father, which carries with it the strongest sense of agency. If, however, you think that Jesus is Yahweh, the creator of the heavens of the earth, who has existed forever, then this would be a proposition I find unconvincing by the Scriptures.

    God cannot die, but Jesus died. God is all knowing, but Jesus didn’t know the day or hour of his return. God exists forever, but Jesus was begotten in the womb of his mother Mary. Rev. 3:14 states no less than four times that Jesus has a God, emphatically asserting that Jesus has one who is superior to him, as God would certainly be. Not coincidentally, my original post of Psalm 45:6-7 likewise suggests that the king has a God (both in the psalm and in the quotation in Heb. 1:8-9).

    Blessings,
    Dustin

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