Thursday, June 15, 2017

Luke 2:11 – Jesus – “Christ The Lord”

Did the angel declare Jesus to be Jehovah in Luke 2:11?

Luke 2:11- For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the World English Bible version.

Luke 2:11 is often referred to as proof that Jesus is Jehovah, since, as through misunderstanding, or distortion, of certain scriptures such as Deuteronomy 6:4; Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13 and 1 Corinthians 8:6, they falsely conclude that the word  “Lord” applied to Jesus must mean that Jesus is Jehovah. We have addressed this kind of argument in other studies, and will not address them again here.

See our studies:

Luke 2:11 is often also cited as proof that Jesus is a savior, with the false assumption that if Jesus is our savior, then Jesus must be Jehovah, since, according to their reasoning, as they use scriptures such as Isaiah 45:12 and Hosea 13:14, they evidently conclude that Jehovah cannot possibly send a savior who is not Himself, although the scriptures speak of many saviors whom Jehovah did send who are not Himself. Again, this has been discussed in other studies, so we will not go into this in this study.

See our study:

One, in presenting what he believes to be a refutation of the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, presents a detailed discussion of how the NWT was not consistent in using the Hebrew translations of the New Testament for restoring God’s name to the NT. He argues that according the Appendix of the NWT, 1984 edition, “The use of the definite article ha before the title `A-dhohn’ limits the application of this title exclusively to Jehovah God.’ We have a pdf of the 1984 edition, and we did a digital search,  but could not find this statement in its Appendix. We did find the statement on the jw.org website. The online quote appears to be in reference to the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Old Testament.

We are not with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and are not necessarily wishing to defend that translation. Evidently, however, the quote is being applied to various Hebrew translations of the New Testament. I see nothing in the statement, however, that is presented as a rule for restoring the Holy Name in the New Testament using Hebrew translations of the New Testament. Our purpose here is not to defend the New World Translation, but something that attracted our attention was the conclusion that the author reaches for what the New World Translation should have read in Luke 2:11 if they had followed this alleged rule: “Because there was born to YOU today a Savior, who is Christ Jehovah, in David’s city.” Since the author presented this as support of the trinity, this line of argument, although presented in a round-about manner, would end up claiming that the Greek CHRISTOS KURIOS should mean “Christ Jehovah”, thereby making it appear that Jesus is Jehovah. Therefore some have thought that in Luke 2:11 Jesus is somehow being called “Jehovah/Yahweh”. 


The claim is made:

Translations of the Greek Scriptures have been made into Hebrew. The Watchtower Society is well aware of these translations. It uses them to determine where to place the Hebrew name for God, ... in the Greek Scriptures of the New World Translation. When the Hebrew for God's name YHWH appears in these translations, the New World Translation uses the word "Jehovah". The Society has used the word "Jehovah" 237 times and slavishly followed these Hebrew translations....
There are at least 72 places where the word ha-Adhohn is found in the Hebrew translations within the Greek Scriptures where, instead of saying "Jehovah" the *New World Translation* translates the word merely as "the Lord." -- *What the Watchtower Society Doesn't Want You to Know*, by Wilbur Lingle.


We have studied very closely what the translators of the New World Translation have stated regarding their attempts to restore the Holy Name in the New Testament, and one should realize that Mr. Lingle's statement does not actually reflect the methods used for the translators of the New World Translation.  I have not found any place where they claim to follow the Hebrew translations of the New Testament. Indeed, most of those translations were made by trinitarians for the very purpose of promoting the trinity to Jews. They cannot be used as a guide for where God's name appears, and certainly cannot be used as a guide regarding their usage of "ha Adhohn". It seems to take a statement made about the Masoretic Hebrew Text and claim it as being the rule of the NWT for determining where to place "Jehovah" in the New Testament, based on translations of the New Testament into Hebrew. While I am aware that the NW translators did make use of such Hebrew translations as supportive of many places where it is apparent that the Holy Name was changed in the New Testament, this does not mean that they were using such translations as a guide for determining where the name should be restored, and the quote given does not present any rule by which they were following for determining where the Holy Name should be restored.

While it is possible that KURIOS in Luke 2:11 is replacing God’s Holy Name, Jehovah — such would not based on how some Hebrew translators have rendered it into Hebrew, but it could be reasoned to have been replaced in this instance because of the Greek expression itself; nevertheless, rather than calling Jesus “Jehovah”, it would designate Jesus as the Christ [Anointed One] of Jehovah, as designated in Psalm 2:6; 45:7; and Isaiah 61:1. Jehovah gave Jesus as the son who is to sit upon the throne of David, and thus he is the Anointed of Jehovah. — Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32,33.


Someone has stated, in effect, that Acts 2:36 does not mean that there was a time when Jesus became “Lord”, since, according to what is being claimed, Jesus has always been Lord, and that there was never a time when he was not Lord. It is claimed that he was already “Lord” after his human birth. Luke 2:11 is one of the scriptures given to support this assumption. This one has also claimed that there cannot be two Lords/Masters, and therefore when Jesus is called “Lord”, this means that he and his Father are one God.


In the study linked to above, we have shown that in the scriptures, the Greek word for “Lord” is used of many different ones and with many different shades of meaning, even when it is used of Jesus.

Of course, even if Jesus had already been made “Lord” before becoming human, this does not mean that there never was a time when he was not Lord. Jesus was indeed in a sense “anointed” from the time of the Garden of Eden, destined to become the seed of the woman. (Genesis 3:15) He was later anointed, preordained, to be the seed of Abraham, and the seed of David. The fulfillment of the ordination has took place in phases. Jesus was born into this world as the Anointed King who was to sit on the throne of David forever (Luke 1:32,33); thus he could be called “Christ [Anointed] the Lord”, having been anointed as “Lord” in the sense of having been anointed as the promised King from before the time of his conception in the womb of Mary.

The scriptures indicate that Jesus, before he became Jesus, had already been lord, ruler, prince, of the host of God’s angels. — Joshua 5:14.

Jesus was certainly made lord and christ [anointed one] by means this anointing from Jehovah, and the original anointing certainly took place at some time. God, of course, foreknew his purposes before he began the creation of the world of mankind, thus the original anointing could be said to have been long before the world of mankind was made. Jesus indicates that he was sanctified for this purpose before being born into this world. (John 10:36) Any other times that he is appointed would be the carrying out of the original ordination.

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