Nature of Reality: Will the Real YHWH Please Step Forward, 10) The Trinity
Who is YHWH? The one true living God?
Its all about the text
If you have read my other writings on theology, many of you who are Christians think I have this unusual fascination with the text of the Bible itself.
I have to admit, you are correct.
Here I deal with one more item that is pretty large. The idea that YHWH is a trinity, or triune being, a complex of three personalities but one Godhead.
Here, I am forces to refer you to the Jewish Shama:
Shema Yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai ehad
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD. (Deut. 6:4)
Ah, but there’s the rub…(thanks Bill). The text is slightly altered (the Jews acknowledge this) because of their reverence for the name of God, YHWH. The original text reads:
Shema Yisrael YHWH eloheinu YHWH ehad
Not a problem until you look at two of the words, Eloheim (in the singular form, Eloheinu) and ehad, both of which are pleural words, but eloheim with the –im ending makes this a masculine pleural noun, i.e. more than one, expressed in the singular form with ehad which means a pleural unity (expressed as eloheim ehad a double plurality would not make grammatical sense), so we have the description the Hebrews use continually in the Shema which describes YHWH using masculine plural noun which is a compound unity.
Ehad was first used in Genesis 1:5 during creation where we find:
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
So, the first day was a combined daytime and nighttime together, a typical use of the word, a compound thing which becomes "one" other thing. The daytime and the nighttime compounded together becomes ehad, “one” day, in this case, the first earth “day,” the first twenty four hour period of earth rotation.
Then in Genesis 2:24 it is used of living beings, humans where we find:
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
So this can be used for conceptual tings as well. During the act of sex you are conjoined, but you can and do separate again, but here, the word ehad is used to describe not something that is a compound becoming a unity as day and night together becomes a full day, rather simply the joining of a man and woman during the act of sex.
Something much larger is found in Genesis 11:1:
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
The word ehad is used twice to indicate tens of thousands or millions of people speaking one language.
I am not debating that it can be used to mean a singular term, such as Genesis 4:19 where a single person is called out using the same word. That isn’t the point, the point is that in a pleural context, the word is used indicating a compound being as it is in Genesis 3:22:
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:
Here we also have to revert to our discussion of dimensions and the term “forever.” The meaning of the word “forever,” like “eternal” is “never ending time,” or time as a continuum where the thing that is eternal does not stop experiencing time. That is what the words mean. Back to logic, A ≠ Non-A “eternal” means time never ending, not something else.
So YHWH in the verse above is saving man from living in a cursed world, with a deteriorating body which could not die.
I am getting older, and the body is starting to wear out.
It isn’t fun.
Elohim and Eloheinu
I cannot imagine living forever and having my body continue to decay in some manner but never die. This was the Mercy of YHWH who also had to them implement Plan 2, Save man from his fallen condition.
Hebrew has a singular word for “God” a dual word and a pleural word, Elohim (pleural masculine) expressed in the first person possessive form, Eloheinu after the word YHWH.
I want to use one more of the examples in scripture where YHWH talks to himself as if he is a plurality of beings, We are going to read the entire story of the Tower of Babel. We actually started this above with the word ehad, a plurality that was unified, in this case a group of people with a single language. Here it is:
[Gen 11:1-9 NIV] Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth." But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel--because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
That’s it! The tower did not fall, in fact its foundations are still there, the people were scattered because they could not communicate.
It tells us YHWH came down, he changed his location in order to understand something better,
LORD came down to see, he moved in and through dimensions.
Once more, are you going to believe the Bible or make up what you want to believe? That is, make up your own religion out of it?
But who is YHWH talking to here? Further he tells the group, Come, let us go down, in Genesis 35 we find the house of Jacob (Israel) addressed using the same word.
Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”
He was, of course, talking to his immediate family. We know who Israel was speaking to, but who was YHWH speaking to seeing the text gives no clue any other angelic beings were involved?
Without going into the New Testament text, we can refer to the simple texts in the OT and NT where God is referred to as the savior some thirty two times, once in Luke 1:47 is referring to YHWH per se, then some fifteen times the term is used of Jesus.
All very well if there are multiple saviors, but that is not the case. In Hosea 13:4 we have a prohibition against calling anyone else “Savior” where we find:
But I have been the LORD your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me.
Again translated "LORD" is the word YHWH. The linkage is a passage we are all familiar with Luke 2:
[Luk 2:6-12 NIV] While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Please note this is a young Jewess and she would never think about sleeping in a barnyard to say nothing about putting baby into a barn. The rock feeding trough was in a home, then ritualistically cleansed when they took the sheep out into the fields in early spring. This was likely in an Aunt or Uncles home. There were no hotels in such a tiny town.
Yeshua the Messiah was born. The savior, long awaited had been born on earth!
A little Fundamental Logic
Back to our brief lesson on logic: A=A. Remember this is a mathematic equation where you can replace one equivalent with another. If A=1, then you can write it that way, or as 1=1 and the rule holds. Then if 1=B then you can also write A=B, because A=1 and B=1, therefore A=B.
Here, There is only one savior, so, “Only Savior”=YHWH and then Jesus=”Only Savior” ergo, YHWH=Jesus.
This is a logical necessity.
If this is not the case, then you must reject the New Testament, and you make Jesus a liar. The local Jews understood he claimed to be God, they kept picking up stones to stone him for blasphemy.
Blasphemy is either making a human God or making God human.
Now you have a difficult decision to make. Every credible authority will agree Jesus tomb was empty on the third day after he was executed by the Roman experts who crucified him, then stuck his heart with a spear to be sure he was dead before dismounting him from the cross, he was thoroughly wrapped in gauze bandages and aloe balm, and a large stone was put in front of the tomb and a guard was posted (either Roman or Jewish, they reported back to the Priest, but this is unclear) 5-16 men with spears and swords. Three days later, the tomb was empty, the guard failed.
There is also only one credible explanation for this, he got up and walked out, i.e. he arose from the dead. To claim another explanation is to admit you have one of several worldviews, say, Jewish and simply deny it, or naturalism where you deny anything that is supernatural.
Jesus appeared to lots of credible people over the next thirty days. The people who had abandoned him and even lied about knowing him because there were afraid of the Romans, later lived their lives serving him, most dying horrible deaths after he was seen.
You need to make up your mind if he was not God, who was he? Aut deus Aut malus homo, either God or a bad man. A person who claims to be God, YHWH, is either God or a bad person, there are no other options.
Let us state this as succinctly (copied here):
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Darn, they did a good job. Please note “catholic” is not capitalized, so in this context it means “universal.”
Something was added to the pre-incarnate second member of the Trinity, humanity.
A few years ago something new was added to my nature also. A piece of titanium shaped like a “T” with five screws was added to my right radius (after a bad fall). This is a poor analogy, but it is analogous. The second member of the Trinity took on, or added, a human form.
Now we have something where we can directly observe God, as a human walking, talking, eating, sleeping, completely God and completely human.
The artist because a part of his work to save that which he loves.
I will insist that this is the largest category of change possible, the Necessary added to himself a contingent component. You can't describe any change greater than that.