I understand that Jesus is son of GOD. The scripture is clear on that one. Jesus did lots of things that only GOD can do. We revered Jesus as God (not all caps). But is he also GOD, the father (all caps)?

  • 4
    GOD in all caps doesn't consistently mean anything. If you're asking if the Son is the Father the answer is a clear no.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 18 '19 at 13:50
  • John 10:30 follows the same pattern as Genesis 2:24.
    – Lucian
    Oct 18 '19 at 22:02

The confusion lies in that Jesus is God however God consists of Father, Son, and Spirit. There is a distinction and a unity.

Here is a small subset of some of the verses that help us understand

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.John 1:1

But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. Hebrews 1:8

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. Acts 20:28 ESV

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ISA 9:6


In English Old Testament translations we usually use one of the following forms to refer to God (the following is the ESV convention):

  • all caps "LORD" (to signify the Hebrew yhwh, but spoken adonay / "Lord" out of respect)
  • initial cap "God" (Hebrew elohim), or
  • "Lord GOD" (Hebrew adonay yhwh)

but not all caps "GOD" on its own. For the rest of the answer I am going to assume that you mean "GOD" to mean "LORD".

Here are the translation conventions of the most common English Bibles:

A rough guidance for the reader is that, by convention, the forms that include the Hebrew yhwh (such as "LORD" or "Lord GOD") refer to the personal name of God while the forms without (such as "God") refer to a divine being. See my answer to another question for more details.

This distinction is VERY important and you will find how both forms are mixed in a single Bible verse to make a point, such as Ps 50:1 or Isa 45:5-6 when the Israelites wanted to distinguish her God from another nation's God.

Imagine you are an Israelite in the time after David where every nation around you worship a God, but a different God than the one you are worshiping. How do you, in a poem, say that YOUR God is the true, all powerful God who rules over everyone (not just your nation)? So you say as Ps 50:1 is saying:

"The LORD, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken; he has summoned all from where the sun rises to where it sets."

Or imagine in the time of Isaiah you wanted to say that Cyrus the Persian King was going to be commissioned by YOUR God to return you from exile and that it was NOT going to be Cyrus's God who would do that, but it was YOUR God who would empower Cyrus (see Isa 45:1-13):

1a This is what the LORD says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower.


4 “And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? It is for the sake of Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one.

5 I am the LORD; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me,

6 so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the LORD, and there is no other.

7 I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.


In both examples you want to say that regardless of how another nation calls their God (be it Molech, Baal, Chemosh, Dagon, etc.), the other nation's people are ALSO subject to YOUR own God whose personal name is the LORD (yhwh).

Moving on to the New Testament era, the Jewish Christians believed Jesus to be sent by that same God whose personal name is the LORD (yhwh), but NOT sent by another God (by this time we had a different set of "gods", like Athena, Zeus, Apollo, Jupiter, etc.) But the early Jewish Christians not only believed that Jesus was sent by the LORD (yhwh), but that Jesus had the same ESSENCE as the LORD (yhwh) while remained distinct. Thus the convention changed to reflect this new revelation. They discontinued the usage of referring to the OT God using the personal name LORD (yhwh). Instead they use "God" to refer to God the Father and "Jesus" to refer to God the Son. Jesus himself refers to God as the "Father" many times. See wikipedia article "Names and titles of God in the New Testament" for complete technical details.

So one way to answer your question is to understand the historical development of the CONVENTION of how Israelites, then Jews, then Jewish Christians refer to their God. It would be mixing OT and NT conventions to say that "Jesus is LORD" (that's why you don't see that in English NT translation).

Instead, you see:

  • "Jesus is Lord": meaning Jesus is your master and your king, or
  • "Jesus is God": meaning Jesus has the attributes of the same supreme being that the LORD (yhwh) has in the OT, or
  • "Jesus is God's Son": meaning that Jesus, in his divine identity within the Trinitarian Godhead, is the eternally begotten Son of God the Father

So to ask "is Jesus also LORD" is to muddy the convention. What do you mean by that question?

  • Your contribution is very interesting and informative except you've unfortunately made a doctrinal error in saying that God the Father was the one who incarnated. This isn't the accepted teaching of the Trinity. The orthodox doctrine teaches that the Son was eternally begotten and that only He as the second Person of the Trinity was incarnated.
    – Eddie
    Oct 19 '19 at 11:01
  • @Eddie. Thanks. I edited the answer. Oct 19 '19 at 15:34
  • The distinction of capitals in the English O.T. is to differentiate El/Elohim Adon/Adonai and Jah/Jehovah. I don't think you have made this clear in your answer. Your explanation of 'personal' names is incorrect.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 19 '19 at 19:28
  • @Nigel I'm aware of those forms, I just don't want to clutter the answer because the main point is to distinguish the author's intention to mean either God as a divine being or God's personal name. Why do you think the explanation of personal name incorrect? The ESV Preface link above has this quote: "As is common among English translations today, the ESV usually renders the personal name of God (YHWH) by the word LORD (printed in small capitals)" (please see the complete discussion in the link). This answer is not meant to be a technical answer. Anyway, I edited the answer. Oct 19 '19 at 20:15
  • @Nigel The NASB Preface also regards yhwh as designating the proper name of God: "In the Scriptures, the name of God is most significant and understandably so. It is inconceivable to think of spiritual matters without a proper designation for the Supreme Deity. Thus the most common name for the Deity is God, a translation of the original Elohim. One of the titles for God is Lord, a translation of Adonai. There is yet another name which is particularly assigned to God as His special or proper name, that is, the four letters YHWH (Exodus 3:14 and Isaiah 42:8). " (see link in my edited answer) Oct 19 '19 at 21:12

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