James White Responds

Posted by David Barron November - 30 - 2011 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

James White decided to take two hours responding to my video commenting on his debate with Patrick Navas on the Trinity. White repeatedly miss characterized my views and ignored my actual argument, so I will be responding soon. My notes are complete, I need only get before a camera, so you can anticipate an extensive response very soon…but I won’t take up two hours, I promise that.

Navas and Diaz on John 12

Posted by David Barron October - 29 - 2011 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

Patrick Navas has been interacting with Hiram Diaz from Grassroots Apologetics, a blog I recently became aware of, on the topic of John 12:41. Patrick provided a nice response to Diaz and Diaz has subsequently responded (a link to Diaz’s initial response is within Patrick’s response). Having observed the interaction thus far I wanted to provide several comments.

In both responses Diaz has displayed an apparent ignorance of Patrick’s theology, arguing as if Patrick denies Jesus preexisted. This, of course, is not the case, and Patrick has argued extensively in favor of this truth, though he has acknowledge some Socinian arguments he views having potential merit.

Diaz has twice ignored the arguments Patrick presents from the text itself, engaging only side points and not the exegesis of John 12 and Isaiah 52/53. This is extremely telling, for an actual exegesis of John 12:38-41 is most damaging to the Trinitarian interpretation, as I’ve detailed before and will highlight here again.

John quotes from both Isaiah 6 and Isaiah 53, with the latter presented first. John says, as accepted in the critical texts, “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke about him.” Trinitarians must ignore this “because” as nothing quoted from Isaiah 6 was done because of seeing glory and speaking about him. They argue as if the text says “when,” a later variant that is well rejected. Isaiah said what he said from Isaiah 6 because of a command to do so, and while he did behold God’s glory, there is absolutely no evidence to support this sight serving as a basis for what he said.

Isaiah 53:1 presents two distinct questions, and serves as the focus of John’s argument. Isaiah 6 is cited to further expand upon this. Therefore, unless the text of Isaiah 6 found itself used by Isaiah in a tradition we no longer possess today, John 12:41 would refer back only to John’s primary argument from Isaiah 53:1.

Having said this, I do believe it was likely Jesus who was beheld at Isaiah 6, though it may have only been a vision. In Diaz’s latest response he argues from texts such as Genesis 19 that God is polypersonal, but he seems entirely ignorant of divine agency and how Second Temple Judaism had already accounted for these things by the time Jesus walked the earth. Examples such as in Numbers 12 when compared to Hebrews 3:3-5 make it unambiguously clear that the earliest Christians understood Old Testament theophanies in view of such agency.

D.A. Carson on Psalm 102 and Hebrews 1

Posted by David Barron September - 11 - 2011 - Sunday 3 COMMENTS

D.A Carson is among those who argue that the Septuagint rendering of Psalm 102 serves as a basis for the application of it to Christ within Hebrews. Here are some of his remarks:

But here I shall focus attention on the final verses of the psalm. Regular Bible readers will recognize that verses 25-27 are quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12, with God addressing the Messiah, in effect giving him divine status. One may well ask how the writer of Hebrews construed the Old Testament in this way.

The answer turns in part on the fact that the original Hebrew of the Old Testament was composed with what today we call consonants. Vowels were not included. They were added much later—indeed, the most common vowel system was added to the Hebrew text about one thousand years into the Christian era. Usually this presents no problems. Once in a while, however, it is possible to read the Old Testament consonantal text with a slightly different vowel choice, yielding a different meaning. In this instance there is no question at all about the consonants. But the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, shows how those translators understood the Hebrew—and in this passage they understood it exactly as the Epistle to the Hebrews takes it. The traditional vowel placement, preserved in our English versions, understands verses 23-24 much as in the NIV. The thought is parallel to verses 11-12. But the LXX and Hebrews read it as follows: “He answered him in the way of his strength, ‘Declare to me the fewness of my days. Do not bring me up [i.e., summon me to action] in the middle of my days; your years are for generations on end. In the beginning you, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth. . . .’” The implication of this rendering is that God is addressing the psalmist, whom God addresses as Lord and Creator. That is how Hebrews takes it. On this view, the entire psalm is messianic, an oracular psalm like Psalm 110 (see vol. 1, meditation on June 17). Try rereading Psalm 102 that way; it makes sense. Compare the use of Psalm 45 in Hebrews 1 (see meditation for September 4): the Davidic king is addressed as God, and this too is cited in Hebrews 1. But even if the traditional Hebrew vowel assignments are correct, the inferences drawn by Hebrews 1 are not far away, though they must be drawn on quite different grounds.

– D.A. Carson, For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word, Volume 2 (Wheaton, IL., Crossway Books, 1999), October 13.

It is of interest that early unitarian Jews could concieve of another whom God would identify as having been involved in creation. This speaks strongly against Trinitarian proof-texting of Isaiah 44:24, especially when not considered in parallel with passages such as Job 9:8 and Psalm 72:18.

The Angel of Jehovah, not Jehovah

Posted by David Barron June - 30 - 2011 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

Many confuse the Angel of Jehovah with Jehovah himself, failing to understand divine agency. Such ones see this angel identified as Jehovah directly, hence the confusion.

The confusion is easily resolved upon recognizing this angel lacks omniscience. While Trinitarians may dismiss this fact with Jesus as a man due to his humanity, such is not possible with the angel. The only possible conclusion is that this angel is not Jehovah ontologically, only representationally.

Zech. 1:12 Then the angel of the Lord said, “O Lord of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?”

A Couple of Agency Discussions

Posted by David Barron July - 11 - 2010 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

Over on YouTube the topic of agency has come up quite a bit lately, with those on the Trinitarian front failing to understand the concept repeatedly, even upon extensive explanation.   These discussions are worth reviewing for a deeper understanding of how divine agency was viewed in Second Temple Jewish thought, both in and out of the Bible.

First Discussion

Second Discussion

The Great Trinity Debate

Posted by David Barron June - 21 - 2010 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

The debate ended several weeks back with my failure to provide further commentary.  It was interesting to read to the extent that both sides were able to present their own perspectives, but little new came from it.  Perhaps the most interesting points were in the rebuttals, especially with Burke’s extensive and proper use of agency in opposing Bowman’s arguments.  I walked away thinking as I had before, that Bowman does not understand how Jewish authors/readers viewed agency texts. 

From my own discussions elsewhere with a few individuals it is apparent that Trinitarians are struggling to address and even understand agency and the christological implications.  More than anything, I have found an attempt to dismiss the evidence as not inspired.  Such arguments fail to understand the point.  The issue is not whether the specific texts are inspired or whether the teachings they contain are accurate, but it is a matter of Jewish thinking and their use of scripture for exalted agents.  That this is significant to the Bible is evident in the parallels between Jewish literature and the Bible.  There are repeated parallelisms between the Bible and other Jewish literature in the language used of Christ and that of other exalted agents, respectively.  There are even clear examples of agency in the New Testament that lack christological significance.   As this information becomes more commonly available many will undoubtedly have their eyes opened to the truth.

Bowman and “The Great Trinity Debate” Continues

Posted by David Barron May - 1 - 2010 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

Robert Bowman has posted his third portion of “The Great Trinity Debate.” The same issues I noted regarding his ignoring or ignorance of agency and the use of language generally in early Jewish literature fully besets this latest section. Due to the length of his post I will not make a point-by-point response, but instead provide some general comments on the basis of each argument. His post is available at http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/04/the-great-trinity-debate-part-3-rob-bowman-on-jesus-christ-continued/ for review.

Romans 10:8-13
Bowman must overlook how Lord in v. 12 cannot be understood as the divine name, either disconnecting it from the final instance wherein Lord is used as such, or indicating that the final instance should not be understood as the divine name (cf. 1Co. 1:2). Quite similarly, the Melchizedek scroll (11Q13) cites Psalm 7:7-8 wherein the divine name originally stood, with el used in its place, applied to Melchizedek. Regardless of the force in Paul’s words, the parallel with the Melchizedek scroll demonstrates how exalted agents could be assigned even divine name texts without equating them ontologically with Jehovah, or including them within the divine identity.

I will not get into whether or not Jesus should be prayed to, but Bowman presupposes limitations on Jesus’ exalted resurrection body which are baseless. Were Jesus prayed to, there is no reason to believe that through the Holy Spirit and his exalted nature he would be unable to manage as much. Bowman suggests prayer to Jesus would result in him being “functionally a second God,” though the result would at most find him to be functionally the same God, as Jehovah’s exalted agent, representing him, or simply one exalted so to be capable of and due to receive prayer.

1 Corinthians 8:4-6
Apparently missed by Bowman is the antithesis between the “many” and the “one.” While there are many lords, there is to us but “one Lord, Jesus Christ.” Paul does not present Lord in place of the divine name, but the use is titular so to be antithetical to the “many lords.” Paul may well have had the Shema in mind, but due to the allusion to Wisdom language (Pro. 3:19) with reference to the one God created by, there is every reason to see this as a modification of the Shema to include the one God exalted to being Lord (Acts 2:36).

Bowman craftily attempts connecting Jesus with God by identifying them both as “the instrumental cause” of creation, yet the contexts of the two cited passages (Rom. 11:36 and 1Co. 8:6) are vastly different. The cause (God) in Romans 11:36 works through his own agency, while in 1 Corinthians 8:6 the cause (the Father) works through another (the Son). These are not mutually exclusive, for working through your own agency does not preclude also working through the agency of another. That the Son was not the cause but the intermediate agent can be no more clearly attested to than in Hebrews 1:1-2 wherein ‘the God who spoke by the prophets’—Jehovah in the Old Testament—created through Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:3-11
Bowman presupposes Paul is addressing Christ ontologically, when the text indicates just the opposite. The humility displayed by the Philippians was to be displayed in their behavior, and Christ displayed his quite similarly. Does “the form of God” refer to God’s nature as the NIV? Certainly not, for there is nothing that is “the form of a servant,” where servant is purely a functional expression. A servant can be a man, but also an angel (Rev. 22:9). Here “form” (morphe) must refer what it most literally does, outward appearance.

As God’s agent, Jesus appeared as God in Jehovah’s stead. He was as Jehovah himself in his perfect representation of him. This is traditional Jewish agency. Similarly, though God’s Son, he appeared “in the form of a servant,” no longer as God himself but “in the likeness of man,” he was outwardly a servant, functionally, what he was not (Gal. 4:7).  

The implications of Bowman’s comments on “the name above every name” are addressed in my post at http://www.scripturaltruths.com/blog/?p=36, so there is no need to reproduce the serious issues besetting his interpretation.

Hebrews 1:1-10
Bowman begins by arguing how Jesus must be called “god” in some way other than the angels, for the things said of Jesus were not said of the angels. The argument completely lacks merit, for when writing that the things are not said of angels the writer is addressing the specific quotations, including the wherein Christ is addressed as God (Heb. 1:8), not the manner in which a specific appellation is presented within one of the statements.

Bowman next argues: “Not one of the proof texts in the catena in Hebrews 1 applied in reality to the Davidic king.” This, again, completely lacks merit, for Bowman has plainly overlooked 2 Samuel 7:14, a text within the catena. Bowman denies certain passages had fulfillment in the kings, but goes on to argue that these were types of the Messiah. Yet, if the texts did not have some type of fulfillment in those kings there would have been no typification. I am not suggesting that none were purely Messianic (e.g. Psalm 110), but this is not the case across the board.

Bowman argues from Psalm 45 that none of the Davidic kings prior to Christ “ruled forever,” yet this ignores that it was the throne that was forever, so that the Davidic throne would endure for all time, not the individual king. This is ultimately fulfilled in Christ through eternity, but the text itself refers not to the king’s existence, only the throne’s. A consideration of this psalm reveals a straightforward application to an original human king.

With reference to texts that originally referred to God, Bowman misses this as an articulation of Jesus as God’s agent, as evident, for example, in the Melchizedek scroll. Further, in reference to Psalm 102, a variant in the LXX (which the author of Hebrews quotes) presents what is actually God’s response to another, not addressed to him.

Bowman makes a number of other comments worthy of addressing, but for which time will not allow. Significantly, Bowman entirely disregards Hebrews 1:1-2a, and instead focuses on what follows. This is not entirely surprising, however, as to consider this text would result in overturning his entire position, for such demands that it was the Father alone who was the God in the Old Testament as the one who spoke by the prophets, not the Son.

Robert Bowman in “The Great Trinity Debate”

Posted by David Barron April - 26 - 2010 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Reviewing the opening of “The Great Trinity Debate” I opted not to take the time to comment. The material is certainly worthy of consideration, but the amount of time I have available for reviewing this debate has proven more limited than anticipated, so I must select the material most valuable in reviewing.

This post will consider some of Robert Bowman’s comments in the 2nd portion of the debate as they pertain to the interpretation of specific passages (found at http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/04/the-great-trinity-debate-part-2-rob-bowman-on-jesus-christ/). Thus, I will not be reviewing his comments outside of what he argues for these texts to mean or where he references a specific view view with which I would not agree. Without considering my comments most will likely observe how much of Bowman’s presentation is based not upon exegesis and historical or contextual arguments, but his own opinion. This is perhaps most apparent in the first passage he considered:

Matthew 28:16-20:

Jesus’ eleven apostles met Jesus after his resurrection on a mountain. “And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted” (Matt. 28:17). Nothing in the context suggests that what some doubted was that Jesus had risen or that it was Jesus whom they saw. Rather, it seems that some doubted the propriety of worshipping Jesus. Their doubt makes no sense if this act was comparable to bowing before a human dignitary, as many anti-Trinitarians assert. Surely, Jesus’ disciples would have had no doubts about showing Jesus such courtesy and respect. No, apparently some doubted that Jesus was the proper object of religious worship, the act of humbling oneself toward a supernatural figure. Their doubt presupposes the biblical and conventional Jewish belief that the Lord God was the only proper recipient of such acts of religious devotion.

Bowman expresses his opinion that “some doubted” refers to doubts about worshipping him, but he utterly fails to present even the most basi evidence in support of this view. This is readily apparent in his appeal to weasel words, stating that “apparently” their doubt was in the acceptability to worship Jesus. While Bowman is correct in that the immediate context within Matthew does not present doubt on the part of the disciples respecting Jesus’ resurrection and identification, such is readily apparent within the other Gospels, removing doubt as to the meaning (Mark 16:11; Luke 24:10-11; John 20:25-29).

In the context of Matthew, the scene recalls the Temptation narrative that immediately precedes Jesus’ ministry (4:1-11). In the third, climactic temptation, the devil takes Jesus to a high mountain, shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and offers them to Jesus if he will worship him (4:8-9). Jesus rebuffs the temptation, quoting Deuteronomy 6:13, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve only him” (4:10). Now, after Jesus? resurrection, he meets his disciples on a mountain and receives their act of worshipping him. The contrasting parallel is made complete by Jesus’ assurance to those who doubted that worshipping him was indeed appropriate: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (28:18). This is the authority that the devil claimed he could give to Jesus if Jesus would worship him. Now Jesus has that authority, not from the devil, but from God the Father. No higher validation of Jesus’ authority was possible. The evident parallels between Matthew 4:8-10 and 28:16-18 confirm that “worshipped” in 28:17 denotes the act of religious devotion that Jesus himself had stated should go to God alone.

Once again we find Bowman’s opinion, but his argument falls flat. His submission is that the authority given in Matthew 28:18 ‘is the authority that the devil claimed he could give to Jesus if Jesus would worship him,’ yet this is far from the case. The authority promised by the devil was entirely earthly, limited to the kingdoms of the earth (Mat. 4:8-9), while the authority given by God was found throughout all of heaven and earth. This was vastly superior to anything offered or that could be offered by the devil.

Further, whereas Satan, as the giver of authority, asked to be worshipped, here Jesus, as the receiver of authority is given it. Any parallelism would find the Father as the object of worship. With this said, we can consider the matter of worshipping Jesus and the lack of significance to the Trinitarian case. Considering the following from my debate with Mike Felker on why Jesus is given what he is given:

?The Bible defines more than once that what Jesus is given is based upon the Father’s will. So in John 5:22-23 when Jesus relates how he will be honored as the Father is, he does so with a Greek purpose clause. Jehovah has given Jesus judgment “so that” meaning, ‘for the purpose of,’ being honored just as him. Similarly in Philippians 2:5-11 Jesus is exalted because of his obedience and faithfulness as God’s son and this is done “so that” or ‘for the purpose of’ having every knee bow to him.?

Those who deny that Christ is God raise the objection that Jesus said his authority was “given” to him, and ask how anyone could give God authority (or why God would need to give God authority). They argue that this is a derived and therefore inferior authority to that of God. This objection ignores the orthodox explanation that the Lord Jesus, by choosing to come into the world “not to be served, but to serve” (Matt. 20:28), had placed himself in a position in which he depended on the Father to exalt him.

For the above to be true Jesus would have necessarily stopped being God. All authority is God’s by nature, so for Jesus not to have it would mean he lacked the authority. Similarly, he could not be omniscient, for if he had all power he would not be dependent upon anyone to grant him authority. The Bible plainly reveals that Jesus lacked authority so to be given it. As God possess such by nature this is a powerful attestation to the fact that Jesus is not ontologically God.

Jesus then commands his disciples to go make more disciples from people of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (28:19). Jesus, the Son, identifies himself alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit as the Deity to whom each new disciple is to commit himself in the covenant rite of baptism. The Father clearly is God, and as we shall see in week 5, the Holy Spirit in this text must also be God; it follows that the Son in this text is also God. If we exclude the idea that these are three Gods, as we should, the conclusion that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God follows. In any case, Jesus is here explicitly making himself, as the Son, one of the persons toward whom disciples perform a religious act of devotion and covenant commitment. There is no precedent in biblical religion for performing such religious acts in devotion to a mere man, no matter how great a man.

The text demands little of what Bowman here argues. Provided above is assertion of what the text must mean, but not a demonstration. Much as the Israelites were baptized “into Moses” (and certainly into God, for they could not follow Moses without following God), we can well be baptized “into the name” of the Son? as our mediator, while also being baptized into “the Father” as our God and source of all things and “the Holy Spirit” as the deliverer of direction and teaching, which we are to accept.

After instructing his disciples to teach new disciples to observe everything he commanded them, Jesus concludes: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (28:20). Here Jesus promises to be with all of his disciples, wherever they are in the world, as they make disciples of all nations, in every generation until the end of the age. Such a promise implies that Jesus has the capacity to be present in any and all parts of the world simultaneously. The statement recalls God’s promise to Jacob, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go” (Gen. 28:15). In short, Jesus’ promise presupposes that he possesses the divine attribute of omnipresence. Nor is this an isolated statement in the Gospel. Prior to his death, Jesus told his followers, “Where two or three have gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst” (18:20). Only someone who is omnipresent could deliver on a promise to be present in the midst of every gathering of believers anywhere in the world. Jewish rabbis taught that where two Jews sat together to hear the Torah, the Shekinah–the manifest glorious presence of God–would be with them. Jesus claims that his divine presence will be with any two disciples who meet together to honor him (see Putting Jesus in His Place, 117-18).

Bowman presupposes Jesus’ physical presence with his disciples. This is certainly possible and should not be presupposed as ruled out, but it is by no means demanded. Similar language is used elsewhere, such as by the apostle Paul (1Co. 5:4). I would not suggest Jesus’ meaning here parallels Paul’s, but there are other equally valuable interpretations. This is one I would suggest we can answer only upon understanding the biblical teaching on Jesus, though even this would not make the matter conclusive.

Divine Name and “your God” Texts for Exalted Agents

Posted by David Barron January - 15 - 2010 - Friday 1 COMMENT

The New Testament authors’ application of Old Testament passage about God or others to Christ is not uncommon.  I discussed this with moderate detail in God and Christ.  When the second edition is complete (this is still some time away) I intend to explore this in greater detail (as with most every topic discussed, along with a host of others not).   One early Jewish text highlighted in the book on a couple of occasions is 11Q13, The Coming of Melchizedek.

As I did not spend any significant time developing the concept of agency or focus on too many extra-biblical passages where others are granted the appellation “g/God” outside of the Bible, a couple of significant portions of 11Q13 deserve mention.  This is especially important for those who have not had the opportunity to read this document and consider the implications of early Jewish interpretation on the outlook the New Testament authors carried in writing about Jesus.  Consider the following, written about the heavenly Melchizedek, whom many scholars identify with Michael the archangel.

“as is written about him in the songs of David, who said: Elohim will stand up in the assem[bly of God,] in the midst of the gods he judges.” 11Q13 2:9-10

This portion of text, highlighted in God and Christ, is significant for demonstrating the acceptable nature of applying passages to certain key individuals when the text had originally referenced God.  Further demonstrated is the allowance of calling certain others God when they were exalted and appointed by the Almighty to be so termed.  Finally, we find God’s ability and willingness to assign certain divine prerogatives to his agents without contradicting the notion of their uniqueness to him.

“And about him he said: Above it return to the heights, God will judge the peoples.” 11Q13 2:10-11

There is no doubt that “God” in the above is Melchizedek.  Not only is he the God judging from Psalm 82:1, but this is something said “about him.”  Most significantly, “God” is here in place of the divine name Jehovah from Psalm 7:7-8.  Either the name is attributed to Melchizdek as God’s exalted agent in judgment, or the substituted “God” carries the term’s traditional meaning and is understood in that way apart from the original reference.  Either interpretation is significant to the Christology presented in the New Testament, for it demonstrates such application without equating Jehovah in the original text with the new referent.

Just as important is the following:

“in truth […] […] it has been turned away from Belial and it […] […] in the judgments of God, as is written about him: Saying to Zion, ‘your God rules’.  [Zi]on is [the congregation of all the sons of justice, those] who establish the covenant, those who avoid walking [on the pa]th of the people.  Your God is [… Melchizedek, who will fr]ee [them] from the hand of Belial.  And as for what he said: You shall blow the hor[n in every] land.”  11Q13 2:21-25

As Thomas could identify Jesus as ‘his God’ (John 20:28), Melchizedek was ‘their God.’  He stood appointed by God over them, he was his agent and so bore the identification.

This one document provides significant insight into the early Jewish mind when contemplating exalted agents and the application of Jehovah’s name, titles and prerogatives to them.  To simply appeal to Old Testament divine name texts in the New Testament with reference to Jesus is not persuasive.  Neither is the display Jesus carrying out God’s unique prerogatives.   As Jesus’ exalted name, position and authority are given to him by God, closely corresponding to early exalted divine agents and not Trinitarian theology.

Theological Impications of the Divine Name in Philippians 2:11

Posted by David Barron October - 5 - 2009 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

In God and Christ I have argued that “Lord” as found in Philippians 2:11 references Jesus’ position as Lord and is not a substitute for the divine name Jehovah.  I suggested that “Lord,” not Jesus, is “the name which is above every name” (Phi. 2:9 NASB), a notion well included within the semantic range of name (Gr. onoma).  I will briefly consider the theological implications of kurios as a substitute for the divine name in this passage, for this is a view for which not a few scholars and apologists argue.

The name Jesus is certainly not the name “above every name,” for the text identifies this as one newly conferred upon him.

Philippians 2:9  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

We are told that “the name which is above every name” is “bestowed on Him,” not that his name is exalted so to be the name above every name.  Admittedly, all will bow “at the name of Jesus,” but this does not conflict with the name being one other than his birth name.  I would suggest this points in favor of the newly granted name pertaining to the office of Lord.  From this point we will take for granted that this refers to the divine name Jehovah.

Within the Trinitarian doctrine of the incarnation Jesus would not have divested himself of his divine identity.  As documented in God and Christ, some even consider Jesus’ use of “I am” to be a euphemism for the divine name.  Nevertheless, that the divine name would have been “bestowed” upon Jesus in his exaltation “for this reason”–what he accomplished as defined in Philippians 2:6-8–this text directly contradicts the idea that he was and is ontologically and eternally Jehovah.  To avoid this one would be forced to argue that he gave up being God and so lost or set aside his name for a time, but few, if any, would be willing to make such a leap.

Perhaps seeing the weight of this Bowman and Komoszewski have offered a response:

This objection misunderstands both the nature of God’s “giving” and the point of Paul’s statement.  Although “Lord” in verse 11 represents the divine name YHWH, Paul’s point in verses 9-10 is that in exalting Jesus, God “gave” him the honor of his name being exalted above all other names.  Thus, when Paul says, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,” he is saying that the name Jesus now stands as the highest, most honored name in all creation. – Robert M. Bowman Jr. and J. Ed Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2007), 167.

Comparing the text to this response reveals the presented errors.  Nowhere does Paul express that it was the honor of the name given and not the same itself.  He speaks to the contrary by identifying the name as that which was given.  Paul further explains that at the name of Jesus all would bow, but not that the name Jesus was itself the name “most honored.”

The notion of Jesus possessing the divine name is not difficult and would have been easily accepted by an early Jew and therefore the earliest Christians.  As the angel Yahoel in The Apocalypse of Abraham had been given God’s name, Jesus could well have been given the same.  Indeed, that both were ‘given’ the divine name demonstrates how the earliest view of Jesus would have fit within the Jewish concept of exalted divine agents, however much more exalted Jesus may have been than those otherwise so viewed.  At the same time, this stands fundamentally at odds with the Chalcedonian view of Jesus as ontologically identifiable with the Father.