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The Absolute Oneness of GOD Almighty in the Old Testament:

The following questions and answers were taken from www.jewsforjudaism.org:

Question: The word 'echad, "one," is used in the Jewish Scriptures in either a compound or absolute sense. In what sense is 'echad used in the Shema, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4)?

Answer: In such verses as Genesis 1:5: "And there was evening and there was morning, one day," and Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh," the term 'echad, "one," refers to a compound united one. However, 'echad often also means an absolute one. This is illustrated by such verses as 2 Samuel 13:30: "Absolom has slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left"; 2 Samuel 17:12: "And of all the men that are with him we will not leave so much as one"; Exodus 9:7: "There did not die of the cattle of Israel even one"; 2 Samuel 17:22: "There lacked not one of them that was not gone over the Jordan"; Ecclesiastes 4:8: There is one [that is alone], and he has not a second; yea, he has neither son nor brother." Clearly, the word "one" used in these verses means an absolute one and is synonymous with the word yachid, "the only one," "alone." It is in this sense, with even greater refinement, that 'echad is used in Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One." Here, 'echad is used as a single, absolute, unqualified one. There is no mention of a triune god. 

 

Question: Do Deuteronomy 6:4 and Psalms 110:1 teach the Trinitarian plurality of God?

Answer: By rendering Psalms 110:1 as, ". . . the Lord said to my Lord . . ." Christians argue that Jesus is greater than David and is not only the Messiah but is part of a Trinitarian godhead as well (see Matthew 22:42-45, Mark 12:35-37, Luke 20:41-44, Acts 2:34-36, Hebrews 1:13). Yet, a careful examination finds their hypothesis to be totally without merit.

Since le-David, in verse 1, does not always mean "written by David," but sometimes "concerning David" or "in the style of David," it cannot be said with certainty that the preposition le, often translated "of," actually indicates "composed by David." Further investigation is necessary in order to understand its meaning as governed by the context of this psalm.

Let us examine Psalm 72. It was written by David "for," or "concerning," Solomon (cf. verses 1 and 20), yet the Hebrew contains an introductory phrase similar to the one found in Psalm 110. The introductory statement, li- S'hlomo, stresses that the psalm is "concerning" Solomon rather than that it is by Solomon. Even more significant is 2 Samuel 22:51 and Psalms 144:10, where David speaks of himself in the third person. Accordingly, there is every indication that the proper translation of Psalms 110:1 is: "A Psalm concerning David. HaShem says to my master ['adoni]: 'Sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.'" David is writing this psalm from the perspective of the individual who is going to recite it. From this perspective, David, as king, is appropriately referred to as "my master." The claim that David is actually (or also) referring to Jesus by the phrase "my master" is not supported by the text.

The privilege of sitting at the right hand is a mark of distinction (1 Kings 2:19). When God invites David to "sit at My right hand," it is to show the privileged position enjoyed by David in his relationship with God. It is not to be taken as literally indicating sitting at God's right hand. The terminology "right hand" is here used as an expression of God's favoritism toward David.

From a Christian perspective: Does the name of God (HaShem), translated as "the Lord" in many English versions of Psalms 110:1, refer to "God the Father" or to "God the Son" or does it refer to all three members of the Trinity? Christians are divided on the answer.

Concerning the word 'Elohaynu ("our God"), which appears in the Shema, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord [HaShem] our God, the Lord [HaShem] is One ['Echad]" (Deuteronomy 6:4), most Christians maintain that it is plural and should be understood in its literal sense as "our Gods," but in the sense of a "triunity." For this reason, they often interpret the verse as: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our Gods, the Lord is a compound unity."

From this Christian explanation of the Shema, it follows that "the Lord" (HaShem) could not refer to either "God the Father" or "God the Son" alone, but must refer to all three members of the "triunity" as a whole. This being the case, how is it possible for Christians to maintain that the phrase "to my Lord" (as commonly translated in Christian Bibles) refers to Jesus? If "my Lord" refers to the second member of the supposed "triunity," Jesus, then who is the first "Lord" mentioned in the verse? If "the Lord" (HaShem) in the Shema is a "triunity" united in the divine name, that is, "the Lord is our Gods," the first "Lord" in Psalms 110:1 must also refer to the united "triunity." If this is so, then the phrase "to my Lord" automatically excludes Jesus, who allegedly is already included in the first part of the verse, "the Lord."

Furthermore, if the second "Lord," supposedly Jesus, is sitting next to the first "Lord," the triune godhead or two-thirds of it, or any aggregate of it, he cannot be part of it. That which exists outside of God cannot be God.

 

Question: Doesn't Psalms 110:1 show that the Messiah will not only be greater than David but must also be a divine being?

Answer: Psalms 110:1 states: "A Psalm concerning David. HaShem says to my master: 'Sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.'" There is no problem with accepting that one's descendants can rise to a more exalted position than we possess at present. There is no problem with David accepting that the Messiah will be greater than he is. But, there is nothing in this verse to show that David is referring to the Messiah when he writes 'adoni, "my master," "my lord." Moreover, there is nothing in David's words to indicate that the individual he refers to as "my master" is a divine being. David "concerning" himself wrote Psalm 110 poetically in the third person. Christians explain this verse based on New Testament exegesis. The Marcan Jesus says:
How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself said by the Holy Spirit; "The Lord [kyrios] said to my Lord [kyrio mou], 'Sit at My right hand, until I put your enemies beneath your feet.' David himself calls him 'Lord,' how is he then his son? (Mark 12:35-37).

Mark's rendering uses the Greek word kyrios, "lord," twice in the sentence, and the Christian translations into English capitalize the initial letter of the word to read "Lord" in both instances. Jesus' discourse is only possible if he and those he spoke to were conversing in Greek. The exegetical problems that Mark's Jesus refers to are only apparent in the Greek rendering and renderings from the Greek into other languages. In the Greek text, the initial kyrios is a reference to "the Lord," that is, God, and translates the Tetragrammaton (Y- H-V-H, the four letter name of God often referred to in Hebrew as HASHEM--THE NAME). The second kyrios, renders 'adoni, "my master," "my lord" (which according to Mark's understanding refers to "the Christ"). That is, the Greek, kyrios, is used to render two separate and distinct Hebrew words in the Greek translation. The confusion it creates in Greek does not exist in the Hebrew original. As a result, the Marcan Jesus' exegesis is non-existent in the Hebrew and incorrect in its understanding of the Greek rendering.

 

 

 

 

 

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