Trinity – What is it?

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

#16

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:46 pm

Large sections of your post are incoherent due to grammatical errors in English, let alone your grammatical errors with Hebrew. For example, the phrase 'To simply say that a plural noun is numeric' doesn't make any sense. You explained what you meant by 'numeric':
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)
But that is not the definition of 'numeric'. You aren't using the word correctly. That aside, you're also making a false claim regarding the Hebrew grammar. In Hebrew grammar, elohim is used with singular verbs and pronouns. When it does so, it refers to only one person (not two or more people).

To keep this post from being pages long, I'll list here a number of false statements you've made:

* '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': Quite apart from the fact that this sentence of yours doesn't actually make logical sense, what I said was that in Hebrew grammar elohim (and other nouns of the same type), is used with singular verbs and pronouns. When it does so, it refers to only one person (not two or more people). That is true. You are falsely saying it is wrong.

* 'Let's see, since America is a plural noun': The word 'America' is not a plural noun.

* 'According to you, this cannot be the case as Plural noun can only refer to one thing': I have never said any such thing. On the contrary, I have said that plural nouns in Hebrew refer to plural subjects, and singular nouns in Hebrew refer to singular subjects (just as in other languages).

* 'in any language we can use Plural Nouns in a singular case but its meaning still retains its plural meaning and function': That is completely untrue. In any language, when we use plural nouns we are referring to plural subjects. This sentence of yours doesn't even make logical sense, let alone being an accurate description of grammar. Even if you do use a plural noun 'in a singular case' (which is wrong grammar), if it does 'retain its plural meaning and function' then you are using it incorrectly.

* 'Egypt is a Plural': No, 'Egypt' is not a plural.

* 'Why use a Plural Elohim to denote just one person': No 'Plural Elohim' is ever used to denote 'just one person'. I have already explained this.

* 'Plurals refer to collectives': No, plural nouns refer to plural subjects. Typically a collective is referred to using a singular noun. Thus a collective of sheep (plural), is called 'a [singular] herd [singular]'. A collective of sheep is not called 'some herds'. It's the same in Hebrew, as in other languages.

* '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': No it wouldn't. I haven't said any such thing.

* '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': That is not what a plural noun is. A plural noun does not refer to 'one person, place or thing, belonging to some collective identity'. It refers to more than one person, place or thing. This is Grammar 101. Likewise, a plural noun is not used 'to identify a collective entity as a group'. Collectives are referred to using singular nouns.

* 'This is a confusing grammar construct and more confusing when the Word EL could have been used': It is not 'a confusing grammar construct', it's standard Hebrew grammar which applies to a list of other nouns of the same type as 'elohim'.

* 'If God were just only a numeric intense majestic alone one as you contend': I have never said any such thing.

* 'There is no need for the plural used in reference to the one true God over 2000 times in the Bible': The plural is not used in reference to the one true God. This is one of the fundamental flaws in your argument.

* 'Theological Word Book of the Old Testament states that Elohim is the plural form of Eloah and EL — section 93': I actually own TWOT', and that is not what it says. Here is what it says:
(’ĕlōah). God, god (ASV, RSV similar). The exact relationship between this name for God in Scripture and ’ēl or ’elōhîm is disputed and far from settled.

ASV American Standard Version of the Bible
RSV Revised Standard Version of the Bible
Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999, c1980). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (043). Chicago: Moody Press.
(’ĕlōhîm). God, gods, judges, angels. (Generally, agreement is found in ASV and RSV, however in some passages where the meaning is not clear they differ from KJV: Ex 31:6, where RSV has “God” but KJV “the judges”; similarly in Ex 22:28 [H 27] where RSV has “God” but KJV “the gods” or as a margin “judges.”) This word, which is generally viewed as the plural of ’ĕlōah, is found far more frequently in Scripture than either ’ēl or ’ĕlōah for the true God. The plural ending is usually described as a plural of majesty and not intended as a true plural when used of God. This is seen in the fact that the noun ’ĕlōhîm is consistently used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular.

ASV American Standard Version of the Bible
RSV Revised Standard Version of the Bible
KJV King James Version of the Bible
Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999, c1980). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (044). Chicago: Moody Press.
So what it says is:

* The word 'elohim' is generally viewed as the plural of 'eloah' (not 'el'), but the relationship between these words is 'disputed and far from settled'

* When used of God, the word 'elohim' is not intended as a true plural (as I have said)

* The singular use of 'elohim' is identified by the 'singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular' (as I have said)

If you're going to quote or cite reference works, please do so accurately.

Now on to specific details of your post.

You spent a lot of time speaking inaccurately about nouns with a single morphology for plural and singular subjects. For example:
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!
Leaving aside the logical incoherence and grammatical errors, this is factually wrong. But in the end you said 'There is only-one morphology for the Plural noun and the singular and plural referents serve to identify this', which (if I understand you correctly), is true. Certain nouns have only one morphology for plural and singular use, and it is the singular or plural verbs (not 'referents'), which serve to identify this. This single sentence of yours contradicted all you had previously said about plural nouns. I suggest you make up your mind about what you believe regarding plural nouns, and stick with it.
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?
There is no 'plural of delegation' here. One single judge can be referred to as 'elohim' using the singular sense of the word, identified by singular verbs. The word 'elohim' is not used of judges 'since it recognizes that two or more are needed to decide legal matters'. You are still under the misapprehension that 'elohim' is only a plural noun.
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.
I already told you what the word 'ha' is that is 'attached to Elohim'. I told you that it is the Hebrew definite article 'ha'. Perhaps you don't know what a definite article is. It's the Hebrew equivalent of the word 'the'. So you are completely incorrect here. You said this was one of the spellings of 'elohim'. You also claimed there were more. But there is only one spelling of 'elohim', and it is 'elohim' (unsurprisingly). You were not 'using the word how it is actually spelled'. You were quoting the word 'elohim' with the definite article in front of it. You were quoting two words, not one. But because of your ignorance of Hebrew, you thought you were quoting another spelling form of 'elohim'.
Old age and youth refers to those associated by common age — one out of a group!
No it doesn't. The Hebrew words simply means 'old age' and 'youth'. They have nothing to do with 'one out of a group' or 'those associated by common age'.
Wrong — no matter the usage, when you say 'the sheep is white' or t'he 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.
This is completely untrue, and demonstrates an ignorance of plural nouns. When I say 'the sheep is white', I am referring to one sheep, not an entire species. The singluar form of the verb ('is', not 'are'), is what identifies the usage as singular rather than plural.
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 far different than modern, medieval, and Rabbinic Hebrew?
This is a complete misrepresentation of what I said. Firstly there is no 'majestic plural noun', only the majestic plural usage of nouns. Secondly, you had claimed that the majestic plural came 'much later in history as a response devised to counter Trinitarian view of God'. That is completely untrue, as I have pointed out. Thirdly, when I said that the plural of majesty was a later grammatical development in Hebrew, I was correct - and I pointed out that although later it was hundreds of years before the time you claimed. We don't expect to find it in older books like Genesis, since they were originally written in proto-Hebrew, or palaeo-Hebrew.

I have never argued that Genesis contains the majestic plural. Ironically, you have argued that Genesis contains the majestic plural. So on the one hand you claim it was used in Genesis, and on the other hand you claim it was invented later. Again, you need to make up your mind which argument you're going to go with, and stay with it.

Finally, yes there are differences between various different forms of Hebrew (though not all of the categories you list actually exist), but that's irrelevant to this discussion. We are discussing the Hebrew used in the Old Testament, which precedes all forms of Hebrew subsequent to the Christian era.
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?.
Yes I can, because none of those fit here.
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.
Given that this text is the first recorded instance of the majestic plural in early Hebrew, this isn't surprising. But if you are going to argue that it's not a plural of majesty, and at the same time you are going to argue that the king isn't using the 'us' to speak on behalf of his people, then what is left? It has to be one or the other (and it doesn't affect my argument whichever way it is, since I am not appealing to the plural of majesty in my arguments - you are).
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”
These statements do not contradict each other. In the first instance I am speaking of the usage of the word elohim with singular verbs and pronouns. In the second instance I am correcting your misunderstanding of the plural of majesty. These statements are talking about two completely different subjects, and do not contradict each other. My statement '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” is completely accurate.
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.
No that is not the very first sentence in the Bible. You have wrongly translated 'elohim' as 'gods'. That is a completely inaccurate translation. The word 'elohim' here is singular, as identified by the singular verb. There is no 'confusing usage of grammar' here.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#17

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:53 pm

YLTYLT wrote: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.”
You are unfortunately making a very common mistake with regard to the meaning of the word 'echad'. Even a simple glance in a standard lexicon will inform you that the word 'echad' simply means 'one'. It does not mean 'compound unity'.

I'll let trinitarian apologist Gregory Boyd explain it:
Even weaker is the argument that the Hebrew word for "one" (echad) used in the Shema ("Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord") refers to a united one, not an absolute one. Hence, some Trinitarians have argued, the Old Testament has a view of a united Godhead. It is, of course, true that the meaning of the word may in some contexts denote a unified plurality (e.g. Gen. 2:24, "they shall become one flesh").

But this really proves nothing. An examination of the Old Testament usage reveals that the word echad is as capable of various meanings as is our English word one. The context must determine whether a numerical or unified singularity is intended.

Boyd, Gregory (1995), Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity
Emphasis mine.
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.”
You are misunderstanding the use of echad here. It is saying they become 'one'. Certainly, one in 'unity', not in 'number'. But echad here still means one.
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;”
Again, the word echad here means one. How many languages did they have? They had one language. Did they become two in unity, or one in unity? They became one. In both cases, the word 'echad' here means 'one'. It does not mean 'a compound unity'.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#18

Post by B. W. » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:20 pm

Fortigurn wrote:Large sections of your post are incoherent due to grammatical errors in English, let alone your grammatical errors with Hebrew. For example, the phrase 'To simply say that a plural noun is numeric' doesn't make any sense. You explained what you meant by 'numeric':

But that is not the definition of 'numeric'. You aren't using the word correctly. That aside, you're also making a false claim regarding the Hebrew grammar. In Hebrew grammar, elohim is used with singular verbs and pronouns. When it does so, it refers to only one person (not two or more people).

To keep this post from being pages long, I'll list here a number of false statements you've made:
Thanks for letting me know. I type fast and typos occur. I made a few corrections already to last post.

Instead of responding to each comment — you missed my point I was making. You can make nouns plural by choice — you can make the Word 'America' plural in a sentence. Nouns have a collective meaning so can Egypt - that was the point I was making: Nouns in any form describe what? Person place, thing: Persons belong to a class/group. Places belong to an area within a larger area, Things belong to what ever class of thing it belongs too. Names describe identity many varied nuances such a Chicago — what is in Chicago? Names can identify a person and can be used to trace lineage to others. The point is simple — Nouns denote class/groups/etc. They can be used singular, plural forms and they still serve the function of nouns:

Noun: any member of a class of words that are formally distinguished in many languages, as in English, typically by the plural and possessive endings and that can function as the main or only elements of subjects or objects, as cat, belief, writing, Ohio, darkness. Nouns are often thought of as referring to persons, places, things, states, or qualities — see - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/noun

My entire point leads to the Hebrew noun Elohim, haElohim, and EL and Eloah. Again my point is simple —the Hebrew word EL and Eloah are singular and are used only about 277 times in the OT. When in fact, they could have been used without any problem to grammar in the places where Elohim, haElohim were used approx 2000 times [2000 is an estimate as I am too tired to dig up the correct number at this time. From memory, it is close to 2000] to describe the True God.

There would have been no reason to do so as, Doing so would have proved all you claim without debate but to use a plural for God when singular could have been used is no concern to you? You only quote sources that only agree with you and leave out the quotes that are in conflict with your bias. You have done so with TWOT, which I own also.

TWOT example: you forgot to quote that it does state that Elohim is the plural form as well as … that the majestic plural was used, according to Albright, from the tendency in the near ancient near east toward universalism to exalt pagan deities! [Paraphrase here to conserve thread space]

Later on it discusses… Direct quote: “That scripture itself where, in the very first chapter of Genesis regarding the necessity of a term to conveying both the unity of the One God and yet allowing the plurality of persons is found (Gen1:2,26). THIS is bore by the fact the Form Elohim only occurs in Hebrew and IN NO OTHER SEMITIC LANGUAGE, NOT EVEN BIBLICAL ARAMAIC....Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999, c1980). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press.

Plurality of persons! Why did you leave that out? Answer it does note agree with you position!

This Forum is willing to let you write your own ideology to show the readers the opposing viewpoint. However, you do not permit any that would otherwise counter your claims even within the quotes you use! YOU ARE NOT IN CHARGE OF THIS FORUM OR DISCUSSION -STOP TRYING TO BE!

In fact, what you do best is to only quote sources that only agree with your views and dam# the rest. Well, Elohim is a plural noun. Used with singulars it still contains its plural. It is still a noun. The Hebrew did not use Elohim to just be different from the pagan gods to denote the one true God from the false!

As it is written: 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

God was different than all and not only singular but also plural collective noun — that is why Elohim was used. God is indeed unlike anything we can fully fathom!

The Rabbinic tradition, same as you, holds the universalism of the ancient Middle East, yet God is not like universalisms god(s) of the anceints. The bible declares this.

You cite that it does not matter because Elohim can only be singular and not plural denoting true God and therefore there was no need to write it as EL in its place. However, You can still write EL in Elohim's place and make a case for the superiority of the true God without using the word Elohim through use of titles and names associated with EL like EL Yahweh!

Challenge — take a clay tablet and spell Elohim, haElohim using the Hebrew letters and then use the papyri and ink the ancients used and spell the names Elohim, haElohim using the Hebrew letters. The proper singular noun for God EL is far easier to write as well as placing it to avoid mistakes any reader could make. In fact it would state without debate the exact same thing you espouse. God — singular so that the bible clearly means that the 'us and our' used in Genesis account refers to angels in a heavenly court and not God as trinity.

Compound this with the rabbinic tradition that believes as you do about Elohim, haElohim denoting singular person — why was not EL used instead? It would have been more emphatic as well as easier to write with no conflict. Instead Elohim, haElohim — both plurals - written to describe true God exponentially outnumber the singular form to EL's and Eloah's 277 times!

Why can I not ask it? Nor be allowed by you to point out that the math, the grammar, and the ancient method of writing does not support your exceptions!

You are truly demonstrating that exceptions must rule and permit absolutely no test to these exceptions! Again Cults do this well and you are a Christadelphian and the readers should be aware of this fact.

As for haElohim — the Hebrew definite article 'ha' prefix implies 'all the.' Massey gives an example of ha'yam — the People — but all the people are implied. Massey. Kieth Andrew, Doctorial Dissertations: “The Concord of Collective Nouns and Verbs in Biblical Hebrew: A Controlled Study, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998 p 28 and footnotes — order number 9825726.

A noun does describe a collective. Is 'the people' — all the people or a small crowd? The people were of one heart and mind and returned to God. Is this all the people or just a small crowd - ha'yam? The prefix denotes 'the' as 'all the' a collective - 'The Elohim' means the One God who is plural. Note 1 Samuel 5:8 usage of haElohim.

You also forgot to mention how translating a singular a singular sometimes then into a plural other times as a singular is not consistent grammar. haElihom used to denote many gods of the pagans then next use it as singular for the true God is very inconsistent with ancient Hebrew grammar of haElohim.
Fortigurn wrote:No that is not the very first sentence in the Bible. You have wrongly translated 'elohim' as 'gods'. That is a completely inaccurate translation. The word 'elohim' here is singular, as identified by the singular verb. There is no 'confusing usage of grammar' here.
I was demonstrating the plural persons of the one true God by using Gods in the verses I quoted — EL could have been used the passage cited. That was the point I was making. There would be no debate if EL had been used. You would have to write God and not Gods to avoid misconception while realizing that the word 'God' meant one that is plural to see that God was like no other, not even universalism

You also should have quoted the rest of Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament:

“That scripture itself where, in the very first chapter of Genesis regarding the necessity of a term to conveying both the unity of the One God and yet allowing the plurality of persons is found (Gen1:2,26). THIS is bore by the fact the form Elohim only occurs in Hebrew and IN NO OTHER SEMITIC LANGUAGE, NOT EVEN BIBLICAL ARAMAIC. — RSV Revised Standard Version of the Bible
Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999, c1980). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press.

Note: I am tired and going to bed so this post will have typos and misspellings!
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#19

Post by Fortigurn » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:52 am

I am going to suggest in all seriousness that if the other moderators want to see the trinity defended properly that someone else take over from BW. He is making so many errors in both English and Hebrew grammar that he is doing you absolutely no favours.



First the list of mistakes you've made in this post:

* 'you can make the Word 'America' plural in a sentence': No you cannot. The word 'America' is singular. You cannot 'make' it plural in a sentence. You have to use the word 'Americas', in which case you are no longer talking about the USA, but the two parts of continental America.

* 'Nouns have a collective meaning so can Egypt': It is inaccurate to say 'nouns have a collective meaning'. Only collective nouns have a collective meaning, and collective nouns are typically singular. The word 'Egypt' cannot have a collective meaning.

* 'My entire point leads to the Hebrew noun Elohim, haElohim, and EL and Eloah': There is no Hebrew noun 'haElohim'. As I have told you before, that is not a noun, it is two separate words, 'ha' and 'elohim'. The first word, 'ha', is the definite article ('the'). It is not a part of the word 'elohim', and 'haElohim' is not simply one spelling of the word 'elohim', as you wrongly claimed. The word 'elohim' has only one spelling, and it is 'elohim'.

* 'but to use a plural for God when singular could have been used is no concern to you?': As I have already pointed out more than once, the plural is not used of God. The singular 'elohim' is. As I have already said, this is no different to using El or Eloah (both singular), to refer to God. What you really need to ask yourself is firstly why you keep thinking that 'elohim' is a plural noun, and secondly why (if 'elohim' in the plural sense is the correct word to use for God), the Bible ever refers to God as El or Eloah (both singular).

* 'You only quote sources that only agree with you and leave out the quotes that are in conflict with your bias': No I don't. It is deeply ironic of you to say this, since you were the one who cited TWOT and made a claim regarding it which I proved completely false. I will deal with this later.

* 'This Forum is willing to let you write your own ideology to show the readers the opposing viewpoint': I haven't even started talking about my own 'ideology' (or theology). At present I have simply been discussing the Hebrew grammar, and correcting your mistakes.

* 'However, you do not permit any that would otherwise counter your claims even within the quotes you use!': That is patently false. I cannot prevent anything being posted here, whether or not it disagrees with me.

* 'YOU ARE NOT IN CHARGE OF THIS FORUM OR DISCUSSION -STOP TRYING TO BE!': I am not trying to be in charge of this forum or discussion. It's clear you are in charge, since you edit my posts when you feel like it, you insult me when you feel like it, and you delet my forum reports without even bothering to respond to them. On a properly run forum you would not be permitted to moderate this dicussion, because of the conflict of interest involved. But on this forum you are permitted to attack me personally and edit my posts without warning, simply in order to try and gain an advantage in the discussion.

* 'Well, Elohim is a plural noun. Used with singulars it still contains its plural': These statements are both wrong, as I have already pointed out. The word 'elohim' is not 'a plural noun'. It is a noun which has one morphology which is used for both the singular and plural meanings. Used with singular verbs and adjectives, it is singular (not plural). You are repeating complete falsehoods.

* 'God was different than all and not only singular but also plural collective noun': This is a contradiction in terms. God cannot be both singular and a 'collective'. It's also a contradiction of your theology. In the doctrine of the trinity, God is not a 'collective'. A collective is a group of individual entities, which is not the description of the trinity. Not only that, but as I have pointed out collective nouns are typically singular, not plural.

* 'The Rabbinic tradition, same as you, holds the universalism of the ancient Middle East, yet God is not like universalisms god(s) of the anceints': This is even more bizarre, and indicates that you haven't properly understood your sources. I know of no 'universalism of the ancient Middle East', the phrase 'universalisms god(s)' is incorrect English grammar, and I don't believe in any 'universalism'.

* 'You cite that it does not matter because Elohim can only be singular and not plural denoting true God': I have never said that 'elohim' can only be singular. I have said that it is only used in the singular sense for the one true God. That isn't simply my own statement, that's the statement of academics in this field, and it is demonstrably true (if you could read the Hebrew, you would be able to see this for yourself).

* 'You are truly demonstrating that exceptions must rule and permit absolutely no test to these exceptions!': I have not appealed to a single exception. I have appealed to the rule. You have attempted to deny the rule.

* 'A noun does describe a collective': No, a noun does not describe a collective. Only a collective noun describes a collective.

* 'Is 'the people' — all the people or a small crowd?': The noun 'people' is a plural noun, not a collective noun, and it refers to the people who are the subject or object of the sentence.

* 'The prefix denotes 'the' as 'all the' a collective': The word 'the' is not a prefix, it is the definite article. It does not make the word 'people' a collective.

* ''The Elohim' means the One God who is plural': This is demonstrably false.

* 'You also forgot to mention how translating a singular a singular sometimes then into a plural other times as a singular is not consistent grammar': Talking of grammar, this particular sentence has such bad English grammar that it's difficult to understand what you're saying. But if you're saying translating a singular noun as a plural in some cases and as a singular noun in other cases is not consistent grammar, then I agre. I am not suggesting this should be done.

* 'I was demonstrating the plural persons of the one true God by using Gods in the verses I quoted': When you use the word 'gods' to translate 'elohim' in that place, you commit a gross error of grammar, since the verb is singular and therefore the noun is singular (it should read 'God', as it does in any reputable English Bible translation). When the word 'elohim' is used with singular verbs it refers to one person, not to more than one person. That is a fundamental rule of Hebrew grammar which you are attempting to deny.

* 'You would have to write God and not Gods to avoid misconception while realizing that the word 'God' meant one that is plural to see that God was like no other, not even universalism': In this place, 'elohim' does not mean 'one that is plural'. It means one person who is God. You've also repeated your misunderstanding of the term 'universalism' in the entry in TWOT.

Now to specifics:
Compound this with the rabbinic tradition that believes as you do about Elohim, haElohim denoting singular person — why was not EL used instead? It would have been more emphatic as well as easier to write with no conflict. Instead Elohim, haElohim — both plurals - written to describe true God exponentially outnumber the singular form to EL's and Eloah's 277 times!

Why can I not ask it? Nor be allowed by you to point out that the math, the grammar, and the ancient method of writing does not support your exceptions!
I have never said you cannot ask this, and I have never said you are not allowed to point anything out. As it happens, 'the math, the grammar, and the ancient method of writing' are all directly in opposition to your claims.

I have already answered your questions. Firstly you are again making the mistake of claiming that 'Elohim' and 'haElohim' are two different words or two different spellings of the same word. They are not. As I have told you before, there is no Hebrew noun 'haElohim'. That is not a noun, it is two separate words, 'ha' and 'elohim'. The first word, 'ha', is the definite article ('the'). It is not a part of the word 'elohim', and 'haElohim' is not simply one spelling of the word 'elohim', as you wrongly claimed. The word 'elohim' has only one spelling, and it is 'elohim'.

Secondly, 'Elohim' is not plural. It is a noun which has one morphology which is used for both the singular and plural meanings. Used with singular verbs and adjectives, it is singular (not plural). You are repeating complete falsehoods. The fact is that 'elohim' with singular verbs refers to one person and it is this construction which is used 'exponentially' (to borrow your word), to refer to the true God.

Now to TWOT:
TWOT example: you forgot to quote that it does state that Elohim is the plural form as well as … that the majestic plural was used, according to Albright, from the tendency in the near ancient near east toward universalism to exalt pagan deities! [Paraphrase here to conserve thread space]
I didn't need to quote that it states that 'elohim' is the plural form as well, beause that is something I have been saying right from the start of this thread. Not only that, but I had already mentioned the fact that the majestic plural was used in the ANE by non-Hebrew pagans (by the way, please don't paraphrase as you only end up getting things wrong - you've misunderstood and misrepresented the article's use of the term 'universalism').
Later on it discusses… Direct quote: “That scripture itself where, in the very first chapter of Genesis regarding the necessity of a term to conveying both the unity of the One God and yet allowing the plurality of persons is found (Gen1:2,26). THIS is bore by the fact the Form Elohim only occurs in Hebrew and IN NO OTHER SEMITIC LANGUAGE, NOT EVEN BIBLICAL ARAMAIC....Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999, c1980). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press.

Plurality of persons! Why did you leave that out? Answer it does note agree with you position!
I left that out because it is called (in lexical tems), a 'gloss'. It is not part of the definition of the word, it is an intepretation of how the word is used in Genesis 1:26. It is exegesis, not lexicography. Not only that, but it is exegesis which is increasinbly rejected these days, even among modern evangelicals. Here's the New English Translation's footnote on Genesis 1:26:
The plural form of the verb has been the subject of much discussion through the years, and not surprisingly several suggestions have been put forward. Many Christian theologians interpret it as an early hint of plurality within the Godhead, but this view imposes later trinitarian concepts on the ancient text.

Some have suggested the plural verb indicates majesty, but the plural of majesty is not used with verbs. C. Westermann (Genesis, 1:145) argues for a plural of “deliberation” here, but his proposed examples of this use (2 Sam 24:14; Isa 6:8) do not actually support his theory. In 2 Sam 24:14 David uses the plural as representative of all Israel, and in Isa 6:8 the Lord speaks on behalf of his heavenly court. In its ancient Israelite context the plural is most naturally understood as referring to God and his heavenly court (see 1 Kgs 22:19-22; Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6; Isa 6:1-8). (The most well-known members of this court are God's messengers, or angels. In Gen 3:5 the serpent may refer to this group as “gods/divine beings.” See the note on the word “evil” in 3:5.)

If this is the case, God invites the heavenly court to participate in the creation of humankind (perhaps in the role of offering praise, see Job 38:7), but he himself is the one who does the actual creative work (v. 27). Of course, this view does assume that the members of the heavenly court possess the divine “image” in some way. Since the image is closely associated with rulership, perhaps they share the divine image in that they, together with God and under his royal authority, are the executive authority over the world.
Emphasis mine. There is nothing in TWOTs actual definition of the word 'elohim' which disagrees with my position. On the contrary, TWOT helpfully upholds my position, and contradicts yours:
The plural ending is usually described as a plural of majesty and not intended as a true plural when used of God. This is seen in the fact that the noun ’ĕlōhîm is consistently used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular.
So what it says is when used of God, the word 'elohim' is not intended as a true plural, as I said. Yet you claimed it is intended as a plural. So TWOT contradicts you here, and supports me. It also says that the singular use of 'elohim' is identified by the 'singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular', as I said. Yet you denied this. So TWOT contradicts you here, and supports me.
As for haElohim — the Hebrew definite article 'ha' prefix implies 'all the.' Massey gives an example of ha'yam — the People — but all the people are implied. Massey. Kieth Andrew, Doctorial Dissertations: “The Concord of Collective Nouns and Verbs in Biblical Hebrew: A Controlled Study, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998 p 28 and footnotes — order number 9825726.
I don't know why you posted this, since it doesn't tell you anything other than what I already told you. It says that the Hebrew word 'ha' is the definite article, which I already told you. Yet in this very post you contradict this by insisting that it is a 'prefix', and also contradict that by claiming it's part of the word 'elohim'.
haElihom used to denote many gods of the pagans then next use it as singular for the true God is very inconsistent with ancient Hebrew grammar of haElohim.
No, using 'ha Elohim' with a plural verb to denote many gods of the heathen, and then using 'ha Elohim' with a singular verb to denote the one true God, is not 'very inconsistent with ancient Hebrew grammar'. It is perfectly consistent, and if you actually read TWOT you'll find they tell you exactly that. Other standard lexical works such as Gesenius (very old, but still reliable in this case), Brown/Driver/Briggs (succeeded by HALOT, but still reliable in this case), and HALOT (the current authoritative Hebrew lexicon), will tell you the same.

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?

#20

Post by Pierac » Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:32 pm

I warned you B.W.

Not only did I warn you that you picked the wrong word! I also warned you against posting against Fortigurn with out research! I found out that he is a male and he e-mailed me to correct my mistake! Sorry it was my mistake, He had a China doll on the other forum and I assumed... well my bad!

I warned you Fortigurn is not some immature person on a forum site! He knows his topic/research. You don't post over 36,000 times without knowing your stuff!


Peace, and do your research before posting! it's embarrassing for you!

Paul

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#21

Post by zoegirl » Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:49 pm

oh please, let's lay off the insults here.

At eh heart of the issue, you guys disagree with what the word means. Quite honestly I see this thread derailing just like all the others. It is akin to me pointing to a table and saying "that's a table" and you disagreeing with what a table means "no, that's not a table" "Yes, that's a table" "No, its not" "You don't know your grammar" "You don't know your grammar either. We can never agree because no matter what we bring up, you will always end up saying "that's not what we understand that verse to mean" Why are we even talking about this again?

Obviously the trinity does not rest on one word (and I have no recollection of BW stating it did...rather it seemed he was building a case). As people have pointed out over and over, this is not a doctrine that is supportd by only one verse....BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT ISN"T AN ACCURATE DOCTRINE. And of course you disagree so don't bother bringing it up.

And Pierac, 36,000 posts does NOT necessarily indicate the validity of what someone is saying....it merely means they have said it...a lot! Obviously, Fortigurn is an expert on what he says, he says it over and over again on multiple websites. Doesn't make it right. (and yes, you disagree with that too)

Just frustrated with the fact that we will never go anywhere with this topic. you are still spouting out untruths about Christ and His deity and His part of the trinity. you won't change your mind and neither will we. We worship the triune God, three-in-one. Why bother with this anymore?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#22

Post by Pierac » Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:59 pm

Zoegirl my post was not meant as an insult. B.W. just picked the wrong word that's all!

Zoegirl wrote:
Just frustrated with the fact that we will never go anywhere with this topic. you are still spouting out untruths about Christ and His deity and His part of the trinity. you won't change your mind and neither will we. We worship the triune God, three-in-one. Why bother with this anymore?
Hey, we agree on something. However, This topic was not started by me.

I do have a suggestion. In stead of us posting our own personal opinions. How about doing some research into the writings of the early Church “fathers”? What did the early Christians write about who God is?

Any one can get a free copy of early Christian writings from e-sword under the downloads “Extra” section titled “Ante-Nicene Fathers (9 volumes).” It is an awesome FREE collection of early church writings.

Peace,
Paul

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#23

Post by B. W. » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:26 pm

Since Fortigrun is hogging all my time, I hope to answer Pierac as soon as I can. Sorry about this Pierac! Anyways, nice to know who the triangulators are! Also do not be so sure of yourself…

When I began this discussion I stated: 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.

My intent and let me clarify it again was to explore if the majestic plural noun really was any different than the collective plural noun. majestic plurals are in reality still plurals.

I took on the role against majestic plural nouns in order to bounce off varied ideas if these exist or if these were just plural collectives eventually leading back to the main point I made at the beginning — that this does not really matter — a plural us a plural.

Quote from me at beginning of topic: 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!

See link for definition of the word 'Numeric' American Heritage Dictionary:
1-Of or relating to a number or series of numbers: numerical order.
2-Designating number or a number: a numerical symbol.
3-Expressed in or counted by numbers: numerical strength. End Quote.


Next, I should also should have worded this sentence more clearly as : The doctrine of the majestic plural noun usage came [evolved] much later in history as a response formulated by cults and non-Christian groups to counter a Trinitarian view of God and would like to prove this.

These individuals use a numeric rationale with the majestic plural concept to denote that the plural Elohim was used to define God as singular number One with no plural collectiveness implied of persons due to rule that plural nouns must match singular verbs, etc so that Elohim is singular. Fortigrun continually stated this as fact that Elohim is a numerical symbol for a single person! So please do not accuse me of using the word 'numeric' wrongly!

I then went on to attempt to explore both sides of the debate concerning if Elohim, when used in reference to the true God, was either a plural collective noun or majestic plural noun. I should have stated this more clearly but wrongly assumed I had - My error. However, my point still stands: It does not really matter because both are plural forms.

Trinitarians look at both sides of a debate and let the reader decide. Fortigrun does appear to do this as his last postings amply demonstrate by his tone and it should reveal something of his character. I would never attempt use such techniques as his on his favorite Christdelphian Form as well as most certainly not attempt to triangulate nor would I attempt to discredit and kill the message by discrediting the messenger.

The Book - Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament [TWOT] is a neutral book and presents all sides. I did not mislead anyone as it does present Elohim as a plural. Unfortunately, people can misquote any source and use it wrongly as Fortigrun has and continues to do repeatedly time and again. So often that it is pointless to ask me to show him where as his intent is only to kill and discredit the messenger. Bully Bully.

If I was allowed to proceed as planned then two sides would have been presented so that both sides could have been examined but Fortigrun does not permit this type of exchange and never has or will. He just blast away and mouths off and tries everything to kill the messenger so that only his message is heard and none else. Fortigrun amply demonstrates this again on this thread. Note: If Moderators do decide to ban Fortigrun it will not be due to a lack of trying to have an honest dialogue with him — it will be solely for this reason — that it cannot be done. This does not prove him correct rather only a bully. We have tried and shown much grace - he shows none toward us as evidenced by his tone. [/b]

There are tremendous amounts of resources to back my position on the Trinity.

For example, in the book “Basics of Biblical Hebrew: Grammar (Hardcover) by Gary D. Pratico and Miles V. Van Pelt, they write Hebrew nouns function just like English nouns. They are used to indicate a person, place, or thing, or idea. Like nouns in English Hebrew nouns can either be singular or plural in number. But unlike English nouns they can also be dual in number, indicating a plurality of two (i.e., two eyes, two hands, etc). Hebrew nouns also have gender. They are either masculine and feminine.

In English, most nouns are pluralized with the addition of an “s” or “es.” Hebrew nouns pluralize in much the same way… Different endings are added to singular nouns in order to indicate the plural or dual forms. In Hebrew, however, the plural ending for a masculine noun is different from the plural ending for a feminine noun. Masculine singular nouns are endingless noun; that is, they have no distinctive endings. The plural and dual masculine endings are very distinct and for reason, easily to identify…EndQuote —See Link Here

That is why I went back to the post Fortigrun hated so much and added the links to English nouns, plus a quote, for the reader to read on how nouns work. The Hebrew word Elohim is a plural noun, plain and simple. .The Below Statements Quoted in Part from Book by Yoel Natan: The Jewish Trinity:
Collective nouns in Hebrew, whether singular or plural, can take both plural verbs and predicate and plural collective nouns can refer to a single group, and then take singular verbs and modifiers…

Genesis 41:57, “Moreover, all the earth [singular] came [plural verb] to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.” ESV - People came to Joseph, not the earth itself.

Genesis 1:14, “And God said, Let luminaries [Plural] be” [LITV] takes on singular verbs! And later plural verbs — should it not be luminary?

Genesis 35:11, “And God said to him, I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall be from you. And kings shall go forth from your loins.” ESV A nation and a company of nations — takes a singular verb.

Exodus 20:18, “Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes..” ESV the Plural people takes singular verbs.

And the word people in — Joshua 24:16, 21, 24takes on the plural verbs!

Joshua 24:21, “And the people said unto Joshua: 'Nay; but we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:24, “And the people said unto Joshua: 'The LORD our God will we serve, and unto His voice will we hearken.” JPS

Job 12:7, “But now please ask the animals, and they will teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;” [LITV] the plural word animals in Hebrew has singular verbs.

Isaiah 2:18, “And the idols shall utterly pass away” [JPS] The plural Idols takes the singular verb - pass away. END QUOTE from Yoel Natan's Book

Accordingly, should these not read different since the plural is used with singular verbs, etc? As Fortigrun so pointedly pointed out that the singular Plural noun is absolutely intensely singular due to the absolute necessity of matching the singular verb. Since the plural noun Elohim denotes a singular person due solely to matching with singular verbs, etc. Do these verses need changing!? What of these usages? And plurals with plural verbs should have an 's' or 'es' at least!

Now for the Doctrine of the Trinity see these links for an opposing view to Fortigrun's:

Please look over these NET web page articles:
1-NET Page Link
2-NET Page Link

Quote from NET website Article: NET Page Link It is one thing to say that God is three in one, but something altogether different to prove it. What is the Biblical testimony to the doctrine of the trinity? While the primary emphasis of the Old Testament is on the unity of God, the indications of His triunity are clearly seen even there. We need not read very far to find the first one: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). While the verb create is singular and thus should have a singular subject, Elohim, the Hebrew name for God in this verse, is plural. That may not prove the Trinity, but it definitely points to plurality of persons in the Godhead. There was no other logical reason to choose a plural name. Some have maintained that it is a plural of majesty, but that projects something to ancient Hebrew minds that they never considered. They addressed their kings in the singular. So, as startling as it may seem, the first time we meet God in the Old Testament there is evidence of plural personal distinctions in Him. - End Quote.

Quote from NET website Article: NET Page Link God. This frequently used Hebrew name for God (אֱלֹהִים,'elohim ) is a plural form. When it refers to the one true God, the singular verb is normally used, as here. The plural form indicates majesty; the name stresses God's sovereignty and incomparability — he is the “God of gods.” End Quote

This quote above points out my main point: "The plural form indicates majesty; the name stresses God's sovereignty and incomparability — he is the “God of gods." So if this plural collective noun is used as a majestic plural note that the plural form Elohim stresses [from the quote above] God's sovereignty and incomparability — he is the “God of gods.” — Note this is of class/kind/a group/a collective. That is why this plural form is translated God instead of Gods yet it is still classed as plural 'Gods' in the sense to stress a plural oneness! A unity — that God is unlike all others and thus truly God is a majestic plural One. The OT does reveal this fact and begins to reveal the persons of this majestic plural oneness.

This was my point. As I stated before — I do not care if the majestic plural is intended or not
- it is unimportant because even the majestic plural is still a plural word and should be understood in that light. If the term majestic plural needs to be added then its use only points out God's plurality of unity. That He is above all others! None Like him. THIS IS AND REMAINS MY MAIN POINT! And intended to lead to this by discussing and looking a majestic plural nouns and collective plurals: they are both plurals — so what???

EL could have been used instead if God-Elohim was not intended to stress a majestic quality of plural oneness but was not. EL-God could have been used if that was the intent of the numeric symbol the authors really intended as Fortigrun repeatedly cited by saying Elohim is singular number as a single person when used with singular verbs, predicates, etc. Yes - numeric!

However, this is not the case in all cases the word is used. Sometimes, along with singulars it is still translated gods and not god which is inconsistent to Cultist view points. More on this later if time permits.

Quote from NET website Article: Link to Quote Below
(Genesis 1:1). While the verb create is singular and thus should have a singular subject, Elohim, the Hebrew name for God in this verse, is plural. That may not prove the Trinity, but it definitely points to plurality of persons in the Godhead. -End quote-

That is majestic — how many times did I say this — Majestic plural One — which is the correct way to read Elohim in reference to the one true God. The majestic plural is still a collective plural or better stated — a unique united collective plural! What better way to describe God like none other?

Point: EL could have been used instead if God [Elohim-plural] was not intended to stress a majestic quality of plural oneness. There was no reason to write Elohim-plural if the singular form EL-God alone stresses without debate one person as one just one person. No need to confuse simple people with confusing usage of plural grammar just to cause them to stray from the one true God!

Quote from NET website Article: Quote from this NET Article In light of the strong declarations the Bible makes on monotheism, this is a perplexing assertion. However, the Bible is just as plain on this point. There is most definitely only One God, however, there is also a plurality, a “threeness” about God that the Bible expresses, which we cannot define in human terms in light of His one-ness. First, there are plural terms and names applied to God. The most prevalent in the Bible is the Hebrew Elohim. The Cults have invented all sorts of spurious reasons why the Bible might use such a plural term to describe the One God, but a few words from that old saint John Gill should put them to rest:

“Now Moses might have made use of other names of God, in his account of the creation; as his name Jehovah, by which he made himself known to him, and to the people of Israel; or Eloah, the singular of Elohim, which is used by him (Deut. 32:15-16) and in the book of Job so frequently; so that it was not want of singular names of God, nor the barrenness of the Hebrew language which obliged him to use a plural word; it was no doubt of choice, and with design . . .” (Body of Divinity, vol. 1, pp. 187-88). End Quote

And yes: Christdelphians are a Cult. 1 Christdelphians, 2- Christdelphians

Quote from NET website Article:Quote from NET website Article The most consistent doctrinal deviation found in the cults is their rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity. So far as we know every cult denies the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity in favor of some alternative view that they claim is actually closer to the biblical doctrine. — End Quote.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#24

Post by FFC » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:45 am

Please permit me to humbly intercede. Let's all take a deep breath. Zoegirl is right...this thread is definately getting ready to derail if something is not done.

Temperatures, as well as passions for this topic are running high. That's not a bad thing, but unless we concentrate on adressing and critiquing the material that is presented instead of putting our energy into trying to discredit the poster then we go nowhere. Making people defensive does nothing for our case....no matter what side of it we are on.

Whether we believe that Jesus is God in the flesh or not, the least we can do in this forum is to follow His example and show love and respect for each other.

Take care
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#25

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:12 am

Pierac wrote:He had a China doll on the other forum and I assumed... well my bad!
Actually it's a Korean cartoon character.
Zoegirl wrote:At eh heart of the issue, you guys disagree with what the word means.
At the heart of the issue, we disagree with what the word means because I am using standard lexical sources to demonstrate what the word means, and BW isn't. That's the real issue here. He even used a source which contradicted him completely on the issue. I have invited him twice to present his case to professional linguists and Bible translators, and thus far he has neglected to do so. It's not difficult to see why.
It is akin to me pointing to a table and saying "that's a table" and you disagreeing with what a table means "no, that's not a table" "Yes, that's a table" "No, its not" "You don't know your grammar" "You don't know your grammar either.
No it's not akin to that. In this case we have standard lexical authorities on one side, who agree (which I'm using), and other other side we have BW's opinion. The situation you describe could equally be settled simply by looking in a standard English dictionary and telling the person arguing with you that they're simply wrong. Then that situation would be akin to this one.
Obviously the trinity does not rest on one word (and I have no recollection of BW stating it did...rather it seemed he was building a case). As people have pointed out over and over, this is not a doctrine that is supportd by only one verse....BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT ISN"T AN ACCURATE DOCTRINE. And of course you disagree so don't bother bringing it up.
I haven't even once expressed a disagreement with the trinity on this thread. That would be irrelevant. What I have expressed disagreement with is BW's repeated misrepresentation of Hebrew grammar, and his repeated misuse and misunderstanding of English grammar (I mean honestly, the word 'Egypt' is not a 'plural noun').
And Pierac, 36,000 posts does NOT necessarily indicate the validity of what someone is saying....
Perfectly true.
it merely means they have said it...a lot! Obviously, Fortigurn is an expert on what he says, he says it over and over again on multiple websites.
Actually he's referring to the fact that I have over 36,000 posts on an entire range of subjects (it's not a case of me saying the same thing 'over and over again'), and those posts aren't on 'multiple websites', they're on one forum.
Doesn't make it right.
Absolutely true.
Just frustrated with the fact that we will never go anywhere with this topic.
We could if BW was actually arguing from a correct understanding of Hebrew and English grammar. Then we would have a basis for discussion. As it happens he's rejecting standard lexical authorities on this subject and making repeated mistakes.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#26

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:16 am

FFC wrote:Please permit me to humbly intercede. Let's all take a deep breath. Zoegirl is right...this thread is definately getting ready to derail if something is not done.
I did mention something which could be done. You could replace BW with someone who is better informed on the subject.
Temperatures, as well as passions for this topic are running high. That's not a bad thing, but unless we concentrate on adressing and critiquing the material that is presented instead of putting our energy into trying to discredit the poster then we go nowhere.
I agree entirely. I would prefer it if BW actually addressed the material I'm presenting (as I'm addressing the material he's presenting), instead of simply attacking me and repeatedly leveling false accusations. For example, he says 'Fortigrun continually stated this as fact that Elohim is a numerical symbol for a single person!', when I said no such thing, not even once. It's difficult to have a conversation with someone who just makes things up.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#27

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:12 am

This will fortunately be brief, since BW hasn't said anything new.

* 'I took on the role against majestic plural nouns':

Here's the problem - you have both opposed majestic plurals, and supported majestic plurals. You need to decide which view you hold, and stay with it.

* 'Next, I should also should have worded this sentence more clearly as : The doctrine of the majestic plural noun usage came [evolved] much later in history as a response formulated by cults and non-Christian groups to counter a Trinitarian view of God and would like to prove this'

Not only have you failed to prove this, I've proved that this statement is false (even as revised).

* 'These individuals use a numeric rationale with the majestic plural concept to denote that the plural Elohim was used to define God as singular number One with no plural collectiveness implied of persons due to rule that plural nouns must match singular verbs, etc so that Elohim is singular'

This is wrong on several counts. No one to the best of my knowledge has made the argument that 'the plural Elohim was used to define God as a singular number One'. In fact the opposite is true. As you've been told more than once, it is the singular use of 'elohim' which identifies God as one person (not more than one). You also claim that this argument (which was never actually made), was made on the basis of a 'rule that plural nouns must match singular verbs'. There is no such rule, and no one has appealed to such a rule. The rule at the heart of this issue is that the word 'elohim', when used with singular verbs, is singular not plural. You have helpfully cited a lexical authority which actually says this (even though you disagreed with it).

* 'Fortigrun continually stated this as fact that Elohim is a numerical symbol for a single person!'

I said no such thing, not even once. I said that the word 'elohim', when used with singular verbs, is singular not plural. You have helpfully cited a lexical authority which actually says this (even though you disagreed with it).

* 'I then went on to attempt to explore both sides of the debate concerning if Elohim, when used in reference to the true God, was either a plural collective noun or majestic plural noun'

The problem here is twofold. Firstly you didn't present 'both sides of the debate' accurately. Secondly, you didn't realise that among lexicographers there is no debate - it is recognized that 'elohim' with a singular verb refers to one person, whether used as a majestic plural or not. Not only that, but no lexical source of which I'm aware treats 'elohim' as a 'collective noun' in the plural.

* 'It does not really matter because both are plural forms'

They aren't. This is the point you keep missing. You keep treating 'elohim' as only a plural word. It isn't.

* 'The Book - Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament [TWOT] is a neutral book and presents all sides.'

It isn't a neutral book, it explicitly introduces theology into word studies.

* 'I did not mislead anyone as it does present Elohim as a plural'

You did misrepresent TWOT, firstly because it said that 'elohim' is not plural as you claim, but that it is a noun with a plural morphology which can be singular or plural, according to context. It also helpfully said that the way we identify whether or not the usage is plural is to look at the verb which accompanies it. If the verb is singular, it is being used in a singular sense. If the verb is plural, it is being used in a plural sense. I had already said this. You had denied it. So you read TWOT, didn't quote the part which contradicted your argument, and then went and disagreed with the very resource you quoted.

* 'If I was allowed to proceed as planned then two sides would have been presented so that both sides could have been examined but Fortigrun does not permit this type of exchange and never has or will'

This is completely false. As I have pointed out I have absolutely no control over this discussion. I can't edit your posts, as you edit mine. I can't ban you as you can ban me. I can't stop you posting whatever you like, and it is totally clear that 'both sides' are being presented here with complete freedom.

* 'That is why I went back to the post Fortigrun hated so much and added the links to English nouns, plus a quote, for the reader to read on how nouns work'

I didn't hate that post so much. I made the point that there was nothing you were saying there which was relevant to your argument. As I already pointed out, Hebrew nouns function in the same way as English nouns. I even gave several examples myself of English nouns of exactly the same type as the Hebrew noun 'elohim'. I also gave several examples of other Hebrew nouns of exactly the same type as the Hebrew noun 'elohim'. The problem was that you presented a misunderstanding of both the English grammar and the Hebrew grammar.

* 'The Hebrew word Elohim is a plural noun, plain and simple'

As I have demonstrated (referring to standard lexical sources, including one you quoted yourself), this isn't true. It is a noun with a plural morphology which can be singular or plural, according to context. It also helpfully said that the way we identify whether or not the usage is plural is to look at the verb which accompanies it.

* 'Collective nouns in Hebrew, whether singular or plural, can take both plural verbs and predicate and plural collective nouns can refer to a single group, and then take singular verbs and modifiers'

This is irrelevant, since 'elohim' is not a collective noun (and I've already corrected you on the issue of collective nouns).

* 'As Fortigrun so pointedly pointed out that the singular Plural noun is absolutely intensely singular due to the absolute necessity of matching the singular verb'

This is a very confused sentence. There is no such thing as a 'singular plural noun'. Nouns are either singular or plural. I never said anything about a 'singular plural noun'.

* 'EL-God could have been used if that was the intent of the numeric symbol the authors really intended as Fortigrun repeatedly cited by saying Elohim is singular number as a single person when used with singular verbs, predicates'

As I have pointed out (and indeed, as this very sentence points out), the fact that 'elohim' is singular when used with singular verbs is the very reason why 'El' was not necessary here. It's very simple.

* 'Now for the Doctrine of the Trinity see these links for an opposing view to Fortigrun's:'

I note that you're now changing the subject. Previously we were simply discussing Hebrew grammar. Now you want to just copy/paste quote after quote from articles written by trinitarians about why they believe in the trinity. But since a number of the articles you quote make the same grammatical errors you do, I'll correct them:

* '(Genesis 1:1). While the verb create is singular and thus should have a singular subject, Elohim, the Hebrew name for God in this verse, is plural'

This repeats the common mistake which BW has made. The Hebrew name for God in this place is not plural. It has a plural morphology but it is singular in meaning, as the singular verb tells us.

* 'That may not prove the Trinity, but it definitely points to plurality of persons in the Godhead. There was no other logical reason to choose a plural name.'

Again, the word 'elohim' is not plural here. It is singular. It is not a 'plural name'. In fact 'elohim' is not even a name.

* 'Some have maintained that it is a plural of majesty, but that projects something to ancient Hebrew minds that they never considered'

This contradicts BW completely, since BW has argued that the plural of majesty was used by 'ancient Hebrew minds', and was used right in this passage. But then BW has also argued that the plural of majesty was not used by the Hebrews, so we have to wait until BW has decided what to believe about this.

What is interesting is that BW presents us with two completely contradictory articles from the NET site. In this trintiarian article we are told that 'elohim' in Genesis 1:1 cannot be a majestic plural, yet in another trinitiarian article quoted by BW we are told that 'elohim' in Genesis 1:1 is a majestic plural.

Here they are together:
Some have maintained that it is a plural of majesty, but that projects something to ancient Hebrew minds that they never considered.
The plural form indicates majesty; the name stresses God's sovereignty and incomparability — he is the “God of gods.”
I have to wonder if BW has realised that he himself has argued both for and [/b]against[/b] the majestic plural, and that he has quoted one trintiarian arguing for the majestic plural in Genesis 1 and another trintiarian arguing against the majestic plural in Genesis 1?

* 'This frequently used Hebrew name for God (אֱלֹהִים,'elohim ) is a plural form. When it refers to the one true God, the singular verb is normally used, as here'

This is correct if by 'form' they mean 'morphology'. At least they don't claim that 'elohim' is a plural noun.

* 'The plural form indicates majesty; the name stresses God's sovereignty and incomparability — he is the “God of gods.”'

Actually as I've pointed out, there is no necessity to read a plural of majesty here because this is simply the correct grammar for using 'elohim' with a singular subject. But wait, this is a trinitarian telling us that 'elohim' here is a 'plural of majesty'. Yet BW tried to tell us this:
The doctrine of the majestic plural noun usage came [evolved] much later in history as a response formulated by cults and non-Christian groups to counter a Trinitarian view of God and would like to prove this.
Not only have I proved that this is false, but BW himself has argued supporting the majestic plural, and has in his last post presented an article by a trinitarian arguing that 'elohim' in Genesis 1:1 is a majestic plural. So both BW and the author of this article are using an argument which (according to BW), 'came [evolved] much later in history as a response formulated by cults and non-Christian groups to counter a Trinitarian view of God'. The confusion and contradiction of this position is clear.

The end of BW's post is a wholesale attack on the Christian denomination to which I belong, which certainly has nothing to do with this discussion (though those interested in a reply to Slick can see here, here, and here).

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#28

Post by FFC » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:25 am

Fortigurn,
I understand your concern. Maybe this little break in things can help us to step back and consider what we are posting and how we are reacting to others posts before putting anything forth. I have no authority here, but I can see that you and B.W. are intelligent individuals through which many of us can learn. None of us will agree with everything a person says but there is always the opportunity to learn something new, right.

Take care
FFC
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#29

Post by Byblos » Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:28 pm

Pierac wrote:I do have a suggestion. In stead of us posting our own personal opinions. How about doing some research into the writings of the early Church “fathers”? What did the early Christians write about who God is?

Any one can get a free copy of early Christian writings from e-sword under the downloads “Extra” section titled “Ante-Nicene Fathers (9 volumes).” It is an awesome FREE collection of early church writings.
What did the early Christians write about who God is? Let's see here . But if you (or anyone else) want to debate that please create another thread. This one is already fraught with a little too much machismo. :lol:
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#30

Post by FFC » Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:01 pm

Byblos wrote:
Pierac wrote:I do have a suggestion. In stead of us posting our own personal opinions. How about doing some research into the writings of the early Church “fathers”? What did the early Christians write about who God is?

Any one can get a free copy of early Christian writings from e-sword under the downloads “Extra” section titled “Ante-Nicene Fathers (9 volumes).” It is an awesome FREE collection of early church writings.
What did the early Christians write about who God is? Let's see here . But if you (or anyone else) want to debate that please create another thread. This one is already fraught with a little too much machismo. :lol:
Good link. It also seems to be fraught with a little machismo. :lol:
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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