We have now arrived at the final part of our reply.
Is Adonai used for others besides Yahweh?
Zaatari seems to be aware that the Hebrew Scriptures do apply the word Adonai for the Messiah, and therefore goes into damage control mode:
“…Yet even if David called the Messiah adonai it wouldn't make the Messiah God [sic] because the word adonai is also used for men as well.”
The problem with this assertion is that it not only goes against the argument of unitarian heretics such as Anthony Buzzard who argue that Adonai is always used of God in all of its occurrences,
This verse was referred to the Messiah by the Pharisees and by Jesus. It tells us that the relationship between God and Jesus is that of Deity and non-Deity. The Messiah is calledadoni (my lord) and in every one of its 195 occurrences adoni (my lord) means a superior who is not God. Adonai on the other hand refers exclusively to the One God in all of its 449 occurrences. Adonai is the title of Deity and adoni never designates Deity. (Adonai and Adoni (Psalm 110:1); bold emphasis ours)
The following information is vital for clear understanding of Scripture and the all-important issue about who God is and who Jesus is in relation to God. The divine name YHWH (probably pronounced Yahweh) is commonly referred to as the tetragrammaton (four-letter word). Bible translators adopted the practice used in most English versions of rendering that name as “LORD” in all capital letters (nearly 7,000 times in our Old Testament). This was to distinguish it from Adonai, another Hebrew word rendered “Lord” (capital L and lower-case letters o-r-d). Adonai means “LORD GOD,” “THE SUPREME LORD,” AND IS A SYNONYM FOR THE DIVINE NAME YHVH. Wherever the two names stand together in the Old Testament as a compound name for God, they can be rendered “Sovereign Lord,” i.e. Lord God, Adonai YHVH (occasionally YHVH Adonai). (Anthony Buzzard, What is the Difference Between “Lord,” “lord” and “LORD”?; capital and italic emphasis ours)
It also contradicts the statements of one of Zaatari’s fellow taqiyyist, Muslim-turned apostate-turned Muslim-turned apostate again-turned Muslim again Ibn Anwar. Here is what this deceptive polemicist wrote in response to a Christian named madmanna:
lol….madmanna, you seriously think you have a “rebuttal” there? There word for “lord” in that verse that you have cited is… (ADONAI) which is completely different from “adoni”. Whilst “adoni” es[sic] exclusively a none-deity[sic] type epithet, “adonai” on the other hand is exclusive use for God AND NONE OTHER. It is evident that you have no clue about Buzzard’s argument. It does not stem from calling Jesus Lord or what not, but rather calling him in Hebrew “adoni” which makes him 100% a creation in the biblical worldview. So much for your rebuttal. (Bold and capital emphasis ours)
So here we have an Islamic dawagandist making the exact opposite argument and contradicting Zaatari!
This is to be expected from these Muslim apologists since truth and consistency are not top priorities for them. These folks are more concerned with attacking the Holy Bible and discrediting the Christian faith in order to deceive people into abandoning their love and hope in the risen Lord Jesus in order to follow a false prophet and a capricious and fickle god who brags about being the best deceiver of them all!
See the following articles for the details:
Allah – The Greatest Deceiver of them All Allah as a Deceiver None Can Feel Safe From Allah’s Schemes
Suffice it to say, Adonai always refers to Yahweh except for Genesis 19:2 and 18, and even these may not be exceptions since in the context Adonai is being employed for the two heavenly Messengers sent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Since there are some who take the view that these two beings were not spirit creatures but specific members of the Godhead then these texts wouldn’t be seen as exceptions to the consistent usage of Adonai for Yahweh.
Yet whatever the case may be, the fact remains that the Lord Jesus Christ is clearly depicted as being Adonai in the same sense as Yahweh God, and not as a mere creature employed by Yahweh.
The Jews and their beliefs about the Messiah
As a last act of desperation Zaatari appeals to the belief of the Jews to undermine the Christian doctrine of the Blessed and Most Holy Trinity:
“Now another point we have to make is that if this verse clearly calls the Messiah God, with a capital G, the almighty and powerful God, why is that no Jewish community ever believed that the Messiah was going to be God? Why is that everytime anyone does any research on the Jewish belief concerning the Messiah, we find that they believed the Messiah to be a human, not a divinity?
“Not only that, why is that no Jewish community believed in the Trinity either? If this verse is a proof of the Trinity since it says ‘the lord said to my lord’ then why weren’t there any Jews who looked at this verse and said ‘ah yes God is obviously a trinity or a binary’?
“Surely if this verse called the Messiah God, and showed a Trinity, then we would’ve expected to find mass numbers of Jewish communities preaching such a belief, yet we find nothing of the sort, it’s virtually zero when we try to find results of this, it doesn’t exist.”
Suffice it to say, these claims are brimming with errors and logical fallacies.
In the first place, the Jewish religion before, during, and after the time of Christ was not a monolith but was divided into various groups and sects, just as we find in both Christianity and Islam.
Secondly, there have been and continue to be Jews who believe(d) in the Trinity and the Deity of Christ. For instance, with the exception of Luke-Acts all the NT writings were composed by Jews who affirmed and proclaimed the absolute Deity of the Messiah and the Triunity of God. Moreover, Jewish sources such as 1 Enoch, 4 Ezra, the Aramaic Targums, Philio’s works etc. testify that both before and after the birth of Christ there were major strands of Judaism that did believe in the prehuman existence of the Messiah as well as a plurality of divine Persons, such as the divine Memra (Aramaic for “Word”) of the Targums or Philo’s Logos whom he called a second God. For more on these vitally important topics we recommend the following articles and books:
- Is there an Evolution in NT Christology? [Part 1], [Part 2]
- The “Heavenly” and “Earthly” Yahweh: Interpreting Genesis 19:24 [Part 1], [Part 2], [Part 3a], [Part 3b], [Part 4]
- The Malak Yahweh: Jesus, the Divine Messenger of the Old Testament [Part 1], [Part 2], [Part 3a], [Part 3b]
- The Divine Council
- Alan F. Segal, “Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism”.
- Dr. Michael L. Brown, “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus,” Volume 2.
- Itzhak Shapira, “Return of the Kosher Pig”.
Thirdly, if Zaatari is going to be consistent then he has no choice but to reject Muhammad since the things he taught concerning the Messiah are inconsistent with Jewish beliefs. In fact, we challenge Zaatari to cite official Jewish sources that confirm the following Islamic teachings:
The Messiah is the Word of God and his Spirit that shall be sent down to his mother (cf. Q. 3:45; 4:171).
The Messiah will be miraculously conceived and born to a virgin maiden (cf. Q. 3:47; 19:19-21).
The Messiah will speak in the cradle as an infant (cf. Q. 3:46; 5:110; 19:27-33).
The Messiah will prophecy the coming of an Arabian prophet after him named Ahmad (cf. Q. 61:6).
The Messiah will escape the Jewish plot of having him crucified by making it seem as if they succeeded in killing him by crucifixion (cf. Q. 4:157).
The Messiah will be taken physically, bodily into the presence of Allah or God (cf. Q. 3:55; 4:158).
The Messiah will return to judge the world in according with the legislation of the Quran and forcing everyone to convert to Islam:
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it." Abu Huraira added "If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- 'And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e. Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness Against them.’" (4.159) (See Fateh Al Bari, Page 302 Vol 7) Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said "How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and he will judge people by the Law of the Quran and not by the law of Gospel (Fateh-ul Bari page 304 and 305 Vol 7) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658)
The Messiah will then die and be resurrected to face judgment along with the rest of mankind (cf. Q. 4:159; 5:116-117).
Last but not least, cite references from these hypothetical Jewish religious authorities, which Zaatari keeps appealing to, stating their belief that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah whom the prophets said would come into the world.
If Zaatari cannot support such Islamic beliefs by citing Jewish authorities (and surely he cannot) then the only honest thing left for him to do is to reject Islam and become an apostate. If, however, he refuses to apostatize then he will only be proving that he is inconsistent and has no regards for truth. His only concern is to attack Christianity, even if this means he has to adopt inconsistent and dishonest arguments to do so.
Who denies that Jesus is Human?
The final problem with Zaatari’s argument is that even if he were correct that the word Adoni is only used for human beings this still wouldn’t prove his case in the least, since it is an essential aspect of the Christian to affirm that Jesus was (and still is) a an actually human being. The whole message of the Gospel is that the unique Son of God became a flesh and blood human being in order to save his people from their sins:
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, “God with us.’ And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:18-25
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… There was the true Light which, coming into the world,enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-5, 9-10, 14
“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. 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… Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:9-11, 14-18
As such, there is no biblically informed Christian who would even think of denying that the Messiah is a man, albeit a perfect and glorified one who now sits enthroned in heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords (cf. Revelation 1:5-6; 17:14; 19:11-16).
Therefore, the most that the title Adoni proves is that Jesus is a man, which all Christians accept. It does absolutely nothing to undermine the clear and explicit biblical witness to his eternal and essential Deity.
With the foregoing in perspective, we conclude by giving Zaatari the following advice. It is about time for him to seriously consider finding another line of work since his attacks against the Christian faith aren’t cutting it for him. In fact, the more he blasphemes the true God and perverts his inspired Word, the Holy Bible, the more opportunities he gives us to expose his rather inept and shallow arguments. And unfortunately for Zaatari, his articles and debates only end up providing further ammunition for us to use against him since his materials only end up helping us to expose his blatant inconsistency and dishonesty.
Zaatari must therefore face reality and come to grips with the fact that Jesus Christ is the risen Lord of glory and the beloved Son of God. The sooner he does so the better off he will be since accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, and believing from the heart that God has raised him from the dead, is the only hope that he and everyone else have of ever being saved from the divine wrath to come:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:1-6
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”” Acts 4:12
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9-10
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21
“For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
Amen! Come Lord Jesus, come! We confess and acknowledge that you are our glorious Lord and majestic Savior who shall come from heaven in order to judge the living and the dead. Amen!
Unless noted otherwise, all scriptural quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).