Islam’s ancient hatred of the Jews, a post from Answering-Islam.org

Islam’s Ancient Hatred For The Jews

While Islam envisions the day when Christians and Jews will convert to Islam en masse, there is a distinction within Islam’s end time narrative between the final destiny of Christians and that of the Jews.  In Islam’s version of the last-days, we see that all Christians will either accept Islam or be killed.  Certainly, when we look at this final picture, it is impossible to say that Islam has any real affinity for Christians or Christianity.  But when analyzing Islamic teaching and traditions about the Jews, one gets a very cold feeling that the only destiny that Islam has marked out for the Jews is that of an absolute and total slaughter.  We see in the Islamic traditions a dark and very persistent hatred for the Jews nearly identical to the ideology expressed through Naziism.  This ideology of hatred is fully supported and nurtured throughout the Quran and the Islamic traditions.  For instance, speaking of Jews, the Quran says:

 

Amongst them we (Allah) have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.  -Surah 5:64 (Yusuf Ali)

 

This verse makes it clear that there will be “enmity and hatred” against the Jews until the very end of the present age.  So much for those who claim that the Quran’s scorn for Jews is limited only to specific historical incidences in Muhammad’s career.  Not only does the Quran portray Jews as those who start wars and cause general mischief in the earth, but it also literally claims that Allah was so disgusted by the Jews, that he cursed them and literally transformed many of them into “apes and swine,” assigning them the lowest “rank” among humankind:

 

When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions, We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.”  -Surah 7:166 (Yususf Ali)

 

Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!  -Surah 5:60 (Yusuf Ali)
And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.” -Surah 2:65 (Yusuf Ali)

 

Among the more anti-Semitic and vocal Muslims, these verses have become absolute favorites.  Walid Shoebat is a former Muslim who grew up in the Palestinian territories.    Recalling being taken on a school trip to the Jerusalem zoo as a child, Walid relates, “The Islamic teacher would tell us, ‘this gorilla was originally a Jew.’  I look at this now and I think, this is what Naziism teaches – in its worst form.  This is being taught throughout the entire Middle East.”1 Just as the Nazis declared that Jews were subhuman “vermin” in order to justify their inhumane treatment of the Jews, so has the Muslim world followed the lead of the Quran in dehumanizing the Jewish race.

 

Now, at this point, the enterprising Muslim apologist will be quick to argue that while there are many verses in the Quran that speak of the Jews in such a negative manner, there are also other verses that speak of the Jews in a positive manner as well.  While this is true it is also highly misleading. In his highly informative book,Islam and the Jews, Mark A. Gabriel, Ph. D, a former Muslim Imam and Professor of Islamic history at the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo, addresses this misunderstanding of Islam’s disposition toward the Jews.  Gabriel explains that according to Islamic theology, those verses in the Quran that appear to be “nice” towards the Jews are understood to be cancelled out (mansookh) by the verses that were revealed to Muhammad later in his “prophetic” career.  This is based on the idea of progressive revelation in Islam whereby if you have any verses that seem to contradict one another, the newer revelations given to Muhammad negate or cancel out the older revelations.  This is an established and well-understood doctrine in Islam called nasik. 2 Many Qurans even include a chart in the back that lists which verses are older and which are newer in order to know which verses are cancelled out and which verses remain. Because the verses which are inflammatory and aggressive toward the Jews are newer verses, they cancel out any that might have a more conciliatory tone.  This understanding is well-known throughout the Islamic world.

 

As we trace the growth and development of anti-Semitism in Islam, we see that unfortunately, it is not limited to the Quran, but rather seems to find an even fuller expression in the infamous Hadith about the final slaughter of the Jews.  We have already quoted this tradition more than once, but shall quote it again here one last time:

 

(Muhammad said:) The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. (emphasis mine) 3

 

This apocalyptic belief of a future battle against Israel and the murder of all Jews is a deeply held belief among many Muslims.  And we must remember that these anti-Semitic traditions and verses from the Quran are over a thousand years old.  These sacred Islamic traditions of a final slaughter of all Jews cannot be attributed to the present day conflict with the State of Israel.  As much as many today try to blame Muslim enmity toward Jews solely on Zionism and its alleged “Nazi-like” abuse of the victimized and oppressed Palestinians, it simply cannot be done in an honest and informed manner.  The enmity of Islam toward the Jews has existed since Islam’s inception.  It is not a new phenomenon.  And today Islam and the Muslim world is undeniably the single most anti-Semitic force on the earth.  Palestinians in particular, use the anti-Semitic apocalyptic template as a basis for much of their actions toward Israel and the Jews today.  Although this template is in fact one of the primary factors fueling the ongoing present conflict in Israel, it is also the most often overlooked factor by secular observers who attempt to judge the present conflict on the basis of a moral equivalency.  The following quotes are all translated portions of sermons from recent years, delivered by Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi, the officially appointed Imam of the Palestinian Authority.  Notice the overwhelming reliance upon the previously discussed verses and traditions that are used to justify and support the hatred against the Jews:

We the Palestinian nation, our fate from Allah is to be the vanguard in the war against the Jews until the resurrection of the dead, as the prophet Muhammad said: ‘The resurrection of the dead will not arrive until you will fight the Jews and kill them… ’ We the Palestinians are the vanguard in this undertaking and in this campaign, whether or not we want this…

Oh, our Arab brethren… Oh, our Muslim brethren… Don’t leave the Palestinians alone in the war against the Jews…even if it has been decreed upon us to be the vanguard… Jerusalem, Palestine and Al Aksa (The Temple Mount), the land that Allah blessed and its surrounding areas will remain at the center of the struggle between Truth and Falsehood, between the Jews and the non-Jews on this sacred land, regardless of how many agreements are signed, regardless of how many treaties and covenants are ratified.  For the Truth is in the Koran, as verified by the words of the prophet Muhammad, that the decisive battle will be in Jerusalem and its environs: ‘The resurrection of the dead will not occur until you make war on the Jews…’

The battle with the Jews will surely come… the decisive Muslim victory is coming without a doubt, and the prophet spoke about in more than one Hadith and the Day of Resurrection will not come without the victory of the believers [the Muslims] over the descendents of the monkeys and pigs [the Jews] and with their annihilation. 4

 

Oh Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heavens…
Oh Allah, show the Jews a black day…
Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters…
Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land…5

 

Thus, as the world is eagerly awaiting and believing for the peaceful co-existence of the Jewish and the Palestinian people, the Imams, the religious authorities of the Palestinian people, with the full support and approval of the political leadership are ceaselessly beating the drums of “the final war,” the final slaughter of the Jews.

 

Satan’s Ancient Hatred For The Jews

 

When we compare the spirit that we see in Islam with the spirit that we see manifest under the rule of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, it is the same ancient hatred against the Jewish people in both.  It is an ancient hatred that originates with Satan himself.  From the day that God Himself showed His favor to the Jewish people, Satan has likewise raged against them.  Satan’s primary vehicles that he has used to do this have been several great world empires.  These are the “beast” empires that we discussed in chapter ten.  Throughout history, we can observe Satan’s attempts to exterminate or persecute the Jewish people:

 

  1. Through Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, when he ordered the slaughter of every male Hebrew child.  (Exodus 1:5-22)

 

  1. Through Shalmaneser, the ruler of Assyria, when he conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and carried away and dispersed ten of the twelve tribes into exile.  (2 Kings 17:5,6)

 

  1. Through Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon, when he attacked Jerusalem, the capital of the southern Kingdom of Judea, and carried the rest of the Jews off into exile. (2 Kings 24:10-16)

 

  1. Through Haman, the man appointed as second in command over the Medo/Persian Empire, when he attempted to have every Jew in the empire killed. (Esther 3:9)

 

  1. Through Antiochus Epiphanes, the Greek ruler of Syria, when he laid siege to Jerusalem in what the Jewish Historian Josephus describes as one of the bloodiest sieges in Israel’s history. (Daniel 8:23-25; 1 Maccabees 1-6) 

 

  1. Through Titus, the Roman emperor, who attacked and captured Jerusalem, killing over 1.1 million Jews, and enslaving over 97,000. (Wars of the Jews, VI, ix, 3).

 

  1. Through various Islamic and Christian empires, which we cannot fail to mention.  Even Christianity (albeit in a perverted form) has been far from innocent in the bloody history of the Jewish people.

 

  1. Through Adolf Hitler, who killed over six million Jews during World War II.

 

  1. And eventually through the Antichrist and the False Prophet and their future empire, which is prophesied very clearly by the Prophets Zechariah and Ezekiel to attack Jerusalem and kill two thirds of the inhabitants of the nation of Israel. (Zechariah 13:8,9; Ezekiel 38)

 

Any thinking person at this point must stop and ask:  What else can explain such a consistantly bloody and painful history of one people other than an inhuman demonic hatred?  Who could instigate such a black and persistent attack against one people who represent such a very small fraction of one percent of the earth’s population – no matter where they dwell?  Who else if not the very Devil himself?  The history of the Jewish people alone is proof to the open mind that Satan exists and that he hates those whom God loves and declares to be the very, “apple of His eye.” (Zecheriah 2:8).

 

Conclusion

 

Throughout natural history we see willing vessels manifest Satan’s hatred for the Jewish people.  And even more frightening, in the sacred texts of all three monotheistic religions, we see yet another future attack against the Jews, this one worse than all those that preceded it.  In the Bible, it is specifically Satan’s pawns, the Antichrist, his False Prophet and all who follow them who carry out the final onslaught.  In Islam it is the Mahdi, the Muslim Jesus and as the tradition says, “faithful Muslims” who are the ones who carry out such atrocities.  Indeed, in this regard, Islam again fulfills one of the primary characteristics of the Antichrist spirit; that of an unquenchable anti-Semitic spirit.

 

Notes:

 

  1. Walid Shoebat radio interview with Joseph Farah.  www.shoebat.com

 

  1. Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D., Islam and the Jews, The Unfinished Battle (Lake Mary, Florida, Charisma House, 2003), pp. 46-49

 

  1. Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6985

 

  1. Palestinian Media Watch, Studies on Palestinian Culture and Society by Itamar Marcus www.pmw.org.il

 

  1. Middle East Media Research, Friday Sermon on Palestinian Authority TV, April 17, 2002 Palestinian Authority Imam Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi at the Sheikh ‘Ijlin Mosque in Gaza City www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP37002

 

  1. Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter V, Section 3
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why did Allah attack and destroy innocent civilians in the past?

The Family of Imran

  1. [3.11] Like the striving of the people of Firon and those before them; they rejected Our communications, so Allah destroyed them on account of their faults; and Allah is severe in requiting (evil).

The Cattle

  1. [6.6] Do they not consider how many a generation We have destroyed before them, whom We had established in the earth as We have not established you, and We sent the clouds pouring rain on them in abundance, and We made the rivers to flow beneath them, then We destroyed them on account of their faults and raised up after them another generation.
  2. [6.47] Say: Have you considered if the chastisement of Allah should overtake you suddenly or openly, will any be destroyed but the unjust people?

The Elevated Places

  1. [7.4] And how many a town that We destroyed, so Our punishment came to it by night or while they slept at midday.
  2. [7.137] And We made the people who were deemed weak to inherit the eastern lands and the western ones which We had blessed; and the good word of your Lord was fulfilled in the children of Israel because they bore up (sufferings) patiently; and We utterly destroyed what Firon and his people had wrought and what they built.
  3. [7.155] And Musa chose out of his people seventy men for Our appointment; so when the earthquake overtook them, he said: My Lord! if Thou hadst pleased, Thou hadst destroyed them before and myself (too); wilt Thou destroy us for what the fools among us have done? It is naught but Thy trial, Thou makest err with it whom Thou pleasest and guidest whom Thou pleasest: Thou art our Guardian, therefore forgive us and have mercy on us, and Thou art the best of the forgivers.

The Accessions

  1. [8.52] In the manner of the people of Firon and those before them; they disbelieved in Allah’s communications, therefore Allah destroyed them on account of their faults; surely Allah is strong, severe in requiting (evil).
  2. [8.54] In the manner of the people of Firon and those before them; they rejected the communications of their Lord, therefore We destroyed them on account of their faults and We drowned Firon’s people, and they were all unjust.

The Holy Prophet

  1. [11.117] And it did not beseem your Lord to have destroyed the towns tyrannously, while their people acted well.

The Thunder

  1. [13.32] And apostles before you were certainly mocked at, but I gave respite to those who disbelieved, then I destroyed them; how then was My requital (of evil)?

The Bee

  1. [16.61] And if Allah had destroyed men for their iniquity, He would not leave on the earth a single creature, but He respites them till an appointed time; so when their doom will come they shall not be able to delay (it) an hour nor can they bring (it) on (before its time).

The Cave

  1. [18.42] And his wealth was destroyed; so he began to wring his hands for what he had spent on it, while it lay, having fallen down upon its roofs, and he said: Ah me! would that I had not associated anyone with my Lord.
  2. [18.59] And (as for) these towns, We destroyed them when they acted unjustly, and We have appointed a time for their destruction.

Marium

  1. [19.74] And how many of the generations have We destroyed before them who were better in respect of goods and outward appearance!
  2. [19.98] And how many a generation have We destroyed before them! Do you see any one of them or hear a sound of them?

Ta Ha

  1. [20.128] Does it not then direct them aright how many of the generations In whose dwelling-places they go about We destroyed before them? Most surely there are signs in this for those endowed with understanding.
  2. [20.134] And had We destroyed them with chastisement before this, they would certainly have said: O our Lord! why didst Thou not send to us an apostle, for then we should have followed Thy communications before that we met disgrace and shame.

The Prophets

  1. [21.6] There did not believe before them any town which We destroyed, will they then believe?
  2. [21.9] Then We made Our promise good to them, so We delivered them and those whom We pleased, and We destroyed the ex

The Believers

  1. [23.48] So they rejected them and became of those who were destroyed.

The Distinction

  1. [25.36] Then We said: Go you both to the people who rejected Our communications; so We destroyed them with utter destruction.

The Poets

  1. [26.139] So they gave him the lie, then We destroyed them. Most surely there is a sign in this, but most of them do not believe.
  2. [26.172] Then We utterly destroyed the others.

The Ant

  1. [27.51] See, then, how was the end of their plan that We destroyed them and their people, all (of them).

The Narratives

  1. [28.43] And certainly We gave Musa the Book after We had destroyed the former generations, clear arguments for men and a guidance and a mercy, that they may be mindful.
  2. [28.58] And how many a town have We destroyed which exulted in its means of subsistence, so these are their abodes, they have not been dwelt in after them except a little, and We are the inheritors,
  3. [28.59] And your Lord never destroyed the towns until He raised in their metropolis an apostle, reciting to them Our communications, and We neverdestroyed the towns except when their people were unjust.
  4. [28.78] He said: I have been given this only on account of the knowledge I have. Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him of the generations those who were mightier in strength than he and greater in assemblage? And the guilty shall not be asked about their faults.

The Spider

  1. [29.38] And (We destroyed) Ad and Samood, and from their dwellings (this) is apparent to you indeed; and the Shaitan made their deeds fair-seeming to them, so he kept them back from the path, though they were endowed with intelligence and skill,
  2. [29.39] And (We destroyed) Qaroun and Firon and Haman; and certainly Musa came to them with clear arguments, but they behaved haughtily in the land; yet they could not outstrip (Us).

Yasin

  1. [36.31] Do they not consider how many of the generations have We destroyed before them, because they do not turn to them?

The Rangers

  1. [37.136] Then We destroyed the others.

The Believer

  1. [40.5] The people of Nuh and the parties after them rejected (prophets) before them, and every nation purposed against their apostle to destroy him, and they disputed by means of the falsehood that they might thereby render null the truth, therefore I destroyed them; how was then My retribution!
  2. [40.21] Have they not travelled in the earth and seen how was the end of those who were before them? Mightier than these were they in strength– and in fortifications in the land, but Allah destroyed them for their sins; and there was not for them any defender against Allah.
  3. [40.22] That was because there came to them their apostles with clear arguments, but they rejected (them), therefore Allah destroyed them; surely He is Strong, Severe in retribution.

Ornaments of Gold

  1. [43.8] Then We destroyed those who were stronger than these in prowess, and the case of the ancients has gone before,

The Smoke

  1. [44.37] Are they better or the people of Tubba and those before them? We destroyed them, for surely they were guilty.

The Sandhills

  1. [46.27] And certainly We destroyed the towns which are around you, and We repeat the communications that they might turn.
  2. [46.35] Therefore bear up patiently as did the apostles endowed with constancy bear up with patience and do not seek to hasten for them (their doom). On the day that they shall see what they are promised they shall be as if they had not tarried save an hour of the day. A sufficient exposition! Shall then any bedestroyed save the transgressing people?

Muhammad

  1. [47.13] And how many a town which was far more powerful than the town of yours which has driven you out: We destroyed them so there was no helper for them.

The Moon

  1. [54.51] And certainly We have already destroyed the likes of you, but is there anyone who will mind?

The Inevitable

  1. [69.5] Then as to Samood, they were destroyed by an excessively severe punishment.
  2. [69.6] And as to Ad, they were destroyed by a roaring, violent blast.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rabbinic Judaism and the Plurality of God, a post by Sam Shamoun

Rabbinic Judaism and the Plurality of God

 

In this short post I will be citing two sources to affirm that words such as Elohim (“God”) and echad (“one”) were even understood by Jewish authorities as pointing to a plurality within the Godhead, that the one God exists as a plurality of divine powers and manifestations.

 

Elohim and God’s Uni-plurality

 

I begin by looking at what the rabbis had to say concerning the term Elohim. The following somewhat lengthy quote is taken from the late Rev. Sam Stern who wrote that:

 

The Jerusalem Edition of the Zohar, in its comment on Genesis 1:1, explains why the authors believe that God is triune. They point out especially that the name of God, Elohim, is made up of the two Hebrew words El and Haym. El means God and Haym means they; therefore, they conclude that God is a plural being. The Zohar passage is as follows:

 

Jehovah, Elohaynu, Jehovah. There are three steps to accept the mystery from above. In the beginning God created. In the beginning is the first mystery from where all else spreads…The name takes three forms and from there the name is interpreted in several ways… Rabbi Bechai explained: Elohim is El Haym. These are gods. Remember your creators (Ecclesiastes 12:1). The wise will understand.

 

The above passage translates the words “Remember now thy Creator” as a plural—”remember your creators.” This translation is based on the word used in the Bible, boraicha, “your creators.” Boraicha contains the letter yod, as well as the aah sound (kometz), at the end of the word, which makes it plural. The singular form is boraich, which does not contain the yod or the kometz.

 

Further in the passage, the Zohar shows Eliezer and his father entering into a dialogue regarding the threefold nature of God. They conclude that He is revealed with three heads that are united in one. The passage also cites Daniel 7:13 as proof. Daniel 7:13 mentions one like the Son of man coming from heaven with clouds as one person of the godhead, and the Ancient of Days as another person of the godhead. Both of these are one. Here the Zohar makes reference to “three” several times:

 

Eliezer’s father said to him, Come and see the mystery of the word Jehovah. There are three steps, each existing by itself; yet they are one and so united that one cannot be separated from another… The ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads, which are united in one. That head is three times exalted.

 

The three lights which come out from Him are included in the three, yet the ancient one is described as being two [Daniel 7:13]. The ancient one includes these two. He is the crown of all that is exalted, the chief of the chief [head of all heads]. He is so high that he cannot be known to perfection. The other lights are two complete one, yet He is described as complete one. He is one. They are united and glorified in one.

 

Furthermore, in relation to Genesis 1:1, the Amsterdam Edition of the Zohar deals with some of the points mentioned above in the Jerusalem Edition. Further, It presents the attributes of God as both righteous and benevolent:

 

Elohim is composed of two words, El and Haym. These are God. That Elohim is plural, though there is only one God, is truth. Eliezer sat before his father. We have learned that to him is justice. How is it that wherever we meet Adonai Elohim [yod, hay, vav, hay, the letters of Jehovah’s name], it means mercy?

 

He answered, It is written, know therefore this day and consider in thine heart that Jehovah is Elohim. Sometimes justice can coexist with mercy and mercy with justice. Come and see the mystery of the word Jehovah. There are three steps, each existing by itself, nevertheless, they are one and so united that one cannot be separated from the other.

 

Continuing this passage the Zohar presents a new interpretation, which considers the meaning of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet:

 

The 22 letters comprehend three steps—the letter chaph signifies the crown, the letter bet signifies binah, understanding…

 

He is the highest and hidden light, which cannot be known. The ancient Holy One is revealed in three heads that are united in one, and that head is three times exalted. The ancient Holy One is described as being three [Daniel 7:13]…

 

Rabbi Eliezer Hakkalir, commenting in the Sefer Yetsira, teaches with even greater clarity about three distinct beings in the godhead:

 

When God created the world He created it through the three sephiroth [countings]—sepher, sapher and sipper—by which three beings are meant. The rabbi, my lord and my teacher of blessed memory, explained that sepher, sapher and sipper are synonymous with Jah, Jehovah and Elohim, meaning to say that the world was created by these three names.

 

This great corroboration in the Jewish mystical books of the teaching that God is “three in one” shows that the ancient sages believed in the triune unity of the godhead who created the world. Moreover, the Creator is conceived of as the Name. When a Jewish person wants to say God, he sometimes says Ha Shem, which means The Name. In the same way, the Zohar also uses the names sepher, sapher and sipper to denote the godhead. (Stern, Can Three Be One?: http://www.thechristianrabbi.org/threeasone.htm; underline emphasis ours)

 

How interesting to discover Jewish sources claiming the Elohim is composed of two words, El (“God”) and haym (chem – “they”), which when translated literally means “they are God”. Even more interesting is the Jewish references to God existing as three lights, three heads and three beings who are perfectly and inseparably united as one!

 

This now brings us to my next point.

 

Echad versus Yachid

 

The Hebrew Bible primarily uses two main words for the term “one,” namely echad and yachid. Echad functions much like the English word does in that it can either refer to a singular individual or a compound/composite unity, to a group of entities united as one, i.e., “one nation,” “one government,” “one family,” “one corporation,” “one group” etc. Yachid, on the other hand, is used to stress the uniqueness and/or incomparability of an object. It can also mean sole or only, referring to someone or something which is solitary or all by itself.

 

With that said, the word which God told Moses to employ to speak of God’s unity is echad, not yachid:

 

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord (Shema Yisrael, Yhwh eloheinu YHWH Echad):” Deuteronomy 6:4

 

Christians have often maintained that echad is a more appropriate term to use to describe the unity of God since it allows for the possibility of God existing as a plurality of divine Persons who are perfectly and inseparably united.

 

What makes this interesting is that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, also believed that echad actually implies a deeper unity than yachid does, since the former term encompasses or includes plurality as an essential ingredient for unity:

 

The relationship between Moses and Moshiach is reflected in the numerical value of their names. (In the Holy Tongue each letter is also a number, so that a word is also a string of numbers; the sum of these numbers is the word’s numerical value, or gematria. The gematria of a word represents a deeper stratum of significance than its linguistic meaning, so the fact that two different words have the same numerical value indicates that they are variant expressions of the same truth.) The numerical value of “Mosheh” (Moses) is 345, and that of “Moshiach,” 358. So the difference between Moses and Moshiach is represented by the number 13; otherwise stated, Moses + 13 = Moshiach.

 

Thirteen is the numerical value of echad, a word that is the keystone of the Jewish faith. Every morning and evening of his life, the Jew recites the verse Shema Yisrael, Ado-nai Elo-hei-nu, Ado-nai echad—“Hear O Israel, the L‑rd is our G‑d, the L‑rd is echad.” The Jewish people are called “an echad nation on earth” because they reveal the echad of G‑d in the world. And the era of Moshiach is described as “the day that G‑d will be echad, and His name echad.”

 

Echad means “one.” The Shema proclaims the oneness and unity of G‑d, which the people of Israel are charged to reveal in the world, and which will be fully manifest in the era of Moshiach. But is echad the ideal word to express the divine unity? Like its English equivalent, the word does not preclude the existence of other objects (as in the sequence “one, two, three . . .”), nor does it preclude its object being composed of parts (we speak of “one nation,” “one forest,” “one person” and “one tree,” despite the fact that each of these consists of many units or components). It would seem that the term yachid, which means “singular” and “only one,” more clearly expresses the “perfect simplicity” of G‑d (which Maimonides states to be the most fundamental principle of the Jewish faith) and the axiom that “there is none else besides Him” (Deuteronomy 4:35).

 

Chassidic teaching explains that, on the contrary, echad represents a deeper unity than yachid. Yachid is a oneness that cannot tolerate plurality—if another being or element is introduced into the equation, the yachid is no longer yachid. Echad, on the other hand, represents the fusion of diverse elements into a harmonious whole. The oneness of echad is not undermined by plurality; indeed, it employs plurality as the ingredients of unity. (Chabad.org, The Numerology of Redemption Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe: http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/2741/jewish/The-Numerology-of-Redemption.htm; bold emphasis ours)

 

Hence, the foregoing shows that we even have Jewish support for the Christian claim that words such as Elohim and echad point to the fact of God existing as a plurality of divine Persons, in contrast to the position taken by many liberal and conservative biblical scholars that such terms do not provide support for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

 

Related Articles

 

Elohim and the Trinity http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/elohim_trinity.html

 

Biblical Monotheism Examined http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/biblical_monotheism.html

 

The Gods of Israel have come down to save! http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/israels_gods.html

 

The Binitarian Nature of the Shema [Part 1] http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/binity_shema1.html

 

Uniplurality in the Hebrew Scriptures http://www.studytoanswer.net/judaism/uniplurality.html

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Series of Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Pt. 7, a post by Sam Shamoun

A Series of Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Pt. 7

 

This will be very short and to the point. Unless stated otherwise, all scriptural references will be taken from the 2013 revision of the New World Translation (http://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/).

 

According to the God-breathed Scriptures, true believers are to glorify Jehovah by giving thanks to him and calling upon his name, as well as by singing praises to him for all the magnificent things that he has done:

 

“And in that day you will say:‘Give thanks to Jehovah, call on his name, Make his deeds known among the peoples!Declare that his name is exalted. Sing praises to Jehovah, for he has done magnificent things.Let this be made known in all the earth.’” Isaiah 12:4-5

 

Amazingly, according to the inspired Christian writings this is precisely how Jesus’ followers glorified him!

 

For instance, they gave thanks to the risen Lord for his favor and wonderful deeds towards them:

 

I am grateful (Charin) to Christ Jesus our Lord, who imparted power to me, because he considered me faithful by assigning me to a ministry, although formerly I was a blasphemer and a persecutor and an insolent man. Nevertheless, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and with a lack of faith. But the undeserved kindness of our Lord abounded exceedingly along with faith and the love that is in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these, I am foremost. Nevertheless, I was shown mercy so that by means of me as the foremost case, Christ Jesus might demonstrate all his patience, making me an example to those who are going to rest their faith on him for everlasting life.” 1 Timothy 1:12-16

 

Here is how the Society’s own Greek interlinear NT renders v. 12:

 

Thanks (Charin) I am having to the (one) having empowered me to Christ Jesus the Lord of us, because faithful me he considered having put into service,” 1 Timothy 1:12 The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (KIT)

 

They were also known for their practice of calling upon the name of Jesus:

 

“to the congregation of God that is in Corinth, to you who have been sanctified in union with Christ Jesus, called to be holy ones, together with all those everywhere who are calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2

 

To top it off, the Disciples of Christ would even sing to the Lord Jesus out of their love and reverence for him:

 

“and not be YOU being made drunk to wine, in which is unsaving course, but be YOU being filled in spirit, speaking to selves to psalms and to hymns and to songs spiritual, SINGING AND MAKING MELODY to the heart of YOU TO THE LORD (to Kyrio), thanking always over all (things) IN NAME OF THE LORD OF US OF JESUS CHRIST (en onomati tou Kyriou hemon ‘Iesou Christou) to God the Father, subjecting yourselves to one another IN FEAR OF CHRIST (en phobo Christou).” Ephesians 5:18-21 KIT

 

It is beyond dispute that the Lord whom believers are to sing to is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ, since he is the only one referred to as Lord all throughout the context of Ephesians. Yet sadly the Society has inserted the word Jehovah in v.19, in order to obscure this fact from its members.

 

Since Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus isn’t Jehovah how, then, do they explain the first Christian believers ascribing to the risen Lord the same exact honor and glory which the OT saints rendered unto Jehovah?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Can Jesus be God if the Father is the only true God? A post by Sam Shamoun

Can Jesus be God if the Father is the only true God?

A Reply to Jehovah’s Witnesses

 

According to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the following verses prove that Jesus cannot be God:

 

“How can you believe, when you are accepting glory from one another and you are not seeking the glory that is from the only God (tou monou Theou)?” John 5:44

 

“This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God (ton monon alethinon Theon), and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” John 17:3

 

“there is actually to us one God, the Father (heis Theos, ho Pater), from whom all things are and we for him…” 1 Corinthians 8:6a

 

They argue from the fact that the NT identifies the Father as the one God and the only true God, that Jesus cannot be God Almighty as well. They then use this to justify their belief that texts such as John 1:1 and 10:33 identify Jesus as “a god”:

 

The Hebrew Scriptures are consistently clear in showing that there is but one Almighty God, the Creator of all things and the Most High, whose name is Jehovah. (Ge 17:1; Isa 45:18; Ps 83:18) For that reason Moses could say to the nation of Israel: “Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. And you must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your vital force.” (De 6:4, 5) The Christian Greek Scriptures do not contradict this teaching that had been accepted and believed by God’s servants for thousands of years, but instead they support it. (Mr 12:29; Ro 3:29, 30; 1Co 8:6; Eph 4:4-6; 1Ti 2:5) Jesus Christ himself said, “The Father is greater than I am” and referred to the Father as his God, “the only true God.” (Joh 14:28; 17:3; 20:17; Mr 15:34; Re 1:1; 3:12) On numerous occasions Jesus expressed his inferiority and subordination to his Father. (Mt 4:9, 10; 20:23; Lu 22:41, 42; Joh 5:19; 8:42; 13:16) Even after Jesus’ ascension into heaven his apostles continued to present the same picture.—1Co 11:3; 15:20, 24-28; 1Pe 1:3; 1Jo 2:1; 4:9, 10.

 

These facts give solid support to a translation such as “the Word was a god” at John 1:1. The Word’s preeminent position among God’s creatures as the Firstborn, the one through whom God created all things, and as God’s Spokesman, gives real basis for his being called “a god” or mighty one. The Messianic prophecy at Isaiah 9:6 foretold that he would be called “Mighty God,” though not the Almighty God, and that he would be the “Eternal Father” of all those privileged to live as his subjects. The zeal of his own Father, “Jehovah of armies,” would accomplish this. (Isa 9:7) Certainly if God’s Adversary, Satan the Devil, is called a “god” (2Co 4:4) because of his dominance over men and demons (1Jo 5:19; Lu 11:14-18), then with far greater reason and propriety is God’s firstborn Son called “a god,” “the only-begotten god” as the most reliable manuscripts of John 1:18 call him. (Insight in the Scriptures, Volume 2: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200002451; bold emphasis ours)

 

Suffice it to say, there are several problems with the Watch Tower’s reasoning.

 

First, the inspired Scriptures teach that Jesus is not only the one Lord,

 

“… and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ (heis Kyrios, ‘Iesous Christos), through whom all things are and we through him.” 1 Corinthians 8:6b

 

But that he is also the only Owner and Lord that believers have and look to:

 

“My reason is that certain men have slipped in among you who were long ago appointed to this judgment by the Scriptures; they are ungodly men who turn the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for brazen conduct and who prove false to our only owner and Lord, Jesus Christ (ton monon Despoten, kai Kyrion hemon, ‘Iesoun Christon).” Jude 1:4

 

If we apply the rationale of the Watch Tower to these verses then we would be forced to conclude that the Father couldn’t possibly be our Owner and Lord since Jesus alone is identified as the believers’ Owner and Lord. However, such is not the case since the inspired Scriptures teach that the Father is both Owner and Lord:

 

“and was to him having been divinely revealed by the spirit of the holy not to see death prior to or likely he should see the Christ of Lord (ton Christon Kyriou)… ‘Now you are loosing off the slave of you, Sovereign Lord (Despota), according to the saying of you in peace;” Luke 2:26, 29 The Kingdom Interlinear of the Greek Scriptures (KIT)

 

“The (ones) but having heard like-mindedly they lifted up voice toward the God and they said Sovereign (Despota), you the (one) having made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the (things) in them… Stood alongside the kings of the earth and the rulers were led together upon the very [place] down on the Lord (tou Kyriou) and down on the Christ of him.” Acts 4:24, 26 KIT

 

“In it we are blessing the Lord and Father (ton Kyrion kai Patera), and in it we are cursing down the men the (ones) according to likeness of God having come to be;” James 3:9 KIT

 

“The seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord (tou Kyriou hemon) and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.’” Revelation 11:15

 

Therefore, the Father being identified as the one and only true God no more rules out the Son (or the Holy Spirit) from also being the true God anymore than Christ being identified as the one Owner and Lord rules out the Father from being Owner and Lord as well. At this point the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) want to have their cake and eat it too.

 

Second, the God-breathed Scriptures describe the Lord Jesus as the true Light who illuminates and gives life to all men:

 

All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.What has come into existence by means of him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light is shining in the darkness, but the darkness has not overpowered it. There came a man who was sent as a representative of God; his name was John. This man came as a witness, in order to bear witness about the light, so that people of all sorts might believe through him. He was not that light, but he was meant to bear witness about that light. THE TRUE LIGHT (to phos to alethinon) that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world.  He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him, but the world did not know him.” John 1:3-10

 

True here would have to mean the source or origin of which others are a copy of, or derive their light from. It cannot mean true in the sense that all other lights are false, especially when the Lord Jesus himself proclaimed that his followers are to be the light of the world:

 

“You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when located on a mountain. People light a lamp and set it, not under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it shines on all those in the house.  Likewise, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens.” Matthew 5:14-16

 

The light that disciples and all true believers possess comes directly from the Lord Jesus, just as Christ himself states in John’s Gospel:

 

“Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will by no means walk in darkness, but will possess the light of life.’” John 8:12

 

“So Jesus said to them: ‘The light will be among you a little while longer. Walk while you still have the light, so that darkness does not overpower you; whoever walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.  While you have the light, exercise faith in the light, so that you may become sons of lightI have come as a light into the world, so that everyone putting faith in me may not remain in the darkness.’” John 12:35-36, 46 – cf. 9:4-5

 

Yet this now raises another problem for the JWs since the Holy Bible teaches that Jehovah is the light that gives life:

 

“Jehovah is my light and my salvation.Whom should I fear?Jehovah is the stronghold of my life.Whom should I dread?” Psalm 27:1

 

“With you is the source of life;By your light we can see light.” Psalm 36:9 – cf. Isaiah 60:19-20

 

Therefore, if Jesus is not Jehovah then this means that a creature is the actual source and origin from which Jehovah himself derives his own light and life!

 

Third, the prophet Isaiah identifies both the Messiah and Jehovah as the Mighty God:

 

“For a child has been born to us,A son has been given to us; And the rulership will rest on his shoulder.His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibbor), Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. To the increase of his rulership And to peace, there will be no end,On the throne of David and on his kingdom In order to establish it firmly and to sustain it Through justice and righteousness,From now on and forever.The zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

 

“In that day those remaining of Israel And the survivors of the house of Jacob Will no longer support themselves on the one who struck them;But they will support themselves on Jehovah, The Holy One of Israel, with faithfulness. Only a remnant will return, The remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God (El Gibbor).” Isaiah 10:20-21

 

Isaiah further proclaims that Jehovah alone is God and that there is no other:

 

“Hez·e·ki′ah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them. Hez·e·ki′ah then went up to the house of Jehovah and spread them out before Jehovah. And Hez·e·ki′ah began to pray to Jehovah and say: ‘O Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, sitting enthroned above the cherubs, you ALONE are the true God (ha’Elohim) of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear! Open your eyes, O Jehovah, and see! Hear all the words that Sen·nach′er·ib has sent to taunt the living God. It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of As·syr′i·a have devastated all the lands, as well as their own land. And they have thrown their gods into the fire, because they were not gods but the work of human hands, wood and stone. That is why they could destroy them. But now, O Jehovah our God, save us out of his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you ALONE are God, O Jehovah.’” Isaiah 37:14-20

 

“This is what Jehovah says, The King of Israel and his Repurchaser, Jehovah of armies:‘I am the first and I am the last.There is no God (Elohim) but me.’” Isaiah 44:6

 

“Make your report, present your case.Let them consult together in unity.Who foretold this long ago And declared it from times past?Is it not I, Jehovah?There is no other God (Elohim) but me; A righteous God (El) and a Savior, there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, For I am God (El), and there is no one else.” Isaiah 45:21-22 – cf. 43:10-13; 46:9; Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; Joshua 2:11

 

Amazingly, Jesus in Revelation actually identifies himself as the First and the Last!

 

“When I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet.And he laid his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the living one, AND I BECAME DEAD, but look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of the Grave.’” Revelation 1:17-18 – cf. 2:8; 22:12-13, 16, 20

 

In light of Isaiah’s explicit affirmation that Jehovah alone is God, this means that Jehovah is the only Mighty God there is. Therefore, the only way that the Messiah can be the Mighty God is if he is Jehovah God in the flesh (even though he is personally distinct from the Father)!

 

Note how this logically works out:

 

  1. Jehovah is the only God there is, and must therefore be the only Mighty God in existence.
  2. The Messianic Child that is to be born to rule on David’s throne forever is also the Mighty God.
  3. Therefore, the Messiah must be Jehovah God in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit), since no one else besides Jehovah can ever be identified as the Mighty God.

 

Hopefully, this will show that the Watch Tower’s interpretation of passages where the Father is said to be the one and only God is grossly mistaken. As our examination here demonstrated, these verses are not meant to exclude the Son (or the Holy Spirit for that matter) from participating in the uncreated essence of the Father, since the inspired Scriptures are quite clear that Christ is the exact representation or copy of God’s very own eternal substance, who has the entire fullness of deity dwelling in him physically, bodily:

 

“because in him IS DWELLING DOWN ALL THE FULLNESS of the divinity (tes theotetos) BODILY,” Colossians 2:9 KIT

 

He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3

 

But if JWs still insist that these biblical passages prove Jesus cannot be Jehovah then consistency demands that they equally oppose the notion of the Father being our Owner and Lord. They must also deny that Jehovah is the source and origin of light and life since the NT teaches that Jesus is the true Light who gives life to all men, and that he is our only Owner and Lord. There is simply no way of getting around this fact for the JWs, except to admit that Jesus can still be Jehovah just as the Father can still be our only Owner and Lord.

 

Unless noted otherwise, all scriptural quotations taken from the 2013 revision of the New World Translation: http://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/

 

Related Articles

 

The Use of Exclusive Language and the Deity of Christ [Part 1] http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/exclusive_language1.html

 

The Use of Exclusive Language and the Deity of Christ [Part 2] http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/exclusive_language2.html

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Does the fact that authority was given to the Son of Man prove that he is not divine?

No, because as the mediator he had to earn authority by his obedience. Authority was then given to him as a reward for his obedience. As Son of God he always has this authority but on earth this authority has to be exercised through his office of priest and mediator between God and man. Why? Because on earth it is as a man that he forgives.  As Jesus is forgiving sin as a man and not just as God he needs authority as a man to do this. This is only given to him by the Father as a reward for his loving and perfect obedience. It could not be otherwise. As the Son of God he does not need this authority to be given him. It belongs to him inherently by reason of his divine nature.

Islam apologists and other anti-Trinitarians use verses like the following to attempt to prove that Jesus is not God.

King James Bible
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

This means that as the Son of Man he now possesses all power that God the Father planned to give to him after he had completed all his obedience. The final act of obedience was his death and resurrection and subsequent ascension to heaven. There is no more power for him to be given as a reward for his obedience to the will of the Father. He has earned all power in heaven and earth. Before his death he could not be given all power because his obedience was not yet complete.

King James Bible
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

We notice that Jesus does not say that the Son of God hath power on earth. Jesus is speaking of the power that he has received as a reward for his obedience to the Father. Not of the power that he always possessed from eternity as the Son of God.

The wisdom of God always destroys the strongholds of Satan.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Erasmus discusses with a Unitarian called David Kemball-Cook at bloggingtheology.wordpress.org

  • Thanks Denis

I accept broadly your definition of ‘person’, thanks

I don’t believe that the Spirit is an impersonal force (did I say that??), but that it is God in action with regard to humans. God’s nature is spiritual, is it not? The Bible itself says that God is a Spirit (John 4.24). The Spirit is described many times as the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of the Father. So clearly not impersonal .

But the Spirit does not appear to have any will etc INDEPENDENT of the Father, does he? Does anyone really believe the apportioning of the gifts described in 1 Cor 12 is something the Spirit does ‘by himself’, and not what the Father wills? Because the Spirit is the Spirit of God, it does exactly what God wants.

And how would John 14:26 show that the Spirit is a ‘person’ in our sense (unless you think that masculine pronoun proves it)? No evidence here of independent will etc, surely.

Likewise with speaking, does anyone seriously believe that when the Spirit speaks it is not speaking the words of God? John 16:13 says that the Spirit shall NOT speak of himself …

Re John 4,24, if God is a Spirit, and God is a Trinity, that would mean that the Trinity is a Spirit wouldn’t it? So if all three Persons together are a Spirit, how could the Third Person itself (himself) be a Spirit? Would the Third Person be a different Spirit from the Spirit that is the Trinity, or the same Spirit? If the former, there are two divine Spirits somewhere in the Godhead. If the latter, then the Father and the Son seem to have disappeared inside the Third Person.

Re Matt 28:19, Jesus is referring to God (which the NT does not distinguish from ‘the Father) and his two agents in salvation, his Son and his Spirit. The verse does not name three divine Persons. If it did, then it would be exceedingly strange that Jesus NEVER taught about a Trinity during his earthly life. If Jesus had believed that God was a Trinity, and that he was a member of it, he would (surely) have mentioned that as part of his teaching.

Regarding creation, I agree that God acted alone. Genesis 1 says nothing about a divine Son being present (but the spirit of God was). John 1 does not say that Jesus created the world, it says that all things were made by the Word. So we have Eph 3, Col 1 and Heb 1 which appear to mention a role of Jesus in creation. I would be glad to discuss those passages. I believe that they describe the role of the exalted Christ in the new creation, not any purported role in Genesis creation.

In any case, if God is omnipotent, why should he need someone else to create the universe? You might object that the Trinitarian believes that the FATHER, the First Person, needed the Son to help him. But why? The Father, even if he is just a First Person, is surely omnipotent all by himself.

Finally back to proving the Trinity from the Bible, I repeat what I said earlier
“Moving to the Trinity, you have A LOT of work to do, to show that ‘God’ in the Bible refers to a Trinity of three ‘Persons’, rather than to the being known as ‘Yahweh’ in the OT, and also in the NT as He whom Jesus called ‘Father’. No trinitarian apologist has been able to do this so far.”

Regards
David

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 22, 2014 • 5:50 pm

@ David,

“The Spirit is described many times as the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of the Father.”

I reply:

And the Spirit of Christ.

King James Bible

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God. Therefore Christ is God.

Thus the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father are one and the same. If the Spirit of the Father is divine, which it must be, so is the Spirit of Christ. Therefore Christ is divine.

1 Peter 1 v 11:

King James Bible

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

If Christ has no pre-existence how did his Spirit testify beforehand through the prophets?

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 7:50 pm

Hi Erasmus
I will try to take your points one by one

“The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God. Therefore Christ is God.”

That would make Christ to be a Trinity, according to you, wouldn’t it?
(Because Christ is God, and God is a Trinity)

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 7:54 pm

“Thus the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father are one and the same. If the Spirit of the Father is divine, which it must be, so is the Spirit of Christ. Therefore Christ is divine.”

Yes, but 1 Cor 15 tells us that Christ was made a quickening spirit. That means that he was not one by nature (before his resurrection and exaltation).

Yes, post resurrection, the Spirit acts through the exalted Christ. But that does not make him divine

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 8:00 pm

“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
If Christ has no pre-existence how did his Spirit testify beforehand through the prophets?”

So do you believe that the Spirit of Christ is a different spirit from the Holy Spirit, the (supposed by trinitarians) Third Person of the Trinity?

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 22, 2014 • 5:57 pm

@ David,

who said: “But the Spirit does not appear to have any will etc INDEPENDENT of the Father, does he? Does anyone really believe the apportioning of the gifts described in 1 Cor 12 is something the Spirit does ‘by himself’, and not what the Father wills? Because the Spirit is the Spirit of God, it does exactly what God wants.”

If the will of the Spirit or the Son is independent then don’t we have tri-theism?

How can the Spirit or the Son not will to do the will of the Father? If not God is divided against himself is he not? He would be willing against his own will.

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 8:02 pm

“If the will of the Spirit or the Son is independent then don’t we have tri-theism?”

Indeed, this is what many critics of the Trinity say, that it DOES amount to tritheism if these three ‘Persons’ really are separate selves, with their own will, emotions, memory, knowledge etc.

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 8:09 pm

“How can the Spirit or the Son not will to do the will of the Father? If not God is divided against himself is he not? He would be willing against his own will.”

The Trinity doctrine really does want to say that the Father and the Son (at least) have separate wills. Because if they don’t, then the idea that Jesus voluntarily submitted himself to the will of the Father (“Not my will, but thine be done”) goes out of the window, doesn’t it?

But are you not aware that the official doctrine is that there are two wills in Christ (never mind the Father’s will as well!), the will of the Logos (the divine nature) and the will of Jesus (the human nature)? The doctrine of monothelitism (one will in Christ) was outlawed as heresy at the Council of Constantinople in 680.

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 22, 2014 • 5:59 pm

@ David,

who said “And how would John 14:26 show that the Spirit is a ‘person’ in our sense (unless you think that masculine pronoun proves it)? No evidence here of independent will etc, surely.

Likewise with speaking, does anyone seriously believe that when the Spirit speaks it is not speaking the words of God? John 16:13 says that the Spirit shall NOT speak of himself …”

I reply:

In John the Spirit hears what is said to him by the Father or the Son and communicates it to the minds of the disciples. He is also sent by the Father. Therefore he must be a person distinct from both the Father and the Son.

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 8:12 pm

“In John the Spirit hears what is said to him by the Father or the Son and communicates it to the minds of the disciples. He is also sent by the Father. Therefore he must be a person distinct from both the Father and the Son.”

But why should the Spirit be a person, with his (its) own will, desires, memory etc.? What evidence is there for this view?
Is there anywhere in the Bible where the Spirit says “Not my will, but thine …”?
Your own spirit is not a different person from you, is it?

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 28, 2014 • 8:00 am

Paul commands us not to grieve the Spirit.

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Only a person who has feelings and emotions can be grieved.

The Holy Spirit directed the Church in it’s infancy with audible commands:

Acts 13: 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

The Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are the children of God.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Only a person can testify to a person.

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 22, 2014 • 6:20 pm

@ David

who said: “Re John 4,24, if God is a Spirit, and God is a Trinity, that would mean that the Trinity is a Spirit wouldn’t it? So if all three Persons together are a Spirit, how could the Third Person itself (himself) be a Spirit? Would the Third Person be a different Spirit from the Spirit that is the Trinity, or the same Spirit? If the former, there are two divine Spirits somewhere in the Godhead. If the latter, then the Father and the Son seem to have disappeared inside the Third Person.”

I reply:

There are shades of meaning to the word spirit. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all the same spirit or essence. The word Spirit as in the “Spirit of the Lord” seems to denote some other aspect of which the word spirit is capable of expressing.

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 8:16 pm

“There are shades of meaning to the word spirit. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all the same spirit or essence. The word Spirit as in the “Spirit of the Lord” seems to denote some other aspect of which the word spirit is capable of expressing.”

OK I understand why trinitarians have to redefine words like ‘spirit’ in order to try to make the Trinity doctrine plausible. But have you got any evidence to support your view?

For instance, is there anywhere in the Bible which says ANYTHING like “Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all the same spirit or essence”?

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 22, 2014 • 6:26 pm

@ David,

who said: “Re Matt 28:19, Jesus is referring to God (which the NT does not distinguish from ‘the Father) and his two agents in salvation, his Son and his Spirit. The verse does not name three divine Persons. If it did, then it would be exceedingly strange that Jesus NEVER taught about a Trinity during his earthly life. If Jesus had believed that God was a Trinity, and that he was a member of it, he would (surely) have mentioned that as part of his teaching.”

All three persons are co-equal with each other in the divine name.

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 8:18 pm

“All three persons are co-equal with each other in the divine name.”
But this is just mere assertion on your part. Does the Bible say this?

You didn’t address my point
I said “If Jesus had believed that God was a Trinity, and that he was a member of it, he would (surely) have mentioned that as part of his teaching.”

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 22, 2014 • 6:36 pm

@ David,

who said “In any case, if God is omnipotent, why should he need someone else to create the universe? You might object that the Trinitarian believes that the FATHER, the First Person, needed the Son to help him. But why? The Father, even if he is just a First Person, is surely omnipotent all by himself.”

I reply:

But we don’t believe, as you well know, that the Father is God “all by himself”.

I thought you were the one, as a unitarian, who was arguing that the Father needed a creature to help him with the work of creation and salvation? According to you God needs outside help to create and save humanity. This is hardly a dignified view of God is it not?

The Supremacy of Christ
(Hebrews 1:1-14)

15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 22, 2014 • 8:30 pm

“But we don’t believe, as you well know, that the Father is God “all by himself”.
I thought you were the one, as a unitarian, who was arguing that the Father needed a creature to help him with the work of creation and salvation? According to you God needs outside help to create and save humanity. This is hardly a dignified view of God is it not?”

Indeed I do know that you believe that the Father is just a part of God, or a member of the Trinity.
No I do not believe that God (aka the Father) needed a creature to help him with creation. That would be silly (although some people believe it)
But God did decide to use Jesus as his agent of salvation. It may be not dignified in your view, but it is biblical.

The agent of salvation is human. For instance in Isaiah 53, nowhere (or anywhere else in the Bible) does it say that the Suffering Servant had to be God. Indeed it says that he was ‘a man of sorrows’ and that he was esteemed to be ‘stricken of God’.

It does not sound like the Suffering Servant is God to me. If you are stricken of God, you can’t be God can you?

Reply ↓

o

Burhanuddin1

June 23, 2014 • 9:50 am

Erasmus said: “But we don’t believe, as you well know, that the Father is God “all by himself”.”

Well, Jesus believed that “the Father is God” “all by himself”. Why don’t you?

When Jesus told Mary Magdalene that he was ascending to “my Father and your Father and to my God and your God” do you think he really meant he was ascending to, “my Father and your Father and to my God and the first hypostasis of your God”?

Jesus God was the one true God, the one he referred to as “Father”, who is identical to the “Father of Israel”, YHWH. His God was not a 3 person being, a trinity.

Was Jesus a Trinitarian? If not, why are you? If so, are you actually claiming that his one and only God was a three person being?

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 27, 2014 • 9:29 pm

@ Burhanuddin1

Gal 4 v 4:

4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

As Jesus is under the law to keep it on our behalf then just like any other man he has the same obligation to worship and serve one God as God. Just the same as all other men.

So the words ” “my Father and your Father and to my God and your God” are quite natural in that context. That is what we expect if Jesus is a human being. This was, after all, the purpose of the incarnation, was it not? However it does not mean, in my view. that he can not say those words because he is God himself. The onus is on you to prove that. As I see it the Bible, in particular the NT, thwarts your attempt to do so.

Reply ↓

Burhanuddin1

June 28, 2014 • 1:39 pm

Erasmus, what is your denomination?

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 28, 2014 • 10:54 pm

Hi Burhanuddin1,

I am a Calvinist as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith.

What denomination or belief do you belong to?

Reply ↓

Paul Williams

June 28, 2014 • 10:56 pm

its ironic Erasmus that you name yourself after a Roman Catholic

Reply ↓

Burhanuddin1

June 30, 2014 • 8:10 am

Sunni Muslim.
Erasmus, do you believe Jesus had “a” human nature, one specific human nature, was he a specific human individual like we all are?
Or was he “just” human in a broad, general, abstract sense?
Did he acquire a human nature or human nature?

Reply ↓

David Kemball-Cook

June 29, 2014 • 12:29 pm

Hi Erasmus
“just like any other man”
“That is what we expect if Jesus is a human being”
But Jesus is NOT a human being according to your doctrine.
According to Chalcedon, he is the Logos with a human nature alongside his divine nature isn’t he?

Real human beings have beginnings in the womb of their mothers, they are not omniscient and omnipotent and omnipresent.
Real human beings do not have divine natures, do not create the universe …

David

Reply ↓

Erasmus

June 28, 2014 • 8:17 am

Hi David,

You said: “I don’t believe that the Spirit is an impersonal force (did I say that??), but that it is God in action with regard to humans.”

and: “The Spirit is described many times as the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of the Father. So clearly not impersonal”

So the Spirit is personal according to you but this “person” has no self-knowledge or will?

Is that what you are saying? You seem to be contradicting yourself in my opinion.

Reply ↓

o

David Kemball-Cook

June 29, 2014 • 12:42 pm

Hi Erasmus
Not at all. You seem to have the idea that to be personal is to be a person. Where do you get this idea from?

Any attribute of a human being is ‘personal’ in the sense of being associated with the person which it belongs to.
My spirit, my temperament, my emotions, my memory etc. are all personal. They are attributes of a person. Would we say that because my spirit (for example) is personal, it must be a person? How absurd!
We even speak about personal items, in the sense of physical things that belong to a person, like personal luggage, personal belongings.

The Spirit of God is personal because it is associated with God, who the Bible portrays as a person (God has desires, memory, will, emotions and purpose).
But that does not mean it is a person in its own right.

Regards
David

Reply ↓

David Kemball-Cook

June 30, 2014 • 7:29 pm

Hi Erasmus
I asked you quite a few questions about a week ago
Could you have a go at answering them?

regards
David

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment