“For, `Whoever will call on the name of Jehovah will be saved [Joel 2:32].'” — Romans 10:13
Some try to prove that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh) by pointing to Romans 10:13 and Joel 2:32. The argument is made that Paul is here calling Jesus “Lord”. Since this is a reference to Joel 2:32, where it tells us that whoever calls on the name of Jehovah will be delivered, trinitarians as well as oneness believers claim that this means that Jesus is the same (sentient?) being (or person, in the case of our “oneness” neighbors) as Jehovah. Some translations render Romans 10:13 as calling upon Jehovah or Yahweh.
Certainly, Jesus is the means that Jehovah has provided for salvation (John 3:16,17), no one can come to Jehovah but through Jesus (John 14:6), and no other means has been given by Jehovah for salvation than the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:12) Jesus’ name means: “Jehovah saves” or “Jehovah is savior,” which ascribes the actual source of salvation to Jehovah, as all things are of Jehovah, through Jesus. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8,10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 15:57; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Titus 3:5,6; Hebrews 13:21; 1 John 4:9,10) Thus to properly call upon the name of Jesus as the spokesperson and one anointed by Jehovah (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19; Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:18,21; Acts 3:13-26), would essentially be the same as calling upon the name of Jehovah. (Matthew 10:14; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 13:20; Romans 1:8; 7:25; 14:26; Philippians 1:11; 2:11) But to ascertain whether Romans 10:13 is calling Jesus “Jehovah”, let us go through the tenth chapter of Romans briefly, to see exactly who Paul speaks of.
Romans 10:1: Brothers, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God is for Israel, that they may be saved.
In verse one, Paul says he prays to God for the salvation of Israel. Who is the God of Israel? This, of course, is Jehovah. (Exodus 3:14,15; 16:12; 20:2; 34:32) In the New Testament, we learn that the God of Israel — Jehovah — is the Father of Jesus. (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19; Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35; John 5:43; 8:54; 10:25; Hebrews 1:1,2) Paul thus recognizes Yahweh, the God of Israel as the source of salvation.
Romans 10:2: For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”
Romans 10:3: For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn’t subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”
Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
In these verses, Paul discusses Israel’s relationship with God — Jehovah. He says that they are ignorant of God’s righteousness (Romans 3:22), and sought to make themselves righteous by means of obedience to the Law. Then he reveals that the righteousness of God is in Christ, who is the end of the law [covenant] to everyone who believes.
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Romans 10:5: For Moses writes about the righteousness of the law, “The one who does them will live by them.”
Paul is still speaking about the relationship of Israel with Jehovah, the God of Israel. Anyone who could keep the Law would be totally righteous, having the right to life thereby. If it were possible to do so, then righteousness and life would have come by the Law. — Galatians 3:21.
Romans 10:6: But the righteousness which is of faith says this, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down);
Romans 10:7: or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)”
Those who seek righteousness by faith are are, to the extent that God permits, hidden from the truth. It is not something far off in heaven or in the grave. Those of faith do not have go to heaven to find the Anointed One of Jehovah, nor do they have to go to the grave to try to bring him back from the dead. This thing is not hidden from the one of faith, neither is it afar off — difficult to understand. (See also: Deuteronomy 30:11-14; notice that Paul is not directly quoting Deuteronomy, but he does use similar phraseology.)
In this Paul is still writing about the relationship of Israel with the God of Israel, Jehovah. He is showing that the proper way to obtain the righteousness of God is through faith, which he goes on to show is through faith in the ransom sacrifice given by the one whom Jehovah has anointed and sent, that is, Jesus.
Romans 10:8: But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;” that is, the word of faith, which we preach:
Romans 10:9: that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Here Paul points out the way to Jehovah’s righteousness as provided through Jesus. (John 3:17; Romans 3:22-24; 5:1,9,10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:9) We must remember that it is Jehovah who made Jesus “Lord” and “Christ” [Christ means “anointed one”] (Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 2:36) Many read this verse as though only Jesus is spoken of, but we note the context is about Jehovah, the God of Israel, and the salvation he provides through Jesus. “God” in Romans 10:9 refers to only one person, the same person Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 8:6 as being the source of all, He who is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of Exodus 3:14,15 and Acts 3:13-26.
Romans 10:10: For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:11: For the scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
In Romans 10:11, Paul uses language similar to that of Isaiah 28:16: “So, the Lord Jehovah says this: Behold, I place in Zion a Stone for a foundation, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; he who believes shall not hasten.” (Green’s Literal) Here is it Jehovah who is the provider of the sure foundation, and then he tells us that he who believes in him, that is, in the foundation provided by Jehovah, shall not be in haste. The one of faith does not have to be anxious about trying to find any other source or any other way of salvation, for it is found in the sure foundation provided by Jehovah, nor does the one of faith in this sure foundation have any reason to have any hint of disappointment or shame in the foundation provided by Jehovah.
Romans 10:12: For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him.
Here the apostle joins the God of Israel — the God and Father of Jesus — with the believing Greeks (representing those outside the law covenant). Jehovah is the same Lord (the One spoken of as Adonay (or, Adonai) in Isaiah 28:16 just referenced) over all, and will richly bless all who call on him.
The “Lord of all” is here evidently referring, not to Jesus, but rather the Lord Jehovah of Isaiah 61:1, He who anointed Jesus, making Jesus both Christ and Lord. — Acts 2:36.
Romans 10:13: For, “Whoever will call on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”
This brings us to the scripture in question. Paul here makes reference to whoever will call upon the name of Jehovah will be saved. If we consider scriptures leading up to this scripture, it should be plain that Paul is making reference to Jehovah, the God of Israel, with whom both Jew and Gentile needs reconciliation. That reconciliation, however, as the apostle points out, is by faith, not by the keeping of the law. While we highly doubt that Paul substituted “Kurios” here for God’s name, even if he did it should be evident that he is referring to Jehovah for it is Jehovah with whom both Jew and Gentile needs to be reconciled (Romans 5:9,10), and it is from Jehovah, the Father, that a means for salvation has been provided, that is, through his Son, Jesus. — Acts 10:43; 20:21; John 3:17; 6:44; Hebrews 1:1,2.
Romans 10:14: How, then, shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And shall they hear without a preacher?
Again in verse 14 the thought is primarily of Jehovah, who sent his Son. No one can call upon Jehovah if they don’t believe in him through his Son, Jesus. (Romans 3:22-24; 5:1,11; 7:25; 14:26) The vast majority have never come to Jehovah, he who provided the “ransom for all”, which will be testified, made known, in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5,6) Thus, in due time, all heathen will hear, and they will all be brought to a knowledge of Jehovah and his Son Christ Jesus in the age to come. — Isaiah 2:2-4.
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What we do not find in Romans 10, or anywhere else in the Bible, is the concept of a triune God. No such God is ever revealed in the Bible. Nor, does Romans 10 reveal the concept that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of Exodus 3:14,15, as many read into several scriptures. If Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who spoke through Moses and the prophets, then, to be consistent, one would have to reason that it is Jesus in Hebrews 1:1,2 who speaks through his son, which of course, is not true.
Ronald R. Day, Senior -- Restoration Light (ResLight; RlBible) Bible Study Services
Above was originally published July 12, 2013; Edited and republished: May 13, 2015; September 5, 2107.