The full verse is

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The verse is clearly a prophecy of the Messiah, fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Yet it applies the titles “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father” to Jesus although the titles are elsewhere used only of God.

Despite the commonly believed doctrine of the Trinity, the Bible does not teach that Jesus is equal with God. Instead, it consistently refers to him as “Son of God”. Even for those who believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, the verse is difficult to understand because Jesus is not the Father but the Son.

However, the word “God” does not necessarily mean the Almighty Creator. Even humans were sometimes called “gods” (e.g., Psalm 82:6) meaning powerful people, but not equal with the Creator. Jesus is a mighty God without being the Almighty God. There is also a question about whether the Hebrew here (el gibbor) really means God, or just “mighty-with-God”, Wycliffe (1395) and Luther (1546) simply translated the Hebrew as “hero”.

And the word “father” does not mean Jesus is equal with his father. “Father” is often used in the Bible to mean a leader. For example, Paul says  to the Corinthians “For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 4:15). Jesus is the father of the age to come (which is how the Greek Old Testament translated Isaiah 9:6).

Furthermore, Jesus is not the only one to be called by the names of God. In the Old Testament the angel who speaks for God is frequently addressed as God or speaks as God (e.g., Exodus 13:21; 23:21-22, Judges 2:1, 13:21-22). A person or being perfectly representing God, or standing in the place of God (e.g., Moses in Ex. 4:16, 7:1) can be called by the names and titles of God.

For more information, see Christ in the Old Testament or Jesus: God the Son or Son of God?. And on this website Is Isaiah 9:6 “Wonderful counselor” related to Isaiah 7:14, 8:8 “Immanuel”? and Doesn’t the name “Immanuel” show that Jesus is God, and therefore proves the Trinity? (Isa. 7:14, Mat. 1:23)

Tagged with →  
Share →
  • dawson

    If you go to the interlinear Bible the ONLY words used are the following:
    yeled – child, boy, offspring
    yalad – born, to bear, bring forth, beget
    Ya’ats – to advise, consult, give counsel; a counselor
    Pele’ – wonder; wonderful
    Qara’ – to call, recite, cry out, proclaim
    Misrah – rule, dominion, government
    Shalowm – completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
    ad – perpetually, forever, everlasting
    Ben – Son
    ‘El – God

    ……..giving us some variation of the following:

    [A] Child [will be] born [who will be] proclaimed [a] Wonderful Counselor. [His] government
    [will establish] everlasting peace, soundness, completeness; [and He will be the] Son [of] God.

  • Steve

    God is Spirit. There is but one God, the Father. God manifest in flesh. Jesus Christ is the flesh of God on earth to fulfill His plan of salvation.

  • Charles

    But Jesus clearly says in the New Testament that He is God. (Jhn 8:58)

    • Rob J Hyndman

      John 8:58 says

      Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

      You are interpreting that to say it is a claim of divinity. See http://bibleq.info/answer/447/ for an explanation of what Jesus meant.

  • Craig

    If you study the word “name” in the Hebrew it means character of reputation.
    This verse is not calling Christ God. It is saying that Christ will have the character of God.
    This understanding is carried on into the english language when we say that person has a good name. It is about their character or reputation.

  • JOANNE

    but isaiah did not just say mighty God. he said The mighty GOD.

    • Rob J Hyndman

      “The” is not in the Hebrew text. Nor is it in any modern translation I looked at including ESV, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV, NET and TNIV.

  • Rick

    The Bible does not teach that Jesus is equal with God it teaches he is God. There is one God Deut 6:4. As for the Creator read Colossians 1:16. This verse states that all things were created for Jesus and by Jesus. Jesus is the name of God. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were 3 manifestations of God (Jesus his actual name) meaning Father (God above us), Son (God with us), Holy Ghost (God in us) as spoken in John 14:09, John 16:26. Our generation (AD) is in the 3rd manifestation. And as for the name. Isaiah 9:06 foretells us of the name of Jesus. Zechariah 13:09 and Zech 14:08-09. Tells us that in that day, our day we shall say the Lord is my God and that there be one Lord and his name one. That one name, JESUS. Amen and amen.

    • Rob J Hyndman

      The idea of relating Father, Son and Holy Spirit to time periods does not seem to have any basis in scripture. The Spirit, for example, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2.

  • francis

    Jesus is the Son of God. John 1 He is the Word, He is with God in the Beginning He is God. Hebrews 1 and God says to the Son. your throne O’ God the world is the works of your hand. Genesis God say’s let us make man in OUR OWN image. if Jesus is there in the beginning and also the Holy Spirit whom was hovering in the water as it is written in Gen. 1 meaning there is One God in three person. they are both equal in all. One God.. ELOHIM is plural.. EL or ELI is singular. it is like family they are one..

  • Rev Dr Roberta Gleason

    I believe in the Trinity (I DO NOT believe in the doctrine of the trinity). Where was the Father when the Son died? On His Throne. What did Stephen see when he was being stoned? He was full of the Holy Spirit and said:
    “I see the Jesus standing at the right hand of the glory of God.”
    The Bible clearly teaches that God is the HEAD of the Trinity, the head of Christ. 1 Corithians 11:3 and that Christ will submitt Himsel to God when He has conquered death (for us, as He has already conqued it for Himself). 1 Corinthians 15:28

    • http://twitter.com/#!/BEBE_ALANA msAlana

      GOD is the trinity, The FATHER is the head of the Trinity followed by the son and then holy spirit.

      Make no mistake, the father is the head of it but Jesus is God manifested

      • Jonathan Morgan

        I would have no issue with the statement “Jesus is God manifested”, depending on what you mean by it.  Jesus was clearly sent to show God to the world, and he did that by choosing to act exactly like God in every situation he was faced with.  However, that does not mean that he was God.  Even your hierarchy presented above casts a few doubts on the idea of the three being equal.

  • David

    Revelation 1:8 > Jesus speaking: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

    Again, to ensure that it is clear the Alpha and Omega is Jesus, Revelation 22: > 12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End . . . 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

    It should be crystal clear fom Scripture – not only does the Father refer to Himself as The Almighty – in like manner, Jesus Christ refers to Himself as The Almighty.

    • Rob J Hyndman

      So Jesus and his father have the same name. That does not make Jesus God. My son has the same name as me, but he is not me.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/BEBE_ALANA msAlana

        You can’t be serious Rob. There is only one God. No one else can truly have the name except God himself.

        Who is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last?? Only God himself.

        So by Jesus saying this he is not declaring himself as just a prophet, but God.

        The Father is GOD, The Son is God, The Holy Spirit is God.

         

        • Jonathan Morgan

          You are making the assumption that titles can be used as uniquely identifying names.  If a title applies to God, he can also apply it to anyone who is doing his work for him, including Jesus.

  • Christo

    Actually Rob, in Biblical times and especially when God gives someone a name it refers to who the person is. With all due respect, your comment is nonsensical. Only God has God’s name in the universe. If someone else has God’s name He is by definition God, especially if God is the One giving Him the name.

    • Rob J Hyndman

      Using that logic, John the apostle was the same person as John the baptist (whose name was given by God).

  • Mike Valovcin

    First of all Jesus said in Matthew “Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Notice that it does not say in the names of but in the name of. This is singular not plural. Secondly, Hebrews 1:8 says, “But about the Son He says, ‘Thy throne, Oh GOD, will last forever and ever and righteousness willl be the scepter of your kingdom.” If Jesus is not God in flesh than He did not have the power to save us all from our sins. Only an eternal God can save us for all eternity. It makes no sense if Jesus is not God. You can avoid it all you want, however I would warn you to check your personal salvation if you did not trust in Jesus (fully God fully man.) Why would this be so difficult to accept? We can believe that water can exist in three forms but we cannot believe that God, who is the maker of all things can do something simillar?

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.vanbeuzekomdehoff Michael Vanbeuzekom-Dehoff

      God is the only Omnipotent being that can make a stone so heavy he cannot lift it. God Says Rock be not moved. Then he comes in his Avatar(Jesus Christ) and cannot push it with his flesh body so Jesus/God’s avatar draws on his INVISIBLE power and chucks the stone to china. Arianists and Trinitarians been argueing for thousands of years. Thats why we have Muslims, Gnostic, Atheist, Adventists, Johovah’s witnesses, Mormans and all the other multitudes.. Neither view has promoted unity. There is only 1 God YHVH whos name of actual spelling has been lost. Using Adonia forward or backward we get several ‘Names” of God but the only things we know with absolute certainty is the Yah and we know by Zech. 6:9-13 that the Messiah’s name is Yahshua (Jesus or Joshua in english) and HE (who?) shall save his people.. Yahshua means Yah is salvation. The He is Yah.. not a dim light but Hebrews 1:3 The Brightness or Radiance of the fathers Glory… a PHYSICAL/FLESH n Blood.. John 14:8,11. He was a special kind of Avatar 100% Yah in the flesh yet also fully human. Trinitarians and Aryans make the same errors… Lack of Faith… Christ is not an Angel or anything else he is GOD in the Flesh!

  • Bryan

    In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth Gen 1:1 Hebrews 1:8-10 8But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

    9Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

    10And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands Hebrews 1:10 establishes Jesus as creator these are the words of the Father therefore He’s God

    • Jonathan Morgan

      As said in the above answer, the fact that the name of God is applied to Jesus does not make him God, merely that he is acting in the name of God. The biggest thing that would make me think it wasn’t saying that he was God is that it then goes on to say that God is his God, which doesn’t seem to make sense if he himself is God.

      As for Hebrews 1:10, quoting from a different Psalm, it is certainly worth noticing that it does not seem that the heavens and the earth will be literally rolled up or will literally perish. God’s kingdom will be established on this earth. A similar passage in 2 Peter 3 tells us about a new heavens and a new earth, and then explains what this really means: a place where righteousness dwells. The heavens and earth are changed and renewed and the bad on them are removed, they are not completely destroyed and replaced with something totally new.

      In the same way, this kind of language is used of the Mosaic law in Hebrews 8, being old and fading away. I think it’s reasonable to view the passage in Hebrews 1 as showing that Jesus was replacing the law established by Moses with the new covenant in his name and the new creation. This fits with the rest of the theme of Hebrews, too.

  • Timothy

    http://bible.cc/john/10-30.htm

    I and the Father are one.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+5%3A7&version=KJV

    1 John 5:7

    For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    • Jonathan Morgan

      1 John 5:7 is omitted from most Bibles because there are very few manuscripts that include it and those manuscripts are very late (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_Johanneum). This means it is almost certainly not part of the original text.

      For John 10:30, it definitely says that Jesus and his Father are one. The question then becomes “In what way are they one?” You assume that it means he was of “one substance” with God, “possessing the same attributes”. However, I doubt that this is what Jesus is talking about because in John 17 he asks God that all his followers will be one in the same way, and I don’t think we are of “one substance” with the Father.

      I would suggest that what he was saying is that he was one in purpose with God: they had the same goal, and they worked together. In the John 10 passage he was talking about working with his Father and doing works in his Father’s name before he said that they were one. In John 5:19 – 20, Jesus explains why they have the same goals and actions: because he is watching the Father, and doing what he sees the Father do, so it is a conscious choice, not just a side effect of being exactly the same as the Father. In the same way, Jesus wanted all of his followers to have the same goal as he had and as his father had, and to work together with them to achieve the goal.

      • Javier

        And what if 1 john 5:7 really did belong to the Bible?

        • Jonathan Morgan

          All we can do is to judge based on our best knowledge of what was in the Bible. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to ask “What if this passage/idea probably not in the Bible was in the Bible?” unless we particularly want the idea to be in the Bible, and then I would just have to ask “Why do you particularly want it?”

  • stephen baptist

    Isaiah clearly states that there is only one GOd, and there in none like HIM on earth nor in Heaven, yet at the same time he calls this child MIGHTY GOD thus providing the thesis for the doctirne on the Trinity. There are no gods or anyone like GOD. The only one who is the exact image of the father and in all respects like the father is Jesus himself.

    • Jonathan Morgan

      That he is the exact image of the Father and that he shows the Father does not mean that he is the Father, or that he is God. In fact, in John 5 he explains to the Jews that he is that way because he voluntarily chose to watch his Father and to act like him. Most children will imitate their Father in some ways: Jesus took this further by imitating his Father in every possible way so that he could show the character of the Father to us.

  • Steven

    When John the Babtist saw the spirt descend upon Jesus like a dove and a voice from heaven proclaim “this is my Son in whom I am well pleased”, pretty much confrims that Jesus is not the Father. Unless he is a master ventriloquist they are two. He tells his disciples that the Father is in him and he is in his disciples, this doesn’t mean they are all one being. How can God be seated at the right hand of himself? In Exodus God tells Moses he will make him “like God”, to Pharoah. Snce the Father has given authority to the Son I’m sure he did seem like God in every aspect yet they knew the difference. Saint Paul say, “the head of woman is man, the head of man is Christ, and the head of Christ is the Father. They understood the difference. The concept of the Trinity wasn’t even established untill between 300 and 400 AD by the Church. After the jugment is completed it says in Revelations that Jesus will give all authority back to the Father, we will see both Jesus and the Father when we finally meet in Heaven but untill then we know that the only way to the Father is through the Son. As long as we agree on that, we are headed on the right path.

    • Jon Morgan

      It is true that Jesus and God are now in heaven. However, that does not mean that the kingdom of heaven will be in heaven. From the time of Abraham on, God’s promises have been about the earth, but they have been about an earth made new and following the will of God. For more details, see http://bibleq.info/answer/3490/.

  • Juhani Miikala

    When you research widely the Bible, you will see that the Bible teaches about one God, which is in the Father, the Lord Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t say in His word that He is Trinity, but one in the Father, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God is one, but Jesus is not the Father.
     
    If you want to find out the truth that what the Bible teaches for the Lord Jesus, so you must research in prayer by the Holy Spirit all passages that show who Jesus is. These all passages are in harmony and consistently describe that who the Lord Jesus is. All passages are in the same line and do not conflict one another.
     
    Heretic or wrong doctrine about the Lord Jesus arises thus that a man believes only certain verses, which support his opinion, but he continually passes over verses, which don’t support his opinion. For this reason, he doesn’t see the whole truth, but remain astray. When you want and have courage to research position of the Lord Jesus with all passages, so you will find consistent teaching that who Jesus is. You will see that Jesus is God and in the same the Son of God, but not the Father. Test my teaching by the word of God, because all teaching must be tested that we could find the truth.
    We live near the coming of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus said that before His coming comes many false prophets deceiving by false doctrines and deceitful signs and wonders. In this teaching I handle heresy, which teach that Jesus is the Father. This topic is very important, because Jesus only doctrine (Jesus is the Father) is a very great danger to get lost from the faith.

  • watchtowerpuppets

    This thread reeks of Jehovah’s Witness or should I say, Watchtower doctrines. As a former member of this cult, I discovered the Watchtower is simply a business masquerading as a religion. I have come to accept Jesus IS GOD. Just like doubting Thomas, I too had my doubts until i began reading the Bible alone which is a big No-No in the Jehovah’s Witness cult. This satanic philosophy was started by Charles Taze Russell in that he said that “reading the bible alone would lead to spiritual darkness, but reading his spin off books “Studies in the scriptures” would lead one to biblical light. So much for The Holy Spirit revealing the Truth of God huh? I thank God I’m free from the clutches of these false prophet heretics and look forward to the day when I too can bow down and worship Jesus Himself and say, “My Lord and my GOD!” AMEN. John20:28, John1:3.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/BEBE_ALANA msAlana

     John 1:1,14): “The word was God” and “The word became FLESH”

    Acts 20:28: “Be shephards of the church of God, which he bought with his OWN blood”

    • Jonathan Morgan

      On John 1, please see 
      http://bibleq.info/answer/463/.

      On Acts 20, I think what it actually means is “the blood of his own”, and is the blood of his own son (e.g. Jesus).  See for example RSV and NET.  The NET has the following comments in its translation notes:

      Or “with his own blood”; Grk “with the blood of his own.” The genitive construction could be taken in two ways:
      (1) as an attributive genitive (second attributive position) meaning “his own blood”; or
      (2) as a possessive genitive, “with the blood of his own.”
      In this case the referent is the Son, and the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.vanbeuzekomdehoff Michael Vanbeuzekom-Dehoff

    By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that
    what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Heb 11:3 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power
    and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been
    made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20