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In providing this answer with respect to recognizing the Trinity in the Old Testament, I noticed that Jesus is called the Father which could be confusing when trying to understand the Trinity. In what sense is Jesus the Father but certainly not the Father?

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV Isaiah 9:6)

Please do not answer unless your answers uphold the doctrine of the Trinity. I do not want the debate about the trinity to confuse the question. The answer must assume the Trinity is true, that is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal yet different persons that share the same single divine nature and therefore are called the One and true God.

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It's dangerous territory to try to divide up the Trinity too strictly. I think it's also safe to say (drawing on quotes about quantum mechanics) that if you think you understand the Trinity completely, then you don't understand it at all. –  DJClayworth Jul 13 '12 at 13:30
    
Nice question Mike and I agree with DJClayworth, this could be a point of contention. I wonder if it would be better asked on hermeneutics.stackexchange.com Either way, you're well known for having great answers this is one of the few great questions you have :) –  The Freemason Dec 18 '13 at 14:13

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

And why is he called Counselor? These are adjectives used to describe/praise him. These are metaphorical descriptions.

He is also a brother and a son -

Mat 12:48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

He is both, the son of David and Lord of David -

Mat 22:42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, 44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord:“Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

I think His description as an everlasting father is supposed to illustrate a point that He will watch over and protect His disciples whom he considers as His own children -

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Edit: I would like to make an addition.

This question reveals one of the mistakes that non-trinitarians make. Attempting to define God in human terms and concepts.

The concept of father, mother, brother, sister did not exist before God invented the family unit. It would've been meaningless to call someone your brother before Adam and Eve had sons.

God who created these concepts, is not defined/limited by these. He is above these concepts and yet he is the perfect fulfillment of them. He is not the brother of anyone. Yet he is the perfect model/example of a good brother.

I am a sister. I had no choice, I was given this role. But He voluntarily takes upon these roles for our sakes, becoming our friend, counselor, brother, father, shepherd, and everything else it takes for the expression of His love towards us.

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RE: "This question reveals one of the mistakes that non-trinitarians make" ... did you mean to say "Trinitarians" there? If not, I'm not sure I follow the logic. By the same logic, it could be said that the concept of "Father" or "Son" did not exist before God invented the family unit. "God ... is not defined/limited by these ... and yet he is the perfect fulfillment of them". I think this is a perfect description of the "non-Trinitarian" perspective, and as such, is not an effective illustration of where "non-Trinitarians" have gone wrong, if that makes sense. –  Jas 3.1 Jul 13 '12 at 19:53
    
@jas3.1 my point was over emphasis of non-Trinitarians like Jehovah's witnesses to categorise God into roles. They think Jesus couldn't be God because he is called the son not father. My point is you might aswell call them the holy trinity of a,b,c. Their identity isn't tied to their name. –  Monika Michael Jul 14 '12 at 2:09
    
@jas3.1 "By same logic it could be said .. concept of father and son didn't exist". Yes sir. Strange though it may seem to you there was a time when even the simplest of concepts didn't exist. Matter and space. Width and height. Points, lines and circles. Nothing.. –  Monika Michael Jul 14 '12 at 2:14
    
-1: The concept of father, mother, brother, sister did not exist before God invented the family unit.: Umm... Nothing, literally nothing, existed before God invented it. –  Jim G. Jul 14 '12 at 3:41

I agree with the one that wrote: Jesus has taken the position as Father over the children of God the Father, and rightfully so, for in the long run he will be the second Adam, and we sons of God will have the second Adam as our Father we we reign and rule with him; I have personally taken the place of being a father who had no father to lean on nor trust; It is indeed an honour position to be in: So I praise you Heavenly Father for giving me Jesus as my Congenial Father you knowing that he will fulfill your perfect: In the glorious name of Christ Jesus I pray amen. My name is Jacob Friesen I am the President of the CEC Canada Foundation Association called to involved in the education of the Young of Canada.

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Welcome to the site. We are glad that you have stopped by to participate and would be happy to see you here again. This post is okay, but it is a bit of what we call a "me-too" post. It is kind of an answer, but not really. So this site is not really a discussion forum, but more of an question and answer format. –  fredsbend Dec 17 '13 at 19:33

IMHO, I'm giving more of a Hermeneutics answer vs a Christian / denomination specific answer.

I think it's important to note some facts about Isaiah:

The Book of Isaiah contains the prophecies of Isaiah (whose name means "Yahweh is salvation"), the son of Amoz, who lived in Jerusalem and prophesied mainly about Judah and Jerusalem. He took up his prophetic office in the year that King Uzziah died and continued that ministry during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Hosea and Micah were among his contemporaries. Isaiah's ministry lasted over fifty years (740-687BC), after which, according to tradition, he was sawn into pieces during the persecutions which raged after the accession of Manasseh (Hebrews 11:37).

The authorship of the latter half of Isaiah, beginning with Chapter 40, has been the subject of much dispute. Unquestionably, there is a distinct break at the end of chapter 39. The difference may be explained in one of two ways. The traditional view holds that 40-66 were composed later in Isaiah's life and are predictive prophecy. Others assume because of the Babylonian setting of this unit, it was composed by some great unknown prophet who wrote AFTER the events occured rather than before. A variant of this view suggests a school of Isaiah in which the prophet's disciples spoke in the name of their teacher after his death. Once prediction is regarded as a fundamental part of the prophet's message, there is no compelling reason for denying the unity of the book.

And Isaiah's acceptance in ancient times is evident in its being in the Dead Sea Scrolls

5 There are now identified among the scrolls, 19 copies of the Book of Isaiah, 25 copies of Deuteronomy and 30 copies of the Psalms .

7 The Isaiah Scroll, found relatively intact, is 1000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah. In fact, the scrolls are the oldest group of Old Testament manuscripts ever found.

So then, I feel that it is important to review the Hebrew:

Isaiah 9:6 (Young's Literal Translation)

For a Child hath been born to us, A Son hath been given to us, And the princely power is on his shoulder, And He doth call his name Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.

But if we look at

Isaiah Chapter 9 יְשַׁעְיָהוּ Note that this is Isaiah 9:5 instead of 9:6

For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom;

ה כִּי-יֶלֶד יֻלַּד-לָנוּ, בֵּן נִתַּן-לָנוּ, וַתְּהִי הַמִּשְׂרָה, עַל-שִׁכְמוֹ; וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ פֶּלֶא יוֹעֵץ, אֵל גִּבּוֹר, אֲבִי-עַד, שַׂר-שָׁלוֹם.

It appears that what we use for Isaiah may be a translation of Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom More about that title is found in the link.

And finally... "why is Jesus the Son called the Father in Isaiah 9:6?" Because that is how the title was translated.

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