My investigation was extremely complicated. Following Jewish tradition, most translations of the Old Testament (OT) substitute “LORD” for Yahweh, but spell it “Lord,” if the Hebrew word adonai, (a lord or ruler) is used as a name for God. However, when the New Testament (NT) quotes the OT, both Yahweh and adonai become only the Greek word kurios (a lord or ruler). To find if Jesus and the Holy Spirit are ever called Yahweh, the NT must attribute the name kurios to them in the context of a quote from the OT, AND the kurios referred to in the quote must, in the original Hebrew text, be God’s name Yahweh, not adonai, which could mean only a ruler.
There were no personal computers at this time, so my research depended on many hours of wading through the pages of Strong’s Concordance. But at last, in Romans 10:9-13, I had my first success! There, Jesus is called kurios (“Lord”), and the significance of that title is directly explained by a quote from Joel 2:32, where the NT translation kurios means Yahweh (“LORD”) in the original language. This proved the deity of Jesus. I was totally thrilled!
But what about the Holy Spirit? It took less time for a similar thrill! In 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, the Holy Spirit is called kurios (“Lord”) not once but twice (vs. 17-18). But which kurios is Paul talking about, Yahweh or adonai, a ruling lord? The passage refers to the OT story about Moses removing his veil upon entering the presence of “the LORD.” In 2 Corinthians, it's kurios; in Exodus 34:34 it's Yahweh. No adonai anywhere in the context. This completed my study and forever confirmed my faith in the Christian doctrine of the Trinitarian nature of God.
I admit, it was a complicated study, and perhaps hard to follow. But after doing this research, I realized I could have saved myself the trouble. In Matthew 28:19, where Jesus instructs the disciples to baptize converts, He says to do so “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” All three have one name. The Father is fully Yahweh, the Son is fully Yahweh, the Spirit is fully Yahweh. God is a Trinity. I wrote up my findings into a tract called, “WATCH OUT! Are You Truly Jehovah’s Witness?” It was published by Gospel Outreach of Northern California, back in the heyday of the Jesus’ People Movement.
Many years later, I thought of another argument to support a Trinitarian theology. It’s based in logical reasoning, less complicated and easier to explain. In a later blog, I hope to share it and another very interesting one that I’ve thought about recently. I may even mention a third.