The Bible’s supreme proof text for telling the difference between the One God and the Messiah who is not God
This verse was referred to the Messiah by the Pharisees and by Jesus. It tells us that the relationship between God and Jesus is that of Deity and non-Deity. The Messiah is called adoni (my lord) and in every one of its 195 occurrences adoni (my lord) means a superior who is not God. Adonai on the other hand refers exclusively to the One God in all of its 449 occurrences. Adonai is the title of Deity and adoni never designates Deity.
If the Messiah were called Adonai this would introduce “two Gods” into the Bible and would be polytheism. Psalm 110:1 should guard us all against supposing that there are two who are God. In fact the Messiah is the supreme human being and agent of the One God. Psalm 110:1 is the Bible’s master text for defining the Son of God in relation to the One God, his Father.
Why is it that a number of commentaries misstate the facts about Psalm 110:1? They assert that the word for the Messiah in Psalm 110:1 is adonai. It is not. These commentaries seem to obscure a classic text defining God in relation to His Son. The Hebrew text assigns to the Messiah the title adoni which invariably distinguishes the one addressed from the Deity. The Messiah is the supreme human lord. He is not the Lord God (cp. I Tim. 2:5; I Cor. 8:4-6; Mark 12:28ff).
Why is the Messiah called adoni (my lord) and never adonai (my Lord God)?
“Adonai and Adoni are variations of Masoretic pointing to distinguish divine reference from human.”
Adonai is referred to God but Adoni to human superiors.
Adoni — ref. to men: my lord, my master [see Ps. 110:1]
Adonai — ref. to God…Lord (Brown, Driver, Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, under adon [= lord]).
“The form ADONI (‘my lord’), a royal title (I Sam. 29:8), is to be carefully distinguished from the divine title ADONAI (‘my Lord’) used of Yahweh.” “ADONAI— the special plural form [the divine title] distinguishes it from adonai [with short vowel] = my lords” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “Lord,” p. 157).
“Lord in the OT is used to translate ADONAI when applied to the Divine Being. The [Hebrew] word…has a suffix [with special pointing] presumably for the sake of distinction…between divine and human appellative” (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, “Lord,” Vol. 3, p. 137).
“Hebrew Adonai exclusively denotes the God of Israel. It is attested about 450 times in the OT…Adoni [is] addressed to human beings (Gen. 44:7, Num. 32:25, II Kings 2:19 [etc.]). We have to assume that the word adonai received its special form to distinguish it from the secular use of adon [i.e., adoni]. The reason why [God is addressed] as adonai, [with long vowel] instead of the normal adon, adoni or adonai [with short vowel] may have been to distinguish Yahweh from other gods and from human lords” (Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, p. 531).
“The lengthening of the ā on Adonai [the Lord God] may be traced to the concern of the Masoretes to mark the word as sacred by a small external sign” (Theological Dictionary of the OT, “Adon,” p. 63 and Theological Dictionary of the NT, III, 1060ff. n.109).
“The form ‘to my lord,’ l’adoni, is never used in the OT as a divine reference…the generally accepted fact that the masoretic pointing distinguishes divine references (adonai) from human references (adoni)” (Wigram, The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the OT, p. 22) (Herbert Bateman, “Psalm 110:1 and the NT,” Bibliothecra Sacra, Oct.-Dec., 1992, p. 438).
Source: Adonai and Adoni (Psalm 110:1)
Restoration Fellowship is dedicated to recovering the beliefs of the first-century disciples of Jesus, the Messiah. Sound theology begins with the creed to which Jesus subscribed in Mark 12:28-29 — the creed of Israel (Deut. 6:4) — and the Gospel about the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus commanded belief in that Gospel Message in contrast to much modern evangelism which often ignores Jesus’ Message about the Kingdom of God.
Restoration Fellowship was founded by Sir Anthony Buzzard, Bt., MA (Oxon.) MA Th. in 1981. The subject matter of literature is not new and has been held by small groups of believers throughout the centuries, notably by some Anabaptists and the Church of God General Conference whose headquarters and college, Atlanta Bible College, are located in McDonough, GA, USA.
Source: Restoration Fellowship
The One God has been addressed by different names in Bible:
“ELAH” is the name for God, used about 70 times in the Old Testament. It is very similar to Arabic “Allah” or ‘Eelah’. إِلٰهَ Elahh [hla]‘ (Aramaic; el-aw’): corresponding to God. [Arabic Bible uses ‘Allah’ for God] In Hebrew [hwla] ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; probably prolonged (emphat.) from [la]‘el ale; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. Again, when combined with other words, we see different attributes of God. Some examples: Elah Yerush’lem – God of Jerusalem: (Ezra;7:19), Elah Yisrael – God of Israel: (Ezra;5:1), Elah Sh’maya – God of Heaven:(Ezra 7:23). Elah Sh’maya V’Arah – God of Heaven and Earth: (Ezra;5:11).
NT quotes Jesus Christ using Aramaic ELI (God):-
46ܘܠܐܦܝ ܬܫܥ ܫܥܝܢ ܩܥܐ ܝܫܘܥ ܒܩܠܐ ܪܡܐ ܘܐܡܪ ܐܝܠ ܐܝܠ ܠܡܢܐ ܫܒܩܬܢܝ ܀
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”[Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, Psalm 22:1]
περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων· Ἠλὶ ἠλὶ λεμὰ σαβαχθάνι; τοῦτ’ ἔστιν· Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες;
ونحو الساعة التاسعة صرخ يسوع بصوت عظيم قائلا ايلي ايلي لما شبقتني اي الهي الهي لماذا تركتني.
Hebrew Text Psalm 22:1
לַ֭מְנַצֵּחַ עַל־אַיֶּ֥לֶת הַשַּׁ֗חַר מִזְמֹ֥ור לְדָוִֽד׃ אֵלִ֣י אֵ֭לִי לָמָ֣ה עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי רָחֹ֥וק מִֽ֝ישׁוּעָתִ֗י דִּבְרֵ֥י שַׁאֲגָתִֽי׃
’ê-lî אֵלִ֣י My God [http://biblehub.com/text/psalms/22-1.htm ]
The Islamic way to profess faith is to recite, declare; Kalimah Tayyibah kalimat aṭ-ṭaiyibah (Word of Purity), shahada.
لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله
‘lā ilāha illā -llāh, muḥammadur rasūlu -llāh
There is no god (ilaha) but Allah, [and] Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
The Arab Christians also use ‘Allah’ as name of God in the Arabic Bible.
The other names of God mentioned in Bible are:
“EL” is another name used for God in the Bible, showing up about 200 times in the Old Testament. El is the simple form arising from Elohim, and is often combined with other words for descriptive emphasis. Some examples: El HaNe’eman – The Faithful God: (Deuteronomy 7:9). El HaGadol – The Great God: (Deuteronomy 10:17). El HaKadosh – The Holy God: (Isaiah 5:16). El Yisrael – The God Of Israel: (Psalm 68:35). El HaShamayim – The God Of The Heavens: (Psalm 136:26). El De’ot – The God Of Knowledge: (1 Samuel 2:3). El Emet – The God Of Truth: (Psalm 31:6). El Yeshuati – The God Of My Salvation: (Isaiah 12:2). El Elyon – The Most High God: (Genesis 14:18). Immanu El – God Is With Us: (Isaiah 7:14). El Olam – The God Of Eternity (Genesis 21:33). El Echad – The One God: (Malachi 2:10). “Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us?” [Malachi;2:10]
“ELOHIM” (or Elohay) is the first name for God found in the Bible, and it’s used throughout the Old Testament over 2,300 times. Elohim comes from the Hebrew root meaning “strength” or “power”, and has the unusual characteristic of being plural in form. In Genesis 1:1, we read, “In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth.” Right from the start, this plural form for the name of God is used to describe the One God, a mystery that is uncovered throughout the rest of the Bible. Throughout scripture, Elohim is combined with other words to describe certain characteristics of God. Some examples: Elohay Kedem – God of the Beginning: (Deuteronomy 33:27). Elohay Mishpat – God of Justice: (Isaiah 30:18). Elohay Selichot – God of Forgiveness: (Nehemiah 9:17). Elohay Marom – God of Heights: (Micah 6:6). Elohay Mikarov – God Who Is Near: (Jeremiah 23:23). Elohay Mauzi – God of My Strength: (Psalm 43:2).Elohay Tehilati – God of My Praise: (Psalm 109:1). Elohay Yishi – God Of My Salvation: (Psalm 18:47, 25:5). Elohim Kedoshim – Holy God: (Leviticus 19:2, Joshua 24:19). Elohim Chaiyim – Living God: (Jeremiah 10:10). Elohay Elohim – God of Gods: (Deuteronomy;10:17).
“YHVH” is the Hebrew word that translates as “LORD”. Found more often in the Old Testament than any other name for God (approximately 7,000 times), the title is also referred to as the “Tetragrammaton” meaning the “The Four Letters”. YHVH comes from the Hebrew verb “to be” and is the special name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you… this is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations’” (Exodus;3:14-15). Therefore, YHVH declares God’s absolute being – the source of everything, without beginning and without end. Although some pronounce YHVH as “Jehovah” or “Yaweh,” scholars really don’t know the proper pronunciation. The Jews stopped pronouncing this name by about 200 A.D., out of fear of breaking the commandment “You shall not take the name of YHVH your God in vain” (Exodus;20:7). (Today’s rabbis typically use “Adonai” in place of YHVH.) Here are some examples of YHVH used in scripture: YHVH Elohim – LORD God: (Genesis;2:4). YHVH M’kadesh – The LORD Who Makes Holy: (Ezekiel;37:28). YHVH Yireh – The LORD Who Sees/provides: (Genesis;22:14). YHVH Nissi – The LORD My Banner: (Exodus;17:15). YHVH Shalom – The LORD of Peace: (Judges;6:24). YHVH Tzidkaynu – The LORD Our Righteousness: (Jeremiah;33:16). YHVH O’saynu – The LORD our Maker:(Psalm;95:6).
Since the Christians initially had the Old Testament scriptures as their ‘Bible’ and frequently quoted from it in the New Testament, some of the names for God carry over into the New. Most frequently simply the term God is used. Jesus Christ in referring to God calls Him Father [metaphorically, being the Creator and Sustainer, not biologically]. The New Testament in completion of the Old adds the revelation of Jesus Christ as being a name for God, as one of the divine persons in the trinity. The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is considered to be fully equal as such being part of the three persons.
- Is the Trinity in Genesis?
- Is Jesus “the Mighty God” in Isaiah 9.6?
- Is the Son of Man Divine in Daniel 7.13?
- Did Jesus Preexist in Heaven?
- Did Jesus Preexist as “The Angel of the Lord”?
- Did Jesus Come Down from Heaven?
- Is the Incarnation True?
- Did Jesus Empty Himself of Any Divine Attributes?
- Was Jesus God Even Though God is Invisible?
- Is Jesus God Because of His Virgin Birth?
- Is Jesus God Because He Did Miracles?
- Is Jesus God Because He Was Worshipped?
- Is Jesus God because He is Lord?
- Is Jesus God because He forgave sins?
- Is Jesus God if He did not Know the Time of His Return?
- Did Jesus Admit to the Sanhedrin that He Was God?
- Jesus is not God Bible Verses
- Is Jesus God in the Gospel of John?
- Is Jesus God in John 1.1c? “Word was with God…”
- Is Jesus God in John 1.18?
- Is Jesus God Because He is the Son of God?
- Was Jesus Making Himself Equal with God?
- Is Jesus Yahweh?
- Did Jesus Claim to be God in John 10.30?
- What are the Claims of Christ?
- Was Jesus a Liar, Lunatic, or God?
- Is Jesus God and Subordinate to God?
- Is Jesus God If He Has a God?
- Did Thomas Call Jesus My God in John 20.28?
- Did Peter believe Jesus was God?
- What was Paul’s Christology?
- Is Jesus God in Romans 9.5?
- Is Jesus a God-Man in 1 Timothy 2.5?
- Is Jesus God in Titus 2.13?
- Is Jesus God in Hebrews 1.8?
- Is Jesus God in 2 Peter 1.1?
- Who is the True God in 1 John 5.20?
- Is the Holy Spirit a Person?
- Who Is the Son of Man?
- Does Calling Jesus Immanuel Mean He is God?
- Did Jesus Indicate He Was God to the Rich Young Man?
- Is Jesus God in Acts 20.28?
- Does Paul Call Jesus God?
- Is Jesus God in Other Pauline Texts?
- Is the Trinity in the New Testament?
- Why Doesn’t the Trinity Have Three Thrones?
- Is Trinitarianism Monotheistic?
- What Must Christians Believe?
These articles are authored by Servetus the Evangelical, a.k.a. Kermit Zarley. Visit his website–http://ServetusTheEvangelical.com to read these articles. They represent condensations of his well-researched, biblically in-depth, 600-page book entitled The Restitution of Jesus Christ (2008).
God of Christians, Muslims & Jews: http://faithforum.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/god-of-muslims-and-christians/
Bible declares One God:
2.Deut. 6:4–There is none else.
3.Deut. 32:39–I, even I an He, and there is no God with me.
4.1 Sam. 2:2–None Holy as the Lord, None beside Thee.
5.2 Sam. 7:22–None like Thee–None beside Thee.
6.1 Kings 8:60–The Lord is God–There is none else.
7.2 Kings 19:15–Thou are even God even thou alone.
8.2 Kings 19:19–Thou art the Lord even Thou Only.
9.Psalms 86:10–Thou art God alone.
10.Ecc.4:8— There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother
12.Isaiah 42:8–I am the Lord, and My glory will I not give to another.
13.Isaiah 43:10-11–Before me there was no God formed neither shall there be after me, I even, I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Savior.
14.Isaiah 44:6–I am the first and the last and beside me there is no God.
15.Rev. 1:11–(Jesus) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.
16.Isaiah 44:8–Is there a God beside me? There is no God, I know not any.
17.Isaiah 45:5–I am the Lord and there is none else. There is no God beside me.
18.Isaiah 45:6–There is none beside Me. I am the Lord and there is None Else.
19.Isaiah 45:15–Thou art a God that hideth thyself O God of Israel, the Savior (Jesus).
20.Isaiah 45:18–I am the Lord; and there is none Else.
21.Isaiah 45:21–There is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside Me.
22.Isaiah 45:22–Look unto Me, and be ye saved, for I am God and there is None Else;
23.Isaiah 46:9–For I am God, and there is None Else; there is none like Me.
24.Isaiah 48:11–I will not give my glory unto another (Isaiah 45:5).
25.Isaiah 48:12–I am He; I am First, I also am the last (Rev. 1:8)
26.Hosea 13:4–Thou shalt know no God but Me; for there is no SAVIOUR beside me. (Matthew 1:21).
27.Joel 2:27–I am the Lord, your God, and None Else.
28.Zech. 14:9 In that day shall there be ONE LORD, and HIS NAME ONE.
29.Phil. 2:11–Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of God the Father.
30.Malachi 2:10–Have we not all ONE FATHER? Hath not ONE GOD created us?
31.Malachi 3:16–A book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord and thought upon His NAME.
32.Matt. 23:9–ONE is your FATHER.
33.Mark 12:29–Jesus says, “The Lord our God is ONE LORD.”
34.Mark 12:32–The Scribes said, “There is one God and there is none other but He.”
35.John 8:41–We have One Father even God.
36.Romans 3:29-30–God of the Gentiles and God of the Jews, seeing it is ONE GOD.
37.I Cor. 8:4–There is none other God but One.
38.I Cor. 8:6–But to us there is but One God, the Father.
39.Gal. 3:20–God is One.
40.Eph. 4:5–One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.
41.Eph. 4:6–One God and Father of ALL, who is above all, and through all and in you all.
42.I Tim. 2:5–For there is one God.
43.James 2:19–Thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well.
44.Isaiah 44:24–Thus saith the Lord thy redeemer and He that formed thee, I am the Lord that maketh all things that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself.
45.Matt. 4:10–Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.
Mark 12:29-30–The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment.
Verses from Bible used to support Trinity – Three in 1 God:
The following are clear explanations of the verses in the Bible that Trinitarians have sometimes used in attempts to “prove” the Trinity and to substantiate that Jesus is God. Since there are an overwhelming number of very clear verses about Jesus Christ’s identity and his distinction from God, and since God’s Word has no contradictions, these comparatively few verses must fit with the many clear verses, and they do. [ From: http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/verses ]
Nothing to support the dogma [of the Trinity] can be pointed out in cripture.” — Luther
The Importance of Our Topic At present the world is deeply divided over who Godis. Millions of Jews and over a billion Muslims are a like repelled by the historic Christian doctrine that God is three in one. As long as that central tenet is maintained it fosters a religious hostility between peoples of the world faiths. Our difficulties as a human race are firstly theological. We are hopelessly disunited on the issue of who God is. Collectively we do not know how to define God. Thus we do not know which God to serve. And we have apparently forgotten that Jesus was a Jew reciting, as his most precious doctrine, the Shema: “Hear O Israel the Lord our God is One Lord” (reading the Greek LXX of Deut. 6:4, cp. Mark 12:28ff), which as everyone should know is a unitarian creed .
At stake is the central question of obeying and following the teaching of Jesus. If our God is not the God of the Hebrew Bible, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and of Jesus himself, are we floundering in the chaos of polytheism? It is at least worthwhile to explore that threatening possibility. In so doing we may be able to confirm our salvation and rejoice in the truth as Jesus taught it. No considerations of party loyalty, “what we have always believed,” “what my church says,” or fear of standing alone should deter us for one second from the Berean exercise to which we are all committed (Acts 17:11). God is to be worshiped, Jesus said, “in spirit and truth.” Error can only obstruct our relationship with God. Confusion over who God is inevitably reaps a reward of confusion and debilitation in our lives, which are strong only in so far as truth is their dynamic foundation. Jesus was not kidding when he warned that understanding the Lord our God as one single Lord is the proper basis for our theological and Christian lives and witness (Mark 12:28-34; John 4:24).
Now consider the current situation, as tradition has bequeathed it to us. “Distinguished but undivided, bound together in therness, one in three : that is the Godhead and the three are one ” (Credo of Gregory of Nazianzus, AD 381). This language is still heard in Roman Catholic liturgy. It presides over evangelical churches of all sorts.
Thus Hans Kung has spoken of “the unbiblical, very abstractly constructed speculation of the Roman Catholic treatises” and “the
Hellenization of the Christian primordial message by Greek theology.” He expresses “the genuine concern of many Christians and the justified frustration of Jews and Muslims in trying to find in such formulas the pure faith in one God.”
Amen! Claus Westerman said, “The question of relationships of the persons in the Trinity to one an other and the question of the divinity and humanity in the person of Christ as a question of ontic [having to do with ‘essence’] relationships could only arise When the Old Testament had lost its significance for the early church. The Christological and Trinitarian questions structurally correspond to the mythological questions into relationships of the gods to one another in a pantheon.”
Is anyone alarmed, or is the status quo to continue without a batting of the eyelids? When did intelligent evangelicals last inspect the “books” of their churc Does the creed definitely reflect a creed which Jesus could have wholeheartedly approved and poclaimed?
A Mother of Muddles: A Confusion over the Bible’s Word for God One does not have to advance very far into Scripture to arrive at the word God, with a capital G (although in the original there are no capitals as distinct from lower case). “In the beginning God created… ” We confront here the Hebrew word Elohim followed by a verb which is singular (“he,” not “they” created). In G.T. Armstrong’s paperback of 1977, The Real Jesus, the author announces that “it is time you met the real Jesus” (p. 1). Armstrong investigates the birth narratives. After a spirited description of the human being, Jesus of Nazareth, we learn that the Creator, obviously here not Jesus but the Father, was announcing the birth of His Son through three different groups of individuals. Surprisingly, the visitation of Gabriel to Mary declaring the basis on which Jesus might be called Son of God , that is, by the procreating activity of the Father (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18, 20), is completely bypassed in Ted Armstrong’s account. We are immediately, however, plunged into a chapter entitled “Jesus the Creator — His Former Life.” Jesus in his former life, we are told, had spoken to Abraham in Genesis 18. Jesus, said Mr. Armstrong, was not understood by his opponents when he spoke of Abraham having looked forward to his appearance (p.14). “Jesus was thinking in another dimension — the full knowledge and awareness of who and what he was, of his spiritual background and timelessness.” Armstrong then moves from Abraham to John 1:1: “There are two other important Scriptures relative to Christ’s preexistence: ‘In the beginning God created…’ (Gen. 1:1) and ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’”
Now I do not wish in any way to come over as “smart” or condemning, but what follows in The Jesus sets out a whole theology which has had dramatic consequences for the education and spiritual journeys of countless thousands of people over some 70 years. G.T.Armstrong says: “The Hebrew word for God is Elohim.
It is an interesting word with a plural form (the –im ending).” “A little research,” says Mr. Armstrong, “demonstrates that Elohim can indicate more than one person ; and can be taken to mean a family of persons.”
Our author goes on: “Elohim means more than one and while not necessarily limiting the number, many other texts prove there was the Father (whom no man has ever seen at any time) and the Son. Therefore in our modern English language, the beginning text of the Bible would be more understandable if it were written thus: ‘In beginning the family of God, consisting of the Father and the Son, created the heaven and the earth.’”
Presumably it would follow that the thousands of appearances of that same word Elohim in the Hebrew Bible are likewise, ccording to the Armstrong scheme, mistranslated, and really mean “the one God-Family.
The proposal is surely a momentous one setting the standard for an entire theology. At the same time this proposal claims to correct all the standard translations of Scripture. Was G.T. Armstrong equipped to instruct the entire modern academy of theology? Would not common sense itself suggest otherwise? The die is now cast. We are launched, I think, into polytheism, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the facts of the Hebrew language — the use of the word Elohim.
I would invite you to pause and reflect on what is happening here. Let us ask this question: Since the Bible was translated into English from Hebrew and Greek in hundreds and hundreds of translations into hundreds and hundreds of languages, has any single translator or committee of scholars who rendered the sacred text from the Hebrew, at any time, proposed or sanctioned that translation, which our author, who would claim no specialist training in language modern or ancient, offers us: “In the beginning the family of God, Father and Son, created the heavens and the earth”?
Armstrong goes on: “The Hebrew word elohim in Genesis 1:1 means that there was more than one member of the God family involved in the creating… The Word of John 1 was the executive member of the Godhead of whom the Bible says all things were made by him. Perhaps the clearest description absolutely proving that the Jesus Christ of the New Testament was the same
Being who was the Eternal Creator of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is Colossians 1:16…
The Bible clearly shows, without any interpretation or exegesis, that the creator being who is called ‘God’ (Elohim or Yahweh) in the Old Testament is the same individual who became the Jesus Christ of the New Testament…The personage who emptied himself and became flesh, born of the virgin Mary to become the baby Jesus in Bethlehem was the same individual who created Adam, who saved Noah, who appeared to Abraham. He was the same personality of the Godhead or God family who wrote the 10 commandments and ruled Israel. The Bible absolutely proves the fact that Jesus Christ of the NT is the same person as the God of the OT” (p. 18, emphasis added).
If we now review the information presented in The Real Jesus, we have been told that:
1) Elohim is plural in meaning
2) It means the Family of God
3) It means one member of that family, the one who became Jesus.
There are a number of serious problems with these declarations. If Elohim is plural in meaning then it should always be translated Gods. In this case it would refer to two or more Gods. A word cannot mean both God and Family. This would be to assign two completely different meanings to the same word. If the Bible wanted to speak of the Family of God it could do this quite easily, a s for example the “family of David,” “family of Egypt.” There is a perfectly good Hebrew word for family, but the Creator is nowhere said to be a Family of Persons. However, if Elohim means “family,” and yet is a plural word, why should it not be rendered “families”? And if it means in Genesis 1:1 “Gods,” or Family of God, how can it also refer to one single member of that family, Jesus Christ?
A number of more serious problems arise on these premises: If Elohim is plural and thus mean Gods then what is the significance of the singular verb following (“he [not they] created”)? We would have to translat e, “In the beginning Gods, he created” or “
Gods was the creator.” We are rapidly reducing the sacred text to nonsense.
Have readers who were once persuaded by the Armstrongs realized that they may have been induced into reading and speaking and even teaching nonsense as biblical truth? Did not many invest their precious earnings in support of this brand of “theology”?
What we are seeing here is a highly problematic shifting of definitions, which in every other field would be detected and recognized as a form of confusion and deception. What Mr. Armstrong presents is a grammatical method in which all sorts of grammatical laws, rules and definitions are thrown aside. Dictionaries and lexicons are discarded as unnecessary and imagination is given free rein. A kind of mystical grammatical category is created by which an innocent word like Elohim has taken on a speculative new dimension, allowing this disaster: that precious monotheism is undermined — and the evidence of standard lexicons and commentaries is allowed no place.
Moreover, the Jewish understanding of God (remembering that the sacred oracles were committed to Jews) is arbitrarily and amateurishly overthrown. If Elohim is really plural in meaning in Genesis 1:1, then it should be translated “In the beginning GODS —he created the heavens and earth.”
Unfortunately, it is by changing, or interchanging, the meaning of words, without notice, that a major piece of disinformation can be created, and millions taken in (both dollars and persons!).
Firstly, then, Elohim cannot mean at the same time in Genesis 1:1 three different things:
2) Family God and
3) One member of that Family.
“Gods” is of course plural, family is a singular word and one member of the family is also singular. To ask the same word in Genesis 1:1 to have all three definitions is utterly impossible. “God” and “family” are quite distinct ideas and cannot possibly be covered by the one term Elohim.
Now one could argue that Elohim is a collective noun, like team, family, committee. But in that case it is not plural — not like teams, families or committees. A collective noun denotes a collection of persons, places or things regarded as one (flock, forest, crowd, committee, jury, class, herd, covey, legislature, battalion, squad, and squadron). The objects collected into one term have some characteristics in common, enabling us to regard them as a group. The words “audience” and “congregation” enable us to gather individuals into a single unit. But the fact needs to be stated clearly: Elohim is never in the Bible a collective noun — never. It is not a “group” word when used of the One God. It does not function like the word “family.” No lexicon lists it as a collective noun.
Peloubet’s Dictionary of the Bible (1947) stated the truth: “
The fanciful idea that Elohim referred to a Trinity [or we could add Binity] of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now a supporter among scholars.”
In what Mr. Armstrong called The Real Jesus we were introduced into the realm of grammatical fiction and fancy. We were invited in fact, under the guise of intelligent Bible study, to embrace a pagan godhead consisting of more than one Person.
Twenty years later, when Ernest Martin issued his comprehensive account of The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine in 1999, the same confusion over God was reinforced and with a greater degree of dogmatism. It is worth observing first, though, an extraordinary assertion of E.L. Martin in regard to the status of the teaching of Jesus. His ultra-dispensation alist point of view represents, I think, a dangerous rejection of Jesus: “
All the teachings Christ gave to the Jews during his earthly ministry within the Old Covenant framework were of no importance to Paul (in matters elating to salvation). Paul did not refer to any of Christ’s teachings (other than the bread and wine) given by Christ while in the flesh ”
I invite our readers to ponder this statement long and hard. This amazing dictum would mean that the sermon on the mount and the parable of the sower, the Olivet Discourse, and the rest of Jesus’ precious utterances (including his affirmation of the creed of Israel in Mark 12:28-34) are of no interest to the Christian!
This devastating confusion is compounded when E.L. Martin declares: “We need to know what ‘God’ signifies in Scripture…
It will be found that both God the Father and His Son are ‘God,’ yet they are both separate personalities united together in a singular purpose.”
Martin then speaks of “confusion regarding who or what ‘God’ really is” (p. 450). “This misjudgment occurs because most people assume the term ‘God’ always means a singular and exclusive Supreme Being.”
Now this: “Whether the Greek word theos is used to describe the Deity or the Hebrew word elohim, it was fully accepted [by the writers of the Bible] that there existed more than one ‘god’” (p. 451). “Elohim is clearly a plural word. The two terminal letters ‘
im ’ make the word to be plural…
Since Elohim is plural, the simple meaning of Elohim is ‘Powers’ or ‘powerful ones.’ However, we will see that when Elohim is governed by a singular verb (which occurs often in Scripture) the stress coalesces the plural meaning into a singular understanding (but still with plural significance)” (p. 488). “The plural is fused into meaning a singular ‘group of powers,’ or worded differently ‘a Congregation of Powers.’” “No matter what we have been taught over the years about the singularity of God, the word Elohim is a simple plural. If we wish to use the English word ‘God’ as its translation, we must (to be grammatically harmonious and consistent) place the letter ‘s’ on our word God throughout the Hebrew Scriptures” (p. 488).
Martin here proposes a corruption of the Hebrew Bible and accuses, by implication, the writers of the New Testament of ignorance. No New Testament writer ever rendered the Hebrew word for the One God as “ theoi” (Gods).
Elohim when referring to the One God comes into the inspired Greek of the New Testament (some 1310 times) as theos (singular). This proves of course that the translations are all correct when they say “in the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.”
Thousands of singular personal pronouns standing for Elohim, and His other names, can only affirm, massively, the fact that God is a Single, Divine, Personal Being.
Martin repeats himself: “If one wishes to retain the English word ‘God’ one must put an ‘s’ on ‘God’ each time it is used. By stating this I would normally be subjected to ridicule by those who read and know the Hebrew language, because it is evident that in the great majority of cases Elohim, though plural in grammatical construction, is governed by singular verbs and must be understood in a singular manner. Yes, but I state dogmatically [here E.L.M. goes into bold print] that the only way to make sense out of the Hebrew in regard to understanding the Godhead is to put the letter ‘s’ on the end of every word translated ‘God’ in the English
language if the Hebrew word is Elohim” (p. 490). “[In the Shema] the very text itself says that Elohim (‘Gods’) is one. This cardinal point emphasizes the singularity of the plural word Elohim.” “The Hebrew word ‘one’ ca actually carry the meaning of more than ‘one’ (a single person). Note carefully when Adam was married to Eve they became ‘one flesh’ (echad) though they represented two separate personalities (Gen. 2:24)” (p. 495). “The Hebrew word echad is more expansive in the plural meaning than that…
So the plural Elohim refers to one Godhead made up of many individuals (the Father, the Firstborn and other Sons of God, along with female members, see Proverbs 8:2-31)” (p. 495). “Just what is God? Elohim is the One divine family to which all of us
belong” (p. 499).
All this prodigious effort to turn one into two or three or more, of course, began early in church history and continues unabated in some evangelical Trinitarian and especially Messianic Jewish Trinitarian circles. By the time of Origen (c. 185-254) a confusion over God was in full swing. The historical Son of God had been turned into the “eternally generated” Son. This concept was
at the heart of the whole traditional creedal system of Roman Catholics and Protestants. It produced the problem that though God is one, yet since the Son is also fully God, somehow two has to be one.
Ernest Martin and Ted Armstrong were unwittingly in the Roman Catholic tradition, a tradition, however, based on arguments about Elohim , in fact rejected by the best Roman Catholic and Protestant scholars of the biblical languages for many centuries.
Before illustrating some of the ancient debate over Elohim and the supposed plurality in the Godhead (Binity or Trinity), here is the state of play in the third century (a papyrus first published in 1949). Origen is discussing the Godhead with a certain Bishop Heraclides. He wants to check him out and verify his “orthodoxy”: “Since the bishops present had raised questions about
the faith of the bishop Heraclides, so that in the presence of all he might acknowledge his faith, and each of them had made remarks and had raised the question, the bishop Heraclides said: ‘And I too believe exactly what the divine Scriptures say: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into existence through him, and nothing came into existence apart from him.” So we agree in the faith and, furthermore, we believe that the Christ assumed flesh, that he was born, that he ascended into the heavens with the flesh in which he arose, and that he is seated at the right hand of the Father, whence he is going to come and judge the living and the dead, being God and man.’
Origen: I ask you, Father Heraclides, God is the Almighty, the uncreated, the supreme one who made all things. Do you agree?
Heraclides: I agree; for this I too believe.
Origen: Christ Jesus, who exists in the form of God, though he is distinct from God in the form in which he existed, was he God before he entered a body or not?
Heraclides: He was God before.
Origen: God distinct from this God in whose form he existed?
Heraclides: Obviously distinct from any other, since he is in the form of that one who created everything.
Origen: Was there not a God, Son of God, the only-begotten of God, the first-born of all creation, and do we not devoutly say that in one sense there are two Gods and, in another, one God?
Heraclides: What you say is clear; but we say that there is God, the Almighty, without beginning and without end, containing all things but not contained, and there is his Word, Son of the living God, God and man, through whom all things came into existence, God in relation to the Spirit and man in that he was born of Mary.
Origen: You do not seem to have answered my question. Make it clear; perhaps I did not follow you.
Is the Father God?
Origen: Is the Son distinct from the Father?
Heraclides: How can he be Son if he is also Father?
Origen: While distinct from the Father, is the Son himself also God?
Heraclides: He himself is also God.
Origen: And the two Gods become one?
Origen: Do we acknowledge two Gods?
Heraclides: Yes; the power is one.
Origen: But since our brethren are shocked by the affirmation that there are two Gods, the subject must be examined with care in order to show in what respect they are two and in what respect the two are one God.”
This today remains the problem for all those who propose that God is in some sense more than one . Once the unitary nature of God slipped from the church’s grasp, and once a Trinity or Binity is embraced, it becomes necessary to force that idea back on to the Bible.
“Elohim” is the point of attack in this procedure. It is a relief to return to the theology of Jesus in Mark 12:28-34.
Eohim (the Hebrew word for God), in fact, is singular in meaning when referred to the One God. This is shown by the singular verbs which normally follow, and by thousands of singular personal pronouns. Elohim has a plural meaning when it refers to pagan “gods.” Elohim has a singular meaning when designating a single pagan god, Milchom, Astarte, etc.
Elohim, El, Eloah, and Yahweh are all words for the true God and are identical in meaning, and singular in meaning when referring to the one true God. They are replaced, and thus defined, by singular personal pronouns, over and over again. The Greek word for God is “ O [the] theos [God],” and it is always and invariably singular in meaning when referring, some 1300 times (!) to the One God, the Father of Jesus, the Son.
This information can be inspected in the Hebrew text, in translations and in all the standard Hebrew lexicons (Brown, Driver and Briggs, Kohler Baumgartner, Jenni and Westermann, etc.). For the New Testament, which is in Greek, we have many standard
lexicons. One of the most famous is the one by Walter Bauer. The article in Bauer on God (theos) and Father (pater) provides excellent information. You will be impressed that there is a special name for the Father, which is GOD-Father, or God and Father. You will find no entry (because the word is absent from Scripture) for “God the Son”!
Those of us who followed the Armstrongs (Worldwide Church of God) in defining God rejected the testimony of history, of the Hebrew text and of the Hebrew lexicons and grammarians. We preferred to believe the teaching of those who had no formal trai
ning in languages, biblical or otherwise. We were taught to despise all scholarship. This was a colossal error and we learned the lesson (a valuable one) at great cost. In no other field than “Bible” would you imagine entrusting yourself to a non-expert, who nevertheless claimed to know what he was saying. He was encouraged in this self-deception, and this continues, by trusting and gullible followers, who usually knew as little about Greek and Hebrew as Herbert Armstrong did. Armstrong’s pontifications (like those of Victor Paul Wierwille of the Way International on a different subject) on the Sabbath in Colossians 2:16 are striking examples of straining the language to breaking point. The Problem: How to Reconcile One with Two or One with Three We have seen that Elohim meaning the One God will not yield to any attempts to force it into a support for a Trinity or God-Family of two or more. The fundamental problem remains for all subscribers to the Trinity or Binity (“two Gods in the God-Family”) as to how three X’s can be one X. This is logically impossible. But the Athanasian creed which speaks of the Father being God, the Son being God and the Holy Spirit being God, “and yet these are not three Gods but one God” asks us to indulge in illogical nonsense.
As Geoffrey Lampe, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge remarked with restrained British humor: “The classical statement of the doctrine of the Trinity, the so-called Athanasian creed, ends: ‘This is the catholic faith, which unless a man believes it faithfully he cannot be saved.’ This has been paraphrased in less dignified language: ‘Accept my model or I’ll do you,’ or rather,
‘This is God’s model: accept it or He will do you.’”
The awful, threatening words of the Athanasian creed speak loudly about the spirit which had gripped the Church. Think about this and warn your children. The churches have been amazingly cruel to those noble souls who challenged the extraordinary proposition that God is more than one Person and that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. They burned dissenters, exiled them,
defrocked them and even passed laws of Parliament against them. You can check this appalling history of senseless, murderous violence in the name of Jesus.
Back to our subject: What then if the Trinity or Binity means 3 X’s or 2 X’s = 1Y? This is logically feasible, but what does it mean in terms of defining Xand Y? You need all of this information, and more, if you are serious about winning the billions of souls on earth, who “What Future for the Trinity,” Explorations in Theology, 8, SCM Press, 1981, p. 31. or their own blessing need to understand who the one and only true God is.
On the admission of the best contemporary Trinitarian experts, no one has ever been able to explain in what sense they mean God is one and in what different sense more than one. Thus the leading exponent of the Trinity among contemporary evangelical
sadmits the desperation of the situation. Professor Millard Erickson wrote God in Three Persons: A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity (1995). By all means own this book and commit yourself to a thorough study of it.
First Erickson comments on the state of the Trinity in the mind of an average churchgoer: “It is a matter of not knowing whether they believe or disbelieve the Trinity
because they do not know what the doctrine says.” No one has preached to them on this central doctrine.
“Christians who believe this strange doctrine seem incoherent.” (Is God pleased with that?!)
“We can make it partially understandable…” “We may not be much closer to being able to articulate just what we mean by this doctrine [of the Trinity] than were the delegates to the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople” (p. 19).
Erickson later writes: “Although [Stephen Davis, a logician] does not dogmatically hold that the doctrine can never be shown to be coherent, he claims that this has not yet been achieved” (p. 256).
“Davis has examined the major contemporary explanations, and, having found them not to accomplish what they claim to do, has been honest in acknowledging that he feels he is dealing with a mystery. In so doing, he has perhaps been more candid than many of us, who when pressed may have to admit that we really do not know in what way God is one and in what different
way He is three ” (p. 258).
“To say the doctrine has been revealed is a bit too strong, however, at least with respect to the biblical revelation” (p. 258).
“It simply is not possible to explain [the Trinity] unequivocally. What must be done is to offer a series, a whole assortment of illustrations and analogies, with the hope that some discernment will take place. We must approach the matter from various angles, ‘nibbling at the meaning’ of the doctrine, as it were… It may also be necessary, in order to convey the unusual meaning
involved in this doctrine, to utilize what analytical philosophers would term ‘logically odd language.’ This means using language in such a way as intentionally to commit grammatical errors. Thus, I have sometimes said of the Trinity, ‘He are three,’ or ‘They is on
e.’ For we have here a being whose nature falls outside our usual understanding of persons, and that nature can perhaps only be adequately expressed by using language that calls attention to the almost paradoxical character of the concepts” (p. 268-270).
But this is desperation. Where does the Bible say that God breaks the rules of grammar in order to reveal Himself and how many He is? Erickson has surrendered the grammatical method. God speaks to us in terms which are meant to reveal truth to us, not confuse us. We are reminded here of G. T. Armstrong’s assertion that Elohim (God) must be taken as plural resulting in “Gods, he
created” in Genesis 1:1.
I trust the reader will note the blatant polytheism! But millions did not flinch. How right Dr. Colin Brown of Fuller Seminary was when in a famous article on orthodoxy he noted that most churchgoers “postpone thinking about the Trinity [who God is!] for as long as possible…The other way of dealing with the Trinity is to practice tritheism [belief in three Gods], in all but name”(Ex Auditu , 1991).
So how many YHVH’s do you, as reader of these lines, believe in? If you say “One,” then one might immediately ask: “Well, you certainly know that the Father is YHVH. But you also seem required to believe, as an evangelical, Bible-believing, churchgoing member in good standing, that ‘Jesus is YHVH.’ That sounds awfully like two YHVH’s.”
How well will this match up when we face Jesus and his own statement, agreed to by a fellow Jew, that “
the Lord our God is ONE LORD [Yahweh]”? You will find this classic statement of belief from Jesus in Mark 12:29.
Jesus was confirming what every good Jew knows to this day. The Trinity should prevent Jews from accepting the Churches’ Jesus as Messiah. Jesus never claimed to BE God, a second God!
By Anthony Buzzard
Here is the first part of the entry for theos (God)
1) a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities
2) the Godhead, trinity
a) God the Father, the first person in the trinity
b) Christ, the second person of the trinity
c) Holy Spirit, the third person in the trinity
No text is cited for( 2).
There are 11,000 occurrences of the words for God (Elohim,Adonai, YHVH, theos) and never once do they designate a Triune God. No Bible writer ever meant the Trinity when they said “God.”
Note that Strong’s will also not show you the crucial difference between Adonai (Lord) and adoni (my lord) in Psalm 110:1. Jesus is adoni , my lord (lower-case “l”).
Serious confusion arises when Trinitarians try to explain that “Jesus is God,” that God cannot die, but that the Son of God did die!
“So when we say that Jesus is God, we are saying that within the one person who is Christ is the human nature and the divine nature. Therefore, we see that Jesus is God because he has both the nature of man and of God.
But when Jesus died on the cross, it was not his divine nature as God that died. It was the human nature that died. Dying is a biological function that was reserved only for the human nature of Christ when he died on the cross…
“So, Jesus is both divine and human; that is, he is both God and man. When we say that Jesus is God and that Jesus died on the cross, we are not saying that the God-nature died. Rather, we are saying the person of Christ died, and that the person of Christ had divine attributes” (Matt Slick, carm.org)..
All this is so much “fog language” based on post-biblical creeds.
Lies I Told Myself
I used to believe in the Trinity. I wasn’t trying to say 1+1+1=1. Instead I was saying 1x1x1=1.
Problem: when multiplying, dimensions are automatically introduced. If I calculate the volume of a box, I can say 1 meter x 1 meter x 1 meter = 1 meter squared. 1 meter does NOT equal 1 meter squared. In other words, when numbers are multiplied, something greater — something different — is created. I cannot say 1 meter x 1 meter x 1 meter = 1 meter. As Gods cannot be squared — that would imply that they are not complete or all-encompassing in themselves — the mathematical analogy 1x1x1=1 does NOT apply. (As soon as a number is applied to anything , including God, the dimension factor is introduced. We cannot exclude it.)
By Lois Eaton, Australia: http://focusonthekingdom.org/137.pdf
When John in his gospel wants to say that one person is next to or with another person, he does not use the Greek preposition pros (translated “with” in John 1:1). But in John 1:1 John does use the preposition pros. John writes that the word was “with God.” Thus John did not write, “In the beginning was the SON of God [a person] and the SON of God was with GOD [person with person].” If John had written “In the beginning the Son was with God (the Father),” that of course would make two GODS and break the fundamental rule of Scripture that GOD is a single Person. It would also contradict flat, the wonderful accounts of the origin of the Son of God by miracle in Mary some 2000 years ago. Luke 1:35 and Matt. 1:18, 20 (“begotten in her”) inform us with simple clarity that the Son of God began to exist in the womb of Mary. This is true of all human beings. Jesus was a human being, not an “average” human being, but still a human being. He is “the man Messiah Jesus.”
Paul said this beautifully and simply in 1 Timothy 2:5 where he repeats the true Christian creed: “There is one God [the Father], and one mediator between that God and man, the man Messiah Jesus.” We need to repeat our point: John did not contradict Matthew and Luke by teaching that the Son of God was literally with God from eternity. John did not write “the Son was with the Father.” He wrote “the word was in God’s mind” — fully expressive of God’s plan and purpose.
Jesus defined God as “one single Lord” in Mark 12:29: “The Lord our God is one Lord” — agreeing with a fellow Jew about the most important of all commands!And we all know that Jews were never Trinitarians. They believed God was a single divine Self/Person. Jesus taught and rehearsed this in prayer (as we should) that the Father is “the only one who is true God” (John 17:3). That excludes Jesus from being the One God! “The Father is the only ONE who is true GOD.” Jesus is not God but the Son of God (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18, 20). John 17:3 proclaims that Jesus Christ is the fully accredited agent of the One God, the Father. Jesus was sent by God as agent of the One God.
Look again at John 1:1. “In the beginning was the word [not Word!] and the word was with God.” The word was pros God. If John had wanted us to believe that this means one person was with another person he would have used the preposition para (with) or meta (with). Why? Because those are the pronouns he used elsewhere in his gospel to describe one person with another person. Thus (show your friends this) John 1:39: “They stayed with (para) him for the day.” 4:40: “They asked him to stay with (para) them.” 14:17: “He remains with (para) you.” 14:23: “We will come and make our residence with (para) him.” 14:25: “These hings I have spoken to you while remaining with (para) you.” John also uses the preposition meta (with) in 3:22: “they remained with (meta) them.” 3:25: “a discussion with (meta) a Jew.” So then this shows us that if John wanted to say “In the beginning was the Son and the Son was with the Father,” he would have used meta or para, for person with person. But John meant in fact that the word/plan/intention of God was with (pros) GOD, in the mind of God. In the same way Paul wrote in Galatians 2:5: “so that the truth of the Gospel [not a person!] might remain with (pros) you.” The meaning is “in your mind, in your consciousness.”
Thus in John 1:1 the word or Gospel-plan was in God’s mind, fully expressive of God, the Father. The word was in relation to [pros] God, was God’s concern.
The capitalization of “Word” in many translations for logos (word) misleads the reader into believing that GOD was with GOD. How many Gods is that? More than one. The universe is shaken by polytheism.
(For a striking account of how a former Trinitarian scholar came to see the truth of our point here, please read free on the internet Eric Chang, The Only True God at theonlytruegod.org)
All the English translations from the original Greek before the KJV in 1611 spoke of “word” (lower-case w) and not “Word.” And they translated correctly, “All things were made by it,” the word, not by him, the Son — contradicting the rest of the Bible.
It is interesting that in John 1:5 he speaks of the light. The light is a thing, not a person. The pronoun is neuter (auto). But once Jesus comes on the scene, the light becomes a person (auton, him) in verse 10. The Son appears fully in verse 14 and is the uniquely begotten SON — certainly not a second GOD! The Bible is based on the unitary monotheism of Jesus and his Jewish heritage (Deut. 6:4 = Mark 12:29).
John 1:18 reports, “No one has ever seen GOD [the Father], but the uniquely begotten SON has revealed the Father.” It would be nonsense to say that “no one has ever seen GOD, but we all saw Jesus who is GOD!”
John, remember always, defines that Father as “the only one (monos) who is true GOD” (17:3). The word “only,” as we all know from an early age, restricts and limits and excludes all others! Jesus is the Son of God who was sent (John 17:3) but he cannot be “the only one who is true GOD” — the Father. It is instructive to see how muddled and contradictory Trinitarian Dr. James White becomes when he tries to avoid the obvious in John 17:3. He writes in his book The Forgotten Trinity: “What of the phrase ‘the only true God’ (John 17:3)?” He forgets to tell you that this phrase from Jesus is addressed to the Father: “You, Father, are the only true God.” White then asks, “Doesn’t this mean that Jesus isn’t God? Of course not.”
But of course it obviously does mean that Jesus isn’t God! If the Father is the only one who is true God, everyone else is excluded. Dr. White has been using language like this (involving “only”) all his life without the slightest confusion. But here he is driven by the Trinity! He is forced into an obvious misuse of easy language. He goes on to repeat his tradition that Father and Son both share the one Being of God. But Jesus does not say anything like this.
Jesus knows nothing of the language of “Being.” Jesus knows nothing of the language of “Essence.” Dr White thinks that his Triune God is “one what” (The Forgotten Trinity, p. 27). But Jesus has a different concept entirely in John 17:3: “The Father [one single Person] is the only one [a single Person, excluding all other p/Persons] who is [a single Person] true God [a single Person].” All quite straightforward until a contradictory tradition (post-Bible) was introduced to complicate and confuse the monotheism of Jesus.
Well did scholar and teacher Franz-Josef Ohlig write in his very informative book One or Three: from the Father of Jesus to the Mystery of the Trinity:
- “Jesus himself stood in the tradition of Jewish monotheism…His thinking and acting were geared toward this one God…It is certain that the doctrine of the Trinity as it became dogma…has no biblical foundation whatsoever” (p. 121,130)