Mighty or Almighty

by William J. Stewart

The deity of Christ is a topic which has long been discussed among men, believers and non-believers alike. In recent e-mail conversations, an opponent of truth has sought to undermine the Bible doctrine of the Godhead by making a distinction between “mighty God” and “almighty God”, making statements such as follows:

  • “If Jehovah is Almighty he can’t be Mighty”

  • “Jesus is not Almighty, his Father is”

  • “There is a very big difference in Mighty and Almighty”

The same individual rejects that Jesus is Jehovah, declaring that only the Father is Jehovah God. For a study on the question of Jesus being Jehovah, go here.  For the present, let us consider whether this distinction which is made between mighty and almighty is Biblical, or if it is a product of human reasoning.

There is no doubt, Jesus is called Mighty God. In Isaiah 9:6, we read, “…unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Likewise, it is obvious in the reading of Scripture that the Father is referred to as Almighty. In 2 Corinthians 6:18, we read, “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.” The question is, are the terms used exclusively? That is, is Jesus alone referred to as “Mighty God” and is the Father alone referred to as “Almighty”?

Considering the phrase “Mighty God”, look at the following. In each case, Jehovah is referred to as “Mighty God”:

  • “The mighty God, even the LORD [Jehovah], hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.”(Psalm 50:1)

  • “Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD [Jehovah] of hosts, is his name…” (Jeremiah 32:18)

  • “But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb…” (Genesis 49:24-25)

  • “For the LORD [Jehovah] your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward…” (Deuteronomy 10:17)

  • also see Nehemiah 9:32; Isaiah 1:24; Isaiah 49:26; Job 36:5; Psalms 24:8; Psalms 132:2, 5; Isaiah 30:29; Zephaniah 3:17.

It appears that the phrase “mighty God” is not exclusive to Jesus, but that the Father also is called such several times. In the light of such evidence, the statement “…If Jehovah is Almighty he can’t be Mighty…” certainly falls. To maintain such is to openly reject God’s revealed word.

What about the word “Almighty”? Is it exclusive to the Father? Is Jesus ever called “Almighty”? I believe that we find occasions in the Old Testament Scriptures where the pre-incarnate Christ is referred to, and called “Almighty”. Having said this, it is difficult to determine for surety from each context that this is absolutely so. However, one New Testament passage clearly identifies Jesus as “Almighty”.Revelation 1:8 reads, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” The one with whom I have recently been discussing these things declares emphatically, “Revelation 1:8 is not talking about Jesus, it is talking about Jehovah…” and again, “…is Jesus mentioned in Revelation 1:8? No, he is not…”Unfortunately, my friend has failed (and continues to fail) to deal with the text in context. Let us consider from the context whether Jesus is here referred to as “Almighty” or not:

  • v 1 – Introduces the book, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…” given to Him by the Father and shown through signs

  • v 2 – The angel, sent by the Lord bore witness to the testimony of Jesus Christ

  • v 3 – Proclaims the blessedness of those who read and understand and keep what is written

  • v 4 – grace and peace from the Father (described as “…the one who is and who was and who is to come…”)

  • v 5 – grace and peace from Jesus Christ

  • v 6 – Jesus Christ has made us kings and priests

  • v 7 – Jesus Christ is coming

  • v 8 – “…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

  • v 9 – John was on the Island of Patmos to receive the testimony of Jesus Christ

  • v 10 – John heard a loud voice behind him, like a trumpet

  • v 11 – the voice spoke, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…”, John was commanded to write a book and sent it to the seven churches

  • v 12 – John turned to see who spoke to him

  • v 13 – John saw “…One like the Son of Man…”

  • v 14 – John describes the One he saw, “…head and hair were white like wool…eyes like a flame of fire…”

  • v 15 – John describes the One he saw, “…feet were like fine brass…voice as the sound of many waters…”

  • v 16 – John describes the One he saw, “…in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword…”

  • v 17 – The One whom John saw spoke, “…I am the first and the last…”

  • v 18 – He continues to identifiy Himself, “…I am He who lives, and was dead…”

  • v 19 – John is commanded to write what He hears and sees…

  • v 20 – He identifies the mystery of the stars and the lampstands…

This one, who is “…Almighty…” is also “…the Alpha and the Omega…” In the very context, Jesus identifies himself as the “…Alpha and Omega…”Furthermore, the entire context, from verse 5 onward is specifically about Jesus. The Father is mentioned in verse 1, and again in verse 4, and these, if you will, in passing. Jesus Christ, and His revelation are the main topic of consideration. Jesus Christ is the one who speaks with John, revealing Himself and commanding him to write the book. Jesus identifies Himself as the Almighty. In the use of the phrases,”…Alpha and the Omega…”, “…First and the Last…”, “…Beginning and the End…”, He reveals His eternal nature, His Divine nature – that He is indeed God. Thus the statement, “Jesus is not Almighty, his Father is”, is shown to be false and contrary to Scripture.

Is there a distinction between Mighty and Almighty God? Only in the fact that they are not the same word. Mighty is from the Hebrew gibbowr, while Almighty is from the word shadday. They are two unrelated Hebrew words, both used to describe the nature of Jehovah. However, the Bible makes no distinction in the use of the words when it comes to the Father and the Son. The Father is both “Mighty” and “Almighty”. The Son is both “Mighty” and “Almighty”.

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