I'm hesitant to speak in absolute terms about this, but perhaps it can be generally agreed upon that in many cases where we see Χριστὸς we tend not to see κυριος as a relational lexicon to describe the godhead. Rather, it virtually always turns out to be that the Greek primary sources have God in the "son of God" denoted by Θεοῦ. Consider Nestle 1904 of John 11:27:

λέγει αὐτῷ Ναί, Κύριε· ἐγὼ πεπίστευκα ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ ὁ εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἐρχόμενος.

And yet a linguistic analysis of the Septuagint would suggest that Yahweh takes the Greek κυριος.

My understanding is not perfect, but it does seem that Greek scribal tradition veers away from affirming that Christ is the son of Yahweh. We cannot go back in time and read their minds, but it seems to me that this lexicography is consonant with either:

  1. Jesus is Yahweh
  2. Yahweh resides outside the godhead

However, I'm very skeptical about my own inferences here because both are quite bizarre.


What, if anything, does this hermeneutic (and the volume of others like it) tell us about how Greek scribes viewed the relationship of Christ with the Judean Deity?
  • There is only one God in the Bible, and YHWH was translated as Lord kyirios in Greek. So your question is moot which assumes a distinction between referents for Lord and God.
    – Michael16
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 9:23
  • 1
    If Jesus is Yahweh /Jehovah like one OP concluded in his answer, that is like modalism or modalistic monarchism. Jesus is not YHWH. If Jesus is the God of the Bible, why is there no record of him being plainly spoken of and worshipped as God from Genesis to Revelation. There is no record that shows the name of the God of the bible is Jesus. Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 9:46
  • 1
    @AlexBalilo That's absolutely it. To be clear, I simply posit that Christ is Yahweh as a possible explanation of why we don't see "son of kyrios" references. As you rightly point out, there is a potential for incongruence if that was one's exegetical stance, hence my skepticism at my own inference. Still making my mind up about it. Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 9:55
  • Please compare Jude 1:1 and Jude 1:5 Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 7:54

4 Answers 4


We can translate John 11:27 from Greek to English.

John 11:27 (Greek New Testament)

λέγει αὐτῷ· ναὶ κύριε, ἐγὼ πεπίστευκα ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἐρχόμενος.

She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have believed that you are the Christ, the son of God, who has come into the world."

The author of John uses the phrase ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ to describe Jesus. The Greek words ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ mean "the son of God". ὁ υἱὸς means "son" and τοῦ θεοῦ means "of God".

The writers of the Septuagint use the same word, θεός, to describe Elohim.

Genesis 1:1 (Septuagint)

᾿Εν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

We see this when we examine the Hebrew text.

Genesis 1:1 (Hebrew Bible)

בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ

In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.

The word אֱלֹהִים gets translated as ὁ θεὸς in the Septuagint.

This happens again in the famous prayer Shema Yisrael, which is taken from Deuteronomy. Let's look at the Hebrew text of Shema Yisrael and then at the Septuagint translation.

Deuteronomy 6:4 [Shema Yisrael] (Hebrew Bible)

שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד

Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, and the Lord is one.

We will see, when we examine the Septuagint translation, that יְהוָה gets translated as κύριος and אֱלֹהֵינוּ gets translated as ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν.

Deuteronomy 6:4 [Shema Yisrael] (Septuagint)

Ακουε, Ισραηλ· κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God and the Lord is one.

So we have created a mapping from the Hebrew text of the Torah to the Greek of the Septuagint.

יְהוָה -> κύριος
אֱלֹהִים -> ὁ θεὸς

When the author of John describes Jesus as ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, we can reasonably say that the author of John is calling Jesus the son of Elohim.

ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ("the son of God") -> בן האלוהים ("the son of Elohim")

It is also important to point out that the Latin translation of Genesis (the Vulgate) translates Elohim as Deus.

Genesis 1:1 (Vulgate)

In principio creavit Deus cælum et terram.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

For completeness we will give the Vulgate's translation of Deuteronomy 6:4.

Deuteronomy 6:4 [Shema Yisrael] (Vulgate)

Audi, Israël: Dominus Deus noster, Dominus unus est.

Hear, Israel: The Lord is our God, and the Lord is one.

We can update our mapping to show the Septuagint and Vulgate translations.

יְהוָה -> κύριος
אֱלֹהִים -> ὁ θεὸς

יְהוָה -> Dominus
אֱלֹהִים -> Deus

The writers of the Septuagint, the writers of the Vulgate, and the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, have all used the words ὁ θεὸς and Deus to refer to יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, the Lord Elohim. To say that the author of John is doing the same would be consistent with the choices of a long tradition of translators.

The Septuagint was written before the Gospels, and the authors of the Gospels may have been familiar with the Septuagint. So the word Elohim had already been translated as ὁ θεὸς before the writing of the Gospels.

The Vulgate was written after the Gospels. The Vulgate uses the word Deus to translate both Elohim and ὁ θεὸς.

Many translators have read the Old and New Testament and said, "Okay, אֱלֹהִים is θεὸς and אֱלֹהִים is Deus. יְהוָה is κύριος and יְהוָה is Dominus." Many people have connected the God of the New Testament with the God of the Old Testament.

It is easy to say that the author of John did the same, because he wrote a story about a Jewish Rabbi in Ancient Israel and called him ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, the son of God.

  • You should transliterate the Hebrew word perhaps Adonai, otherwise readers cannot know it.
    – Michael16
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 14:58
  • 1
    The English translation of the "Shema Yisrael" leaves a lot to be desired. We have the name of God, by way of the "Tetragrammaton" written twice. How can it, in all honesty, be translated using a title ?? Jewish tradition or no .... Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 17:45
  • @OldeEnglish It was translated as a title by the Jewish sages who translated the LXX, 200 years before Christ. The practice of replacing the name with the title Lord originated with the Jews, long before the Christian era. It is a practice which is still in place today. Those who had the name understood the Ten Commandments as a prohibition of speaking it. This is is especially so in the case of the LXX which would have give the name to Gentiles. Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 4:57
  • @RevelationLad - You are not telling me anything I don't already know. It doesn't matter when the change from "name" to "title" was originated, it was still nothing short of sacrilege, born out of ignorance and fear, all the same, which has only served to mislead ever since. Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 15:38
  • @OldeEnglish My point is that this "sacrilege" was in place before the birth of Christ and remains in place to this day. The unescapable reality is "Lord" is the term a Jew (and Christian) who believed Jesus was God would use. What you attempt to do is retroactively apply modern thinking to erase what the first Christians actually did, and Jews still do. Their argument is your use of the name and refusal to accept the title is the error. Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 19:16

It is true, in the dozens of cases (with only a single exception that I have found) where the NT writers quote the OT that includes the tetragammaton YHWH, it rendered as kyrios = "Lord". See also Translation of Matt 22:44, "The Lord said to my Lord ... "

However, the OP asks more than this - what the NT writers believed about Jesus. This can be determined by the way they handled the unique titles and characteristics of YHWH in the OT and consistently applied them to Jesus. The table below lists some of these instances (there are many more).

Unique Title of YHWH OT references NT places where this is applied to Jesus
Creator Isa 44:24, 45:18 John 1:3, 10, Col 1:16, 17, Heb 1:2
Saviour Isa 43:3, 11, 45:17, 21 Matt 1:21; Acts 4:12; 2 Tim 1:10; Tit 1:4, 2:13, 3:6; 2 Pet 1:1, 11
Glory Isa 42:8, 48:11 John 17:5, 24
Rock Isa 44:8; Deut 32:3,4,15; Ps 92:15 1 Cor 10:4; Matt 16:18
Shepherd Psalm 23:1; Eze 34:11ff, Isa 40:11, Ps 95:7, 100:3 John 10:11-16; Heb 13:20, 1 Peter 2:25, 5:4; Rev 7:17
Bridegroom Isa 49, 54, Jer 2, Hosea Mark 2:19, Matt 9:15, Luke 5:34, 35
First & Last Isa 41:4, 44:6, 48:12 Rev 1:17, 18, 2:8, 22:13
Commander of Angels Job 4:18, Ps 91:11, 103:20 Matt 13:41, 24:31, Mark 13:27
Venerable Ex 20:3, 34:14; Deut 8:19; 2 Kings 17:35-38 Matt 2:11, 14:33, 28:9, 17; Luke 4:8; 24:52; John 9:38; Rev 5:6-12.
Light Ps 27:1, Micah 7:8 John 1:9, 8:12, 9:5, 1 John 1:5-7
One who searches hearts and minds Jer 11:20, 17:10, 1 Sam 16:7 Rev 2:23
Lord of Lords Deut 10:17, Ps 136:3, 26 Rev 17:14, 19:16
Lord of All Deut 10:17, Josh 3:11, 13, Ps 97:5, Zech 4:14, 6:5, Mic 4:13 Acts 10:36, Rom 10:12, Col 1:15
Seven Eyes of the LORD Zech 4:10 (& Zech 3:9) Rev 5:6 (Lamb) "seven eyes"
Commands Nature itself Gen 1:3, 6, 9, 14, Ps 33:6, 9, Ps 148:5, 1 Sam 12:18, Jon 4:8, Hos 2:21 Matt 8:27, Mark 4:41, Luke 8:25

This leads to obvious conclusion that the NT writers believed that Jesus was Jehovah.

  • Very helpful, thanks. Lot's of mental acrobatics, but enjoyable! Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 9:44
  • I edited as I assumed you meant 'OP', not 'OT' in your second paragraph. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 12:19
  • @NigelJ - many thanks.
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 20:35
  • 1
    @Dottard. If "Jesus was Jehovah" did he father himself? There is no mention of "Jesus was Jehovah" in the bible. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 0:19
  • 1
    I have personally tried to discuss biblical evidence with you before, outside of BHSE, on the "70 Weeks" prophecy, if you remember. We were having a healthy and wholehearted exchange of views on all matters pertaining to said prophecy, but then after a lengthy counter exchange from myself, which took me sometime to research, you responded with just 8 words .... "Oh well - you are welcome to your opinion"..... As to engaging with the biblical evidence ... I hope you are not including that of the contrived, deliberately created falsities, so common in modern bible translations. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 23:33

How the Greek scribes viewed the relationship of Christ with the Judean Deity?

OP observed that "it does seem that Greek scribal tradition veers away from affirming that Christ is the son of Yahweh."

YHWH or Yahweh/Jehovah is the name of the God of the Israelites. Jesus is a Jew and a worshipper of YHWH. John 4:22

Jesus himself said he is the son of GOD. John 10:36.

Is it true that Jesus is Jehovah/Yahweh as others claim he is?

Let us examine.

If Jesus is YHWH/ Yahweh/Jehovah, did he father himself?

Is there a verse that show that the name of the God of the bible is Jesus? There is none.

Jesus ascribe creation to his God, Mark 13:19, not to himself.

Mark 13:19 ASV

For in those days there will be oppression, such as there has not been the like from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be.

How can Jesus be the Creator/God Almighty when he was not around throughout the entire Old Testament.

Others claim he is the Great "I AM" and quote John 8:58. But Mark 12:26 shows us that Jesus never claimed to be the "I AM"/ God that spoke to Moses.

Mark 12:26 American Standard Version

But as touching the dead, that they are raised; have ye not read in the book of Moses, in the place concerning the Bush, how God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

Is there a verse that show that the prophets, apostles believed and taught that Jesus is the God of their forefathers?

Acts 3:13 shows that the apostles and their disciples did not believe that Jesus is their and their forefathers' God.

Acts 3:13 American Standard Version

The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Servant Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied before the face of Pilate, when he had determined to release him.

Being a Jew, what is Jesus' name in Hebrew or Aramaic? Jehoshua/Yehoshua? Is God's name Jesus/Jehoshua/Yehoshua? No. God's name is not Jesus/ Jehoshua/or Yehoshua. God's name is embedded in the names just mentioned.

“the construction of theophoric names, starting with the letters “Jeho” is evidence that God’s name is actually "Jehovah" (and that Christ’s name is actually Jehoshua)”– Smith’s 1863 “A Dictionary of the Bible” Section 2.1

Does being Lord make Jesus God? An examination of Psalm 110:1 describes Jesus' lordship.

Psalm 110:1 Literal Standard Version

A PSALM OF DAVID. A declaration of YHWH to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, | Until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

Psalm 110:1 Brenton Septuagint Translation

A Psalm of David. The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

The 1st LORD is

The LORD יְהוָ֨ה ׀ (Yah·weh) Noun - proper - masculine singular Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

The 2nd lord is,

to my Lord: לַֽאדֹנִ֗י (la·ḏō·nî) Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular Strong's 113: Sovereign, controller

My Lord.--Heb., adoni, an address of honour to those more noble than the speaker, or superior in rank: to a father, Genesis 31:35; to a brother, Numbers 12:11; a royal consort, 1Kings 1:17-18; to a prince, 1Kings 3:17; with the addition of the royal title, "my Lord, O king," 2Samuel 14:19

There is only one Adonay YHWH.

The 1st LORD in Psalm 110:1 is Jehovah/YHWH. The second lord is translated from the hebrew word adoni. The word adoni is a title which never refers to God. Peter narrated God's plan based on the truth of Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:33-36 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified. The God of Jesus made him both Lord and Christ.

Mark 12:36 ASV

David himself said in the Holy Spirit, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet

Psalm 110:1 ASV

A Psalm of David. Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Peter already identified who the second lord of Psalm 110:1 is and it is Jesus whom he said was crucified. This further proves that the second lord of Psalm 110:1 is adoni because crucifying Adonay is not possible.

LORD” or “the LORD” in the OT represents (YHWH) God. This is not to be confused with the Greek word Kurios, which is used of Jesus and is a title of respect, honor and authority. The title “Lord” is used of many people in the Bible not just God and Jesus. God made Jesus both lord and Christ. Nobody makes God lord.

The question above may also involve the reasons behind some of today's (modern) translations especially regarding the removal of God's name.

God’s name Jehovah/Yahowah appears in the original hebrew text about 7000 times, but the NIV fails to mention it even once. When asked about this, Edwin H. Palmer, Th.D., Executive Secretary for the NIV’s committee wrote :

“Here is why we did not : You are right – that Jehovah is a distinctive name for God and ideally we should have used it. But we put 2 1/4 million dollars into this translation and a sure way of throwing that down the drain is to translate, for example, Psalm 23 as, ‘Yahweh (Jehovah) is my shepherd.‘ Immediately, we would have translated for nothing. Nobody would have used it (or purchased it). Oh, maybe you and a handful [of] others. But a Christian has to be also wise and practical. We are the victims of 350 years of the King James tradition. It is far better to get two million to read it- that is how many have bought it to date- and to follow the King James, than to have two thousand buy it and have the correct translation of Yahweh(Jehovah) . . . It was a hard decision, and many of our translators agree with you.” – The Reason NIV removed Jehovah’s Name Edwin H. Palmer, Th.D., Executive Secretary for the NIV‘s committee

“The situation today, where many translations… exists largely because of the amount of money to be gained…” -(The Preservation of the Bible By Faithful Churches) –By Charles V. Turner

The replacement of YHWH with Kurios is used by some to advance a teaching that is not originally there.

  • “The replacement of YHWH with Kurios is used by some to advance a teaching that is not originally there.“ - this “replacement” was initiated by Hebrew scholars hundreds of years before Christ. It is how Greek speaking Jews understood Scripture and how it was read and spoken of to Gentiles. This convention continues today. The Jewish people do not pronounce YHVH, they say Adonai. The Gentile Christians did not invent this tradition. They did embrace it because they understood the real identity of Jesus. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 14:37
  • 1
    Absolutely brilliant exposition. I only wish I could upvote you more than once. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 17:19
  • This question makes a fundamental mistake - it assumes that Jehovah is a single person. If this is untrue, the entire argument collapses. Please at least consider the evidence or do you ignore those texts antithetical to your position? Are you opposed to the Bible?
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 21:12
  • 1
    @Dottard. The fundamental mistake is to assume that Jehovah is not a single person. To make it untrue, others read into the text what is not there. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 22:52
  • 1
    @Dottard. Previously you commented "we have been here before I do not wish to debate." What has changed? Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 1:32

Let's examine the text in question carefully.

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. (John 11:27, KJV)

λέγει αὐτῷ ναί κύριε ἐγὼ πεπίστευκα ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἐρχόμενος (John 11:27, TR)

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I have believed that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, `even' he that cometh into the world. (John 11:27, ASV 1901)

The grammar for the Greek indicates that Martha is addressing Jesus as "Lord," which apparently is where the question lies. Her statements following this serve to clarify the truth of what she is saying--that Christ is the "son of God."

The word "Yahweh" makes no appearance in the Greek New Testament. Wherever a quote of a Hebrew passage containing this name appears, the Greek writers tended to use "Lord" (Kurios). However, the word "Lord" in Greek is also used to mean "master", or even "sir"--like "señor" in Spanish. This presents a problem for those who might wish it were all black and white--it simply isn't so clear, and cannot be.

For example, we see "κυρίοις"--the plural of this word--translated as "masters" in Matthew 6:24. We see "κύριε" (singular) translated as "sir" in Matthew 13:27 and 21:30 and 27:63. Then "κύριος" is translated as "master" in Mark 13:35, etc. Dozens of times the word is used to mean either "sir" or "master." So there it is important to be cautious of jumping to conclusions, especially building one's theology over the word having a certain, specific meaning, when it can be used in more than one way.

Allowing scripture to explain scripture, we find that Jesus cannot have been Yahweh, because John tells us that no one has seen God at any time (John 1:18) and Jesus goes further to say that we have not even heard the Father's voice (John 5:37). Yet people both saw and heard Jesus.

The teaching of the Bible is that the Father (God) was IN Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:19 and John 14:10)--not that Jesus was God, but that God was dwelling in him.

  • Very well said. +1. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 17:29
  • Could you explain your thoughts on how to reconcile John 1:18 "No-one has seen God at any time" and John 14:9 "The one that has seen me has sen the father"? They both use the same word for "has seen" so, by your logic, nobody has seen Jesus.
    – Steven
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 6:48
  • @Steven Take a look at 1 John 4:12. It uses a different word for "seen" than John 1:18 uses. The one used in John 1:18 can be used with other meanings than merely the sight of the eyes, e.g. "perceive" or "take heed," whereas the verb used in 1 John 4:12 is only used for the sense of sight throughout the New Testament.
    – Biblasia
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 6:56

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