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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Isaiah 6

questions and claims


Who is God? Who is the Father? Who is YHWH? Who is the Lord? Who is Yeshua? Who is Jesus? Who is the Holy Spirit? Who is the Son of God? Who is the LORD?


Self-described Unitarians, Trinitarians and Jehovah’s’ Witnesses make claims concerning God.
Each one purports to have a vastly different and correct understanding of God. Each one draws up an array of Old and New Testament Bible texts to support their claims. Additionally, there are the original Hebrew language terms.  Lastly, there is the abundance of scholars to corroborate their claims.

What none of them seem to notice is what they share in common. What they share in common is the same focus and understanding on what is arguably the cornerstone pronouncement by God about himself through his servant Moses; the Lord is our God, the Lord is one as it appears in Deuteronomy 6:4.


Every one of these seemingly different views which purport to reveal a true understanding of God ascribes a numeric, quantitative value to the expression in the passage. Every one of them, including Muslims, cite or quote the passage __ in isolation.


Some Christians point to the quotation of the Shema by Jesus in Mark 12. They check-mark it up as the endorsement by Jesus of what they claim is their view. Yet, strange as it may seem two different views which associate their claims with the Shema either label themselves or are labeled at opposite ends of the spectrum as polytheist or monotheist. Here is my article on that particular aspect of the discussion on the God who is one.


a query


I prefer for the reader or seeker to examine the text and struggle to understand, to determine, to accept, and to declare what they have understood from the passage on their own. I have encouraged individuals and groups of these seemingly different views to take up their own preferred Bible version in their preferred language and read the entire chapter passages of Isaiah 6 and John 12 with these two questions in mind.


  1. According to the scriptures whom did Isaiah see in Isaiah 6?
  2. According to the scriptures whom did Isaiah see in John 12?


The reason for the similar questions, without any suggestion, opinion or interpretation on my part is that the passage from Isaiah appears in the gospel according to John.


The vision in the sixth chapter of the book of Isaiah presents us with some peculiar and daunting challenges. The former because of the seemingly peculiar word choices, such as between Lord and LORD, as appear in the English text; the latter because it exposes the insufficiency of the convoluted, much touted theological conflations often presented, though not necessarily articulated for the edification of the saints by unitarians and trinitarians.


It is noted by some saints that Isaiah merely thought he saw God, the Lord or the LORD. My daughter's teen-speak would state that Isaiah saw, not God, but God God. It is the conclusion of some saints that, in fact, Isaiah was mistaken. Some attempt to clarify whom Isaiah saw by informing the saints on the differences between Lord and LORD and that Isaiah thought he saw the LORD LORD [bear with my teen-speak] when in fact he saw the Lord Lord. Even beyond these word and name/label terms (upper and lower case having no significance) to refer to the one whom Isaiah saw there are the purists as much from the Hebrew as from the English language to tell us it was YHWH, or, Jehovah. Lastly, there is the insertion of terms in the form of names, such as Jesus, titles, such as, Father or labels, such as, Trinity into the text all of which accomplish a greater muddling of the waters.


I encourage you to take up your preferred, favorite version or translation of the scriptures in whatever language you prefer to read. The point for our understanding is there. It is not obscured by God or the revelation of his word. His word will accomplish his will. It is there for all who read it and understand it hopefully. You can check for yourself and see if these things are not so.


Isaiah 6


VERSE ONE: Let us just suppose for a moment that Isaiah was mistaken about the entity which he declares that he saw in verse one.


VERSE THREE: A second term, and one different than the one Isaiah used in verse one, which appears in the text in verse three and is used by the Seraphim presumably would be the term which would correct Isaiah’s mistake about whom he thought he saw.


VERSE FIVE: Subsequently, Isaiah resorts to using the term which the Seraphim has used and Isaiah uses it himself in verse five.


VERSE EIGHT: When Isaiah reverts to referring to the entity which he claims to have seen in verse one with the same term as in verse one he is not admonished or corrected by the Seraphim.


VERSE ELEVEN: Isaiah repeats his use of the same term from verse one and verse eight in verse eleven without any admonition or correction by the Seraphim.


VERSE TWELVE: Furthermore, the Seraphim uses the same term in verse twelve as used by Isaiah in verse one and verse eight to refer to the entity.


Does this seem to you as though Isaiah was mistaken about whom he thought he saw, whom he saw and whom the Seraphim identifies as the entity Isaiah saw, - as being anything but one and the same entity?


conclusion


I hope you have read the chapter passages in your preferred Hebrew or English version/translation with Lord  or LORD or YHWH or Jehovah. Except for my use of the term entity, akin to tongs taking hold of a burning coal, all the way through the handling of this message I have not interjected or otherwise inserted any words, titles, names and labels, but I leave it for you to read whatever appears in your preferred text of the word of God for your understanding. Similar to plugging in titles, names and labels merely using a Hebrew language term to refer to elements in the Isaiah passage and the Greek language in the John 12 passage does absolutely nothing and it says nothing about what we have understood.

When you contemplate and reflect on what you read in Isaiah 6 then you can read it a second time in John 12 to contemplate, reflect and understand. Did you notice the similar reaction of the people as noted in the two passages? Is your reaction the same or different? Whether or not we accept the conclusion of our contemplation as to whom Isaiah saw is one thing. Our response in confidence and joy is another thing. Yes, John notes that Isaiah saw his glory (John 12:41) and although I have read some extremely wide range speculations as to several possibilities as to just what that glory might have been the glory is inseparable from the Lord who possesses that glory. In other words, Isaiah saw the glory and the Lord.

Jesus said he would be a liar if he said he did not know the Father. The saints in Christ would be liars if we did not declare that we know Jesus. We know the Father. We know the Holy Spirit. We know the one whom Isaiah saw, and if you can discern it and have ears to hear; we have seen the one whom Isaiah saw. Remember, Jesus praised the Father for those things which he revealed, not to the Sadducees, scribes and Pharisees, but to infants. (Matthew 11:25) If the Father through the work of his Holy Spirit in you has given insight and understanding in what you have read; rejoice and be glad. Do not be afraid to declare it.

We understand, we proclaim, we know and we love with all our heart, mind, soul and strength the God who is one. Let not your heart be troubled. Let no man trouble your heart. Be of good cheer in Jesus, the Son of God; our Lord and Savior.

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