Does the Bible identify Jesus as Jehovah?

by Luke Wayne
5/16/17

The Bible plainly calls Jesus "God" in several places and otherwise makes it clear that Jesus is divine. Jehovah's Witnesses, however, will acknowledge that Jesus is a divine being and even call him a god while denying that He is, in fact, the almighty God and the uncreated creator. It is, therefore, helpful to be able to show a few of the places that the Bible identifies Jesus as YHWH (Jehovah) by name, thus unambiguously claiming Him to be the true and living God Almighty.

The Heavens are the Work of Your Hands

A good place to start with a Jehovah's Witness is Psalm 102. The Christian and the Jehovah's Witnesses will agree on a great deal in this passage. It is very clearly a prayer to Jehovah God:

"Hear my prayer, O Lord! And let my cry for help come to You. Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress; Incline Your ear to me," (Psalm 102:1-2).

It goes on to declare important truths about Jehovah:

"But You, O Lord, abide forever, And Your name to all generations," (Psalm 102:12).

"So the nations will fear the name of the Lord And all the kings of the earth Your glory. For the Lord has built up Zion; He has appeared in His glory. He has regarded the prayer of the destitute and has not despised their prayer," (Psalm 102:15-17).

And it speaks of Jehovah's future kingdom reign over all the peoples of the Earth:

"This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. For He looked down from His holy height; From heaven the Lord gazed upon the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to set free those who were doomed to death, that men may tell of the name of the Lord in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem, when the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord,"

Throughout this chapter, the word here translated "Lord" is the name "YHWH" or "Jehovah." The Psalm closes by declaring of Him:

"Of old, You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing, You will change them and they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end. The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You.”

Such lofty proclamations are very specific to Jehovah and could not be applied to any other being. The Christian and the Jehovah's Witness can agree that this is who Jehovah is, and there is none other. When we turn to the New Testament, however, we see something incredible. The author of the Book of Hebrews writes:

"But of the Son, He says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His 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, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old 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 1:8-12).

The author quotes two Psalms and says that they were talking about the Son. Both of them are powerful testimonies of Christ's deity, yet for our purposes here, the second is the most important. Notice, again, that verses 10-12 cite the passage:

"You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old 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,"

He is quoting here from Psalm 102, a prayer to Jehovah by name that could not be talking to or about any other being. The citation even addresses the son as the "Lord." Again, throughout the Psalm, in the Hebrew, the word "Lord" is the name "YHWH" or "Jehovah." The Book of Hebrews thus plainly identifies Jesus as Jehovah.

Because He Saw His Glory

In the Gospel of John, we read:

"These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them. But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: 'Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, 'He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.' These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him," (John 12:36b-41).

John tells us that Jesus spoke, then went away and concealed Himself. John is explaining why "though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him." They "He" here is still Jesus. It is Jesus that they do not believe in, even though He has performed signs. John explains their refusal to believe in Jesus by quoting from Isaiah 53:1 and Isaiah 6:10. John then explains that Isaiah said these things when he "saw his glory and spoke of him." The "him" here is still Jesus. Isaiah was speaking of Jesus and saw Jesus' glory. This makes sense because in Isaiah 53, Isaiah spoke of the Messiah and in Isaiah 6 He saw a vision of glory. But whose glory did he see? Isaiah tells us that:

"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple," (Isaiah 6:1).

In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament often cited by the New Testament writers, the verse reads:

"And it happened in the year that King Ozias died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and raised up, and the house was full of his glory,"

So, whose glory did Isaiah see when he wrote these words? The Lord's. YHWH's. Jehovah's. John clearly says that Isaiah saw Jesus' glory. John, therefore, identifies Jesus as Jehovah. When Jehovah appeared to Isaiah, it was not the Father but rather the Son who appeared. Therefore, though there is only one Jehovah, it is not only the Father who is Jehovah. The Son is Jehovah as well. Jehovah is one God, but more than one person. No one has seen the Father, but the Son, who is also Jehovah God, has made the Father known. When Isaiah saw Jehovah, he was looking at the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.

I Will Pour Out My Spirit

All four gospels report that John the Baptist prophesied:

"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire," (Matthew 3:11, see also Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33).

If there were any doubt that Jesus is the one about whom God spoke, The Gospel of John reports:

"The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.' John testified saying, 'I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God," (John 1:29-34).

Unquestionably, then, John the Baptist spoke of Jesus as the one who would immerse His people in the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit was poured out, Jesus would be the one doing the pouring. In Acts 1:5, Jesus connects this prediction with the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost which would occur shortly after that in Acts Chapter 2. Peter does not see this as merely the fulfillment of John's prophecy, however. He points back further to the Old Testament promise of Jehovah:

"but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,’" (Acts 2:16-21).

He is quoting, as He says, from the book of Joel:

"Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the Lord your God, And there is no other; And My people will never be put to shame. It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Will be delivered," (Joel 2:27-32).

The Lord (YHWH) says that He will pour out His Spirit. The Gospel writers, the Apostle Peter, and indeed Jesus Himself all say that it was Jesus who poured out the Spirit. Peter goes on to say plainly:

"Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear," (Acts 2:33).

The Son is distinguished from the Father, and it is the Son and not the Father who pours out the Spirit. Jehovah Promised than He Himself would pour out the Spirit. He did not promise that an archangel or any of His other created beings would do so. We know that the Father is Jehovah, but here we see that, since Jehovah is not a liar and we know that He kept His word, the Son who poured out the Spirit is also Jehovah. And the Spirit of Jehovah cannot be a separate entity from Jehovah Himself, so here we actually see the Father, Son, and Spirit as distinct persons who are all Jehovah God. The fulfillment of this prophecy is thus not only testimony of the deity of Christ but, in fact, of the doctrine of the Trinity!

Every Knee Will Bow

In Philippians 2, Paul is clear that Jesus not only personally existed before his human conception and birth, but that He did so in the very nature of God:

"although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men," (Philippians 2:6-7).

Paul made a similar point to the Colossians, stating that:

"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form," (Colossians 2:9).

Philippians 2 goes on to make it quite clear that Jesus did not merely exist as a divine, god-like creation, but that He is Jehovah God Himself. Paul goes on to say:

"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 2:10-11).

Here, Paul is applying to Jesus the words from Isaiah, where Jehovah Himself says:

"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 45:23).

Jehovah swore by His own name that every knee would bow and every tongue will confess His own Lordship. Paul says that this oath of God will be fulfilled in every knee bowing and every tongue confessing that Jesus is Lord. Again, Jesus is identified as YHWH, the LORD, Jehovah. The whole passage, of course, distinguishes between the Father and Son. The Son voluntarily submits to the Father, the Father exalts the Son, and the Son glorifies the Father. They are two distinct persons, yet they are both Jehovah God. This is what Christians have always believed. This is, again, an expression of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

 

Inside the Bible

Jesus said
John 8:24, "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins."

Paul said
Romans 10:9-13, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for 'Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"

Jude said
Jude 4-5, "For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe."

 

Inside CARM

Philippians 2 and the deity of Christ
Jesus, who existed as God, is the one to whom every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess. Jesus, therefore, is the one true God alongside the Father. They are two distinct persons, but they are one Divine Being; one eternal God.

John 12:37-41 and the deity of Christ
John claims that Jesus is the one Isaiah saw in Isaiah 6 when he "saw the LORD." Thus, John identifies Jesus as Jehovah God.

The Book of Jude and the deity of Christ
The book of Jude is one of the shortest books in the New Testament, containing only one small chapter. Yet, even in these few lines, Jude manages to add to the vast biblical testimony of the deity of Christ.

Does the calming of the sea point to the deity of Christ?
Psalm 107 paints a picture precisely like the one painted by the gospel writers, and the parallels make it clear: Jesus is not merely a prophet or even a merely human Messiah. Jesus was and is Jehovah God who took on human flesh and dwelt among His people without ceasing to be God.