Trinity – What is it?

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

#46

Post by B. W. » Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:17 am

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To be fair, I would like to show the other point of view and quote its summation and then comment on it in hopes of clearing the air:

Atricle by Nehemia Gordon Below
Summation
YHWH is referred to as Elohim (God) throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Although Elohim is a noun with the plural ending -im -ִים it does not mean "gods". Hebrew distinguishes between a numerical plural and a majestic plural by the verbs, adjectives, and pronouns that accompany the noun. A numerically plural noun gets plural verbs, adjectives and pronouns while a numerically singular noun, even with a plural ending, gets singular verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. Of course, when Elohim is used as a numerical plural meaning "gods", for example, when used by idolators to refer to their false gods, it does have plural verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. However, when referring to YHWH, Elohim always has singular verbs, adjectives, and pronouns, making it clear that it is a numerical singular, despite the plural suffix. There are only nine exceptions to this rule, three where Elohim has plural verbs and six where Elohim has plural adjectives. Yet even in these nine passages Elohim retains its meaning of a numerical singular. Thus we find the awkward statement: "He is a living Elohim" where the adjective "living" is plural alongside the singular pronoun "He". Such anomalies are best explained as "attraction", meaning that the singular verb or adjective is "attracted" by the plural suffix of Elohim and as a result it becomes plural. Although attraction is an exception to the general rule it is hardly rare in Hebrew and indeed is found in many languages, ancient and modern. We even have a parallel use of a majestic plural with plural verbs in the incident of the golden calf. Here Elohim is clearly meant as a numerical singular even though it is accompanied by a plural verb. This is also what is happening in the nine instances in which Elohim referring to YHWH has plural verbs or adjectives. Of course, these are rare cases occurring only nine times out of some 2000 appearances of Elohim.
YHWH is also referred to by the epithet Adonai (Lord) which is also a majestic plural with a numerically singular meaning. Like Elohim, Adonai always has singular verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. In Aramaic YHWH is also called Elyonin, Most High, another majestic plural
.-- End Quote

Quote - YHWH is referred to as Elohim (God) throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Although Elohim is a noun with the plural ending -im -ִים it does not mean "gods". End Quote

You maybe surprised that Trinitarians agree with this statement! You should never translate this as gods. The difference is that we see the plural retained in the word and not removed; therefore, One but Plural demonstrating everything that God is and does! That is Majestic !

How can God be majestic if you remove what makes him unlike all others viva the use of grammar rules? Also note that because one is a universalist does not qualify nor grant them supremacy in bible interpretation. The Religious leaders of Jesus' time were universalist, they fought hard to discredit him. What would make you think the same would not be true today?

No one is trying to deny the Oneness of the true one God — we are instead trying to preserve the plural retained in the word and not use a singular argument that removes what makes God truly — None like Him!

Why do we retain this concept of God being One yet retain a plural intensive distinctiveness describing all that God is and does that which makes him great, absolute, and majestic? - Because the Bible teaches this from context not just grammar alone.

Quote from article: "The meaning of the plural suffix in the majestic plural is not that there is more than one of the noun, but that the noun is "great, absolute, or majestic". End Quote.

The only disagreement is that Trinitarians do not attempt to remove any part of what makes God great, absolute, and majestic while the opponents obfuscate with grammar and in reality do remove any true majestic distinctiveness by reducing only to singular.

Also note there are more than nine contradictions to 2000 mentioned in the article. There are many more used with Elohim as well as with other words, people, children, gods, Yahweh, etc, it takes time to research it out that show grammar is not consistent with its own rules. Be unbiased and ask why would I want to subtract from what makes God truly unlike all others and reduce any part of what makes Him truly great, absolute, majestic!

Trinitarians read Elohim as One but do not reduce God to be like the other singular gods of the ancients or the gods of this world as universalist in essences do! Now I hope you can see the difference between the Trinitarian view as opposed to the universalist! That is my Point.

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
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#47

Post by Fortigurn » Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:52 am

BW, you've made another incredible error:
You should never translate this as gods.
That is not what the article you quoted says. On the contrary, when 'elohim' is accompanied by a plural verb it is always translated 'gods', save for in the nine exceptions in which the singular subject is identified by other means.

This part of what you quoted is completely true, and is exactly what I have been saying all along:
A numerically plural noun gets plural verbs, adjectives and pronouns while a numerically singular noun, even with a plural ending, gets singular verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. Of course, when Elohim is used as a numerical plural meaning "gods", for example, when used by idolators to refer to their false gods, it does have plural verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. However, when referring to YHWH, Elohim always has singular verbs, adjectives, and pronouns, making it clear that it is a numerical singular, despite the plural suffix. There are only nine exceptions to this rule, three where Elohim has plural verbs and six where Elohim has plural adjectives. Yet even in these nine passages Elohim retains its meaning of a numerical singular.
In other news:

* 'How can God be majestic if you remove what makes him unlike all others viva the use of grammar rules?'

No one is doing any such thing.

* 'Also note that because one is a universalist does not qualify nor grant them supremacy in bible interpretation. The Religious leaders of Jesus' time were universalist, they fought hard to discredit him. What would make you think the same would not be true today?'

This is a very bizarre set of statements. No one has said anything about Universalists. I have no idea why you said all this. The religious rulers of Christ's day were anything but Universalists.

* 'The only disagreement is that Trinitarians do not attempt to remove any part of what makes God great, absolute, and majestic while the opponents obfuscate with grammar and in reality do remove any true majestic distinctiveness by reducing only to singular'

No, the real problem is that you don't understand the grammar, neither in English nor in Hebrew. Even a 'majestic plural' still has a singular subject. That's the point. The noun 'elohim' when used as a majestic plural is a singular noun, not a plural noun.

* 'Also note there are more than nine contradictions to 2000 mentioned in the article'

The article doesn't mention any 'contradictions' at all (certainly not '200'). It mentions 9 exceptions, which all fall within other grammatical rules.

* 'There are many more used with Elohim as well as with other words, people, children, gods, Yahweh, etc, it takes time to research it out that show grammar is not consistent with its own rules.'

This is untrue. The grammar is entirely consistent. Exceptions within grammar do not mean that the grammar is inconsistent. Exceptions to the rule do not alter the rule that 'elohim' with singular verbs always refers to a singular subject. That 'elohim' with plural verbs refers (in 9 cases), to a singular subject is a weakness for the case that 'elohim' is always a plural noun, not my case.

* 'Trinitarians read Elohim as One but do not reduce God to be like the other singular gods of the ancients or the gods of this world as universalist in essences do!'

No, you haven't been reading 'elohim' as one. You've been arguing dogmatically that it means more than one.

* 'Now I hope you can see the difference between the Trinitarian view as opposed to the universalist!'

The views of Universalists are not, and never have been, anything to do with the issues we've been discussing.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#48

Post by Pierac » Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:48 pm

Jac3510 wrote:
I'd rather not be a buzzkill or whatever, but let me broadly say (as a staunch Trinitarian), that I don't think the word elohim contributes whatsoever to the debate. It is not a "plural" noun, as has been noted. It is a word with a single morphology, and therefore, it sometimes is used as a plural, and othertimes it is used as a singular. I don't even think you can say that when it refers to God it must have some plurality of some sort involved as this would be a case of special pleading. Look, the fact that elohim is used to refer to individual human beings and even individual pagan dieties (who we ALL agree do not exist in a plurality of persons) should put the cap on the debate with regard to the word's relationship to the Trinity.

As far as why we would find words like El and Eloah, I think it's a rather simple question with a simple answer. First, there is nothing anywhere in the rules of logic, theology, nor any type of communication in general that restrict language to one word to refer only to one broad concept. As much of a copout as it sounds, if someone asks, "Well why would Moses use the word El here???" we could well reply, "Because he wanted to."

Second, it is of interest that Elohim isn't used in conjunction (that I'm aware of) with other words as El is (i.e., El Shaddai). If, then, a writer wanted to use one of these forms, then El would be both in order and specifically called for.

Third, it is well noted that some writers simply prefer one word to the other. El, for instance, is found very often in Job and Psalms, far moreso than Elohim. We must not forget in our affirmation of the inspiration of Scripture that human beings still have stylistic tendancies.

Now, those are just some broad ideas that are in no way intended to be final. I believe that it would make for a very worthwhile study to look into the aspects of God's nature being emphasized by each of these words. For instance, in my own studies, I've come to the conclusion that Yehweh is used strictly with reference to the covenantal aspect of God's nature, whereas Elohim emphasizes God's universal sovereignty. Given the fact that El was the simple proper name of many of the surrounding pagan dieties, the word may emphasize (I'm only guessing here) the personal aspect of God's might as opposed to His strict and absolute authority so obvious in Elohim. Whatever the reasons, my point is that they could well exist, and there seems to me to be a strong enough base of evidence in their favor to warrant further study and, in the mean time, to hold off making theological conclusions based on one usage vs. another.

It just seems to me that there are MUCH better arguments in favor of the Trinity than this one . . .

God bless
It just seems to me that there are MUCH better arguments in favor of the Trinity than this one . . .


I tried to tell them Jac this was not a good word to use. Fortigurn has been eating their lunch on this one!

Paul

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#49

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:34 pm

Yes, but, no offense, when it comes from "your side," it sounds condescending. What you are saying is, "Not only do I not believe in the Trinity, but out of all the arguments I've surveyed, none of which are convincing, this is the least convincing of them all." That's fine and good, but it goes back to an argument I was having with Fortigurn a while back in which he cut me off and said it didn't matter what I had to say. Fine then. No discussion is necessary, not there, and not here.

The only reason I mentioned my two cents worth was that so those interested could see that there are Trinitarians who openly acknowledge this argument as flawed, much as there are YEC'ists who openly acknowledge flawed arguments that support their theories.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#50

Post by Fortigurn » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:05 pm

Jac3510 wrote:That's fine and good, but it goes back to an argument I was having with Fortigurn a while back in which he cut me off and said it didn't matter what I had to say. Fine then. No discussion is necessary, not there, and not here.
That is not what I said. You have truncated my sentence and taken it completely out of context. The point I made was that whatever else you said there were certain passages you had to deal with, which contradicted what you were saying. The point I was making was the same point I had made before, that regardless of how many times you presented your interpretation of specific passages of the Bible, your interpretation could not contradict the passages I cited, and you had to find some way of reconciling what you inferred from a handful of verses with what a number of other passages taught explicitly.

I did not cut you off at all. I spent the rest of my post engaging your arguments in detail. I had been inviting detailed responses for days, and not once did I ever refuse the discussion or cut anyone off.
The only reason I mentioned my two cents worth was that so those interested could see that there are Trinitarians who openly acknowledge this argument as flawed, much as there are YEC'ists who openly acknowledge flawed arguments that support their theories.
I hope BW takes note.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#51

Post by B. W. » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:26 pm

There is no reason for Trinitarians to fear and tremble before the oppositions claim to grammar fame and renown as though they are the final arbitrators judging truth. Hebrew grammar is full of flaws. Let me point one of these flaws out for you:

First let me quote parts from the oppositions Atricle by Nehemia Gordon: "However, when referring to YHWH, Elohim always has singular verbs, adjectives, and pronouns, making it clear that it is a numerical singular, despite the plural suffix. There are only nine exceptions to this rule, three where Elohim has plural verbs and six where Elohim has plural adjectives… Of course, these are rare cases occurring only nine times out of some 2000 appearances of Elohim…YHWH is also referred to by the epithet Adonai (Lord) which is also a majestic plural with a numerically singular meaning.” End Quote

There are more than nine exceptions, I will demonstrate one now. Notice Mr. Gordon's article makes a case that all other cases of Elihom are correct and that when referring to the True God, it is to be translated as majestic. This is not one of the exceptions but rather one of the 2000.

In Ezekiel 34 we find the Lord God speaking against the shepherds [Leaders] of Israel for failing their duties:

Ezekiel 34:4-6, “The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. 6 My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.” ESV

Now notice:

Ezekiel 34:7-10, "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8 As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10 Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.” ESV

Because the people of God have become prey and become food for the wild beast and since some of the leaders only feed themselves while others do not seek the sheep while others teach things that make the sheep prey. God himself will put a stop their feeding of the sheep — stop them from being Leaders of the people.

Ezekiel 34: 11-14, "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel.” ESV

Who will search for the sheep? - None other than God and who will feed them? None other than Yahweh himself. He will seek the lost and gather them back — none other.

Ezekiel 34:15, “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. 17 "As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats.” ESV

Only the Yahweh himself will judge between the sheep!

Ezekiel 34:22, “I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the [Yahweh] LORD, will be their [Elohim] God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the [Yahweh] LORD; I have spoken.” ESV

Here it speaks of the Messiah being of the line of David. Here Yahweh is declaring in context that He will come through this line as Messiah because only He will judge the between the sheep, feed his flock, he alone will search out the lost and only He will be the true Shepherd of his people.

Ezekiel 34:25-31, "I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. 27 And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the land devour them. They shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. 29 And I will provide for them renowned plantations so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the reproach of the nations. 30 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord GOD. 31 And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God [Elohim], declares the Lord GOD [Yahweh] ." ESV

How do you know this Messiah will be God and not some form of agent? First, he sets up an everlasting kingdom. The kingdoms of this world will pass away and burn up. His will be a heavenly kingdom and not an earthly nation as enemies will be no-more. A new kingdom will be established and a people to inhabit it.

Next, the last verse tells you who the Messiah is — the servant like David shall be prince [prince means — one lifted up to become chief]. David was lifted up to be king in a recognizable manner and had to wait for God to deal with Saul [a symbol of the bad shepherds]. Likewise the Messiah will be lifted up in some recognizable manner that marks him as King! A King that ushers in a Kingdom not made by human hands: 31 And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God [Elohim], declares the Lord GOD [Yahweh]
."

Note verse 14: “I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel.”

Note verse15, “I will feed My sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.” JPS or as the ESV says — “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD.”

Note verse: 23-24 23, “And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the [Yahweh] LORD, will be their [Elohim] God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the [Yahweh] LORD; I have spoken.” ESV

God said he will feed his sheep and no one else. This mean he will rely on no other shepherd other than himself! Then the true Messiah, his servant, is none other than himself as it is written in verse 31, “And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God [Elohim], declares the Lord GOD [Yahweh]."

You can construct the Hebrew grammar and use the bad shepherd's language to twist this to mean that the Messiah is only a mere human being and none other — yet verse 31, “And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God [Elohim], declares the Lord GOD [Yahweh] ." Says otherwise: That the Lord Yahweh will come as a man to be lifted up as King as only HE WILL FEED HIS SHEEP AND NO-OTHER. Messiah and God are one.

Jesus said in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” ESV

He was referring to Ezekiel 34 concern that he was this true good shepherd.

John 10:25-31, “Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one." 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.” ESV

Why did they pick up stones against Jesus? Because He did not agree with these bad shepherds doctrine concerning the Messiah.

John 3:14, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

The shepherd lifted up.

Matthew 27:37, “And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." ESV

A King lifted up…

John 18:36-37, “Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." 37 Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."

Only who can forgive the sins of mankind? Only who can save?

Matthew 27:54, “When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!” ESV

Earlier:

Matthew 26:63-66, “But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death." ESV

What Sin deserving of death! God forgave and then…

Isaiah 25:8-9, “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. 9 It will be said on that day, "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." ESV

Isaiah 33:22, “For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.” ESV

Isaiah 45:21-22, “Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. 22 "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.”

Ezekiel 34: 31, “And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God [Elohim], declares the Lord GOD [Yahweh] ."

John 10: 3, “The Jews [meaning the Leaders the shepherds not the people] picked up stones again to stone him.” ESV

Quote from the opposition from Atricle by Nehemia Gordon “However, when referring to YHWH, Elohim always has singular verbs, adjectives, and pronouns, making it clear that it is a numerical singular, despite the plural suffix. YHWH is also referred to by the epithet Adonai (Lord) which is also a majestic plural with a numerically singular meaning.” End Quote

Jesus is Elohim — the Majestic 2nd person of God's Trinity. Grammar alone lacks content. Without content, you have no substance, and without context you cannot translate anything.
Point: You would have to unmake the majestic usage of Yahewh and Elohim used in Ezekiel 34 to say Jesus was not God manifest in the flesh — none like God — the arm of the Lord revealed!

Hebrew grammar, is inconsistent as it clearly reveals who the Messiah really is — God manifest in the flesh. Do not be afraid of those that make great claims regarding grammar as these arguments lack substance. What makes you think modern day bad shepherds will not stop at any means to still stone Christ at every chance they get and use any and all means — grammar included to destroy Christ again.

Next Post:

I am working on the next post. In it, we'll look at how Hebrew grammar became corrupted and what this passage of scripture is saying for us today:

Isaiah 28:11-14, “For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the LORD will speak to this people, 12 to whom he has said, "This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose"; yet they would not hear.” ESV

One of the greatest sins was to take away from the plural majesty of God and turn this into a common thing, just like any other singular alone deity from the pagan world. The Plural Majestic of God's true greatness is his Pluralness: Father Son and Holy Spirit. God is unlike all others. He is incomprehensible. There is none like the Lord God. No graven image can be made of this! His glory can only be reduced by the mind of men fashioned into an image of their own creation, yes, even by grammar.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#52

Post by Fortigurn » Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:08 pm

B. W. wrote:There is no reason for Trinitarians to fear and tremble before the oppositions claim to grammar fame and renown as though they are the final arbitrators judging truth. Hebrew grammar is full of flaws.
Hebrew grammar is not 'full of flaws', and nor does the article you quote say so.
Let me point one of these flaws out for you:

First let me quote parts from the oppositions Atricle by Nehemia Gordon: "However, when referring to YHWH, Elohim always has singular verbs, adjectives, and pronouns, making it clear that it is a numerical singular, despite the plural suffix. There are only nine exceptions to this rule, three where Elohim has plural verbs and six where Elohim has plural adjectives… Of course, these are rare cases occurring only nine times out of some 2000 appearances of Elohim…YHWH is also referred to by the epithet Adonai (Lord) which is also a majestic plural with a numerically singular meaning.” End Quote

There are more than nine exceptions, I will demonstrate one now.
I have already addressed this. The exceptions are not 'flaws', they obey other Hebrew rules of grammar. Exceptions within grammar do not mean that the grammar is inconsistent. Exceptions to the rule do not alter the rule that 'elohim' with singular verbs always refers to a singular subject. That 'elohim' with plural verbs refers (in 9 cases), to a singular subject is a weakness for the case that 'elohim' is always a plural noun, not my case.
Grammar alone lacks content. Without content, you have no substance, and without context you cannot translate anything.
The first sentence here doesn't mean anything. The first half of the second sentence isn't relevant, and although the last half of the second sentence is true it isn't relevant to this case.

I strongly suggest you take note of the advice other trinitarians here are giving. There is no argument to be made for the trinity from the words 'elohim' and 'echad'. You'll only get into more trouble than you can manage, since both of these words are used in the Old Testament repeatedly to speak of God as one person.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#53

Post by Byblos » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:55 am

Fortigurn wrote:I strongly suggest you take note of the advice other trinitarians here are giving. There is no argument to be made for the trinity from the words 'elohim' and 'echad'. You'll only get into more trouble than you can manage, since both of these words are used in the Old Testament repeatedly to speak of God as one person.
The thread title is the Trinity and what it is, not the words 'elohim' and 'echad'. I believe the discussion is moving on along those lines so let's progress with it.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#54

Post by FFC » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:08 am

Fortigurn wrote:I did not cut you off at all. I spent the rest of my post engaging your arguments in detail. I had been inviting detailed responses for days, and not once did I ever refuse the discussion or cut anyone off.
Yeah, Jac, I think Fortigurn is being sincere when he says that it wasn't his intention to cut you off. Come on back if you have time.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#55

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:14 am

That is not what I said.
I beg your pardon, but that is exactly what you said. I quoted you. I didn't paraphrase or interpret your words. I quoted them. Your argument is like Clinton's argument that "I didn't say willing suspension of belief!" You took that out of context!!!" Well, either you said it or you didn't. In our case, you did say it.
You have truncated my sentence and taken it completely out of context.
I didn't take anything out of context. I saw exactly what you were getting at, which is exactly what you just said, and responded appropriately. If it doesn't matter what I say (it doesn't matter the reasoning behind it), then there is no need to have the discussion unless debates are the end themselves rather than the means to a greater end. I have much better things to do with my time than discuss basic theology proper with someone who doesn't care what I have to say on the subject anyway.
The point I was making was the same point I had made before, that regardless of how many times you presented your interpretation of specific passages of the Bible, your interpretation could not contradict the passages I cited, and you had to find some way of reconciling what you inferred from a handful of verses with what a number of other passages taught explicitly.
In other words, my interpretation of my passages can't contradict your interpretation of your passages. Are you really so arrogant as to think that the passages you cite and affirm I also do not cite and affirm? But regardless, the point is STILL the same. Even if I were to rebut every single one of your arguments--even if BW were to present some amazing new, as of yet undiscovered evidence to rebut all your arguments in THIS thread--well, then to use your words, it wouldn't matter what he, or I, had to say. You have your interpretation of other passages, and that is all that matters. I don't know why anyone takes the time to discuss this with you. The only one here who takes your general position seriously, I imagine, is Pierac. Whether or not you are right about the word elohim isn't all that important, in light of your own words, anyway. So what benefit is there in having the discussion?
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#56

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:19 am

FFC wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:I did not cut you off at all. I spent the rest of my post engaging your arguments in detail. I had been inviting detailed responses for days, and not once did I ever refuse the discussion or cut anyone off.
Yeah, Jac, I think Fortigurn is being sincere when he says that it wasn't his intention to cut you off. Come on back if you have time.
I'm sure he is very sincere that isn't his intention. Fortigurn seems to like debate for debate's sake. I don't. He would be perfectly willing to enjoy it as nothing more than an academic exercise. That isn't my interest. If I felt like there were people here who were in danger of falling for his overall arguments, then I'd respond. But I don't. I could be wrong, but I don't see anybody here reading a Fortigurn post and saying, "Ya know . . . maybe he's right. Maybe the Trinity is wrong after all!"

So his intention may not have been to cut me off. Quite the contrary. But he meant what he said, which was that it didn't matter what I had to say. So, my response is fine, I won't say anything else.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#57

Post by YLTYLT » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:29 am

Fortigurn wrote:I have never appealed to Deuteronomy 6:4 in order to define the word 'elohim'. You were the one who raised this verse. You made a false claim about the word echad, just as BW has repeatedly made false claims about the word elohim. I have presented the evidence which demonstrates your errors. Please address it. And please, do yourself a favour and take your arguments to B-Hebrew if you really believe they are true.
Firstly, Fortigurn I did not bring up this verse. Periac was the one that brought it up, to prove that Elohim was one person. I only showed that that same word was used elsewhere and did not mean one person.

Secondly you did state that the use of 'echad' in Gen 2:24 did not mean a numeric one person. YOU need to read your own posts.

Thirdly, I do not nor have I ever denied that the word means "one". The only question at hand is, does it always mean one person. And by your own admission it does not. And only context can determine if it means one person, or one flesh, or one in unity, or one in thought, one in understanding, one in agreement, one in power, one in mercy, one in grace, or one of something else.

I only said that, because of the way it is used in Gen 2:24, that it leaves open the possiblity that the word Elohim may be more than one person. That it thats all that my only point. I am not talking about any other verses, just this one alone, because this is the one that was brought up to try to prove that God is one person.
Last edited by YLTYLT on Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#58

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:49 am

Jac3510 wrote:
That is not what I said.
I beg your pardon, but that is exactly what you said. I quoted you. I didn't paraphrase or interpret your words. I quoted them. Your argument is like Clinton's argument that "I didn't say willing suspension of belief!" You took that out of context!!!" Well, either you said it or you didn't. In our case, you did say it.
The problem is that you haven't quoted me accurately. You truncated my sentence, taking the first phrase out of context. I did not merely say 'It doesn't matter what you say', as you claim.
I didn't take anything out of context.
Yes you did. You even had to cut that phrase out of the entire sentence, and represent me as having said that and nothing else
I have much better things to do with my time than discuss basic theology proper with someone who doesn't care what I have to say on the subject anyway.
Not once have I ever said that I don't care what you have to say on the subject.
In other words, my interpretation of my passages can't contradict your interpretation of your passages.
No, that is not what I said or meant.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#59

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:11 am

Your whole sentence was:
You wrote: It doesn't really matter what you say, because you can't contradict Psalm 33:6, you can't contradict Genesis 1, and you can't contradict the explicit teaching of the apostles, who consistently taught only that Jesus is a man.
That's no different from what you said above. You have YOUR interpretation of Ps 33:6 and Gen 1, and other verses. Therefore, it doesn't matter what I, or anyone else, has to say. Even if we proved EVERY one of your other arguments wrong, it is a waste of time to have the discussion because of YOUR interpretation of those other verses.

So, I did NOT take what you said out of context. I saw exactly your meaning, and responded. You may not have liked my response, but I don't like having discussions that are a waste of time.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#60

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:42 am

YLTYLT wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:I have never appealed to Deuteronomy 6:4 in order to define the word 'elohim'. You were the one who raised this verse. You made a false claim about the word echad, just as BW has repeatedly made false claims about the word elohim. I have presented the evidence which demonstrates your errors. Please address it. And please, do yourself a favour and take your arguments to B-Hebrew if you really believe they are true.
Firstly, Fortigurn I did not bring up this verse.
I didn't say you were the first to raise it, I said you were the one who appealed to it, not me.
Periac was the one that brought it up, to prove that Elohim was one person. I only showed that that same word was used elsewhere and did not mean one person.
Periac raised Deuteronomy 6:4 in order to prove that YHWH is one person. In this, he was correct (the passage identifies YHWH as one person). He never claimed that 'elohim' only meant 'one person'. Indeed, if you read his post you will see he said nothing about 'elohim' in Deuteronomy 6:4. Nor did he say anything about the word 'echad'.

But in your post you made this claim about 'echad':
This word (one) comes from the Hebrew word “'echad” and can mean, “compound unity.”
That claim simply isn't true, as I demonstrated.
Secondly you did state that the use of 'echad' in Gen 2:24 did not mean a numeric one person. YOU need to read your own posts.
No, what I said was that it didn't mean a compound unity, and I said that it means one (specifically, 'one flesh'):
Even a simple glance in a standard lexicon will inform you that the word 'echad' simply means 'one'. It does not mean 'compound 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.
But of course it doesn't mean 'a numeric one person' in Genesis 2:24. It means 'one flesh', as I said. It isn't counting persons at all, it's counting 'flesh'. As I said to you:
My point was that you argued this verse can be used as evidence of the trinity, because (as you claimed), 'echad' is a 'compound unity'. In fact this verse cannot be used as evidence for the trinity, and 'echad' is not a 'compound unity'.
In order for 'echad' to describe a group of persons which are unified (which isn't actually the trinity, but anyway), the persons would need to be referred to in the text. We know that 'echad' is used in Genesis 2 to describe two persons (separate beings), who become 'one' in a figurative sense (where the word 'echad' here still means just 'one', and does not mean 'a compound unity'), because both persons are referred to. But in the case of 'YHWH our Elohim is one YHWH', we only have one person referred to (as indicated by the singular verb). This affirms YHWH is one person.
This verse says God is one, whereas trinitarians say God is three in one. The difference is fairly obvious. The verse uses a singular verb, indicating only one person.
If there's still a problem, please let me know what it is.
Thirdly, I do not nor have I ever denied that the word means "one".
I know you haven't. What you've done is claim that it can mean 'a compound unity' (not it can't), and you have also claimed that in certain passages it does not mean 'one' (when in fact it does).
The only question at hand is does it always mean one person.
No that is not the question at hand. Firstly that is not the issue you raised (nor was it raised by anyone else). Secondly the question at hand (raised by you), was whether or not it could mean 'a compound unity' (you claimed it can, but in fact it doesn't).
And by your own admission it does not.
Er, what do you mean my 'admission'? Of course it doesn't always mean 'one person'. This has never been in dispute. I have never said that it can only mean one person (as opposed to one stone, one stick, one goat, etc). I have only said that when it is used it only means one of something. As I said in my own posts, right from the start, it can mean one flesh, it can mean one person, it can mean one ram - but it always means one, not 'a compound unity'.
And only context can determine if it means one person, or one flesh or one in unity, or one in thought, one in understanding, one in agreement, one in power, one in mercy, one in grace, or one of something else.
You're repeating what I've already said. Except that (as I have already pointed out more than once), regardless of context the word 'echad' always means one in every example you've given. That's right, one, not 'a compound unity'.
I only said because of the way it is used in Gen 2:24, that it leaves open the possiblity of the word Elohim being more than one person.
Now we're back to square one. Firstly, the way it is used in Genesis 2:24 is the way it is used throughout Scripture. There is nothing special about the way it is used in Genesis 2:24. In that passage it means 'one', just as it means 'one' in other passages. Secondly (as I have already said), the meaning of 'echad' has absolutely no bearing whatever on the meaning of 'elohim'. Thirdly, I have already made the point myself that 'elohim' can refer to more than one person, but only when it takes a plural verb.

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