Refuting Another Unitarian Canard Against the Deity of the Lord Jesus

Unitarians have come up with another objection to the Deity of the Lord Jesus. They use to argue that Psalm 110:1 calls the Messiah adoni, a word never used for Jehovah, but only employed for non-divine persons.

After being thoroughly refuted on this point,

Revisiting the implications that Psalm 110 has on the divine identity of the Messiah Pt. 1 (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/revisiting-the-implications-of-psalm-110-has-on-the-divine-identity-of-the-messiah-pt-1/), Pt. 2 (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/revisiting-the-implications-that-psalm-110-has-on-the-divine-identity-of-the-messiah-pt-2/)

Examining Psalm 110:1 (http://answeringislam.net/Shamoun/psalm110_1.htm)

The Binitarian Nature of the Shema [Part 1] (http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/binity_shema1.html), [Part 2] (http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/binity_shema2.html)

Psalm 110:1 – Another Clear Testimony to Christ’s Deity Pt. 1 (http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zaatari/psalm110_1_1.html), Pt. 2 (http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zaatari/psalm110_1_2.html), Pt. 3 (http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zaatari/psalm110_1_3.html), Pt. 4 (http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zaatari/psalm110_1_4.html)

Solomon was not David’s Lord! Psalm 110:1 Revisited… Again! (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/solomon-was-not-davids-lord-psalm-1101-revisited-again/)

The unitarians seemingly have switched strategies by now making the claim that the phrase to Kyrio mou, which is the way the Greek version of Psalm 110:1 renders adoni, is never employed for Deity.      

The readers need to keep in mind that the expression to Kyrio is in the dative case, which is the case that the words ho Kyrios take when referring to the indirect object in a sentence.

With that said, here are the English translations of the Hebrew and Greek versions of some OT texts, which show that this unitarian claim that the expression ho Kyrios mou is never employed for God is simply bogus:

“And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord (Adonay), let my Lord (Adonay), I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.” Exodus 34:9

“and said, If I have found grace before thee, let my Lord (ho Kyrios mou) go with us; for the people is stiff-necked: and thou shalt take away our sins and our iniquities, and we will be thine.” LXX

“Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD (YHVH), Thou art my Lord (Adonay): my goodness extendeth not to thee;” Psalm 16:2

“Keep me, O Lord (Kyrie); for I have hoped in thee. I said to the Lord (to Kyrio), Thou art my Lord (Kyrios mou); for thou has no need of my goodness.” Psalm 15:1-2 LXX

“This thou hast seen, O LORD (YHVH): keep not silence: O Lord (Adonay), be not far from me. Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord (Elohay wadonay). Judge me, O Lord my God (YHVH Elohay), according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.” Psalm 35:22-24

“Thou hast seen [it], O Lord (Kyrie): keep not silence: O Lord (Kyrie), withdraw not [thyself] from me. Awake, O Lord (Kyrie), and attend to my judgment, [even] to my cause, my God and my Lord (ho Theos mou kai ho Kyrios mou). Judge me, O Lord (Kyrie), according to thy righteousness, O Lord my God (Kyrie ho Theos); and let them not rejoice against me.” Psalm 34:22-24 LXX

The following is from the Greek version of Psalm 151:3-4, a Psalm that was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls collection in Hebrew:

Kai tis anangelei to Kyrio mou; Autos Kyrios, autos eisakousei. Autos exapesteilen ton angelon autou,

“And who will proclaim to the Lord of me? Himself Lord, he himself hears. Himself sent forth the angel of Him,” (G.T. Emery, “The Septuagint, Psalm 151, Interlinear English” http://www.embarl.force9.co.uk/Psalms/Psalm_151.pdf; bold and italicized emphasis mine)

As the foregoing examples clearly attest, ho Kyrios mou and its various cases are used for true Deity!

Psalm 15:2 is interesting since it uses both the dative and nominative cases for Lord in Greek, e.g. to Kyrio, Kyrios mou, with respect to Jehovah!

Even more interesting is the fact that Psalm 34:23 is virtually identical to John 20:28, a text which identifies Jesus as the Lord God of all true believers:

“Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto HIM (eipen AUTO), My Lord and my God (ho Kyrios mou kai ho These mou). Jesus saith unto HIM (legei AUTO), Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:27-29

Thomas addressed the risen Christ in virtually the same manner that David referred to Jehovah. The only difference is that the words are reversed, i.e. ho Theos mou kai ho Kyrios mou versus ho Kyrios mou kai ho Theos mou. However, the meaning is identical.

Now, this poses major problems for these unitarians since this not only refutes their assertion that ho Kyrios mou is never used for Jehovah, it also refutes their point that Adonay is never rendered as ho Kyrios mou.

This, in turn, shows that their claim that Christ is never called Adonay is completely false since, in light of Psalm 35:23, Thomas’ confession can only mean that he was acknowledging (in fact, worshiping!) that the risen Jesus is both Adonay and Elohim. And since the only Adonay and Elohim that an Israelite can ever confess and worship is Jehovah God, these unitarians are now stuck with the fact that the inspired NT writings explicitly identify Jesus as Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh!

As reformed apologist James R. White puts it:

“Thomas’ answer is simple and clear. It is directed to the Lord Jesus, not anyone else, for John says, ‘he said to Him.’ The content of his confession is plain and unambiguous. ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus is Thomas’s Lord. Of this there is no question. And there is simply no reason-grammatical, contextual, or otherwise-to deny that in the very same breath Thomas calls Jesus Christ his ‘God.’

“Jesus’ response to Thomas’s confession shows not the slightest discomfort at the appellation ‘God.’ Jesus says Thomas has shown faith, for he has “believed.” He then pronounces a blessing upon all who will believe like Thomas without the added element of physical sight. There is no reproach of Thomas’s description of Jesus as his Lord and God. No created being could ever allow such words to be addressed to him personally. No angel, no prophet, no sane human being, could ever allow himself to be addressed as ‘Lord and God.’ Yet Jesus not only accepts these words of Thomas but pronounces the blessing of faith upon them as well.” (White, The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief [Bethany House Publishers, 1998], p. 69; bold emphasis mine) 

The following apologist and scholar concurs:

“What about the view that Jesus was ‘like’ a god to Thomas? There is no way that can be correct. A response such as ‘my Lord and my God’ at seeing the risen Christ would have called for a rebuke in first-century Judaism unless Jesus truly was God (see Acts 14:11-15).Thomas was not just calling Jesus ‘a’ god; he called Jesus his Lord and his God. And if Jesus was not God Almighty in the same sense the Father is, He surely would have corrected Thomas by saying something like, ‘No. I am just a god-a lesser god. Jehovah is the only true God. You must not Me in Jehovah’s place. Only Jehovah can be called “my Lord and my God.”’ But Jesus said nothing of the sort. Instead, He commended Thomas for recognizing His true identity… By the way, in Psalm 35:23 the phrase ‘my God and my Lord’ is used of Yahweh. This makes one wonder whether Thomas-a Hebrew believer quite familiar with the Old Testament-had this verse in mind when addressing Jesus as “my Lord and my God.’

We may conclude that John 2:28 constitutes an excellent support text for the doctrine of the Trinity. The Father is fully God; the Son is fully God; and yet there is only one true God. This makes sense only within a Trinitarian framework. Within the unity of the one Godhead, there are three persons-the Father, Son and Holy Spirit-and each of the three are coequal and co-eternal.” (Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses [Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 2009] pp. 244-245; bold emphasis mine)

And here’s what one of the greatest New Testament Greek grammarians stated in respect to Thomas’ confession:

My Lord and my God (ο κυριος μου και ο τεος μου — Ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou). Not exclamation, but address, the vocative case though the form of the nominative, a very common thing in the Koiné. Thomas was wholly convinced and did not hesitate to address the Risen Christ as Lord and God. And Jesus accepts the words and praises Thomas for so doing. (A. T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-20.html; underline emphasis mine)

So much for the desperate argument that the phrase to Kyrio mou is never used for God!

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