Let Us make....in Our image

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
The edge
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Let Us make....in Our image

#1

Post by The edge » Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:45 am

How do we reconcile Gen 1:26 with the One God concept?

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Re: Let Us make....in Our image

#2

Post by Felgar » Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:19 am

The edge wrote:How do we reconcile Gen 1:26 with the One God concept?
The Father communicating with the Son. If anything it supports the Trinity, and then that ties directly in with the New Testament: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1-5

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#3

Post by The edge » Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:53 pm

Is God then a collective term....like people, herd

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#4

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:32 pm

God is often called "Elohim," which is a plural form (see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05393a.htm). Some suggest this name of God represents a plural of majesty, greatness, and abstraction. It certainly fits in with a Trinitarian concept, where God is seen as one consisting of three persons.

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#5

Post by bob2010 » Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:09 pm

check out Proverbs 8:21-30 and Colossians 1:16-17


EDIT: fixed Proverbs link
Last edited by bob2010 on Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#6

Post by The edge » Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:21 am

bob2010 wrote:check out Proverbs 8:21-22 and Colossians 1:16-17
sorry, I don't get the point from the 2 quotes?

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#7

Post by bob2010 » Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:17 am

well somehow, i didnt give you all of the proverbs passage. it should go to verse 30, but i dont know if it would have made more sense.
Col 1:17 says that Christ was there before all things. Proverbs 8:23 says Wisdom was there before all things. it also connects Christ with Wisdom, which is important when one starts to look at the divine claims of Jesus and trinitarianism.

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Singular not plural...

#8

Post by monotheist » Fri May 12, 2006 4:00 pm

God wasn't talking with someone when He said, "Let us make man into our image...". He was talking about Himself. The words that would signify a plurality, is actually singular. No other being has the same power as God. We all bare witness to that. This kind of thing is more comprehensible to the eastern world. Unlike those in the western world, many people speak as "we", "us", "them", "they", etc, eventhough they're talking about themselves, and no one else. It's all singular. This doesn't mean God was talking to Jesus, or whoever. God does all the work, no one else can do what God can do. For God is limitless. He is not constrained to anything.

For more information, look here: http://wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/libr ... /ch14.html

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#9

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:59 am

From the footnote on Genesis 1:26 in the New English Translation (a standard evangelical translation):
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 mankind (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.
At this point we turn to the NET's note on Psalm 8:5:
Psalm 8:
8:5 and make them almost like the heavenly beings?"

16tn Heb “and you make him lack a little from {the} gods {or “God”}.” The Piel form of rsj, “to decrease, to be devoid,” is used only here and in Eccl 4:8, where it means “to deprive, to cause to be lacking.” The prefixed verbal form with vav consecutive either carries on the characteristic nuance of the imperfect in v. 5b or indicates a consequence (“so that you make him…”) of the preceding statement (see GKC §111.m). Some prefer to make this an independent clause and translate it as a new sentence, “You made him….” In this case the statement might refer specifically to the creation of the first human couple, Adam and Eve (cf. Gen 1:26-27).

The psalmist does appear to allude to Gen 1:26-27, where mankind is created in the image of God and his angelic assembly (note “let us make man in our image” in Gen 1:26).

However, the psalmist's statement need not be limited in its focus to that historical event, for all mankind shares the image imparted to the first human couple. Consequently the psalmist can speak in general terms of the exalted nature of mankind.

The referent of <yhla (elohim, “God” or “the heavenly beings”) is unclear. Some understand this as a reference to God alone, but the allusion to Gen 1:26-27 suggests a broader referent, including God and the other heavenly beings (known in other texts as “angels”).

The term <yhla (elohim) is also used in this way in Gen 3:5, where the serpent says to the woman, “you will be like the heavenly beings who know good and evil.” (Note Gen 3:22, where God says, “the man has become like one of us.”) Also <yhla (elohim) may refer to the members of the heavenly assembly in Ps 82:1, 6. The LXX (the ancient Greek translation of the OT) reads “angels” in Ps 8:5 (this is the source of the quotation of Ps 8:5 in Heb 2:7).
Again, the NET Bible interprets the phrase 'Let us make man in our image as referring to both God and His angelic assembly.

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#10

Post by R7-12 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:04 pm

The responsibility of the physical creation was given by God the Father to the one who would become the Messiah (John 1:3).

It was this elohim (the Captain of the armies of THE YHVH of Hosts) who spoke to all the other loyal elohim or host of God under his command when he said, "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness."

So elohim created man in his own image, in the image of elohim he created him; male and female he created them.

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#11

Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:05 pm

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-tex ... is1-26.htm

I. Plural pronouns used of God proving the trinity:

Click here for detailed study of plural references to God

A. Three plural pronouns, (We, Us, Our) used 6 different times in four different passages. Remember the word God (elohim) is also plural every time it is used in the Old Testament. Gen 11:7 also includes a plural verb (confuse) which even further, through grammar reinforces the plural "elohim" and the plural pronoun US.

1. "Our" Gen 1:26
2. "Us" Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8
3. "We" Isa 6:8

B. These are the four passages where God speaks for Himself and uses plural pronouns:

1. "Then God [plural elohim] said, "Let Us [plural pronoun] make man in Our [plural pronoun] image, according to Our [plural pronoun] likeness" Genesis 1:26
2. "Then Yahweh God [plural elohim] said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us [plural pronoun], knowing good and evil" Genesis 3:22
3. "Come, let Us [plural pronoun] go down and there confuse [plural form of balal] their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech." Genesis 11:7
4. "Then I heard the voice of the Lord [plural elohim], saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us [plural pronoun]?"" Isaiah 6:8

II. Christ is the identical image of God, angels are not

A. Jesus Christ is our co-creator who is the exact image of God.

1. "see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. " 2 Corinthians 4:4
2. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. " Colossians 1:15
3. "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, " Hebrews 1:3

B. There is no reason to suggest the plural pronoun is the "plural of Majesty", since both Jesus and the Father are described as having the same image.

Click here for a full discussion of "plural of Majesty"

III. Angels are not included in "we" and "us":

A. Anti-Trinitarians claim that when God said, "Let US make man in OUR image". (Gen 1:26) he was speaking to angels.

1. Angels are not created in the image of God, only man.
2. If angels are included in "Let US make", then angels AND God are equally our creator.
3. Jehovah's Witnesses actually get this one right: The US includes (at least) the Father and Jesus in this creation. Jesus, being God, is the creator of all things:
"All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. " John 1:3

IV. Christ cannot be the angel Michael the arch-angel:

1. Jehovah's Witnesses are taught through their Watchtower, that Jesus is the created arch-angel named Michael. This is false doctrine and heresy.
2. Hebrews 1:5 proves Jehovah's Witnesses false teachers when they say Jesus is an angel: "For to which of the angels did He ever say, "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again, "I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me"? " (Hebrews 1:5) Of course the answer is rhetorical: God never said to any angels "Today I have begotten You". But he did say this to Jesus. Therefore Jesus cannot be an angel, but we begotten at his resurrection as Acts 13:33 says, thereby fulfilling Ps 2:7.
3. The self contradictory doctrine of the Watchtower has Jesus the creature, functioning as our co-creator (Jn 1:3; Col 1:16). But this violates Rom 1:25:
"worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator". This passage teaches that if Jesus is the creator, as the Bible says he is, then he cannot be a creature. Jesus cannot be creator and creature at the same time!

V. The apostolic Fathers unanimously taught that the "we" in Gen 1:26, refers to the trinity:

More trinity quotes from the apostolic Fathers

1. 74 AD Epistle of Barnabas: "For the Scripture says concerning us, while He speaks to the Son, "Let Us make man after Our image, and after Our likeness" (Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter VI.—The Sufferings of Christ, and the New Covenant, Were Announced by the Prophets.)
2. 150 AD Justin Martyr: Speaking of Jewish theologians Justin calls the Jewish teaching that God spoke to angels a hersey: "In saying, therefore, 'as one of us, '[Moses] has declared that [there is a certain] number of persons associated with one another, and that they are at least two. For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you (The Jews had their own heresies which supplied many things to the Christian heresies) is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that [God] spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures." (Dialogue of Justin Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew: Chapter LXII.—The Words "Let Us Make Man")
3. 180 AD Irenaeus "It was not angels, therefore, who made us, nor who formed us, neither had angels power to make an image of God, nor any one else, except the Word of the Lord, nor any Power remotely distant from the Father of all things. For God did not stand in need of these [beings], in order to the accomplishing of what He had Himself determined with Himself beforehand should be done, as if He did not possess His own hands. For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom, freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, "Let Us make man after Our image and likeness; " [Gen. 1:26]" (Against Heresies 4:20:1).
4. 200 AD Tertullian: "If the number of the Trinity also offends you, as if it were not connected in the simple Unity, I ask you how it is possible for a Being who is merely and absolutely One and Singular, to speak in plural phrase, saying, "Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness; " whereas He ought to have said, "Let me make man in my own image, and after my own likeness," as being a unique and singular Being? In the following passage, however, "Behold the man is become as one of us," He is either deceiving or amusing us in speaking plurally, if He is One only and singular. Or was it to the angels that He spoke, as the Jews interpret the passage, because these also acknowledge not the Son? Or was it because He was at once the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that He spoke to Himself in plural terms, making Himself plural on that very account? Nay, it was because He had already His Son close at His side, as a second Person, His own Word, and a third Person also, the Spirit in the Word, that He purposely adopted the plural phrase, "Let us make; "and, "in our image; "and, "become as one of us." (Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Chapter XII. Other Quotations from Holy Scripture Adduced in Proof of the Plurality of Persons in the Godhead.)
5. 200 AD Tertullian: Tertullian rejects the idea that God was speaking to Angels because our head is the creator, not a creature: "Since then he is the image of the Creator (for He, when looking on Christ His Word, who was to become man, said, "Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness"), how can I possibly have another head but Him whose image I am? For if I am the image of the Creator there is no room in me for another head" (Tertullian, Book V, Elucidations, Chapter VIII.—Man the Image of the Creator, and Christ the Head of the Man.)
6. 200 AD Tertullian: "In the first place, because all things were made by the Word of God, and without Him was nothing made. Now the flesh, too, had its existence from the Word of God, because of the principle, that here should be nothing without that Word. "Let us make man," said He, before He created him, and added, "with our hand," for the sake of his pre-eminence, that so he might not be compared with the rest of creation." (Tertullian: On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Elucidations, Chapter V.—Some Considerations in Reply Eulogistic of the Flesh. It Was Created by God.)
7. 250 AD Ignatius "For Moses, the faithful servant of God, when he said, "The Lord thy God is one Lord," and thus proclaimed that there was only one God, did yet forthwith confess also our Lord [Jesus] when he said, "The Lord [Jesus] rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord." And again [he confessed a second time our Lord Jesus by saying], "And God said, Let Us make man after our image: and so God made man, after the image of God made He him."" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Antiochians, Chapter II.—The True Doctrine Respecting God and Christ.)
8. Origen: "it was to Him that God said regarding the creation of man, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." (Origen Against Celsus, Book V, Chapter XXXVII)
9. Novatian: "For who does not acknowledge that the person of the Son is second after the Father, when he reads that it was said by the Father, consequently to the Son, "Let us make man in our image and our likeness; " and that after this it was related, "And God made man, in the image of God made He him? "Or when he holds in his hands: "The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord from heaven? " (A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity, Chapter XXVI. Argument.—Moreover, Against the Sabellians He Proves that the Father is One, the Son Another.)
10. Constitutions of the Holy Apostles: "the divine Scripture testifies that God said to Christ, His only-begotten, "Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness. And God made man: after the image of God made He him; male and female made He them."(Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Book V., VII)



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#12

Post by R7-12 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:13 pm

The host of heaven are sons of God and therefore elohim (Hebrew) or theoi (Greek).

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#13

Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:14 pm

http://www.velocity.net/~edju/web/Trinity3.htm

Part 3: The Early Church Fathers And Genesis 1:26

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God ('elohiym) created the heaven and the earth.

The word used for God in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim. We cannot forget that it was the Holy Spirit who has inspired all Scripture, and here He used a word for in a plural form:

ELOHIM 430. 'elohiym, el-o-heem'; plur. of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in the plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:--angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

In verse 2, we see see the word Elohim used again:

Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God ('elohiym) moved upon the face of the waters.

In this verse, we see that it was the Spirit of Elohim who "moved upon the face of the waters." In other words, the words "the Spirit of God" partly describes the plurality that is described in verse 1.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (KJV)

Who is God speaking to? "Us" is clearly "first person plural." And "Elohim" is plural. Was He speaking to angels? If so, then they must have been "creators" as well. However, the Bible is very clear that God created all things through Jesus Christ (John 1:1,2, Eph. 3:9, Col. 1:16, Heb. 1:2). Even the angelic beings point to God alone as creator (Rev. 4:11, Rev. 10:6). God Himself states clearly that He alone is responsible for creation (Neh. 9:6, Isa. 44:24).

Here is Justin's view (early 2nd century) concerning Genesis 1:26 (From the Dialogue with Trypho - a Jew):

"CHAPTER 62

“And the same sentiment was expressed, my friends, by the word of God (written) by Moses, when it indicated to us, with regard to Him whom it has pointed out, that God speaks in the creation of man with the very same design, in the following words: 'Let Us make man after our image and likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creeping things that creep on the earth. And God created man: after the image of God did He create him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and have power over it. And that you may not change the (force of the) words just quoted, and repeat what your teachers assert, — either that God said to Himself, 'Let Us make,' just as we, when about to do something, oftentimes say to ourselves, 'Let us make;' or that God spoke to the elements, to wit, the earth and other similar substances of which we believe man was formed, 'Let Us make,' — I shall quote again the words narrated by Moses himself, from which we can indisputably learn that conversed with some one who was numerically distinct from Himself, and also a rational Being. These are the words: 'And God said, Behold, Adam has become as one of us, to know good and evil.' In saying, therefore, 'as one of us,' (Moses) has declared that (there is a certain) number of persons associated with one another, and that they are at least two. For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that (God) spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with Him; even as the Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon calls Wisdom, was begotten as a Beginning before all His creatures and as Offspring by God, who has also declared this same thing in the revelation made by Joshua the son of Nave(Nun). Listen, therefore, to the following from the book of Joshua, that what I say may become manifest to you; it is this: 'And it came to pass, when Joshua was near Jericho, he lifted up his eyes, and sees a man standing over against him. And Joshua approached to Him, and said, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And He said to him, I am Captain of the Lord's host: now have I come. And Joshua fell on his face on the ground, and said to Him, Lord, what commandest Thou Thy servant? And the Lord's Captain says to Joshua, Loose the shoes off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. And Jericho was shut up and fortified, and no one went out of it. And the Lord said to Joshua, Behold, I give into thine hand Jericho, and its king, its mighty men.'”

Here, also is a quote from Tertulian:

TERTULLIAN, AGAINST MARCION, BOOK V, CHAPTER 12

If the number of the Trinity also offends you, as if it were not connected in the simple Unity, I ask you how it is possible for a Being who is merely and absolutely One and Singular, to speak in plural phrase, saying, “Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness;” whereas He ought to have said, “Let me make man in my own image, and after my own likeness,” as being a unique and singular Being? In the following passage, however, “Behold the man is become as one of us,” He is either deceiving or amusing us in speaking plurally, if He is One only and singular. Or was it to the angels that He spoke, as the Jews interpret the passage, because these also acknowledge not the Son? Or was it because He was at once the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that He spoke to Himself in plural terms, making Himself plural on that very account? Nay, it was because He had already His Son close at His side, as a second Person, His own Word, and a third Person also, the Spirit in the Word, that He purposely adopted the plural phrase, “Let us make;” and, “in our image;” and, “become as one of us.” For with whom did He make man? and to whom did He make him like? (The answer must be), the Son on the one hand, who was one day to put on human nature; and the Spirit on the other, who was to sanctify man. With these did He then speak, in the Unity of the Trinity, as with His ministers and witnesses In the following text also He distinguishes among the Persons: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him.” Why say “image of God?” Why not “His own image” merely, if He was only one who was the Maker, and if there was not also One in whose image He made man? But there was One in whose image God was making man, that is to say, Christ's image, who, being one day about to become Man (more surely and more truly so), had already caused the man to be called His image, who was then going to be formed of clay — the image and similitude of the true and perfect Man."

IRENAEUS, AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK IV, PREFACE

"But now, since the last times are (come upon us), evil is spread abroad among men, which not only renders them apostates, but by many machinations does (the devil) raise up blasphemers against the Creator, namely, by means of all the heretics already mentioned. For all these, although they issue forth from diverse regions, and promulgate different (opinions), do nevertheless concur in the same blasphemous design, wounding (men) unto death, by teaching blasphemy against God our Maker and Supporter, and derogating from the salvation of man. Now man is a mixed organization of soul and flesh, who was formed after the likeness of God, and molded by His hands, that is, by the Son and Holy Spirit, to whom also He said, “Let Us make man.” This, then, is the aim of him who envies our life, to render men disbelievers in their own salvation, and blasphemous against God the Creator."

CHAPTER 20

1. As regards His greatness, therefore, it is not possible to know God, for it is impossible that the Father can be measured; but as regards His love (for this it is which leads us to God by His Word), when we obey Him, we do always learn that there is so great a God, and that it is He who by Himself has established, and selected, and adorned, and contains all things; and among the all things, both ourselves and this our world. We also then were made, along with those things which are contained by Him. And this is He of whom the Scripture says, “And God formed man, taking clay of the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life.” It was not angels, therefore, who made us, nor who formed us, neither had angels power to make an image of God, nor any one else, except the Word of the Lord, nor any Power remotely distant from the Father of all things. For God did not stand in need of these (beings), in order to the accomplishing of what He had Himself determined with Himself beforehand should be done, as if He did not possess His own hands. For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom, freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, “Let Us make man after Our image and likeness;” He taking from Himself the substance of the creatures (formed), and the pattern of things made, and the type of all the adornments in the world."

Genesis goes on to tell us that it was God Himself who created man.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (KJV)

It is quite clear then that the "us" and "our" first personal plural pronouns all refer to God Himself! Therefore, God (Elohim) is a plurality! Their is no escaping this fact! Since God's statement, "let US make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness" absolutely requires a cooperation among a plurality of beings, all of which are included in the plural title, "Elohim," we are forced to conclude that God the Creator is a plural being. Each part of the Godhead can think and communicate with the others. This verse shows independant thought and cooperation within a plural being. Yet, Elohim moves and works as one, to accomplish one purpose, creation.

The second chapter is just as important to our study. There is a rule in Biblical interpretation called the "Rule of First Mention." Basically, this is the idea that the best way to understand a particular word or concept in Scripture is to find where it is first mentioned in Scripture. Since a major part of our study concerns the difference between what it means to be absolutely solitary, vs., what it means to be UNITED, God provides us with the perfect example, contrasting these two ideas, and defines the terms for us.

Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be ALONE; I will make him an help meet for him. ...
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (KJV)

The word "alone" in verse 18 is the Hebrew word "bad" which means "solitary." This is exactly what "Oneness" folks claim for God. However, God said this was not a good situation for His creature, Adam. So, He made a woman from Adam's rib. She was "bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh." Why do you think God did this? Why didn't He just make a woman from the dust as He had made Adam? I submit that it is an illustration of the unity found in God. As the Trinitarian creeds state, the Son is of "one substance" with the Father, just as Eve was "one substance" with Adam. Adam was not alone any more. God says that it is His plan that husband and wife become "one" flesh when they marry. The word "one" is translated from the Hebrew word "echad" which is nearly identical to our English word "one." It can mean the number "one," or it can mean united. In this case, since it is used in opposition to the idea of being "alone," and is the REMEDY for being "alone," it is clear that Adam and Eve became "united."

While the above passage does not directly give us revelation knowledge of God Himself (apart from typology), it does define the Hebrew terms that God later used to describe Himself.

As we progress through the Torah (books of Moses), we find that by far the most common referrence to "God" is the word "Elohim" (the plural title for "God"). It is used over 800 times, second only to the name "Jehovah" (YHVH) which is used about 1800 times. So, this plural title for God is never far from the reader of the Hebrew Torah.

The next significant statement regarding God's essense is found in Deut. 6. For the sake of clarity, I am going to use the Hebrew plural title "Elohim" as well as the name "Jehovah" for the Hebrew, YHVH.

Deut 6:1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which JEHOVAH your ELOHIM commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
2 That thou mightest fear JEHOVAH thy ELOHIM, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as JEHOVAH ELOHIM of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
4 Hear, O Israel: JEHOVAH our ELOHIM, JEHOVAH is one:
5 And thou shalt love JEHOVAH thy ELOHIM with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (KJV)

Since "Elohim" is a plural word, it is clear that Moses is saying that Jehovah is UNITED. He is NOT three Gods. The creation account, where God said, "let US make man...," and the use of the plural "Elohim" could lead one to conclude that Israel worshipped multiple Gods. Not so, says Moses! While not denying the plurality of God, Moses has actually said that the name "Jehovah" is ONE, belonging to "Elohim." In other words, "Jehovah" is the name of the unified "Elohim." Up to this point, all revelation of Elohim was plural! So, the assumption could easily be made that there were separate Gods. But, Moses indicated that Jehovah is one. He used the same word God used to refer to husband and wife being "one" flesh. There are other cases where this word "one" (echad) refers to a compound unity, that is a unit made up of several. At the Tower of Babel, God said the people are "one." Such usage of the word "echad" indicate that it does not mean absolutely solitary, but like our English word "one" it can mean united.

We must ask, what is the significance of Moses' statement about Jehovah's being "one?" If he meant to teach "Oneness," then he used a very poor choice of words. The Hebrew word "bad" (alone) or "yachiyd" (solitary) would have been much better choices. If Moses was teaching "Oneness" in the sense of denying the Trinitarian "compound-unity" idea, then the normal use of language would require him to use a word which absolutely forbids a plurality. The choice of words must eliminate the possibility of plurality. But he chose no such word! Instead he chose a word that was actually used to CONTRAST the idea of being "alone." Therefore, there is no logical reason to assume from this verse that God is anything other than "one" in the same sense that husband and wife are "one" flesh. You see, the burden of proof is clearly on the Oneness folks to prove that God is absolutely a solitary being. Why? Because PREVIOUS REVELATION has already portrayed Him as a plural being! It is obvious then that Oneness folks simply do not have the goods here. The apparent superficial "proof" that Oneness folks claim by pulling this verse out of the context of the Torah, suddenly evaporates when seen with the backdrop of what God had already revealed!

(The above was written from a forum message by Tim Warner.)
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

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#14

Post by R7-12 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:35 pm

The Supreme Deity can only be singular as He is essentially good, the source of all that is good and the only one who is good.

Thus two sources of good cannot exist co-eternally which results in two true Gods.

Jesus Christ declares his God and His Father as the only one who is good thereby excluding himself from co-equality and co-eternality (Matthew 19:17).

Scripture is clear, everlasting life is predicated upon knowing the Only True Theos and Jesus Christ who was sent by the Only True Theos and who therefore cannot be the Only True Theos (John 17:3).

A proper translation of Phillipians 2:6-9 (the RSV is close) shows that Christ did not consider equality with his God and Father something to be grasped for as did the Adversary when he declared, "'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God...I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:13a & 14). Rather, he voluntarily gave up his life as a spirit son of God to become fully human so that he could qualify to become the Passover lamb of God and completely give his life for all creation. That is the concept of a whole burnt offering which pictured Christ and is also the reason nothing of the Passover meal was to remain until morning.

Christ humbled himself and was obedient as a human being to the point of real and complete death.

Christ was resurrected by his God and Father and accepted as the Wave Sheaf offering becoming the author of salvation. Therefore, his God and Father has exalted him and GIVEN him a name (a name from the Father) which is above every name (except his Father's).

The law requires the payment of life for sin, thus Christ could not be God as the Father is God because he would have to give up his life in the truest sense of what that simple concept means.

God cannot become a sacrifice unto Himself. In other words, God cannot offer Himself to Himself as the sacrifice - it is a logical absurdity and wholly unscriptural.

Dividing Christ into two natures was an attempt at explaining how a supposed God can die as a sacrifice and yet not die at the same time. It is unbiblical in concept and unsupported by scripture because it too is a logical absurdity.

I'm not trying to offend anyone, it's just my position on the matter.

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#15

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:14 am

Gen. 1:26 is a reference to the Trinity. All the discussion about plurality of majesty and angelic courts, etc., are, in my mind, rationalizations that are based on a failure to accept the revealed nature of this passage.

Look at it this way: Moses did not get the creation story from oral tradition. He may have gotten the Abraham narrative, the account of the Flood, and possibly even the Cain/Abel stuff a bit from tradition, but he most certainly did not get the seven day creation account in the form recorded by Scripture.

He went up on Sanai, and God revealed to Him the things the Exodus generation needed to know, beginning with creation. Moses wrote it down. So, when God says, "And I said this . . .", Moses wrote it down. Does it matter whether or not Moses understood the ramifications of some of the things he wrote? Of course it doesn't . . . consider Is. 54:9, "He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth." (NIV) It's clear from the parallelism that Isaiah figured the rich were the wicked, but we know from the fulfillment that the rich refers to Joseph of Arimethia who was certainly not wicked. Yet he was buried along with the wicked, and we have no doubt of that! There is, then, a sense in which a prophet can say something and not realize the implications of his own words (cf. John 11:50).

Moses may have thought God was using a plurality of majesty . . . he may not have been totally sold on monotheism. He may have thought God had other subgods that helped in the work. He may have thought God was talking about the angels. But, the Bible clearly teaches that it was Christ who made all things.

Secondly, God most certainly cannot be referring to an angelic court because of the word "image." It is the same word used throughout the OT for "idol." As we know, an idol is an image of an invisible deity. It is a representative of authority. Thus, Adam was an "idol" of God. He represented God's authority on earth to the rest of creation, which is why God placed Adam in the garden in the first place to subdue it. Adam was to exercise His God-ordained, indeed God-reflective, authority, and in doing so, God would be glorified. Now, angels have no such authority, and therefore, we cannot be in the "image" of an angel.

The conclusion isn't difficult . . . it is a seed of the Trinity, fully expanded on later as is everything else in Genesis 1-3, from the doctrine of man (1:26-28), to the doctrine of the Sabbath (2:2), to the doctrine of sin and death (2:15), to the doctrine of marriage (2:23-24), to the doctrine of Satan (3:1-3), to the doctrine of the depravity (3:7), to the doctrine of redemption (3:8), to the doctrine of the Curse (3:14-19), to the doctrine of salvation (3:15), to the doctrine of propitation (3:21), etc. That isn't all, but it's a good size sample. All of these are more fully expanded on throughout the Bible through progressive revelaton. The same goes with the Trinity.

Now, as an aside . . .

R7: Jesus did not deny His "goodness" in Matt. 19:17 . . . He did not say that only "My Father" was good. He said "only One is good." Understanding that Jesus is God, He was affirming His deity. "Yes," Jesus said, "I am good. But why do you call Me that? Do you understand what you are saying?" John 17:3 does say that we have to believe on "the one who sent" Jesus, but in order to do that, you have to believe in the messenger. This was a common way of putting things in the first century. The distinction between the messenger and the origin of the message was very blurry . . . to believe in God would mean to believe in Jesus. Besides, Jesus makes this abundantly clear in John 12:44, "Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me."

Concerning Phil. 2:5-11, rather than try to refute your claim that the emptying of Christ refers to His humiliation at the cross, I'll just point to John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." God became flesh, that is, God took on humanity, thus emptying Himself as per Phil. 2:5-11.

Everything else is philosophical/legal and not hard to debate . . . Scripture clearly declares that Jesus is God (John 1:1, 8:58, etc.). The simple fact that God created everything, and yet Jesus is said to have created everything is enough to prove that, aside from His own statements.

SO, yeah . . . too many words just to say that Gen 1 refers to the Trinity. I say it again: other understandings are rooted in a lack of trust, or at bare minimal, a very different understanding of, the inspiration of Scriptures.

God bless
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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