Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Do Christians Believe in Three Gods?

Since the charge of polytheism gets bantered about, I thought the article linked above may be worth a read.

From the article:
The idea in the Scriptures is not that a man became God--God forbid--but that the Messiah would himself be God coming as a man. Isaiah 9:6 portrays the coming of the Messiah in these terms: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." But if God is indeed a "tri-unity," then it is possible for the Messiah both to be called God and also to exist in a relationship characterized as "son of God." This is the conclusion we Jews who believe in Jesus are driven to as we study the Scriptures. With our fellow Jews, we affirm that "the Lord our God, the Lord is one"--a oneness characterized by a "tri-unity."

13 Comments:

Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

Of all the things that are incorrect on this website; this is the one that takes the prize. Ultimately your article says there are hints of this trintity in echad and various other places in Torah. When I read Torah or any other Jew for that matter we see one. No hidden meanings. No secret message. In fact that is part of the reason the Shema is said the most and is the first prayer learned. It is so simple a nimcumpoof can figure it out. Listen to your G-d, G-d is one, and G-d has only a special relationship with us.

Await your reply with glee and a touch of respect.

8/02/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

It's not hidden or secret. But it is given further light as more revelation came down and once the Messiah came.

We believe God is one. But in that oneness there is diversity which can be seen in the Tanakh. Granted, if you assume a priori that all these things in the Tanakh cannot hint at the Trinity, you aren't going to notice those passages. But we can explain those passages. And all the other ones we've pointed out on this blog.

Read Isaiah 48:16,
"Come near to Me, hear this: I have nto spoen 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."

Or the Psalm 45:
"Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of glaness more than Your companions."

8/02/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

Granted that if you beieve in the trinity that is a priori as well, so you look for something that would not have been there if not for that particular priori. Now we agree on something. So we can we agree to disagree and, pat each other on the back, and go party like normal people?

I am starting to get the feeling Rich doesn't like me very much. Can't imagine why...

I bet you and I could be friends if the circumstances were different.

8/03/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Rich is very easy going. Remember, the Internet does not convey tone of voice.

In regards to the Trinity, I would argue that that teaching explains passages Unitarian teaching cannot. Also, the testimony of the apostles and Y'shua's Resurrection have bearing on the topic. That message should be tested in the light of the Tanakh, but it passes with flying colors.

If you mean by "agree to disagree" that there is no way to figure this out and certain beliefs aren't based on evidence where you can figure out...well, I would disagree with that. :) If you mean by that, "we disagree on this topic", I would agree. But we already knew that.

I'm not sure what you mean by "circumstances were different". I can be friends with all sorts of people I disagree with, even over essential matters.

8/03/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Sultan Knish said...

why not just stick to the straightforward trinity which is how christians have always described it

tri-unity frankly just sounds silly, an attempt to try and combine two incomptable concepts, worshipping three gods which is also supposed to be one

you might be able to swing this a bit bit more easily if one of those gods wasn't supposed be a fella who walked around, ate, drank and then prayed to god... thus apparently praying to himself

8/03/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Sultan, many people use the word "tri-unity" in order to get through the misconceptions of what "Trinity" means.

You displayed two of the most common misconceptions or misunderstandings.

It is not three gods who are also one. It is one God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Who exists eternally as three persons, co-equal, co-eternal, one being.

Jesus wasn't praying to himself. He was praying to the Father. If you find God taking on flesh and walking and eating a problem, then the Torah is a huge problem for you. That deserves its own post.

Here is a traditional definition of the Trinity: Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

8/04/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

As much as I try to fathom how you can claim Jesus prayed to his father and yet Jesus is still G-d; all I can do is laugh. I can imagine me taking a logic class and trying to explain to the professor; see it works like this... Not only would he fail me, but I would be a joke of a student. Can pigs fly? Can a man be G-d? Can man breathe underwater (wihtout help)? All fall in the same catgeory of impossibilities. Want to know why jews for Jesus will fail? Because you take a stance that is impossible and then try to explain the impossibilty with more impossibilities. Imagine a physics professor giving a speech in front of the best physicist and he says he has an alterante reason for why we don't go flying off in space. He says it is because of alien beams holding us down sent by a device on the moon. He pulls out a bunch of "scientific evidence" to prove this, but ultimately he will be labeled a crack pot and his eveidence is mis-interpreted. Physicists have open minds, but not for the impossible. Much like Jews.

Hell, how many flase messaihs have Jews followed over the years? Too many to count. Despite the fact Jews knew what the messiah would bring and all these false prophets failed in fulfilling these events, Jews followed the prophet anyway. The Lubavitch are prone for this. Why did Jews do this? Because after thousands of years of hatred and brutality Jews desire the messiah to come more then anything else. Some Jews would grasp at any man that showed a hint of messiahship. I will admit nothing would make me happier then to hear the shofar being blown tomorrow morning and the sun coming out and everything feels better. But ,this is important, as Jews we are obligated to wait until the messiah fulfills prophecies before we can declare him/her a messiah.

8/04/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Moshe,

You assume an Unitarian position and then can't understand how we can say that Y'shua was God when he prayed to the Father. Because we aren't Unitarians!

I was a philosophy major and took formal logic, so I can explain this to your hypothetical professor. You haven't accurately understood our position yet.

Read the from the book of John: "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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
...
And the Word (Memra) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

We have never, ever said that some guy became God. We are saying that the Word took on flesh, tabernacled among us. John specifically chose the term Word because it had counterparts in Jewish thinking (Memra in the Targums) and in Greek thought (the Logos was the embodiment of Wisdom).

Is there a reason God cannot do this?

8/04/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

There is a reason G-d cannot do this; if you are Jewish. One thing that HaShem made clear in Torah is no permeanant violations of Torah is allowed. So the commandment thou shall have no diety before me cannot be broken, along with observing shabout. It is in dueteronomy somewhere. G-d cannot state Torah is the universal moral law and then violate this law. It makes G-d a hypacrite and as Jews we can call G-d on it.

Yes, I speak from a unitarian point of view, because Judaism has no allwance for trinitarian viewpoints. It is impossible for a Jew to fathom three=1, much like mathematicians cannot fathom it. Mathematics only works the way it does now because of certain axioms we take for granted. Without these axioms 1+1 does not always equal 2. So in order for math to make sense certian principles have to be given and accepted as true. After these basic ideas are instilled the rest of mathematics follows. We now have computers and airplanes. What would have happened if a different set of axioms was agreed upon? Our world would not be the same. No computers or planes, but enitrely something else. In Judaism one of our axioms is unitarianism. Wihtout it Judaism is no longer Judaism.

8/04/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

I'm wondering how you would explain how God Ok'ed the mixing of meat and dairy in Genesis 18, based on what you've just said, since that would be a violation of Torah in your view.

Anyway, what if it isn't another God. What if the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob took on flesh and dwelt among us.

And Judaism, strictly speaking, has no allowance for Trinitarian viewpoints. But the Tanakh does.

You are claiming logical inconsistencies based on your presuppositions where there is none. I would say you are equivocating on something in your mind. You can't fathom three=1. Well we are saying that the one being God exists as three persons. We are not saying one being equals three beings. That would be a contradiction. That's how God revealed Himself. Do I understand it fully? No.

And I've read this from the Zohar:
"Come and see the mystery of the word YHVH: there are three steps, each existing by itself: nevertheless they are One, and so united that one cannot be separated from the other. The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads, which are united into one, and that head is three exalted. The Ancient One is described as being three: because the other lights emanating from him are included in the three. But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them one? How three can be one can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit ." (Zohar, Vol III, 288; Vol II, 43, Hebrew editions. (See also Soncino Press edition, Vol III, 134.)

You would be surprised what you find in Judaism.

8/04/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

Torah allows for temporary violations. The verse says no permeneant violations. Mdrash claims Moshe's mother was live when the 70 Jews came to Egypt. That should be appraoched skeptically. Much like I doubt I am being given the correct frame work for which those statements were written in Zohar. More like an analogy to explain something else. Are you familiar with the myth of Lilith? She was considered Adama's first wife and later became a demon that ate children. This is a myth and was used to explain a sexual mitzvah. But I suppose we could say that Jews believe it is true...
Many seemingly contradictory things are considered in Jewish literature, but not necessarily are considered a basic principle of Judaism or even a part of Judaism.

8/07/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Timotheus said...

Is the Trinity Biblical?


While it has become increasingly popular to suggest that the doctrine of the Trinity is derived from pagan sources, in reality this Christian essential is thoroughly biblical. The “Trinity”—like “incarnation”—is not found in Scripture; however, it aptly codifies what God has condescended to reveal to us about his nature and being. In short, the Trinitarian platform contains three planks: (1) there is but one God; (2) the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God; (3) Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are eternally distinct.



The first plank underscores that there is only one God. Christianity is not polytheistic but fiercely monotheistic. “You are my witnesses, declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me’” (Isaiah 43:10, emphasis added).



The second plank emphasizes that in hundreds of Scripture passages the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are declared to be fully and completely God.

As a case in point, the Apostle Paul says that, “there is but one God, the Father” (1 Corinthians 8:6). The father, speaking of the Son, says, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). And when Ananias “lied to the Holy Spirit,” Peter points out that he had “not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3-4).



The third plank of the Trinitarian platform asserts the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are eternally distinct. Scripture clearly portrays subject/object relationships between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For example, the Father and Son love one another speak to each other (John 17:1-26), and together send the Holy Spirit (John 15:26). Additionally, Jesus proclaims the he and the Father are two distinct witnesses and two distinct judges (John 8:14-18). If Jesus were himself the Father, his argument would not only have been irrelevant but it would have been fatally flawed; and if such were the case, he could not have been fully God.

It is important to note that when Trinitarians speak of one God they are referring to the nature or essence of God. Moreover when they speak of three persons they are referring to personal self-distinctions within the Godhead. Put another way, we believe in one What and three Who’s.



For further study, see James R. White, The Forgotten Trinity

(Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001).



Deuteronomy 6:4

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God,

the LORD is one.”





Matthew 28:19

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

-------------

Hank Hanegraff’s website is - http://www.equip.org/

For easier reading, I have this in an MS Word document but I could also make it a PDF.

8/11/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

Oh brothe... I am curious are you, timotheus, another minister works for jews for Jesus? I was wondering do yu have yur fact sheet with you? You know the one that tells you the best way to appraoch a jew and convert him. It has things like don't call them kikes, or other derogatory namas. Don't call jesus jesus, but y'shua. It sounds Jewish and won't turn them off. Use Jewish words as much as possible. Tell them you are a completed Jew and that believing in Jesus is fulfilling your Jewish obligations. Tell them that many Jewish customs are still practiced, but leave out the Christian chnages. Want me to go on.? Lets not forget you have a sheet of quotes that supposedly support the principles of jews for Jesus. is there any ow evangelical Christians will not try to reach. look at our president and I need say nothing more.

8/14/2006 12:58:00 PM  

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