Isaiah 9:6—Why is Jesus called “the everlasting Father” if He is the Son of God?
Problem: The orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one Essence in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, Isaiah 9:6 calls the Messiah “the everlasting Father.” How can Jesus be both the Father and the Son?
Solution: This verse is not a Trinitarian formula that calls Jesus Christ the Father. Actually, it is easier to grasp the idea when the phrase is rendered literally into English, “Father of eternity.” The first part of verse six makes reference to the incarnation of Jesus. The part that lists the names by which He is called expresses His relationship to His people. He is to us the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace. Considered in this way, we see that Jesus is the One who gives us eternal life. By His death, burial, and resurrection, He has brought life and immortality to light. Truly, He is the Father of eternity for His people. The name “Father of eternity” indicates that, as a loving father provides for His children, so Jesus loves us and has provided for us by giving us everlasting life.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.