6

11“I, only I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me.

The OT especially has a strong emphasis on there being only one God, Yahweh, and there are only a few scattered and cryptic references to God even having a Son. Trinitarian doctrine tries to solve this problem at least by stating that God is one Being, but represented by three Persons. Non-trinitarians challenge this saying that God and the Son are distinct beings. They would say that Jesus is subordinate to the Father and yet this passage seems to be saying that there is no Savior apart from the Father.

The Word of God is manifested plainly in the New Testament, where Jesus seems to be distinct from the Father. But what do non-trinitarians do hermeneutically with passages in the OT like this one that seem to deny the separate existence of the Word? Why would Yahweh say there is no other Savior, whether person or being, knowing that he would be sending his Son to be the Savior of the world? Anyone should feel free to answer the question regardless of their beliefs about the trinity. Here is the verse in its immediate context.

10“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. 11“I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. 12“It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And I am God. 13“Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”

6

Non-Trinitarian Perspective

Having studied this issue thoroughly for several years, my view shifted from a Trinitarian perspective to a non-Trinitarian viewpoint, so what follows is one person's non-Trinitarian explanation.

The New Testament Agrees

First, it is worth noting that the New Testament also identifies God as our Savior.

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 1:25, KJV)

It also identifies the Father as the only true God (see John 17:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6, 1 Timothy 2:5, etc.).

But what about verses that appear to say Jesus is our Savior?

To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Titus 1:4, KJV)

Look at the prior verse to see the context and explanation.

But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; (Titus 1:3, KJV)

And in the next chapter:

Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. (Titus 2:10, KJV)

And there are other verses calling God our Savior.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; (1 Timothy 1:1, KJV)

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (1 Timothy 2:3, KJV)

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:47, KJV)

God is our Saviour.

Why then can Jesus be called our Saviour? It is simple: God was in Christ.

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19, KJV)

The Old Testament Savior

The Old Testament agrees with the New Testament in identifying God as our Savior.

The LORD [Jehovah] is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2, KJV)

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1, KJV)

The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (2 Samuel 22:3, KJV)

The Only Savior

I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. (Isaiah 43:11, KJV)

Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me. (Hosea 13:4, KJV)

Conclusion

God is our Savior. Jesus was sent by God and God was in Him. It follows that if God is our Savior and this Savior was in Christ, Christ participates in our salvation, but it is God who saves us through Christ. The Bible confirms this:

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:9, KJV)

We are saved by God through Christ.

11
  • Thanks for your answer, Polyhat. So how do you describe the nature/s of the two Saviors? How are they not two Gods? Oct 18 at 1:00
  • @MartinHemsley. God sent Jesus as savior of the world. 1 John 4:14. The name Jesus which means "Jehovah is salvation" tells us that Jehovah is the source of salvation, Matthew 1:21.
    – Alex Balilo
    Oct 18 at 1:51
  • 1
    I +1 this answer, but I fail to see biblical support for two natures. He does not need 2 natures - just as a man with his own will which he willingly subjected to his Father's/God's presence in him. God does not give us another nature - He transforms the one we have by His spirit and our submission to His will as Jesus did. That's why we read Jesus 'learnt' obedience thru suffering.
    – steveowen
    Oct 18 at 2:23
  • 3
    No, that would be impossible. God is not a human, but Jesus was a human. That's two different beings. But God was IN Christ, meaning that Jesus' person (one person) comprised two beings (human and divine). Instead of "beings", many prefer to say "natures." As a human, Jesus was not God. God is only one Being--but God's spirit is everywhere present and could be in Christ and in Heaven simultaneously. God is our savior--who else could save us if God did not? But God worked through Christ and through Christ's atoning sacrifice and death in order to fulfill the conditions for our salvation.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 18 at 3:08
  • 1
    @Polyhat, I think I agree with you overall. And +1 your answer. I hope you don't mind some constructive criticisms of some of your comments. It doesn't seem like describing Christ as having two natures is very helpful. It doesn't seem particularly biblical and such a notion is already overloaded with Trinitarian meaning. It may be more confusing than clarifying.
    – Austin
    Oct 18 at 6:28
0

"Non-trinitarian" includes "binitarian", those that believe that Jesus is God, but do not believe that God's holy spirit is a person.

See my answer to contradiction - How can John 1:18 say that "No man has seen God" when the Bible says that Abraham, Moses, Job and others have? - Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange.

A summary is that Isaiah's "LORD" (YHWH), and Jesus were in fact the same person. Jesus was the incarnation of the God of the Hebrew scriptures. The world didn't even know about the Father until Jesus revealed him.

O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. — John 17:25-26

4
  • Here we see Jesus praying to himself??
    – Kris
    Oct 18 at 20:02
  • Hi Ray, I agree that no man has seen God. Could you explain in a little more depth how the binitarian view avoids polytheism? You could edit you answer if you want since it is germane to the question. Also, does "The world has not known you", have to mean that the world has never had a clue about your existence or could t mean that the world doesn't want to accept you and the subsequent responsibilities? Oct 18 at 20:43
  • @MartinHemsley, it depends upon how one defines polytheism. The Romans for instance had many different gods, each with a unique personality, and with various conflicts among them. The god of the Bible consists (currently) of two persons, with identical personalities and goals. There is no conflict between them and they agree on everything. In this sense "God" refers to what is effectively a family with a unified appearance. Eventually, other members will be born into this family, and all will act as if as one, in total agreement and unity. That is polytheism, but not the usual meaning. Oct 19 at 0:20
  • @MartinHemsley, I believe that "the world has not known you" literally means just that. Until Jesus revealed the Father's existence, the world was unaware of it. (It's possible that some individuals were told about it, but in general everyone else knew only of JHWH.) Oct 19 at 0:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.