A Series of Answers to Common Questions

Sam Shamoun


Christian apologists claim that the word Kurios ("Lord"), which appears all throughout the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (known as the Septuagint [LXX]) and the NT, functions as the Greek synonym for God’s covenant name, Yahweh. The apologists conclude from this fact that the NT identifies Jesus as Yahweh because he is called Kurios. However, this Greek word is used for many other individuals in the NT without any Christian taking this to mean that these specific persons are also Yahweh. Why, then, do Christians automatically assume that Jesus is Yahweh solely because the NT calls him Kurios or Lord?


It isn’t merely the fact that Jesus is addressed as Kurios that leads Christians to believe he is Yahweh, but the manner in which the NT writers use this Greek word for Christ that leads them to this conclusion.

For instance, the Hebrew Scriptures teach that salvation comes from calling on the name of Yahweh:

"And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls." Joel 2:32

Yet according to the NT, believers are to call on the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation:

"Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’" Acts 22:14-16

"That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’" Romans 10:9-13

NT Christians even prayed to Jesus the same way OT believers prayed to Yahweh:

"Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God." Genesis 21:33 – 12:8

"Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth." Psalm 31:5

"Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the LORD and he answered them." Psalm 99:6

"While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:59-60

"To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:" 1 Corinthians 1:2

Moreover, these believers invoked Jesus for favors and healing in the same manner that the saints of the OT beseeched Yahweh:

"Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man." Psalm 12:1

"But you, O LORD, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them." Psalm 41:10

"Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long." Psalm 86:3, cf. 123:3

"O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success." Psalm 118:25

"And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, 'Save us, Lord; we are perishing.'" Matthew 8:23-25

"And Peter answered him, 'Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.' He said, 'Come.' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord, save me.' Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" Matthew 14:28-31

"And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, 'Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.'" Matthew 15:22

"And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, 'Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!' The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, 'Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'" Matthew 20:30-31

The NT further says that every knee wil bend to Jesus as Lord just as they do to Yahweh:

"Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear." Isaiah 45:22-23

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11

There are other factors which further substantiate that the NT writers were identifying Jesus as Yahweh when they called him Kurios or Lord.

For example, like Yahweh Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings:

"For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes." Deuteronomy 10:17

"Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever." Psalm 136:3

"and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood," Revelation 1:5

"They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." Revelation 17:14

"On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." Revelation 19:16

Like Yahweh, Jesus has prophets who prophesy in his name:

"If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:19-22

"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" Matthew 7:21-23

And just like Yahweh Jesus is the Sovereign Lord of all:

"To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it." Deuteronomy 10:14

"See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you… And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD -the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap." Joshua 3:11, 13

"Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’" Matthew 28:18

"You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all." Acts 10:36

"If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living." Romans 14:8-9

Finally, but not least, Jesus as Lord is the Agent and Sustainer of creation:

"yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through (di’) whom all things came and through whom (di’ auto) we live." 1 Corinthians 8:6

"He [God the Father] also says, ‘In the beginning, O Lord [Jesus], you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.’" Hebrews 1:10-12

Functions which the Bible ascribes to Yahweh, the one God:

"This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself," Isaiah 44:24

"So I said: ‘Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations. In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." Psalm 102:24-27

"For from him and through him (di’ auto) and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." Romans 11:36

"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for (di’) whom and through (di’) whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering." Hebrews 2:10

The foregoing makes it rather obvious that the NT writers weren’t simply calling Jesus Lord in the sense of one with great rank or authority. Rather, the inspired authors of Holy Scripture clearly intended to convey the idea that Jesus is Lord in the sense of being Yahweh God Almighty.

Further Reading


Our good friend Quennel Gale has rebutted one of Osama Abdallah's amateur "apologists" who tried to refute my article: http://answer-islam.org/q_jesus_kurios.html

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