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Elohim different views

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  • Elohim different views

    Here is one explanation of elohim.

    The ending “im” is really the Hebrew “YM” (yod-mem), and makes the word plural. The Hebrew root “EL” means “strength”, and is understood to be rendered plural by the ending “YM”. Since YHWH is ONE, this often confuses people. The root “EL” is not being used as a name, but is used descriptively as “WHAT” He is. Since the term “EL” means strength, it is really the “strengths” that are many, not the Being. If we only define the word “EL” as “mighty-one”, then we can lose our focus on the root idea very easily. The strengths are really what are plural.
    This explanation does not address the issue when elohim is used in the Bible where it does not refer to God.

    Here is another explanation of elohim which better understands the biblical worldview concerning the spiritual world.

    Psalm 82:1 ESV elohim
    A Psalm of Asaph.
    God (elohim) has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of the gods (elohim) he holds judgment:

    These following English versions are where the second use of the Hebrew word “elohim” avoids translating elohim as gods or divine beings. These English versions are taking liberty with the text so as not to provide a reading that suggests there are divine beings (translated gods) other than God.

    ICB, TLB, MSG, NASB (rulers), NIRV, NLV (rulers), TPT (judge and ruler), VOICE (so called gods), YLT (God hath stood in the company of God, In the midst God doth judge.)

    Most other English versions use “gods” or “divine beings” to translate elohim. The use in English of God or gods is also misleading translation of elohim. To translate elohim as “gods” or even as “divine beings” reveals to the English reader there are many gods as in paganism. However, the class of spiritual beings referred to in Hebrew as elohim includes created spiritual beings as well as God the Most High Creator. All are spiritual beings are elohim.

    For any but those who have become aware of the biblical meaning of elohim from Hebrew, translating elohim alternatively as God or gods is confusing. It would be expedient if there were an English translation which translated this Hebrew word with the transliteration of the Hebrew (elohim). When elohim refers to God let it be translated Elohim and when referring to the category of spiritual beings let the translation be elohim. In each case the reader would be able to consult the introduction to explain the difference between ELOHIM and elohim. Familiarity would allow the regular Bible reader to recognize the differences just as they do with in many English versions which use LORD for YHWH and Lord when the meaning is “lord.”

    I have Michael S. Heiser to thank for this clarity on the meaning of elohim.

  • #2
    In the above post there is the suggestion to transliterate the OT word “elohim” rather then translate it because the translations are misleading. What follows is another case.

    The Hebrew word Lucifer appears as a transliteration in a few English versions.
    Generally it is translated by all other versions. This word appears only in Isaiah 14:12.

    Isaiah 14:12 KJV
    How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    Only the following versions use the transliteration of the Hebrew word, therefore rendering the Hebrew as Lucifer instead of the meaning in Hebrew of: day star, star of the morning, morning star, or shinning one.

    Only these versions interpret the Hebrew word as a proper noun.

    KJV (original 1611 using the 1987 printing)
    NKJV (original 1611 updated 1982)
    KJ21 (original 1611 revised 1994)
    BRG (2012 Textus Receptus),
    DARBY (1890),
    DRA (English translation of the Latin vulgate. 1899 edition but first translated in 1582 in Rheims and in 1609 in Douai),
    JUB (2000)
    TLB (1971)
    MEV (2014 Textus Receptus and the Jacob ben Hayyim edition of the Masoretic Text, using the King James Version as the base manuscript.)
    WYC (originally translated in 1382. The KJV used the earlier versions of the WYC as a guide.)

    Which is preferred?