Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Isa. 9:6

Is Isa. 9:6 really a Bible text where "Jesus is definitely called God" as Bowman declares? Or, in other words, do JW's purposely mistranslate and misinterpret this scripture while only certain trinitarians translate them in an honest, unbiased manner? Let's see:

ISA. 9:6 - The NWT translates as do most trinitarian Bibles: "And his [the Messiah's] name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." So no bias or "slanting" can honestly be blamed on this translation by trinitarians.

However, as Bowman points out, JW's do interpret this in a non-trinitarian way. They say that the word "God" in this name (which is capitalized in English only because it is part of a name - the Hebrew manuscripts had no capitalization) is to be understood in a secondary way. That is, in the same way that the inspired Bible writers called angels, human Israelite kings, judges, etc. gods (in a righteous sense - see footnotes in NIVSB for Ps. 45:6 and Ps. 82:1, 6. Also see the BOWGOD study).

Even trinitarian Bibles recognize this possibility.

Instead of "Mighty God" at Isaiah 9:6 the following trinitarian Bibles render it:

NEB - "In Battle Godlike"
REB - "Mighty Hero"
NAB ('70 & '91) - "God-Hero"
Moffatt - "a divine hero"
Byington - "Divine Champion"
NIVSB - f.n. for Ps. 45:6: "it is not unthinkable that [the king] was called 'god' as a title of honor (cf. Isa 9:6)."

For another alternate translation of Is. 9:6 we have the rendering by the trinitarian An American Translation (AT) itself: "And his name will be called 'Wonderful counselor is God almighty, Father forever, Prince of peace.'"

We see with this translation the same understanding as found in many Israelite names: a name which glorifies the God in heaven. In other words, Isaiah, for example, was not named 'Isaiah,' which means "Jehovah Savior," to glorify himself as Jehovah! His name glorified another person, Jehovah, as Savior. In the same common Israelite manner the Messiah was named to glorify his God and Father.

If even many trinitarian translators are forced to render this traditional trinitarian "evidence" in a non-trinitarian way (many even interpreting it much like the Watchtower Society does), how is it that the NWT has "abused the divine name or titles" when it actually translates it in the traditional "trinitarian" way?

For more about Isa. 9:6, see:
NAME - “Jesus,” “Immanuel,” and Is. 9:6 (Examining the Trinity)

BOWGOD (God and gods) (Examining the Trinity)

Does Isa. 9:6 prove that Jesus is God? (SFBT)

Why is Jesus called "Mighty God" at Isa. 9:6? (SFBT)

One God in Three? (Pastor Russell; Heading: "No Trinity in the “Old Testament”')

How does the Codex Sinaiticus render Is. 9:6? (JWQ&A)

How is translated Isaiah 9:6 in old Aramaic Targums? (JWQ&A)

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