Is Jesus YHWH? Isaiah saw his glory…

Read time: 4 minutes

For no particular reason, I have started listening to a recent debate between James White and Dale Tuggy on the question “Is Jesus Yahweh?” I’m thinking I’ll pass an impartial eye over contributions made on both sides, just to see what we can learn, starting with White’s claim that when John says that Isaiah “saw” Jesus’ glory (Jn. 12:41), he implicitly identifies Jesus with YHWH seated on the throne in the vision in Isaiah 6:1-3.

So the most straightforward reading of the text would have us asking Isaiah, “Whose glory did you see” and he would respond, “Yahweh’s,” and asking John, “Whose glory did Isaiah see?””and he responds, “Jesus’.” If Isaiah saw Jesus in the heavenly temple seated upon the throne, well, the debate is over.

White makes much of the fact that Jesus speaks of judgment in this passage and the theme of Isaiah 6 is also judgment. But the statement about judgment is preceded by a statement about “glory” which does not appear to have been determined by Isaiah’s vision of the glory that filled the house of YHWH (Is. 6:1 LXX).

Troubled by the prospect of death, Jesus prays that the Father will glorify his name at this hour, and a voice is heard from heaven in response: “I glorified and I will glorify again” (Jn. 12:28*). The name of God had been glorified previously through the miraculous signs performed by Jesus, but it will be glorified in the future through his death. Jesus has just said to his disciples: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (Jn. 12:23). What will this glorification consist in? Not in a transcendent vision of a radiant, enthroned figure comparable to Isaiah’s vision of the Lord in the temple, but in judgment of this world, the banishment of the ruler of this world, and the attraction of all people to the crucified Jesus (Jn. 12:31-32).

John then makes the point that the Jews still did not believe, despite the miraculous signs, and he sees in this a fulfilment of Isaiah’s words: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Jn. 12:38). The quotation is from Isaiah 53:1, which brings the suffering servant passage into consideration, but then we revert to the account of the commissioning of Isaiah in the temple: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them” (Jn. 12:40; Is. 6:10).

When John then says, “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him” (Jn. 12:41), “these things” presumably encompasses both statements: the Jews have heard the report and seen the arm of the YHWH revealed, but their hearts and minds have been hardened; they will not turn and be healed. So the narrative context is not the past inauguration of the prophet’s ministry but the future violent rejection of the “servant” by an obdurate people. Isaiah “saw” what would happen and recognised that the servant of YHWH would be glorified through these events.

White anticipates an objection somewhat along these lines, arguing:

The problem here is that this requires us to take the far referent over against the near, to disconnect the theme of judgment, to adopt a highly questionable definition of “glory” based upon a strained reading of Isaiah 53 in a translation, all to come to a nebulous conclusion that disconnects 12:41 from the rest of the discourse.

But it is John who fuses the two Isaiah passages, and given the stress on the suffering of the Son of Man in John 12:20-34, it seems fully appropriate to think that the “far referent” has a bearing on interpretation. The theme of judgment is not disconnected because it is the lifting up of Jesus on the cross that brings judgment on the world. And a “highly questionable definition” of “glory” is exactly what the passage is about; Isaiah 53 clearly explores the paradox.

Finally, we should note the remark that some of the rulers of the people believed in Jesus but were afraid of being “de-synagogued” (aposynagōgoi), because they loved “the glory of the people rather than the glory of God” (Jn. 12:42-43). This underlines the fact that the glory in question in the passage is not the unequivocal glory of the temple vision but the paradoxical glory that comes through faithful suffering. It is not a possession; it is attributed—or not attributed—by another. In the eyes of the Pharisees Jesus was an inglorious figure: “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Is. 53:2-3). But God saw things differently.

Joshua Jones | Fri, 03/15/2024 - 01:50 | Permalink

Andrew, this is superb. Perhaps the best piece I have read concerning this question. 

Samuel Conner | Mon, 03/18/2024 - 16:13 | Permalink

And a “highly questionable definition” of “glory” is exactly what the passage is about; Isaiah 53 clearly explores the paradox.

Thank you, Andrew.

I think that Luther would approve of this (though perhaps not of the larger context in the question you address). What he called “theologies of glory” are still very widespread. Loewenich’s wonderful “Luther’s Theology of the Cross” is, as far as I can tell, sadly out of print; I think it would be helpful to us moderns who sorrowfully contemplate the straits in which the churches find themselves.

Joel Rice | Wed, 03/20/2024 - 14:48 | Permalink

This is a very good commentary like your other comments on Isaiah 6:1.

I believe John 12:23 et seq. is easily consistent with the statements made by Isaiah 6:1-10.

“His (YHVH’s) glory filled the house.”

I think this is a type and is fully consistent with God’s glory filling the house (body).   God’s glory filled the body of the resurrected Jesus, Messiah.

@Joel Rice:

Can it be so simple that Isaiah saw a vision of YHVHs glory, not knowing the one whose face was covered is the resurrected Messiah Jesus and that vision was declared by John to be fulfilled in John 12?  A vision of a future event cannot denote a literal, thus preexistent, son or God, but it is consistent with the yet future fulfillment as declared by John.  The glory of God’s name is physically manifested when Jesus is raised from the dead and seen by witnesses.  Please correct me if you see error in my understanding.

@Joel Rice:

Are you taking this as meaning that the face of God is covered—rather than the faces of the seraphim?

Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. (Is. 6:2)

@Joel Rice:

Yes. Thank you for the correction.  I should have stated:

“Can it be so simple that Isaiah saw a vision of YHVHs glory, not knowing the one who was seated on the throne was a vision of the future resurrected glorified Messiah Jesus, the prophecy being declared by John to be fulfilled in John 12:38?  A vision of a future event cannot denote a literal, thus preexistent, son or God, but it is consistent with the yet future fulfillment as declared by John.  Was this prophecy fulfilled when Jesus is raised from the dead and seen by witnesses?   So the vision of the future glory that “filled the house” represents the future glory of God, the glory being the resurrected Jesus?  And, is this the throne of God and of the Lamb that is mentioned in Rev 22?  And the city Jerusalem (the church) has “no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”   

@Joel Rice:

I think I would ask why John would have read Isaiah 6:1-3 as a description of a glory that comes as the climax to a prophetic ministry rather than as the inauguration of a prophetic ministry. The commissioning of the messenger is clearly part of John’s appeal to Isaiah (Jn. 12:38), so we would expect him to be looking forwards from a moment of commissioning to a glory that comes through the rejection of the servant.

That Isaiah’s vision occurs in the temple is significant. On the one hand, the resurrected body of Jesus replaces the temple in John’s thought (Jn. 2:19). On the other, as you note, the new Jerusalem has no temple in it. So it seems unlikely to me, on both counts, that John would have found in Isaiah’s powerful affirmation of the temple in the commissioning vision a foreshadowing of the future glory of Jesus.

@Andrew Perriman:

It is potentially not only a future foreshadowing of the glory of Jesus, but of the name of God, by the ministry of Jesus.  So I do not think John viewed Isaiah 6:1-3 as the climax to a prophetic or inaugural ministry, but as a fulfillment of the word of Isaiah in the specific context of the glory, i.e. the resurrection.  If John has the resurrected Jesus in view in John 12, then the prophetic glory “seen” by Isaiah and its fulfillment by Isaiah’s word (several statements in Chapters. 40, 53 and 6) contextually requires John still has the resurrected Jesus in view in John’s reference to Isaiah 6:1-3 in John 12:41.  

John 12 is in small part about suffering and in large part about glory.  The suffering is integral to the glory because it precedes it; however, the glory is the end result, a visual manifestation or declaration (John 1:18) of God that seems to be in possession of “Him” who is “glorified”.  If the glory in view of John is an attribute of suffering and not an event witnessed, John could have written instead, “I have caused you to suffer and will cause you to suffer again”.  I don’t think that is what John intends, and in this way, alone, I agree with Dr. White’s statement that such a definition of “glory” is highly questionable.  

John also says in verse 12:16 “His disciples did not understand these things at first; but WHEN (a future event) Jesus was GLORIFIED, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.”  John clearly had an event in view, and that event of glorification is most probably His resurrection.  Another reason glorification is likely Jesus’ resurrection is the reference to Lazarus, “who had been raised from the dead” in the very same location, Bethany (12:1).  The Jews came there, “not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead.  10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” (John 12:9-11).  So, “those who loved the glory of men more than the glory of God” (v. 43) can be viewed in this context.  It glorified the name of God that Lazarus was raised from the dead, but even this miracle was not enough that they would turn from the glory that comes from man, directing themselves toward the the glory of God.

The point is that if John has the glorification of Jesus and God’s name in view in John 12 he has the same glory in view in John 12:41, interpreting Isaiah 6?  Shouldn’t context dictate that he had the same event, not different events of glory in view, ie the resurrected Jesus? The next verse says “nevertheless” even among the rulers many believed in Him.” (v.42).  Who?  YHWH?  No.  I think they certainly believed in YHWH, it was the belief in Jesus that is in view.  Belief in YHWH wouldn’t require John to write “nevertheless.”   

We can say Isaiah’s depiction of the one seated on the throne is very similar to Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, or Revelation 4-5, but those texts are not about the resurrected and glorified Jesus or the glorified name of God.  If they are not about the resurrected and glorified Jesus, they do not fit within the context of John 12, just as Isaiah 6:1-3, if not about the resurrected and glorified Jesus of whom they do not “understand” or “perceive” what purpose does John have to reference it in the first place?  I understand John’s reference to Isaiah 53:1 to express their prophetic disbelief (future disbelief) which ultimately leads up to and precedes Jesus’ glorification.  The suffering is important to the later glorification.  ”[U]nless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it produces much grain. (v. 24).  So the glory is not in his possession before death and perhaps is an attribute, but the glory is realized after the suffering/death, and the glory that “filled the house” in Isaiah 6:1, is “His,” in His possession (His being Father, Son and perhaps both by means of agency).  Isaiah “saw His glory and spoke of Him” is a clear reference to Isaiah 6:1-3.

Beginning with John 12:23, we have Jesus stating that the hour has come that the son of man should be glorified.  The glorification of Jesus in view of John is Jesus’ impending death and resurrection. Jesus is troubled by what he is about to suffer, but says “Father glorify your name.” (v.28)  The glory of God’s name is also in view, God’s glory.

At this moment, a voice comes from heaven saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” So, not only is the death and future glorification of Jesus in view of John, but significantly the glory of God’s name.  The resurrection and glorification of Jesus glorifies God’s name.  The glorification of God’s name in the past could be the whole of His work, but the “many signs” of verse 37 indicates John has the miracles done through Jesus in view of the past glory i.e. “have…glorified it” and resurrection of Jesus as the future glory i.e. “will glorify it again.”  John could even more specifically have Lazarus’ resurrection in view when writing “I have both glorified it” and Jesus’ resurrection when writing “and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28).

The fulfillment of the word of Isaiah referenced in John 12:38 is that they did not believe the report despite the signs.  Signs are visual.  The signs are God’s glory, the miraculous works God did through Jesus, that were witnessed so they would believe Jesus is Messiah, not necessarily a glory that is attributed to suffering, a glory that does not fit the common definition of glory.  Glory is noticed, either seen or heard, and even more so when glory is shown in contrast to suffering.  Contrast requires the former be strikingly different than the latter.  For example, glory is seen in the contrast between or juxtaposition of life and death.  The preceding suffering serves to make the glory more evident.  John states his purpose to writing these things so that you may believe that Jesus is Messiah. John 20:31).  Belief is to their glory along with the Glory of God’s name, contrasted with disbelief which is to their shame.  

Isaiah’s prophecy is YHWH high and lifted up and seated on a throne, his “glory filled the house” (LXX).   Could it be that this vision is of the future glorified resurrected Jesus?  It would fit more appropriately within the context of John 12, especially in light of Johns references to Isaiah 40:10 and 53:1. These texts are about the Messiah.  Prior to reading your post yesterday regarding the LXX rendering “the house was full of his glory”, I viewed Isaiah 6:1-3 as a picture of the “Ancient of Days” of Daniel 7 or Revelation 4-5.  However, it made me think, within the context of John 12 (death, resurrection, glorification) could Isaiah’s vision be a figurative depiction of the temple, i.e. the body.  John declares it to be fulfilled so what temple would John have in view?  John apparently has Jesus fully in view throughout his gospel and certainly John 12.  So, could His (God’s) glory which filled the house be fulfilled in the resurrection and glorification of Jesus?  

Many like Dr. White see Isaiah’s vision as a “past” pre-existent son, rather than a “future” prophesied resurrected Messiah.  In this way it is actually Isaiah’s prophecy that is fulfilled in a future referent.  Rather than taking one referent over the other (past v. near)  the referents are consistent with and the same, and necessarily so in order for John’s point to be understood, i.e. the referents in both instances must be the same event, the same glory.  Proponents of both views of a pre-existent Jesus and future human Jesus, point out that Isaiah 6:1-3 cannot be YHWH because no one has seen Him, John 1:18.  This can be dismissed by proponents of the YHWH only view by stating Isaiah saw a “vision” a mere depiction of YHWH, not YHWH literally, which is a good point and one I’ve made many times.  However, another explanation is found in John 12:45, “And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.”  Perhaps, Jesus is again in view of John AND the glory of the Father, which is appears to me to be consistent with Isaiah’s vision. 

Indeed, John identifies Jesus’ body as the temple in John 2:19-21.  And, he “saw no temple” in the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:22), but for reason echoing John 2:is “for the Lord God Almighty AND the Lamb ARE its temple.  Verse 23, “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the GLORY of GOD illuminated it.  The Lamb is its LIGHT…”  John goes further in 12:46, “I have come as a light unto the world…”

So what throne is in view of Isaiah that would be consistent with the context of John 12?  Revelation 22:1-3 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life clear as crystal, proceeding from the THRONE of God AND of the Lamb…3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall SEE His face, and his name shall be on their foreheads.”  Of course, the face of the one seated on the throne was not hidden to Isaiah, which is interesting because it is YHVH seated on the throne, but perhaps it is YHVH and, by agency, the glorified resurrected Jesus who is filled with God’s glory, a light.

My question to you:  in the context of John 12, the death, resurrection, glorification, inauguration, glory of God’s name, with reference to Isaiah 6:1-3… 

Is any portion of the above useful?

@Joel Rice:

There’s a lot in your comment, Joel, and I can’t really do it justice here, but a few thoughts:

The point is that if John has the glorification of Jesus and God’s name in view in John 12 he has the same glory in view in John 12:41, interpreting Isaiah 6?

I don’t see that John 12:41 refers to the throne vision per se. Isaiah said “these things,” which seems to refer to these two statements:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” (John 12:38, 40)

There is no reference here to the throne vision. The emphasis is rather on the disbelief of the Jews and the repudiation of the servant/prophet.

We can say Isaiah’s depiction of the one seated on the throne is very similar to Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, or Revelation 4-5, but those texts are not about the resurrected and glorified Jesus or the glorified name of God.

Really? But neither of these visions places YHWH in the temple. Neither entails the commissioning of a prophet. Rather YHWH is seated for judgment.

Isaiah’s prophecy is YHWH high and lifted up and seated on a throne, his “glory filled the house” (LXX). Could it be that this vision is of the future glorified resurrected Jesus?

Why should it be? John does not say this. Does anyone else? It’s hard to think that a New Testament writer would have dissociated Isaiah’s vision in the temple from the impact that it had on Isaiah and the inauguration of his mission to Israel.

@Andrew Perriman:

  1. Not the throne, but John refers to the glory, which is a reference to the vision of Isaiah 6:1-3.
  2. John doesn’t have the throne in view, but he does have the glory in view, the glory of “Him” is the one on the throne.  The disbelief is part of the equation,  which begs the question, disbelief in who?  Answer: that Jesus is Messiah.  John has the ministry of Jesus in view.
  3. Yep.  And who is the agent of God’s judgment?  Again, Jesus.
  4. Because Jesus is the only one worthy to take the scroll.  John doesn’t disassociate Isaiah’s vision from his mission to Israel any more than Paul disassociates the spiritual rock from the purpose of the actual rock at Horeb.

@Joel Rice:

  1. You haven’t addressed my point about “these things.” John seems to avoid referencing the vision of God in the temple.
  2. The “him” of whom Isaiah spoke is a reference to the Jesus who “said these things… departed and hid himself,” and in whom some Pharisees believed. I don’t see how, in context, it can refer to the figure on the throne.
  3. Yes, Jesus may be the agent of judgment in the sort of court scenes evoked in Daniel 7 and Revelation 5, but what Isaiah describes in chapter 6 is not a judgment but the commissioning of a prophet to speak to a stubborn people in advance of judgment.
  4. I don’t follow you here. There is nothing in Isaiah 6:1-3 that anticipates Jesus taking the scroll in Revelation 5. Other than the disputed reference to “glory” in John 12:41, does any New Testament writer draw on Isaiah 6:1-3 to speak of the resurrected Jesus? There is perhaps an allusion to the seraphim in Revelation 4:8, but then this is the throne of the creator God; the Lamb has not yet appeared. This suggests that John did not think that the glory seen in the temple was the glory of the risen Jesus.

@Andrew Perriman:

John 1:14, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His GLORY, the GLORY as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The topic of the debate was “is Jesus YHWH?”.  You and I agree that Jesus is not YHWH, but we probably also agree that Jesus was commissioned, appointed, authorized to speak on behalf of YHWH.

1. I agree the reference is made to the fulfillment of the two Isaiah statements; however, I didn’t address it because the subject of the discussion and the debate is who is the “Him” of John 12:41?  I didnt want to get off topic.  Perhaps John 12:41 is not a direct reference to Isaiah 6:1-3, but it is a clear reference to “glory” and Isaiah 6:1-3 is the most fitting example of the glory Isaiah saw in the vision.  The glory spoken of by Isaiah was also clearly witnessed by the disciples, not a passive glory.  The disciples witnessed Jesus’ suffering, but the glory in view clearly regards Jesus’ resurrected state.  “When Jesus WAS glorified” (12.16), “Glorified” (12.23) and “glorify” (12.28) refer to an event witnessed by the disciples.  They witnessed the resurrected Jesus.  This is consistent with the other references to glory throughout John’s gospel.  Suffering does lead to glory and is integral to it, but I do not understand how suffering IS the glory, instead of pertaining to a glory that is to come.

My question is whether or not there is another way to look at John 12:41, different from Dr. Tuggy, Dr. Brown and yourself.  I understand John 12:41 is proof to deity of Christ proponents that the Isaiah 6:1-3 vision is of Jesus.  It is also proof to Biblical Unitarians that John was referring directly to the glory of YHWH.   John 12 has BOTH the glory of Jesus and the glory of YHWH’s name in view. It is not an either/or for John.  We know Isaiah 6:1-3 is about YHWH, but is it about YHWH via His agency relationship with Jesus as it is throughout John?

2. “These things” Jesus spoke begins with John 12:23 and end with v. 35:

v.23 the Son of Man should be GLORIFIED.

v.26 him my Father will HONOR.

v.28 Father, GLORIFY your name…  I have both GLORIFIED it and will GLORIFY it again.

v.31 Now is the JUDGMENT of this world..

v.33 signifying by what DEATH He would die.

v.35…the LIGHT is with you…

v.36 …that you may become sons of light…

…These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

The things Jesus spoke concerns his glorification and the glory of the name of God. Both occur at His resurrection.

Next, v.37, John refers to the signs, and the fulfillment of the word of Isaiah, the two statements of Isaiah (Isaiah 40:10, 53:1 and 6:10). And finally, the verse at issue, John 12:41:

“These things Isaiah said because he saw His GLORY and spoke of Him.”

Who is the “Him” of Isaiah 12:41?  Is it YHWH, Jesus, or both?  In what instance does Isaiah see glory?  The clearest example is Isaiah 6:1-3.  This is strengthened by the fact that the verse immediately preceding v.41 “These things” is John’s quote of Isaiah 6:10, the same chapter and following the vision of the throne.

The disciples also saw “His” glory.  The fulfillment of the words of Isaiah follow what happened AFTER the signs, and AFTER the glorification of Jesus.  Many were blinded and did not believe despite the glory, the same pattern seen in Isaiah 6:1-3, however, some did believe in “Him” but…did not confess “Him.”  Who is the Him?  How can it be other than Jesus and the name of God glorified by the event of Jesus’ resurrection?  Even the hot coal from the alter touching the lips of Isaiah signifies the forgiveness of his sin, the inaugural moment that he is commissioned.  What was the sacrifice on the alter from which the hot coals were derived?

3.  Yes. Jesus is the agent of the “judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”  John 12:31. A means by which the judgment came is by Jesus’ death, but despite the glorification of Jesus, they did not believe. If they had believed in Jesus as Messiah, they would have been “healed.”  This fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophetic words was witnessed by John.  John’s words are comprehensible in the context of “these things” Jesus spoke.  John’s reference to Isaiah must be about Jesus in each instance, including the reference to “His” glory.  I realize that “His” glory is the glory of God’s name, but it is to the glory of God’s name by means of His glorification of the resurrected Messiah.  John’s reference to Isaiah 6:1-3 (direct or indirect) is comprehensible on if the same events are in view, the suffering, death, resurrection/glorification of Jesus.

4. It appears to me that John draws on Isaiah 6:1-3 to speak of “His” glory.  The question that Dr. White and Dr. Tuggy debated was whose glory was in view of John in Isaiah 6:1-3.  I just don’t see how the “glory” equates to Jesus’ suffering per se.  Certainly, His suffering leads to glory and honor, but suffering is not glory.  Paul speaks of joining in the fellowship of His suffering and conforming to His death. I think the suffering is not the glory, but it pertains to the glory which will come or be realized at resurrection for those who are found in the “Lamb’s” book of life.  Isaiah 6:1-3 does not speak of Jesus taking the scroll, but rather it could be a vision that succeeds that event, whether literal or figurative.  If the one on the throne in Isaiah 6:1-3 is the resurrected and glorified Jesus (as Dr. White states) he had already taken the scroll, i.e. is the one worthy to carry out the judgment.  So, assuming that to be true, the Isaiah 6:1-3 throne depiction could not be the same as the throne visions depicted in Daniel 7 or Revelation 4.  The only other temple/throne vision, post taking the scroll and post Jesus’ resurrection, is the very same that Isaiah speaks of most frequently, the tabernacle of God of Revelation 21:3:  “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.”  See Isaiah 25:8, 29:13, 35:10, 51:11, 65:19.  So, I think it is plausible that John is speaking of Jesus’ agency, death being swallowed by life in John 12 and the glory of a marvelous work of God, Jesus’ resurrection.  Believe whatever you want.

Jesus is also the agent of God’s Judgment and the salvation of His people, the New Jerusalem.  I am not debating you and perhaps I will never understand your perspective. The small point of Dr. White that the unitarian definition of “glory” is strained is the only place Dr. White persuaded me.  The biblical unitarian definition of “glory” in reference to their interpretation of John 12:41 is strained.  It is plausible that John has Jesus in view in Isaiah 6:1-3 along with the references to Isaiah 40 and 53.  Isaiah saw a vision of the King, the one seated on the throne (probably of David), the future resurrected Messiah Jesus to whom every knee bows and every tongue confesses.  And, this brings up a point.  Similarly, Philippians 2 is clearly about Jesus, to the glory of God.  Paul has the resurrected Jesus in view by reference to Isaiah 45 Isaiah 53.  So, to me it is again, perhaps even probable that John has the resurrected Jesus in view, to the glory of God’s name.

Until those like Dr. White come to understand agency, that Messiah is the one written about by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-19, this debate about whether Jesus is YHWH will continue.

As a side note, there could be some echo of significance that it is upon the death of the earthly king, Uzziah, that Isaiah sees the King and his glory. 

@Joel Rice:

There’s a lot to consider here, but I can’t help thinking that you’re reading too much into the passage.

You argue that Isaiah 6:1-3 is the obvious referent for the “glory” of John 12:41, but we have repeated reference in the Gospel to Jesus being glorified by God, to a glory that is apparent in the dwelling of Jesus among the followers, that is manifested through the miracles, and to the future glorification of the Son.

In fact, it seems that we have here the basic field of reference for the “glory” of Jesus: first the miracles, then the glory that will come through the cross, to the suffering Son of Man. I don’t see anything that points to or requires an identification of the glory of Jesus with the glory that filled the temple in the throne room theophany.

What is the objection to applying “glory” to the quotation of Isaiah 53:1? The despised and unattractive servant is the one through whom the “arm of the Lord has been revealed.” The glory attributed to the Son of Man presupposes the persecution of Daniel’s representative “one like a son of man,” but he will receive dominion, glory, and a kingdom (Dan. 7:13-14).

The “Isaiah said these things” really doesn’t include the theophany, he doesn’t speak about it, it’s not mentioned—rather, first, the career of an inglorious servant, then the commissioning of a prophet who would not be listened to. But John understood these apparent “failures” as integral to the glory of Jesus.