Trinity – What is it?

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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Trinity – What is it?

#1

Post by B. W. » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Hi all,

I just returned from a vacation trip to the Smokey Mountain region here in the United States. The Trinity thread has been locked and that is good. Nevertheless, I hope to continue a new thread on the Trinity along with a few ground rules in order to keep the discussion running smoothly.

This new thread discussion will contain some ground rules in order to avoid the lengthy ramblings that gets people off topic and chasing after every rabbit trail these diatribes lead trying to answer every sentence.

These ground rules are simple:

One — Moderators will pilot the discussion and set the themes. Counterpoints will not lead the discussion nor will they distract from the theme under discussion. If counterpoint views attempt to lead the discussion then parts of these will be removed from thread. This will be an orderly discussion not one that obfuscates by use of wordiness.

Two - Lengthy ramblings that lead off topic will be deleted by Moderators and the parts that do not ramble will be left on at the discretion of the moderators of this forum to be answered. This is the only way to avoid useless sidetracks and be able to answer questions and counterpoints coherently.

Three - Let me clear the air - The Doctrine of the Trinity is not Tri-theism. In the past and recent discussions there are those that attempt to prove the doctrine of the Trinity as Tri-theistic. This will not be tolerated at all on this form's discussion. Trinitarians are not Tri-theists nor do they teach Tri-theism. If Fortigrun and Pierac are reading this — this is why many are upset with your dogma's doctorial false assertions, claims, and attempts to smear Trinitarians in the light of Tri-theism.

We Trinitarians explore how the bible reveals God as incomprehensible to the mortal mind and examines the incomprehensibleness of God as God so reveals. Trinitarians do not reduce God to match our convictions and terms. Trinitarians seek to know God as He is so that we may decrease and that He increase. We stand in awe of the Lord of Lords, God Almighty, Lord God our only Savior, and accept Him on His terms, not ours.

To make God out as consisting of some form of a numeric singular alone blob through misuse of biblical languages scripture, syntax, and grammar in essence makes God comprehensible which the bible does not teach — Job 11:7-9 and Romans 11:33. The bible in the OT does indeed teach and reveal the Trinity of God; thus, never disputing the incomprehensibility of God that the bible plainly declares to us mortals.

Trinitarians see God as one God — not three separate tri-theistic gods but as One God in three persons. The one is three and the three are one essence. Bible declares God is unlike any other and thus incomprehensible to the mortal mind, Exodus 15:11, Deuteronomy 33:26. One God reveals himself in the Old Testament as three persons that are one — or as the Eastern Orthodox would say: God reveals himself as three persons that are of one essence and One essence revealed as three persons meaning that God is a Plural One.

The Old Testament does not just hint at the Trinity — it is in fact saturated thoroughly in it. It proves the doctrine of the Trinity because it, in fact, is Trinitarian. The OT reveals the nature and character of God as He really is — A God far different than any man or angel can conceive of. It is easy for humans to conceive a numeric one but incomprehensible for the human mind to fully understand a Plural One.

Jeremiah 10:6, "There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might." ESV

The Old Testament has the Trinity of God soaked within and dripping from its pages. However, many remain blind to it and claim that it does not; thus, anti-Trinitarians create conflict. This conflict that anti-Trinitarians create comes about because of the failure to grasp One as being a Plural One — a collective One and blindly argues that One is a Majestic One — a numeric one, thus failing to recognize the true Majesty of God: that Majestic Incomprehensible One.

This conflict comes about by attempts that twist Hebrew grammar structures of the OT to support human pride rather than the true integrity of the scripture. Anti-Trinitarian antagonism is based on a form of religious pride that pretends to be upholding and defending God's honor but in reality is a façade masking self-importance that seeks the accolades from applauding peers and recruiting approving neophytes. See and note James 3:13-18.

In Conclusion: there are those that tell us what to believe under no certain terms but theirs. This is not the purpose of this new thread. If that is your purpose, do not participate. The point of this discussion is to teach why we believe the bible thoroughly reveals God's Trinity and that will be the main theme of this discussion. You can accept what we reveal or reject it entirely — that decision is your own to make — not ours.

Now, If you agree with these terms then join in, and if not — show respect. Some of you maybe of that anti-Trinitarian crowd and can post but please do not endlessly ramble telling us what to dogmatically believe. When Trinitarians counter your postulations and beliefs feel free to remove yourself from this thread if you cannot accept the truth of God's incomprehensibility. It is our prayers that the readers see the Trinity and why this doctrine is true as God is true to Himself.

Note: If Fortigurn has not been banned from the Forum then I ask that he not be banned if he chooses participate. Also Pierac can participate too but remember the rules. This will be a far different approach than you are used too if you choose to participate. To all, the Moderators of this Forum will delete parts of any post that strays off topic and Moderators will set the themes and topics to discuss.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#2

Post by B. W. » Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:02 am

So I will begin in the beginning — a short discussion on the evolution of the Hebrew Language. Much of what I will use will be from notes from Hebrew Classes. I have dispensed with quoting references for a reason and that is not to cite the reader to death of boredom. There will be some links to references used listed at end of comments:

Evolution of Hebrew Language:

The Modern Hebrew Language is very different from its beginnings and has gone through many changes as all human languages have. The evolution of Hebrew language can be divided into four stages: Classical/Biblical Hebrew, Mishnaic [or Rabbinic Hebrew], Medieval Hebrew, and Modern Hebrew. Modern Hebrew syntax is Mishnaic and Mishnaic syntax has different syntax rules from the Biblical Hebrew, [etc and etc...].

Classical Hebrew uses plural nouns with singular verbs and adjectives not to indicate number but rather to identify the traits of certain nouns more. This comes by reading context of verses — not reading selective words from one verse to make exceptions the rule. The context of verses reveals something about a proper noun and paints a picture. To simply say that a plural noun is numeric because singular verbs and adjectives were used alongside it just does not line up with the truth of the bible — more on this later if time permits.

You can say that Classical/Biblical Hebrew evolved from Ancient Paleo-Hebrew [Ketav Ivri] into the Biblical Hebrew form. The Ancient/Classical/Biblical Hebrew letters began as pictographs that represent certain meanings. The language and shape of the letters changed over time but the root meaning of each letter painted a picture that the combined word of grouped letters formed. See reference section link Hebrew Picture Graphs] and the warning it contains .

The Ancient Paleo-Hebrew was a picture language that looks at the whole or in other words - puts things into a concrete portrait. It engages human thought to see as well as hear. To see the letters and hear what these say so a picture is formed of a whole truth that the writing is conveying or a speaker is speaking. Classical/Biblical Hebrew then developed its letters to form words that created a picture also. We do this very technique in English for example: in kindergarten classes the text book reads - A is for Apple — and next to A is a picture of an Apple. This is how one learns to read any language.

Take for example a lesson from basic Hebrew class on the evolution of the Ancient Paleo-Hebrew word that developed into el and elo'ah — This is the singular word form for God and was used to paint a picture of something about God. The word el [God] was made of two ancient pictographic letters; one letter looked like an ox head and the other a shepherd's staff. Just like in kindergarten class.

To the ancient Hebrew culture an ox represented strength/power. The staff of a shepherd represented authority, and since the staff [letter] was next to the ox[letter], then the staff symbolizes a yoke that is lain upon the shoulders of oxen. Oxen plowed the fields with power to change the ground in order to produce life — crops — to achieve the victory of life over death. The staff — in this case, yoke — was symbol of authority or to say it this way - to be bound to the ultimate authority and power of God.

To the ancient Hebrews the idea that el painted was of a double yoke and two oxen. One ox was older and more experienced and thus was the lead ox. A younger inexperienced ox would be hitched to share this yoke with the older ox in order that the younger learnt from the older the source of power and strength that plows on to the victory of life.

The ancient Hebrew's saw God as the source of all strength and power not an ox. God was stronger than any ox because He has the staff i.e. yoke guided by the cords from an unseen authority. It is with this staff-yoke one was to be bound to God in order to learn of and from Him, that He is the source of power, strength, wisdom, mercy, victory, etc. The idea was that we, the creature, would be yoked with God in order to tend and keep what God has placed in our charge. This line's up with theme from Genesis 2:15.

Also the Word el as it is used in the OT in reference to God coveys the same meaning to be bound to learn of God as Almighty, God who blesses, to learn of and from Him the things that the context of the verses where el appears suggest.

Example: Deuteronomy 32:4, “The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God [EL] of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He.” JPS

We are to be yoked with God to learn his authority that His work is perfect and all His ways are justice. That He is faithful-steadfast and that He is without iniquity, just and right is He. That is how the meaning of el is to be understood within context of the verse it is used [that is — in most cases as el can be used in other forms that refine its meaning further but majority of usage concerning the true God coincides with learning or tending too/keeping the things of God, etc, learning about God and who he is — his character].

In the majority of cases where the context of the bible verse that uses EL in direct reference to God Himself, usually describes the hearer learning something about God through some form of living experience. These lessons can be simply summed up as follows: they learned that God is like the Lead Ox, attached to His Yoke of authority which is guided by the unseen one directing the course of the plow from behind and we are to become bound — yoked - to God and learn of and from Him what He teaches while He leads us through life.

Here is another Example of how EL denotes learning something about God: Psalm19:1, “(19:1) For the Leader. A Psalm of David. (19:2) The heavens declare the glory of God [EL], and the firmament showeth His handiwork…” JPS

The heavens and earth teaches us something about God that we can learn. Any ideas what these declare?

Also, when Jesus spoke in Matthew about a yoke, the Jewish people that heard understood what he meant because they understood the language and the culture from which their language came:

Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

My question is, do you the reader understand what Jesus is saying here and who he is declaring himself to be?

Notice how many times Jesus referred to His authority as well as demonstrated it by his many other acts of Almighty Authority such as forgiving sins, healing, stopping storms, bringing salvation, etc.

Isaiah 45:21-22, “Declare ye, and bring them near, yea, let them take counsel together: Who hath announced this from ancient time, and declared it of old? Have not I the LORD [Yahweh]? And there is no God(s) [Elohim] else beside Me, a just God [EL] and a Savior; there is none beside Me. 22 Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God [EL], and there is none else.” JPS

Isaiah 45:23, “By Myself have I sworn, the word is gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and shall not come back, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Only in the LORD [Yahweh], shall one say of Me, is victory and strength; even to Him shall men come in confusion, all they that were incensed against Him. 25 In the LORD [Yahweh] shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” JPS

EL is speaking and what are we to learn of Him? That only God can save and none else as only God can do this work that no one else can do and of this glory he will not share with another. What are we to learn from EL about Yahweh? Who said come take my Yoke upon you and learn of me, my strength, my victory? Who holds the cords of that easy light Yoke? How does this easy light Yoke guide — who is He? Great is the mystery! Till Jesus and the Holy Spirit came!

With this introduction — we need to now move on to discuss the mundane issues of what is a majestic plural noun, a plural collective noun, a quantitative plural noun, a plural of delegation, a plural of distribution, and the many plural forms that Classical Hebrew grammar uses. So begin if you know what these are.

References Section and a few Sources:

Wikipedia Overview

Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar/Pratico-Pelt

Hebrew Picture Graphs

Regarding Elohim Plural-with singular verbs-adj

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#3

Post by Fortigurn » Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:59 am

B. W. wrote:Three - Let me clear the air - The Doctrine of the Trinity is not Tri-theism. In the past and recent discussions there are those that attempt to prove the doctrine of the Trinity as Tri-theistic. This will not be tolerated at all on this form's discussion. Trinitarians are not Tri-theists nor do they teach Tri-theism. If Fortigrun and Pierac are reading this — this is why many are upset with your dogma's doctorial false assertions, claims, and attempts to smear Trinitarians in the light of Tri-theism.
I have never, not once, ever, claimed that trinitarians are tri-theists, or that they teach tri-theism. Nor have I made any 'attempts to smear Trinitarians in the light of Tri-theism'. If you are going to accuse me of this, please at least present the evidence that I have made such claims.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#4

Post by B. W. » Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:23 am

Fortigurn wrote: I have never, not once, ever, claimed that Trinitarians are tri-theists, or that they teach tri-theism. Nor have I made any 'attempts to smear Trinitarians in the light of Tri-theism'. If you are going to accuse me of this, please at least present the evidence that I have made such claims.
Well you sure fooled me!

And NO - this thread is not an attack on your views - rather it is a discussion of the Trinitarian doctrine from the Old Testament. You can join in if you like or stay out - that is your decision. I do not want to ban you but you do come across to many of us as smearing Trinitarians as tri-theists on this very subject.

Enough of this small talk and let the readers continue with the topic at hand - Majestic Plural Nouns and Collective Plural Nouns used in Hebrew.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#5

Post by B. W. » Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:27 am

+
Introduction:

The word most often translated in Hebrew for God is Elohim or haElolim. These are the plural forms for God. They can be used in a generic sense much the same way we use the English word God generically. Or they can be used to describe the True God as opposed to false god or gods. Several times Elohim or haElolim is used to denote judges, angels, or in other words — rule like God would for God. More on this later, if time permits but for now let us stay on topic.

The plural words Elohim or haElolim are used in about 2,600 times in the Old Testament [OT] in about 2,247 verses. This is worth noting because the Hebrew word for God, EL and Eloah, a singular noun is used about 219 times in 212 verses and Elo'ah occurs about 58 times in 57 verses. Where did I get these numbers? You can use Bible software or use the internet or read books on the subject.

I hope you can understand that the singular noun — EL and Elo'ah was used in the OT and that the OT authors did know that this singular form for God existed right alongside the plural usage of Elohim / haElolim and that therefore proper grammar was known and used — yes — even way back when.

Majestic Plural nouns and Collective Plural Nouns:

The reader might ask — what is a majestic plural noun and collective plural noun have to do with anything? It has to do with understanding classical Hebrew culture and understanding why they wrote a plural forms Elohim / haElolim — Gods about 2600 times as oppose to a singular noun, EL and Eloah, - God — about 277 times. Compound that when they used these words to describe the True God the usages exponentially outnumbers the places used to describe false god or gods or judges or angels, or spirits.

A majestic plural noun was used to denote a numeric value of one in reference to Elohim or haElolim. The doctrine of the majestic plural noun usage came much later in history as a response devised to counter Trinitarian view of God. It was not used, nor was it known to the authors of the OT as they wrote. This can be debated but who really cares - as you will soon see?

Basically the majestic plural noun was used to stress that God was a singular numeric one, which by the way He is, and not a Plural One, which by the way He is also. It was used to basically say that God is only an alone one of number and case and that the Plural Noun forms of Elohim / haElolim / etc…[yes, there are more] were used to describe aspects of the true God's majesty — to set apart grammatically to identify the true God as opposed to false god or gods.

To make this distinction grammatically it was decided that a majestic noun would be identified by the use of singular verb forms and/or singular adjectives that follow the plural nouns Elohim / haElolim and their other plural spelling when referring to the true God. You can say that the majestic plural noun usage along with two singular grammar words served to identify the Majestic True God.

This is interesting when the words singular nouns for God EL and Elo'ah were known and used at the time the OT was written — then why bother using the plural noun forms for Elohim to describe true God when the singular usage would be far more grammatically correct than a plural noun?

You could place the singular noun EL with two singular verbs/adjectives and thus achieve the same thing and being exceedingly grammatically correct about it too with absolutely NO debate — that the true God was a single numeric majestic one without question! Instead the plural noun forms for Elohim to describe God outnumber the singular noun usage of EL at least 2,323 times! Out of these occurrences the vast majority refer to the true God and not false ones, judges, or angels, or spirits.

What gives? Were the authors of the OT grammatically stupid if they were teaching that God is a majestic and alone one? They would have used the singular form of EL to achieve that effect but they did not. Why?

The plural noun forms for Elohim were used as collective nouns that describe that the majesty of God is a Plural One. If you are enslaved to the majestic noun principle then what is more majestic than God being a Plural One! The OT authors saw and experienced God as a Plural One — a united one of three person of the same essence and that is why they used the plural forms of Elohim to describe God as he is a Plural One when used along with the singular verbs/adjectives. They even used names to make the distinction too [more on this later]. The singular verbs/adjectives show that God is a Plural One or The Plural One — how Majestic is That!

Evidence:

[Exodus 15:11, "Who is like you, O LORD[Yahweh], among the gods [elohim]? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” ESV

Deuteronomy 33:26,, "There is none like God [EL], O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty. 27 The eternal God[Elohim] is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms….” ESV

Jeremiah 10:6, "There is none like you, O LORD [Yahweh]; you are great, and your name is great in might." ESV

Psalms 89:6-7, “For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD [Yahweh]? Who among the sons of [God-El]the mighty can be likened unto the LORD[Yahweh]? 7 God [EL] is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” KJV

Psalms 113:5, “ Who is like the LORD [Yahweh] our God [Elohim], who is seated on high…” ESV

1Kings 8:23, " O LORD[Yahweh], God [Elohim], of Israel, there is no God [Elohim], like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart.” ESV

Psalms 71:19, “ Your righteousness, O God [Elohim], reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God [Elohim], who is like you?”

Can you agree that there is none like the True God? Yet, how can none be like Him if He is just a singular numeric alone one just like Zeus, Astar, and the host of other singular false deities out there? Or angelic beings? Or human beings? Or beast?

If there is none like God — why compare Him and reduce Him to the same level as false gods, and created beings? Anti-Trinitarians and oneness folks appear to reduce God to the level of a lone numeric one creature, lone numeric one deity, or lone numeric one being in effort to make God a numeric one like the rest. God is not a lone creature — none are like Him as the scriptures declare!

There is none like the Lord — the Plural One! This alone speaks volumes — God is not like any other; therefore, that is also why the authors wrote of God using the collective plural noun form. They encountered Him and learnt of and from Him concerning His yoke of authority, His strength, might, grace, jealousy, love, etc and etc. They encountered God and understood Him as The Plural One — the only One that is truly unlike all else! Majestic! Incomprehensible! Yet there!

Speaking to the ancients Israelites in Exodus 20:2-6 God reveals something for us today: "'I am the LORD [Yehôvâh] your God ['Elôhîym], who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods ['ĕlôhîym] before me [pânim - plural noun — meaning literally - my presences/faces]. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD [Yehôvâh] your God['Elôhîym], am a jealous God [EL], visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” ESV

Keep in mind when the singular word for the true God - EL was used and its other forms in ancient Hebrew cultural — they remembered the 'Yoke and the Staff'and saw the picture clearly what God [EL] was going to teach them. When you see this and understand this — your bible reading will literarily come alive!
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#6

Post by Fortigurn » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:37 pm

B. W. wrote:
Fortigurn wrote: I have never, not once, ever, claimed that Trinitarians are tri-theists, or that they teach tri-theism. Nor have I made any 'attempts to smear Trinitarians in the light of Tri-theism'. If you are going to accuse me of this, please at least present the evidence that I have made such claims.
Well you sure fooled me!
Why? Can you provide a single example of me claiming that trinitarians are tri-theists, or that the doctrine of the trinity is tritheism? I note that the rest of my post has been deleted without any explanation.
And NO - this thread is not an attack on your views...
I didn't say it was. I said that you had already made a personal attack on me (not my views).
I do not want to ban you but you do come across to many of us as smearing Trinitarians as tri-theists on this very subject.
On what basis do you make this claim? Can you provide any evidence at all for this accusation?

By the way, your last post also contains errors regarding Hebrew.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#7

Post by B. W. » Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:29 pm

+
Fortigrun, this is an example of how you deal with things. You try to get people off topic by ramblings like this. I stated in the ground rules to avoid this. For me to answer you is akin to chasing rabbits. People as well as your self can go back and read all your post regarding the Trinity and see all the evidence they need.

We dealt with each other before so I am more harsh to you than others are — I will admit that. I apologize for it. Understand that open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.

Again this Thread is not an attack on you rather it is a discussion of the Trinitarian View and that is why I set forth ground rules — no rabbit trails to get us off topic as you are famous for doing — no more about it and don't even ask where ever and when ever you done this before. NO MORE ON THIS.

If you want to share on the subject — we are discussing Majestic Nouns and Plural Nouns used in Hebrew Text regarding God. If you want to discuss these — then please do and do not ask anything else about proving to you where and how you insulted people on this Forum — STAY ON TOPIC.

I opened an introduction and a statement line only to get things moving and offered nothing else except to generally open things up where people can correct my statements, challenge them, or explore them further. That is all.

The topic of Plural Nouns is mundane but important and there are others reading more qualified than I am that can help explore these further. Most of what I wrote came from classes on Hebrew. I can never forget the A is for Apple lesson regarding the singular word for God EL. I shared it with the readers and when EL speaks — he shows forth what he is going to teach what his people were to learn of and from him. Very powerful.

Look again at Exodus 20:2-6: "'I am the LORD [Yehôvâh] your God ['Elôhîym], who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods ['ĕlôhîym] before me [pânim - plural noun — meaning literally - my presences/faces]. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD [Yehôvâh] your God ['Elôhîym], am a jealous God [EL], visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” ESV

Note — what it says here in the text "the LORD [Yehôvâh] your God['Elôhîym], am a jealous God [EL], visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

EL - God - is a jealous God visiting what upon the people? Did they learn this? Are they still learning this? When shall they look upon the one whom they pierced? God is calling for his people to be yoked with him to learn of and from his strength regarding what the context of scriptures tells about; hence, He is jealous not tolerating anyone yoked with another, will punish those who take up a false yoke to serve and learn from, and shows steadfast love by breaking those enslaving yokes thus they learn of and from Him alone that He is God - The one they pierced.

There are several scriptures regarding God breaking yokes - only he can. Now read John 8:33-38.

Who then is Jesus?

Now — If you will stop procrastinating and simply stay on topic and begin discussing Hebrew Plural Noun forms — that would be good — if not — just note that I will delete any more of attempts by you to get this thread line off topic. Stay on topic.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#8

Post by Fortigurn » Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:57 pm

B. W. wrote:+
Fortigrun, this is an example of how you deal with things. You try to get people off topic by ramblings like this.
It is neither rambling nor an attempt to get you off topic when I point out that you are accusing me falsely. If you are a moderator on this forum, you have a responsibility to address my objection, rather than ignoring it and deleting parts of my posts which you don't like.

But since that's not going to happen, let's continue:
To simply say that a plural noun is numeric because singular verbs and adjectives were used alongside it just does not line up with the truth of the bible — more on this later if time permits.
This is a very confused sentence. What do you mean by 'numeric'? There's no doubt that a plural noun will take plural verbs and adjectives (where the adjectives decline according to number), but this really hasn't anything to do with the doctrine of the trinity.
The word most often translated in Hebrew for God is Elohim...
This is correct.
...or haElolim.
This is incorrect, because 'haElohim' is not a word or another form of 'elohim', it is the word 'elohim' with the Hebrew definite article 'ha' in front of it. There are two words here, not one.
These are the plural forms for God.
This is also incorrect, firstly because there is only one form here ('elohim'), and secondly because 'elohim' is not a 'plural form'. The word 'elohim' only has one form, and that one form is used whether the subject is singular or plural. It is a noun which has only one morphology, but can have a singular or plural referent. Like the English word 'sheep', or the English word 'fish'. The only way to tell whether the subject is singular or plural, is through the accompanying verb. Like the English word 'sheep', or the English word 'fish'.

* The fish is: The verb tells you I'm talking about one fish
* The fish are: The verb tells you I'm talking about more than one fish

* The sheep is: The verb tells you I'm talking about one sheep
* The sheep are: The verb tells you I'm talking about more than one sheep

* Elohim is: The verb tells you I'm talking about one person who is elohim
* Elohim are: The verb tells you I'm talking about more than one person who are elohim

Other nouns of this class include the following (places where the usage is singular are in parentheses):

* zequnim: old age (Genesis 21:2, 7; 37:3; 44:20)

* ne`urim: youth (1 Samuel 17:33)

* 'adonim: lord (Isaiah 19:4)

In English, if I say 'The fish is blue', you know I'm talking about one fish, not because 'fish' is the singular form of 'fish', but because 'is' is the singular verb. If I say 'the sheep are outside', you know I am talking about more than one sheep, not because 'sheep' is the plural form of 'sheep', but because 'are' is the plural verb. The same applies to the Hebrew word 'elohim'. Whenever the verb is singular, the noun refers to only one person.

When 'elohim' takes the plural verb, it refers to more than one person, such as the gods of the heathen, men, or angels. But the singular verb is used when 'elohim' is used of God Himself, indicating that only one person is being referred to. This is not surprising, since the personal pronouns which accompany 'elohim' when God is referred to are also singular ('He', 'His', 'I', 'Me', 'My', 'Mine', etc).
Several times Elohim or haElolim is used to denote judges, angels, or in other words — rule like God would for God.
This is true, and an important point.
I hope you can understand that the singular noun — EL and Elo'ah was used in the OT and that the OT authors did know that this singular form for God existed right alongside the plural usage of Elohim / haElolim and that therefore proper grammar was known and used — yes — even way back when.
This is a misleading paragraph, because it implies that 'elohim' is a plural noun, whereas it is in fact a noun with one morphology which is used for both plural and singular referents. Since, as you say 'proper grammar was known and used - yes - even way back when', we must take note when the Hebrew Bible uses elohim with singular verbs and pronouns. When it does so, it refers to only one person (not two or more people).
A majestic plural noun was used to denote a numeric value of one in reference to Elohim or haElolim.
This sentence doesn't make any sense. The way that Hebrew grammar indicates the singular use of 'elohim' is with noun and verb/adjective agreement, not with 'A majestic plural noun'. So the singular use of 'elohim' is indicated with the use of singular verbs and adjectives.
The doctrine of the majestic plural noun usage came much later in history as a response devised to counter Trinitarian view of God. It was not used, nor was it known to the authors of the OT as they wrote.
The majestic plural is not a 'doctrine', it is a grammatical feature. Nor did it come 'much later in history as a response devised to counter Trinitarian view of God' (though some have argued against the trinity using the plural of majesty, which is completely unnecessary). The plural of majesty was simply a later grammatical development in Hebrew (Ezra 4:18 contains a plural of majesty). This is not surprising, since other Ancient Near East languages related to Hebrew already had a plural of majesty (as we find in such texts as the El-Armana tablets).
Basically the majestic plural noun was used to stress that God was a singular numeric one, which by the way He is, and not a Plural One, which by the way He is also. It was used to basically say that God is only an alone one of number and case and that the Plural Noun forms of Elohim / haElolim / etc…[yes, there are more] were used to describe aspects of the true God's majesty — to set apart grammatically to identify the true God as opposed to false god or gods.
No that was not the use of the majestic plural. The use of the majestic plural is to emphasis the majesty of God (hence 'majestic plural'). It is an intensive use of the noun, which is common to Hebrew. Nor is it a 'majestic plural noun' which is used 'with' the word 'elohim'. The majestic plural isn't used with the word 'elohim', and no nouns are used with 'elohim' to make it a majestic plural. That is not how the majestic plural functions. The singular verbs used when 'elohim' is used to describe God (as well as the singular pronouns), inform us that God is one person, not the 'majestic plural'.
To make this distinction grammatically it was decided that a majestic noun would be identified by the use of singular verb forms and/or singular adjectives that follow the plural nouns Elohim / haElolim and their other plural spelling when referring to the true God. You can say that the majestic plural noun usage along with two singular grammar words served to identify the Majestic True God.
This isn't true either. No such thing was 'decided'. The word 'elohim' always had one morphology which was applied to singular and plural subjects, and it is a standard feature of Hebrew grammar (as with other languages), that nouns agree with their adjectives and verbs in number, gender, and case. When 'elohim' is used with singular verbs, adjectives and pronouns, it refers to one single person, just as with other nouns. This is basic Hebrew grammar.
This is interesting when the words singular nouns for God EL and Elo'ah were known and used at the time the OT was written — then why bother using the plural noun forms for Elohim to describe true God when the singular usage would be far more grammatically correct than a plural noun?
As I have already pointed out, the word 'elohim' has no 'plural noun form'. It has only one morphology, which is used for both singular and plural referents. The number of the referent is identified by means of the noun and verb/adjective agreement. This is perfectly grammatically correct. The use of the word 'elohim' for the one true God is not an indication of pluraity in any way, shape or form.
You could place the singular noun EL with two singular verbs/adjectives and thus achieve the same thing and being exceedingly grammatically correct about it too with absolutely NO debate — that the true God was a single numeric majestic one without question!
Or you could just use the word 'elohim' with a singular verb, which means the same thing. And that's what the Bible does.
The plural noun forms for Elohim were used as collective nouns that describe that the majesty of God is a Plural One.
First of all there are no 'plural noun forms for Elohim'. Secondly they are not 'used as collective nouns that describe that the majesty of God is a Plural One' (that sentence doesn't even make sense).
The singular verbs/adjectives show that God is a Plural One or The Plural One — how Majestic is That!
No, in Hebrew grammar the singular verbs/adjectives show that God is one person.

Everything I have said can be verified by using standard academic sources. I invite anyone here to go to the Biblical Hebrew mailing list and present the case to the professionals there to see if BW's description here is accurate.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#9

Post by Pierac » Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:48 pm

Hello B.W.

I will repost my Elohim response from the lock topic since it was not answered due to the straying of the topic.

Elohim

Elohim has been a very confusing word for many people. The word elohim is used various ways in Scripture. It is not only used to describe the Almighty, but also individual pagan gods and even mighty human beings. Elohim may be translated as God, god, angels, judges, or even a human being who stands as God's representative or agent. For example, the sons of Heth address Abraham as "a mighty prince," the word for "mighty" being elohim (Genesis 23:6). Some translations have Abraham here being called "Prince of God." Take another instance. In Exodus 4, the Lord tells Moses that he "shall be as God" (elohim) to his brother Aaron. Moses will have God's words in his mouth, and will stand as God's representative before Aaron. Here is a case where an individual human is called elohim. Again in Exodus 7:1, the Lord says to Moses, "See, I make you God [elohim] to Pharaoh." No one dares to suggest that there is a plurality of persons within Moses because he is called elohim, that is, God's representative. The pagan god Dagon is also called elohim in the Hebrew Bible. The Philistines lamented that the God of Israel was harshly treating "Dagon our God [elohim]" (1 Sam. 5:7). Dagon was a single pagan deity. The same holds true for the single pagan god called Chemosh: “Do you not possess what Chemosh your god [elohim] gives you to possess?" (Jud. 11:24). The same for the single deity called Baal.

The Hebrew language has many examples of words which are plural but whose meaning is singular. In Genesis 23, Abraham's wife Sarah dies. The Hebrew text says, "the lives [plural] of Sarah were 127 years" (v. 1). Even the plural verb that accompanies the pronoun does not mean Sarah lived multiple lives. The Hebrews never taught reincarnation or plurality of personhood. Another example of this kind of anomaly in the Hebrew language is found in Genesis 43. After Joseph wept to see his brothers, we read that Joseph "washed his faces" (plural). This is another instance where in the Hebrew language the plural noun functions as a singular noun with a singular meaning, unless, of course, Joseph was a multi-faced human being! The same occurs in Genesis 16:8 where Hagar flees from "the faces" (plural) of her mistress Sarah. These are "anomalies" of the Hebrew language that are clearly understood by Hebrew scholars who rightly translate to a singular form in English.

The better explanation is that the Hebrews used a form of speech called "the plural of majesty." Put simply this means that someone whose position was warrant of dignity was spoken in this way as giving a sign of honor. The plural acted as a means of intensification:
Elohim must rather be explained as an intensive plural, denoting greatness and majesty.

Whenever the word elohim refers to the God of Israel the Septuagint uses the singular and not the plural. From Genesis 1:1 consistently right through, this holds true. The Hebrews who translated their own scriptures into Greek simply had no idea that their God could be more than one individual, or a multiple personal Being! This is true too when we come to the New Testament. The New Testament nowhere hints at a plurality in the meaning of elohim when it reproduces references to the One God as ho theos, the One God.



B.W. you picked the wrong word to describe the Trinity. Even most Trinitarian scholars stay away from this word because it is so easily disputed. However, it's your choice. Fortigurn did an excellent job of showing you the truth about this word.


B.W. wrote: The point of this discussion is to teach why we believe the bible thoroughly reveals God's Trinity and that will be the main theme of this discussion. You can accept what we reveal or reject it entirely — that decision is your own to make — not ours.
Are we allowed to share our beliefs, even if they are different? I just want to understand the rules. Will my Elohim post be deleted because it does not agree with your idea of the word Elohim? I have always stayed on topic, and have never "taught" any one, I simply share my beliefs. I have no problem with yours. You see what God wants you to see, same as myself.

I only brought up the dark side of the doctrine when you asked to ban Fortigurn. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Fortigurn may have a past here but as far as I can see, Fortigurn seems to have chilled out. It took me two seconds to figure out Fortigurn when I went to his/her other web site. Over 36,260 post. A master of the forums my friend! I have about 300 to 350 post on all my forums combined. You put a word out there like "Elohim" and he/she will eat your lunch! You better do your research before you challenge someone with that much experience, even if your only slightly wrong you will be played like a fine violin. Don't get me wrong, Fortigurn is a fine self learned scholar. What I don't know is, does He/She have an open mind or does He/She only want to be right? I'm sure I will find out soon enough, when I'm on your end of the debate with him/her. By the way Fortigurn, I mean no disrespect. You didn't post over 36,000 times with out researching all those post. I would love to know what you have in your head! And your heart too!

Peace to all,
Paul

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#10

Post by B. W. » Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:43 pm

Fortigurn wrote:...It is neither rambling nor an attempt to get you off topic when I point out that you are accusing me falsely. If you are a moderator on this forum, you have a responsibility to address my objection, rather than ignoring it and deleting parts of my posts which you don't like.

But since that's not going to happen, let's continue:
Here is your answer...

The ground rules are simple:

One — Moderators will pilot the discussion and set the themes. Counterpoints will not lead the discussion nor will they distract from the theme under discussion. If counterpoint views attempt to lead the discussion then parts of these will be removed from thread. This will be an orderly discussion not one that obfuscates by use of wordiness.

Two - Lengthy ramblings that lead off topic will be deleted by Moderators and the parts that do not ramble will be left on at the discretion of the moderators of this forum to be answered. This is the only way to avoid useless sidetracks and be able to answer questions and counterpoints coherently.

Again, no one is attacking you. I see what you and Pierac have wrote are what this thread is about discussing and all I ask is to stay on topic.

Now we can now go over what you both wrote and respond in an orderly fashion and go from there - fair enough? just give us time.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#11

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:18 am

B. W. wrote:Again, no one is attacking you.
You not only made personal attacks on me, you falsely accused me of something I never did. Why did you do that?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#12

Post by Pierac » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:18 pm

Take your time B.W.
I'm no different than you, I don't want to believe a lie any more than you do! However, Elohim is not the word you are looking for. I have seen to much research by your own fellow believers of the Trinity to know that they avoid this Hebrew word like the plague!

Read our post on this subject of Elohim. Just admit you picked the wrong word to hang your beliefs on. It's Ok, the Trinity is more than just one word! The point is you will never find the trinity in the Hebrew Bible! The Hebrews believed in the Shema!

Shema Yisrael! Hear, O Israel!

Deu 6:4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

This is one of the very first Bible verse that most Jewish boys and girls learn. It binds the Jewish life and community together. Every devout Jew recited it daily and even utter the Shema when dying. This is the one belief that distinguished Israel from all the surrounding nations that had multiple gods. “The Lord is one Lord” is thus Israel's classic statement of monotheism, Judaism's highest confession of Faith. It speaks of Yahweh's uniqueness and exclusiveness, that he is one single integral person, not divisible.
The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible tells us that there are two valid ways of interpreting the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4. It is possible to translate, "Yahweh, our God, is one Yahweh"- in which case the Shema affirms that Yahweh can not be divided into several Yahweh manifestations (poly-Yahwism), like the Baals of different sanctuaries [or we might add the Trinity of later Nicene Christianity]. Or we may translate: "Yahweh is our God, Yahweh alone"-in which case the Shema affirms that Yahweh is the only and the unique God [we will soon see that Jesus affirmed this creed and John 17:3].
Both of these nuances are given in other Old Testament passages. The person of God is indivisible and he has no other in His class for He is alone and unique. He is a single divine individual.

Deu 4:35 "To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him….39 "Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.

Deu 32:39 'See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

Isa 44:6 "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

The New Testament clearly states Jesus has a God and Father, both before and after his resurrection. We know the Bible does not contradict.

I hope you all consider this as on topic.

Peace,
Paul

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#13

Post by YLTYLT » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:11 pm

DeuT 6:4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

This word (one) comes from the Hebrew word “'echad” and can mean, “compound unity.” Sadly, some religious movements have tried to use this Scripture to teach their “oneness” movement. However, this verse could have easily been translated,

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.”

Note how this same word 'echad is used in Genesis 2:24,

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Whenever couples marry, they don't become one in “number.” They become one in “unity.” Note how this same word "echad" is used again in Genesis 11:6,

“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

The people spoken of here in Genesis 11:6 did not become one in “number.” They became one in “unity.” Genesis 11:6
could easily read this way,

“And the LORD said, Behold, the people are unified (i.e., is one), and they have all a unified (i.e., one) language;”

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#14

Post by B. W. » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:13 pm

Pierac wrote:Take your time B.W.
I'm no different than you, I don't want to believe a lie any more than you do! However, Elohim is not the word you are looking for. I have seen to much research by your own fellow believers of the Trinity to know that they avoid this Hebrew word like the plague!

Read our post on this subject of Elohim. Just admit you picked the wrong word to hang your beliefs on. It's Ok, the Trinity is more than just one word! The point is you will never find the trinity in the Hebrew Bible! The Hebrews believed in the Shema!

Peace,
Paul
Thanks Pierac,

I'll respond to your post in a day or so - I just finished responding to Fortigrun.

Shalom...
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#15

Post by B. W. » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:51 pm

To simply say that a plural noun is numeric because singular verbs and adjectives were used alongside it just does not line up with the truth of the bible — more on this later if time permits.
Fortigurn wrote:This is a very confused sentence. What do you mean by 'numeric'? There's no doubt that a plural noun will take plural verbs and adjectives (where the adjectives decline according to number), but this really hasn't anything to do with the doctrine of the trinity.
By numeric I mean what you wrote quoted here - Bible uses elohim with singular verbs and pronouns. When it does so, it refers to only one person (not two or more people)
The word most often translated in Hebrew for God is Elohim...
Fortigurn wrote:This is correct.
...or haElolim.
Fortigurn wrote: This is incorrect, because 'haElohim' is not a word or another form of 'elohim', it is the word 'elohim' with the Hebrew definite article 'ha' in front of it. There are two words here, not one.
What does the word ha that is attached to Elohim mean? I am not incorrect here — only using the word how it is actually spelled - האלהים
The Purpose was to demonstrate how Elohim is spelled for a future post when we get there.
These are the plural forms for God.
Fortigurn wrote: This is also incorrect, firstly because there is only one form here ('elohim'), and secondly because 'elohim' is not a 'plural form'. The word 'elohim' only has one form, and that one form is used whether the subject is singular or plural. It is a noun which has only one morphology, but can have a singular or plural referent. Like the English word 'sheep', or the English word 'fish'. The only way to tell whether the subject is singular or plural, is through the accompanying verb. Like the English word 'sheep', or the English word 'fish'.
* The fish is: The verb tells you I'm talking about one fish
* The fish are: The verb tells you I'm talking about more than one fish
* The sheep is: The verb tells you I'm talking about one sheep
* The sheep are: The verb tells you I'm talking about more than one sheep
* Elohim is: The verb tells you I'm talking about one person who is elohim
* Elohim are: The verb tells you I'm talking about more than one person who are elohim
You miss what a Plural noun refers to — the fish is one fish from the family species of fishes that are known as fish. The sheep is lost - is one sheep from the species that are known as sheep.
Elohim is one that is from a plural nature — unlike all others that claim to be — or from that class known as god.

Human elohim — human judges, angelic beings — denotes a plural of delegation since it recognizes that two or more are needed to decide legal matters — Is it by the testimony of one or two or three witnesses shall a matter be established? What does the bible say on this matter? How can God rise up as witness against mankind if he is only a mere one and not the majestic Plural God?

Deuteronomy 19:15, "A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.” ESV

Since judges were delegated to rule as Elohim then what does that tell us about the Lord if even these judges become corrupt and there are none righteous - no not one?
Fortigurn wrote: Other nouns of this class include the following (places where the usage is singular are in parentheses): * zequnim: old age (Genesis 21:2, 7; 37:3; 44:20) * ne`urim: youth (1 Samuel 17:33)
Old age and youth refers to those associated by common age — one out of a group! As for Adoni forms — deal with these later in a bit in Pierac's post just to stay focused...
Fortigurn wrote: In English, if I say 'The fish is blue', you know I'm talking about one fish, not because 'fish' is the singular form of 'fish', but because 'is' is the singular verb. If I say 'the sheep are outside', you know I am talking about more than one sheep, not because 'sheep' is the plural form of 'sheep', but because 'are' is the plural verb. The same applies to the Hebrew word 'elohim'. Whenever the verb is singular, the noun refers to only one person.
Wrong — no matter the usage, when you say 'the sheep is white' or 'the fish is blue' - a sheep and a fish are a species — there are a lot of blue fish in the sea. What the Plural does in cases like this is simple; it picks one out from amongst all the many blue fish and white sheep one of its kind. The word still retains its plural function — like it or not it does. A sheep is from a collection of a species and so is a blue fish - one out of all the many. Is a blue fish a species? Is a white lamb? The Plural Noun denotes one from amongst many and that is how plurals work in any language.
Fortigurn wrote: When 'elohim' takes the plural verb, it refers to more than one person, such as the gods of the heathen, men, or angels. But the singular verb is used when 'elohim' is used of God Himself, indicating that only one person is being referred to. This is not surprising, since the personal pronouns which accompany 'elohim' when God is referred to are also singular ('He', 'His', 'I', 'Me', 'My', 'Mine', etc).
And God said — Let Us make man in our image. Let Us go confuse their Language so yes these do describe God as the Plural Majestic One!

Also note that what you stated does not follow so easily in Hebrew as the verb and predicates, adjectives etc, can vary between singular and plural. In other words, it is not as easy and as academic as you like to make I sound.
I hope you can understand that the singular noun — EL and Elo'ah was used in the OT and that the OT authors did know that this singular form for God existed right alongside the plural usage of Elohim / haElolim and that therefore proper grammar was known and used — yes — even way back when.
Fortigurn wrote: This is a misleading paragraph, because it implies that 'elohim' is a plural noun, whereas it is in fact a noun with one morphology which is used for both plural and singular referents. Since, as you say 'proper grammar was known and used - yes - even way back when', we must take note when the Hebrew Bible uses elohim with singular verbs and pronouns. When it does so, it refers to only one person (not two or more people).
Let's see, since America is a plural noun, If I say America , then, am I saying the entire country, all its plant, animal, flora, fauna, water, human residents, its terra firma or just one spot I stand on that makes up us this plural noun?

According to you, this cannot be the case as Plural noun can only refer to one thing. In any language we can use Plural Nouns in a singular case but its meaning still retains its plural meaning and function. Also, In Hebrew we have example of this with the word Translated Egypt and Egyptians. Egypt is a Plural denoting the entire county and all its many inhabitants. Why use a Plural Elohim to denote just one person when the singular form EL would do and thus end the debate? You have not answered this.

Plurals refer to collectives and there are various nuances' of Plural forms you failed to mentioned too. You can say one out of one group or collective is a one, however that one is still part of a collective: one out of many and/or many out of one — that is a Plural noun.

Now If I say Americans as a Plural noun then I am talking only about the Residents. But if I say, 'America was at was with Japan during 1942' in Classical Hebrew, then accordingly to your definition this would mean only one person named America fought against some other person named Japan. Yes, point is Plural noun forms express more than one thing according to context.
The doctrine of the majestic plural noun usage came much later in history as a response devised to counter Trinitarian view of God. It was not used, nor was it known to the authors of the OT as they wrote.
Fortigurn wrote: The majestic plural is not a 'doctrine', it is a grammatical feature. Nor did it come 'much later in history as a response devised to counter Trinitarian view of God' (though some have argued against the trinity using the plural of majesty, which is completely unnecessary). The plural of majesty was simply a later grammatical development in Hebrew (Ezra 4:18 contains a plural of majesty). This is not surprising, since other Ancient Near East languages related to Hebrew already had a plural of majesty (as we find in such texts as the El-Armana tablets).
So you admit that the Majestic Plural Noun came later! When you stated —“The plural of majesty was simply a later grammatical development in Hebrew?” So you admit that latter Hebrew came up with the Majestic Plural, yet is not later Hebrew grammar/ syntax - modern, medieval, and Rabbinic Hebrew - far different than classical?

Are you so sure you can really say Ezra 4:18 contains a Plural of Majesty rather than any of the common nuances of Plural were used such as a plural collective noun, a quantitative plural noun, a plural of delegation, a plural of distribution, and the many other plural forms?.

Also, the usage you site is in fact irrelevant as it proves nothing as the King was read a letter and was not speaking on behalf of his people as 'us' or 'we' which in itself 'is' not the proper of the usage of a Pluralis majestatis. The 'us' mentioned comes before the letter was read and denotes a collection of people in the room with the king and afterward in verse 19 the king is not speaking on behalf of the people but rather for himself denoted by the usage of I. If true majestic plural - the word 'us' or 'we' should replace I. See - Majestic Plural
Basically the majestic plural noun was used to stress that God was a singular numeric one, which by the way He is, and not a Plural One, which by the way He is also. It was used to basically say that God is only an alone one of number and case and that the Plural Noun forms of Elohim / haElolim / etc…[yes, there are more] were used to describe aspects of the true God's majesty — to set apart grammatically to identify the true God as opposed to false god or gods.
Fortigurn wrote: No that was not the use of the majestic plural. The use of the majestic plural is to emphasis the majesty of God (hence 'majestic plural'). It is an intensive use of the noun, which is common to Hebrew. Nor is it a 'majestic plural noun' which is used 'with' the word 'elohim'. The majestic plural isn't used with the word 'elohim', and no nouns are used with 'elohim' to make it a majestic plural. That is not how the majestic plural functions. The singular verbs used when 'elohim' is used to describe God (as well as the singular pronouns), inform us that God is one person, not the 'majestic plural'.
You just said this earlier: “Bible uses elohim with singular verbs and pronouns. When it does so, it refers to only one person (not two or more people)”

This a contradiction to your own statement: “No that was not the use of the majestic plural - [RE: numeric oneness] The use of the majestic plural is to emphasis the majesty of God (hence 'majestic plural').”

Then you stated, “The singular verbs used when 'elohim' is used to describe God (as well as the singular pronouns), inform us that God is one person, not the 'majestic plural”

--A numeric one is a numeric one in any form — if the Majestic plural is only of Majestic intensity and not number then why did you state what you did? If it is used to only state Majesty of intensity and not number — then God —Elohim- is truly a Majestic Plural One! God in three persons — how Majestic is that? God belongs to a class all by himself — a plural one. Yet you use it to state — one person? Does a person have many parts and divergent attributes but the True God cannot?

Remember what a Plural Noun is — A collective, either, describing one person, place or thing, belonging to some collective identity or used to identify a collective entity as a group.

Example: The fish swam. Yet this one fish belongs to a certain species of fish to be that one fish swimming. A fish is a fish as it belongs to the race of fishes or it is not a fish! :lol:
Yes, Plural Nouns do denote collectives!
To make this distinction grammatically it was decided that a majestic noun would be identified by the use of singular verb forms and/or singular adjectives that follow the plural nouns Elohim / haElolim and their other plural spelling when referring to the true God. You can say that the majestic plural noun usage along with two singular grammar words served to identify the Majestic True God.
Fortigurn wrote: This isn't true either. No such thing was 'decided'. The word 'elohim' always had one morphology which was applied to singular and plural subjects, and it is a standard feature of Hebrew grammar (as with other languages), that nouns agree with their adjectives and verbs in number, gender, and case. When 'elohim' is used with singular verbs, adjectives and pronouns, it refers to one single person, just as with other nouns. This is basic Hebrew grammar.
Morphology — is a fish a species and so is a sheep. Do they not belong to a group that identifies their kind? One out the group or the group describe together as one. The verbs, predicates, adverbs, adjectives, etc only identify a plural noun how it is identified with a group either alone or with others. The group is still there — in the meaning of the word!
This is interesting when the words singular nouns for God EL and Elo'ah were known and used at the time the OT was written — then why bother using the plural noun forms for Elohim to describe true God when the singular usage would be far more grammatically correct than a plural noun?
Fortigurn wrote: As I have already pointed out, the word 'elohim' has no 'plural noun form'. It has only one morphology, which is used for both singular and plural referents. The number of the referent is identified by means of the noun and verb/adjective agreement. This is perfectly grammatically correct. The use of the word 'elohim' for the one true God is not an indication of plurality in any way, shape or form.
The fish swam in the sea. Is the fish part of a species of fish? If not — you could never identify it as a fish. There is only-one morphology for the Plural noun and the singular and plural referents serve to identify this more than you realize.
You could place the singular noun EL with two singular verbs/adjectives and thus achieve the same thing and being exceedingly grammatically correct about it too with absolutely NO debate — that the true God was a single numeric majestic one without question!
Fortigurn wrote: Or you could just use the word 'elohim' with a singular verb, which means the same thing. And that's what the Bible does.
This is a confusing grammar construct and more confusing when the Word EL could have been used. If Elohim was used only 277 times and EL was used about 2600 times in the bible — then I would believe you and you would have a case!

In the beginning [Elohim] Gods created heaven and earth — this is the very first sentence in the bible. Should it not instead read - In the beginning [El] God created heaven and earth? Wow — such confusing usage of grammar when another would have easily backed your claims.

Instead we read, Genesis 1:1-3: “In the beginning, God [Elohim the Plural God] created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God [Elohim — Plural God] was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God [Elohim] said, "Let there be light," and there was light” ESV

Notice the Hebrew is painting a picture about God — He is a majestic One God - Plural — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - John 1:1-3 and Hebrew 1:3 is true. The Bible testifies of Jesus as Christ stated it did. If God were just only a numeric intense majestic alone one as you contend then EL — singular word for God would have sufficed more than Elohim and nullifies all debate. There is no need for the plural used in reference to the one true God over 2000 times in the Bible! But the bible does not use EL when it should have. Elohim is used instead, denoting that God is of some form of collective yet still one as he is unlike all and anything the mind of man or angel can conceive — this way you know you found the one true God.
Fortigurn wrote: First of all there are no 'plural noun forms for Elohim'. Secondly they are not 'used as collective nouns that describe that the majesty of God is a Plural One' (that sentence doesn't even make sense). No, in Hebrew grammar the singular verbs/adjectives show that God is one person.
The fish is swimming in the sea. Is this one fish a species that belongs too a collective? God is one yet he denotes himself in the Plural.

Theological Word Book of the Old Testament states that Elohim is the plural form of Eloah and EL — section 93 - I guess these academics who wrote this are wrong too and you are right?

Reference: I forgot to add these reference links regarding plural nouns as collectives as well as a quote — so I am editing these in:

The Quote Below is from this Link:
Using articles to refer to classes of objects: Nouns can refer to an entire group of similar objects, sometimes called a class. There are three ways to refer to a class: using (1) the definite singular, (2) the indefinite singular, or (3) the indefinite plural. Here is an example of each:

(1) The lion is a majestic animal.
(2) A lion is a majestic animal.
(3) Lions are majestic animals.

All three sentences convey the same meaning with slightly different emphasis. The first sentence takes one lion as a representative of all lions and then makes its assertion about that representative. The second sentence in effect states, take any lion you like from the class of all lions, and what you say about it will be true of all other lions. The third sentence directly makes its assertion about all lions. This third usage is probably the most common. Choose whichever usage sounds best in your sentence.
Notes: Link on Grammar concerning Plural Nouns
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Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

Old Polish Proverb:
Not my Circus....not my monkeys

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