As I mentioned in my last post, I found that I had a challenge before me. In order to prove that Jesus is both the Messiah, and God in the flesh, I needed to first prove the Trinity. This became paramount because some of the arguments against these two ideas came from Old Testament Scripture. I realized that I needed to find similar sources for my arguments, as my opponents wouldn’t accept the New Testament as a reliable source.
Thankfully, God saw fit to send me the right people. I’ve since learned that it’s a lot harder to debate Jewish people than it is Muslims. Not only are they more stubborn and prideful, but the truth of the matter is I can’t refute their Scripture, without undermining my own position. I can come up with numerous ways to prove that Muhammad was a false prophet, that the Qur’an is false, and that Allah is in fact Satan. All I need is the Bible and history to prove that.
How do I prove that Judaism is wrong, with regards to the Messiah, when it’s their Scripture? Well, as it turns out, I wasn’t without resources. Not only did I need the Bible, but I also needed the Talmud, The Zohar and hours worth of patience, in order to prove that they aren’t reading the Scripture right. I also managed to find something very surprising about Jewish history, one which some might not have considered.
What is the Trinity?
The Trinity is God. He is made up of three parts, contained in one entity, known collectively as God. Most of us know the Trinity as: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That’s how it appears in the New Testament, as evidenced by the moment of Jesus’ baptism, when the entire Trinity appears together. (Matthew 3:13-17) Yet, how many have stopped to consider whether or not the Trinity can be found in the Old Testament? Every critic I’ve encountered has given the same answer: NO!
Thankfully, I didn’t allow them to stop me, and found that they were wrong. The Trinity can be found all over the Old Testament. However, they’re known by different names: the Lord God, The Angel of the Lord (Genesis 16, 21, 22, 31; Exodus 3, 14; Numbers 22; Judges 2, 5, 6, 13; 2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21; 1 Kings 19; 2 Kings 1, 19; 2 Chronicles 32; Isaiah 37; Zechariah 1, 3, 12; Psalm 34, 35), and the Spirit of God (Exodus 31:3; Numbers 24:2; Judges 3:10; 1 Samuel 19:20; 2 Samuel 23:2-3; Psalm 51, 104:30; Isaiah 63:11-12, 48:16; Ezekiel 11:5; Job 33:4). While they’re known by other names in Scripture, these are the names they’re called most often.
In my effort to prove the Trinity, I’ll begin with a quote from The Zohar, which is a book on Jewish mysticism written a few centuries after Christ died and resurrected. With regards to YHWH it says,
“The mystery in the word YHWH: there are three steps, each existing by itself; nevertheless they are One, and are so united that one cannot be separated from the other. The same Holy and Ancient One, appears as three heads within one, and He is the head elevated three times. The Ancient Holy One, described as three and also the other lights, which are delegated from His source are included in the three.”
Moving on into Scripture, we’ll go all the way to the beginning, as in the literal beginning. In Genesis 1:1-2, we find the idea of God as a plurality hinted at in the text. This short passage mentions the Lord God and the Spirit of God in a manner that suggests separation and distinction.
Next, there is Genesis 1:26, in which God says, “let us make man in our image”. One of my Jewish opponents asserted that this was God speaking to the angels, but that doesn’t make any sense given that we are made in His image, not the angel’s. Therefor, one must ask, was God speaking to Himself, or was someone else there? God as a plurality helps one make sense of the situation we’re presented with.
The next verse we have is Deuteronomy 6:4, which says,
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (NKJV)
In Hebrew: “Shema Y’isra’el: Adonai Eluheinu, Adonai Echad!”
In the original Hebrew, this a verse where God is named three times. Both “Adonai” and “Elohim” are names that have been applied to God. In the case of this verse, He is named three times. Why might that be?
We have a verse which not only names God three times, but which refers to Him in the plural tense. The tenses “-im” (Elohim) and “-inu” (Eluheinu) are masculine plural forms. In the case of “inu”, it is the plural possessive pronoun-suffix denoting things which belong to us. In this case, it’s translated as “our God”. However, one could make the case that it could also translate as “our Gods”, though I wouldn’t venture to do that myself.
Then there is the final word in verse 6:4, “Echad”. While it does mean “one”, it means “one” in the same sense as “one” in English. It can refer to a single entity, or a grouping: one person, or one group of people. When you combine that word with a word given in the plural sense, but used as singular, you have a new dimension added to the overall picture. You have the Lord God appearing in a whole new light.
To illustrate, here are just two verses in which Echad is used in this sense, i.e. more than one individual being brought into unity. First, Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” In the original Hebrew, the “one” in “one flesh” is “Echad”, signifying that two separate people (a man and his wife) will be joined together into a singular entity.
In Genesis 11:6, we have another example, “And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” The word Echad is used in both “people are one”, and “one language”. Again, we have a situation in which the word for “one” is used to signify a grouping.
As if further verification was really even needed, we shall return to The Zohar to see what it says about Deuteronomy 6:4, which it describes as “three who are one”, “Only through faith, in the vision of the Holy Spirit, the mystery of the audible voice is similar to this, for though it is One, yet it consists of three elements: Fire, Air, and Water.”
It’s clear that God is a plurality, and that His Word was written in such a way as to make His nature clear. The Almighty Father is indeed complex, so much so that no human mind will ever be able to fully understand Him. Which is just as well, given that we wouldn’t follow a god we can fully understand. We humans have a hard enough time following a God who is a limitless mystery to us.
In part three, I’ll continue to cover the Trinity and my argument for its existence in the Old Testament. It will be when I delve further into the Scriptural references I’ve provided thus far.