Has Psalm 110 Been Hacked?
Psalm 110 is a familiar but poorly understood scripture about the coming Messiah, and Trinitarian commentators have had a field day with its meaning. Jesus Himself quoted it to confound and silence His opponents. (Luke 20:42-44) Here’s how it reads in our English Bibles, “The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” In Hebrew it reads “YHWH said to Adawn…” translated “Adonai said to my Adoni….” For some reason or another English translators have been reluctant to simply show us these original Hebrew words. Our English translations replace YHWH and Adonai with “LORD” and replace Adawn and Adoni with “Lord”. This might have pleased them but it’s a little confusing and doesn’t really give the reader a good idea of what is going on in this verse. Let’s take a minute and sort it out.
Adonai is Used Exclusively for God the Father
The conversation in Psalm 110 is between two distinct beings. One Being is God the Father and the other is His Christ. One Being is divine and the other is human. There is no question or debate that YHWH applies exclusively to God the Father. Likewise Adonai is used exclusively for God the Father. So far so good.
Adoni is Used for Human Superiors
There is another word, however, that describes human lords and superiors. It is the word Adoni and it is never used to describe God Himself. Understanding the distinction between Adonai and Adoni will help you make good Biblical sense out of the phrase “The LORD said to my Lord”. This is not complicated but it is important! The man Jesus Christ is our Adoni but He is not Adonai. He is our Lord but He is not LORD. What emerges from this is a clear understanding that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is a man. He truly came in the flesh and He is one of us. He is God’s Anointed One and God’s only begotten Son, the Christ. He is our Brother and Master and Lord but He is not God.
Psalm 110 Reveals the Mystery of God and Christ
Jesus never claimed to be God but He did claim to be the Christ. Psalm 110 is the key to rightly dividing these scriptures. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5) We don’t have to resort to the tortured logic of trinitarian philosophy to try making sense of this! We honor and exalt Jesus as God’s unique agent on our behalf and for what He has done for us. “For God has made him both Lord and Christ”. (Acts 2:36) “For us there is only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we are for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ…” (I Corinthians 8:6) Well there you have it! Jesus is not God, Jesus is Lord!
PS: God surely intended for us understand his Word. This seems at odds with the work of many theologians and translators but we are convinced God will eventually have His way! If this post has helped you see things more clearly please share it with a few friends. God Bless.
Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes