Daniel 3 Aramaic - Christ in Theophany:
The Son of God, Not a son of the gods
It’s said Nebuchadnezzar, in the Aramaic of Dan.3:25, called a 4th figure in his furnace a son of the gods, not the KJV the Son of God since Aramaic elahin is gods. The KJV translators usually rendered elahin, gods (Dan.2:11,47; 4:8,9,18; 5:4,11,14,23), but they made an exception here. In Aramaic construct grammar, the gods (Babylon’s gods) requires the son, and the king earlier recognized Daniel’s one God of gods (Dan.2:47), so the Son of God is valid. He said literally, the son of the gods, but had seen a supreme God as the real power of his version of the gods, and the son of (this) God subtly relates to Christ. To express this another way, a sense of the Son of God attaches to the son of the gods in that the gods diminish in the king’s eyes as he recognizes a God of gods who is the Son of God, or the son of the gods in the form of truth born anew out of lesser faith in gods. Further, a God of gods of a prophetic dream God gave the king, relates to revelation he was given on an eternal kingdom of God by Christ (Dan.2:44).
The king’s the son of the gods in the Aramaic of Babylon, would read that way to the Babylonians. Hebrews would read plural elahin as their plural Elohim that usually refers to the one true God (the Trinity mainly), and would read the Son of the God or the Son of God. Babylonians read as they’re meant to, and Hebrews read a higher Messianic sense as they’re meant to. The Aramaic of Daniel deals with the speaking or acts of Babylonians, for historical authenticity, and the text speaks inerrantly to two very different cultures at the same time.
In Dan.3:28 Nebuchadnezzar interprets, calling the 4th figure an angel (his notion of Son; an angel is a son*) of God (a son of God saved Daniel from lions & the Son of God saved three from the fire, veiled Christology being involved in the latter case). The king didn't know of Christ, but a sense of Christ in theophany ties to the son of the gods, initially for inclusion in Hebrew Christology mystery, and later for translations in true churches over the centuries. KJV translation, inerrant by construct grammar and context, preserves the right term. The NKJV has this term, but equivocates with an incorrect footnote alternative, a son of the gods applying only to unbiblical culture. Other modern versions have incorrect a son of the gods in the text. The Son of God is in very old texts likely tied to the apostolic era,** and the KJV preserves truth likely given to original biblical churches, but this is lost in modern versions.
*Scripture records the errors or lies of historic figures for the sake of completing our knowledge of the historical record, as is the case of the lie of Satan to Eve in the garden, the beginning of the horrors of the effects of sin on mankind.
**It’s in the Syriac Peshitta of very early origin (see Lamsa version) and the Vulgate, likely from its Italic basis dated to the 2nd century, so early eastern and western biblical churches likely read the Son of God. Athanasius of the early eastern church (died 373 A.D.) quoted the Son of God from Dan.3:25 in his Four Discourses against the Arians. 4:24. See www.mb-soft.com/believe/txuc/ Athana43.htm.