Literal Vs. Actual

From the upcoming ‘Islam For Christians’ series…
Is there a difference between the ‘Literal’ word of God and the ‘Actual’ word of God?Slide14

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The Trinity vs. Modalism Pt. 1

The Bible teaches that within the nature of the one true God, there exist three separate and distinct persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are co-equal in nature and co-eternal. Contrary to the understanding of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims and Modalists, the Trinity is NOT three gods in one, neither is it One God appearing in 3 modes, or to use TD Jakes’ word ‘manifestations’ which is what the Apostolic faith teaches. (Yes Jakes is a modalist)

The crux of the Apostolic (Modalist) argument is that the Shema (Deut 6:4) says ‘One’

Deut 6:4: “Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one!”

The Hebrew word for one there is Echad. This is very important, as we will soon show. But first,  Genesis 1, specifically verse 26, and this is where we find: The Plural pronoun US, and the plural possessive OUR.

Gen 1:26 –  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

US, and OUR. Why is s singular person using plural pronouns? Some would be quick to say ‘well, God is speaking of The angelic class.’ But this is errant, as the next verse will show…

Gen 1:27 –  So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.

In the preceding verse before we see the plural pronoun US and also the plural word OUR. (Our image and our likeness), and then in verse 27 we have the word HIS which is singular possessive.

In Genesis 5:1-2 we find:

1 These are the family records of the descendants of Adam. On the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God; 2 He created them male and female. When they were created, He blessed them and called them man.

Note that the text says that he, (singular), made man in the likeness of God.

Once again, Gen. 1: 26 says ” let us (plural) make man in our (plural) image according to our (plural) likeness.”

Verse 27 says the man was made in his (singular) image.

We know that man is not made in the image of God and angels… So who is the ‘us?

This is the same situation seen in Isaiah 6, where we find this exchange:

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of The Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here I am. Send me. 9 And He replied: Go! Say to these people: Keep listening, but do not understand; keep looking, but do not perceive…

So, what are we to glean from this? Isaiah says that he heard the voice of The Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I, followed by US…hmmm..

Is God sending Isaiah out on behalf of the angels? No. We know that God does not share His Glory. Isaiah 42:8 – I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols.

Side Note: It is always useful in conversations with those who deny the deity of Christ, to read this verse and then this:

John 17:4-5 I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. 5 Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with that glory I had with You before the world existed.

 So who is this Plural ‘US’

 

Now to The Shema, and the word Echad:

Deut. 6:4 is a verse that those who deny The Trinity will bring up to you in their effort to disprove the Trinity, but does the verse really say what they think it says? In fact, it means just the opposite. That verse reads:

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

The word translated ‘one’ is the word Echad. It is an interesting choice of words, when you consider that The Holy Spirit could have used the word “yachid” , which means a solitary one.

Instead the Holy Spirit chose to use the Hebrew word, “echad” which is used most often as a unified one, and sometimes as numeric oneness. For example, when God said in Genesis 2:24 “the two shall become one flesh” it is the same word for “one” that was used in Deut 6:4, Echad

In fact, the word yachid, the main Hebrew word for solitary oneness, is never once used in reference to God.

Let’s look at Gen 2:24 again, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

There we see the compound unity. The same exact thing that YHWH is, compound unity, husband and wife become: Echad…

This is the same word used in Exodus 24:3, and many other places. And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. The word one there is Echad. In fact, take a moment to Googls the Hebrew Phrase ‘Kol Echad’ and see what results you get.

What is the point? God chose to use Echad (which can mean at times single oneness) to make the point about His being a compound Unity, instead of Yachid, which only ever means single oneness… There is more but that’s quite a lot.

SDG

Useful Links:

Oneness in unity not in number: Yachid vs. Echad

Debate: James White vs. David Bernard