Isaiah 9:6, NET Bible note

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Posts 606
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Oct 13 2018 8:55 AM

The Net Bible, first and second edition, has a footnote for Isaiah 9:6 that states, “There is great debate over the syntactical structure of the verse. No subject is indicated for the verb “he called.” If all the titles that follow are ones given to the king, then the subject of the verb must be indefinite, “one calls.” However, some have suggested that one to three of the titles that follow refer to God, not the king. For example, the traditional punctuation of the Hebrew text suggests the translation, “and the Extraordinary Strategist, the Mighty God calls his name, ‘Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’”

Does anyone know which Hebrew text has punctuation for the child being called these two names? I’m researching this verse and cannot find the source.  Thank you.
Posts 1388
James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 9:29 AM

Into Grace:
Does anyone know which Hebrew text has punctuation for the child being called these two names? I’m researching this verse and cannot find the source. 

I'm not sure either, but considering not a single standard translation has that reading I personally wouldn't call it a "great debate".

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Posts 1388
James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 9:38 AM

Into Grace:
which Hebrew text has punctuation

2. The Masoretic accentuation supports the position that there are four names.

Young, E. (1965). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–18 (Vol. 1, p. 333). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

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Posts 361
Danny Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 10:35 AM

Not sure about Christian debate, but there appears to be Jewish debate about the passage. If you look around at Google you will see references to such. I did not pursue the topic to find the sources though. Don't know if a Jewish commentary or traditional Jewish resources would shed any light as I have none. I am assuming the Net is referring to traditional translation punctuation rather than Hebrew Masoretic punctuation which has none. It's a theological issue that then impacts translation / understanding. At least that seems like it to me.

Posts 606
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 11:43 AM

Thanks to both of you for responding. There is a lot more to this verse than most realize. But I’m trying to avoid a theological debate. I’m not surprised that no one has verified the NET Bible’s claim. To their credit, they admit, There is great debate over the syntactical structure of the verse.” 

In Christ!

Posts 361
Danny Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 12:55 PM

For what its worth:

For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace." Tankak Stone Edition translation - Infuenced by Rashi (medieval rabbi of note) commentary on the passage

John Goldingay comments refer to the same sources for Catholic journal 

The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Vol. 61, No. 2 (April 1999), pp. 239-244

Page 239 of The Compound Name in Isaiah 9:5(6)

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Posts 606
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 1:21 PM

Danny Parker:

Thanks, brother Danny for your reply. I was aware of this verse. But it does not validate the claim made by the NET Bible that, “the Mighty God calls his name, ‘Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’” 

Secondly, in the link you listed, the journal is incorrect in their statement, “the translator of the Targum of Isaiah also assumes that the names also refer to the child to whom the verse refers...” Several Trinitarian scholars now admit that the Targum calls God the divine titles:

“Similarly, Isa 9:6 [MT 5] is changed in the Targum so as to remove the divine titles from the Messiah” Ronning, J. L. (2007). The Targum of Isaiah and the Johannine Literature. Westminster Theological Journal, 69(2), 272.

Another one admits:

“The Aramaic understands the passage as a prophetic oracle that applies to the “house of David.” However, the exalted titles “Wonderful Counselor” and “Mighty God” (“Father” drops out, leaving behind “everlasting” or “existing forever”) are understood to refer to God, not to the Messiah. “That is the significance of the insertion of ‘before.’ In other words, the Messiah will not be called “Mighty God,” he will be called ‘The Messiah in whose days peace will increase upon us’ before or in the presence of God Almighty, the Wonderful Counselor, who exists forever.’” (C. A. Evans & C. A. Bubeck, Eds.) (First Edition, p. 90).

Thanks again.

In Christ!

 

Posts 202
Robert Neely | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 1:22 PM

Perhaps this brief excerpt may shed some light on the debate over the interpretation of the names:

The seven or eight words (see the notes on אביעד above) that comprise the name(s) have been variously analysed over the centuries (quite apart from the fact that some of the words were not even recognized as part of a name by the LXX translator). Perhaps least plausible are Rashi and Kimhi (with whom Ibn Ezra explicitly disagrees), who construed the first elements as referring to God as the subject of ‘and he has called’, with the name of the child (explicitly named as Hezekiah) being simply ‘prince of peace’. Previously, Jerome was emphatic that the first four words were all separate names: ‘vocabitur … sex aliis nominibus: admirabilis, consiliarius, Deus, fortis, pater futuri saeculi, princeps pacis’, and he rejects what he recognizes was the majority opinion that his first four names should be combined into two pairs. Others since (e.g. Ibn Ezra; Gesenius) have agreed with him as regard the first two words but then follow the Masoretic accents to join the next two (see too the traditional English versions: ‘Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God …’). Most commonly, however, the words have been grouped into four pairs (taking אביעד as a pair): so, for instance, NRSV: ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’. The construction that joins the first two words (lit. ‘a wonder of a counsellor’) is familiar enough,114 and the ascription of names that might more usually be attributed to God (‘Mighty God’ and ‘Everlasting Father’) can be explained as due to the high rhetoric of so-called court language (especially in a cultic setting), such as the use of אלהים with apparent reference to the king in Ps. 45:7; for some ancient Near Eastern parallels for this kind of language, see Wildberger, though it should also be noted that he concedes that ‘Isaiah used formulations which surpassed what was commonly used in the palace—and which also went beyond what was generally accepted in Israel’.

H. G. M. Williamson, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Isaiah 1–27: Commentary on Isaiah 6–12, ed. G. I. Davies and C. M. Tuckett, vol. 2, International Critical Commentary (London; New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark: An Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2018), 396–397.

Posts 606
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 1:47 PM

Robert Neely:

Perhaps this brief excerpt may shed some light on the debate over the interpretation of the names:

The seven or eight words (see the notes on אביעד above) that comprise the name(s) have been variously analysed over the centuries (quite apart from the fact that some of the words were not even recognized as part of a name by the LXX translator). Perhaps least plausible are Rashi and Kimhi (with whom Ibn Ezra explicitly disagrees), who construed the first elements as referring to God as the subject of ‘and he has called’, with the name of the child (explicitly named as Hezekiah) being simply ‘prince of peace’. Previously, Jerome was emphatic that the first four words were all separate names: ‘vocabitur … sex aliis nominibus: admirabilis, consiliarius, Deus, fortis, pater futuri saeculi, princeps pacis’, and he rejects what he recognizes was the majority opinion that his first four names should be combined into two pairs. Others since (e.g. Ibn Ezra; Gesenius) have agreed with him as regard the first two words but then follow the Masoretic accents to join the next two (see too the traditional English versions: ‘Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God …’). Most commonly, however, the words have been grouped into four pairs (taking אביעד as a pair): so, for instance, NRSV: ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’. The construction that joins the first two words (lit. ‘a wonder of a counsellor’) is familiar enough,114 and the ascription of names that might more usually be attributed to God (‘Mighty God’ and ‘Everlasting Father’) can be explained as due to the high rhetoric of so-called court language (especially in a cultic setting), such as the use of אלהים with apparent reference to the king in Ps. 45:7; for some ancient Near Eastern parallels for this kind of language, see Wildberger, though it should also be noted that he concedes that ‘Isaiah used formulations which surpassed what was commonly used in the palace—and which also went beyond what was generally accepted in Israel’.

H. G. M. Williamson, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Isaiah 1–27: Commentary on Isaiah 6–12, ed. G. I. Davies and C. M. Tuckett, vol. 2, International Critical Commentary (London; New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark: An Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2018), 396–397.

Thanks, Robert for your valuable insights. I may purchase a commentary you provided as your source: https://www.logos.com/product/149902/a-critical-and-exegetical-commentary-on-isaiah-6-12

Separately, I corrected an error in my last post. I intended to write, "But it does NOT validate the claim made by the NET Bible..."

Posts 361
Danny Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 3:11 PM

I was not supporting the NET claim, just looking for where the reference came from. I had never heard that comment before and was curious and surprised at the NET comments. Most every good commentary handles the passage well and provide various interpretations (although few include the Rashi viewpoint). The excerpt Robert gave provides a succinct overview of the popular meanings. The four pairs are the most common among evangelicals.

Posts 606
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 13 2018 3:49 PM

Danny Parker:

I was not supporting the NET claim, just looking for where the reference came from. I had never heard that comment before and was curious and surprised at the NET comments. Most every good commentary handles the passage well and provide various interpretations (although few include the Rashi viewpoint). The excerpt Robert gave provides a succinct overview of the popular meanings. The four pairs are the most common among evangelicals.

Thanks, Danny for your input. I don't have evidence of a NET Bible fabrication. I'm cautious about unsubstantiated claims. Blessings in Christ!

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