THE SOVEREIGN LORD YHWH BECOMES FLESH

This short post will be a brief summation of some of the overwhelming evidence identifying Jesus as YHWH God Almighty that became Man.

YHWH GOD

The Hebrew Bible is emphatic that YHWH is the sole Creator and Sustainer who alone sits enthroned in heaven as the sovereign Ruler over creation and whom the entire heavenly host worship. YHWH is further described as the only Lord in heaven whom believers are to be looking to and depending on for protection and salvation:

“And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, ‘Rise up, bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting! O may Your glorious name be blessed And exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are Yahweh. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down to You.’” Nehemiah 9:5-6

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the sons of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They are satisfied from the richness of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” Psalm 36:7-9

“Who is like Yahweh our God, The One who sits on high, The One who brings Himself low to see The things in heaven and on the earth?” Psalm 113:5-6

The heavens are the heavens of Yahweh, But the earth He has given to the sons of men.” Psalm 115:16

“To You I lift up my eyes, The One enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a servant‑girl to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to Yahweh our God, Until He is gracious to us.” Psalm 123:1-2

“Yahweh has established His throne in the heavens, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless Yahweh, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! Bless Yahweh, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. Bless Yahweh, all you works of His, In all places of His rule; Bless Yahweh, O my soul!” Psalm 103:19-22

“Praise Yah! Praise Yahweh from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!” Psalm 148:1-2

“‘To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His vigor and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from Yahweh, And the justice due me passes by my God’? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, Yahweh, the Creator of the ends of the earth, Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weary, And to him who lacks vigor He increases might.” Isaiah 40:25-29

“I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.’… The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the wasteland, To give drink to My chosen people. The people whom I formed for Myself Will recount My praise.” Isaiah 43:6-7, 20-21

“Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, ‘I, Yahweh, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone,’” Isaiah 44:24

And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘They are done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.’” Revelation 21:5-7

JESUS CHRIST

Astonishingly, the [N]ew [T]estament attributes all these unique characteristics and functions to Jesus Christ!

For example, Christ is identified as the God wo created and gives life to the entire creation, being the Source of life who grants spiritual illumination to all mankind. Christ is also said to reign alongside the Father in heaven as Lord over all creation, being the joint Owner/Possessor of the heavenly kingdom:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men… There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-4, 9-1, 14

“As for the word which He sent to the sons of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ⁠—He is Lord of all⁠—… And He commanded us to preach to the people, and solemnly to bear witness that this is the One who has been designated by God as Judge of the living and the dead.” Acts 10:36

“For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” Romans 14:9

“and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe according to the working of the might of His strength, which He worked in Christ, by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE ALL rule and authority and power and dominion, and EVERY NAME that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put ALL THINGS in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head OVER ALL THINGS to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23

“For this you know with certainty, that no one sexually immoral or impure or greedy, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Ephesians 5:5

“Who rescued us from the authority of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For IN HIM all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities⁠—all things have been created THROUGH HIM and FOR HIM. And HE IS before all things, And IN HIM all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross⁠—through Him⁠—whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:13-20

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells bodily, and in Him you have been filled, who is the head over all rule and authority;” Colossians 2:8-10

“and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood⁠—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father⁠—to Him be the glory and the might forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Yes, amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Revelation 1:5-8

“These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and elect and faithful.” Revelation 17:14 – Cf. 19:11-16

This next one is truly remarkable:

“God, having spoken long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days spoke to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds, who is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power; who, having accomplished cleansing for sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, ‘And let all the angels of God worship Him.’… But of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.’ And, ‘You, Lord [the Son], in the beginning founded the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; They will perish, but You remain; And they all will wear out like a garment, And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.’” Hebrews 1:1-3, 6, 8-12

The inspired writer has the Father glorifying Christ by quoting the following OT references, where the whole angelic host are commanded to worship YHWH their God,

“Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.” Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX 

“Let all that worship graven images be ashamed, who boast of their idols; worship him, all ye his angels.” Psalm 96:7 LXX

And in which YHWH is magnified for being the unchangeable Creator and Sustainer of all creation,

A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to thee!… But thou, O LORD, art enthroned for ever; thy name endures to all generations… Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They will perish, but thou dost endure; they will all wear out like a garment. Thou changest them like raiment, and they pass away; but thou art the same, and thy years have no end.” Psalm 102:1, 12, 25-27

And attributing these texts to his beloved Son, thereby identifying Christ as that very YHWH God whom all the angels worship, and who personally created and sustains the entire creation!  

Christ is even said to be that very Lord in heaven whom all must look to and whose allegorical wings of protection one must come under to find shelter, since he is the Shepherd that leads believers to drink from the rivers of living waters:

“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:27-30

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you did not want it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate, and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Luke 13:34-35

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ She said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?’ Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst⁠—ever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.’” John 4:10-14

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. Now this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.’ Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They were saying, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Stop grumbling among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day… He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’” John 6:35-44, 54

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were going to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen, the blessing and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the power and the strength, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’ Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘These, clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where have they come?’ And I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His sanctuary; and He who sits on the throne will dwell over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will shepherd them and will guide them to springs of the water of life. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:9-17

To sum up the NT proclamation:

Like YHWH, Jesus created and gives life to all creation since he is the Source/Fountain of life.

Like YHWH, Jesus created all things for himself, for his own possession.

Like YHWH, Jesus rules from heaven over all creation as Lord.

Like YHWH, Jesus gives spiritual illumination since he is the true Light.

Like YHWH, Jesus grants believers shelter under his metaphorical wings and gives them the right to drink from the rivers of living waters.

Like YHWH, Jesus is worshiped by the entire heavenly host.

The reason why Jesus is exactly like YHWH in his exclusive roles, functions, and attributes is because he is YHWH God Almighty who became flesh, since he is God’s uniquely begotten Son who is essentially one with the Father and the Holy Spirit in nature.

Scriptural citations taken from the Legacy Standard Bible  (LSB).

FURTHER READING

Jesus Is Yahweh: Examining the New Testament Use of Old Testament Passages to Demonstrate the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus as Yahweh: Examining Paul’s use of Lord in reference to Christ

The Deity of the Messiah in Isaiah and in light of New Testament Exegesis

If Yahweh alone is the Creator, and Jesus a servant sent by him, how can Jesus be God?

Does being called “Kyrios” really imply Deity?

 

THE TWO POWERS OF THE SAMARITAN RELIGION

In this post I will be sharing some of the beliefs of the Samaritans to show this was another group that sprung forth from Israel which held/holds to a belief in two divine Powers. The specific Samaritan work I will be citing from shall be John MacDonald’s English translation of the Memar Marqah.  

DATE OF COMPOSITION AND THE EXTANT MS COPIES

Here’s what MacDonald states in respect to the provenance and earliest surviving manuscripts (MSS) of the Marqah. All emphasis will be mine:

As far as dating the Memar is concerned therefore, we have several factors that indicate the 2nd–4th centuries A.D. — The use of Greek words, the Aramaized Roman names of Marqah’s family, the ideological outlook, the midrashic material, the philosophical and scientific passages, the language and style, and, as we shall see below, the long textual tradition. All this is in addition to the inescapable fact that Marqah does not betray any definite signs of the Islamic influences so prominent in later Samaritanism. The Samaritan chronicles themselves,17 especially from the 11th century, place Marqah and Nanah at about that time. In addition there is the fact that of all the hundreds of Samaritan family names known to us, only Marqah, Nanah and Tota are Roman.

Perhaps in the future it will be possible to trace the history of Christianity in Samaria more exactly, so that we may discover why Marqah shows some knowledge of St. John’s Gospel, while later writers use it in such a way as to prove actual dependence, at times verbatim, on it.

THE TEXT

We now turn to the history of the text in general terms before examining the available MSS in chapter 3 of this Introduction. The oldest text announced belongs to the late 14th century, the next oldest to over a century later, followed by two of nearly two centuries later still, and a few modern MSS.

When one compares Memar MSS with, e.g., those of any one Festival Liturgy, it is transparent that the Memar has not been copied so often and that it has a longer history. Liturgical MSS abound in variants of every kind, but the basic text is not changed very much in the course of time. Such changes as there are by way of additions and omissions are only those to be expected during the development of a liturgical text. As a result of the years of research into liturgical MSS in the University of Leeds under the leadership of Professor J. B o w m a n (now of the University of Melbourne), it is possible to see how the Liturgy developed and how the available MSS interrelate.

While investigating some nine MSS (from the 14th century on) for Yom ha-Kippur as part of the work for a doctoral dissertation,18 the present writer discovered that manuscriptural variants are to be related to scribal families. Thus scribes of the Levitical family will agree on choice of words, forms, orthography and synonyms as against those of the Danafi or Marhibi families. This proved to be the case beyond all doubt.

The same discovery applies in the investigation of the MSS used for the text of Memar Marqah. It is abundantly clear from the content and the variants that there are two main types of fixed text, and these belong respectively to the Danafi and Levitical families. This will be illustrated in detail below.

There is, however, the special problem of the oldest (14th century) MS, called herein K. This MS differs considerably in content and exact wording from the Danafi and Levitical text-types. As will be shown, this is a text possibly dictated from someone’s memory and not copied from an earlier text. That such a process should have been necessary in that century illustrates the truth that it was in the 14th century that the greatest revival in MS reproduction took place.19 It appears to be true that in the 14th century the Samaritan literary resources were in desperate straits. This may have been due to the devastating inroads of the savage conqueror Timur Lane (1336–1405) and other unhappy events such as perhaps the Bubonic Plagues of 1348 and 1360 which were rife in Syria. But the process of devastation may have been at its worst during the Roman period; certainly under Justinian the Samaritans (particularly in 529) suffered greatly.20

It seems that it was only after the migration of some Damascene Samaritans to Palestine in the 14th century that MSS copying as well as literary production revived. We do not know yet if the Syrian and Palestinian Samaritans experienced a period of internal conflict in literary, liturgical and theological matters, but it is possible that sectarian controversy was active at that time. What we can be sure about is that from that time (a) MSS have a ‘family’ flavour: (b) MSS were copied in great quantity: (c) Syrian liturgical orders are contained in some copies:21 (d) Eastern Aramaic forms find a place in MSS copied in Nablus.

Thus the problems arising from the MSS consulted for the present work must be related to the question of to which family a particular scribe belonged. In addition, it must be noted that the MSS consulted have been allowed to speak for themselves, and that it has nowhere been taken for granted that all MSS by, e.g., a Levitical scribe must agree in orthography, synonyms or content. (Memar Marqah: The Teaching of the Marqah, edited and translated by John MacDonald [Verlag Alfred Topelmann, Berlin 1963], Volume 1: The Text, pp. XX-XXII)

To sum up the points of MacDonald, Marqah is a work composed anywhere between the 2nd–4th centuries AD, with the oldest extant copy being from the 14th century. As such, it is not a pre-Christian work but a document composed after the completion of the [N]ew [T]estament writings. This explains why MacDonald notes that there are allusions to John’s Gospel in the Marqah, showing that post-NT Samaritan religion was influenced by Christian theological beliefs, not the other way around.

Keep these facts in perspective since they will be important later on when I quote from the late liberal atheist NT scholar Michael Goulder.  

THE THEOLOGY

I now quote the relevant portions of the Marqah, which highlight the Samaritan belief in two heavenly Powers:

A question now. Give ear and apply your mind. Listen to it. When God wrote the Ten Words (Ex. xx) He first of all wrote twenty-two letters which are the basic elements of the words of the law. When the Glory proclaimed the Ten Words before him, which He magnified, He proclaimed them in the beginning and you will find that they are not defective, except for the letter Tit27 alone.

The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation (Ex. xxxiv. 6-7).28

When the True One proclaimed the first Ten before him, the Glory repeated them before him. He responded and also proclaimed ten. When the True One proclaimed, he was not permitted to proclaim, but when the Glory proclaimed he was permitted to do so. The first of the Ten which the Glory proclaimed was LORD (YHWH) and the last of them the word FAITHFULNESS (’EMET). The first of the Ten which Moses proclaimed was THE LORD, SLOW TO ANGER and the last of them the expression FOURTH GENERATION.29

Where is there the like of Moses and who can compare with Moses, a prophet to whom there is no like among all mankind? When God appeared to him in the Bush, he found twenty-two letters written before him with devouring fire; by means of these Moses expounded the law. They are the elements of the words of Hebrew speech.

Let us picture him as he wrote the law and divided up its sections as God had commanded him.

From the first version30 he left out TIT and from the second version he left out six letters; they are NUN,’ SIMCAT, PHI, SADI, QOPH, TAV.

Moses only expounded the holy Scripture when God commanded it. The Glory and the assembly of all the heavenly angels and the Pristine God were gathered together when He wrote with His own hand, while these stood by and magnified the commandments and commanded what must be done.

The Divine One appeared and established the covenant.

The Glory appeared and magnified what was good.

The angels came to magnify what was glorious and they were all assembled for Adam.

The Divine One formed him and the breath of life was breathed into him.

The Glory made him complete with a great spirit; the TWO OF THEM were clad in two crowns of great light.

The Divine One put in him a perfect mind and the Glory gave him powerful illumination.

The Divine One also glorified him with speech and the Glory glorified him with perfect knowledge.

The angels were witnesses to him of what he would do and they are all gathered in every place where God is mentioned in truth.

We turn from this to matters that involve ourselves. Let us enquire of the origins of wisdom, why the sections of the law were not written with all of the twenty-two letters, but were in fact written with the absence of seven. I have already revealed them to you, that you may understand. A s for there being seven, no more, nor less, it is good for us to enquire into this mystery. (Ibid., pp. 220-221)

THEOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS

The aforementioned quotes show that the Samaritans believed that there are two divine Beings or Persons, the first they named the True/Divine One as well as the Pristine God, with the second being called the Glory. These two heavenly Powers are said to have worked together in creating the first human being.

Such a view implies that the Samaritans viewed the Pristine God and the Glory as Co-Creators, and therefore fully and equally divine. After all, the explicit Scriptural teaching is that God alone created all things:

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.” Genesis 5:1-2

“These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground—then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:4-7

“Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:” Isaiah 42:5

“I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made… The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” Isaiah 43:6-7, 20-21

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens ALONE, who spread out the earth—Who was with me?—’” Isaiah 44:24

 At the same time these sacred writings describe God as a plural Creator/Maker:

“Then God said, ‘Let US make man in our image, after OUR likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created man in HIS own image, in the image of God HE created him; male and female HE created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

“But no one says, ‘Where is God my MAKERS (‘osay), who gives songs in the night,” Job 35:10

‘Osay is the plural masculine participle of ‘asa.

“Let Israel rejoice in their MAKERS (be’osaw); Let Zion’s children rejoice in their King.” Psalm 149:2

‘Osa is the plural masculine participle form of ‘asa.  

“Remember also thy Creators (boreka) in days of thy youth, While that the evil days come not, Nor the years have arrived, that thou sayest, `I have no pleasure in them.’” Ecclesiastes 12:1 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

Bore is the plural masculine participle form of bara.

“For your MAKERS (‘osayik) is your HUSBANDS (bo’alayik); YHWH of hosts is his name. The Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer. He will be called the God of the whole earth.” Isaiah 54:5

Bo’alay and ‘osay is the plural masculine forms of baal and ‘asa respectively.

 NT CHRISTOLOGY

This is where the inspired Christian Scriptures come in.

According to the sacred writings of the ancient Church, Jesus is identified as that second divine Power who was with God the Father from the beginning, from before creation, being the One by and through whom the entire creation was brought into existence:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God;all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.In him was life, and the life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.(John bore witness to him, and cried, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.”’) And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” John 1:1-5, 9-10, 14-18

“Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘an idol has no real existence,’ and that ‘there is no God but one.’ For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:4-6

“He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:13-20

“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’… But of the Son he says, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades.’ And, ‘Thou, Lord [the Son], didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of thy hands; they will perish, but thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years will never end.” Hebrews 1:1-3, 6, 8-12 – Cf. 13:8

What makes the passage from Hebrews so remarkable is that the writer has the Father attributing the following OT texts, where the whole angelic host are commanded to worship YHWH their God,

“Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.” Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX 

“Let all that worship graven images be ashamed, who boast of their idols; worship him, all ye his angels.” Psalm 96:7 LXX

And in which YHWH is glorified for being the unchangeable Creator and Sustainer of all creation,

A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to thee!… But thou, O LORD, art enthroned for ever; thy name endures to all generations… Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They will perish, but thou dost endure; they will all wear out like a garment. Thou changest them like raiment, and they pass away; but thou art the same, and thy years have no end.” Psalm 102:1, 12, 25-27

To his beloved Son, thereby identifying Christ as that very YHWH God whom all the angelic beings worship and who personally created and sustains the entire creation!  

The NT also teaches that Jesus voluntarily set aside his glorious status and heavenly riches by descending from heaven to be born from a woman in order to assume the status of a slave for the express purpose of dying on the cross for sinners:

“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,” Romans 8:3

“Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 – Cf. Ephesians 3:8

“But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,” Galatians 4:4

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8  

Christ is even described as that very God whose glory the OT prophets beheld:

“Though HE had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in HIM; it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said, ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’ Isaiah said this because he saw HIS glory and spoke of HIM.” John 12:37-41  

The Evangelist states that Jesus’ rejection by his contemporaries was already foretold by the prophet Isaiah since he had been allowed to see Christ’s glory for the express purpose of speaking about him to Israel.

The following translation helps to bring out the point that the glory that Isaiah beheld was that of the Son in his prehuman existence:

“Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.” John 12:41 New International Version (NIV)

What makes this a remarkable claim is that John cites Isaiah 6:10, which happens to be the time when Isaiah saw YHWH Almighty visibly seated upon his throne:

“In the year that King Uzzi′ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’… And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ And he said, ‘Go, and say to this people: “Hear and hear, but do not understand; see and see, but do not perceive.” Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.’” Isaiah 6:1-5, 8-10

The point of the inspired Apostle is crystal clear.

The prophet was actually looking at Jesus in his prehuman existence when the Son manifested himself in a visible bodily shape.   

As the following study note puts it:

“Isaiah said these things because he saw Christ’s glory, and spoke about him.”

tn Grk “his”; the referent (Christ) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The referent supplied here is “Christ” rather than “Jesus” because it involves what Isaiah saw. It is clear that the author presents Isaiah as having seen the preincarnate glory of Christ, which was the very revelation of the Father (see John 1:18John 14:9).

sn Because he saw Christs glory. The glory which Isaiah saw in Isa 6:3 was the glory of Yahweh (typically rendered as “Lord” in the OT). Here John speaks of the prophet seeing the glory of Christ since in the next clause and spoke about him, “him” can hardly refer to Yahweh, but must refer to Christ. On the basis of statements like 1:14 in the prologue, the author probably put no great distinction between the two. Since the author presents Jesus as fully God (cf. John 1:1), it presents no problem to him to take words originally spoken by Isaiah of Yahweh himself and apply them to Jesus. New English Translation (NET https://netbible.org/bible/John+12; bold emphasis mine)

That John believed it was Jesus whom the prophet saw, and by extension whom all the OT saints beheld when they encountered God, is confirmed by what the inspired Evangelist wrote in his prologue,

“No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father].” John 1:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“No man has EVER seen God at any time; the only unique Sonor the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].” Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

And what the Lord himself stated:

“Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” John 5:45-47

“‘Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’ So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.” John 8:56-59  

“‘If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.’ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.’Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, “Show us the Father”?Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.’” John 14:7-11

John wasn’t the only inspired writer to speak of Christ’s prehuman appearances to the people of Israel:

“I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-10

“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the first-born might not touch them.” Hebrews 11:24-28 NIV

Astonishingly, both Paul and Hebrews claim that it was Christ himself that visibly appeared to Moses and who personally led Israel out of Egypt in the cloudy pillar where he supernaturally provided for them in the wilderness!  

Christ is further described as dwelling in the same glory alongside the Father from before the creation of the world,  

“and now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made… Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:5, 24

Being that very Lord of glory or glorious Lord whom the rulers of this age crucified,  

“None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:8  

“My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” James 2:1

Who has been exalted far above every creature,

“and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great mightwhich he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,FAR ABOVE ALL rule and authority and power and dominion, and ABOVE EVERY NAME that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come;and he has put ALL THINGS under his feet and has made him the head OVER ALL THINGS for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23

And at whose name every created being must bow down and acknowledge as Lord:

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above EVERY NAME, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and EVERY TONGUE confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

And since the OT describes YHWH as the glorious Lord whose name alone is exalted and whom every creature must confess,

“Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah” Psalm 24:7-10

“Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name ALONE is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.” Psalm 148:13

“By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’” Isaiah 45:23

It becomes, therefore, clear that the Christian Scriptures equate Jesus with, and identify him as, YHWH God Almighty.

At the same, the inspired writings personally distinguish Christ from the God that he reigns with, and whose beloved Son he happens to be:

“And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.’” Mark 1:10-11  

“And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.’” Mark 9:7

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him.’” John 17:1-2

Hence, the preceding NT data shows that the Son is being presented as the second heavenly Power that became a flesh and blood human being.

WHO INFLUENCED WHOM?

The evidence from both the NT documents and the Samaritan writing simply confirms what has been commonly known among scholars, namely, the notion that Jews were a monolithic group that held to a strictly unitarian view of God is simply erroneous.

The documentation actually shows that a large segment of Jewry before, during and after the time of Christ believed in at least two distinct divine Powers (or what later Christians would call Hypostases/Persons). And they derived this from their reading of the Hebrew Bible!

What the preceding data shows is that Christianity did not invent the idea of two coexistent divine Persons or pervert the OT proclamation of the nature and existence of God. Rather, the followers of Christ and their disciples were being faithful to the evidence that even other Jewish sects found within the sacred writings of Israel.   

As a result, liberal, atheistic scholars have longed sought after a naturalistic explanation for this Christian belief having been influenced by some sect that existed during the time of Jesus and his followers. This is because these authorities do not believe in divine revelation and therefore do not accept that Jesus was truly God in the flesh or that the writers of the NT were guided by the Holy Spirit.

Some of these so-called experts posit the idea that the Christian authors of the NT actually derived this notion of the two Powers from groups such as the Samaritans whom the followers of Jesus came into contact with early on!

One such scholar was the late Michael Goulder, who wrote:

Jesus’ human ancestry does not feature in Col. 1 and Phil. 2: where does the developing incarnation come from? It begins, again, in I Corinthians. In I Cor. 8:6: ‘There is … one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.’ Jesus was divine, and participated in creation. I Cor. 10:4: ‘The Rock (in the wilderness) was Christ’–Jesus was divine, and was God’s agent in the desert. I Cor. 15:47: ‘the first man was of the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.’ Adam was made from clay and came from this world; Jesus was divine and came to the world from heaven. II Cor. 8:9: ‘you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.’ Romans and Galatians were probably written between the two Corinthian letters, and both testify to a landing, Son-incarnate christology, as well as to a take-off resurrected Messiah christology. Rom. 8:2[sic]: ‘God, sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh …’: Gal.4:4: ‘Whom the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman.’ If Jesus was sent it looks as though he was there to be sent (though cf. Mark 12:2)… Even in Philippians, Paul’s last letter, there seems to be a wavering in the logic. Christ Jesus was in the form of God and emptied himself, being born; and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross; therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. But if he was in the form of God, did he not have the name which is above every name from the beginning? It looks as if a landing Christology has been prefixed to, and not quite assimilated to, a take-off christology. But there is no reference to Jesus’ human paternity in the captivity epistles; the more obvious dissonances have been put away.

All the evidence [sic] would seem to be explained by Samaritan hypothesis: Paul appropriated the idea of Jesus’ incarnation in the course of dialectic with the Samaritan missionaries in Corinth and Ephesus between 50 and 55

John, by about the year 100, with his Samaritan church-membership, goes the whole way. He puts together the two central Samaritan texts, Gen. I and Ex. 34: ‘In the beginning was the Word … we beheld his glory.’ There is no word of Jewish Wisdom. We have the full doctrine of the Samaritan binity, the Pristine God and the Glory. In Exodus the Glory proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the Lord … abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (rabh-hesedh we’emeth)’: Moses did not see God (33:20f.), and what came of the vision was the Law and the Tabernacle. The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, full of grace and truth; we beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known, proclaimed him. The same duality is expressed by God and the Word from the Gen. I context in a manner too obvious to need explanation. It is John I which has fixed Christian orthodoxy, and has given the incarnation in its substance form the status of revealed truth these two millennia. (Goulder, “The Two Roots of the Christian Myth”, in The Myth of God Incarnate, edited by John Hick [SCM Press Ltd, 1977], pp. 78-81; bold emphasis mine)     

It is good to see Goulder acknowledging that this portrayal of the Father and the Son as the two heavenly Powers is found in the writings of Paul, particularly in 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans, and Galatians, which leads him to place this belief around the early to mid 50s AD.

This affirms that this doctrine wasn’t a development which sprung up long after the original followers of Jesus had left the scene. Goulder’s position actually confirms that this teaching was already in place within the first generation of Jesus’ disciples, during a time when many of the eyewitnesses of Christ such as Peter and John were still alive and ministering.    

However, contrary to Goulder’s claim, the evidence shows that if anyone influenced anyone it was Christ’s followers that did so, not the Samaritans. This is due primarily to the fact that the Marqah, from which Goulder based his hypothesis, is a post-NT document written anywhere between the 2nd-4th centuries, long after the writings of the NT, which even Goulder recognized were composed during the middle to late 1st century AD. And as I showed previously, MacDonald who translated the Marqah noted that the document shows affinities and familiarity with John’s Gospel.

Now unless there is evidence of a Samaritan writing that is contemporary with the NT documents, or even earlier, then it is clear as to what grouped influenced whom.

But even that isn’t a necessary position to hold since one can argue that both the early Christians and Samaritans derived their belief in two heavenly Powers from the clear, explicit witness of the Hebrew Bible, even though later Samaritans became aware of and were even influenced by the language and theology of the Christian writings.

Moreover, the coming of Christ in the flesh, and his subsequent resurrection from the dead, confirmed the OT witness to the existence of two divine Powers reigning in heaven to be of divine origin, a revelation which the true God had given to his covenant people through his holy prophets.  

Unless indicated otherwise, scriptural citations taken from the Revised Standard Version (RSV).

FURTHER READING

ISRAEL’S MULTIPERSONAL GOD

THE TRINITY IN TARGUM NEOFITI

GOD’S SON IN TARGUM NEOFITI REVISITED

TWO POWERS IN HEAVEN: REVEALING ISRAEL’S SECOND GOD

METATRON: ISRAEL’S SECOND GOD REVISITED

THE ANGEL METATRON: JUDAISMS’ SECOND YHWH

PSALM 22:16 REVISITED

In this short post I will provide internal evidence from Psalm 22 that “they have pierced my hands and my feet” is the correct reading.     

Here are the two alternate renderings of v. 16 (v. 17 in some translations):

“Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.” New International Version (NIV)

“Because dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has encircled me. Like the lion they are at my hands and my feet.” Lexham English Bible (LEB)

The readers may not be aware of the fact that the Psalm employs a literary device known as a chiasmus(1), a very common linguistic feature employed in many biblical books.   

What is also not commonly known is that this chiastic structure actually supports the reading “they have pierced” (Heb. ka’aru/karu), instead of “like a lion” (ka’ari).

Pay close attention to this Psalm’s chiastic form.

“Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help.” v. 11 NIV    “But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me!” v. 19 NIV
Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion.” vv. 12-13 NIV  “Save Me from the lion’s mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen!” v. 21 NIV
“For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;” v. 16 NIV    “Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog.” v. 20 NIV

The Psalm’s chiastic structure where v. 16 is meant to be paralleled with v. 20 strongly supports the reading ka’aru since the reading “like a lion” does not fit in with the reference to sword, which evokes the image of cutting or piercing someone through.

Additional corroboration for the parallelism between sword and pierce comes from the following OT verses:

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced (daqaru). Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10 NIV

“‘Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,’ Says the Lord of hosts. ‘Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.’” Zechariah 13:7 NIV  

Despite the fact that Zechariah employed a different word for pierce (daqar), the meaning nonetheless is the same.

Interestingly, Zech. 12:10 is interpreted by rabbinic Judaism as a prophecy of the slaying of the Messiah son of Joseph:

as one mourns over an only son: As a man mourns over his only son. And our Sages expounded this in tractate Sukkah (52a) as referring to the Messiah, son of Joseph, who was slain. (The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16216/showrashi/true#v10; emphasis mine)

We, thus, have a parallel case to that of Ps. 22 where the terms sword and pierce are used in close proximity in texts that also have a clear messianic significance.    

FURTHER READING

PSALM 22:16: LIONS ON THE PROWL OR A PIERCED MESSIAH?

Jehovah Gets Pierced!

How Rabbinic Judaism’s Belief in Two Messiahs proves that Jesus is the Christ

An anti-Christian Rabbi Proves Muhammad is a false prophet! Pt. 1

ENDNOTE

(1) Here is how some online sources define the term:

a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, as in “He went to the country, to the town went she.”…

rhetoric reversal of the order of words in the second of two parallel phrases he came in triumph and in defeat departs (Dictionary.com https://www.dictionary.com/browse/chiasmus)

In rhetoricchiasmus (/kaɪˈæzməs/ ky-AZ-məs) or, less commonly, chiasm (Latin term from Greek χίασμα, “crossing”, from the Greek χιάζω, chiázō, “to shape like the letter Χ“), is a “reversal of grammatical structures in successive phrases or clauses – but no repetition of words”.[1]

A similar device, antimetabole, also involves a reversal of grammatical structures in successive phrases or clauses in an A-B-B-A configuration, but unlike chiasmus, presents a repetition of words.[2]

Examples

Chiasmus balances words or phrases with similar, though not identical, meanings:

But O, what damned minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves.

— ShakespeareOthello 3.3

“Dotes” and “strongly loves” share the same meaning and bracket, as do “doubts” and “suspects”.

Additional examples of chiasmus:

By day the frolic, and the dance by night.

— Samuel JohnsonThe Vanity of Human Wishes (1794)[3]

Despised, if ugly; if she’s fair, betrayed.

— Mary Leapor, “Essay on Woman” (1751)[4]

For comparison, the following is considered antimetabole, in which the reversal in structure involves the same words:

Pleasure’s a sin, and sometimes sin’s a pleasure.

— Lord Byron, in Don Juan, (1824)[5]

Both chiasmus and antimetabole can be used to reinforce antithesis.[6] In chiasmus, the clauses display inverted parallelism. Chiasmus was particularly popular in the literature of the ancient world, including HebrewGreekLatin and Ancient K’iche’ Maya,[7] where it was used to articulate the balance of order within the text. Many long and complex chiasmi have been found in Shakespeare[8] and the Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible.[9] It is also found throughout the Quran[10] and the Book of Mormon.[11] (Chiasmus – Wikipedia)

JESUS CHRIST: YHWH THE JUDGE HAS COME!

In this post I am going to sum up the biblical proofs showing that Christ is depicted as the one true God YHWH Almighty who comes to judge the earth.

To begin with, Jesus and the [N]ew [T]estament in general teach that the Father has assigned all judgment to the Son, and that the Son will physically resurrect the dead by his sovereign voice in order to determine their fate in the age to come:

“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him… Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His [the Son] voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” John 5:22-23, 25-29 – Cf. 6:39-44, 54

“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now commanding men that everyone everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He determined, having furnished proof to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31

“on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” Romans 2:16

The reason why this is an astonishing claim is that the Hebrew Bible explicitly testifies that it is YHWH who comes to judge the world in righteousness:

“Those who contend with Yahweh will be dismayed; Against them He will thunder in the heavens; Yahweh will render justice to the ends of the earth, And He will give strength to His king, And He will exalt the horn of His anointed.” 1 Samuel 2:10

“But Yahweh abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will render justice for the peoples with equity.” Psalm 9:7-8

“Before Yahweh, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness And the peoples in His faithfulness.” Psalm 96:13

“Before Yahweh, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity.” Psalm 98:9

This is why the [O]ld Testament calls YHWH the Judge of all the earth:

“Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before Yahweh. Then Abraham came near and said, ‘Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to put to death the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do justice?’ So Yahweh said, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.’” Genesis 18:22-26

“O Yahweh, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth! Be lifted up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud.” Psalm 94:1-2

And yet, as shown above, Jesus is that very Lord and Judge of the whole earth who comes to judge the living and the dead in perfect justice:

“As for the word which He sent to the sons of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ⁠—He is Lord of all⁠—… And He commanded us to preach to the people, and solemnly to bear witness that this is the One who has been designated by God as Judge of the living and the dead.” Acts 10:36, 42

The OT also teaches that YHWH comes with his reward in order to recompense every person for all the thoughts and desires of their hearts and minds:

“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a delighted soul; for Yahweh searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:19

“And that to You, O Lord, belongs lovingkindness, For You repay a man according to his work.” Psalm 62:12 – Cf. Proverbs 24:12

“Behold, Lord Yahweh will come with strength, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him.” Isaiah 40:10 – Cf. 62:11

“Thus says Yahweh, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from Yahweh. And he will be like a juniper in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will dwell in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in Yahweh And whose trust is Yahweh. And he will be like a tree planted by the water, That sends forth its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor refrain from yielding fruit. The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can know it? I, Yahweh, search the heart; I test the inmost being, Even to give to each man according to his ways,’” Jeremiah 17:5-10 – Cf. 11:20; 29:23

And yet, remarkably, the NT claims that it is Jesus who judges all hearts and minds in order to recompense every individual for what s/he has earned:

“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay each one according to his deeds.” Matthew 16:27

“But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court. In fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted. But the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and make manifest the motives of hearts. And then each one’s praise will come to him from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:3-5

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: This is what the Son of God, the One who has eyes like a flame of fire and His feet are like burnished bronze, says: ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your last deeds are greater than at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and deceives My slaves so that they commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent, and she does not wish to repent of her sexual immorality Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” Revelation 2:18-23

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end… I, Jesus, sent My angel to bear witness to you of these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’… He who bears witness to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:12-13, 16, 20

Moreover, the Hebrew Bible states that YHWH will gather all the nations before him on the day he brandishes his sickle in judgment. YHWH is further described as wearing a bloody garment, stained by the blood of his enemies which he trampled under his feet in the winepress of his own wrath, and did so all by himself since he could not find anyone worthy enough to do it for him:

“For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land… Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, And gather yourselves. There, bring down, O Yahweh, Your mighty ones. Let the nations be roused up And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations. Send in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their evil is great.” Joel 3:1-2, 11-13

“Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His clothing, Marching in the greatness of His power? ‘It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is Your clothing red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? ‘I have trodden the wine trough ALONE, And from the peoples there was NO MAN with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My clothes. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come. I looked, and there was NO ONE to help, And I was astonished, and there was NO ONE to uphold; So My own arm brought salvation to Me, And My wrath upheld Me. I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath, And I brought down their lifeblood to the earth.” Isaiah 63:1-6

Astonishingly, Jesus is described as wearing a bloodstained robe as he comes to gather the nations before him in judgment where he will trample God’s enemies in the winepress of God’s fury!

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom, which has been prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sits on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; having a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself, and being clothed with a garment dipped in blood, His name is also called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the wrath of the rage of God, the Almighty. And He has on His garment and on His thigh a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” Revelation 19:11-16

Christ is also portrayed as the One wielding a sharp sickle at the time of the harvest of judgment!

“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the sanctuary, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sits on the cloud, ‘Put in Your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ Then He who sits on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.” Revelation 14:14-16

There’s more!

Jesus is even described as that very YHWH who comes with his holy ones in order to destroy the wicked by fire:

“For behold, Yahweh will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, To return His anger with wrath, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For Yahweh will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, And those slain by Yahweh will be many.” Isaiah 66:15-16

“And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; indeed, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then Yahweh, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!” Zechariah 14:5

Compare:

“so that He may strengthen your hearts blameless in holiness, before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” 1 Thessalonians 3:13

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. Since it is right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give rest to you who are afflicted and to us as well at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, executing vengeance on those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed⁠—for our witness to you was believed. To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill all your good pleasure for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12

Another remarkable fact is that the inspired Scriptures teach that every individual will appear before the judgment seat of YHWH where they will bow down before him in acknowledgment of his being the only true God and Savior:

“Declare and draw near with your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has made this heard from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” Isaiah 45:21-23

“For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you view your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, to Me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:9-12

Here’s where it gets all the more amazing.

The NT teaches that the YHWH God whose judgment seat all must appear, and to whom every knee will bow and confess is none other than Jesus Christ!

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

“Therefore, God also highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

If this weren’t astonishing enough, the OT calls this time of judgment the Day of YHWH,

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of Yahweh is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:14

“Woe, you who are longing for the day of Yahweh, For what purpose will the day of Yahweh be to you? It will be darkness and not light; As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him; Or he goes home, leans his hand against the wall, And a snake bites him. Will not the day of Yahweh be darkness instead of light, Even thick darkness with no brightness in it?” Amos 5:18-20

“Be silent before Lord Yahweh! For the day of Yahweh is near, For Yahweh has prepared a sacrifice; He has set apart His guests. Then it will be on the day of Yahweh’s sacrifice That I will punish the princes, the king’s sons, And all who clothe themselves with foreign garments. And I will punish on that day all who leap on the temple threshold, Who fill the house of their Lord with violence and deceit… Near is the great day of Yahweh, Near and coming very quickly; O the sound, the day of Yahweh! In it the mighty man cries out bitterly. A day of fury is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and thick darkness, A day of clouds and dense gloom, A day of trumpet and loud shouting Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind Because they have sinned against Yahweh; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the fury of Yahweh; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete destruction, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.” Zephaniah 1:7-9, 14-18

Which the NT calls the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ!

“so that you are not lacking in any gift, eagerly awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, beyond reproach in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:7-8

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus… so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and without fault until the day of Christ,” Philippians 1:6, 10

“holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to boast because I did not run in vain nor labor in vain.” Philippians 2:16

Could the holy Scriptures be any clearer in emphatically affirming that Jesus Christ is the divine Judge YHWH God Almighty that became flesh, being the unique Son of God who is essentially one with both the Father and the Holy Spirit?

Scriptural citations taken from the Legacy Standard Bible  (LSB).

FURTHER READING

Jesus as the Judge of All the Earth: Additional Evidence from the New Testament for the Deity of Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ – the Divine Judge of All Creation

Jesus as Divine Judge: Rebuttal to the “Do Not Say Trinity” Mohammedans