The TNIV made an interesting change in Hebrews 1:7 —
In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” (TNIV)
In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.” (NIV)
Nearly all other translations use the word “winds” except for the NET, which also uses “spirits.” The Greek word is pneuma which means “wind, spirit, breath.” Contextually, it seems like “winds” and “flames of fire” are closer parallels and that “winds” would be more likely.Â
However, I have been studying Hebrews for my teachings and I think the word “spirits” is more consistent with the argument made by the writer of Hebrews. The argument is one of contrast. Angels are spirits, but they are just servants. Angels have been seen as flames of fire, but they are still just servants. By contrast, the Son is God (vs. 8). The Son is God who has been anointed by God to sit on the throne. Therefore, the Son is superior to angels in regards to status. Angels are spirits. Powerful spirits, but still servants. But the Son is God, the anointed one, who rules from his throne.
Any comments as to why the TNIV made this change? Any comments if you think the TNIV is right or the NIV?