AN ARTICLE BY STANLEY ROSENTHAL, A CONVERTED JEWISH CHRISTIAN
Deut. 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
The above scripture (called the Shema) is the basis of the Jewish faith. This verse establishes that the Jewish faith is monotheistic. Here are a few other verses, which tells that God is one and there are no other gods.
“You shall have no gods before Me (Ex. 20:3).
“I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).
“I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me” (Isa. 45:5).
“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isa. 46:9).
If we look closely at scripture, in verses like Deuteronomy 6:4 and others, we will see that the Trinity is seen in the Old Testament. We will also see that the doctrine of the Trinity isn’t polytheism but monotheism.
Jewish people reject the Trinity because of Deuteronomy 6:4. but, by taking a look at the Shema, you’ll see the Trinity. The passage says:
“Shema Yisroel Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad.”
The word echad means “one” in English. Another word for “one” is yachid which means only or one and only one. Basically yachid denotes absolute singularity. But echad is a compound-unity noun.
DEFINITION: A compound-unity noun = A noun, which demonstrates oneness or unity while containing several entities at the same time.
Some examples would be Genesis 1:5 where the “first” in first day is echad. The one-day, which God created, consisted of both light and darkness – evening and day. A day, which is ONE, consists of 2 PARTS but it’s still ONE day. In Genesis 2:24, the “one” in one flesh is echad. God joined man and woman in perfect harmony as a unit. Two become one (Not the Spice Girls’ song but it’s the same theme) flesh in marriage. So 2 PEOPLE (Male & Female) come together and join as ONE. In Numbers 13:23, a cluster of grapes is echad. ONE cluster of grapes consisted of more than one grape. ONE cluster, many grapes. In Ezra 2:64,the “whole congregation” is derived from echad. ONE congregation consisted of more than one individual (42,360 Israelite’s in fact). In Jeremiah 32:38,39, the “one heart” and “one way” is echad. “One heart” and“one way” represents the entire nation of Israel. Again, many are seen as ONE.
On the contrary, the verses, which denote yachid as one are Genesis 22:2,12,16; Proverbs 4:3; Psalm 22:20; Judges 11:34, Jeremiah 6:26, Amos 8:10, & Zechariah 12:10.
Refer to these scriptures in your spare time as well as the above echad verses and note the difference. So when God inspired Moses to write Deuteronomy 6:4, He intended to use the plural ONE echad to demonstrate His plurality.
There is Plurality in the name of God, which is proof of the Trinity in the Old Testament. The Hebrew words for God are El & Elohim. El is the singular form while Elohim is the plural form of God. Stanley Rosenthal in his book, One God or Three, wrote: “Of the 2,750 times these words [El & Elohim] are used in the Old Testament, Elohim, the plural form, is employed in 2,500 cases.” So Elohim is the word to refer to the Almighty God. In the creation account, Elohim is used about thirty-two times in reference to God’s work in creating the heavens and the earth. In the Shema, God is rendered as Elohenu, which reflects both the plural pronoun our God, as well as the plural form Elohim. Why would God inspire Moses to write Elohim for God? Why would He choose the plural form to show His unity? God would’ve inspired Moses to use the singular form to establish that God is singular (Singular Unity Concept). But as we’ve seen, there is plurality within God’s unity.
Here are several points from Genesis to further establish proof of the plurality of God. In Genesis 1:26,27, the word for God is Elohim. God said, “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness.” If God created man then whom is God speaking to? God is speaking to the other two members of the Trinity. If I asked God, “Did you create man and woman in your image?” God would say, “We created man in our image.” Note: “We” is referring to the Trinity. Stanley Rosenthal wrote:
“The Hebrew nouns “image” and “likeness” are in the singular person, thus indicating that the speaker and the person spoken to are one in the same. The conclusion is illuminating: Plurality (“us” and “our”) is fused with singular terms (“image” and “likeness”), thereby displaying what we might call a unity-in-plurality. Reinforcement is provided by verse 27 when God refers to Himself in the personal singular pronouns “His” and “He”.”
Here are some examples of the example shown above of the unity-in-plurality concept.
Genesis 3:22 says, “Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of US.’” Genesis 11:7 says, “Come let US go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one anothers speech.”
These three scriptures are a strong case for the Trinity.
Isaiah 48:12,16 says, “Listen to Me, O Jacob. And Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last…Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the LORD GOD and His Spirit Have sent Me.”
The speaker in verse 12 is God because in verse 13, He said; “Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth.”But God identifies two other persons – the LORD GOD and His Spirit. So we have before us – God, His Lord God, and God’s Spirit – a Trinity!
In Isaiah 42:1, God says, “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him.”
In this verse God is referring to His Servant – the Messiah. So we have before us – God, the Servant (Messiah), and the Spirit. Note: The Messiah is God because in Isaiah 9:6,He is “Mighty God, Everlasting Father.”
In Micah 5:2, the Messiah’s “goings forth are from old, from everlasting.”
The Trinity is seen in Isaiah again. Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the LORD GOD is Upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are blind.”
The speaker is the Messiah describing His mission. We have before us – The Lord God, the Messiah, and the Spirit – the Trinity. Isaiah 11:1,2 says, “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him.” This passage identifies all three persons of the Godhead: the Lord, the Branch of Jesse (the Messiah), and the Spirit.
Here are a list of scriptures identifying the Father and Son & the Father and the Holy Spirit.
FATHER & SON
FATHER & HOLY SPIRIT
So as we see here there is a tri-unity between the trinity not polytheism. Polytheism projects gods who are independent entities – gods who consistently act at cross-purposes with one another. Within the tri-unity there is always absolute unity in design, desire and execution. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit always are operating in complete unison with each other. Look at Psalm 45:6,7; Psalm 110:1; Genesis 24:19 for the evidence of the trinity acting in unison.
Copyright © 2001 by STAT