Friday, August 30, 2013

The Use of Psalm 8 in Hebrews 2

In Hebrews 2 the author quotes portions of Psalm 8? To what man does Psalm 8 historically refer? To whom does Psalm 8 refer prophetically? How does the author of Hebrews use this passage prophetically? What does the author mean that not all things are presently subjected to Jesus? When you think of your own life, what areas is it that Jesus suffered and “tasted death” for you? How should you respond?
            The author of Hebrews seemed to have a real affinity for the Old Testament especially the Psalter. In Chapter two verses six through eight he uses Psalm 8 to make a point he has been developing ever since the first chapter. The original historical setting was referring to mankind in general.  The psalm refers prophetically to the Lord Jesus Christ. The author uses the verses where it speaks of one being made a little lower than the angels. According to George Guthrie, “the word brachy (lit. little) in this phrase can be understood in two ways: a small measure of distance or substance (“just a little lower”), or a small amount of time (“for a little while”).[1] There seems to be some discontinuity in the commentary community on which of these is actually the best use. Guthrie is of the camp that “the latter meaning seems to fit the context better since the author is not interested in the degree to which the Son was of a lower status than the angels.”[2] There are others however that are concerned with the status of God in his condescension on the earth. Man himself was not in a place of  authority as the angels have at this time so when Christ took on flesh he in turn became a little lower than the angels; at least in terms of his human anatomy.
            While we are on earth at this moment Christ is king of heaven, while allowing the dark one to rule the earth. In due time he will return to subdue Satan. According to Richard Phillips, “’The world to come’ is the time when Christ’s lordship will be consummated over all, when all the promises and prophecies of blessing are fulfilled in his final reign.”[3] The typical Sunday School answer is in all areas. However, the best response to this prompting would be in the areas of my pride and ego, especially in all things related to Scripture. I can be very snoobish sometimes when it comes to doctrine and theology. I am just so happy to have a better understanding of the doctrines of grace and so many other things I don’t understand how people cannot see them. I have to remind myself that the Gospel doesn’t just operate in one part of life around certain people it should be a beacon of hope to all peoples; I just have to learn to get out of Christ way and walk in humility.

[1] George H.  Guthrie, The NIV Application Commentary-Hebrews.(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998)98.
[2] Ibid.,98.                                                           
[3] Richard D. Phillips, Hebrews: Reformed Expository Commentary. (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2006)57.

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