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Yahweh is one, Yahweh alone

Examining the Deity of Christ in light of the Divine Name

Sam Shamoun

The inspired prophetic writings testify that the name of the true God is Yahweh:

“God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, “Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you”: this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.’” Exodus 3:15

“I am Yahweh, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to graven images.” Isaiah 42:8

The Hebrew Bible further acknowledges that Yahweh’s name is one and that Yahweh is only one since there is no other Yahweh:

“Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God is one Yahweh (Shema Yisrael Yahweh Eloheinu Yahweh Echad).” Deuteronomy 6:4

Here is an alternate way of rendering the Hebrew:

“Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one.”

Moving on to other passages:

You are Yahweh, you alone; you yourself have made the heavens, even the heaven of the heavens, and all their host, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them; and you are preserving all of them alive; and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you.” Nehemiah 9:6


“And Yahweh will become king over all the earth, in that day Yahweh will be one/there will be one Yahweh, and his name one.” Zechariah 14:9

The Lord Jesus Christ – The Bearer of the Divine Name

What makes this truly amazing is that, according to the inspired Christian Greek Scriptures, Jesus bears the very name of Yahweh!

In this article we will look at specific NT examples where the Lord Jesus is identified as Yahweh, yet before we cull through the NT writings the readers need to keep the following point in mind. The Jewish translators of the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (known as the Septuagint [LXX]) and the inspired NT writers used the Greek word Kyrios (“Lord”) in the place of the Divine name. In fact, one can even say that Kyrios started to function as the Greek synonym or equivalent of God’s covenant name. As we shall see next, Jesus is often called Kyrios in contexts that clearly identify him as Yahweh.  

With that said we begin our analysis of the NT writings.

Whoever calls on the Name

According to the prophetic writings the faithful are those who call on Yahweh’s name:

“Extol Yahweh our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he! Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to Yahweh, and he answered them.” Psalm 99:5-6

“I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of Yahweh…  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of Yahweh.” Psalm 116:13, 17; cf. 105:1

And yet we are told in the NT that the very first Christians – including the Jewish believers in Jerusalem – would call upon Jesus as Lord in the context of worshiping him:

“Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Anani'as. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Anani'as.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Anani'as come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ But Anani'as answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to YOUR saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon YOUR Name.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry MY Name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of MY Name.’ So Anani'as departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ … And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’ And all who heard him were amazed, and said, ‘Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on THIS Name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests.’” Acts 9:10-17, 20-21

“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:2-3

The NT further teaches that Christians are those who are saved by confessing Jesus is Lord:

“But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, ‘every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:8-13

What makes this particular passage rather interesting is that the inspired Apostle references an OT text which speaks of calling on the name of Yahweh to be saved:

“You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, Yahweh, am your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my Spirit. And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of Yahweh shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as Yahweh has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom Yahweh calls.” Joel 2:27-32

And applied this to confessing Jesus as Lord! In other words, Jesus is the Yahweh whom everyone must call on in order to be saved!

Paul isn’t the only Apostle who applied this specific OT citation to the Lord Jesus Christ. According to the inspired book of Acts, the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost:

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Par'thians and Medes and E'lamites and residents of Mesopota'mia, Judea and Cappado'cia, Pontus and Asia, Phryg'ia and Pamphyl'ia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyre'ne, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.’ And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’” Acts 2:1-13

Peter believed that this event fulfilled God’s promise in Joel 2:28-32:

“But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, ‘Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yes, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”’” Acts 2:14-21

After mentioning this specific promise Peter then proclaims that it is the Lord Jesus who actually performs this very Divine function and boldly testifies that he is the Lord that all must confess in order to be saved!

“‘Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that his soul was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies a stool for your feet.” Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.’ Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.’” Acts 2:29-39

Peter even went so far as to say that salvation is only found in Jesus’ Name!

“On the morrow their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Ca'iaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’” Acts 4:5-12

Peter was simply echoing the words of the Lord Jesus who had promised to send them the Holy Spirit in order to empower them to boldly preach that forgiveness of sins and repentance is the result of believing in his name:

“Then he said to them, ‘These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.’” Luke 24:44-49

“In the first book, O The-oph'ilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth.’” Acts 1:1-8

This leads us to our next section.

The Name above all names

The NT teaches that Jesus has received the Name that is above all names, specifically the name Lord or Yahweh, and shall eventually be worshiped by every creature in acknowledgement of his sovereign rule over all creation:

“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

Paul has once again taken a text which speaks of Yahweh – this time a fiercely monotheistic one – and applied it to the Lord Jesus!

“For thus says Yahweh, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): ‘I am Yahweh, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in chaos.’ I Yahweh speak the truth, I declare what is right. Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. 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.’ ONLY in Yahweh, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him. In Yahweh all the offspring of Israel shall be righteous and glory.” Isaiah 45:21-25

Paul astonishingly believed that Jesus would be given the very worship which the prophet Isaiah says Yahweh will someday receive in acknowledgement of the fact that he alone is the God who justifies and saves!

Paul wasn’t alone in adopting the language of Isaiah 45 to the Lord Jesus. In his second inspired epistle, the blessed Peter speaks of obtaining saving faith as a result of the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, the Lord who rules forever:

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ… Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:1, 10-11

Yet, as we saw from Isaiah 45, Yahweh is the righteous God and Savior who justifies or makes the faithful righteous! And he is the One who rules forever as the eternal Lord:

“Yahweh will reign for ever and ever.” Exodus 15:18

“Yahweh is king for ever and ever; the nations shall perish from his land.” Psalm 10:16

“Yahweh sits enthroned over the flood; Yahweh sits enthroned as king for ever.” Psalm 29:10

“Yahweh is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Yahweh is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Yahweh, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power, to make known to the sons of men your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. Yahweh is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.” Psalm 145:8-13

Clearly, both Peter and Paul believed that Jesus is Yahweh God (but not the Father or the Holy Spirit)!

There is more from Peter and Paul that we need to examine.

The Sovereign Lord of creation

The Hebrew Bible testifies that Yahweh alone created and sustains the cosmos:

“Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the Yahweh, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth by myself.’” Isaiah 44:24

Moreover, the NT repeats and confirms the creedal statement of Deuteronomy 6:4 (called the Shema) that Yahweh is the only one:

“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Kyrios heis estin); and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ And the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one (hoti heis estin), and there is no other but he; and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.’” Mark 12:28-32

But according to that same NT witness Jesus is the one Lord through whom all created things were brought into being and kept together:

“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 (kai heis Kyrios ‘Iesous Christos), through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:4-6

What the apostle Paul has done here is to take the creed of Deuteronomy 6:4 and Christianize it in order to include Jesus within the Divine identity of the one true God of Israel! Paul was basically informing Christians that Jesus is the one Yahweh of the Shema whom God the Father used to create and sustain the entire creation.

Tasting the goodness of the Lord and embracing the rejected Stone

According to Peter, Jesus is the Lord who is good, the living Stone that was rejected by men but precious to God:

“Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the goodness (chrestos) of the Lord. Come to him, to that living Stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (‘Iesou Christou). For it stands in scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, ‘The very Stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner,’ and ‘A Stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall’; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.” 1 Peter 2:2-8

Peter further instructed believers to set Christ apart as their Lord and regard him as holy in the face of persecution and tribulations:

“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and fear, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:14-15

What Peter has done in these passages is to quote OT texts which refer to Yahweh and applied them to Christ! For example, it is Yahweh whom the faithful are commanded to taste in order to see just how good he is:

O taste and see that Yahweh is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

And Yahweh is the Stone of offense and rock of stumbling, the One whom the faithful must set apart and regard as holy!

“Do not call conspiracy all that this people call conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But Yahweh of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary, and a stone of offense, and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” Isaiah 8:12-14

Hence, by applying these OT texts to Christ it is obvious that Peter believed that Jesus is Yahweh God (but not the Father or the Holy Spirit).

Concluding Remarks

In our examination of the OT prophetic writings we saw that there is only one Yahweh and that Yahweh’s name is one, and then saw that according to the NT writings Jesus bears the very Divine name of Yahweh. The only way that Jesus could be said to bear this sacred name and for Yahweh to be one and his name one is if the inspired NT writers believed that Jesus is Yahweh God (yet not the Father or the Holy Spirit). This logic is inescapable when we consider that,

  1. Yahweh is only one and his name is one.
  2. Jesus bears Yahweh’s name and is identified as Yahweh.
  3. Therefore, Jesus must be Yahweh God.

Thus, as far as the NT documents are concerned Jesus Christ is Yahweh to the glory of God the Father forever and ever!

Amen! Come, Yahweh Jesus, come! We your saints love you forever and ever and eagerly await your blessed and glorious coming, O eternal King and immortal Lord!

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