Who is the Prince of Peace?

Dr. Joel Hoffman, author a new book on translation the bible, as responded to a question posed on his About page concerning Isaiah 9.6 (still waiting on the other one to be answered…)

Two questions from the About page ask about Isaiah 9:5 (9:6), “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (NRSV).

The final phrase of this child’s name (“Prince of Peace”) are probably the most famous, so we’ll start there.

The Hebrew is sar shalom, that is, sar of shalom. While the English “Prince of Peace” has a nice alliterative ring to it, there’s little support for translating sar as “prince,” and even “peace” for shalom is a bit misleading.

Anyway, read the rest:

Who is the Prince of Peace? « God Didn’t Say That.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

4 thoughts on “Who is the Prince of Peace?

  1. Thanks, Joel.

    I just got back from a book tour in the South, so I’ve been away for a while.

    I haven’t forgotten your question about Isaiah. I can compose some answers (like the one I just posted) on an airplane. For others (like yours) I need to be in my office/library.

    Look for something this weekend. I had never really paid the phrase much attention, and you’ve gotten me intrigued.


    1. Excellent! The reason which I asked about that phrase is that in the older translations, it is ‘wonderful, counselor’ while in the new, the two are combined. I read somewhere once upon a time that ‘wonderful’ meant ‘wonder’ as in miracle.

      Glad to see you make it home safely, and looking forward to reading your new book which should be in my hands rather shortly.

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