IS JESUS CHRIST YHWH (YAHWEH, JEHOVAH)? PREFACE The importance of this subject warrants the utmost care in selecting a correct translation of the Bible. The following translations are recommended as being generally faithful to the Hebrew and Greek: King James Version American Standard, 1901 New American Standard Bible The Bible in Living English New International Version INTRODUCTION The following workbook is designed to enable any serious student of the Bible to investigate in great detail what the Bible teaches on the subject of the deity or godhood of Jesus Christ. It is expected that the reader will be faithful in looking up all the scripture passages, in examining the context of each passage and in having a willing and open mind to accept whatever the Bible teaches even if it contradicts his previous religious convictions. In John 7:17, Jesus reminds us that religious truth can be obtained only by those who approach the subject with a willing attitude. Jesus said: If any man is willing to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself. PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS
- Is it scripturally possible for God to take upon himself HUMAN nature and to become a man in every sense of the word? (Mark 10:27; Psalm 135:6; Job 42:2; Daniel 4:34-35).
The reader must acknowledge that “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). Thus, we must admit at the very outset of our study that IT IS POSSIBLE FOR GOD TO BE INCARNATE IN HUMAN FORM. To approach the deity of Christ with the assumption or presupposition that it is NOT possible for Christ to be deity is to reveal a lack of openness to the Scriptures and a rationalistic attitude which says, “Don’t confuse me with the facts. My mind is already made up.” We should not limit what God can or cannot do simply on the basis of what WE think He can or cannot do. Any theology which tells God that He cannot do a certain thing is not only poor theology, but it also borders on being blasphemy.
- Literally speaking, is there only ONE God or are there MANY gods? Does the Bible teach monotheism or polytheism? (Isaiah 43:10, 11; 44:6, 7; 45:5, 6, 21-23; 46:9; Acts 19:26; Galatians 4:8).
- Even though literally speaking there is only one true God and the “gods” of the heathen are nothing but man-made idols (Psalms 115: 1-8), the word “god” was at times used in a figurative manner or sense to describe someone or something which had a godlike function. Thus, Moses was to function as a godlike judge over Pharaoh (Exodus 4:16). Satan is figuratively called “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The judges over Israel were called ELOHIM, that is, “gods” in Exodus 21:6; 22:8, 9, etc., because like God, they held the power of life and death over men. While Moses, the judges, angels and even Satan himself are, at times, called “god” in a figurative sense, are they ever said to be God by nature?
Are we ever told to bow before them and give them divine worship?
Are we told to pray to them? ___________________________________ Are we ever told to place our ultimate faith, hope, trust, and love
in them? _______________________________________________________ Are the divine characteristics such as eternity or omnipresence ever attributed to them? _______________________________________ While they may have been called ELOHIM (God), were they ever called YHWH (Yahweh, Jehovah)? _________________________________
- Since there is only one true God, will God share His glory with anyone else? (Isaiah 42:8) _____________________________________
- Can we worship any created being or thing? Or does the Bible teach that we are to worship God alone? (Deuteronomy 6:13) _____ OLD TESTAMENT SURVEY
- Did YHWH ever come down to earth and manifest himself to people in the form of a man? (Genesis 18:1-5, 13, 17, 22; 32:24-30; cf. 35:1-3, 9-13; Exodus 24:9-11; Isaiah 6:1-9) ___________________
- When YHWH was in His human form, did men actually see and touch Him? (Genesis 16:13; 18:1-5; 32:24-30; Exodus 24:9-11; Isaiah 6:1-9) ________________________________________________________
- While Exodus 34:20 states that to see God in His absolute glory would mean instant death, evidently men could see YHWH in His human form. Thus, Moses could see YHWH’s back without dying
(Exodus 33:18-23). Abraham could wash YHWH’s feet (Genesis 18:1-4), and Jacob could wrestle with YHWH’s body (Genesis 32:30; 35:1-15; Exodus 3:6). And Isaiah escaped death even though he saw YHWH with his own eyes (Isaiah 6:5). 4. The key to unlock these mysterious appearances of YHWH in human form is found in John 12:37-43. In this passage the Apostle John clearly points out that the YHWH who appeared to Isaiah as “Jehovah of armies” (Isaiah 6:1-5) was __________ in His pre- incarnate glory. Thus whenever YHWH appeared in His human form, it was probably _____________ that men saw and touched. 5. In this light, who was probably YHWH/man who visited Abraham in Genesis 18? (John 8:56-59) ________________________________ 6. How many Jehovah’s are mentioned in Genesis 19:24? ___________ 7. Who was the YHWH/man who wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:30; cf. Exodus 3:6) ______________________________________________ 8. Since the “God of Jacob” is the One with whom Jacob wrestled, and is later identified in Exodus 3:6 as YHWH, who could this God/man be? (Exodus 3:6; cf. Genesis 35:2-13) __________. The most logical identification of YHWH/man of the Old Testament is __________ in His preincarnate glory. 9. God called himself in Exodus 3:13, 14, by the name of _______. In the New Testament, who also claimed this divine name? (John 8:58, 59) ____________________________________________________ 10. Now if Christ was only called ELOHIM (god) in a figurative sense like Moses or Satan, it would not be necessary to believe that He is God in His nature. But Jesus is called YHWH and is different in every way from the figurative “gods.” Are we told to worship Jesus? (Psalm 2:12) ___________________ Did the Old Testament saints worship Jesus? (Genesis 32:30; cf. 35:1-15; Isaiah 6:1-5; Exodus 24:1, 9-11) ____________________ Are we told to put our trust, faith, and love in Jesus? (Psalm 2:12) ________________________________________________________ Are divine attributes given to Him? (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6) ______________________________________________________________ Is He called YHWH? (Isaiah 6:5; cf. John 12:41) ______________ 11. In the following Old Testament passages, we find that YHWH is spoken of in either direct or indirect language. These passages are either quoted or alluded to in the New Testament. Check and see if the New Testament writers applied the YHWH Old Testament passages directly to Jesus. If they did this, it is obvious that they felt that the YHWH of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New Testament. After each series of scriptures, write out that particular YHWH name, title or function that is attributed to Jesus Christ.
- Ps 23:1; Is 40:1-11; cf. Jn 10:1-14; Hb 13:20, 1Pe 2:25; 5:4.
- Ps 50:1-6; cf. 2Th 1:7-10. __________________________________
- Ps 68:15-18; cf. Eph 4:8. ___________________________________
- Ps 102:1, 12, 25-27; cf. Hb 1:10-12. ________________________
- Is 8:12-15; cf. 1Pe 2:8. ____________________________________
- Is 40:3, 9, 10, 11; cf. Jn 1:23; Rv 22:12. __________________
- Is 43:3; cf. Ac 3:14. _______________________________________
- Is 44:6; cf. Rv 1:7, 8, 17, 18; 2:8; 22:13. _________________
- Is 45:22, 23; cf. Ro 14:9-12; cf. 2Co 5:10; Ph 2:10. ________
- Is 62:11, 12; cf. Rv 22:12. _________________________________
- Jer 11:20; 17:10; 20:12; cf. Rv 2:23 ________________________
- Jer 23:6; Ze 3:8; 6:12; Mal 3:1, 2; cf. Mt 11:10. ___________
- Joel 2:32; cf. Ro 10:9-15. __________________________________
- Ze 12:10; cf. Jn 19:37. _____________________________________
- Not only is Jesus identified as the YHWH of the Old Testament, but He is also given other names of God. After each passage, write out the names or titles given to Christ.
- Ge 18:3; cf. Ac 10:36. ______________________________________
- Ge 18:25; cf. 2Ti 4:1,8. ____________________________________
- Ge 32:30; cf. Jn 1:1. _______________________________________
- Ge 35:11; cf. Gen 35:1. _____________________________________
- Ex 3:14; cf. Jn 8:58. _______________________________________
- Ps 23:1; cf. Jn 10:14. ______________________________________
- Ps 45:6; cf. Hb 1:8. ________________________________________
- Is 7:14; cf. Mt 1:23. _______________________________________
- Is 9:6; cf. Lk 1:31-33. _____________________________________
Note: In the Hebrew of Isaiah 9:6, “Mighty God” appears without the definite article. But this is also true in such places as Isaiah 10:21; 49:26. Since YHWH is called “Mighty God” without the definite article in Isaiah 10:20-21, the absence of the article cannot be interpreted to show that YHWH is just “a god” in a figurative sense. In the same way, neither can the absence of the article in Isaiah 9:6 reduce Jesus to “a god.” But the comparison between Isaiah 9:6 and Isaiah 10:20-21 demonstrates that Jesus is the YHWH who is the “Mighty God.” After all, there cannot be two “Mighty Gods,” for there is only one God. (Isaiah 43:10). There is also an irrefutable scriptural logic behind the proposition that Jesus is YHWH. In logic, the following syllogism is ALWAYS VALID: A > B a = b B > C or b = c ______________ A > C a = c In the same way, the teaching of Scripture can be arranged in conformity to the above syllogism. Jesus is “Mighty God” (Is 9:6) “Mighty God” is YHWH (Is 10:20-21) __________________________________ Jesus is YHWH The logical sequence cannot be shown to be invalid. The conclusion is automatic and irrefutable. j. Is 10:20; cf. Ac 3:14. ______________________________________ k. Is 44:6; cf. Rv 22:12-16 (v. 13). ___________________________ 13. The Old Testament prophecied that while Christ was to be born in Bethlehem, His origin should be traced back to eternity itself. How does Micah 5:2 describe this origin of Christ? ______________________________________________________________ Note: The words “from everlasting” are also used to describe the origin of YHWH in Ps 90:1, 2. Did YHWH have a beginning? ________________________________ How does Ps 90:2 express the eternity of YHWH? ____________ Since the same Hebrew word is used in Micah 5:2 as found in Psalm 90:2, what does this tell us about Christ? __________ CONCLUSION In the Old Testament the Messiah is clearly prophecied as the coming of YHWH in human form to redeem a lost and sinful humanity (Isaiah 40:1, 9-11). To prepare the way for the incarnation of YHWH, He appeared in human form on many occasions so that the people of God would be prepared to see and touch the living God when He came to die on the cross (Zech. 12:10). The Messiah is none other than YHWH incarnate as human being.Spread God's love