Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Is Jesus God’s Servant or Son?

More Evidence of Biblical Corruption? Pt. 5

Sam Shamoun

We now come to the fifth part of our discussion.


The Servant sits on Yahweh’s throne

The prophet Isaiah declares that the Servant would be highly exalted and glorified after offering his life as a sacrifice for sins:

“Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.” Isaiah 52:13

Here is how the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible renders this text:

“Behold, my servant shall understand, and be exalted, and glorified (kai hypsothesetai kai doxasthesetai), and raised on high exceedingly.” Isaiah 52:13 LXX

What makes this rather astonishing is that the prophet uses the very same terms to describe the Servant’s exaltation that he does when speaking of Yahweh’s exalted status an enthronement over creation!

Note the following examples:

“And it came to pass in the year in which king Ozias died, that I saw the Lord sitting on a high (hypselou) and exalted throne, and the house was full of his glory (tes doxes autou). And seraphs stood round about him: each one had six wings: and with two they covered their face, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one cried to the other, and they said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory (tes doxes autou). And the lintel shook at the voice they uttered, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said, Woe is me, for I am pricked to the heart; for being a man, and having unclean lips, I dwell in the midst of a people having unclean lips; and I have seen with mine eyes the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5 LXX


Thus saith the Lord Most High, who dwells on high for ever, Holy in the holies, is his name (hagios en hagiois onoma auto), the Lord Most High resting in the holies, and giving patience to the faint-hearted, and giving life to the broken-hearted:” Isaiah 57:15 LXX

Isaiah sees Yahweh seated on a high and exalted throne since he is the Holy One who dwells in a high place. Again:

The God who dwells on high (hypselois) is holy: Sion is filled with judgment and righteousness… Now will I arise (anastesomai), saith the Lord, now will I be glorified (doxasthesomai); now will I be exalted (hypsothesomai).” Isaiah 33:5, 10 LXX

The God that dwells on high shall arise in order to be glorified and exalted.

What makes the Servant’s glorification and exaltation so shocking is that Isaiah clearly proclaimed that Yahweh alone shall be exalted, with everyone else being humbled in his presence:

For the eyes of the Lord are high (hypseloi), but man is low; and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low, and the Lord ALONE shall be exalted (hypsothesetai) in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and haughty, and upon every one that is high and towering, and they shall be brought down; and upon every cedar of Libanus, of them that are high and towering, and upon every oak of Basan, and upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, and upon every high tower, and upon every high wall, and upon every ship of the sea, and upon every display of fine ships. And every man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall fall: and the Lord ALONE shall be exalted (hypsothesetai) in that day.” Isaiah 2:11-17 LXX

Just as shocking is the fact the Apostle Peter uses the very same words that Isaiah does in these texts to describe Jesus being raised and exalted to sit enthroned at God’s heavenly right hand as sovereign Lord!

“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up (anestesen), and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted (hypsotheis) at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Acts 2:29-36

Peter even speaks of God having glorified Jesus whom the Jews had killed, even though he is the Holy and Righteous One who is the Author of Life:

“The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified (edoxasen) his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One (hagion kai dikaion), and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” Acts 3:13-15

It is obvious that Peter is not only alluding to Isaiah 52:13 but also to the Isaiah 53:11 where the Servant is called the Righteous or Just One:

“the Lord also is pleased to take away from the travail of his soul, to shew him light, and to form [him] with understanding; to justify the just one (dikaion) who serves many well; and he shall bear their sins.” LXX 

What this shows is that Jesus for Peter wasn’t just God’s Servant, but also the Lord God who arises from the dead in order to glorify and highly exalt himself over creation!


The Servant is the Arm of Yahweh

The prophet Isaiah uses the term “Arm of Yahweh” to refer to the power that God wields when he has decided to do something by himself. Here are a few examples:

“The LORD will cause people to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.” Isaiah 30:30

My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm… Awake, awake, arm of the LORD, clothe yourself with strength! Awake, as in days gone by, as in generations of old. Was it not YOU who cut Rahab to pieces, who pierced that monster through? Was it not YOU who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over?” Isaiah 51:5, 9-10

“Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? ‘It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save.’ Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress ALONE; from the nations NO ONE with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come. I looked, but there was NO ONE to help, I was appalled that NO ONE gave support; so MY OWN ARM achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.” Isaiah 63:1-6 – cf. 59:15b-21

It is clear from these passages that the Arm of Yahweh refers to God himself carrying out a specific action in his own power without the help of any creature. It is therefore astonishing to find Isaiah referring to the Servant as the Arm of Yahweh that brings salvation to the nations!

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD will lay bare HIS HOLY ARM in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the LORD’s house. But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guardWho has believed our message and to whom has THE ARM OF THE LORD been revealed? HE grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. HE had no beauty or majesty to attract us to HIM, nothing in his appearance that we should desire HIM.” Isaiah 52:7-53:1-2

Here we see the Servant being identified as the very Arm that Yahweh bares for all the nations to behold, the One who grows up before Yahweh as a tender shoot and who brings God’s salvation to the ends of earth.(1)

Yet the only way that the Servant can be called Yahweh’s own Arm is if the prophet believed that the Servant was both distinct from and yet, at the same time, identical to God. In other words, the Servant as Yahweh’s Arm must be an intrinsic aspect of Yahweh’s own Being, and must therefore fully possess the very nature of God. Otherwise, this Servant could never be referred to as the Arm of Yahweh.

This brings us to the final part of our rebuttal.



(1) Amazingly, the book of Revelation takes the depiction of Isaiah 63:1-6, where Yahweh is described as wearing a robe dipped in the blood of his enemies which he alone trampled under his feet in the winepress of his wrath, and applies it to Christ!

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-21

Now the only way that the inspired author could describe Jesus in this manner is if he believed that the risen Lord is the Arm of Yahweh, and therefore Yahweh God Incarnate!