Sons of God vs Sons of Israel

by I_love_Jeff 3 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • I_love_Jeff

    A brief overview of how the term "Angels of God" mentioned at Deuteronomy 32:8 was replaced by "Sons of Israel." Textual evidence is explored in the Targum and the Septuagint versions of the Bible. Who were the Masoretes and what was their agenda? How have Jehovah's Witnesses supported this burial of historical data? God's Divine Council played a significant role in the Bible, and here is yet another fascinating story detailing who they were and what they did.

    See links below for further clarification:

    Sons of God vs Sons of Israel

    Sons of God & Jehovah's Witnesses

    Our You Tube Channel

  • Earnest

    This seems to be an argument that the translators of the NWT cannot be trusted because they translated Deuteronomy 32:8 from the Hebrew text rather than from the Greek LXX.

    The Hebrew text reads "sons of Israel" whereas the Greek LXX text reads "angels of God".

    This seems to me a strange criticism as Deuteronomy is, after all, a part of the Hebrew scriptures. The argument seems to be that the LXX translates a more accurate, or correct, copy of the Hebrew. However, that was not the view of Jews in the second century CE.

    In Origen's Hexapla, which was an edition of the Hebrew Bible written in the third century with the LXX and three other Greek translations (Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion) in parallel columns, all three Greek translations reflected the Masoretic Text ("sons of Israel") In Deuteronomy 32:8.

    In fact, the Jews at that time rejected the LXX because they believed it had been tampered with by the Christians and so these three translations were preferred.

  • slimboyfat

    I think you make a good case for “angels of God” (or probably “sons of God” in Hebrew, meaning angels) being original. However the NWT claims to be a translation of the Hebrew, not the Greek LXX, therefore it would exceptional, rather than presumed, that they should follow the Greek rather than the Hebrew here.

    Perhaps the most important piece of evidence, I don’t think you mentioned, is that “sons of God” is supported by the DSS here, so is used by some modern language versions. The NWT could have used it on that basis. Perhaps they should have.

    Good discussion here:

    In general I don’t think JWs are opposed to the idea of a heavenly assembly of angels referred to as the sons of God, and they interpret other passages this way. (Job 1 and 2, and Psalms 89:6) So they would probably not take issue with the idea that this text originally read “sons of God” and meant angels.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Firstly, the text was in a constant state of flux for a long period, with scribes thinking it was their responsibility to amend the text to suit their current understanding. (The WTS "text adjusters" are rank amateurs.) There is no way known that anyone knows what was originally written, whether it be in Aramaic, ancient Hebrew, Greek or whatever. Today there are arguments over the various Hebrew Scripture texts (Symmachus, various LXX, Theodotian, etc.) When the Masoretes decided on their Hebrew text they simply set a corrupted text in concrete (Emanuel Tov). Likewise with the Greek Scriptures, disagreements run over Erasmus' Textus Receptus, Westcott-Hort, Nestle/Aland, etc., or a mixture (eclectic).

    Secondly, many/most of the concepts taken up by the very early Christians came from the material produced during the Second Temple Period,not from the Hebrew Scriptures. Typical of these include "Azazel/Beliar/Mastema/Devil =>Satan", also the idea of a "war inside heaven", and so on. We are speaking of Enoch, Jubilees, etc. The Book of Daniel was a late product of this heightened eschatology/demonology, even including The Watchers.

    Deuteronomy was the product of the Josianic period and was greatly influenced during the neo-Babylonian period.


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