Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog


Trinitarian or Henotheistic in Nature? Pt. 4

Sam Shamoun

We proceed with our examination concerning the Deity of Christ.



“In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earthAfter that God saw everything he had made and, look! [it was] very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth and all their army came to their completion. And by the seventh day God came to the completion of his work that he had made, and he proceeded to rest on the seventh day from all his work that he had made. And God proceeded to bless the seventh day and make it sacred, because on it he has been resting from all his work that God has created for the purpose of making. This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.” Genesis 1:1; 2:1-4 NWT

“You alone are Jehovah. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” Nehemiah 9:6

“This is what Jehovah says- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am Jehovah, who has made all things, who ALONE stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by MYSELF.” Isaiah 44:24

“and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.” Ephesians 3:9 NIV

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:11


Through him all things came into existence. And without him nothing came into existence that has come into existence. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” John 1:3-4 NIV

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For BY him all things were created, things in heaven and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created BY him and FOR him. He is BEFORE all things, and IN him all things consist.” Colossians 1:15-17 NIV

“… but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of the Father and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:2-3 NIV

Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.” Hebrews 3:3-4 NIV

The Old Testament clearly indicates that Jehovah alone created all things, and yet in the New Testament it is Jesus who created all things for himself. This logically identifies Jesus as Jehovah God. Consider the following syllogism carefully:

A. Jehovah alone created all things.

B. Jesus created all things.

C. Therefore, Jesus is Jehovah.

Troubled by this fact, Arians likes the JWs attempt to weaken the validity of this conclusion by offering two primary responses. The first argument presented is the assertion that the term “firstborn” in Colossians 1:15 actually means that Jesus is the first creation of Jehovah through whom he created everything else. This is why the JWs insert the word “other” four times in their translation, giving the impression that Jesus created and sustains “all (other) things.”

This interpretation cannot be sustained for the following reasons. Firstly, Jesus is said to be “before all things,” with all things being understood as all of that which has been created. In other words, the “all things” which Jesus is said to preexist is the entire creation which was brought into being by the agency of the Son.

Therefore, if Jesus existed before the whole creation then he must necessarily be the eternal God since only God was in existence before anything ever came into being.

Secondly, in relation to “firstborn,” the term in and of itself need not imply the first one created. Scripture also uses it to show preeminence and exalted status.

For example in Psalm 89:19-20 and 26-27 David is called God’s firstborn, being “the most exalted of the kings of the earth,” despite the fact that David was the youngest of Jesse’s eight sons and wasn’t the first Israelite king. That honor belonged to Saul.

Moreover, Jeremiah 31:9 calls Ephraim God’s firstborn even though in reality Ephraim was Joseph’s second child, with Manasseh being the firstborn (Cf. Genesis 47:14, 17-18).

Furthermore, in light of its Old Testament background, the firstborn son received a double portion and was the heir of his father’s estate (Cf. Deuteronomy 21:15-17).

Hence, Jesus is called the Firstborn OF CREATION, not of God, due to his being the beloved Heir who owns everything that belongs to the Father:

“… Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.” Matthew 21:37-39 NIV

All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16:15 NIV

“All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” John 17:10 NIV

“But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” Hebrews 1:2 NIV

Jesus is also called the Firstborn in that he holds complete supremacy over all things since the entire creation was brought into being for him.

Therefore, a legitimate way of communicating the thought behind the phrase “firstborn of all creation” is to say that Jesus is the heir of the entire creation and is preeminent over everything that has been made.

That this is the meaning of firstborn in application to Jesus is clear from the context of Colossians itself: Jesus’ supremacy over creation is pointed out by the fact that he created everything, and his being the heir of all things is pointed up by the fact that everything was created for him.

As it stands, Colossians 1:15 has nothing to do with Christ being created, since the context clearly presents Jesus as the Creator and Sustainer of the whole creation.

The second argument raised by modern day Arians to refute the Trinitarian understanding of Christ as the eternal Creator is to appeal to the context of Isaiah 40-55.

Trying to establish the fact that Jesus as the created Wisdom of God in Proverbs 8:22-31 was the Agent through whom Jehovah made everything, Greg Stafford states that the purpose of Isaiah 44:24 is to reveal,

“… the absurdity of worshiping idols, as they are ‘all of them an unreality’ (Is. 44:9; see also verses 8-17), while He is the True God, the Creator, ‘who stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me?’ (verse 24) This statement is not to be taken as contradictory to the teaching of Prov. 8:25-27: ‘Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth; before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, I was there’ (RSV, emphasis added) There was someone with God when He founded the earth, but not an idol god of the nations. Isaiah 44:24 does not in any way conflict with the biblical teaching that God’s ‘Wisdom,’ His Son, was with Him when He ‘stretched out the heavens.’ Why, even the angels were present at that time and ‘shouted in applause’! (Job 38:7) Jehovah alone created all things through the agency of the Logos, His ‘master worker.’” (Stafford, JWD, p. 172; bold emphasis ours)

Stafford is well aware that to say that Jesus created the universe would contradict the clear statement of Isaiah that Jehovah made the heavens and the earth all alone. He realizes that the plain and unambiguous reading of the text would mean that Jesus must be Jehovah God as well if he played a role in creating the universe.

To avoid this, Stafford must argue that the verse is not denying that some other being was there to assist Jehovah in creation, but that no idols were there. Therefore, he must interpret the passage as saying that Jehovah was alone in respect to the idols or false gods of the nations.

Unfortunately for Stafford, his reasoning cannot be sustained in light of Job 9:8-9:

“… who alone stretches out the heavens, and tramples down the waves of the sea; who makes the Bear, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south…” NASB

Job echoes Isaiah without the context of idols, reaffirming the point that it is Jehovah alone who stretches out the heavens.

Thus, we are still left with the fact that if Jehovah alone fashioned and stretches out the universe, and yet creation is attributed to Christ, Jesus must therefore be Jehovah. This also implies that Proverbs 8:22-31 cannot be referring to Jesus as God’s created Wisdom, as Stafford wrongly assumes, since Christ is the eternal Creator.

In fact, Stafford indirectly affirms that Jesus is the Creator God:

“God was addressing the Word when He said: ‘Let Us make in Our image.’ (Genesis 1:1, 26)” (JWD, p. 165)

What Stafford does not tell his readers is that in light of the verse which immediately follows and Malachi 2:10, this proves that Jesus is Jehovah!

“So Go created man in HIS OWN IMAGE, in the image of God he created him, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NIV

The plural pronouns “us” and “our” are equated with the image of the one God. This affirms that the Godhead which created man is multi-personal. If Jesus is not the true God, it therefore could not be stated that man was made in God’s personal image and likeness. Instead, man would have been made in the image of Jehovah and his junior partner, the archangel Michael (a.k.a. Jesus).

“Have we not all one Father? Did not ONE GOD create us?...” Malachi 2:10 NIV

The fact that one God created man reaffirms that the Father and His Word, through whom he made man, are both the one true God Jehovah. Jesus cannot be a lesser god created to be Jehovah’s agent in creating everything else.

Stafford also assumes, albeit erroneously, that the Bible teaches that the angels existed before God created the heavens and the earth (see above). He sites Job 38:7 as proof:

“When the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy?” NASB

This, he hopes, will serve as further evidence that Isaiah had idols in mind, as opposed to being a denial of the existence of other beings alongside Jehovah during the creation of the universe.

Far from proving his point, the passage serves to discredit it. When read in context the verse is speaking of God fashioning the earth. No mention is made of God creating the heavens and the earth:

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements, since you know? Or who stretched the line on it? Or what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7 NASB

This interpretation is consistent with the Genesis account of creation. There we read that after God had created the heavens and the earth, he then turned to the earth in its pre-biotic state and began fashioning it for man to inhabit (Cf. Genesis 1:1-3).

Presumably, the term "heavens" in Genesis would include both the physical and spiritual realms, not just to the physical universe. Hence, it is quite possible that the angels were brought into existence along with both the heavens and the earth in its pre-biotic state. From there, Yahweh’s heavenly host witnessed the Triune God fashioning the earth for the crown of his creation, man.

Furthermore, Trinitarians do not deny the possibility of angels existing during the formation of the universe. The Trinitarian point is that Scripture ascribes creation to Jehovah alone, not that Jehovah was by himself when he created the universe without the assistance of someone else.

In concluding this section, we must reiterate the point that the New Testament ascribes to Jesus the divine prerogative of the creation of ALL created things, an ascription that equates him with Jehovah God.

We now proceed into an examination of biblical titles given to Jehovah which are also applied to Jesus.



“For Jehovah your God is a 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 God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.” Ps. 136:2-3 NIV

“The king said to Daniel, ‘Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery." Daniel 2:47 NIV

(Sidenote: The phrase “Lord of kings” is equivalent to saying “Lord of lords” or “King of kings” since a king was viewed as lord over his people [Cf. 1 Samuel 24:8; 2 Sam. 1:10]).


“… and the Lamb will overcome them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings…” Rev. 17:14 NASB

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16

JWs argue that although Jesus is called Lord of lords he is never addressed as God of gods as Jehovah is in the Old Testament.

The problem with this argument is that the title God of gods is never used in the New Testament. The fact that the New Testament authors would apply a title of Jehovah, “Lord of lords and King of kings,” to Jesus affirms that they also believed he was “God of gods.”

This is evident by the fact that in the above OT passages, the titles “Lord of lords” and “God of gods” are meant to parallel each other, i.e. he is the God of gods is also the Lord of lords.

Hence, that Jesus would be addressed as Lord of lords and King of kings essentially means that he is also the very God of gods as well.

The other problem with this assertion is that it presupposes a unitarian view of Jehovah, that is, whenever the term Jehovah is used in the OT it is only referring to the Father as opposed to the Trinity. But this is begging the question since it assumes what JWs have yet to prove, namely that Jehovah is not a tri-Personal Being.



"Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors: And the King of glory will come in. Who is the King of glory? Jehovah strong and mighty, Jehovah mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; Yea, lift them up, ye everlasting doors: And the King of glory will come in. Who is this King of glory? Jehovah of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah” Psalm 24:7-10 NWT

“Ascribe unto Jehovah, O ye sons of the mighty, Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength. Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name; Worship Jehovah in holy array. The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters: The God of glory thundereth, Even Jehovah upon many waters.” Psalm 29:1-3 ASV

“He said: “Men, brothers and fathers, hear. The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham while he was in Mes·o·po·ta´mi·a, before he took up residence in Ha´ran,’” Acts 7:2 NWT


“None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:8 NIV

“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory (tes doxes).” James 2:1

To call Jesus the Lord of glory, which is to say that he is the Lord to whom glory belongs, or simply “the Glory” is to identify him as Jehovah. As one commentator puts it:

Kyrion tes doxes, not ‘the dispenser of glory’ (Aug., De Trin. I. xii. 24, quod ipse glorificet sanctos suos), neither is it a Hebraism for ‘glorious Lord’ (Heydenr.), but ‘the Lord to whom glory belongs as His native right.’ It is genit. of characteristic quality (cf. Acts vii. 2; Eph. i. 17; 1 Thess. v. 23). Glory is the peculiar attribute of Jehovah among all the gods (cf. Ps. xxix. 1). The expression is theologically important because it implies that Jesus was Lord of glory, that is, Jehovah, and that this Lord of glory died (cf. Acts iii. 15)…” (Thomas Charles Edwards, A Commentary on the first epistle to the Corinthians, p. 54; bold emphasis ours)

Moreover, since Jehovah is identified as both the King and God of glory, then he must necessarily be the Lord of glory as well. This, perhaps, explains why the Jewish pseudepigraphal work titled 1 Enoch refers to the true God as the Lord of glory:

“Then I blessed the Lord of glory and said: ‘Blessed be my Lord, the Lord of righteousness, who ruleth for ever.’” 1 Enoch 22:14

“And he answered saying: ‘This high mountain which thou hast seen, whose summit is like the throne of God, is His throne, where the Holy Great One, the Lord of Glory, the Eternal King, will sit, when He shall come down to visit the earth with goodness.’” 1 Enoch 25:3b-4a

“‘… In the last days there shall be upon them the spectacle of righteous judgement in the presence of the righteous for ever: here shall the merciful bless the Lord of glory, the Eternal King. In the days of judgement over the former, they shall bless Him for the mercy in accordance with which He has assigned them (their lot).’ Then I blessed the Lord of Glory and set forth His glory and lauded Him gloriously.” 1 Enoch 27:3b-5

“And as often as I saw I blessed always the Lord of Glory, and I continued to bless the Lord of Glory who has wrought great and glorious wonders, to show the greatness of His work to the angels and to spirits and to men, that they might praise His work and all His creation: that they might see the work of His might and praise the great work of His hands and bless Him for ever.” 1 Enoch 36:3b

“And I heard the voices of those four presences as they uttered praises before the Lord of glory.” 1 Enoch 40:3

“In those days shall the mighty and the kings who possess the earth implore (Him) to grant them a little respite from His angels of punishment to whom they were delivered, that they might fall down and worship before the Lord of Spirits, and confess their sins before Him. And they shall bless and glorify the Lord of Spirits, and say: ‘Blessed is the Lord of Spirits and the Lord of kings, And the Lord of the mighty and the Lord of the rich, And the Lord of glory and the Lord of wisdom, And splendid in every secret thing is Thy power from generation to generation, And Thy glory for ever and ever: Deep are all Thy secrets and innumerable, And Thy righteousness is beyond reckoning. We have now learnt that we should glorify And bless the Lord of kings and Him who is king over all kings.’ And they shall say: ‘Would that we had rest to glorify and give thanks And confess our faith before His glory.’” 1 Enoch 63:1-5

Interestingly, not only is the true God identified as the Lord of glory, he is also called the Lord of kings who is king over all kings. As we saw previously, these are some of the very titles ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ!

“… For the signs and the times and the years and the days the angel Uriel showed to me, whom the Lord of glory hath set for ever over all the luminaries of the heaven, in the heaven and in the world, that they should rule on the face of the heaven and be seen on the earth, and be leaders for the day and the night, i.e. the sun, moon, and stars, and all the ministering creatures which make their revolution in all the chariots of the heaven.” 1 Enoch 75:3b-4a

“… And now, my son, arise and make petition to the Lord of glory, since thou art a believer, that a remnant may remain on the earth, and that He may not destroy the whole earth…” 1 Enoch 83:8b-9a

In fact, to call Jesus the Glory as James does in his inspired epistle is to identify Christ as the shekinah glory, or the manifest presence of Yahweh. As the following scholars explain:

The last genitive, “of glory” can be taken in two different ways. The first, and by far the most common, is as a descriptive or qualitative genitive, that is, “our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. Jas 1:25; 1Cor 2:8). The second, appropriate in such a strongly Christological context, is appositional, so that Christ is equated with the shekinah glory of God, the “localized presence of Yahweh.” If this reading is accepted, James’s letter displays a high Christology very early in the development of the church.

Moo argues against this second interpretation by claiming that “never in the OT or in the NT is the word ‘glory’ used by itself as a title of God or Christ.” But, as Robert Sloan observes, the term “has a long prehistory in Jewish history and theology as a euphemism for Yahweh,” building on the light in the tabernacle (Ex 40:34) and temple (1 Ki 8:11) and Ezekiel’s vision of the heavenly throne (Eze 1:28), it is widely used throughout the NT in close association with God and Christ to refer to their presence, and in this context it is not occurring “by itself,” but with a triad of related titles. Furthermore, a simple descriptive genitive seldom puts the noun functioning as a modifier so far from the word modified; the unique syntax must be stressing the role of “glory” in some fashion. Baker observes:

Such a deft reference to Christ as the manifestation of God’s presence seems more compatible with the emphasis here on impartiality. This interpretation is reinforced by the reference to Christ as Lord and Judge upon his return in 5:7-9. “Glory” is best recognized, then, as signifying the presence of God as judge. (Craig L. Blomberg & Mariam J. Kamell, James – Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament [Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI 2008], pp. 106-107; bold emphasis ours)

Hence, the above citations prove that a first century Jew reading these particular NT verses would have no problem seeing that Jesus is being equated with Jehovah God.

We now come to the end of this part. Please continue with the next section.