Sunday, June 29, 2008

Let Us Make Man In Our Image

[The following is the TOC and INTRO to one of two monographs (so far) on the Trinity. If you want a hardcopy of the entire document or both of them (shipping fee applies), then contact me through my e-mail: smprparatus@aol.com. If you want to download them for free, go to Answering-Islam.org]

By Anthony Rogers

Table of Contents

I. Introduction……………………………………………………………………3

II. The Prima Facie Case for a Trinitarian Interpretation…………………………..5

III. The Old Testament Case for a Trinitarian Interpretation……………………….8

IV. The New Testament Case for a Trinitarian Interpretation……………………..19

V. Answering Alternative Interpretations/Common Objections.....………………36

VI. Summary and Conclusion……………………………………………………..42

I. Introduction

Is it right to insist that the plural pronouns of Genesis 1:26 and similar passages (i.e., Gen. 3:22; 11:7; and Isaiah 6:8) demand a Trinitarian interpretation? That these passages do demand such an interpretation was the prevailing if not also the unanimous view of the church in the early, medieval, reformation, and post-reformation periods; it has been denied in the history of the Church only by heretics. The exception to the above seems limited to the modern period where it has become fashionable among many otherwise orthodox commentators and theologians to deny a Trinitarian interpretation or to offer alternative explanations of these texts as either possible or probable.

It will be my contention in this paper - over against modern detractors as well as heretics of all ages - that these passages in their immediate setting require recognition of personal plurality in the Godhead, and that they at least point in a trinal direction. Furthermore, when the whole of Old Testament revelation is taken into consideration, it is not only possible to construe that plurality in a trinal fashion but it is the only consistent way to interpret it.

After laboring to prove the above, this interpretation will be shown to be that of Christ and His apostles. The present writer knows of no higher authority and neither does anyone else, all denials notwithstanding. Christ’s interpretation ought to be received for what it really is: final. As Moses, the author of Genesis 1:26, said: “to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” (Gen. 49:10)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

when God speaks, God use We/I/Us/Me, but you can NEVER find verses referring to God as “They/Their”.

Then God said, “Let Us make man ‘in Our image, according to Our likeness’; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

God was speaking with majestic authority thus using Us/Our in Gen1:26.

God said clearly “in Our Image according to Our likeness” referring to mankind becoming rulers and creators on earth. Not by any means using the physical of God to create shape of man and female, but rather figure-like to that of God having dominance over universe, but for mankind they having dominance over other living creature on earth.

(followed by singular third person verse) And God created man ‘in His (notice verse do Not use THEIR) own image, in the image of God’ created He him; male and female created He them. Genesis 1:27

And if we use Pauline-Christian logic. Who's image was the verse referring to? Father? As Christians should know that Word and Spirit do not have image.
Do Christians believe Father/Word/Holy Spirit have image or all three were imageless?

Anthony Rogers said...

Your arguments are dealt with and completely refuted in the article, which you obviously did not bother to acquire, read, and seek to understand before you tried to enter into a conversation with it. Here is a link to the full article if you want to make up for your lapse:

http://answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/genesis_1_26_trinitarian.html

Anthony Rogers said...

BTW, here is another article I wrote that narrows in on the "plural of majesty" claim:

http://answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/plural_majesty.html

Anonymous said...

http://answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/genesis_1_26_trinitarian.html

all of the source quoted in the links above "Confirmation of this Interpretation from the Early Church" came from carbon dated sources (of 3rd or 4th century and onwards). The exact same century when Trinity doctrine was selected to be canon.
~~~~~

http://answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/plural_majesty.html

Both links do not address why not a single verse refer to God as They/Their.

Also if one reads Israelite scriptures, one will notice God speaks with We/Us/Me/I. One will also notice only singular third person verses are used to refer God.

Thus explaining no Israelite believe in Triune God except Helenistic Jew from Tarsus and Romans.

Anonymous said...

Also one of the most important point to be raised here is, why did God not use We/Us in all of the speaking verses?

A check on "third person" verses further proof God is to be referred only in singular third person.

And in the end, God declared Himself to Israelites as "singular" YHWH (I will be whom I shall be) not using "we".

Anthony Rogers said...

"all of the source quoted in the links above 'Confirmation of this Interpretation from the Early Church' came from carbon dated sources (of 3rd or 4th century and onwards). The exact same century when Trinity doctrine was selected to be canon."

The patristic citations I gave as confirmation of this interpretation in the early church stretch back into the 2nd century. In other words, they antedate the Nicene council.

"Both links do not address why not a single verse refer to God as They/Their."

The point of the two articles is not to address something the prophets (allegedly) did not say (i.e. "they/their") but to address what God said about Himself ("We/Us/Our"). Your point here is a red-herring.

"Also if one reads Israelite scriptures, one will notice God speaks with We/Us/Me/I. One will also notice only singular third person verses are used to refer God."

This statement of how God spoke in contrast to how others (allegedly) spoke about Him is another red-herring. It doesn't address why God speaks of Himself in the plural.

"Thus explaining no Israelite believe in Triune God except Helenistic Jew from Tarsus and Romans."

Here you contradict yourself. At first you wanted to pretend that the Trinity is a product of 3rd and 4th century Christianity. Here, however, you are claiming it was the invention of Paul. You can't have it both ways.

"Also one of the most important point [sic] to be raised here is, why did God not use We/Us in all of the speaking verses?"

That is not a "point". It is, rather, a question. It is also a question that rests on a false assumption, as I will point out momentarily.

"A check on "third person" verses further proof [sic God is to be referred only in singular third person."

Once again, the (alleged) fact that God is only referred to in the singular does not account for why He refers to Himself in the plural.

"And in the end, God declared Himself to Israelites as "singular" YHWH (I will be whom I shall be) not using 'we'."

The person who spoke to Moses from the burning bush was the Malakh Yahweh (Ex. 3:2), i.e. it was not the Father. That being so, the verse constitutes evidence that God is not a uni-personal being.

Anthony Rogers said...

Finally, since you claim God is not spoken of in the plural by others, here are a handful of verses that show you don't know what you are talking about:

Genesis 20:13

"And when God (Elohim) caused me to wander (hit’uw) from my father's house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.’"

The verb hit`uw, translated "cause to wander", is the plural of ta`u. The text can therefore be translated, "When they, God (Elohim), caused me to wander from my father’s house."

Genesis 35:7

"and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because there God (Elohim) had revealed himself (nigluw) to him when he fled from his brother."

The verb which modifies God (Elohim) is nigluw (revealed) and is the plural of gla, which means that the verse is more literally rendered as, "God, They revealed themselves to him."

Exodus 33:14-15

"And he said, "My Face they will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ And he said to him, ‘If your Faces, they will go not with me, do not bring us up from here.’" Exodus 33:14-15

Here is the transliteration for this passage:

Wayo'mar Paanay yeeleekuw wahªnichotiy laak Wayo'mer 'eelaayw 'Im- 'eeyn paaneykaa holªkiym 'al- ta`ªleenuw mizeh

The words, yeeleekuw and holªkiym, are plural of yalak, and literally say "they will go."

Joshua 24:19

"But Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God (Elohim Qadoshim hu). He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.’"

Holy is the plural adjective Qadoshim ("Holy Ones") and can be translated as, "God, the Holy Ones is he."

2 Samuel 7:23

"And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went (haalªkuw Elohim) to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods?"

Anthony Rogers said...

The words "God went" is plural and literally says, "God, they went to redeem."

Psalm 58:11

"Mankind will say, ‘Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God (Elohim) who judges (shophetim) on earth.’"

David uses the plural verb shophetim, implying that the passage should read, "God, They judge the earth."

We will include a transliteration of the Hebrew for the next particular texts.

Job 35:10

"But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker (`osaay), who gives songs in the night,’"

Wªlo'- 'aamar 'Ayeeh 'Elowah `osaay noteen zªmirowt balaayªlaah

The word ‘osaay is the plural participle of asa’ and refers to "my Makers."

Psalm 149:2

"Let Israel be glad in his Maker (bª`osaayw ); let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!"

Yismach Yisraa'eel bª`osaayw Bªneey- Tsiyown yaagiyluw bªmalkaam

The text literally says "his Makers" because it is a plural participle.

Isaiah 54:5

"For your Maker (`Osayik) is your Husband (bo`ªlayik), the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called."

Kiy bo`ªlayik `Osayik Yahweh tsªbaa'owt shªmow Wªgo'ªleek Qªdowsh Yisraa'eel 'Eloheey kaal- haa'aarets yiqaaree'

The word `Osayik is the plural participle of asa’ and bo`ªlayik is the plural noun form of baal, and should therefore read, "For your Makers are your Husbands."

Ecclesiastes 12:1

"Remember also your Creator (bowrª'eykaa) in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’;" Ecclesiastes 12:1

Uwzkor 'et- bowrª'eykaa biymeey bªchuwroteykaa `ad 'ªsher lo'- yaabo'uw yªmeey haaraa`aah wªhigiy`uw shaaniym 'ªsher to'mar 'Eeyn- liy baahem cheepets—

Bowrª'eykaa is a plural participle and is literally "your Creators."

I hope that helps and that it also encourages you to learn the subject matter of this and other topics before you try to chime in. It is neat to see people have an interest in these issues, but please remember that these are life and death matters and not something to toy with and pretend to know more about than you really do. May God illuminate your mind and enable you to see the truth.

Anonymous said...

The patristic citations I gave as confirmation of this interpretation in the early church stretch back into the 2nd century. In other words, they antedate the Nicene council.

Citations inside 3rd or 4th manuscripts is not the same as quoting manuscript that survived from 1st or 2nd century.

~~~
Here you contradict yourself. At first you wanted to pretend that the Trinity is a product of 3rd and 4th century Christianity. Here, however, you are claiming it was the invention of Paul. You can't have it both ways.

Nope, not a product but chose to be cannon doctrine in 4th century. Reread my previous, i shall quote the last sentence "...when Trinity doctrine was selected to be canon".
~~~
The person who spoke to Moses from the burning bush was the Malakh Yahweh (Ex. 3:2), i.e. it was not the Father. That being so, the verse constitutes evidence that God is not a uni-personal being.

This is good post that will cause readers to ponder. Thus also revealing why you cant answer the earliest question contained in my 1st post.

Who's image was the verse referring to? Father? As Christians should know that Word and Spirit do not have image.

Anonymous said...

1)The words "God went" is plural and literally says, "God, they went to redeem."
2)The text can therefore be translated, "When they
3)Bowrª'eykaa is a plural participle and is literally "your Creators."
4)and should therefore read, "For your Makers are your Husbands."
5)refer previous two posts of Anthony for more

Thank you for proving word "They" cannot be found in Isarelite scriptures nor any Israelites believe in such interpretation except Helenistic Jew from Tarsus and Romans who pretty much love to use LITERALLY MEANS.. to explain an unheard version of God.



Anthony Rogers said...

"Citations inside 3rd or 4th manuscripts is not the same as quoting manuscript that survived from 1st or 2nd century."

Which "3rd or 4th century manuscripts" did I quote, exactly?

Even on the assumption that the manuscripts are not the originals, are you also under the assumption that we possess the originals of other ancient writings on which historians base their conclusions regarding matters of antiquity? If you are, then you know nothing about this subject. If you are not, then you need some basis for why the same should not be done when it comes to patristic citations.

"Nope, not a product but chose to be cannon doctrine in 4th century. Reread my previous, i shall quote the last sentence '...when Trinity doctrine was selected to be canon'."

There is no such thing as "cannon doctrine". There is canon law, but that pertains to ecclesiastical polity, not doctrine per se. If you would slow down and try to learn instead of trying to be smarter than you are, you might learn something.

You brought up the issue of the Trinity becoming "canon doctrine" at Nicaea to somehow cast doubt on the reliability of the patristic citations I gave from before Nicaea, the latter of which you allege are based on 3rd and 4th century manuscripts, something you further allege renders them unreliable. The fact that you have not proven or even argued for the latter two assumptions makes your argument groundless. In any case, since you admit that Paul taught the Trinity in the first century, you can't discount the reliability of the patristic citations I provided on the grounds that later ecclesiastical authorities continued to uphold apostolic, Trinitarian Christianity against the innovative views of men like Arius. Since the doctrine was there from day one, as you admit, you can't argue that it was later inserted into 2nd century writings simply because it became "canon doctrine" in the 4th century.

"This is good post that will cause readers to ponder. Thus also revealing why you cant answer the earliest question contained in my 1st post."

I've answered you on everything. You have only attempted to address 1/10th of what I have written. Nothing you have said is even slightly challenging to answer. I can't imagine anyone being stumbled by your unargued assumptions, factual errors, and logical blunders.

"Who's image was the verse referring to? Father? As Christians should know that Word and Spirit do not have image."

I don't take the word "image" literally. I am not a Mormon or a Salafi.

"Thank you for proving word "They" cannot be found in Isarelite scriptures nor any Israelites believe in such interpretation except Helenistic Jew from Tarsus and Romans who pretty much love to use LITERALLY MEANS.. to explain an unheard version of God."

Please tell me this response to all that I wrote for you on the use of plural language for the God of Israel was not intended to be serious? If so, I think this is where I will have to leave our conversation. I can't justify spending more time on this with you if that is the level of your ability to work through this issue.