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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Heb. 1:3 / Isa. 42:8 Does Jesus really share Jehovah's Glory?

Is. 42:8 - "I am the LORD [Jehovah - ASV]: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images" - KJV.

Heb. 1:3 - "[Jesus] being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person...sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" - KJV.

After quoting the above two verses, some trinitarians will claim that they prove that Jesus is Jehovah. They claim that if Jehovah will not share his glory with anyone else, then Jesus must be Jehovah because he shares Jehovah's glory.

Well, first we should note that others have "shared" or reflected Jehovah's glory. For example, the angel at Luke 2:9 appeared with "the glory of the Lord." God was not physically present, but the angel He personally sent to represent him was there with God's reflected glory to identify him as being from God and representing God. This particular angel was not even Jesus since Jesus had already been born on earth (verse 11). We see a similar thing at Rev. 21:10, 11 where the city of holy Jerusalem has descended from God and has the glory of God! That is how it can be identified as being from God: It has the glory of God!

Why, even some Christians will reflect God's glory: 2 Cor. 3:7-18. And Jesus himself said that the glory which the Father had given him he had also given to his followers! - John 17:22.

So it certainly appears that God allows his glory to be with others who represent him as a sign of the authority He has given them and who do not represent that glory as being their very own.

But there is something else that makes the trinitarian argument incredibly poor (if not downright dishonest). That is the actual meaning of "glory." You see, "glory" meant, even as it does today, two different things. Often it meant "honor" or "praise" which a person has earned. On occasion, however, the same word meant the visible, brilliant light radiating from something or someone.

So we can see that Isaiah also uses this meaning at Is. 60:1-3 where "shine," "light," "brightness" are used in conjunction with God's "glory" and that glory (`kaw-bode' in the Hebrew) will be seen. We find this same meaning at Acts 7:55 (where the glory was seen), Luke 2:9 (where the glory 'shone' all around them). Obviously, a visible light-radiating type of glory is intended at these places.

But at Is. 42:12 and 43:7 we can see that the same Hebrew word "kaw-bode" clearly means "honor" or "praise." In fact, that same Hebrew word ("kaw-bode") is even translated as "honour" at Ps. 66:2 (and 30 other places in the KJV).

Even today in modern English we have those same two meanings for "glory."

(1) "Praise, honor, or distinction accorded by common consent; renown," and (2) "Brilliancy; splendor." - Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, ("Glory").

For example, we might say that the Nobel Prize winner did not want to share the glory with another scientist who had merely copied some of his scientific work. "Glory" in this sense is not a visible brightness or radiance he gives off but the recognition, honor, and praise he will receive. The glory of a beautiful sunset, however, is a visual brightness or beauty which others receive or observe.

So which meaning was intended at Is. 42:8? (1) A shining visible "glory" given off by someone or (2) "praise" and "honor" owed to someone?

Well we can see from how it's used at Is. 42:8 that it clearly means "praise" or "honor" - "I am [Jehovah]: that is my name [see Ps. 83:18] and my glory [`kaw-bode'] will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." This style of writing is very common in the Holy Scriptures. It is called parallelism because similar (or parallel) meanings are written (in different words) beside each other.

For example: the familiar verse at Is. 9:6 begins "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." You can easily see that the second clause ("unto us a son is given") is parallel (similar in meaning) to the first clause ("unto us a child is born").

We can see, then, that the entire verse at Is. 42:8 is about the honor that is due God alone. Jehovah starts the verse by declaring his name (to which he has said honor is due forever - Ps. 83:18; Ps. 86:9; Ps. 113:1-3; Ps. 145:21; Ezek. 39:6, 7). He then follows that with the parallelism: (1) "my glory [`kaw-bode'] I will not give to another" and (2) "neither my praise to graven images." Clearly the word "glory" (paralleled by "praise" in the next statement of this verse) here means "praise" or "honor." - see Is. 42:12, 17.

And just as clearly, we can see that the word "glory" at Heb. 1:3 means the visible radiance given off by him (as with the angel of Luke 2:9 who reflected God's glory). - see Heb. 1:3 in TEV, NIV. In fact, some modern trinitarian Bibles even translate Heb. 1:3 as "He reflects the glory of God" - RSV (compare NAB; MLB; GNB; and Moffatt's translation).

Therefore, if God said "I shall not share the praise or honor due me" at Is. 42:8, what kind of "evidence" is it to point out that Jesus reflects God's visible radiance at Heb. 1:3?


aservantofJEHOVAH said...

further evidence of the intellectual dishonesty
of trinitarian apologists(as if more were needed)

internet said...

compare Hebrews 3:3 (NWT)
For [Jesus] is counted worthy of more glory [Gk. doxhs] than Moses, inasmuch as he who constructs it has more honor than the house.

That shuts the Trinitarian "argument" down right there (as Heb 1:1 does to Isa 44:24)

Anonymous said...

."..deliberate alteration of the New Testament
were the interests of the Trinity dogma."
-the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics

Anonymous said...

I would just point out too that Isaiah 42:8 is also specific about to whom Jehovah would not share or give his glory/praise — namely “graven images”. In that specific context, it may further be argued that Jehovah does share or give glory/praise to others, like his Son, and even faithful Christians, but then they aren’t “graven images” “something made by human hands”. - Deuteronomy 4:28
Though they are “images” of a sort. Of course, that wouldn’t necessarily mean God shares his glory/praise with them as being “God Almighty” or “the Creator” but perhaps in other ways. As an example, John 5:22, 23. Perhaps honoring the Son as an appointed judge by God is a sort of praise given to the Son too? - Revelation 5:13 seems to show joint praise of “the One sitting on the throne (God) and to the Lamb (Christ)”. Though any praise or honor given are for very different reasons. Jehovah God is worthy to receive it because he “created all things”. - Revelation 4:11
The lamb (Jesus Christ) is worthy to receive it because he “was slaughtered” and “bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God.” - Revelation 5:9, 10, 12
I’m not aware of any “graven images” “made by human hands” ever doing anything like that.
Also, Philippians 2:11 simply states what is done to or through the Son is “to the glory of God the Father”. So, not sure why Jehovah wouldn’t necessarily share some aspects of praise and honor to his Son. Especially since we have Psalm 84:11 appearing to lay some possibility for that. But maybe that’s a stretch. I’m any case, it wouldn’t make Jesus God or God a trinity of persons.