Friday, April 25, 2014
Jesus is Isaiah's YHWH (Gospel of John)
In the Book of Isaiah, the prophet tells of a literally earthshaking encounter with the Living God:
1 "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple.
2 Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 And one called to another:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;
His glory fills the whole earth."
4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said:
Woe is me for I am ruined
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of Hosts." Isaiah 6:1-3
More than 700 years later, the Apostle John wrote (text in brackets mine):
37 "Even though [Jesus] had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in Him.
41 Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke about Him." John 12
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah had seen the glory of the pre-incarnate Word of God centuries before He came to earth. Perhaps this is why we can learn so much about the Messiah from what Isaiah wrote: he had met the One of Whom he spoke.
In their excellent book, "Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ," authors Robert Bowman, J. Ed Komoszewski, and Darrell L. Bock lay out a solid case for the Divinity of the Christ based on the teaching of the Bible.
One example they present is how Jesus' words in the Gospel of John are echoes of YHWH's words in the Old Testament Book of the prophet Isaiah, as seen in the Septuagint, also known as the LXX.
(The LXX had been in use more than 300 years before Jesus' birth. As we've mentioned in a previous article, most of the quotations from the Old Testament made by the New Testament writers are from the LXX. Only rarely do they quote from the Hebrew Bible, likely because the Hellenization of the region at the time had greatly reduced the number of Hebrew-speaking Jews.)
Bowman, Komoszewski, and Bock point us to these examples of Jesus taking the Divine Name "I Am" ("ego eimi" in the Greek of the LXX), and applying it to Himself in John's Gospel:
from "Putting Jesus in His Place:
The Case for the Deity of Christ"
"I am he, the one who is speaking." Isaiah 52:6 LXX
"I am, the one who is speaking to you." John 4:26
"When you pass through the waters... Do not be afraid, for I am with you." Isaiah 43:2, 5 LXX
"I am; do not be afraid." John 6:20
"... so that you may know and believe and understand that I am... I am God, and beside me there is no one to save... But you have stood in your sins and in your iniquities... I am, I am the one who blots out your transgressions." Isaiah 43:10-11, 24-25 LXX
"... for unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins... then you will know that I am." John 8:24, 28
"... my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe and understand that I am." Isaiah 43:10 LXX
"I am not speaking of all of you; I know the ones I have chosen... I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that you may believe when it does occur that I am he." John 13:18-19
In our first example, Jesus tells the woman at the well that He is the Divine Messiah for Whom the Jews had been waiting.
In the second example, Jesus comes to His apostles walking on the water in a storm. He calms them with a verbal assurance that He is YHWH and then demonstrates it with His control over nature.
In our third example, He speaks as the Only Savior YHWH.
While, in our final example, He is the God Who alone can forgive sins.
While all the Gospels declare the deity of Christ, John's Gospel is perhaps the most straightforward and unequivocal of them. This means that those who deny Jesus' divinity can only do so by denying the evidence that is right before their eyes. The evidence that...
Jesus is YHWH!
Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ
by Robert Bowman, J. Ed Komoszewski, and Darrell L. Bock
The deity of Christ is taught in the opening chapters of the Synoptic Gospels here:
Matthew 1:16, 23, Mark 1:1, 11, Luke 1:16-17, 32-33, 35, 76
Where Does Jesus Say, "I Am YHWH (God)" in the Bible?