The Holy Trinity- A look at Deuteronomy 6:4

Deuteronomy 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one

The Holy Trinity-A look at Deuteronomy 6:4

I would like to take a moment and show from scripture why I believe that the Bible teaches us that God is three separate persons, yet at the same time, He is one God. Christians refer to this unity as the "Trinity" or Tri-unity. Three in One. The purpose of this writing is not to define who makes up the Godhead. Rather I wish to show that the trinity is declared in Old Testament scripture.

For clarification purposes, allow me to explain how I visualize the trinity. Some envision the trinity as God simply being whoever he needs to be at any given moment. Kind of like taking off a mask or changing hats. One moment he is Jesus and the next, if need be, he is God the Father and the next moment He is the Holy Spirit. One God three different job descriptions. Others see it as three separate god's who have agreed to work together and formed a corporation. I do not believe the Bible supports either of these conclusions. I believe that the trinity is one God yet three separate persons. Each person has a different purpose and name. Yet they exist as one being. It's a mind bender for sure.

To start with, I need to explain that often our English language fails to give us an adequate understanding of scripture. In order to grasp the meaning of some scriptures we have to try to understand the original language. The Bible is broken up into two parts. The Old Testament and the New Testament. Originally the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. Deuteronomy 6:4 is a perfect example of the inadequacy of the English language. It also happens to be the perfect verse to show the plurality of the Godhead.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! Deuteronomy 6:4

On the face of it. It would appear that I am in trouble. This scripture clearly seems to contradicts the Christian teaching that God is plural since God is one. However, in truth this statement of oneness actually implies plurality. Let me explain.

First, lets look at the word "one". In this verse "one" is translated from the Hebrew word "echad" which demonstrates compound unity of oneness or corporate oneness. It gives us a picture of a group acting as one. Let me give you a few specific examples in scripture where the word echad was used to express unity or oneness.

  • For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one [echad] flesh. Genesis 2:24


  • Now the whole earth used the same [echad] language and the same [echad] words. Genesis 11:1


  • And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one [echad] people, and they all have the same [echad] language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Genesis 11:6


  • Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one [echad] voice, and said, "All the words which the LORD has spoken we will do!" Exodus 24:3


How would the Hebrew be different if God had wanted to express absolute oneness? The Hebrew word, yachid, is used to express the idea of absolute oneness. Examples of it are shown below:

  • And He said, "Take now your son, your only [yachid] son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you." Genesis 22:2


  • When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dancing. Now she was his one and only [yachid] child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. Judges 11:34


  • When I was a son to my father, Tender and the only [yachid] son in the sight of my mother, Proverbs 4:3


  • daughter of my people, put on sackcloth And roll in ashes; Mourn as for an only [yachid] son, A lamentation most bitter. For suddenly the destroyer Will come upon us. Jeremiah 6:26


  • "Then I shall turn your festivals into mourning And all your songs into lamentation; And I will bring sackcloth on everyone's loins And baldness on every head. And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only [yachid] son, And the end of it will be like a bitter day. Amos 8:10


Ok, my point is this, the word "one" in Deuteronomy 6:4 is actually telling us that God is "as one" [echad] not an "absolute one" [yachid]. Please note that neither I, nor the translators of the King James Bible, have tampered with this scripture. This can be confirmed in the Torah or the Hebrew Bible. To the Jews, it is known as the "Shema Yisreal"

Now lets brake the verse down a little further, by looking at the word " Lord and God"

Deuteronomy 6:4

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one

This phrase "The Lord God" shows up for the very first time in Genesis 2:7. There, God is introduced to the reader as “ The Lord God” or in Hebrew, Jehovah, Elohiym.

· “And The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7)

The word Jehovah, is used more like a title then a name. It shows our relationship to God. He is our Lord, our King our God. It expresses our relationship to him, as it relates to His authority.

The word God is translated from the Hebrew word Elohiym.It is pronounced el-o-heem'. It is the name that introduces God in Genesis 1:1. and is the same word used in Deuteronomy 6:4.

·In the beginning God [ Elohiym] created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1


You can divided the word into two parts. The first part, "El" meaning God. It is connected to His might, power, majesty, glory, and authority. Ohiym speaks of plurality. You could actually say the word means "Mighty Trinity."

In light of this let us now take another look at Deuteronomy 6:4

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord [Jehovah] our God [Elohiym], the Lord [Jehovah] is one [echad]!


Moses is actually declaring God's plurality, as oneness. In short, He is saying "Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, they are one God!"

In closing, Remember we can't establish doctrine on one verse alone. This one verse could be misleading, in that, it seems to give a picture of the corporate God. We must take this verse and set it in its place like a piece to a puzzle. Allowing its understanding to add to the bigger picture.

If a teaching is sound it will be consistent throughout the bible. The Trinity doctrine is woven into the fabric of scripture like a bright red thread. It is not hard to find. One need only to take the time to look.

Your Brother in Christ

ABR

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Comments 13 comments

Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

I have a hub called "Let Me Tell You Who God Is" that goes into how God can be God, yet be the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is an interesting concept to ponder:

Just as man is spirit, soul and body in one person, so God is:

Man: 1 Thes 5:23 "Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

God is Spirit: John 4:24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

God has a soul: Mat 12:18 "Behold, My servant whom I have chosen; My beloved with whom My soul is well pleased."

God has a body: John 1:14 and Col 2:9 "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."

Plurality also means "fullness" or "greatness" ~ God is not three separate entities, for that would mean there are three gods (1+1+1). He is GREAT (1x1x1) and while He is Spirit, He is holy. His Holy Spirit conceived the Son (His image in the flesh), for Jesus is not called the Son of the Holy Spirit, but the Son of God. Before Jesus became the Son, He was the very Word of God and was God, and thus IS GOD. There's so much more ~ it is a concept the Spirit must make known to our hearts.

Be blessed ~ I really enjoyed this hub.


HOOWANTSTONO profile image

HOOWANTSTONO 6 years ago

Yes you are correct,

God is also telling you there is more than one of himself.

God calls himself "our" and "us"

"let us" and "in our image" and our likeness"

Ge:1:26: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

Psalms:110:1: The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

God talking to God Lord to Lord

Very nice hub, i like the Hebrew meanings

Peace


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

HOO ~ I'm not convinced that Ge 1:26 is God speaking to Himself, but I am open to the idea. It's simply not clear in the Bible. Ge 1:1 states that God created the heavens and the earth (indicating the heavens were created first ~ the angels are not mentioned in the six-day creation account, so I assume they were already with God when He created the earth and man).

Jesus was not God's Son in the beginning, for He was not begotten yet. He was God's (Who is Spirit: pneuma) very Word spoken by His breath (pneuma). Regarding Ge 1:26, I consider Luke 12:8 "And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God." Therefore, I don't know if God was not speaking to the angels in Ge 1:26. God does speak to God as shown in Ps 110:1 (prophecy to come) and also Heb 1:8 "But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom." In this case, Jesus is God (post-resurrection), fulfilling prophecy of Ps 45:6.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 6 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Judah's Daughter:

Thank you for adding to my Hub. Indeed there is "So much more" as you put it. I have only begun to process all the information I am finding. My findings are as encouredging as they are intriguing. The trick is not finding evidance, but in being able to break it down in small understandable bite size tid-bits so everyone can get it.

As I dive into this I have found that it is a controversial subject. There are so many misunderstanding out there. I beleive if we can Keep It Super Simple (KISS) We can keep the errors to a minimal. It is our job to teach it in an easy to grasp format. But before I can do that I must purpose to understand it myself. I am asking The Holy Spirit to help me understand it better.

Thanks for stopping by.

In Christ

ABR


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

I love how you made it clear that God is not yachid, but is echad! I am praying for those who only acknowledge God (as in Islam's Allah) without the Son, nor do they recognize that God is the Holy Spirit, but rather think it is Muhammad. That's just one of many religions out there that haven't come to understand. We are praying that as many as will receive Him, they will become our brothers and sisters in Christ!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 6 years ago from USA- Florida Author

HOOWANTSTONO- I love your name. When said quickly it sounds like an indian name. If you lower the pitch of your voice down low and say it quickly and with a serious face. It come out very convincing. Kinda like when you hear indians in the movies say "How!" LOL any way I just had to point that out.

Thank you for stopping by as well. Your input is always welcome. I agree with you that Gen 1:26 is a picture of the Trinity. If God had been talking to angels he would not have said Let "us" make man in "our" image. The key words here are "us" and "our" We are not made in the image of angels, but in the image of God. God would not have said to the angels "us" and "our" This would have been placing them on an equal plan as himself. We would have say the Man is man in the image of the angels as well as God's.

Thanks fo r taking the time to read my stuff. I am so greatful for your insight and encouredgement.

God Bless

ABR


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

Yes, I agree. I wasn't sure, but this rings true in my Spirit. Thank you! In fact, angels are said to have four wings, six wings, etc. and they always came in male form on the earth, so when God created man in His (Our) image, "male and female, created He them". Praise God!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 6 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Judah's Daughter I am glad you agree.

Indeed praise God \o/

ABR


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Oh they mysteries of God! One God - Father Son and Holy Spirit.

The following quote says it better than I ever could:

Trinity simply means “triunity.” God is not a simple unity; there is plurality in his unity. The Trinity is one of the great mysteries of the Christian Faith. Unlike an antinomy or paradox, which is a logical contradiction, the Trinity goes beyond reason but not against reason. It is known only by divine revelation, so the Trinity is not the subject of natural theology but of revelation.

Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker reference library (730). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

This quote just said it so well I had to post it.

By the way I like your version of the Acronym of KISS better than the old!

Great topic ABR and good work


oscarwms profile image

oscarwms 6 years ago from PA

Good, good, good teaching my brother. You did your homework.

For those who do not believe Gen.1:26 is God speaking to the other members of the Godhead, they need to do their home work. There is no other image God could have made man in then that of Himself. There is no other being in heaven and earth who has the power to make man.

Angels were created by God but not in His image and likeness. God would never say to an angel "let us" So I rest my case; God was confering with the other members of the Godhead. He will not share his glory with no one.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 6 years ago from USA- Florida Author

coffeesnob: Indeed well spoken. Devine revelation, or God Revealing himself. It reminds me of Hebrews 12:2a

"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith"

Praise God! \o/

Like you, I realize that everything we know about the Godhead came through devine revelation. In fact everything we know spirituelly has come through divine revolation. It has been compared to being able to see for the first time. We could refer to it as a gift. It is as amazing as it is beautiful. I can't wait for God to show me more of himself.

Thanks for adding to my Hub. As always, I am thrilled you took the time to read my stuff. I am praying for you and your Ministry.

God Bless

ABR


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 6 years ago from USA- Florida Author

oscarwms- I am glad you agree.

However, I have to extend a word of caution. I have had a few discussions with Judah's Daughter, I would not classify her as one who has not done her home work. She and many like her, are very thoughtful and well read. She has a differance in view point then I, on some issues. But she is a worthy teacher and I enjoy her input. It is people like her that keep me on my toes.

I have learned alot on Hub Pages. People see things that I missed all the time. In addition, I try to add my undersatnding to their's as well. In this way we become better students and wiser servants of God.

That being said I am most grateful for your input as well. You strike me as one who zealious for sound doctrine. I share you passion and am so glad you have taken the time to share your thoughts. It is people like you that help me add pieces to my puzzle bring clarity to the bigger picture.

I will pray for you and you ministry

In Christ

ABR


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

Brother Abrushing, I appreciate your kind words above. It inspired me to complete my study on this subject and I wrote a new hub called "God: Let Us Make Man In Our Image?". I pray you are continually blessed. Iron sharpens iron, and all of us are humble to His Spirit teaching us through His Word.

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