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Is The God Of The Old Testament One God Or A Trinity?
Copyright 2012 VVeasey Publishing
If you've never studied the history of the Bible with an open, receptive mind, not the history presented in the Bible, but the history of the how the book came into existence, who wrote and when and for what purpose. And you believe everything you read in the Bible is literally true.
Then you might want to change the channel, because this hub is probably not for you.
If you can't accept what's being presented because it goes against your cherished beliefs...please turn the channel.
That said, lets begin
And God said; “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” Genesis 1:26.The explanation that the word God (in Hebrew Elohim) is referring to one being when the words following its use are the plural words, “us”, and “our”, leaves something to be desired in my mind. The explanation given by Christian clergy is that, “us” and “our”, are referring to the trinity of God (the father), Jesus (the son), and the Holy Spirit (originally the Holy Ghost) with references from the New Testament to support this view.
The problem is that the in Old Testament there appears to be no reference (at least, not to my awareness) to God as being a trinity or three beings in one. The Rabbis (the scholars of Judaism) in ancient and modern times always refer to God as being one (although the word Elohim they translated from the Hebrew as God really means Gods. While El means God)." Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" Deuteronomy 6:4
Christians use quotes from the New Testament to support the idea that when God says “us” and “our” it means the trinity, Jesus (not that I’m aware of) never makes that statement. He mainly refers to God as the father, my father, our father or your father, never as a three part-being or himself as being part of a three part-being.
The Bible Jesus used wasn’t the Christian Bible because it wasn’t created until about four hundred years after his death. The Bible he used was the Hebrew Bible. Which Christians called the Old Testament. In the Old Testament God is always depicted as a singular being even when the word God is obviously referring to more than one being, as when it’s used in conjunction with the words “us” and ‘our’.
Even when the word Lord (Yahweh) is substituted for God (Elohim) in the Tower of Babel story, this pattern of use still applies “Come, let us go down, and there confound their language” Genesis 11: 7. This pattern of use suggests that the texts were referring to more than one being, but not the Christian Trinity, because the ancient and modern Rabbis don’t accept Jesus or the Holy Spirit as a part of their sacred traditions.
Whatever discrepancy these writers may have had concerning whether God (Elohim) was a singular or a plural being, they definitely weren’t confused about whether he was the Christians’ Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit or not. One reason the Rabbis don’t accept the Christian Bible is because the early Roman Catholic Church fathers merged the Hebrew Bible (the original Bible) with their "New Testament" writings to support the idea that the Hebrew Bible’s God (Elohim or Yahweh) was now, his own son, Jesus, manifested in the flesh!
The Trinity Is Not In The Original Bible
If the doctrine of God (Elohim) being a trinity is not in the original Bible (as it appears to me it’s not) then it seems that the early Christian writers, consciously or unconsciously, projected that concept into the original Bible to suit their religious or political needs or both. The original Bible existed hundreds of years before it was collated with the Christians' New Testament writings to create the first Christian Bible, the Roman Catholic Bible or the Latin Vulgate.
The Hebrew Bible’s status and authority was long established and it was the holy book of an ancient religion, Judaism. It was the Bible that Jesus used. But as I said Jesus never refers to himself or God as being a trinity or part of a trinity. The only trinity he or the original Bible writers refer to is, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The doctrine of the word in the beginning of the gospel of John (written around a thousand years after the Hebrew Bible) is used to support the idea that the, ‘us”, associated with God in the original Bible, is Christianity’s Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit."In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it". John 1:1-5
But if this important concept was already in the Old Testament it would be easy to see and there would have been no need for early Christian writers to compose documents, to "show" that that trinity concept already existed there and that it was referring to their new God and savior, Jesus, as the second person in the trinity. I therefore conclude, (based on my analysis of the issue) that although Elohim (the word translated as God but realy means Gods) in the Old Testament does appear to refer to a plurality of beings that term is not referring to the Christian trinity.
The Elohim were actually the ancient gods or family of Gods of Canaan or what’s now called the Middle East. Remember Canaan was the promised land God promised to the Children Of Israel, where they settled after Moses and Joshua lead them after their Exodus from Egypt and was roughly located where the state of Israel is today.
Checkout these quotes by experts on the subject
Experts On The Elohim
"For the ancient Hebrews divinities (Elohim) dwelt in nature and in the sky. Different tribes each had particular deities who were especially concerned with their affairs".( Ninian Smart, The Religious Experience of Mankind (www.mystae.com)
"The geologist Christian O'Brien argued that these [ancient Hebrew and Sumerian] texts describe a race of beings called Shining Ones, his translation of the Hebrew word Elohim. These beings created modern humans from earlier human forms by genetic manipulation. Some of these beings, called Watchers, mated with humans, and this was considered a crime by the Shining Ones. One of the Watchers was named Shemjaza, and Yahweh was one of the Shining Ones. O'Brien argued that the Shining Ones were superior but mortal beings of unknown origin." (Richard L. Thompson, Alien Identities - Ancient Insights into Modern UFO Phenomena (www.mystae.com)
“The etymology of the word Elohim is unknown. There are many theories, however. The most likely derivation comes from the word Elohim ('lhm) found in the Ugarit archives, meaning the family or pantheon associated with the Canaanite father God El”. (Wikipedia.com).
Now a couple of quotes from the Old and New Testaments to complete the picture,
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD”( Deuteronomy 6:4). If God is “one Lord” he’s not a trinity.(The Old Testament)
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”Matthew 27:46. Jesus said “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (The New Testament)
So that means he’s not God and not part of a trinity if he’s crying out to God for an answer wouldn't agree?
.The doctrine of the trinity didn’t become official Christian doctrine until after the first Council of Constantinople. In 381 A.D. when Roman Emperor Theodosius made it the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Christian Churches for these political and religious reasons:“It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our Clemency and Moderation, should continue to the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness.
According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe the one deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title of Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since, in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give to their conventicles the name of churches.They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of the divine condemnation and in the second the punishment of our authority which in accordance with the will of Heaven shall decide to inflict”(. (Henry Bettenson, Documents of the Christian Church, Oxford University Press, 1967, 2nd. (1st. 1943), p. 22)
After reading the above quotes doesn’t it seem logical to you that the real “us” and “our” God is referring to in Genesis 1:26 is the family or pantheon of Gods called the Elohim and not the Christian trinity?
I rest my case.