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There is a question asking how non-trinitarians explain Isaiah 43:11, but this one seeks trinitarian explanation as connected to other verses in Titus.

“Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” Isaiah 43:11 A.V. [Emphasis mine]

“…according to the commandment of God our Saviour… Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Titus 1:3 & 4 A.V. [Emphasis mine]

The query is, who has the divine role of being Saviour? In Isaiah it is Yahweh, and only him. In Titus it is both God and Jesus Christ. It appears that there cannot be two Saviours (according to Isaiah). So, why does Titus say what it says? (Both God and Jesus Christ are – again – designated ‘Saviour’ in Titus 2:13 & 3:4 – repetition for emphasis; so, in this letter to Titus there has not been a scribal error. Both sets of statements in Titus agree.)

However, the question is not a hermeneutic one regarding Greek language in Titus; it is about how the claims in Titus can stand in view of Isaiah 43:11 categorically stating that only God is Saviour. How do Trinitarians explain this?

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There are many dimensions to salvation. All three persons of the Trinity participate.

"Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." How can this be true? The Son and Father are coeternal. There is no time when either did not exists. Neither was formed.

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour." (John 12:27)

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane contemplated asking the Father to save him. Instead, he chose to proceed and on the cross accomplish the salvation of all who believe. The Father is capable of saving, but that responsibility and that honor was reserved for Jesus. Nevertheless, the Father and Spirit both perform actions that support and apply that salvation.

The crucial thing is that the Father sent the Son. When a king sends an official, a general, or some other representative to act on his behalf, the king bears responsibility for that action. Thus the Father by sending a savior IS a savior. The Father is the only one who can select and send a savior.

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One part of the human Jesus's mission was to reveal the existence of the Father to mankind.
In John 17:25 and Matthew 11:27, Jesus says:

O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.

Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

Speaking of the Father, John 5:37 and John 1:18 say:

You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

No one has seen God at any time.

Yet the Hebrew scriptures describe many instances of people talking with YHWH, including Jacob's claim: "I have seen God face to face", in Genesis 32:30.

None of this makes sense if YHWH was the Father.

But consider the belief that YHWH, the God of the Hebrew scriptures, was the pre-incarnate Jesus.
(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.)

Now in that light, consider Isaiah 43:10,11:

… before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.

The "I", "Me", and "LORD" (YHWH) are all referring to the pre-incarnate Jesus. So (in retrospect), this verse is simply stating that Jesus, and only Jesus, is the Saviour of mankind. It is also confirming that both the Father and the Son have always existed and always will exist.

But all that is something that Christians already know.

And now in light of that, consider Titus 1:3,4:

… according to the commandment of God our Saviour; … Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

The Father and the Son are each worthy of the title God. Working together, both are saving mankind, though it is the Son that carries out the necessary action.

This is similar to how, in John 1:3, "All things were made by him[the Son]; and without him was not any thing made that was made.", which certainly doesn't mean that the Father didn't create the universe too.

The Father has always remained in his Heaven, and it won't be until the end of the Millennium that he enters the physical universe.

… shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Rev 21:10,22; 22:3,4

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

… the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it …
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

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  • Please correct me if I am wrong, but are you not a Binitarian? I know that such a stance means belief in the Father as God, and Jesus Christ as God, but as this answer indicates a sort of merging of two identities, that clashes with Trinitarian belief, that three Persons share the divine nature; the Father and the Son sharing the one, divine nature, with absolute unity of the Spirit in that nature. Yet their identities remain distinct. I don't want to debate this here, but just hope you can see that I'm looking for a Trinitarian answer.
    – Anne
    Jun 24, 2023 at 7:53
  • This is very poor quality for this site, I have to say. These are personal opinions not conclusions based on the text.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 24, 2023 at 8:24
  • @Anne, I've never said what my personal religious beliefs are. But yes, my answers do almost always reflect a binitarian view; that's what I see from a literal reading of scripture. ¶ I omitted mentioning the Holy Spirit, because it seemed irrelevant to this specific question. I see the Father and the Son as two identical and equal beings, with a relationship that includes a level of deference symbolized by a human father and son, the Son acting as spokesman (Logos) and dealing directly with creation. John 14:28 says "my Father is greater than I", so this isn't incompatible with the Trinity. Jun 24, 2023 at 13:50
  • @Ray Butterworth Your clarification appreciated. Indeed, my Q does not deal with the Holy Spirit here, so I wouldn't expect anyone to delve into His role re. those two texts. But given that the Trinity doctrine teaches three 'Persons' and one 'Being of God', your view of "the Father and the Son as two identical and equal beings" is at odds with the trinitarian explanation.
    – Anne
    Jun 24, 2023 at 14:02
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    @Anne 'Two identical ( ! ! ) and equal persons' means two gods. Without the real relationship of Father and Son ; and without the unity of the Holy Spirit (Father and Son in one Holy Spirit) that statement is not 'binitarian' it is ditheism.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 24, 2023 at 14:15

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