Questions From Readers
▪ Is Jesus the “God” referred to at Hebrews 1:8?
No. The weight of the evidence indicates that it is Jehovah. According to the New World Translation, Hebrews 1:8 says: “But with reference to the Son: ‘God is your [the Son’s] throne forever and ever.’” This shows that Jesus’ throne, his office or authority as a sovereign, has its source in Jehovah the Almighty God.
However, believers in the Trinity prefer the Authorized Version, or King James Version, which renders Hebrews 1:8 this way: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” Thus, they feel that Jesus is shown to be the same as Almighty God. Why is this not correct?
First, note the context. In many translations, either in the main text or in the margin, Hebrews 1:9 reads, “God, your God, anointed you.” This makes it clear that the one addressed in verse eight is not God, but one who worships God and is anointed by him.
Secondly, it should be noted that Hebrews 1:8, 9 is a quotation from Psalm 45:6, 7, which originally was addressed to a human king of Israel. Surely the writer of this psalm did not think that this human king was Almighty God and neither did the writer of Hebrews think that Jesus was Almighty God. Commenting on this, scholar B. F. Westcott said: “It is scarcely possible that אלוהים [‘Elo·himʹ, “God”] in the original can be addressed to the king. . . . Thus on the whole it seems best to adopt in the first clause the rendering: God is Thy throne (or, Thy throne is God), that is ‘Thy kingdom is founded upon God.’”
With good reason, therefore, the New World Translation and a number of other translations render Hebrews 1:8 as, “God is your throne.” (See An American Translation, Moffatt; also the marginal reading in American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version and The New English Bible.) This makes it clear that the “Son,” Jesus Christ, has a God who is higher than he is.
▪ In Jesus’ parable of the wheat among the weeds, do the “weeds” include those who recently have become apostates?
No, for strictly speaking they are not “weeds.”
This illustration and Jesus’ explanation of it are found at Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43. In the “field,” which is the world, the “Son of man” sowed “fine seed,” representing “the sons of the kingdom,” genuine anointed Christians. Then the Devil sowed “weeds” that might appear to be “wheat,” but are actually “the sons of the wicked one,” evidently imitation Christians that exist at the same time as the wheatlike true Christians. This developed particularly after the apostles died. (2 Thessalonians 2:6, 7) Through the centuries there have been many who merely claimed to be Christians, including the clergy who have spread false teachings.
Jesus said that during the harvest period, the “conclusion of a system of things,” the “weeds” would be collected out and “burned with fire.” Some might view the small number of persons who recently turned apostate as “weeds” being collected out. But Jesus did not say that the “weeds” had once been “wheat” and then turned bad. They were sown as “weeds” and remained such, consistent with the genetic rule that vegetation reproduces “according to its kind.” (Genesis 1:11, 12) We need to bear in mind, though, that in speaking of the “weeds” Jesus was foretelling a particular sort of false, or imitation, Christians who would appear. He was not discussing individuals of the “wheat” class who might go bad, becoming like rotten wheat stalks.
Apostates of the apostles’ day and their modern counterparts are not represented by the “weeds.” Yet the Bible shows that such apostates are “not of our sort,” have God’s disapproval and should be shunned by loyal Christians. Any who apostatize and do not repent by the end of this system of things will experience the same fate as the “weeds,” being “burned with fire” or destroyed completely.—Titus 3:10; 1 John 2:18, 19; 2 John 9-11.