In Romans 10, Paul is discussing the Lord Jesus, and in verse 13, he writes (NKJV, emphasis mine):

For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

The reason "LORD" is capitalized by the New King James Version here is that in Joel 2:32, the original verse Paul quotes, the word used is YHWH. Yet Paul uses this verse in reference to Jesus. If the subject of Joel 2:32 is YHWH/Jehovah, and if Joel 2:32 applies to Jesus (as says Paul), then does Joel 2:32 refer to Jesus as YHWH/Jehovah? Thanks!

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    @Lucizn you missed the point. If Joel has YHWH, and Paul quotes Joel with Kurios translating YHWH as referring to Jesus. Is he equating Jesus with YHWH?
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 0:17
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    I love this question - very clever thinking
    – danday74
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 1:13
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    Paul is implying that if one has faith in Jesus one can have salvation. In Romans 10:13 Paul is talking of Jehovah as being reachable, for those calling on Him, if they go through His mediator Jesus who, if they first believe in Jesus, can then be heard. Both verses in Joel and Romans, should have been translated "...who calls on the name of YHWH/Jehovah..." Consequently, neither verse refers to Jesus as YHWH/Jehovah. That would just be conjecture. Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 9:30
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    In short, 'No!' Verses 9,12 are referencing the lord, Jesus. V 13 is in reference to YHWH/Jehovah. Here in lies the problem, that the 2nd, or 3rd, century copyists caused when they substituted the divine name of YHWH (or, JHVH) with the words Kyrios, "Lord," and Theos, "God." In the LXX the Greek words have been used to crowd out the 'distinctive' name of the Supreme Deity, which, quite frankly, IMO was nothing short of BLASPHEMY. When one substitutes the 'distinctive' names of Jesus and YHWH with the mere 'titles' of lord/Lord one is to be confusing and God is not a God of confusion...tbc... Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 16:11
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    ... Hence, the modern translator is warranted in using the divine name as an equivalent of those two Greek words, that is, at places where the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures quote verses, passages, and expressions from the Hebrew Scriptures or from the LXX where the divine name occurs. See p. 347 of "A Greek and English Lexicon, by J Parkhurst (revised ed. of 1845), or, p. 365 of J H Thayer's 1889 edition, or, p. 1013 of the "A Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell and Scott, if you need any further confirmation, which I improvised above from pages 10 & 11 of the KIT of the GS... Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 16:30

8 Answers 8


Several modern versions do capitalize Lord in Rom 10:13 such as NLT, NKJV, LSV, etc.

This is somewhat justified as the Rom 10:13 passage is unambiguously referencing Joel 2:32 as the OP has correctly pointed out. That Paul is referring to Jesus as "Lord" in Rom 10:13 is beyond doubt; and the fact that he quotes an OT text referring to Jehovah/YHWH and applies it to Jesus shows clearly what he thinks of the status of Jesus. This is not the only time this sort of thing occurs in the NT - there are other occasions where OT passages that refer to YHWH/Jehovah on the OT are applied to Jesus in the NT:

  • Heb 1:6 quotes Deut 32:43
  • Heb 1:8, 9 quotes Ps 45:6, 7
  • Heb 1:10-12 quotes Ps 102:25-27 (LXX)
  • Phil 2:10, 11 quotes Isa 45:23
  • Matt 3:3 (cf V11) quotes Isa 40:3

One could extend this list greatly by including various exclusive titles of YHWH in the OT that are applied to Jesus in the NT such as:

  • "Savior" Isa 43:3, 11, 45:17, 21; vs Matt 1:21; Acts 4:12; 2 Tim 1:10; Tit 1:4, 2:13, 3:6; 2 Pet 1:1, 11
  • "First and Last" Isa 41:4, 44:6, 48:12; vs Rev 1:17, 18, 2:8, 22:13
  • "Lord of Lords" Deut 10:17, Ps 136:3, 26; vs Rev 17:14, 19:16

... and many many more.


In the old testament (and in many ANE cultures), "name" was a synecdoche for the person, but with the connotation that this is the mechanism by which the person was known. In modern English, we only think of "name" as an identifier with no relationship to the underlying character of the person, and thus many of these "name" references in scriptures are confusing.

Thus when the Angel asked Jacob, "What is your name?", this was not a request for identification, but the Angel was demanding that Jacob confess his nature, that is, that he was a supplanter, as Jacob means "supplanter".

A better sense-for-sense translation for modern readers might be "tell me who you are?" which would carry with it the connotation that this was about your character rather than just a mechanism of identification.

This is why it so profound that God changed the name of Abram and Jacob, as God is effectively changing their character from that point forward. It is a reference to an inward change. We are also promised to receive new names in Revelation 3.12, 2.17. This is also a promise of an inward change. See also Isaiah 62.2

The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the Lord will designate.

Similarly, to do something "in the name" of someone else was to take on that person's authority and character. Thus praying "in the name" of Jesus does not mean saying "in Jesus' name" as a magical incantation, but it means representing Jesus in the world as we pray, with his authority and character.

So with this background knowledge, if Christ plays the role of "davar" or Word of God, that is, the revelation of YHWH to the world, then to call on the name of YHWH would automatically require calling on Christ, as God's nature (i.e. his name) is revealed to the world only as Christ, and thus Christ's name would be the only "name" that could be called on if one wanted to call on the name of YHWH.

John 14.6-9:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

This passage in John, in the language of "names", says that Jesus was acting in the name of the Father, therefore to call on the name of the Father is to call on the name of Jesus.

Acts 4.12

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved

  • Ahh, excellent! - an answer that uses the ‘lens’ (foundation) of ancient near eastern culture to interpret text written within that context. +1
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 18:15
  • Thanks for an answer taking into account the culture of the time! In the verses near Rom. 10:13 (e.g., v. 9, 12), Jesus is referred to as "Lord" (Greek kurios, the same word that appears in Paul's quotation of Rom. 10:13), and in verse 13, we're told that calling on the name of the "Lord" (kurios) results in salvation. To confirm I understand, is the referent of "Lord" in verse 13 the same Person referenced by "Lord" in verses 9 and 12 (i.e., Jesus)? If so, then the referent of Joel 2:32's "YHWH" must be the same Person referenced by "kurios" in Romans 10:13 since it quotes Joel, right?
    – The Editor
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 18:09
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    @TheEditor Yes, everyone at the time (that is, jews such as Paul) would consider Adonai, Elohim, YHWH, etc, as different names for the same referent, and the same for the Greek translations of these names.
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 19:07
  • Thanks! All this is quite helpful!
    – The Editor
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 19:32
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    So, what you are saying is that the name "Jesus" is the name that represents the authority and character of YHWH God? The name "YHWH" does not carry with it the fullness of the character and authority of God, as those have been fully revealed to us solely by the man Jesus, and hence, if one wanted to "call on the name of YHWH", that is, to trust in the character and authority of YHWH, one would have to trust in the character and authority of Jesus, as Jesus' character and authority is THE revelation of the character and authority of YHWH God to the world? Am I correct? +1
    – Rajesh
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 6:30

Is Jesus being identified as YHWH in Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13?

Joel 2:32a New International Version

And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD [H3068 Yahweh] will be saved;

Brenton Septuagint Translation

And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord [G2962 κυρίου] shall be saved

Conventionally, H3068 is translated as G2962.

Now to the NT in Romans 10:

9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord [G2962],” ...

This is the same Greek word that corresponds to the Hebrew Yahweh. In a sense, it says "Jesus is Yahweh". Not convinced? More contextual evidence follows:

12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord [G2962]

It says that the OT Yahweh is one and the same Lord of the Gentile.

is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [G2962] will be saved.”

Now Paul directly linked Joel 2:32's Yahweh to Romans10:9a's "Jesus is Lord".

Is Jesus being identified as YHWH in Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13?

Indeed, the evidence and linkage are strong. There is no doubt in my mind that in Paul's mind, they are one and the same in the context of Romans 10:13.


One thing is for sure that Paul refers to Jesus as the Lord whose faithful invocation saves a believer, and that Paul interprets the Lord - JHWH - mentioned in Joel 3:32 as referring to the divine Hypostasis/Person of pre-Incarnate Christ, (as elsewhere he interprets the Lord leading Israel through Moses in desert (Psalm 68:7) as pre-Incarnate Christ (1 Cor 10:4)).

Another question is whether Joel himself refers specifically to the pre-Incarnate Christ, the second Hypostasis of Godhead, or to Father, or to Spirit. Since I believe Paul’s interpretation to be inspired, I deem it to be one of the plausible and theologically sound interpretations.


Short answer: not necessarily.

Longer answer: Saying that passages like this equate Jesus with YHWH is a popular and common interpretation as evidenced by the answers here. However, this isnt the only possible interpretation and it's not necessarily the best, in my opinion. For example, here's what the late James Dunn says on the these two verses:

Now in Joel 2.32 'the Lord' is obviously Yahweh. But equally obviously in Romans 10.9-13 'the Lord' is the Lord confessed with the lips - 'Jesus is Lord.' The salvation of which Joel spoke is promised to those who confess Jesus as Lord. He is the Lord upon whose name those who believe in Jesus call. As already pointed out in Chapter 1, the fact that Paul thought of his readership in these terms is confirmed by his description of believers in the opening of his first letter to the Corinthians, as 'all those who in every place call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 1.2). The calling of which Joel spoke is a calling on God to exercise his saving power on behalf of the remnant of Israel. So the fact that Paul refers the same verse to the exalted Jesus presumably means for Paul either that Jesus is Yahweh,30 or, more likely, that Yahweh has bestowed his own unique saving power on the Lord who sits on his right side,31 or that the exalted Jesus is himself the embodiment as well as the executive of that saving power.

  1. As Bauckham does not hesitate to affirm (Jesus and the God of Israel 193,196). But if Ps. 110.1 allows the concept of two Lords, the second given his plenipotentiary status by the first, then there is presumably no reason why a passage like Joel 3.32 should not be referred to the second Lord (see the next note).
  1. That God was understood to pass divine authority to others is indicated by the various individuals who were thought to play the role of heavenly judges - Adam and Abel (T.Abr . 11, 13), Melchizedek (11QMelch 13-14), Enoch and Elijah (1 Enoch 9.31; Apoc. Elij. 24.11-15) - including the saints themselves (Matt. 19.28/Luke 22.30; 1 Cor. 6.2-3). Cf. Hurtado's careful formulation: 'Early Christians saw Jesus as the uniquely significant agent of the one God, and in their piety they extended the exclusivity of the one God to take in God's uniquely important representative, while stoutly refusing to extend this exclusivity to any other figures' (Lord Jesus Christ 204).

(Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? The New Testament Evidence)

I like this interpretation very much. It's honest, well researched, cautious, and dignified. I realize many won't agree with it but it's worth considering.

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply. To make sure I understand, is the explanation of James Dunn consistent with Jesus being "the LORD" referenced in Romans 10:13? Thank you in advance for your reply.
    – The Editor
    Commented Mar 17 at 4:19
  • That's correct. Dunn believes the Lord in Joel is Yahweh but the lord in Romans is Jesus. I'll try to edit my answer to include that in his quote also. Commented Mar 17 at 14:54
  • OK I just expanded the quotation to include what you're looking for. Commented Mar 17 at 16:07

Calling on the name of Jehovah by going to Jesus is the same as going to Johnny to get answers of Betty, and Johnny being the power of attorney (POA) says I am she, ask me, not her.

It is the same as saying accept my son as the conduct you ought to be, or you do not accept me his father to be your father too. Your going thru Jesus to the Father is being seen as going to Jesus as his decision equal to the Father. But Jesus assures you he would say what his father would say. So it is like going to a POA that you can be assured is answering for the person he represents.

In all this heavenly imagination, what point you miss is that Jesus is replacing all the damn men, the priests, the kings, your boss, employer, doctors, and all the people who claim they are God for you. Jesus is saying do not be afraid to scrap all the humans and people who try to be your God telling you what is right, Jesus will show you, and forgive you when you don't see him correctly. The end matter is not your death, but the day a whole world stands returned from death saying this time we get it right.

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics. Would you please mind unpacking what your saying? Am I right in assuming that you do not believe Jesus Christ is the Lord being discussed at Romans 10:13? Thank You!
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 18:14
  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I also recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 19:38
  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! Isn't Jesus the "Lord" of Romans 10:9-14? If so, then isn't Jesus the Lord of verse 13 specifically? This would mean that Jesus is the LORD (YHWH) of Joel 2:32 as well, since Romans 10:13 is a quotation of Joel 2:32. Do you see what I'm saying?
    – The Editor
    Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 16:00

There is no Jesus Christ in Yoel or in any of the ancient Jewish Hebrew and Aramaic texts.

Jews, not Christians nor Muslims, are the remnant of Israel. To say that Christians are the remnant of Israel is an antisemitic doctrine. This doctrine of Christian replacing Jews as citizens of Israel has been the motivation for the persecution and extermination of my people over the last 2000 years.

Greek is merely the translation of the original Hebrew,

Your style of correlation would be like saying

  • Doctor Richard Feynmann was a doctor
  • CNN Doctor Sanjay Gupta is a doctor
  • Therefore Richard Feynmann too was a medical doctor like Dr Sanjay.

There is a misalignment between the meaning of the English word doctor between being used on Richard Feynmann and Sanjay Gupta.

The ultimate understanding of what the original Hebrew texts say must done by reading and understanding the Hebrew texts, not by misaligned Greek translations.

The Unique Identifier of Almighty is neither Yahuwa nor Jehovah nor Yahweh - those are Christian opinions. You must respect the Jewish opinions as the primary accepted thesis, because our ancestors are the originators of the ancient Hebrew texts.

The Unique Identifier of Almighty cannot be pronounced completely in verbal mode. To say that the complete pronunciation of the Unique Identifier of Almighty is yahweh is a pejorative. As a Christian, you will bear the antisemitic opinion that we have forgotten how to verbally pronounce the Unique Identifier. Saying that would be like accusing a software engineer of having forgotten how to pronounce a GUID like {adef-74be-face-d017}.

Some engineers might pronounce that guid verbally as "adef seventy-four be face doiz", for convenience' sake, but "adef seventy-four be face doiz" certainly is not the unique identifier {adef-74be-face-d017}.

For convenience our ancestors, like software engineers today, would take a portion of the pronounceable characters to associate a baby's new name to the Unique Identified. e.g.,Y'Hoshfat יהושפט, YirmiYahu ירמיהו .

Some people quote that the name yahweh had been used by other ancient tribes - to that I defend the sacred Name by saying - those other tribes copied from the ancestors of ancient Israelis. That phenomenon is mentioned in the ancient Jewish texts, where kings were afraid of the G'd of Avraham.

Therefore, you can only accept your Greek kuriou as an extremely inaccurate colloquial association to the Unique Identifier, just as "adef be face doiz" is an extremely inaccurate colloquial association to the actual GUID because when a system asks you for the entity id, the system will certainly and fundamentally respond to "adef be face doiz" with "Entity not found".

Jesus Christ is NOT, has NEVER been and NEVER WILL be the king of Israel. Or of Jews.


Is the name Ἰησοῦν "Jesus" in [Romans 10:9-13] equal to the Name YHVH from Joel 2:32? - No.

In Joel 2:32 (English bibles) | Yoel 3:5 [MT], does the prophet יוֹאֵ֖ל Yoel tell Roman Christians (33-70CE) that they "shall be saved" יִמָּלֵט Yimalet (from keeping Torah) by calling on the name of Jesus? - No.

[Joel 2:32 | **Yoel 3:5**] "And it shall come to pass that whoever shall call in the name of YHVH shall be delivered, for on Mount Zion and in Yerushalaim there shall be a deliverance, as YHVH said, and among the survivors whom the YHVH invites." ( וְהָיָ֗ה כֹּ֧ל אֲשֶׁר־יִקְרָ֛א בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהֹוָ֖ה יִמָּלֵ֑ט כִּ֠י בְּהַר־צִיּ֨וֹן וּבִירֽוּשָׁלִַ֜ם תִּֽהְיֶ֣ה פְלֵיטָ֗ה כַּֽאֲשֶׁר֙ אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֔ה וּבַ֨שְּׂרִידִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה קֹרֵֽא )

In the NT book [Romans], the apostle Paul reinvents Torah prophesy of [Joel 3:5] for Roman Noachide students of Yeshua the Nazarene - by stating a new prophesy in [Romans 10:9] :

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." ( 10:9 ὅτι ἐὰν ὁμολογήσῃς ἐν τῷ στόματί σου κύριον Ἰησοῦν καὶ πιστεύσῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου ὅτι ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν σωθήσῃ· )

The apostle Paul in [Romans 10:13] misuses Yoel's prophecy in Yoel 3:5 to justify a new intercessory belief for Gentile Noachide students of Yeshua the Nazarene - to no longer observe Mitzvot of Torah:

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." ( 10:13 Πᾶς γὰρ ὃς ἂν ἐπικαλέσηται τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου σωθήσεται )

Paul reiterates the revisionist philosophy of Yoel's prophecy in [Romans 10:4] to support the end of Torah Mitzvot :

"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." ( 10:4 τέλος γὰρ νόμου Χριστὸς εἰς δικαιοσύνην παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι )
  • In all fairness, the validity/authority of Paul's interpretation here hinges on the nature of Yeshua. If Yeshua didn't rise from the dead and didn't commission Paul as an Apostle, then yes this is absolutely a misuse of Yoel's prophecy - though it wouldn't really originate with Paul, it would more originate with Peter in Acts 2:36, where God's Spirit comes in power and Peter declares Yeshua as both "Lord and Christ". If Yeshua really did rise from the dead, then Paul is giving the correct interpretation of Yoel 3:5.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 18:57
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    @SteveTaylor - In all fairness, does the prophet Yoel claim all inhabitants of Zion should repent to Jesus in order to be saved from keeping Torah? Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 18:59
  • No, but if we are under the assumption that Yoel is a genuine prophet then his words belong to God, not himself. The divine author is entitled to interpret and explain his own words to us, or to reinterpret them for a new purpose. Hermeneutically, YES it's important to understand and interpret Yoel as he would have personally intended or understood his words, but if Yeshua really did rise from the dead then we also need to consider interpretations of Yoel through that lens too. So it more comes down to what we believe about Yeshua, in which everybody is entitled to their own opinion! :)
    – Steve can help
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 19:04
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    @SteveTaylor - "Hermeneutically, YES it's important to understand and interpret Yoel as he would have personally intended or understood his words, but..." :) forget contextual answers - perhaps Paul understood Yoel's words better than Yoel. Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 19:14
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    The arguments Paul is making are absolutely standard mishradic exegesis. And are pretty rock solid compared to the wild interpretations coming from people like Rashi or even Rabbi Akiva. Rabbinical exegesis takes a missing "h", notes that it's gematria value is 5, and then concludes 5 items are missing. This is how the Talmud was written. So to complain about Paul here seems truly bizarre -- Paul was trained as a pharisee and is using conservative pharisee exegetical practices, much more biblically sound than what you read in the Talmud, for example.
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 19:45

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