To Know the One True God : Reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament
Brigham Young University
There is a popular misconception in the world that Jehovah is too severe on occasion while Jesus Christ is always kind and merciful. The Latter-day Saint belief that Jehovah and Jesus are the same person presents a supposed conflict. There has not been much written on this subject by either non-Latter-day Saints or Latter-day Saints, thus, this thesis represents a unique contribution to a common perception prevalent in many Christian circles.
The research of this thesis shows that the misconception is based on three problems: first, a misinterpretation of biblical stories in both the Old and New Testament; second, a lack of understanding biblical context and culture; and third, a lack of applying modern revelation to this subject. The research of this thesis focuses on these three areas in an effort to resolve this false perception.
This thesis takes a deeper look into the acts of Jehovah and Jesus Christ as found in the Old and New Testaments respectively. Next, it looks as several doctrines related to this subject that have been revealed through latter-day prophets and incorporates them into the Old Testament. This analysis paints a broader picture of the Lord and illustrates that He was, indeed, merciful in the Old Testament but, at times, severe in the New Testament. Lastly, this thesis takes four of the most difficult Old Testament stories that seem to represent Jehovah as harsh, capricious, and unyielding, and puts them in their cultural setting. Though not every act can be completely explained, there is a high degree of similarity between Jehovah and Jesus. The study concludes, therefore, that much of the problem lies with perception and not with reality.