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The New World Translation, gives us a very contrary translation of this verse, that sets the stage for this question.! It's translators have this rendering to offer as a legitimate rendering of Hebrews 1:8

"But with reference to the Son: "God is your throne" forever and ever, and [the] scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness." Heb 1:8

The majority of other versions are along the lines of the NASB where it is written..

8 "But of the Son He says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom."

At first glance there seems to be a considerable difference between these translations and we are immediately led to ask the question, why have the NWT Translators taken such a course?

Is such a translation justified in any way at all, either linguistically or scriptually.

We read in John 1 14-15:

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18*No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.*

In view of the above, how can we see the NWT as an accurate translation of Hebrews 1:8?

From a layman's perspective, an analysis, from a cursory appraisal, of the English set before me, is that the NWT translation actually says, that Christ Jesus, is sitting on God. To say, "God is your throne," reads that Jesus is sat on God. A throne is less than the person that sits on it. A throne is a symbol or sign of authority. Without a King to sit on it, or a people to give authority to it , it is nothing. Is it correct to say that God is a throne? Further, is it correct to say that a created being sits on that throne, that a created being sits on God, as we have it with the NWT translation.

God says the Earth is His footstool and "heaven is His throne" as in Mathew 5:34.

34 "But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King."

If heaven is Gods throne how can, "God is your throne" be an accurate English translation?

I cannot find any scripture that would confirm or justify this translation

Tell me if I am wrong, but where can I find an instance in scripture, where God takes, a secondary position, to a created being, when discussing Deity and describes Himself as less than a created being, by using the Word "throne" as an allegory for God.

There is one other explanation maybe, that the translation, "God is your throne", can be understood in some other cultures, as if the throne represented the person. When you speak of the throne in effect you speak of it as the king and vice versa.

John 17:10 "All I have is yours, and all you have is mine."

Is it important, for the true sense of this scripture, to have the translations that we have, from a protestant tradition, and are the protestant traditions translations of this scripture, Hebrews 1:8, accurate in terms of its true sense?

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One way to resolve these translational questions is to just look up the list of translators, and (if they are still alive) simply write them a letter and politely ask them why they translated a passage a certain way. Unfortunately, the NWT translators were too "humble" to put their name to their translation. –  cdjc Nov 13 '13 at 18:30
    
@cdjc I heard a story 20 years ago to the effect that Mr Russel claimed that he understood koine Greek. Apparently he was taken to court and asked to read the alphabet in Greek which he failed to do. Maybe it was just propaganda !watchman.org/jw/jwcourt.htm Just found this..!it was true after all..! –  John Unsworth Nov 26 '13 at 18:41
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Is this supposed to be a doctrinal question about a specific passage or a doctrinal question about the nature of Jesus based on the whole NT? Right now it has elements of both and we really need to work out exactly what you're after. –  Caleb Dec 10 '13 at 16:38
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1 Answer

Yes, that translation does carry some weight to it and although I disagree with much of what the JW's put forth, the interpretation of that verse does have credence. The phrase "Thy throne IS God" was not said as a literal westernized meaning such as an object that someone sits on. Rather it's an idiom describing WHERE the power comes from. The Son's power comes FROM Yahuweh (aka God). This is exactly the way that the Hebrews of the Tanakh/Old Testament times understood it. When they read Psalm 45 they were not reading it as "God" coming in the flesh, but rather the coming Messiah who would reign as king on earth whose power and authority came FROM Yahuweh (aka God). In fact, immediately after verse 6 in Psalm 45, verse 7 states, just like Hebrews 1, that the Messiah HAS a god. So if Messiah were God Himself, that would make two Gods by God HAVING a God and the Scriptures are clear that there is only one God.

So in conclusion, yes, the NWT was not entirely off base here to translate Hebrews 1 as "Thy throne IS God". The idiom or metaphor here is relating to the source of power as the symbol of the power is the "throne". We know that the Son was the first creation (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:6, Revelation 3:14), that Yahuweh (aka God) is the God and Father of the Messiah (Revelation 1:6, etc), and that there is only one god. The idea of the trinity in Christendom wasn't really introduced until nearly the fourth century. Do some further study into that John 1:18 that you posted. The phrase "who is Himself God" or "who is the same as God" is actually an insertion that is not there in the original manuscripts.

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The question for me really is why they deviated from the accepted standard translations. The Answer is that The New World translators, were following a doctrinal position, when translating and this is Just another example of their Denial that the unborn God was born of a woman an walked among us. They have deliberately obscured a very clear text because it categorically declares the Godhood of Jesus of Nazareth! Those who have met Him know who He is, The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end..Colossians 1:15 says, "first born over all creation" not "first creation" as you say.! –  John Unsworth Nov 11 '13 at 21:47
    
That actually makes it rather loaded semantically. The new world translators may have very well been following a doctrinal position, but so does every translator/translation team. Your usage of 'accepted standard translations' just means "what's popularly understood". Bias is available all over the place. The KJV used the phrase "...in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." in 1 John 5:7 in order to perpetuate the myth of the trinity and others followed suit although modern translations have done away with it. Hebrews 1:8 is the same either way. No trinity. –  The Duke Of Marshall שלם Nov 12 '13 at 1:41
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The word "trinity" might not have come about until later, but the concept was certainly around from the first century. It didn't come to the fore as an issue until later. –  Lance Roberts Nov 18 '13 at 19:54
    
I don't disagree that the theory of the trinity might have been around in the first century. In fact, the ancient Egyptians had a trinity as well. The relevant fact, though, is that it wasn't mingled in with the true believers. Jesus wasn't a trinitarian. Neither was Peter, Paul, Matthew, John, Barnabas, James, etc. Neither were the first century believers. So the idea may have been there in the first century and before hand, but the theory of trinity wasn't forced upon christians until much later on. At the very least starting with the council of constantinople. –  The Duke Of Marshall שלם Nov 24 '13 at 0:49
    
To say that every translator team is biased doctrinaly is to deny that a serious christian is only interested in making clear the truth and I think most of them have done a decent job. There is a big difference between protestant traditions and a cult that would deny the Godhood of God. Clarity is the purpose of a good translator. The protestant tradition has accomplished that in every area necessary for the furtherance of the Gospel and the good news. As regards the Trinity, They the Godhead are something every child of God feels and knows. Once they are known it seems pointless to question! –  John Unsworth Dec 10 '13 at 19:17
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