Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses, BUs don't have a conception of lesser "gods". Given this, how do they interpret Isaiah 9:6, which calls Jesus the following titles:

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (CSB)

Note the use of "Mighty God", identifying Jesus as divine.

  • 3
    BUs don't have a conception of lesser gods. This is untrue. They recognise all manner of gods including the 'god of this world'. For a comprehensive answer revisedenglishversion.com/Isaiah/chapter9/6 – steveowen 23 secs ago
    – steveowen
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 11:22
  • @steveowen interesting - wasn't aware of that.
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


From the link Steve Owen gives, Isaiah 9:6 Commentary, REV translation,

"“Mighty Hero.” The phrase is usually translated as “Mighty God” in most English Bibles. Actually, “mighty god” would not be a bad translation if people realized that in the Hebrew language the word “god/God” (Elohim; also El) had a much wider range of application than it does in English. People familiar with the Semitic languages know that a man who is acting with God’s authority can be called “god.” Although English makes a clear distinction between “God” and “god,” the Hebrew language, which has only capital letters, cannot. Hebrew only would have GOD, no matter if it referred to the Father or a person acting with divine authority. Thus, a better translation of Isaiah 9:6 for the English reader would be “mighty hero,” or “divine hero.” Both Martin Luther and James Moffatt translated the phrase as “divine hero” in their Bibles. (For more on the flexible use of “God,” see the commentary on Heb. 1:8). For an alternative explanation of the name, see below under “Father of the Coming Age.”

The phrase in Isaiah 9:6 that most English versions translate as “Mighty God” is el gibbor in the Hebrew. That very phrase, in the plural form, is used in Ezekiel 32:21 of “heroes” and mighty men. The NIV translates the phrase in Ezekiel as “mighty leaders,” and the KJV and NASB translate it as “the strong among the mighty.” The Hebrew phrase, when used in the singular, can refer to one “mighty leader” just as when used in the plural it can refer to many “mighty leaders.”

There is no justification in the context of Isaiah 9 for believing that this verse refers to the Messiah as part of the Trinity. It refers to God’s appointed ruler. The opening verse of the chapter foretells a time when “there will be no more gloom for those who were in anguish.” All war and death will cease, and “every boot of the tramping warrior…and the garments rolled in blood…will be fuel for the fire” (Isa. 9:5). How will this come to pass? The chapter goes on: “for to us a child is born” (Isa. 9:6). There is no hint that this child will be “God,” and reputable Trinitarian scholars will assert that the Jews of the Old Testament knew nothing of an “incarnation.” For them, the Messiah was going to be a man anointed by God. He would start as a child, which of course Yahweh, their eternal God, could never be. And what a great ruler this man would grow to be: “the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Hero, Father of the Coming Age, Prince of Peace.” Furthermore, “he will reign on David’s throne (Isa. 9:7), which could never be said of God. God could never sit on David’s throne. But God’s Messiah, “the Son of David,” could (cp. Matt. 9:27). Thus, a study of the verse in its context reveals that it does not refer to the Trinity at all, but to the Messiah, the son of David and the Son of God."

I would add that the phrase is 'mighty god', not 'Almighty God'. Very different. Also, remember the 'gods' that Jesus refers to in John 10:34 - same idea. Just as Psalm 82:6 doesn't mean we have to expand God to multiple persons, according to BUs Isaiah 9:6 is much more straightforwardly explained as referring to a heroic man who is anointed by God.


One explanation Unitarians use: "will be named is not is. People just will name him Mighty God, but this doesn't mean he is Mighty God".

But I believe that "will be named" is a Jewish turn of speech meaning "widely known as", or "recognized as", including "being". Examples:

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness (Is. 35:8)

For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. (Is. 54:5, synonymical rhyme, "is" here is the synonym of "is called")

for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations (Is. 56:7)

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32. He actually is the Son of Most High)

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High (Luke 1:76. John the Baptist actually is the prophet)

It's just the turn of speech meaning "is, and widely known as"


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