The Problem of Psalm 8:5 (or Psalm 8:6 – Hebrew Bible)


بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Let’s begin with quoting the verse:

New International Version (©1984)
You made him a little lower thanthe heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

New Living Translation (©2007)
Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.

English Standard Version (©2001)
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!

Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor.

International Standard Version (©2012)
You made him a little less than divine, but you crowned him with glory and honor.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
You made him a little lower than the Angels; you have clothed him in honor and in glory.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
You have made him a little lower than yourself. You have crowned him with glory and honor.

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor.

American King James Version
For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor.

American Standard Version
For thou hast made him but little lower than God, And crownest him with glory and honor.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour:

Darby Bible Translation
Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and splendour.

English Revised Version
For thou hast made him but little lower than God, and crownest him with glory and honour.

Webster’s Bible Translation
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.

World English Bible
For you have made him a little lower than God, and crowned him with glory and honor.

Young’s Literal Translation
And causest him to lack a little of Godhead, And with honour and majesty compassest him.

Source of Translations: Bible.CC

Paul’s Epistle using the LXX renders it as:

You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor

We’re at a crossroads here. The text is rendered significantly differently in various translations:

  • Godhead
  • God
  • Heavenly Beings
  • Divine
  • Angels
  • Yourself

This leads me to ask, which one is actually from God, seeing as the scripture of the Christians is preserved in the heavens (see: Psalm 119:89)? Which rendition is from God and which renditions aren’t from God? Are all from God? Then that contradicts Psalm 119:89, is one from God, how do we know which one? This therefore leads to several conclusions:

  • If one is from God but we have no way of knowing, since God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33) and this is confusion, then the Bible is not from God.
  • If all are from God, then this not only contradicts 1 Cor. 14:33, but also Psalm 119:89 and thus negate both the Bible as as scripture and YHWH was a God.
  • If none are correct, then the Bible is nothing more than pure conjecture.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

Further Reading:

4 comments

  • Excellent! Subhan Allāh how easy it is!

    May Allāh guide our brothers in humanity to the truth of the Noble Quran.

  • Your analysis seems to be biased to a certain conclusion you are seeking to put forward. That there are different translations of the same word of God is obviously evidenced by your list of translations you have brought forth. But the difference in translations are not to be understood as God causing confusion, they are just what they are, differences in translations motivated by different motivations, most of which theological interpretations more than translations.

    Now how do we know which one is correct? The context will tell which is correct! Psalms 8 is talking about the humanity of Jesus. That is still the context of Hebrews 2. Now man was made a little lower than the angels, which means that Christ when he became man he became a little lower than the angels.

    How about the Noble Quran?

    Lets see:

    What was man created from, blood, clay, dust, or nothing?

    “Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood,” (96:2).
    “We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape, (15:26).
    “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was,” (3:59).
    “But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?” (19:67, Yusuf Ali). Also, 52:35).
    “He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer! (16:4).

  • Hi there!

    I don’t believe you understand my argument. If I said “The boy liked it”, and you tell me the “it” means, a girl, a boy and an animal. This would mean that the boy is either a heterosexual, homosexual or zoophile. These are significant in their implications and understanding. Similarly, in the Bible passage of Psalm 8:5/6, we see that Elohiym is rendered differently and thus the ‘scripture’ itself, as numerous distinct forms with vastly different meanings. If this is the word of God, and God claims not to be the author of confusion, why would He use Elohiym in three different and distinct contexts? Clearly it is your God’s fault.

    As for determining which is correct, you have hit the nail on the head. It is ‘determined’ by each translator’s bias + motivations. Your bias is to appeal to a newer book to reinterpret an older book. Paul’s reading is one of three and is a later teaching than that of Psalm. Therefore Paul’s reading is biased to one reading of the three. This does not solve the problem, it makes it worse. Why would Paul use an ambiguous text and why would he choose this reading over the others? Surely, since you cannot speak on behalf of Paul and Paul did not clarify his usage, then we arrive at the same problem, if not a bigger one. What if the MSS Paul read, rendered it in Greek as one reading, but the Hebrew rendered it as another, does it mean then that Paul believed in a lie and used the wrong quote? The problem/ issue only magnifies itself.

    As for your quotes from the Qur’aan, please use it on more uneducated Muslims, it’s a shameful thing to try such silliness here. Does this look like a Church to you? 96:2 refers to men who came after Adam (as) and thus are created through pregnancy. 15:26 refers to the creation of the first man, Adam (as). 3:59 same as 15:26. 52:35 refers to God creating Adam (as) from nothing (i.e. God created mud then Adam from this, so nothing existed and then God created mud), lastly, 16:4 refers to pregnancy.

    All it takes is a brain to understand simple context.

  • Mpho Mogampane,

    A very succinct answer to your question about the Quran’s mention of man’s creation is: all of the above, each in a distinct stage of either the original creation of man or embryological development. This is not difficult to understand at all.

    Please read this article for more details:
    http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/what_was_man_created_from___by_ansar_al__adl

    Peace be upon you.

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