Is Jesus Jehovah, or Yahweh (YHWH), of the Old Testament?
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” 2 John 7, NASB
Jehovah’s Witnesses exhibit commendable moral characteristics, especially when set against the backdrop of our culture’s moral meltdown. Members are generally “clean cut” and family oriented. In raising their children, they enforce outward standards of holiness and dress, standards which shame much of what is acceptable in today’s pan-evangelical churches. Unlike many professing Christians, they also possess a missionary zeal as evidenced by their neighborhood visitations. Few after all, have not been visited by them at their front door.
But despite credible characteristics, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not possess a right understanding of the doctrine of Christ. They refuse to accept the obvious New Testament assertions that Jesus is God (Colossians 2:8-9; Philippians 2:6; John 1:1; etc.). Like Unitarians, Witnesses believe that Jehovah alone is God.
The name Jehovah is the English paraphrase of the common Old Testament name for God, Yahweh (with vowels “a” and “e” added, the name Yahweh derives from the Hebrew name YHWH). About himself Yahweh states, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD (YHWH) is our God (Elohim), the LORD (YHWH) is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4). In his indictment of the idolatry of Israel, Yahweh declared through Isaiah, “Thus saith the LORD (YHWH) the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD (YHWH) of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6). In light of Old Testament texts like these, Jehovah’s Witnesses rightly equate that Jehovah is singularly God as opposed to the idolatry, pantheism and polytheism of the pagans. But in their zeal to protect Jehovah’s unity, they deny Jesus’ deity.
So when looking at the Bible, the question arises, does the Jesus of the New Testament equate to be the personal and self-disclosed Yahweh/Jehovah of the Old? There is strong evidence which indicates that both Jesus and His disciples believed He was the incarnation of YHWH.