Here is part #6, "2B. Jehovah seen in the Old Testament was the pre-incarnate Jesus," of my series, "Jesus is Jehovah!" by topic, which is based on my morning `quiet time' Bible reading.
My previous post in this series was part #5, "2A. Plurality in Jehovah was revealed in the Old Testament" See the Contents page for more details.
© Stephen E. Jones
2. JESUS IS JEHOVAH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
B. Jehovah seen in the Old Testament was the pre-incarnate Jesus
i. No human has ever seen God the Father
The following verses make it clear that no human being has ever seen (or could see) God the Father:
Jn 1:18. "No one has ever seen God ...."
Jn 5:37. "And the Father .... his form you have never seen"
Jn 6:46."not that anyone has seen the Father ..."
1Jn 4:12. "No one has ever seen God ... "
1Tim 6:16. "[God] who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see."
Col 1:15. "He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God ..."
1Tim 1:17. "To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God ...."
ii. Yet in the Old Testament some humans did see God
Gn 32:30. " So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered."
Ex 24:9-10. " Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness."
Jdgs 13:21-22. " The angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife.Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, for we have seen God."
Isa 6:1,5. " In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. ... And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
iii. Who they saw was God the Son, the pre-incarnate Jesus
"... every visible manifestation of God in bodily form in Old Testament times was a preincarnate appearance of the second person of the Trinity-Jesus Christ":
"From a theological perspective, it would seem unlikely that the Angel of the Lord was the Father or the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us that God the Father is invisible (Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17) and `lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see ...' (1 Tim. 6:16). John's Gospel tells us that `no one has ever seen God [the Father], but God the One and Only [Jesus Christ], who is at the Father's side, has made him known' (John 1:18, inserts mine). John 5:37 tells us that no one has ever seen God the Father's form. These passages indicate that it was the Son's unique function to make the Father, who has never been seen, known to man. We know that `the One and Only' is Jesus Christ, for John tells us: `The Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth' (1:14, italics added). This One and Only, Jesus Christ, was sent to reveal and manifest the invisible God to the world. ... In view of the above factors, it is safe to assume that every visible manifestation of God in bodily form in Old Testament times was a preincarnate appearance of the second person of the Trinity-Jesus Christ." (Rhodes, R., 1992, "Christ Before the Manger: The Life and Times of the Preincarnate Christ," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, pp.85-86. Emphasis original).
"... John ... in John 1:18 he provides us with a summary statement ... for his prologue. Here's what he wrote: `No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.' (NASB). ... John tells us that no one has seen God at any time. Is this true? Are there not many instances of men seeing God in the Old Testament? Did not Isaiah say that he saw the Lord sitting upon His throne in the temple (Isaiah 6:1-3)? So what is John saying? How can we understand his words? The key is found in the final phrases of verse 18, specifically, `who is at the Father's side.' When John says `no one has seen God at any time,' he is referring to the Father. No man has seen the Father at any time. So how do we have knowledge of the Father? The monogenes `made Him known' or `explained Him .' ... Another important fact to note from this verse is that if indeed no one has seen the Father, then what does this tell us of the Son? Who did Isaiah see in Isaiah 6? Who walked with Abraham by the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18:1)? None other than the preincarnate Jesus Christ, the eternal Logos. John will develop this thought later in his Gospel, as we shall see when we examine those passages that identify Jesus as Yahweh." (White, J.R., 1998, "The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief," Bethany House: Minneapolis MN, pp.62-63. Emphasis original).
a. Only the "only begotten God," Jesus, has been seen by man
Jn 1:18 (NASB). "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."
Jn 14:9. Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Mt 11:27. "All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
"The only `Him' in the context is Jesus; hence, for John, Isaiah, when he saw Yahweh on His throne, was in reality seeing the Lord Jesus":
"It is not hard to understand why there have been many who have not wished to make the connection that John makes between Jesus and Yahweh. One cannot make this identification outside of a Trinitarian understanding of the Gospel ... If Jesus is identified as ego eimi in the sense of the Old Testament ani hu ["I AM" - Isa 41:4; 43:10; 46:4], then one is left with two persons sharing the one nature that is God, and this, when it encounters John's discussion of the Holy Spirit, becomes the basis of the doctrine of the Trinity! An interpreter who is unwilling to dismiss the words of Scripture as ... nonauthoritative ... or to interpret Scripture in contradiction with itself ... will be hard-pressed to avoid the obvious conclusions of John's presentation. Lest one should find it hard to believe that John would identify the carpenter from Galilee as Yahweh himself, it might be pointed out that he did just that in John 12:39-41 by quoting from Isaiah's temple vision of Yahweh in Isaiah 6 and then concluding by saying, `These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory and he spoke about Him.' The only `Him' in the context is Jesus; hence, for John, Isaiah, when he saw Yahweh on His throne, was in reality seeing the Lord Jesus. John 1:18 says as much as well." (White, 1998, p.100).
"But if we ask the same question of John, `Whose glory did Isaiah see?' he would answer with the same answer-only in its fullness, `Jesus'":
"WHO DID ISAIAH SEE? ... These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. (John 12:37-41). ... what does John mean when he says that Isaiah `said these things because he saw His glory and spoke of Him'? Who is the `Him' to whom Isaiah refers? ... John cites two passages from the book of Isaiah. In verse 38 he quotes from Isaiah 53:1, the great `Suffering Servant' passage that so plainly describes the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. John says the unbelief of the Jews, despite their seeing signs, was a fulfillment of the word of Isaiah in Isaiah 53. He then goes beyond this to assert their inability to believe and quotes from Isaiah 6 and the `Temple Vision' Isaiah received when he was commissioned as a prophet ... (Isaiah 6:1-4). In this awesome vision, Isaiah sees Yahweh (the LORD) sitting upon His throne, surrounded by angelic worshipers. The glory of Yahweh fills his sight. Isaiah recognizes his sin and is cleansed by the Lord, then commissioned to go and take a message to the people. But the message is not one of salvation, but of judgment. ... (Isaiah 6:9-11). John cites the heart of the message of judgment given to Isaiah and sees the hard-heartedness of the Jews, who had seen the miracles of the Lord Jesus and heard His words of grace as the fulfillment of these words. Then John says, `These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him:' ... Therefore, if we ask Isaiah, `Whose glory did you see in your vision of the temple?' he would reply, `Yahweh's:' But if we ask the same question of John, `Whose glory did Isaiah see?' he would answer with the same answer-only in its fullness, `Jesus'.' Who, then, was Jesus to John? None other than the eternal God in human flesh, Yahweh." (White, 1998, pp.136-138. Emphasis original).
"It is therefore quite clear that ... John ... means that, when Isaiah had his vision of the Lord of Hosts in the Temple as described in Isaiah chapter six, it was the pre-existent Word whom he saw":
"We begin, however, with the one passage where John comes out into the open on this subject, even though the passage is to be found in the middle of the Gospel. After that, having shown that John undoubtedly believes the Lord [Jesus] to have appeared in OT times, we can go through the rest of the Gospel in order, prepared to find other allusions where such an assumption illuminates the meaning of the text. John 12.37-41 `Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him; it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: `Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said, `He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.' Isaiah said this because he saw his glory ... and spoke of him.' John begins with a reference to Isaiah 53.1 ... John certainly takes this as a reference to Christ. ... It is therefore quite clear that, when John goes on in verse 41 to say `he saw his glory', he means that, when Isaiah had his vision of the Lord of Hosts in the Temple as described in Isaiah chapter six, it was the pre-existent Word [Jn 1:1,14] whom he saw." (Hanson, A.T., 1965, "Jesus Christ in the Old Testament," S.P.C.K.: London, pp.104-105. Emphasis original).
c. Jehovah of the Exodus was the pre-incarnate Jesus
(1) Jesus is the "I AM" who appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Jn 8:58-59; Ex 3:14)
Jn 8:58-59. "Jesus said to them, `Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.' So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple."
Ex 3:14 God said to Moses, `I AM WHO I AM.' And he said, `Say this to the people of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you."'"
"`I AM' (God's name) in Exodus 3:14 as ego eimi... Jesus purposely used the phrase as a means of pointing to His identity as Yahweh":
"The Septuagint provides us with additional insights on Christ's identity as Yahweh. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament that dates prior to the birth of Christ. It renders the Hebrew phrase for `I AM' (God's name) in Exodus 3:14 as ego eimi. On a number of occasions in the Greek New Testament, Jesus used this term as a way of identifying Himself as God. For example, in John 8:24 (NASB) Jesus declared, `Unless you believe that I am [I AM or ego eimi] He, you shall die in your sins.' The original Greek text for this verse does not have the word he. The verse is literally, `If you do not believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins.' Then, according to verse 28, Jesus told the Jews, `When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [I AM, or ego eimi] He.' Again, the original Greek text reads, `When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM' (there is no he). Jesus purposely used the phrase as a means of pointing to His identity as Yahweh." (Rhodes, R., 1993, "Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses," Harvest House: Eugene OR, Reprinted, 2006, pp.63-64. Emphasis original).
"JESUS' IDENTITY WITH YAHWEH/JEHOVAH The NT attributes to Jesus many of the perfections of Yahweh (or, Jehovah), the creator/redeemer God of the OT. .... Another link is provided by self-designations of God appropriated by Jesus or referred to him. Supremely significant is the I AM (Ex. 3:14; cf. Jn. 8:58; 6:35; 8:12,24; 11:25; 14:6; 18:5f.; Mk. 14:62)." (Milne, B., 1982, "Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief," Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Fifth printing, 1988, p.129. Emphasis original).
"Jesus Claimed to Be Yahweh. Yahweh (YHWH; sometimes appearing in English translations as `Jehovah' or in small capital letters as `LORD') is the special name given by God for himself in the Old Testament. It is the name revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14, when God said, `I AM WHO I AM.' ... Perhaps the strongest claim Jesus made to be Yahweh is in John 8:58, where he says, `Before Abraham was, I am.' This statement claims not only existence before Abraham, but equality with the `I AM' of Exodus 3:14. The Jews around him clearly understood his meaning and picked up stones to kill him for blaspheming (cf. John 8:58 and 10:31-33). The same claim is made in Mark 14:62 and John 18:5-6." (Geisler, N.L., 1999, "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, p.129. Emphasis original).
"Jesus literally said to them, `I AM Jehovah' (I AM), and it is clear that they understood Him to mean just that; for they attempted, as the next verse reveals, to stone Him. ... [for] blasphemy":
"John 8:58, `Jesus said unto them ... Before Abraham was [born], I am' (KJV). In comparing this with the Septuagint translation of Exodus 3:14 and Isaiah 43:10-13, we find that the translation is identical. In Exodus 3:14, Jehovah, speaking to Moses, said, `I AM,' which is synonymous with God. Jesus literally said to them, `I AM Jehovah' (I AM), and it is clear that they understood Him to mean just that; for they attempted, as the next verse [Jn 8:59] reveals, to stone Him. ... [for] blasphemy." (Martin, W.R. & Klann, N., 1953, "Jehovah of the Watchtower," Bethany House Publishers: Bloomington MN, Reprinted, 1981, p.52).
But "... the closest Old Testament antecedent to John 8:58 is to be found in the Isaianic `I am' sayings. ... the conclusion cannot be avoided that Jesus was claiming to be Yahweh":
"Jesus as Jehovah in John 8:58 Among biblical scholars a growing consensus has formed behind the opinion that John 8:58 deliberately echoes Yahweh's `I am' statements in Isaiah 40-55. The NWT obscures the parallels in Isaiah by rendering them `I am the same One' or `I am the same'; but the Hebrew in each case reads simply ANI.HU (literally, `I [am] he'), which the LXX renders as ego eimi (Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 46:4; 52:6; compare with Deut. 32:39). There is evidence, moreover, to show that in the Judaism of Jesus day these words were sometimes used as substitutes for the divine name Yahweh itself, in particular at the Feast of Tabernacles, which from John 7:2 was apparently the occasion of Christ's `I am' sayings in John 8. This suggests that the reason for the anger of the Jews at Jesus absolute use of the expression ego eimi was that on that occasion his language was instantly recognizable as that of Yahweh. ... Considerations such as these have led most scholars to conclude that the closest Old Testament antecedent to John 8:58 is to be found in the Isaianic `I am' sayings. If this is correct, the conclusion cannot be avoided that Jesus was claiming to be Yahweh. Notable in this light is Isaiah 45:18, where God says, `I am Yahweh' (Hebrew, ANI HU YHWH), and the LXX translates simply by the predicate absolute ego eimi. " (Bowman, R.M., Jr., 1989, "The Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Reprinted, 1995, pp.120-121. Emphasis original).
1Cor 10:4. "and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ."
Ex 17:5-6. "And the LORD said to Moses, `Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.' And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel."
"Paul places Christ himself in the desert: as the Rock who was with Israel, supplying them with `spiritual water'":
"Christ as Preexistent with Israel On his way toward a final word of prohibition regarding attendance at temple meals ([1Cor ]10:20-22), Paul sets out to establish the Corinthians' spiritual connectedness with biblical Israel, who are seen to have experienced God in a `baptism' and `Lord's Supper' analogous to their own. Thus `our fathers' were `baptized' unto Moses in the cloud and the sea (vv. 1-2), and they too had `spiritual food and drink' in the wilderness-manna and water from the rock (vv, 3-4). But God had not been pleased with them and overthrew them in the desert (v 5), which story is to serve as a warning to the Corinthians (v 6). From there, Paul launches into four specific ways Israel had sinned, which had brought about their demise: idolatry (v. 7); sexual immorality (v 8); testing God (v. 9); and grumbling against God and Moses (v. 10)-all of which sins are being repeated in Corinth. Our present interest is with the two instances where Paul places Christ himself in the desert: as the Rock who was with Israel, supplying them with `spiritual water' (v. 4), and as the one whom Israel thus put to the test (v 9). Both passages reflect not just analogies but, from Paul's perspective, actualities. That is, the same Christ who now supplies the Corinthians with the Spirit, and whom they are testing by going to pagan feasts, had already experienced such `testing' by Israel; and the Israelites had been overthrown in the desert so that they did not reach their goal. It is precisely the presence of Christ in Israel's story that will make all of this work as a warning to the Corinthians." (Fee, G.D., 2007, "Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study," Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody MA, pp.94-95. Emphasis original).
"Despite Christ's supplying Israel with `spiritual' water, they fell in the desert. Paul's point [is] in ... placing the preexistent Christ in Israel's own history":
"1 Corinthians 10:4 In retelling Israel's story, Paul alludes to the double narrative of water from the rock (Exod 17:1-7; Num 20:7-11), and he does so by picking up a rabbinic tradition that `they drank from the (spiritual) rock that followed them.' But he replaces that tradition by interpreting the `spiritual rock' as the presence of Christ himself ... That is, this interpretation is not about how the biblical passage applies in the present but with how the Corinthians are to understand what was actually going on with ancient Israel. ... Paul is insisting that by their idolatrous actions, the Corinthians are in grave danger of repeating Israel's folly. Despite Christ's supplying Israel with `spiritual' water, they fell in the desert. Paul's point in making this association for the church in Corinth-placing the preexistent Christ in Israel's own history-seems clear enough. The Corinthians, too, face the same danger of testing Christ by their idolatry." (Fee, 2007, pp.95,97).
"... and the Rock was Christ'. [1Cor 10:4b] This is an example of ... what A. T. Hanson has called the `real presence' of Christ in Old Testament history":
"When Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians that the Israelites in the wilderness had supernatural food and drink, he has in mind not only the bread from heaven and the water from the rock, but the spiritual and eternal reality to which these pointed. For them, as for the people of God today, Christ was the true source of strength and refreshment: `they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ'. [1Cor 10:4b] This is an example of a further New Testament principle of Old Testament interpretation - what A. T. Hanson has called the `real presence' of Christ in Old Testament history. [Hanson, A.T., "Jesus Christ in the Old Testament," London, 1965, p.7] " (Bruce, F.F., 1968, "This is That: The New Testament Development of Some Old Testament Themes," Paternoster: Exeter UK, p.35).
"Paul ...refers to Christ and sees him as following the Israelites and continually giving them drink. He transfers to Christ the title, 'the Rock', used of Yahweh":
"[1Cor 10:4] When he refers to their spiritual drink Paul adds an explanation, as he did not do with his reference to food. Moses got water from a rock at the beginning and end of the wilderness wanderings (Ex. 17:1-7; Nu. 20:2-13), and this apparently was the origin of a Jewish legend that a rock travelled with the people. Paul may have had this legend at the back of his mind, hut he does not refer to it. He refers to Christ and sees him as following the Israelites and continually giving them drink. He transfers to Christ the title, 'the Rock', used of Yahweh (Dt. 32:15; Ps. 18:2, etc.), a transfer that is significant for Christology, as of course is the clear implication of Christ's pre-existence." (Morris, L.L., 1985, "The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary," The Tyndale New Testament commentaries, , Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Second edition, Reprinted, 1987, pp.139-140).
1Cor 10:9. "We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,"
Num 21:5-6. "And the people spoke against God and against Moses, `Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.' Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died."
"Here, Paul states that some of the Israelites in the wilderness `put Christ to the test,' ...what Paul says here about Christ is what the Old Testament said about the Lord [Jehovah] God: that the Israelites had put him to the test":
"The Israelites and Christ in the Wilderness Paul's rather enigmatic statement about the Israelites in the wilderness probably refers to Christ as having been involved in its earliest history: `For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ' (1 Cor. 10:4). This statement appears to be a reference to Christ's real preexistence ... A few sentences later, Paul warns the Corinthian Christians, `We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents' (v. 9). Here, Paul states that some of the Israelites in the wilderness `put Christ to the test,' and he warns the Corinthians not to make the same mistake. ... Therefore, we should understand Paul to have been affirming that Christ existed during the time of the Israelites' wandering in the wilderness. Moreover, what Paul says here about Christ is what the Old Testament said about the Lord God: that the Israelites had put him to the test (Num. 14:22; 21:5-6; Pss. 78:18-20; 95:9). Once again, the New Testament affirms not only Christ's preexistence but also his divine preexistence." (Bowman, R.M., Jr. & Komoszewski, J.E., 2007, "Putting Jesus In His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ," Kregel: Grand Rapids M, p.95).
"Paul has no qualms in pointing out that the `Lord' whom they are putting to the test is the same Christ whom Israel tested in the desert and that the Israelites were overthrown because of it":
"1 Corinthians 10:9 The second instance where Paul asserts Christ's preexistence is equally striking. .... Paul's original text reads, `Let us not put Christ to the test ... as some of them tested [him] and were destroyed by the snakes.' This is an allusion to the event in Num 21:4-7,37 where Israel complained against God and Moses about the length, nature, and provisions of their long stay in the wilderness. Although the Numbers text does not have the verb ekpeirazo (put to the test), it does occur in the poetry of Ps 78:18, which refers to the similar events recorded in Num 14, 16, 20. Paul's use of this verb seems to be a deliberate echo of the Septuagint of Deut 6:16, `You shall not put the LORD your God to the test as you put him to the test at Peirasmos' ... As with v. 4, Paul's point in context seems clear. By insisting on their `right' ... to go to the temple meals (see 8:9-10), the Corinthian believers are putting Christ himself to the test, as Paul concludes in 10:21- 22. Thus he is once more tying the situations of Israel and of the Corinthians together christologically. Paul has no qualms in pointing out that the `Lord' whom they are putting to the test is the same Christ whom Israel tested in the desert and that the Israelites were overthrown because of it." (Fee, 2007, pp.97-98. Emphasis original. My transliteration).
(4) Jesus is Jehovah who saved a people out of Egypt and destroyed those who did not believe in Him (Jude 5; Ex 12:51; 13:21; Num 14:20-24; Dt 1:34-39)
Jude 1:5. "Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe."
"...the remarkable statement in the Epistle of Jude, `that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those who did not believe' [Jude 5]
"Another [example of ... what A. T. Hanson has called the `real presence' of Christ in Old Testament history. [Hanson, A.T., "Jesus Christ in the Old Testament," London, 1965, p.7] is the remarkable statement in the Epistle of Jude, `that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those who did not believe' [Jude 5] True, the name `Jesus' is not read in all forms of the text: in its place some authorities read `the Lord', others `God' and yet others, giving us no name at all, read `he who saved...' .... But the principle that the more difficult reading is to be preferred points to `Jesus' as the original, and indeed the variety of other readings can best be explained as substitutions for `Jesus'. `Jesus' in this context cannot be understood as the Greek form of Joshua (as in Acts 7:45; Heb 4:8), for Joshua neither led Israel out of Egypt nor destroyed the unbelievers in the wilderness. It was Moses who led his people out of Egypt, but Moses did so under superior leadership. It was the Lord who `brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts', [Ex 12:51] it was the Lord who `went before them', [Ex 13:21] and it was by the decree of the Lord that the `evil generation' that came out of Egypt died in the wilderness [Num 14:20 ff.; Deut. 1:34 ff]. While Yahweh stands in the Hebrew text, the Greek version used by Jude, as by other New Testament writers, had Kyrios in its place, and for Greek-speaking Christians to whom Jesus was the kyrios or Lord par excellence it was an easy matter to understand Kyrios in the Greek Old Testament to refer to Him." (Bruce, 1968, pp.35-36).. Emphasis original).
"So it is ... virtually certain that it is to Jesus, in his preincarnate state as the Yahweh of the Old Testament, that he [Jude] ascribes, first, the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and then the destruction of those within the nation who rebelled ...":
"But there is still more that Jude implies about Jesus. For in addition to the six direct references to Jesus by name, there is sound reason to think that he may well have had Jesus in mind when he refers to `the Lord' in verses 5 and 14. ... In the former verse (vs 5), apart from the fact that `Jesus' may well be the original reading instead of `Lord,' [Bruce M. Metzger... affirm[s] that `Critical principles seem to require the adoption of ... Iesous, [Jesus] which admittedly is the best attested reading among Greek and versional witnesses ... and some significant church fathers] even with the reading `the Lord,' there is every reason to believe that Jesus may still have been Jude's intended referent. Consider the following facts. First, there is no question that Jude employed `Lord' to refer to Jesus four times (vss 4, 17, 21, 25). Second, we have just seen that the almost certain referent of `Lord' in verse 14 is Jesus. And third, this occurrence of `Lord' in verse 5 comes hard on the heels of Jude's certain reference to Jesus in the immediately preceding verse as `our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.' So it is not only possible but also virtually certain that it is to Jesus, in his preincarnate state as the Yahweh of the Old Testament, that he ascribes, first, the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and then the destruction of those within the nation who rebelled; second, the judgment of the angels at the time of their primeval fall; and third, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And if all this is true, Jude was clearly thinking of Jesus Christ in terms that encompass the Old Testament Deity." (Reymond, R.L., 2003, "Jesus, Divine Messiah: The New and Old Testament Witness," , Mentor: Fearn UK, p.484).
"Also, whether the original reading in Jude 5 referred to `Jesus' or `the Lord,' ... this verse likewise portrays the preincarnate Jesus rescuing Israel from Egypt":
"In fact, the conviction that one could find Old Testament passages in which the preincarnate Jesus was manifested is reflected in first-century Christian texts. Most obviously, of course, the New Testament references to Jesus as the one through whom God created all things (1 Cor. 8:4-6; John 1:1-2; Col. 1:15-17) all reflect such a reading of Old Testament statements about the creation of the world. Furthermore, Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 10:4 that the rock from which Israel drank in their wilderness trek `was Christ' must surely be taken as asserting that in his preincarnate mode Jesus was the divine figure who engaged Israel in the Exodus narrative. Also, whether the original reading in Jude 5 referred to `Jesus' or `the Lord,' it is a good bet that this verse likewise portrays the preincarnate Jesus rescuing Israel from Egypt. Further, as we noted in an earlier chapter, John 12:41 asserts that the divine figure seen by the prophet in Isaiah 6:1 was `the Lord' Jesus. These references to passages in Exodus and Isaiah exhibit first-century christological interpretations of Old Testament theophanic passages." (Hurtado, L.W., 2005, "Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, pp.576-577).
My next post in this series is part #7, "2C. Jehovah promised that He would come to Jerusalem in Person."
Stephen E. Jones, BSc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & The Shroud of Turin