Where the Old Testament Demands the Deity of Christ

Where the Old Testament Demands the Deity of Christ

Hebrews 1:8-9 quotes Psalm 45:6-7 to the effect that the “Son”, the King of Israel is God.

But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Is the New Testament being faithful to the original intention of the Psalm? Derek Kidner says yes:

The Hebrew resists any softening here, and it is the New Testament, not the new versions, which does it justice when it uses it to prove the superiority of God’s Son to the very angels (Hebrews 1:8f). Added to this, verse 7 distinguishes between God, your God, and the king who has been addressed as “God” in verse 6.

This paradox is consistent with the incarnation, but mystifying in any other context. It is an example of Old Testament language bursting its banks, to demand a more than human fulfillment (as did Psalm 110:1, according to our Lord). The faithfulness of the pre-Christian LXX [Greek translation of the Old Testament] in translating these verses unaltered is very striking. (Psalms 1-72, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, IVP, 1973], 172).

It is fitting in these post-Easter days that we unashamedly and joyfully take to heart the example of the disciples as they met Jesus: “When they saw him they worshiped him” (Matthew 28:17).

It is not idolatry to worship Jesus. He is God.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.