Free Republic
Browse · Search
Smoky Backroom
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Our Glorious Gospel
Answers For Today ^ | Chuck Smith

Posted on 01/06/2004 6:08:05 PM PST by P-Marlowe

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 2,101-2,1502,151-2,2002,201-2,2502,251-2,295 last
To: sr4402; Vernon
You don't know the history of the conversation.

That aside. We've had enough "unconditional election" discussions to fill a room with books of printout.

At one level, both Arminians and Calvinists believe in unconditional election. Arms base it on God's foreknowledge. Calvinists base it on God's foreordination.

I think the Arminian version better preserves other scriptures that reflect free will.
2,251 posted on 01/23/2004 9:59:55 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2248 | View Replies]

To: Vernon
Yes, I could, but there has been enough written by others...and your denigration is NOT appreciated.

Here is the issue Vern. The only way we have to measure our lives is by the word of God . The 10 commandments could be described as a proof text . We have to look at the weight of scripture to see the entire picture ..when there are several verses that display the same position , they are worthy of discussion not dismissal as a "straw man" or "proof texting"

All churches proof text in their belief statements (I invite you to re read the AOG statement ) They present a doctrinal stand and then give supporting texts.

Now if I wanted to dispute the doctrinal stand made by that proof text , I have a starting point in understanding their position .

In our discussion here you have not disputed one text..you have simply dismissed them as unimportant or" straw men" and substituting only your opinion.

vern that carries zero credibility next to the word of God.

I will be blunt and say I do not believe that you could write a position paper based on scripture because there is only one scripture that indicates salvation of an infant (Davids child) ., and that does not address if it is by "innocence" or grace.

I suspect that you well know that the bible stands fairly silent on that topic and what you express is a church tradition .

I would wager that you often preach an entire sermon on one proof text , so your position seems to be disingenuous .

2,252 posted on 01/23/2004 10:03:05 AM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2225 | View Replies]

To: Revelation 911
I actually know a guy named Laverne

For a long time I thought he was a woman ..but I could never understand how calvinists would put any stock in the work of a woman...and that is the rest of the story :>)

2,253 posted on 01/23/2004 10:04:48 AM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2249 | View Replies]

To: xzins
I think the Arminian version better preserves other scriptures that reflect free will my presuppositions.
2,254 posted on 01/23/2004 10:30:13 AM PST by lockeliberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2251 | View Replies]

To: lockeliberty
Sigh....

Thanks LL.

Nothing like such deep comments to keep me wondering.
2,255 posted on 01/23/2004 10:42:50 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2254 | View Replies]

To: lockeliberty
scriptures that preserve my presuppositions

Does this mean that you're finally admitting the above?

Have you come over to the Bright Side of the Force? To the Bright and Morning Star?

2,256 posted on 01/23/2004 10:45:03 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2254 | View Replies]

To: xzins
You're not confirming ANYTHING I didn't know from before.
2,257 posted on 01/23/2004 10:47:03 AM PST by Wrigley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2250 | View Replies]

To: xzins
LOL

I kept the quote in italics. I just changed your wording to better reflect your mindset. ;~)
2,258 posted on 01/23/2004 10:50:10 AM PST by lockeliberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2256 | View Replies]

To: Wrigley
That works for me.

BTW, does United Reformed have a College and/or Seminary. (Is Calvin College theirs?)

Are they a breakoff from CRC?
2,259 posted on 01/23/2004 10:50:25 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2257 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7
As I said, there has been enough written.

I do not need to read the A/G material - I lived with it for about 32 years...and know it very well. I also know what proof-texting is, and I am not the least interested in your parsing and arguing.

As to what you believe about whether or not I could write a document, it matters not to me at all what you think... The only thing it would mean to you is something to argue about, which I am not interested in...period!

No, not all Churches "proof-text" if you even have a clue what "proof-texting" is about. I think your comment is adequate evidence of the technique you use.

Sorry, I would not wager anything with you because you obviously know everything, and I have more important things to do than spend my time debating nonsense with someone who is implacable at best.

Have a good day.
2,260 posted on 01/23/2004 10:56:14 AM PST by Vernon (Sir "Ol Vern" aka Brother Maynard)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2252 | View Replies]

To: xzins; Vernon
You don't know the history of the conversation.

That doesn't matter, the issue whether God can choose and save Mormons, retarded folks, etc is what Vernon brought up. If he thinks that we are wrong, in that God could choose out of this group, does pertain to Unconditional Election.

If he does believe, that these folks cannot believe and go through the sanctification process would doubt God's choosing them in the first place("for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Phil 2:13).

I think the Arminian version better preserves other scriptures that reflect free will

Why assume there is no free will in the calvinist position?. Men do "call upon the name of the Lord" and are saved. But we Calvinist say that the Grace of God (Irristable Grace) is more powerful than we comprehend and that there is a lot more before salvation than meets the eye and we find this throughout Scripture. We would say that man's free will cannot save him, but that God can and does use it.

2,261 posted on 01/23/2004 11:44:01 AM PST by sr4402
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2251 | View Replies]

To: sr4402; xzins; Vernon
We would say that man's free will cannot save him, but that God can and does use it.

And undoubtedly we would all agree.

BTW, That statement could qualify you for membership in the High Council of the Order of the Eternal Exclamation Point (with asterik)™.

Interested?

2,262 posted on 01/23/2004 11:50:49 AM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2261 | View Replies]

To: xzins
Are they a breakoff from CRC?

Not according to the URC website.

2,263 posted on 01/23/2004 12:05:58 PM PST by connectthedots (John Calvin WAS NOT a Calvinist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2259 | View Replies]

To: sr4402; P-Marlowe
Your brand of Calvinism is inconsistent with 'Swarm Calvinism'.
2,264 posted on 01/23/2004 12:08:46 PM PST by connectthedots (John Calvin WAS NOT a Calvinist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2261 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
Is it me, or should this thread have been moved to religion?
2,265 posted on 01/23/2004 1:01:37 PM PST by GigaDittos (Bumper sticker: "Vote Democrat, it's easier than getting a job.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sr4402
Actually, Vernon didn't bring it up. P-Marlowe brought it up relative to a cousin of his. It helps to know the history of the thread. I believe that both of them say that if a child can be assumed to be automatically saved, then that same logic could hold for a retarded person who remains a child (or less) throughout his/her entire life. I think you understand the logic.

I'm fairly familiar with the calvinist position on lots of things. I'm sure I've got a lot to learn. I don't consider their version of "free will" to truly be free will.

By way of example, if I tell you that you can sit in your chair OR you can go for a walk, but then I put you in a strait jacket and chain you to your chair, do you really have a choice between sitting in your chair or going for a walk?
2,266 posted on 01/23/2004 1:08:32 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2261 | View Replies]

To: xzins
What will we leave the younger generation that they will see as a wonderful gift/witness?

Lots of money? ;D No? How about lives poured out before God? That would certainly be a collective witness to my generation (and the world at large). As some guy wrote that I read in The Pure In Heart, "Lord, send us more saints."

2,267 posted on 01/23/2004 1:36:43 PM PST by The Grammarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2216 | View Replies]

To: Vernon
A quick query, easy one too. It's a yes or no type.

Is belief in the doctrine of the Trinity an essential belief for salvation? Yes, or no?

2,268 posted on 01/23/2004 1:47:01 PM PST by Ephesians210
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2260 | View Replies]

To: sr4402
RE:the issue whether God can choose and save Mormons

God does choose and save Mormons, then they become born again Christians and are no longer Mormons.

2,269 posted on 01/23/2004 1:49:13 PM PST by Ephesians210
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2261 | View Replies]

To: GigaDittos
Is it me, or should this thread have been moved to religion?

Heh...it started out in religion...then it got baaaaaaad...

2,270 posted on 01/23/2004 2:19:51 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (Virginia Senator John ChaChingChester is TAXING my nerves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2265 | View Replies]

To: Ephesians210
Exactly!
2,271 posted on 01/23/2004 3:17:30 PM PST by CARepubGal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2269 | View Replies]

Ho hum..... OK, should I just pull this thread, or can you all behave? Up to you.....
2,272 posted on 01/23/2004 3:24:12 PM PST by Admin Moderator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2271 | View Replies]

To: Admin Moderator
Ho hum..... OK, should I just pull this thread, or can you all behave? Up to you.....

Just to give us all an idea as to what might cause this thread to be pulled, could you post the numbers of the posts that you think might be violative of the spirit of the smokey back room.

That way we can review them and learn what not to do.

thanks

<><

Marlowe

2,273 posted on 01/23/2004 4:11:25 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2272 | View Replies]

To: Ephesians210
A quick query, easy one too.

It's a yes or no type. Is belief in the doctrine of the Trinity an essential belief for salvation? Yes, or no?

Read Romans 10:9-10.

2,274 posted on 01/23/2004 4:46:29 PM PST by Vernon (Sir "Ol Vern" aka Brother Maynard)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2268 | View Replies]

To: Vernon
Another proof text?
2,275 posted on 01/23/2004 4:53:18 PM PST by drstevej
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2274 | View Replies]

To: Vernon; Ephesians210; drstevej; xzins
The Calvinists all insist that all of these old testament people were somehow regenerated and saved by God's grace even before Jesus ever set foot on the earth, much less died for their sins. I would venture to guess that not one of them believed in the "Trinity" as it is understood in Orthodox Christianity.

So, if it is possible that David and Moses and Abraham and Issac and Jacob were all saved without once mentioning anywhere in their writings or their traditions that God was three-in-one, then I would venture to guess that belief in the "Trinity" is obviously not an essential belief for salvation.

Now if belief in the "Trinity" is an essential element of salvation, then I dare say that none of the old testament people were saved.

2,276 posted on 01/23/2004 6:17:08 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2274 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe; Vernon; Ephesians210
The issue is whether belief in the Trinity is part of the plan of salvation.

The jailer says: What must I do to be saved?

Paul Answers:

1. Believe in the trinity
2. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ

NOW -- If you asked me, "Is belief in the Trinity a necessary mark of a historic Christian Church?" then I would give a resounding, unequivocal "yes."

Eph201, My guess is that you framed your question too loosely.
2,277 posted on 01/23/2004 6:27:39 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2276 | View Replies]

To: xzins; Vernon; Ephesians210
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

It is by the NAME of Jesus that we are saved. A general understanding of the Trinity comes with dedication to study of his Word. But if a complete and total understanding of the intricacies of Trinitarian doctrine is necessary for salvation, then I trust few if any would be saved. I can't adequately explain it. So how can I expect someone who has never met the Lord to understand it?

2,278 posted on 01/23/2004 7:50:43 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2277 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
I agree. Being able to explain the trinity is not part of the plan of salvation.
2,279 posted on 01/23/2004 7:53:59 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2278 | View Replies]

To: Vernon; drstevej
A proof-text and proof-texting are generally considered to be the taking of a single verse out of its biblical context to prove a doctrine.
2,280 posted on 01/23/2004 9:30:14 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2274 | View Replies]

To: xzins; Vernon
Got a reference for that?
2,281 posted on 01/23/2004 10:02:25 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (Virginia Senator John ChaChingChester is TAXING my nerves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2280 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands
Don't MAKE me get the +5 Holy Avenger out. :-)
2,282 posted on 01/23/2004 10:25:18 PM PST by CARepubGal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2281 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands; Vernon
the straight line definition is "text used to prove a doctrine."

however, it bears a negative connotation in most cases, so the idea is one of "out of context" to falsely/weakly prove a point.

I gathered it from a reading a variety of locations where the words "proof-text" were used. It doesn't appear in webster's at all.
2,283 posted on 01/23/2004 10:28:01 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2281 | View Replies]

So, if it is possible that David and Moses and Abraham and Issac and Jacob were all saved without once mentioning anywhere in their writings or their traditions that God was three-in-one, then I would venture to guess that belief in the "Trinity" is obviously not an essential belief for salvation.
Now if belief in the "Trinity" is an essential element of salvation, then I dare say that none of the old testament people were saved.

Spoken like a man that has only left physically . I can hear the refrain of "Come Home Come home"

Trinitarians believe that while there is only one God, numerically speaking, yet, within this one God, there exists more than one person, ego, intellect or self. This is the fundamental principle underlying the doctrine of the Trinity. Thus it does not make much sense to discuss how many Persons there are in the Godhead and how They relate to each other until you have first established the multi-personal nature of God.

What to Expect

If the authors of the Bible believed that God was multi-personal, then we would expect to find that they would write about God in such a way as to indicate this idea to their readers. Thus, we must ask, "What would we expect to find in the Bible, if its authors believed that God was multi personal?"

On the other hand, if the authors of the Bible believed that God was only one person, i.e., they were classic Unitarians, then they would write about God in such a way as to indicate that idea. Thus, we are also warranted to ask, "What would we expect to find in the Bible, if Unitarians wrote it?"

We will at times use the term "Unitarian" in its generic sense of anyone who denies the Trinity because he believes that God is only one person. This would include Jews, Muslims, Arians, and Modalists.

Let us examine the Old Testament to see whose position is verified by the Hebrew text keeping in mind the basic question, "What must be in order for what is to be what it is?"

The Oneness of God

The first question is how did the biblical authors, under the inspiration of God, conceive of the oneness of God? There are nine different Hebrew Words which at times are translated as the word "one:"

While such words as ish (man) or ishah (woman) are sometimes translated "one," they are never applied to God. Since God is not a man or a woman (Num. 23:19), this is what we would expect to find. The same applies to the word nephesh (soul) which is never used to speak of the oneness of God.

The question that comes to mind at this point is, if Unitarians wrote the Bible, which word for oneness would they apply to God? Out of all the words above, there is only one word which would indicate that God is one solitary person. If this word is applied to God in the Bible, this would be quite damaging to the Trinitarian position.

The word is "yachid" and means an absolute or solitary oneness.[1] It is even translated "solitary" in Psalm 68:6 and refers to someone who is absolutely alone. This is its general meaning throughout Scripture.[2]

Unitarians should naturally expect to find that the word <yachid was applied to God in the Bible. On the other hand, Trinitarians would not expect to find yachid used of God because they believe that there are three Persons within the Godhead.

Whose Expectations Are Fulfilled?

When we turn to the Bible, what do we find? The authors of Scripture never applied yachid to God. They never described God as a solitary person. This is quite damaging to the Unitarian position.

The Word Echad

In the list of Hebrew words which speak of oneness, the word echad [often] refers to a compound oneness in which a number of things together are described as "one".[3] The following sample passages illustrate this compound meaning of oneness:

The passages above are just a small sample of the many times echad is used of compound oneness. But it is enough to demonstrate beyond all doubt that the Old Testament, from the Law to the Prophets, used echad to express a unified or compound oneness.

Who Would Use Echad

A Unitarian would never apply the Hebrew word echad to God because it means a compound or unified oneness. If the authors of the Bible were Unitarians, we would not expect to find echad applied to God.

On the other hand, if the writers of Scripture believed that God was multi-personal, then we would expect to find that they would apply echad to God because this would mean that God is "one" in a composite or compound sense. As a matter of fact, echad is the only available Hebrew word they could use to express this idea.

When we open the Bible, what do we find? We find that echad is applied to God. He is "one" in the sense of compound oneness. This is so central to the Old Testament concept of God that it is found in Israel's Great Confession:

"Hear, O Israel, [Yahweh] our God, Yahwehis one!" (Deut. 6:4)

The use of echad in Deut. 6:4 is exactly what Trinitarians expect to find in the Bible because it is the only way in the Hebrew language to indicate to the reader that God is a composite unity of several Persons and not just a solitary person. There are no other words in the Hebrew language by which such an idea could be expressed.

But how can this be the true understanding of echad when the Jews today reject the doctrine of the Trinity? The noted Hebrew scholar, David Cooper, explains:

Prior to the days of Moses Maimonides, the unity of God was expressed by echad which, as has been proved beyond a doubt, has as its primary meaning that of a compound unity. Maimonides, who drafted the thirteen articles of faith, in the second one sets forth the unity of God, using the word yachid which in the Tenach is never used to express God's unity. From these facts it is evident that a new idea was injected into this confession by substituting yachid which in every passage carries the primary idea of oneness in the absolute sense for echad which primarily means a compound unity. Hence from the days of Maimonides on, an interpretation different from the ancient one was placed upon this most important passage.[4]

When you consider the use of echad in reference to God and the fact that yachid are never applied to God, the implication is obvious. God is a compound unity, i.e., multi-personal.

Singular and Plural Words

If the authors of Scripture believed there was only one God, how could they express this idea in the Hebrew language? The only way, in terms of Hebrew grammar, was to use singular nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs in reference to God. Thus, they would refer to God as "He," "Him," and "His" and describe God as saying, "I," "Myself," and "Me." Both Unitarians and Trinitarians would expect to find the authors of Scripture using such words in reference to God.

But, if they also believed that God was multi-personal, the only way this idea could be indicated in the Hebrew was to use plural nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs. They would also refer to God as "They," "Them," and "Theirs" and describe God as saying, "We," "Us," and "Ours."

Singular Words

While both Trinitarians and Unitarians expect to find singular words applied to God, because they both believe there is only one God numerically speaking, only Trinitarians expect to find plural words used of God as well. We have yet to see a Unitarian book in which God is referred to as "They" or "Them." But this is standard practice in Trinitarian books.

An example of a singular name for God is found in Numbers 23:19:

"God (el) is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"

In this verse, God is given the name El which is a singular noun. All the verbs which modify El in this verse are singular as well. The divine name El is transliterated in such places as Gen. 33:20 (EL-Elohe-Israel).

God is called boreh (Creator) in Isaiah 40:28, which is the singular form of the verb bara. He is also called vyitsro (Maker) in Isaiah 45:11, which is the singular form of yatsar. Since there is only one God, we are not surprised to find singular nouns and verbs used of God.

Plural Words

But when it comes to plural nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs, this is not something which a Unitarian would expect to be applied to God in the Bible. We have yet to hear a Unitarian refer to God as "Them." But this would be exactly what a Trinitarian would expect to find in the Bible.

If God is multi-personal, then we would expect to find God saying, "We," "Us," or "Our" as well as "I," "Myself," or "Me" because God is One and Three at the same time. The doctrine of the Trinity requires the plural as well as the singular while Unitarianism only requires the singular.

Who Is Right?

Did the authors of the Bible use plural words for God? Yes, they did. The plural form of El is elohim which is the most frequently used word for "God" in the Bible (i.e., Gen. 1:1).

The word elohim is translated as "gods" over four hundred times in the Bible. That it is a true plural is seen from the fact that it has plural verbs and plural adjectives modifying it. Several examples will suffice to demonstrate this point:

The divine name is elohim and the verb which modifies it is hit`u (cause to wander) which is the plural form of ta`u. It can be translated, "When they, i.e., God, caused me to wander from my father's house."

The verb niglu (revealed) is the plural form of gla and modifies elohim (God)

The word qrovim (coming near) in Deut. 4:7 is a plural form of the word qarav and modifies elohim.

David used the verb shephmim "judges" in its plural form. A literal translation would be, "They, i.e., God, who judges the earth."

Besides the plural noun elohim and all its plural modifiers, the authors of the Bible used other plural nouns as well:

David uses the masculine plural b`osay "Makers" to refer to the God of Israel. What Unitarian would ever speak of God as his "Makers"? Only Trinitarians do this.

The Trinitarian has no problem whatsoever understanding how God can be described in the Bible as both the "Maker" and "Makers" of the universe at the same time because the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were are involved in the work of creation. But the Unitarian is hard put to explain why the Bible speaks of a plurality of Creators.

Gobbledygook

Trinitarians are often accused of theological gobbledygook when they say that, since God is one and three at the same time, God is both "Creator" and "Creators" at the same time. But this is exactly what the Hebrew text does. The same words for "Creator" and "Maker" are used in both their singular and plural forms.

Plural Pronouns

What about plural pronouns? Does God ever speak in the first person plural by using such terms as "Us," "We," and "Our"? If the authors of the Bible were Unitarian in belief, then we would not expect to find God speaking in the plural. But if Trinitarianism is true, then that is exactly what we would expect to find in the Bible.

The evidence is clear that plural pronouns are used in reference to God in the following passages:

Then God said, "LetUs make man Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:26- 27)

First, the word "make" (...) in the phrase "Let us make man" is a plural verb. The Hebrew grammar cannot be ignored. The main verb as well as the pronouns are all plural. This would indicate that God is the "Us" and "Our" who is speaking.

Second, that the plural pronouns refer to God and not to angels is clear from the singular nouns "image" and "likeness." Man is not created in the two images or two likenesses - God's and the angels. We are created in the image and likeness of God.

Third, this is also demonstrated by the repetition of the word "image" in verse 27. If the "image" in which man was created was reflective of angels as well as God, it would not have been rendered in the singular, but in the plural.

Fourth, some anti-Trinitarians have attempted to dismiss the passage as an example of the plural of majesty (pluralis majestaticus), much like Queen Victoria of England who is reported to have said, "We are not amused."

The only problem with this argument is that there was no plural of majesty in the Hebrew language during biblical times. Rabbi Tzvi Nassi, a lecturer in Hebrew at Oxford University, explains:

Every one who is acquainted with the rudiments of the Hebrew and Chaldee languages, must know that God, in the holy Writings, very often spoke of Himself in the plural. The passages are numerous, in which, instead of a grammatical agreement between the subject and predicate, we meet with a construction, which some modern grammarians, who possess more of the so-called philosophical than of the real knowledge of the Oriental languages, call a pluralis excellentiae. This helps them out of every apparent difficulty. Such a pluralis excellentiae was, however, a thing unknown to Moses and the prophets. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, David, and all the other kings, throughout TeNaKh (the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa) speak in the singular, and not as modern kings in the plural. They do not say we, but I, command; as in Gen. xli. 41; Dan. iii. 29; Ezra i. 2, etc.[5]

An Amazing Hoax

During the nineteenth century debates between Unitarians and Trinitarians, the principle of pluralis majestaticus was revealed to be a hoax popularized by the famous Jewish scholar Gesenius. It became clear that he used it as a ruse de guerre against Christianity.

The fundamental error resided in the attempt to take a modern monarchical idiosyncrasy and read it back into an ancient text when such an idiosyncrasy was unknown at that time. Richard Davies in 1891 pointed out, "Indeed, this royal style is unknown in Scripture."[6]

What is astounding is that, one hundred years later, the anti-Trinitarians are still using this hoax to dodge the significance of the use of plural pronouns in reference to God. They seem to be totally ignorant of the fact that it is a recent grammatical invention and, thus, cannot be read back into ancient times or texts.

We must also point out that anti-Trinitarians now apply the principle of pluralis majestaticus to all plural words of God when the principle really only relates to direct discourse, i.e., "Us" and "Our" passages. It is even invoked as a way to explain away the significance of the plural word elohim in such places as Genesis 1:1. But since Genesis 1:1 is not a direct discourse, the appeal to a supposed "plurality of majesty" is nothing more than a ruse.

The Fall of Man

God said that men "has become one with Us." There is nothing in the context to indicate that God was speaking to angels. Thus the "Us" is God and reveals His multi-personal nature.

The Tower of Babel

The words "come" and "confuse" are both plural verbs. This fact, when combined with the plural pronouns and the identification of the "Us" as none other than Yahweh in the subsequent verses, makes the attempt to introduce angels as the ones to whom God is speaking, highly unlikely. When angels do have a hand in punishing man, they are given due credit (Gen. 19:1-26, etc.). No credit is given to the angels because they were not involved.

The Call of Isaiah

Isaiah was called and sent by the Divine UUs." Nowhere are angels introduced in the context. The "Us" is Yahweh speaking as a multipersonal Being. There is not a single text in all of Scripture where a prophet is described as a spokesman of angels.

Plural Persons

Another thing which Trinitarians expect to find in the Bible is that there will be places where it is clear that more than one person is God. This is decidedly not what Unitarians expect to find.

There are several passages where two divine persons are both called "God" in the sense of both being the one true God. The first passage is found in Genesis 19:24:

This passage is remarkable regardless of how you deal with it. It simply states that there are two divine Persons: One on the earth and One in the heavens. Each Person is called ... (Yahweh).

The first ... (Yahweh) who is on earth brings down brimstone and fire from the second ... (Yahweh) who is in the heavens. It is easy to see why this passage has irritated anti-Trinitarians for centuries.

What are we to make of it? The Council of Sirmium decreed, "the Son of God brought down the rain from God the Father."[7] This was the clear interpretation of the Early Church.

The great German Reformer Martin Luther commented:

One alternate interpretation is that the second Yahweh is simply a repetition for emphasis sake.[9] But this interpretation has several insurmountable problems.

First, is it not clear that Moses is contrasting heaven and earth? Yes! Can anyone deny that they are juxtaposed? The fire comes down from the heavens to the earth below.

Is it not also clear that the two Yahwehs are part of this contrast? Yes. Are not the two Yahwehs clearly juxtaposed in the text? Yes. Just as the heavens cannot be interpreted as a repetition of the earth, neither can the first Yahweh be interpreted as a repetition of the second Yahweh.

The second problem with this interpretation is that there are no other passages in the Pentateuch where a name is repeated once at the beginning and again at the end for emphasis sake. Thus there is no evidence that Moses ever used such a literary device.

Dr. Herbert Leupold, who wrote one of the best commentaries on the book of Genesis in the 20th century, stated:

This is exactly the kind of text that the Trinitarian expects to find in the Bible.

Psalm 45:6-7 is another passage which bears close attention:

David is clearly addressing the one true God when he says, "Thy throne, O God," because the throne of the person being addressed is "for ever and ever," i.e., eternal. Eternity is an attribute of deity.

Also, in other psalms, David identifies that throne as Yahweh's throne (Ps. 11:4) from which in heaven He rules over all things (Ps. 103:19) for eternity (Ps. 93:2). This cannot be applied to David or to Solomon or to any other earthly king.

If this is all the passage said, no one would have the least difficulty in identifying God as the One to whom David is praying. The problem for the anti-Trinitarian is that David goes on to speak of God as being anointed by God!

How can the God of Israel sitting on His throne ruling the universe be anointed by God? For the Trinitarian, this is no problem at all. But for the Unitarian, this text represents a huge problem.

The historic Christian interpretation is that "it is clear from this passage that there are at least two Divine Personalities who are eternal and omnipotent."[11] This was the ancient Jewish view as well. The classic German commentator, Franz Delitzsch, explains:

The greatest of the classic commentaries on the Psalms was written by the German scholar Hengstenberg. He pointed out:

The Inescapable Vocative

The anti-Trinitarians have attempted to escape this passage by translating kimacha elohim not as the vocative "Your throne O God," but as "God is your throne" in order to avoid the obvious truth that there are two persons in this passage who are both called elohim.

After surveying all the attempts to translate the words in some other way than "O God," Hengstenberg states that "they have not been able to bring forward anything grammatically tenable."[14] He concludes that "the Construction of Elohim as vocative is the only one which can be grammatically justified."[15] As Prof. Plumer pointed out in his classic commentary on the Psalms:

The underlying reason as to why anti-Trinitarians try so hard to escape the obvious meaning of the text is pointed out by Hengstenberg:

We are once again thrown back to the issue of a priori assumptions. The liberal and the cultist assume that the Bible cannot speak of God as multi-personal. Thus, they always end up in circular reasoning instead of being open to the evidence.

The Lord Sent Me

Another passage which should be noted is Isaiah 48:12-17:

The identity of the speaker is clearly the God of Israel because He calls Himself "the first and last" in verse 12. This title had already been used of Yahweh of Hosts in Isaiah 44:6:

The Hebrew for "I am the first and I am the last" is the same in Isaiah 44:6 and 48:12: .... This God is further identified as "the Yahweh of armies" in Isaiah 44:6.

The divine title "the first and the last" means that He is the first God and the last God because there are no other gods before or after Him. He alone is God.

The speaker in Isa. 48 is further identified by doing things which only God can do such as absolute foreknowledge (vs. 3,5,6), creation (v.13), sovereignty (v. 15), and omnipresence (v. 16).

Who else but the one true God could say:

No one should have the slightest difficulty in identifying the speaker as God. The context of the passage and the grammar of the text are both very clear. But prejudiced anti-Trinitarians must object because the God who is speaking says that He, along with the Holy Spirit, are sent by God.[18]

If the passage is interpreted in its natural and normal meaning, there are three persons in this passage who are all God! But how can God be sent by God unless there are several Persons within the Godhead? Since the Father sent the Son and the Spirit in Trinitarian theology, this is exactly the kind of passage which we expect to find.

How can non-Trinitarians handle a passage like this? They can't. So they deny that the speaker is God and claim that it is actually Isaiah who is speaking in either verse 16b or the whole of verse 16!

The attempt to interject Isaiah into verse 16 falls before the following questions:

  1. Is there anything in the Hebrew text to indicate a break in the speech of Jehovah? No.
  2. Does Isaiah elsewhere in his book dare to interrupt the Almighty and to insert himself? No.
  3. Is there any evidence whatsoever in the text to indicate that anyone else besides God is speaking? No.
  4. Has any translation ever separated verse 16 from the rest of Jehovah's speech? No.
  5. Does the Septuagint make a break in verse 16? No.
  6. Do the Targums? No.

This passage is clear proof that the authors of the Bible believed that God was multi-personal. A Trinitarian would not have the least hesitation to write the text as it stands. But Unitarians, Arians, Modalists, and Muslims could never do so.

The Prophet Hosea

Isaiah is not the only prophet to depict God as the divine speaker and have Him refer to another person as God. The prophet Hosea recorded Yahweh (from verse 2) as saying:

If I as the first person promise to do something for you as the second person through a third person, am I not implying that I am not the same as the third person? If grammar means anything, the answer is, "Yes".

When Yahweh as the first person promised to deliver Israel as the second person by a third person called Yahweh, what other conclusion can we logically come to than that there are two persons each called Yahweh?

The "classic" commentary on the Minor Prophets was written by E.B. Pusey. He noted that the "Yahweh their God" through whom the deliverance came was none other than the Angel of Yahweh when he "smote in one night 185,000 in the camp of the Asyrians."[19] How was the deliverance accomplished?

The "Yahweh their God" was clearly a different person from the "Yahweh" who was speaking. Yet, they each were YaHWeH. While this is what Trinitarians expect to find in the Bible, Unitarians are continually frustrated by such passages.

That the authors of Scripture believed that God was multi-personal can also be found in passages concerning the angel of Yahweh and the theophanies. This material is so vast that we must devote separate chapters to each subject.

Conclusion

The material presented in this chapter demonstrates that the one true God of Scripture was conceived of by the Patriarchs and the prophets as being multi-personal. The fundamental principle of the doctrine of the Trinity has been verified by the Old Testament.


2,284 posted on 01/23/2004 10:53:46 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2276 | View Replies]

To: xzins; drstevej
A proof-text and proof-texting are generally considered to be the taking of a single verse out of its biblical context to prove a doctrine.

Like John 3:16?

Vernon has proved the Arminian doctrine has no clothes.

2,285 posted on 01/23/2004 10:56:07 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2280 | View Replies]

To: xzins
The jailer says: What must I do to be saved?

Paul Answers:

1. Believe in the trinity
2. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ







Love your proof text
2,286 posted on 01/23/2004 10:57:44 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2277 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7
I don't understand what Jn 3:16 has to do with it???
2,287 posted on 01/23/2004 10:58:26 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2285 | View Replies]

To: xzins; Dr Steve; CCWoody
I agree. Being able to explain the trinity is not part of the plan of salvation.

So then you believe that Mormons and JW's Armstrong followers are saved because they said the right words?

Your group of allies look more and more like wolves dressed as sheep

2,288 posted on 01/23/2004 11:00:37 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2279 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7
Do you choose #1 or #2?
2,289 posted on 01/23/2004 11:04:51 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2286 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7
The plan of salvation is:

1. Believe that Jim Jones was God's Chosen Messenger.
2. Believe that cherry pie is best with vanilla ice cream.
3. Believe that God is 3 in 1.
4. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pick one.
2,290 posted on 01/23/2004 11:07:10 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2288 | View Replies]

To: xzins
A 6000 word spam attack. Could be a new FR record.
2,291 posted on 01/23/2004 11:31:09 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2287 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7; xzins; Vernon; Revelation 911
Vernon has proved the Arminian doctrine has no clothes.

Keep your fantasies out of this Ma. ;-)

2,292 posted on 01/24/2004 6:23:44 AM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2285 | View Replies]

To: xzins
Although I am very tempted to pick door number 2, especially as I am very hungry right now... I think I will CHOOSE door number..... 4!

Now what prize awaits me behind door number 4?

By golly it looks like I get ETERNAL LIFE and a cherry pie with vanilla ice cream. :-)

2,293 posted on 01/24/2004 7:12:11 AM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2290 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
Eternal Life AND cherry pie with vanilla ice cream!

Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

2,294 posted on 01/24/2004 8:49:23 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2293 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands
Keep your fantasies out of this Ma. ;-)

:>))

2,295 posted on 01/24/2004 10:09:53 AM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2292 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 2,101-2,1502,151-2,2002,201-2,2502,251-2,295 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Smoky Backroom
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson