A Series of Answers to Common Questions

Sam Shamoun


Christians argue that Jesus is God since he is said to be the Savior whereas the OT says Yahweh is the only Savior (cf. Isaiah 43:11; 45:21; Hosea 13:4). This argument overlooks the fact that although Yahweh is the only Savior he does use agents to accomplish his purposes. For instance, the Old Testament says that Yahweh used an Israelite named Othniel to deliver his people Israel. He is even called savior! (Cf. Judges 3:9; Obadiah 1:21) This shows that when it says that Yahweh is the only Savior it really means that he is the only Source of salvation without this implying that others cannot be used by God to bring salvation. In light of this, how does calling Jesus the Savior prove that he is God especially when he was an agent used by God?


Here are the specific texts that say there are no other saviors besides Yahweh:

"‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me.’" Isaiah 43:10-11

"Yet I have been the LORD your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me." Hosea 13:4

But as the question itself shows, there are others who are called saviors without this making them Divine or gods:

"And the anger of Jehovah burneth against Israel, and He selleth them into the hand of Chushan-Rishathaim king of Aram-Naharaim, and the sons of Israel serve Chushan-Rishathaim eight years; and the sons of Israel cry unto Jehovah, and Jehovah raiseth a saviour to the sons of Israel, and he saveth them -- Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother;" Judges 3:8-9 Young’s Literal Translation

"Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s." Obadiah 1:21 RSV

The problem with this comparison is that it overlooks the crucial differences between Jesus being called Savior and these others who are thus called. In the first place, God used these human beings to procure Israel’s redemption from their enemies, that they were sent to free Israel from oppression. They were not sent to redeem Israel from their sins or to grant them eternal life, something which God alone can do.

Second, just as the question rightly inferred, the OT Scriptures emphatically teach that salvation belongs to and originates from Yahweh:

"Salvation belongs to the LORD; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah." Psalm 3:8

"But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the LORD." Jonah 2:9

Yet this is where the proof for the Deity of Christ comes into the picture. The New Testament says that salvation belongs to and originates from the Lord Jesus as well:

"and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’" Revelation 7:10

Moreover, the Hebrews Scriptures state that Yahweh redeemed his people from their sins in order to make them his very own possession:

"Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;" Exodus 19:5

"For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth." Deuteronomy 7:6; cf. 14:2; 26:18

"O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities." Psalm 130:7-8

"They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God." Ezekiel 37:23

Yet the NT teaches that the Lord Jesus did the same thing that Yahweh did, e.g. Christ came to redeem his people from their sins so as to make them his very own inheritance:

"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

"awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds." Titus 2:13-14 RSV

Finally, the prophets announced that believers will find their vindication and sanctification in Yahweh alone, the One to whom every knee must bend:

"Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of Me, ‘Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength’ Men will come to Him, And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel Will be justified and will glory." Isaiah 45:21-25

Once again, the NT ascribes specific functions to Jesus which the OT says belongs only to Yahweh:

"But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption," 1 Corinthians 1:30

"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11 RSV

The foregoing makes one point clear. Jesus isn’t in the same category of saviors such as Othniel, since he isn’t simply a human agent which God used to accomplish the specific purpose of delivering Israel militarily from their enemies. Rather, Jesus is the very Source of salvation whom the Father sent to do what God alone can do: purify a people from their sins by his holy and undefiled blood, procuring eternal redemption through his perfect obedience and sacrifice for all who believe in him:

"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." Hebrews 7:11-15

"By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins… We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." 1 John 4:9-10, 14

In light of the above it is not surprising to discover that the NT documents emphatically proclaim that the Lord Jesus is the Author of life, the very Source of eternal salvation, our great God and Savior:

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." John 1:4

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." John 6:37-40

"Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day. Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.’" John 11:23-27

"But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed THE AUTHOR of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses." Acts 3:14-15 RSV

"For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect THE AUTHOR of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren," Hebrews 2:10-11

"Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became THE SOURCE of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchiz'edek." Hebrews 5:8-10 RSV

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, THE AUTHOR and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

"Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:" 2 Peter 1:1

To put it in a form of a syllogism:

  1. Yahweh God alone is the Source of salvation and life.
  2. Jesus is the Source of salvation and life.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is Yahweh God.

All scriptural quotations taken from the New American Standard Version of the Holy Bible (NASB), unless noted otherwise.

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