Thursday, January 21, 2016

Genesis 1:26 - "Let us" and the Trinity

Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:22, Genesis 11:7 and Isaiah 6:8 have been presented as showing the alleged plurality of persons who are claimed to make up the triune God. Regarding Genesis 1:26; Genesis 11:7 and Isaiah 6:8, Walter Martin (Kingdom of the Cults, page 82) claims that the "plurality" of these verses are speaking of Trinity. Let us examine these verses to see if this is so.

Genesis 1:26 - God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
We find nothing at all in this verse about there being a God consisting of three persons; any such thought has to imagined, assumed, added to, and read into, what “God” said here. Evidently, the unipersonal “God”, in saying “Let us,” is speaking to someone else. By comparing spiritual with spiritual, we conclude that he was speaking to His Son here, but that does not mean that we need to imagine and assume that His Son is a person of God Himself. If I say to my son, “Let’s build our house according to our plans,” I am not saying that my son is person of myself.

Jesus was evidently of a celestial glory (1 Corinthians 15:40,41) higher than the angels before he became flesh, but that does not mean that he did not have the image of his God and Father before he became flesh. While in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), he possessed a sinless glory of God (Romans 3:23) -- a little lower than the angels -- which glory he offered up in sacrifice for sin. -- Hebrews 2:9, 9:26,28; 10:5; 13:11.

Regarding Genesis 3:22, see my study:
One of Us
Genesis 11:7 Come, let's go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
Again, if I say to my son, "Come, let’s go shopping as we had planned," I am not saying that my son is a person of myself; since this is along the same line as Genesis 2:6, see what I have said earlier regarding that scripture. God certainly did not say that He was more than one person; one has to call upon the spirit of human imagination and read such a thought into what God stated.
Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said: "Here am I; send me."
A trinitarian argues, evidently by applying the spirit of human imagination, that Isaiah heard the voice of God, and that God is referring to himself as more than one person.

One claims that the words attributed to God in Isaiah 6:8 were said in eternity. Obviously, there is nothing in Isaiah 6:8 about these words being said in eternity past. Such an idea has to be added to and read into what Isaiah said. Following such reasoning, one would conclude that Isaiah had been hearing these words in eternity past, and thus that Isaiah himself had existed in eternity past so as to be hearing these words in eternity past.

If applied prophetically to the church, it is more reasonable to conclude that Isaiah himself is playing a part in the exemplary prophetic role, depicting the church of Jesus who was yet to be. Each believer is depicted as hearing the voice of the Lord Jesus, asking, "Whom shall I send?", and thus is depicted as responding: "Here am I."

The Masoretic text has the word often transliterated as "Adonai" where "the Lord" appears in Isaiah 6:8. The claim is made that this is one of the places copyists replaced Jehovah with Adonai, and thus some translations have the holy name in the scripture. However, we find that the Great Isaiah Scroll does not have the Holy Name in Isaiah 6:8, but rather the Hebrew characters representing Adoni [my Lord] or Adonai [Literally, my Lords, used singularly, as a plural intensive, as a superlative or superior "Lord" -- without any vowel points added, both words appear the same in the original Hebrew]. At any rate, it is probable, as some have suggested, that Isaiah originally meant this to be "my Lord", referring to the coming Lord of Isaiah [Isaiah is possibly being used to represent the Christina believer], that is, Jesus, the promised Messiah. In such a case, the words in question, who will go for us, are those of Jesus directed toward Jehovah. The "us" refers to both Jehovah and Jesus. The one to "go" for them would be Isaiah (being a figure of the church members individually). The fulfillment of the prophecy supports that 'the Lord' in Isaiah 6:8 is not Jehovah but Jesus, the one whom Jehovah anointed (made christ) as our Lord. -- Isaiah 61:1; Acts 2:36; 20:21.

What we do not find in those words is any thought that Jehovah is a triune God of three persons. It is being claimed that the word "Elohim" and the pronoun “us” are plural forms, and these rare "definitely referring in the Hebrew language to more than two." It is further claimed the word ELOHIM denotes "the aspect of plurality in God." The plurality of ELOHIM means “gods”, thus any thought along this line would mean that Jehovah is more than one God. Two Gods? Definitely not! Although “us” certainly refers to more than one, ELOHIM most definitely refers to only one who is ELOHIM. Genesis 1:26 – God [ELOHIM] said [singular verb], “Let us make [plural] man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” The verb that corresponds with ELOHIM is not plural in the Hebrew, but it is singular. The verb that corresponds with US is plural in the Hebrew, which is correct, since the Singular “God” was speaking to someone else who was not Himself.
Genesis 3:22 Jehovah God said [singular verb in Hebrew], "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever..."
Again in Genesis 3:22, we find that a singular verb is used relating to ELOHIM, not a plural verb. The “Lexican Aids to the Old Testament” that appears in Key Study Bibles, notes this concerning ELOHIM.
This mas. Hebr. noun is pl. in form, but it has both sing. and pl. uses. In a pl. sense it refers to rulers or judges with divine connections (Ex. 21:6); pagan gods (Ex. 18:11; Ps. 86:8); and probably angels (Ps. 8:5; 97:7). In both of the passages where “angels” is the apparent meaning, it is so translated in the Sept... In the singular sense it is used of a god or a goddess (1 Sam. 5:7; 2 Kgs. 18:34); a man in a position like a god (Ex. 7:1); God (Duet. 7:9; Ezra 1:3; Is. 45:18 and many other OT passages).... It usually takes a sing. verb so no implication of any plurality of the divine nature can be inferred from the fact that the word is plural. -- page 1598 in the King James Hebrew -Greek Key Word Study Bible, edited by Spiros Zodhiates.
The fact is, that ELOHIM, when used in a singular setting, that is, when the verb and/or pronouns, etc., in context are singular, ELOHIM is used as what many linguists call a "plural intensive," "honorific plural", or "majestic plural", that is, the word, although it is plural in form, is singular in usage to denote something similar to a superior or superlative usage.

Since the plurality of ELOHIM means “gods”, not persons, there definitely is nothing in that word that would connect with a triune God, not unless one would think that Yahweh is a three Gods.


Let Us and Elohim
Genesis 1:26,27 - Who is God Speaking To?
Elohim - Does This Word Indicate a Plurality of Persons in a Godhead?
Genesis 3:22 - One of Us

No comments:

Post a Comment