Question: How is Isaiah 43:10 used as a proof-text by critics of the Mormon doctrines of the plurality of gods and the deification of man?

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Question: How is Isaiah 43:10 used as a proof-text by critics of the Mormon doctrines of the plurality of gods and the deification of man?

The context of this passage makes it clear that the issue being addressed is not one of general theology but rather a very specific and practical command to recognize YHWH as Israel's only god and the only god to be worshiped

This is a FAIR Wiki scripture article. It discusses scriptures commonly used by those who attack the Church, as well as references to other FAIR Wiki articles that discuss the issues raised by the critics. For other scriptures, please see the Scripture index.

King James Version

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. Isaiah 43:10

Other translation(s)

"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. (NIV)

Use or misuse by Church critics

This verse is used as a proof-text by critics of the LDS doctrines of the plurality of gods and the deification of man. It is claimed that this verse proves that there never has been or ever will be another being who could properly be called a god.

Commentary

This passage and other similar proof texts from the Hebrew scriptures are misused by critics. When read in context, it is clear that the intent of the passage is to differentiate YHWH from the foreign gods and idols in the cultures surrounding the Jews.

Verses 11 - 13 are a continuation of the statement by God:

I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.

I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.

Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?" (NIV)

The context of this passage makes it clear that the issue being addressed is not one of general theology but rather a very specific and practical command to recognize YHWH as Israel's only god and the only god to be worshiped.

In addition to misapplying this passage, critics also fail to recognize the growing body of evidence that shows that the Jewish religion was not strictly monotheistic until quite late in its development, certainly after the era in which Isaiah was written. When this evidence is considered, it appears that Judaism originally taught that though there are indeed other divine beings, some of whom are called gods, none of these are to be worshiped except for the God of gods who created all things and who revealed Himself to Moses.


Further reading and additional sources responding to these claims

Notes