Thursday, 11 October 2018

Psalm 110:1 – Another Clear Testimony to Christ’s Deity Pt. 4

Sam Shamoun

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:
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:
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. 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).

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Psalm 110:1 – Another Clear Testimony to Christ’s Deity Pt. 3

Adonai at Yahweh’s Right Hand
Zaatari claims that king David would have used the word Adonai, instead of Adoni, had he wanted to affirm the Deity of the Lord Jesus:    
“Just to clear up some possible confusion, in the Hebrew language there is the word adoni, which is what we have here, and the word adonai. Yet these are two different words, in the Hebrew Bible the word adonai is sometimes used when referring to God, which makes us ask why wouldn't David say adonai rather than adoni?...”
Unfortunately for Zaatari, the prophet did in fact use the word Adonai for the Messiah in verse 5!
The Lord (Adonai) is at Your right hand; HE will shatter kings in the day of HIS WRATH. HE will judge among the nations, HE will fill them with corpses, HE will shatter the chief men over a broad country. HE will drink from the brook by the wayside; Therefore HE will lift up HIS head.” Psalm 110:5-7
The context makes it clear that the Adonai of verse 5 is the same One whom the subsequent verses state shatters kings in his wrath, judges among the nations, and drinks from a brook, a uniquely human function, and therefore points to the Adonai being none other than David’s Lord, the Messiah.
This is further brought out by the fact that this Adonai is said to be at someone’s right hand which, in the immediate context, can only be the Adoni of verse 1. Compare the two verses:
110:1: The Lord says to my Lord (Adoni): “Sit at My [Yahweh’s] right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
110:5: The Lord (Adonai) is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
In light of the foregoing, there is simply no way of escaping the fact that the Lord of verse 5 must be the very same Lord spoken of in verse 1. As the following Jewish Christian author explains:
“… Unlike v. 1, where the vowels used generally (although not exclusively) indicate a human master (’adoni) rather than God, in v. 5 the vowels indicate that it is certainly a Divine Master being described. This has led many commentators to assume that this is not the King at Yahweh’s right hand but instead Yahweh at the King’s right hand.57
Yet it is better to view this as the King at the right hand of God. First, grammatically, all the third-person singular pronouns in vv. 5-7 refer back to the Lord (’adonay).
The Lord [’adonay, the messianic king] is at Your right hand;
He will crush kings on the day of His anger.
He will judge the nations, heaping up corpses;
He will crush leaders over the entire world.
He will drink from the brook by the road;
therefore, He will lift up His head.
Plainly, it is the King who battles and drinks. Since there is no change in subject, it is the King who is called the Divine Lord (‘adonay) in v. 5. Edward J. Kissane notes the error of understanding ’adonay as Yahweh while taking the third singular pronouns that follow as referring to the King: ‘This introduces a change in subject of which there is no indication in the text. If the Messiah is the subject of v. 7, he must also be the subject of the preceding verses.’58
“Secondly, just as it is the Lord (’adoni) who is seated at the right hand of God in v. 1, so He is once again described in v. 5 as the one who is on the right hand of God. As Perowne says, ‘It is hardly probable that in so short a Psalm the King should first be said (ver. 1) to be at the right hand of Jehovah, and then that in ver. 5 Jehovah, on the contrary, should be said to be at the right hand of the King.’59The logical conclusion is that the King is called ‘the Lord’ (’adonay), a title reserved for God alone. While it is possible to object that the King would not have been granted a divine title, there are implications of the King’s deity throughout the psalm. In light of Ps 45:6 saying to the King, ‘Your throne, God, is forever and ever,’ therein calling Him ‘God’ (’elohim), why is it so objectionable, apart from dogmatic presupposition, for Him to be called ‘Lord’ (’adonay) in this one?
“Thus, in 110:5-6 the victorious Divine Messiah is graphically depicted defeating all who have rebelled against God. He crushes kings and rulers, judges the people (nations), and heaps up corpses, indicating that no rebels will escape. The violence of the imagery recalls Isa 63:1-6, where the messianic King tramples through the winepress of the nations, staining His garments with blood and crushing nations in His anger.60The psalmist says all this will occur on ‘the day of His anger,’ with the pronoun ‘His’ referring to the King. Since the phrase ‘day of anger’ (yom ’ap) occurs in only six verses in Scripture61 and in each case it refers to God’s wrath, this would imply that the triumphant King is indeed a divine King.62” (Michael Rydelnik, Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic? [B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN 2010], pp. 178-179; bold emphasis ours)
57 VanGemeren, "Psalms," EBC 5:699; Kidner, Psalms 73-150, 396; Kraus, Psalm 60-150, 351-52; Mitchell, The Message of the Psalter, 262.
58 E. J. Kissane, The Book of Psalms (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1954), 2:194.
59 Perowne, The Book of Psalms, 2:309.
60 Perowne has objected to the messianic interpretation of this section, wondering how it can describe the Messiah as "literally reigning from Zion" and engaging "in fierce and bloody war with his enemies" (The Book of Psalms, 2:296). This sort of objection stems from a false image of Jesus as the meek and mild one. Although at present "He will not break a bruised reed" (Isa 42:3), in the Hebrew Bible there are many wrathful images of the Messiah executing justice against the nations, such as Psalm 2 and Isaiah 63. There will one day be a literal battle in which the Messiah will crush all rebellion against the true God. D. Sayer' observation is helpful: "We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him 'meek and mild,' and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for plae curates and pious old ladies" (The Whimsical Christian: Eighteen Essays[New York: Macmillian, 1978], 14).
61 Job 20:28; Lam 2:1, 21-22; Zeph 2:2-3.
62 Davis, "Is Psalm 110 a Messianic Psalm?" 166. (Ibid.)
The NT confirms this exegesis by affirming that it is the Lord Jesus who comes with his holy ones to judge and execute his fierce wrath upon the wicked:
But when the Son of Man comes in HIS glory, and all the angels with HIM, then HE will sit on HIS glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before HIM; and HE will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; andHE will put the sheep on HIS right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on HIS right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of MY Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’… Then HE will also say to those on HIS left, ‘Depart from ME, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;’… These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46
“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given ALL JUDGMENT to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” John 5:22-23
“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that allpeople everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
“Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from THE WRATH OF THE LAMB; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” Revelation 6:15-17
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, whiteand clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, ‘Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.’ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:11-21
Nor is this the only place in the Holy Bible where the Lord Jesus is identified as Adonai.
According to the inspired Christian Scriptures, Jesus is the Lord Yahweh (Adonai YHWH) whom the prophet Isaiah said would come to dwell with his people after sending an envoy ahead of him to prepare his way:
A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way FOR THE Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway FOR OUR GOD. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’… Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ Behold, the Lord God (Adonai YHWH) will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” Isaiah 40:3-5, 9-11
The NT identifies that envoy as John the Baptist, who came to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way; The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.”’ John the Baptist appeared IN THE WILDERNESS preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. And he was preaching, and saying, ‘After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.’” Mark 1:1-11 – cf. Matthew 3:1-3, 11-17; Luke 3:1-6, 15-17, 21-22 
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 testified about HimAND CRIED OUT, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.”’… No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him He said, ‘I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord,” as Isaiah the prophet said.’… John answered them saying, ‘I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.’ These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.’ John testified saying, ‘I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.’ Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!’” John 1:14-15, 18, 23, 26-36
“Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’” Acts 19:4
Hence, Jesus is the Lord Yahweh (Adonai YHWH) that came to reveal the glory of God to all flesh!
This, therefore, leaves Zaatari no choice but to accept the fact that, by calling the Messiah Adonai, both David and Isaiah were affirming that the Christ to come would be (and actually is) God Incarnate.
This now brings us to the final part of our rebuttal.


Psalm 110:1 – Another Clear Testimony to Christ’s Deity Pt. 2

The Messenger of Yahweh as Adoni
Not only is Adoni is applied of Yahweh it is also used of the Captain of the Lord’s host or heavenly armies:
“Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?’ He said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord (sar saba YHWH).’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, ‘What has my lord (Adoni) to say to his servant?’ The captain of the Lord’shost (sar saba YHWH) said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so. Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. The Lordsaid to Joshua, ‘See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.’” Joshua 5:13-15, 6:1-2
Suffice it to say, this is no ordinary Captain since the context suggests that he is the LORD or Yahweh who goes on to speak to Joshua in the very next chapter.
There are other indications that this specific figure is truly divine, including the fact that the phrase “Captain of the LORD’s host” is used elsewhere to describe the God of gods in the book of Daniel:
“It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host (sar hassaba); and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down… And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; And he will magnify himself in his heart, And he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, But he will be broken without human agency.” Daniel 8:10-11, 25
Here, the little horn who opposes the Captain or Commander of the host (sar hassaba) and the Prince of princes (sar sarim) is the same wicked ruler who contends against the God of gods:
“Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for anyother god; for he will magnify himself above them all.” Daniel 11:36-37
In light of this, it seems rather obvious that the God of gods is also the Captain of the host and the Prince of princes, which therefore proves that the Man who appeared to Joshua was none other than the God of gods himself since he is the Captain of the LORD’s host! As such, this shows that the Hebrew Bible does use Adoni for Yahweh God since this is who the Man who appeared to Joshua happened to be.
There is additional evidence showing that this same Captain is also the Angel of God/LORD. For instance, both the Captain and the Angel appear with drawn swords in their hands and receive worship from their subjects:
“But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way… Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. The angel of the Lord said to him, ‘Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.’ Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, ‘I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back.’ But the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, ‘Go with the men, but you shall speak only the word which I tell you.’ So Balaam went along with the leaders of Balak.” Numbers 22:22-23, 31-35
Moreover, both of them command individuals to remove their sandals in their presence, and both are identified as Yahweh God:
“Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.’ Exodus 3:1-6
It, therefore, seems reasonably certain that the Captain and the Angel are one and the same entity, which is quite significant since this particular Angel is not only addressed as Adoni he is also called Adonai!
Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.’ Then Gideon said to him, ‘O my lord (Adoni), if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.’ TheLord looked at him and said, ‘Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?’ He said to Him, ‘O Lord (Adonai), how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.’ So Gideon said to Him, ‘If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.’ And He said, ‘I will remain until you return.’ Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them. The angel of God said to him, ‘Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.’ And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of theLord vanished from his sight. When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the Lord, he said, ‘Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.’ Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The Lord is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” Judges 6:11-24
The context makes it clear that the LORD who was speaking to Gideon is the same as the Angel of God that had appeared to him. This means that this specific Angel is called Adoni, Adonai and Yahweh, all in the same chapter!
This isn’t the only time that this particular Messenger is referred to as Adoni:
“On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, as follows: I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him. Then I said, ‘My lord (adoni), what are these?’And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, ‘I will show you what these are.’ And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, ‘These are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.’  So they answered the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, ‘We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet.’” Zechariah 1:7-11
There are additional reasons for viewing this Messenger as God, such as the fact that the Angel creates, saves, forgives sins, brings judgment upon God’s enemies, is worshiped as God, calls himself God, and bears the very name and essence of God (cf. Genesis 16:7-14; 31:10-13; 48:15-16; Exodus 3:1-6; 23:20-21; Judges 2:1-5; 13:3-24; 2 Samuel 14:17, 20; 2 Kings 19:32-37; Psalm 34:6-7; Isaiah 63:9; Zechariah 3:1-4).
As Professor Elliot R. Wolfson explains in respect to this Angel bearing God's name within himself and the impact that this has on Jewish theology and exegesis:
“The textual proofs for the incarnation of the divine in the angelic figure are found in passages where there is a deliberate confusion between the angel of God and divinity itself (Gen. 16:9-13, 18:2, 21:7, 22:11, 31:11, 33:11-13; Ex. 3:2ff., 14:19, 23:21, 32:34; Jos. 5:13-15; Jud. 2:1, 4, 5:23, 6:11ff., 13:3ff.; Is. 63:9; Ps. 34:8). In such instances, the shift in the narrative from God to the angel points to the fact THAT GOD APPEARS IN THE GUISE OF AN ANGEL. One scriptural verse that is extremely significant for understanding this ancient Israelite conception is God's statement that the Israelites should give heed to the angel whom he has sent before them and not rebel against him, for his name is in him (Ex. 23:21). The line separating the angel and God IS SUBSTANTIALLY BLURRED, for by bearing the name, WHICH SIGNIFIES THE POWER OF THE DIVINE NATURE, the angel IS THE EMBODIMENT OF GOD’S PERSONALITY. To possess the name is not merely to be invested with divine authority; it means that ONTOLOGICALLY the angel is the incarnational presence of the divine manifest in the providential care of Israel ... This notion, attested in older Jewish mystical texts as well, is consistent with what one finds in the biblical texts themselves; that is, the ancient Israelite belief was THAT GOD COULD APPEAR AS AN ANGELIC PRESENCE TO HUMAN BEINGS, and the shape this presence took WAS THAT OF AN ANTHROPOS. The angelic form, therefore, is the garment (as later kabbalists expressed the matter) in which the divine is clad when it is manifest in the world in the shape of an anthropos. Clearly, this phenomenon, which is notably similar to the Christological identification of Jesus as THE GLORIOUS ANGEL, should be classified as an example of incarnation as distinct from anthropomorphization.
“… I would argue that the possibility of God assuming the form of an angel is one of the ground myths that informs the liturgical imagination in rabbinic praxis. The implication of the biblical conception is made explicit in several midrashic sources. Thus, in one context, the matter is related exegetically to the expression ‘captain of the Lord's host’ (Jos. 5:14): ‘I am the captain from above, and in every place that I am seen the Holy One, blessed be he, is seen.’ The particular angelic being who serves as the chief of the celestial host is not identified in this text, but the implication of the passage is clear: from a theophanic perspective, the highest angel and God ARE PHENOMENALLY INTERCHANGEABLE, for in every place that the former appears THE LATTER APPEARS. It is not only that the two belong together, BUT THAT THEY RESEMBLE ONE ANOTHER TO THE POINT THAT THE ONTOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO IS OBSCURED…” (Christianity in Jewish Terms, ed. Tikva Frymer-Kensky, David Novak, Peter Ochs, David Fox Sandmel, Michael A. Signer [Westview Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group, 2000], pp. 244-245; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Professor Wolfson is not alone in this regard since this is what a liberal professor states concerning the Angel/Messenger of the Lord and the blessed Apostle Paul’s belief in the Deity of Christ:
“As we saw in the previous chapter, Paul says that it was Christ, and not the human Jesus, who existed from the beginning of creation in the ‘form of God’ but then subsequently emptied himself, being born in the likeness of a mortal human being (Philippians 2:6-7).Paul makes the rather startling assertion that this cosmic Christ, ages before he was born as a human being, HAD MANIFESTED HIMSELF AS YAHWEH, THE GOD OF ISRAEL. He refers particularly to the time of Moses, when the Israelites ‘saw’ Yahweh as a mysterious cloud-fire: ‘And Yahweh went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might go by day and by night’ (Exodus 13:21).
Paul says that the God who led the Israelites through the Red Sea and in their desert wanderings for forty years, the one they called the Rock, WAS CHRIST (1 Corinthians 10:4; Deuteronomy 32:4, 18). He does not explain the particulars of his view,but the idea that there was AN ‘UPPER’ YAHWEH, who remains unseen, sometimes called ‘God called Most High,’ as well as A ‘LOWER’ MANIFESTATION OF THAT SAME GOD, CALLED THE ‘MESSENGER YAHWEH,’ who appears from time to time in human history in a visible manner on earth, WAS COMMON IN VARIOUS FORMS OF JUDAISM OF PAUL’S TIME. This lower Yahweh is not flesh and blood, even though in some of the stories he seems to ‘materialize,’ but when he appears he is then ‘taken up’ or in one case disappears in a flame of fire.
“This is very much akin to the Greek notion of the ineffable God manifest in the lower world as the ‘Word’ or Logos, which was an integral part of Platonic and Stoic cosmology. The Logos idea was appropriated by the Jewish philosopher Philo, a contemporary of Paul, to deal with passages in the Hebrew Bible THAT SEEM TO REFER TO TWO YAHWEHS, AN UPPER AND A LOWER. In the New Testament the Gospel of John adopts the Logos idea wholesale, but makes the shocking assertion that ‘the Logos became flesh,’ referring to the birth of Jesus (John 1:1, 14). This is akin to Paul’s view of the preexistent Christ. In the form of God, who emptied himself and was born of a woman.
“Paul says little more about the preexistent Christ as a manifestation of Yahweh other than that he was present in the days of Moses. Paul is focused entirely on the other end of history, the termination of what he calls ‘this present evil age’ (Galatians 1:14 [sic]). What Jesus represents to Paul is one thing and one thing only–the cosmic, preexistent Christ, being ‘born of a woman,’ as a flesh-and-blood mortal human being now transformed to a life-giving Spirit. This is what drove Paul and excited him most. For him it explained the Genesis creation itself and accounted for all the subsequent ‘blood, sweat, and tears’ of the human story. Humans were created to become Gods! ‘This slight, momentary affliction’ was preparing them for an ‘eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison’ (2 Corinthians 4:17).
“In the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh, the One God of Israel, had declared: ‘Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God and there is no other … To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear’ (Isaiah 45:22-23). Paul quotes this precise phrase from Isaiah but now significantly adds: ‘At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ (Philippians 2:10-11). Christ as the newly exalted Lord of the cosmos IS THE FUNCTIONAL EQUIVALENT OF YAHWEH.” (James D. Tabor, Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity [Simon & Schuster, New York, NY 2012], Six. A Mystical Union, pp. 133-135; bold and capital emphasis ours)
7. The literal term in Hebrew, “messenger Yahweh,” is usually translated as “the angel of Yahweh” but this is not the best choice for English since “angel” in English has its own set of connotations quite different from Hebrew. In Hebrew the phrase used, malak Yahweh,MEANS A MANIFESTATION OF YAHWEH and this figure speaks and acts asYahweh in the first person, appearing and departing, sometimes in a flame of fire(see Genesis 16:10; 18:33; 22:11; Exodus 3:2; Judges 13:20). There are a few passages where these “two Yahwehs” are mentioned in a single verse: “Then Yahweh (below) rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh (above) from heaven” (Genesis 19:24). (Ibid, p. 257; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Hence, not only does Tabor readily acknowledge that Paul believed that Christ is Yahweh God who appeared during the OT period to his saints such as Moses, he even admits that certain strands of Judaism could see that the Hebrew Bible posits two distinct entities as Yahweh God, one visible and the other invisible!
Another liberal NT scholar James D. G. Dunn goes as far as to say that the Angel is not a distinct Divine Messenger sent by Yahweh, but is the same Person as Yahweh!
“More important is ‘the angel of Yahweh’, especially in view of [2nd century Christian apologist] Justin’s identification of the angel of Yahweh with the pre-existent Christ (above p. 132). Yet to understand the angel of Yahweh as a being somehow independent of Yahweh is basically to misunderstand what the ancient writers intended. For it is clear enough even from a cursory study of the passages in question that ‘the angel of Yahweh’ is simply a way of speaking about Yahweh himself. Thus, after the angel of the Lord has appeared and spoken to Hagar the narrative continues: ‘So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing”; for she said, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?”’ (Gen. 16.13). Similarly in the other version of the same tale the angel of God speaks in the first person as God (21.17f.). In Jacob’s dream the angel of God says, ‘I am the God of Bethel’ (31.11-13). In the theophany in the burning bush he who appears to Moses is described both as ‘the angel of the Lord’ and ‘the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’ (Ex. 3.2-6). Finally we might note Judg. 2.1, where ‘the angel of the Lord’ says ‘I brought you up from the land of Egypt… I will never break my covenant with you…’. Clearly in all of these cases it is impossible to distinguish between the angel of Yahweh and Yahweh himself; they are obviously one and the same person. And the same is most probable true of the other passages where it is a ‘man’ who appears to Abraham (Gen. 18 – ‘the Lord’), to Jacob (Gen. 32.24-30 – ‘I have seen God face to face’) and to Joshua (Josh. 5.13-15). Somewhat more ambiguous is the status of the angel who led Israel through the exodus and wilderness wanderings (Ex. 14.19; 23.20, 23; 32.34; 33.2f.; Num. 20.16), but in fact the same equation seems to hold, since the divine presence in the pillar of fire and of cloud is thought of both as ‘the angel of God’ and as ‘the Lord’ in Ex. 14:19f., 24. In other words, in these instances too the ‘angel’ is a way of describing the presence and saving power of Yahweh.
“In short, this angel talk seems to have been an early, still unsophisticated attempt to speak of God’s immanent activity among people and within events on earth without either resorting to straightforward anthropomorphism or abandoning belief in his holy otherness…” (James D. G. Dunn, Christology in the Making – A New Testament Inquiry into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation [William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, MI; Second edition 1989], V. Spirit or Angel?, 20. The angel of the Lord, p. 150; bold emphasis and comments within brackets ours)
Although we reject the notion that the Angel isn’t a distinct Person from Yahweh – since it is clear from the OT that he is – we do agree with Dunn, however, that this particular Messenger is identified as Yahweh himself.
What this means is that we have clear evidence that the Hebrew Bible doesn’t teach unitarianism. The OT data concerning the Angel of Yahweh proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the inspired OT writers knew that God’s eternal Being was so infinitely complex so as to be shared by more than one Divine Person.
Once again, since this Messenger of God is called Adoni then this provides further evidence that the word Adoni is used for God, since this Angel is not a creature but God Almighty himself appearing as an emissary of God.
This brings us to the conclusion of this part of our rebuttal. Please proceed to part 3.