Isaiah 9:6

From BelieveTheSign

Isaiah 9:6 states:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [1]

Why is Jesus called “the everlasting Father” if He is the Son of God?

John Wesley stated in regard to Isaiah 9:6 that the wording is not "the everlasting Father" in hebrew ; but the Father or Author of eternity.[2]

The Everlasting Father

The orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one Essence in three Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, Isaiah 9:6 calls the Messiah “the everlasting Father.” How can Jesus be both the Father and the Son?

Solution

This verse is not a Trinitarian formula that calls Jesus Christ the Father. Actually, it is easier to grasp the idea when the phrase is rendered literally into English, “Father of eternity.” The first part of verse six makes reference to the incarnation of Jesus. The part that lists the names by which He is called expresses His relationship to His people. He is to us the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace. Considered in this way, we see that Jesus is the One who gives us eternal life. By His death, burial, and resurrection, He has brought life and immortality to light. Truly, He is the Father of eternity for His people. The name “Father of eternity” indicates that, as a loving father provides for His children, so Jesus loves us and has provided for us by giving us everlasting life.[3]

Is the Son also the Father

Does Isaiah 9:6 indicate that the Son of God is also God the Father, thereby showing that the doctrine of the Trinity is false, as Oneness Pentecostals believe?

Message misinterpretation

The orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, Isaiah 9:6 calls the Messiah “everlasting Father.” How can Jesus be both the Father and the Son? Oneness Pentecostals often cite this verse in attempting to prove that the Son of God is also God the Father, thereby attempting to disprove the doctrine of the Trinity (Sabin, see Boyd, 1992, 32).

Correcting the misinterpretation

It is important to understand that, in view of the fact that Scripture interprets Scripture, the Father is considered by Jesus as someone other than himself more than 200 times in the New Testament. And more than 50 times in the New Testament the Father and Son are seen to be distinct within the same verse (see, for example, Rom. 15:6; 2 Cor. 1:3–4; Gal. 1:3; Phil. 2:10–11; 1 John 2:1; and 2 John 3). Since the Word of God does not contradict itself, these facts must be kept in mind when we interpret Isaiah 9:6.

Second, the phrase in question is better rendered into English, “Father of eternity.” In reference to Jesus this phrase can mean several things:

Some believe the phrase is used here in accordance with the Hebrew mindset that says that he who possesses a thing is called the father of it. For example, the father of knowledge means “intelligent,” and the father of glory means “glorious.” According to this common usage, the meaning of Father of eternity in Isaiah 9:6 is “eternal.” Christ as the “Father of eternity” is an eternal being.

A second view suggests that the first part of verse six makes reference to the incarnation of Jesus. The part that lists the names by which he is called expresses his relationship to his people. He is to us the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace.

In this sense of the word Father, Jesus is a provider of eternal life. By his death, burial, and resurrection, he has brought life and immortality to light (2 Tim. 1:10). Truly, he is the Father or provider of eternity for his people.

Does "Mighty God" indicate that Jesus is a lesser God?=

Jehovah's Witnesses argue that the reference to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 as “Mighty God” indicates that Jesus is a lesser God than God the Father?

Misinterpretation

Jehovah’s Witnesses generally agree that Jesus is a “Mighty God,” as Isaiah 9:6 indicates, but they say he is not God Almighty like Jehovah is. Does the fact that Jesus is referred to as a “Mighty God” indicate he is a lesser God than the Father[4]?

Correcting the Misinterpretation

The folly of the Watchtower position is at once evident in the fact that Jehovah himself is called a “Mighty God” in the very next chapter of Isaiah (10:21). That both Jehovah and Jesus are called “Mighty God” in the same book within the same section demonstrates their equality.

A good cross-reference is Isaiah 40:3, where Jesus is prophetically called both “Mighty God” (Elohim) and Jehovah (Yahweh): “A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the LORD [Yahweh] in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God [Elohim]’ ” (NASB; cf. John 1:23). Clearly Jesus is not a lesser God than the Father.[5]

Quotes of William Branham

So, you see, God made both egg and germ, He created both in the womb of Mary. And that Man was not nothing but God Himself made flesh and dwelt among us, Emmanuel, not just a fine man, a prophet; He was fine Man and Prophet; not a teacher, a theologian. Oh, He might--He might have been all of that; He was all in all. But above all that, He was God Himself. The Bible said, "We are saved by the Blood of God." God Himself, not a third person or a second person. The Person, God Himself, great Jehovah, overshadowed Mary; and the Creator, and created both the blood cell, the life, and also the egg.

If you can get a Jew to see that, you, he knows who the Messiah is. When that John Ryan was healed up there at Benton Harbor, been blind for forty years. That rabbi asked me, he said, I had an interview with him, he said, "You can't cut God in three pieces and give Him to a Jew."

I said, "Some of them does. But we don't cut God in three pieces." I said, "Do you believe the prophets?" "Certainly, I believe the prophets," he said.

I said, "Who did Isaiah speak of, Isaiah 9: 6, 'unto us a Child is born'?" He said, "Why, it was the Messiah."

I said, "What relationship will Messiah be to God?" That done it. I said now... He said, "He'll be God."

I said, "Exactly right. 'His Name shall be called Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.'"

There is where the oneness missed it, there is where the trinity missed it, both sides of the road. But the happy medium is right in between. If God could be His Own Father, if Jesus was His Own Father, He couldn't be. And if He had another Father besides God, and the Bible said the "Holy Ghost" was His Father, and if they're two different spirits, He was an illegitimate child. That's right. Which was the Father of Him, God or the Holy Ghost? You say one and watch how embarrassed you're going to get. God was His Father. Is that right?[6]


Footnotes

  1. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Is 9:6.
  2. John Wesley, The Works of John Wesley, Third Edition, vol. 2 (London: Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1872), 352.
  3. Norman L. Geisler and Thomas A. Howe, When Critics Ask : a Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992), 268.
  4. Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1989, 413–14
  5. Norman L. Geisler and Ron Rhodes, When Cultists Ask: a Popular Handbook on Cultic Misinterpretations (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997), 77–79.
  6. THE.SEED.SHALL.NOT.BE.HEIR.WITH.THE.SHUCK_ LA.CA 65-0429B


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