Hebrews 1:3 – Jesus as the Brightness of Jehovah

Hebrews 1:3 – “And He [Jesus] is the radiance of His [Yahweh’s] glory.” (NASB) “who [Jesus] being the effulgence of his [Yahweh’s] glory.” (ASV) “who [Jesus] being the brightness of His [Yahweh’s] glory” (NKJV) “The Son reflects God’s own glory.” (NLT) “He [Jesus] is the reflection of God’s glory.” (NRSV) “He [Jesus] reflects the brightness of God’s glory” (TEV) “His glory” refers back to “God” who is being spoken of in the verse one and two. (see also below) The claim is made that Hebrews 1:3 somehow means that Jesus is Yahweh.

Many translations render the Greek word apaugasma [Strong’s Greek #541] as “radiance”, and some by this translation would have Jesus as somehow being the exact same being as the Father, the only true God who sent Jesus. (John 17:1,3) However, Crosswalk’s online Lexicon gives the first meaning of this word as “reflected brightness – a. of Christ in that he perfectly reflects the majesty of God,” and the second meaning: “effulgence: a. shining forth, of a light coming from a luminous body (Vine) (b) out-raying (Vincent)” (Greek lexicon based on Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary plus others)

Jesus is the effulgence of God’s glory, and thus the shining forth of the glory of God is through Jesus, who is the image of God; rather than proving that Jesus is the Supreme Being, this verse is further proof that Jesus is not Supreme Being. (1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; John 1:5,7) Jesus, neither as a human being or a spirit being, has ever disobeyed his God, never displeased his God, the God of Israel, and thus has never fallen short of his God’s glory. — Romans 3:23.

But Jesus is also the brightness of God’s glory in a further way, which combined with his total obedience (unlike the prophets of old), makes the brightness of Yahweh in Jesus even more excelling. The prophets, of course, never had a glory with God before being born, which glory Jesus did have. (John 17:5) He had been especially taught by the only true God (John 8:28), his Father, who sent him into the world of mankind, far beyond anything that the prophets could know. This knowledge of heavenly things he speaks of in John 3:12,13. Thus the words he spoke was a further revealing of the brightness of Yahweh’s glory.
See our study:
Jesus’ Two Glories

Hebrews 1:1,2 tells us:

God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.

Who is this God of whom Jesus radiates glory, and who speaks through Jesus? Deuteronomy 18:17-19 answers:

Yahweh said to me…, I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.

And thus Jesus said:

John 12:49 – For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

The God who spoke through the prophets and through Moses, is the same God who speaks through Jesus. Jesus is not Yahweh who speaks through Jesus. There is nothing in any of this that even hints that Jesus is one person of Yahweh, and “God” in Hebrews 1:1,2 is another person of Yahweh, rather just the opposite.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Yahweh (Jehovah) is the only true God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. Jesus has One who is the Supreme Being over him; Jesus is not his Supreme Being whom he worships, prays to, and who sent him, and whose will he carried out in willful obedience. — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.

Yahweh, the only true God who sent Jesus, and who spoke through Jesus, is indeed the God and Father of Jesus. Jesus is not Yahweh.

See also:
Hebrews 1:1-3 – The Unipersonal God Spoke Through His Son
What Does Hebrews 1 Say About “God”?

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