Jehovah Witnesses’ Isaiah 9:6 Sloppiness

For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace(Isaiah 9:6 New World Translation)

If you had a privileged to engage in a conversation with Jehovah Witnesses, then Jesus’ deity, boiling up to a hot topic in the discussion is an inescapable.

When Isaiah 9:6  is introduce, the answer often given by a Jehovah Witness to undermine the deity of Jesus, namely Jesus is not God, in verse 6 is quite sloppy.

“Jesus is Might God” say one of witnesses’ “but not Almighty God which is a name only for Jehovah”. Is this true? Is somehow Jesus being might God in Isaiah 9:6 and not almighty God makes Him less God? Is Might and Almighty “like” a comparison of ability as  powerful and all-powerful, or strong and stronger?

Might God (ēl gibbôr) and Almighty God(ēl shadday)

English translation of these Hebrew words can lead layman to believe that somehow Almighty is somehow superior to might.

Might God (ēl gibbôr)

Gibbôr means warrior, thus the metaphor of el gibbôr denotes God our warrior. In deed gibbôr could also be translated as mighty, strong, powerful and hero.

Almighty God(ēl shadday)

Many scholars believe that Shaddai(Phonetic Pronunciation:shad-dah’ee) is derive from shad Hebrew for “breast”. This metaphor implies God as a satisfying, nourishing and supplying to  Israeli nation as the mother does to her child. El Shaddai thus stand for God our sustained.(some scholars believes shaddai comes from Šadu, an Assyro-babylonian word for “mountain”, thus El Shaddai would stand for God our strength and power)

Jehovah, Might God Isa.10:20-21

And it will certainly occur in that day that those remaining over of Israel and those who have escaped of the house of Jacob will never again support themselves upon the one striking them, and they will certainly support themselves upon Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in trueness. A mere remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God.(Isaiah 10:20-21 New World Translation)

Jehovah is also called el gibbôr(Mighty God) in just one chapter later, that shacks the pillars of Jehovah Witnesses’ argument.

More On Mighty God

the One exercising loving-kindness toward thousands, and repaying the error of the fathers into the bosom of their sons after them, the [true] God, the great One, the mighty One, Jehovah of armies being his name,(Jeremiah 32:18 NWT)

You show faithful love to thousands but lay the fathers’ sins on their sons’ laps after them, great and mighty God whose name is Yahweh of Hosts(Jeremiahs 32:18 HCSB)

More Joshua 22:22, Nehemiah 9:32, Job 36:5 Psalm 50:1

Conclusion

Isaiah 9:6 in deed tells us that Christ Jesus is the coming Conquering God , the Warrior who will bring peace and be the source of eternal life.

Deep Study:

Free Online Material For Bible Study

NET Hebrew-Greek-English Bible

HCSB Hebrew-Greek-English Study Bible

ESV Study Bible

Bible Study Tool

Bible Study Online

More on the Name:

“Almighty God” (El-Shaddai) is the next great title by which God reveals himself to Abraham. The term appears as “El Shaddai” (“Almighty God”) seven times, and standing alone as “Shaddai” (“the Almighty”) 41 times in the Old Testament and 9 times in the New Testament (as Greek pantokratōr; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:15; and 21:22)

Meaning and Etymology of Shaddai (shadday)

The derivation and meaning of Shaddai (shadday) has sparked debate.

“Almighty” is the way the early Greek Septuiagint translators of the Old Testament, understood it. They translated the Hebrew noun shadday with the Greek word pantokratōr — literally “he who holds sway over all things, the ruler of all (from pas, “all” + krateō, “to have power, be master of, rule”). They linked shadday with the verb shādad, “to destroy, overpower.” Thus Shaddai would mean “He who destroys, over powers.”1 This is the traditional meaning adopted by most modern translations. Other possibilities are “Sufficient One”2 and “God of the Mountain”3 or “God of the Steppe.”4 I believe that the traditional understanding as “Almighty” from shādad is probably sound, so I see Shaddai as meaning something like “all mighty, all powerful, omnipotent.”(Dr. Ralph F. Wilson Jesus Walk Bible Series 2)

Names and Titles of God by Ralph F. Wilson

  1. Victor P. Hamilton, shādad, TWOT #2333. Also Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-17 (New International Commentary on the Old Testament; Eerdmans, 1990), pp. 462-463. See also David W. Baker, “God, Names of,” DOTP 361. This meaning is also suggested by the wordplay in Isaiah 13:6, “Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction (shōd) from the Almighty (shadday). John I. Durham (Exodus (Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 3; Nelson, 1987), p. 76-77) acknowledges that the word meaning is uncertain but sees a strong case made by  MacLaurin that “Shaddai’s primary character is one of power and military prowess,” and that for the Hebrews his “predominant characteristic was his covenant-making with men.
  2. “Sufficient One” is an ancient suggestion from Aquila and an ancient Greek translation by Symmachus rendering shadday with the Greek noun hikanos, “sufficient,” taking shadday as the relative particle she “who” + the adjective day, “enough, sufficient.” Hamilton (Genesis, p. 462) cites Babylonian Talmud, Hagigah 12a.
  3. This is a more recent attempt is to connect shadday with the Akkadian word, shadu “mountain.” Hamilton (TWOT #2333) cites studies by Albright (1935) and others. See Frank M Cross, el, TDOT 1:256-257. E.A. Speiser, Genesis (Anchor Bible; Doubleday, 1964), p. 124, sees phonologic difficulties with Albright’s etymology and concludes, “A satisfactory explanation of this term is yet to be proposed….”
Advertisements