Friday, 15 July 2011

Who is the Judge? Jesus or Yahweh

The new testament Portrays Jesus to be the Judge of the whole earth and of the nations while in the old testament it is attributed to Yahweh. Is there a conflict in this or as the role of Judge been passed on to Jesus by the Father.  Jesus clearly mentions in John 5:22 “Moreover, the Father Judges no one but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father”. So it is clear that the Father has entrusted the role of Judgment to the Son. 

Before we begin to see whether there is a conflict with the old testament scriptures* which says that Yahweh is the judge even of eschatological issues and with the new testament which attributes all eschatological judgements to Christ, it is first wise to understand who Jesus Christ is. 

Jesus Christ in the gospel of John identifies himself to be Yahweh of the Old testament when in John chapter 8:24 and 58 he clearly says “If you do not believe that I AM you will die in your sins… Before Abraham was born I AM”. Jesus here identifies himself to be the Yahweh of the Old testament, that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When Jesus identified himself as Yahweh the Jews wanted to kill him because they did not know that He was telling the truth. Thus in the New testament we see a clear revelation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and because He is God he is able to judge perfectly. See 2 Corinthians 5:10 1Corinthians 4:5 cf. Jeremiah 17:10

Therefore there is no conflict between the Old testament and the new testament. Yahweh is assigned the role of Judge and because Jesus is Yahweh he is very capable to fulfil this duty. The new testament brings about a fuller revelation of who God is. That is that God is Father, Son and Spirit and although there are allusions to this in the old testament the New testament displays the full reality. See 1 Corinthians 4:5 Hebrews 1

But what is the Father’s role? Jesus came to make known the will of the Father, and the will of the Father was for Jesus to have authority to judge because Jesus is the son of man (John 5:27) which is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14. Also the Father’s will is that any one who looks to and believes in Jesus will have eternal life and Jesus will raise them on the last day (John 6:39).

But the Judgment of Jesus is not merely his own Judgment but he works in unison with His Father. “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is Just, for I seek not to please myself but the one who sent me”, John 5:30.

The Father has entrusted all judgement to Jesus Christ His Son and the Father’s role I believe is that He is working in unison with His Son and while the Father will not be doing the Judging in a physical sense yet His will is being enacted because whatever judgement Jesus passes, it is as if the Father passes it also because they are “One”. See Romans 2:16 

Jesus is the Kyrios and the Father has placed all things into his hand (Matthew 28:18) so that all may worship and honour Jesus just as they honour the Father. The Father appointed Jesus to be the judge of all. This is a revelation. See Acts 10:42 Acts 17:30-31

* 1 Samuel 2:10 Psalm 94:1-2 Psalm 7:6-8 Isaiah 66:15-16 Joel 3:1-2, 11-17 Isaiah 33:22

This has not been dealt with exhaustively so please asks questions and I will react to your questions.



  1. If Jesus Is Yahweh then who is the Father who entrusted all judgement to Jesus- the Yahweh??

  2. Wow, tough question! Well we find that God is called "elohim" throughout the OT but then He refers to Himself to Moses as "YHWH" (or Lord) in Exodus 6:3 so there is a much more powerful meaning here... that He is LORD over all and not just "the God of the Israelites" so as I understand it I would say that we also refer to Jesus as "Lord and Saviour" so I think that old saying that "Christ is in the OT concealed and in the NT revealed" is very apt... so therefore Christ is also Yahweh in my understanding because God is three persons and reveals Himself as Yahweh, so therefore when God walks on the earth in the OT it is the Son who walks on the earth (in the Garden of Eden and past the cave where Moses was, I also believe that it was the Son who wrestled with Jacob, but other commentators say it was an angel... then the Spirit of God fell on many of the annointed judges and kings in the OT)


  3. Well....I don't know. I've always (without ever looking in to it) regarded Yahweh as God much in the same way we refer to the Godhead as a kind of unity of personhood. I probably wouldn't say 'Jesus is Yahweh in the Old Testament' as it might sound like Yahweh is only identifiable as one person in the Trinity, whereas it's probably the case that the NT Trinitarian picture expands and clarifies on what was revealed (and even hinted at perhaps) in the OT. Does that make sense? I think that all 3 persons of the Trinity are Yahweh in that incomprehensible way, but we only get to see (in the clearer way) that 'divine economy' in the New Testament, where the Father and the Son and the Spirit interact in various ways.

    I always found it striking that in Mark 1.3 for example, when Mark quotes Isaiah to explain John the Baptist's appearance and mission, he quotes "prepare the way of the Lord", the original Hebrew of course being "prepare the way of Yahweh". By this time it was customary to replace the divine name with 'Lord', so this was all perfectly natural. But it does show that J the B's mission was to prepare the way of Yahweh, who Mark implies is Jesus.



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