Friday, April 19, 2013

Isaiah 43:11 - Besides Jehovah There Is No Savior

Since both Jesus and his God are both referred to as savior, and since Jehovah (Yahweh) said that there is no savior besides Him (Isaiah 43:11), does this mean that Jesus must be Jehovah? If it did, it would mean that there are many more who are Jehovah than Jesus, since Jehovah sent many saviors to deliver Israel from her troubles.
" I, I am Jehovah; and there is no Savior [yasha`, Strong's #3467] besides Me.." -- Isaiah 43:11, Green's Literal Translation.
Yet I am Jehovah, your God from the land of Egypt; and you shall know no other gods than Me. For there is no Savior [yasha`] besides [Hebrew, Biltiy (transliterated), except, lest, but, save, without] Me. -- Hosea 13:4, Green's Literal Translation.
Trinitarians and believers in the "oneness" doctrines as well as some others often point to the above scriptures as proof that since Jehovah says there is no savior besides him and since Jesus is called "savior", then it is assumed that Jesus has to be Jehovah.

Jehovah 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, Jehovah. -- John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6.
Jesus was sent by Jehovah, speaks for Jehovah, represents Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Jehovah is presented as one person from Genesis to Revelation. He is never presented as more than one person. Jesus is not the unipersonal Jehovah 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; Acts 3:13-26; Hebrews 1:1,2; Revelation 1:1.

Despite all the arguments presented by trinitarians and others, we have no reason to think that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and certainly no reason to think that Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All such ideas have to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into each and every scripture that is presented to support the claims.
Then, how is it that there is no savior besides Jehovah if Jesus is also a savior? Are there two saviors?
The word translated savior in Hosea 13:4 and Isaiah 43:11 (and many other places in the Old Testament) is Strong's Hebrew #3467 [yasha`]. In both scriptures Jehovah is denouncing Israel for turning to idols. It is in this context, when Israel is looking to the false gods for deliverance, that Jehovah says there is no savior for Israel besides him. Jehovah 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 Jehovah 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: "Jehovah 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 Jehovah that led Israel. And then in Exodus 12:15 we read: "It happened the same day, that Jehovah 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 Jehovah must be the same being? Absolutely not! Moses was sent by Jehovah. Therefore we read: "You led your people like a flock, By the hand of Moses and Aaron." (Psalm 77:20) "By a prophet Jehovah brought Israel up out of Egypt, And by a prophet he was preserved." (Hoseal 12:13) Thus Jehovah 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.

Actually a thorough examination of the scriptures reveal that there are many saviors.

Jehovah saved Israel in past times of dangers, especially when the Israelites did go after the idol gods of the heathen. How did Jehovah do this? Judges 2:16 tells us: "Jehovah 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 Jehovah 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. Jehovah sent these saviors who acted in his name and with his power and authority. Such saviors were not "apart from" Jehovah, since they were sent by Jehovah. 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 like to read into the English translation. Saviors sent by Jehovah are not "apart from" Jehovah, or "without" Jehovah. Nevertheless, by their being sent by Jehovah and coming in his name signifies that Jehovah 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 Jehovah, 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 Jehovah: "You have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant." (Judges 15:18) And Jehovah 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 Jehovah, for Jehovah is the one who has provided the salvation.

Only the God and Father of Jesus is the only source of all, while Jesus is the instrument of all. -- 1 Corinthians 8:6.

Actually, the scriptures abound with cases where Jehovah uses various servants but is given the credit for their actions, since he was the originating 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.

Additionally, Jesus was sent by and came in Jehovah'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" Jehovah, for he was sent by Jehovah. Like the saviors before Jesus, Jesus received his power and strength from Jehovah. -- 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.

Additionally 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 Jehovah. Jehovah 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.

Objections

Someone has objected to the above on the grounds that only the savior Jesus bears God's name, claiming that since the name Jesus means "Jesus, taken from the Hebrew for Joshua, can be rendered in meaning as "Jehovah saves", "Jehovah is Savior", or "Savior of Jehovah" [the latter meaning a Savior sent by Jehovah, not that Jehovah needs to be saved]. Although many wish to somehow make this appear to mean that Jesus is Jehovah, there is nothing in the name Jesus that makes Jesus not a savior sent by Jehovah, but rather the opposite, since Jesus is the savior sent by Jehovah, and his name, given to him by Jehovah, proclaims such. Jehovah 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 Jehovah to deliver the nation of Israel into the promised land. If one would think that Jesus *is* Jehovah because his name contains the shortened form of Jehovah, that is, "Jah", then the only conclusion to be reached is that Joshua, son of Nun is also Jehovah, since he bears the same name.

Additionally, at least 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 Jehovah, since they supposedly bear the name of Jehovah?

See the following links concerning Joshua (We do not necessarily agree with every statement found in the links):
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia under Joshua
and Jeshua

Addendum 1: "Our Savior" in Titus 1:3,4

Titus 1:3,4: but at the proper time manifested, {even} His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior, To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. -- New American Standard
The argument is being made that the above scripture definitely shows that Jesus is God Almighty, since both are being referred to as the "our savior." The conclusion being assumed further assumes that God cannot send a savior who is not Himself. In reality all we see here is that both God (who is being presented unipersonally as the Father) and Jesus are referred to as "our savior". God is our savior in that he sent Jesus be die for us. Jesus is our savior in that he was sent by God to die for us.
"God" in these verse is not identified as three persons, but as one person, the God and Father of Jesus.
It is the Father (Titus 1:3), who "saved us" (Titus 3:5) "through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:6). Thus, Titus 3:4,5 shows that "God, our Savior" is being unipersonally of the Father, who works "through" Jesus Christ. Since "God" here refers to the Father, then to read into this text that Jesus is the God being referred to, one would conclude from this that Jesus is the Father God. There is certainly nothing here about these as two persons of God. Of course, trinitarians do not believe that Jesus is the Father, but our oneness neighbors do; nontheless, the oneness dogma must also still be assumed, added to, and read into, anything that is stated in Titus (as well as the entire Bible).

In actuality, however, there is nothing in this that proves that Jesus is Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or the Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob.

Addendum 2: "The Lord" in Titus 1:3,4

But has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. -- New King James Version
One argues that the usuage of the "Lord" is presented with "God the Father" in Titus 1:4. It is claimed that it would seem like blasphemy to call that which is not Jehovah "Lord" in the context conjoining him with Jehovah.

The Received Text (Textus Receptus)has Kurios "Lord" in it (without the definite article); the Westcott and Hort text does not have it. Thus we have two different readings: one as shown from the New American Standard in Addendum 1, and the other as shown above from the New King James Version. Regardless, there is nothing blasphemous in calling Jesus "Lord", since it is the Lord Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who made Jesus both Lord and Christ. -- Isaiah 61:1; Acts 2:36.

Jesus is joined with God the Father because he is His son, and it is through the Father's son that our salvation comes.
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For Related Study:
  The Price of Redemption - God or Man?

 Originally published on this site: April 13, 2013; Updated and republished: February 1, 2015.

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