Sunday, January 6, 2008

One Savior or Two Saviors?

Does Isaiah 43:11 prove that Jesus is Yahweh?

"I -- I am Yahweh, and besides me there is no savior [yasha`, Strong's #3467]."
Isaiah 43:11World English Bible translation

Yet I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt; And you will know no god but me, And besides [Hebrew, Biltiy, except, lest, but, save, withou] me there is no savior [yasha`].
Hosea 13:4World English Bible translation

Trinitarians and believers in the "oneness" doctrines as well as some others often point to the above scripture as proof that since Yahweh says there is no savior besides him and since Jesus is called "savior", then it is assumed that Jesus has to be Yahweh.

Yahweh is identified in the scriptures as the Father of Jesus. -- Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:43-45; 26:64; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44; Acts 2:34; 7:55: Rom. 8:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:13; 10:12,13; 1 Peter 3:22.

Additionally, the ONLY true God of the Bible is the Father, Yahweh. -- John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6.
Jesus was sent by Yahweh, speaks for Yahweh, represents Yahweh. Jesus is not Yahweh whom he represents and speaks for. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; John 3:2,17; 5:19,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; Hebrews 1:1,2; Revelation 1:1.

Evidently the Father (Yahweh) and the Son (Jesus) are two separate beings, not one and the same.
Then, how is it that there is no savior besides Yahweh if Jesus is also a savior? Are there two saviors?

The word translated savior in Hosea 13:4 and Isaiah 43:11 is Strong's Hebrew #3467 [yasha`]. In both scriptures Yahweh is denouncing Israel for turning to idols. It is in this context, when Israel is looking to the false gods for deliverance, that Yahweh says there is no savior for Israel besides him. Yahweh reminds them of when he delivered them from Egypt, when they dwelt in the wilderness. (Hosea 13:5) Now, he says, they have forgotten their God who delivered them. (Hosea 13:6). The point is that Yahweh was saying that none of those idol-gods could save Israel; that he was their only God and Savior.

This is similar to Deuteronomy 32:12, where we read: "Yahweh alone did lead him [Israel/Jacob - verse 9], There was no foreign god with him." If we take this out of context, and only quote the first part, this could lead one to believe that there was no one else but Yahweh that led Israel. And then in Exodus 12:15 we read: "It happened the same day, that Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts." Yet we also read: "Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water." (Exodus 15:22) Does this mean that Moses and Yahweh must be the same being? Absolutely not! Moses was sent by Yahweh. Therefore we read: "You led your people like a flock, By the hand of Moses and Aaron." (Psalm 77:20) "By a prophet Yahweh brought Israel up out of Egypt, And by a prophet he was preserved." (Hosea 12:13) Thus Yahweh acknowledges that he used others to deliver Egypt, yet by this he claims to the their deliverer, since he was the one to sent Moses and Aaron, and he is the one who gave Moses the power to deliver.

The scriptures abound with cases where Yahweh uses various servants but is given the credit for their actions, since he was the directing force. -- Exodus 3:10,12; 12:17; 18:10; Numbers 16:28; Judges 2:6,18; 3:9,10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:24,25; 14:6,19; 15:14,18; 16:20,28-30, 2 Kings 4:27; Isaiah 43:11, 45:1-6; etc.

A thorough examination of the scriptures reveal that there are many saviors.
Yahweh saved Israel in past times of dangers, especially when the Israelites did go after the idol gods of the heathen. How did Yahweh do this? Judges 2:16 tells us: "Yahweh raised up judges, who saved [yasha`] them out of the hand of those who despoiled them." And Nehemiah 9:27: "Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to you, you heard from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviors [Hebrew, Yasha`] who saved [Hebrew, Yasha`] them out of the hand of their adversaries."
Some of the saviors sent by Yahweh included: Othniel - Judges 3:9; Gideon - Judges 6:13,14; 8:22; Gideon's 700: Judges 7:7; Samson - Judges 13:5; David - 2 Samuel 3:18. Yahweh sent these saviors who acted in his name and with his power and authority. Such saviors were not "apart from" Yahweh, since they were sent by Yahweh. We have given only a few examples; many more can be found by using using a Hebrew concordance.

What is the conclusion that we should come to? The word translated "besides" in Isaiah 43:11 is the Hebrew word Bil`adey (Strong's #1107, apart from, except, without, besides). In Hosea 13:4 a similar word is used, Biltiy. Neither word carries with it the absolute exclusiveness that many which to read into the English translation. Saviors sent by Yahweh are not "apart from" Yahweh, or "without" Yahweh. Nevertheless, by their being sent by Yahweh and coming in his name signifies that Yahweh is still the only ultimate savior, thus it could still be said that there is no savior besides (without, apart from) him.

There is no savior apart from Yahweh, but being the savior, he does appoint others as saviors with whom he is with, and in this manner he sent his son as savior of the world. However, this does not deny that he is the only savior, since he is the one who is the ultimate author of the salvation he provides by means of his Son. It is as Samson stated to Yahweh: "You have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant." (Judges 15:18) And Yahweh spoke of David: "By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines." (2 Samuel 3:18) And Psalmist said: "You led your people like a flock, By the hand of Moses and Aaron." (Psalm 77:20) Likewise, God sent Jesus that "the world should be saved through him" (John 3:16,17) so that "the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) The salvation from God by means of Jesus is not apart from Yahweh, for Yahweh is the one who has provided the salvation.

Additionally, Jesus was sent by and came in Yahweh's name: (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 17:3; 4:34; 5:30; Matthew 21:9; 23:39) This further emphasizes that Jesus was not a savior "apart from" Yahweh, for he was sent by Yahweh. Like the saviors before Jesus, Jesus received his power and strength from Yahweh. -- Psalm 2:2,7,8; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; 61:1; Luke 1:32; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14; John 17:1,3; Acts 2:36; Hebrews 1:2,6.

Furthermore, the saints are all called saviors, as they are part of the seed of Abraham with Jesus that will bless all the families of the earth during the Millennial rule. -- Obadiah 21; Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:29; Revelation 20:6; See also Daniel 7:22,27; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:4,6; Psalm 82:6; Isaiah 2:2-4.

Therefore just because Jesus is called "savior" that does not mean that he is Yahweh. Yahweh remains the only ultimate savior, to Israel, to the church, and to the world, since he is the one who has made arrangements for and sent a savior of the world.


Someone has objected to the above on the grounds that only the savior Jesus bears God's name, claiming that since the name Jesus, taken from the Hebrew for Joshua, can be rendered in meaning as "Yahweh saves", "Yahweh is Savior", or "Savior of Yahweh" [the latter meaning a Savior sent by Yahweh, not that Yahweh needs to be saved]. Although many wish to somehow make this appear to mean that Jesus is Yahweh, there is nothing in the name Jesus that makes Jesus not a savior sent by Yahweh, but rather the opposite, since Jesus is the savior sent by Yahweh. Yahweh is thus the ultimate savior who uses his Son Jesus as the means of salvation.

We further note it is not totally true that only Jesus (of Nazareth) is the "savior" bearing this name, for Joshua, son of Nun also bore this name and was sent also by Yahweh to deliver the nation of Israel into the promised land. If one would think that Jesus *is* Yahweh because his name contains the shortened form of Yahweh, that is, "Yah", then the only conclusion to be reached is that Joshua, son of Nun is also Yahweh, since he bears the same name.

Three other persons in the Bible bore the same name: (1) 1 Samuel 6:14,16;(2) 2 Kings 23:6; (3) (sometimes translated as "Jeshua") Ezra 3:8; Nehemiah 12:26; Haggai 1:1,12,14; 2:2-4; Zechariah 3:1-9; 6:11. Furthermore, there are others in the Bible that are called by the same name as Jeshua. Are we to believe that these are all Yahweh, since they supposedly bear the name of Yahweh?


We must not accept blindly what our Wheel of Prophecy - who is GOD? pamphlet asserts. It is the duty of followers of Messiah Jesus to search the scriptures, to discover if these things are so. In this instance, and in the case of Micah 5:2 we have shown this Wheel to be in error. Perhaps we will check more of the Wheel's assertions in the future? Yet, with the two false witnesses already provided, I doubt that we can trust such a misleading tract.

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