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What is the Meaning of “Elohim?”

(Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

The Trinitarian View

The next question we will take a look at is the question surrounding the word “Elohim”. Most trinitarians won’t even use this argument anymore because they have finally figured out that it presents much more difficulty to their plurality doctrine then it does to our absolute doctrine. In fact, it presents no problem at all to our oneness belief. When you have true understanding of what’s being written here, it’s not a problem for oneness believers or true monotheism – which the Jews were the original believers of. The Jews have no problem calling God Elohim, yet they are as monotheistic as it comes. Let’s examine the case.

 The Trinitarian Question

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The Hebrew word for the word “God” used here is “Elohim”. Elohim is the actual translation. The argument that the trinitarian will use to show us multiple persons in the Godhead is the fact that this word “Elohim” can be used in the plural. They will be quick to show us how this word “can be” used in the plural form, but neglect to mention anything else about the word. They drop their little bit of information and then, as fast as they can, scurry off onto the next topic. This is the tactic. Let us hold them here on this topic for a while before letting them lead us on a wild goose chase through the scriptures.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

What they forget to mention is another very important fact about this word, “Elohim”. This word, while able to be used in the plural, is in and of itself not a plural word. It can also be used in the singular form. In fact, it is more often used in the singular form than it is in the plural. Elohim is a noun that is compatible to plural or singular language. Let’s examine the word itself.

A Lesson in Language

The “im” at the end of the word Elohim is a Hebrew suffix denoting plurality. It is like when we see the words Seraphim, Nephilim or Cherubim. The “im” in the Hebrew acts the same way that the “s” does for the English language. Adding an “s” is usually an indication of plurality in the English language. With that understood, we should also understand that this rule does not apply to every word in either language, Hebrew or English, respectively.

The English word “deer” is singular when you see a deer in the woods, and it is Plural when you see a group of deer. No “s” is necessary to signify plurality.. This is one example of a word that is used both in plural and singular forms. You would never say you saw a group of “deers”. Another example of this is the English word “aircraft”. The word aircraft can accurately be applied to one plane as an aircraft, or to a fleet of planes as aircraft. Boeing is not a manufacturer of “aircrafts”, they build “aircraft”.

More specifically, look at the word “species”. It ends in an “s” so should we assume that because it does it is an absolute plural? “Species” is one of those funny words that can be used in both the plural and the singular form. “There are many different ‘species’ of animals on the earth”, is an accurate statement in the plural form, because I am referring to the abundance of different kinds of animals that are resident upon this planet. Another statement that is true is; “the specific ‘species’ that this animal comes from is the aardvark.” This time the word “species” is also accurately applied, but in reference to a specific type of animal, therefore making it singular. If we are going to employ this word in the singular, should we drop the “s”? Of course, not. It is just part of the word, singular or plural.

There are many other words like this. Moose, fish, you, pants, shorts, eyeglasses, offspring, scissors, shrimp, elk, corps, premises and series are like this, to name a few. These are all words that can be used in either form. Even though the “series” ends in an “s” you would not drop the “s” when talking about one of them. It is not accurate to say “one’serie”‘. It would be series, either way. When using it as a plural and group many of them together, you would never say “serieses”. This would be a major grammatical mistake. It is series whether it is one or 1,000.

Back to Elohim

The Hebrew word “Elohim” is much the same as some of the English words we just examined. It can be used in either the plural or singular form accurately. If it was only a plural word then the translators to English would have had no choice but to translate it as “Gods” instead of “God” as they did. Though in Hebrew the word “Elohim” can be used in this plural form, the English counterpart “God” cannot. We can translate this word as one or the other, plural or singular. Our word “God” cannot be applied to a group of deities, but only to a single deity. Where the bible uses the word “Elohim” it translates it one way or the other, not both. If we are to take the word of the trinitarians here and use the “Elohim” in the plural, then it would be necessary to translate it as “Gods” instead of “God”, because the word “God” cannot be used in the plural form. “In the beginning ‘Gods’ created the heaven and the earth.” So I guess our accusation of the trinitarians belief in 3 gods is accurate after all. Remember, it cannot be used in both forms at the same time. It is either singular or plural. So… which one is it? Is He one God or is He three? There is no way to use this stance to support three persons, because it cannot be plural in form and singular in form at the same time. I’d say this is a dilemma for the plurality proponents.

True Monotheism

When looking at the word “Elohim” the thought of monotheism comes to question right away. The very definition of monotheism does more than suggest the absolute oneness of God. The Jews, who were the original believers in a monotheistic faith, reject any reference to God in three persons as completely pagan and tri-theistic. It is impossible to have three persons within one God and still be truly monotheistic. True monotheism is the belief that there is only one God. While a trinitarian may say they fall under that category, “three persons” is nowhere found under these definitional margins. It is either one God or three persons, but it cannot be both.

Correct Form Identification

Since the word “Elohim” can be used in either the singular or plural form, in order to indentify its correct form, we must first identify its correct usage. The word in and of itself cannot be the determining factor to its correct form, since it can be used in both ways. The way we identify which form an irregular noun is being used in is by identifying the form of the verbs and adjectives surrounding it.

The English verb “created” has the same form in the singular and in the plural. The sense, however, is clearly seen when a pronoun is attached (he created, or they created). In Hebrew, the singular and plural of this verb are two different forms. This verse uses the singular form (bara, “he created”). This verb, then, prevents the interpreter from considering only the form of the English verb. One must look at the sense, otherwise a wrong interpretation will be attached to the verse. In the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1, both the form and the sense of the verb “created” are singular. There is no possibility of a different understanding of that verb. By itself, it means “he created.

Armed with this understanding, it is impossible to misinterpret the scripture that uses the word “Elohim”. We see that it is one who created, all throughout Isaiah’s prophecies. The Lord leaves it up to no interpretation when He says that He created everything “alone” or “by Himself”. Connecting the understanding given throughout the bible on this “aloneness” of God, we can clearly determine that this creator in Genesis 1:1, the ‘Elohim”, is just one and not three. This “aloneness” shows us true “oneness”.

Who Exactly Is “Elohim”?

Elohim has not only been used to identify God, but in other cases within the text of scripture it has been used to identify many other things as well. Elohim does not refer only to the Most High God. In the Canaanite religion they referred to deity in general as Elohim, not just Jehovah. Pagan gods were called Elohim, men and angels were called Elohim, and Jesus was even called Elohim, prophetically. If we read one of Isaiah’s many prophecies concerning the Messiah we will see Jesus being called Elohim. In Isaiah 40:3 we see Isaiah giving a prophetic word concerning John the Baptist. He is saying that this man John would come and make straight the highway of our God. This is a clear reference to John’s ministry making the way straight for Christ as it clearly shows us in the New Testament and confessed by John’s own words (Jn. 1:23). Since we know that this is the plot that is being foretold by the prophet, let us take a closer look. Who is John actually making the way straight for? “The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” He is making the highway straight for “God”. John is preparing the way for “Elohim”.

Here we see Jesus clearly being called Elohim. Now, the immediate, overzealous and hair-triggered response you will get from a trinitarian is that this simply shows Jesus to be a part of Elohim. The problem with this argument is that again this word is used in the singular form disqualifying anyone else from being part of this equation. Further, if “Elohim” is a reference to multiplicity, as they will quickly point out concerning Genesis 1:1, then we must conclude here that Jesus is actually more than one person. We must assume that what Isaiah was actually saying was that John was making way for all three persons of the Godhead, not just the second person (God the Son). Whoa! Let’s slow down. That destroys the triune stance on too many issues at one time. We’ll save some for the other chapters.

Other “Elohim” References

Pagan gods were called Elohim (Ex. 12:12,1 Ki. 11:33). These references are used in both singular and plural form. We see in Exodus a reference to “the gods of Egypt”. This is a plural use of the word. Egypt was a nation of many Gods. In 1 Kings, however, we see a reference to Chemosh, “the god of If we read one of Isaiah’s many prophecies concerning the Messiah we will see Jesus being called Elohim. In Isaiah 40:3 we see Isaiah giving a prophetic word concerning John the Baptist. He is saying that this man John would come and make straight the highway of our God. This is a clear reference to John’s ministry making the way straight for Christ as it clearly shows us in the New Testament and confessed by John’s own words (Jn. 1:23). Since we know that this is the plot that is being foretold by the prophet, let us take a closer look. Who is John actually making the way straight for? “T7te voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” He is making the highway straight for “God”. John is preparing the way for “Elohim”.

Here we see Jesus clearly being called Elohim. Now, the immediate, overzealous and hair-triggered response you will get from a trinitarian is that this simply shows Jesus to be a part of Elohim. The problem with this argument is that again this word is used in the singular form disqualifying anyone else from being part of this equation. Further, if “Elohim” is a reference to multiplicity, as they will quickly point out concerning Genesis 1:1, then we must conclude here that Jesus is actually more than one person. We must assume that what Isaiah was actually saying was that John was making way for all three persons of the Godhead, not just the second person (God the Son). Whoa! Let’s slow down. That destroys the triune stance on too many issues at one time. We’ll save some for the other chapters.

Other “Elohim” References

Pagan gods were called Elohim (Ex. 12:12,1 Ki. 11:33). These references are used in both singular and plural form. We see in Exodus a reference to “the gods of Egypt”. This is a plural use of the word. Egypt was a nation of many Gods. In 1 Kings, however, we see a reference to Chemosh, “the god of Moab”. This is used in the singular. It referred to one deity of the Moabites. We surely are not going to consider that these “gods” are equal to our God, are we?

In Exodus 4:16, Moses is told that Aaron would be to him for a mouth, while he would be for a god (Elohim) to Aaron. First, the form of Elohim is plural, yet Moses was clearly one person — not a group or family of beings. This is sufficient to indicate the distinction that must be drawn between the form and the sense of a word. Second, Moses was to be like Elohim to Aaron, only in the sense that he would be in a position of more authority and respect. The same expression is used in 7:1, where Moses is told that he would be like Elohim to Pharaoh.

All throughout the proverbs and psalms, in verses that used ‘Elohim”, it was employed in the singular form. When you look at angels they were called “Elohim” in a number of places. We would never argue that they were Gods. Jacobs’ ladder had the angels running up and down it. Scripture referred to them as Elohim, also. We would never argue that this was many Gods. Was it Father, Son, and Holy Ghost manifesting in the form of a plethora of different angels?

The witch of Endor brought “Elohim” up out of the earth to meet Saul (1 Sam. 28:13). This wasn’t Jehovah; this was demons that they called Elohim. Now are demons a trinity? Do we believe the devil is a trinity? Do we believe the devil is the father, son and “un”holy spirit, or is he just an angel? He’s just an angel. Are angel’s trinities? Well no. Are demons trinities? NO! Then why are they all called Elohim? So why is it when it comes to the devil, angels, demons, pagan gods, Moses and prophetic views of Jesus, they can be called Elohim and still be one, but when it comes to the one true God, He has to be three when Elohim is His title? That’s very hypocritical and it really backfires on the trinitarian when looking at it in light of scripture.

EL

The word “El” is singular and it’s a standard term for God. This is the base or root of the word, “elohim”. When you use it with a plural word it means gods, when you use it with a singular verb it means god. The God of Israel was always talked about as singular. The gods of the nations, because the people were pagan and believed in more than one god, in a lot of cases were called Elohim. Why? Elohim was the only word for god that you could use in the plural form. When you use the word Jehovah, that’s the name of God and they wouldn’t have dared to say that was plural. The only word that they had to use, calling something a god, was Elohim meaning there were more than one. So when you’re talking about pagan gods there is thousands of gods, the only word that they could come up with was Elohim because it was the only one that meant “god” but was still plural.

Will The Real Elohim Stand Up?

Here’s where it really comes down to it. Psalm 82:1 says “God stands in the congregation of the mighty and judges among the gods.” Now, scripture uses “Elohim” in reference to both the “God” (Jehovah) and “the gods” (false gods). God (Elohim) stands in the congregation of the mighty, among the gods (Elohim). So wait a minute, in the same verse we have Elohim used as singular and plural. Is this a contradiction in scripture? Of course the bible doesn’t contradict itself. What this specific scripture shows us is the One Almighty God standing in authority among all the false gods as the One Supreme Being in the entire universe. It refers to Jehovah in the singular form of Elohim, God. It refers to the false gods in the plural form of Elohim, gods.

Elohim is meant in plurality only when it’s used with plural verbs that would show or denote plurality for the one they are talking about. If you go into a pagan nation where they believe in many gods you would use the word Elohim because it means “gods”. But when you use it in the singular form it simply means “God”. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

The thing we need to realize here is if we are going to use “gods” (plural) for Jehovah then we need to use “gods” (plural) for Jehovah everywhere. Don’t just pick and choose where it’s convenient for your doctrine. If it’s going to be plural it’s got to be plural everywhere. It either fits in the scriptures or not. We can’t pick and choose where we’re going to put it. You’ve got to put it everywhere or don’t put it anywhere. In the beginning “gods” created the heaven and the earth. How many exactly were there?

When God said He stretched forth the heavens by Himself, Where were the “Gods”? Isn’t this a contradiction to scripture? We are saying that He is plural but God Himself is saying that He is singular? Who shall we believe? Should we believe the prophet Isaiah who God spoke through mightily and under a holy unction of the Holy Spirit wrote the words of God, or should we believe the trinitarians who are trying to fit the bible into their view for over 1,700 years now?

Majestic Plural

Armed with this understanding, it is very easy to see how the word Elohim can be used in both forms and still be correctly applied to the one true God. The Jews had no problem with their own language nor do they have a problem with the doctrine of monotheism.

Elohim is not a plural word. When used in the plural form concerning God, “Elohim” simply means God, in His majesty. Let’s say we do use the plural. We need to understand that this doesn’t hurt us, it helps us. To say the plural form should automatically assume more than one person is a contradiction to so many scriptures that refer to God as one. “Hear o Israel the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4). Too many verses of the bible refer to an absolute numerical oneness of God for us even consider plurality of persons. It is nowhere in scripture and should be dismissed based upon the lack of evidence found in scripture.

When the bible does use the Plural form of Elohim in reference to the one true God it is showing royal majesty. I’ll give you an example, when the queen of England stands up to speak and says “We come in peace” She’s the only one standing there talking. Who exactly is “we”? She, as the royal leader of her nation, speaks on behalf of all of her nation. It’s the royal majesty, it’s what some people have called the royal we, or the divine council. In other words, she’s not speaking only for herself but everything that is under her. She is speaking as the leader, as the queen, as the ruler over all that is hers.

The same is true with God. When God is referred to in the plural form, it is not denoting His plurality of persons, but the majesty of His person. The scripture tells us that God works everything according to the council with his own will (Eph. 1:11). Does that mean that God councils himself? No. It simply means that His will is enough. He doesn’t need anybody else’s decisions. He doesn’t need anybody else to make up his mind for him. The only council He needs is His own thoughts. Now does that mean two things? Him and His will are two separate things? No it’s not two separate things, its saying that He doesn’t need anybody or anything. He makes his own decisions and His is the final decision.

When you’re looking at Elohim in the plural form concerning the Almighty God all it is saying is that He comes in the majesty of His entire kingdom. He comes and He speaks for everything that He has ever done, everything that He has ever created, every action He has ever taken, He speaks for all of it. Because everything He has ever done is

perfect. Everything He has ever done is royalty. Everything He has ever done was with the council of His own will.

Conclusion

Whether we see “Elohim” used in the singular (much more common) form or in the less common plural form we understand that God is only one Spirit, one being and should be understood as a single Deity in every sense of the word. To use the argument that “Elohim” shows us the trinity is a very shaky stance to take. Nowhere else in scripture is “Elohim” used to show multiplicity of persons within one deity; not even the pagans did that. Trinitarians are treading upon ground that no Jew or Apostolic age Christian ever walked concerning the doctrine of the Godhead. The “Elohim” argument was a far stretch to find something plural about God to stabilize their doctrine. It is a staff they should never have picked up during this dangerous walk, for all it has done is crumble in their hands. The triune doctrine is no more sturdy with this included than it was without it. In fact, it is actually weaker. I think it is time they finally walk in a different direction, away from it. The ground is much more solid over here.

Scripture References

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Isaiah 40:3

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

John 1:23

He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Exodus 12:12

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the lord.

1 Kings 11:33

Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.

Exodus 4:16

And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shall be to him instead of God.

Exodus 7:1

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

1 Samuel 28:13

And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

Ephesians 1:11

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

The Benedictions and Salutations

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, ~be with you all. Amen.”

(2 Corinthians 13:14)

The Trinitarian Question

The question that. trinitarians present to oneness believers concerning these benedictions and salutations is about the way the scriptures read. For example, in the scripture cited above. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” At face value without having an understanding, this could present a look of pluralism or plurality in the Godhead. In other words God, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are being mentioned in these verses. This is another one of their arguments in scripture where they’re kind of stuck if they do and stuck if they don’t.

False Accusations

See, the problem with trinitarians is that they try to label false doctrines on our behalf. They try to say that we take doctrinal stances that we don’t actually believe in. For example, they say that we deny that there is any distinction between the Father and the Son at all. They try to label us as “Jesus-only”. They say we do not believe in the Father. They say that we believe that there is no distinction between The Father and the Son. Truth is; they are wrong Yes, The Father and the Son are one. Yes, Jesus is the embodiment of the Father, but there is a distinction between the Spirit and the flesh, the Deity and humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The deity is what is known as Father, or the eternal God. The humanity is the man, Christ Jesus. Where a lot of trinitarians misrepresent our stance, whether purposely or not, is in the statement that we deny any distinction at all. This is simply not true.

We Have No Issue

Trinitarians say these passages show the distinct persons of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in one verse. This, according to them, shows plurality. In no way, shape or form does the salutations or benedictions show plurality in the Godhead. In fact, upon a closer examination, they show the exact opposite.

These passages are making reference to the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ. They talk about the Spirit and they talk about the man. They talk about the deity and they talk about the humanity. That does not mean these are two persons. It refers to two aspects of the same person. I would never deny the fact that I possess a body and a spirit, yet I would never say that I was two persons because of it.

Because of this understanding, we have no issue with these written greetings just the way that they are written. We have no problem with the salutations making reference to God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We understand that the writers are making a clear and unmistakable reference to the Spirit and the humanity of Jesus Christ, His dual nature.

Dual Nature

The hypocrisy of the whole issue is that trinitarians believe in the dual nature of Jesus Christ, yet ridicule us for using it as our explanation for seemingly plural examples of the Godhead. The reason is because their dual nature is much ‘, different from biblically explained dual nature. The bible explains very clearly that God the Father dwells in His son Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:10). Trinitarians, however, will not say that God the Father was the Spirit nature of Christ; they say it is God the Son, a completely unbiblical term in and of itself.

This is the reason we have no problem with the way the salutations are written. Taken at face value, they say exactly what we believe and teach, namely the dual nature of Jesus Christ. For us to mention God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ together is fine as long as we understand that it is God the Father IN the Lord Jesus Christ. It is acceptable to label the Father as distinct from the Son. It is acceptable to label the Son as distinct from the Father in the sense of natures but not in the sense of persons. It is reasonable to say that the Father is the Spirit nature and the Son is the human nature. It is all right to make distinction in the natures of the Father and the Son, but it becomes improper when we try to separate them into persons and that’s what trinitarians are trying to stretch out of this scripture.

As an example of this understanding I will use my own person. I am the son of LaVerne Yates and the father of Kimberly Yates… That does not make me two persons; it just means that I hold more than one title as pertaining to who I am. The aforementioned titles are two of the hats that I wear as Larry Yates. Nobody would ever argue that I should hold two social security numbers or two birth certificates, one as the son of LaVerne and the other as the father of Kimberly. When it comes to Jesus, it is much the same. There is no logical or rational reason to assume that because God is both the Father and the Son that He should be considered two persons. Why does it have to be two persons? Scriptures are clearly talking about the Spirit and the Deity of Jesus Christ, namely, the Father; and about the humanity and the human nature of Jesus Christ, namely, the Son.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

So, we see that there is no problem when we take the salutations and benedictions at face value, but, now, let’s take it a step further. When we analyze these salutations we will notice that it says things like “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bring you peace”, and “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you” notice in these verses it does not say “God the Father the Lord Jesus Christ AND the Holy Ghost.” Only in one benediction does it mention the three supposed “persons”. 2 Corinthians 13:14 gives this benediction and uses the words, Lord Jesus Christ, God and Holy Ghost all in the same verse. Let’s take a look. The verse says…

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

The first problem I see with this is the trinitarian use of the word God. According to them God is comprised of three persons. So this is actually not mentioning three persons, but the Son (Lord Jesus Christ), the trinity (God) and the Holy Ghost. Where is the specific mention of the Father? This, of course, presents a problem for triune theology. So what is really meant by this benediction?

A Great Blessing

If you read this chapter, even the whole letter to the Corinthian church you will see that Paul attributes many traits and characteristics to God. He talks of God’s mercy (1:3), His grace (1:2), His comfort and consolation (1:5), His liberty (3:17) and many other traits as well. It is not a problem for us to see these many things God encompasses in each role of the Godhead. It actually further demonstrates our point that God is not three persons, but rather one Spirit that manifests in three ways.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost…”

Paul didn’t say God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost be with you. He talked about 3 attributes that refer to 3 titles.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…” It does not say “the Lord Jesus Christ”. It says “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”. It is accurate to say that grace is from the Lord Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ in His humanity is the one that died on the cross for us and gave us that grace. His sacrificial death on the cross is how we access grace. Because of what Jesus subjected His own self to upon that hill of Calvary you and I can find atonement in His blood. Thank you, Jesus for showing us grace.

“The love of God…” It does not say ‘God’; it says the LOVE of God. Would anybody argue that Jesus Christ is not God? Of course not. So did the love not come from Jesus Christ? Of course it did. What we understand is that the love aspect of God’s nature is best shown in His action as Father. John 3:16 – “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…” When Paul referred to the love of God he was accurately attributing the love characteristic of God to the act of the Father sacrificing His only begotten son. This whole plan of mankind’s existence and salvation came to fruition because we have a loving Father who had it in Him to redeem mankind from our sin nature. He took upon himself the form of a servant and in His humanity, died to fulfill His plan. I’d say love is an accurate word to describe this plan.

“The communion of the Holy Ghost…” Notice that the verse does not say “the Holy Ghost be with you”. It says “the COMMUNION of the Holy Ghost.” How is the church in unity or in communion with one another except through the spirit of God, or as the scripture calls it, the Holy Ghost? Because we have the Holy Ghost we are unified. Because we have the Holy Ghost residing within us we are part of the body. It’s when we are baptized in the Spirit of God that we become the sons of God (Jn 1:12). I am able to be connected to the rest of the church because I have the same Spirit as they do. We are like-minded because we are driven by the same Spirit and purpose. Communion comes from the Holy Ghost.

When we see Paul give this benediction to the Corinthians he is not saying that three persons of the Godhead are with them; rather that the grace, love and communion of God were to be with them. He was pronouncing a blessing over them, as they went that they would remain in the grace that was shown to them, the love that was bestowed upon them and the communion that would hold them together as a strong body of believers.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost…” As we have seen, this is not talking about three persons. It is attributing characteristics of God to the different manifestations that He did them in. He gave us love as Father. He gave us grace as Son. He gives us communion as the Holy Ghost. That does not show us three persons, it simply means that the characteristics Paul is mentioning here are attributed to the different manifestations, or the titles, that God performs His actions in. This is not the trinity, this is pure oneness.

Where is the Holy Ghost?

Another issue for the trinitarians stance is the fact that the Holy Ghost is never mentioned in any of the salutations. In every place that a salutation is given mentioning what the trinitarians would call “persons’ it neglects to mention the Holy Ghost. Why? Paul always offers “grace… and peace… from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Why does he never bring the Holy Spirit into the equation?

In the previous discussion about 2 Corinthians benediction, the subject matter was different than it is here in the salutations. In the benediction Paul says “the grace OF the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love OF God, and the communion OF the Holy Ghost…” The subject matter is the attribute that belongs to God. Grace, love and communion are the pronounced blessing, not the person of God. However, in the salutations it is the other way around, “grace and peace… FROM God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The subject matter is no longer the characteristic of God, but God from whom these things come. This makes all the difference in understanding these verses of scripture.

So when talking about the person of God, why is the Holy Ghost never mentioned in the salutations? This would be a great opportunity to show the world the trinity. Here’s the reason why, it would be absurd to call God the Father and the Holy Ghost in the same statement. That would be like saying Larry Yates and Larry Yates. Imagine someone asking for me by two titles and expecting two persons to come. “Would the father of KimberlyYates and the husband of Shelia Yates come forth?” That is a redundant statement. I am the father of my daughter and the husband of my wife. I am but one person. These salutations never mention the Holy Ghost and the Father in the same breath, because the Father IS the Holy Ghost. There is but one Spirit of God (Ep. 4:4).

The next question a trinitarian will present in this case is that if Jesus is the Father, wouldn’t that be the same thing? Wouldn’t it also be redundant to mention the Father and the Son? The answer is no. It is not the same. To say Father and Holy Ghost is to say the same thing. It is using two words to describe the same Spirit. To say God and to say Jesus is not to say the same thing necessarily. To say God and Jesus could be describing the dual nature of Christ. When we say these two things, God and Jesus, we could accurately be talking about the Spirit and the humanity of Jesus Christ. It only refers to Father and to Son because that is not redundant. That is Deity and humanity. But it would never say Spirit and Spirit because there is only one Spirit. This shows us that the Holy Ghost and the Father are not separate entities, but one Spirit that manifests Himself in Jesus Christ’s person. This again shows true biblical oneness, not tri-unity.

Talk About Distinction

Romans 1:7 says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” According to the trinitarians we should see God our Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ, two separate and distinct persons. Let’s take a closer look.

That word AND in the English language would sometimes show distinction. It is a conjunctive word that means the first thing that we’re talking about, is distinct from but connected to the second thing that we are talking about. God our Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ would therefore show separation or distinction between the two persons, according to the trinitarians. There are a number of problems with that way of thinking. One of those problems is found in Galatians 1:4. This verse tells us that Jesus “gave himself for our sins… according to the will of God and our Father.” We immediately see the major issue at this point. Paul uses this word AND here in mentioning God and our Father. Was Paul trying to show distinction between God and our Father? Is God a separate and distinct person from the Father? Everyone who reads this would see that Paul is clearly not making distinction between persons of the Godhead here. He is simply saying that Jesus’ sacrifice was the will of God, who is our Father.

When scripture says “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” trinitarian proponents want to denote a separation between two distinct persons of the Godhead, but when it says “God and our Father” they do not make the same distinction.

Colossians 1:3 says, “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Is this yet another and even clearer picture of distinction between God and the Father? Of course not. Again, we have this word AND supposedly separating God and the Father into distinct persons. Not one trinitarian would dare say God is a different person than the Father. Not one person in the world would even dare to say that God is distinct from the Father, but when scripture shows the Father and the Son, suddenly we are supposed to make a comprehensible distinction between persons. Why is there a distinction when it is between Father and Son, but not a distinction between God and the Father? Oneness believers agree that there is no distinction between God and the Father, what we are showing is that just because the bible uses the word “and” does not mean that we are seeing two separate and distinct persons. The Father is no more separate from the Son than is God from the Father because of the word “and”.

“Kai”

That word “and” doesn’t absolutely denote a distinction or a separation. In some cases it can in the English language, not in every case. In this case it doesn’t. We know this because when we are using the translation from the Greek text we see the word’s true rendering. Ephesians 1:2 says, “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, AND the Lord Jesus Christ/Tn the English that word “and” is translated from the Greek word “kai”. This word can be translated as “and”. It is also translated in some other verses as “even” or rendered as “who is”. In the Greek (which is where we get our King James from), we would see these salutations to read “God our Father EVEN the Lord Jesus Christ.” All of a sudden it doesn’t seem like a separation anymore, now it seems like God our Father and He’s giving us His name. “God our Father EVEN the Lord Jesus Christ.” That sounds very oneness to me.

Colossians 1:2 says, “…Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ.” This verse again shows Paul using the word “kai”. In this case, the verse could very accurately be translated as “God our Father “WHO IS” the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Greek New Testament (which is the original form of the English New Testament) it doesn’t use the word “and”. Further, in the Greek there is no punctuation, so there are no comma’s to mark separation as there are in the English. We use commas to denote separation or pauses in our sentences, whereas, in the Greek they don’t use punctuation, they use words for everything. So if they wanted to use a word to denote a separation, surely the word would not have been “kai”. In English we can use the word “and” with the use of a comma to show a separation because we use punctuation to show distinction. Greeks do not use punctuation to show distinction. All of the distinctions that are made between the persons or things talked about within the subject of a topic are separated through the use of words not punctuation.

Surely they would have chosen a better word to show a true | and obvious separation if they were denoting a distinction ; between the persons of the Father and the Son. They would not have used a word that would have been translated as EVEN. “God our Father “EVEN”  the Lord Jesus Christ.” “God our Father “WHO IS” the Lord Jesus Christ.” This is absolute oneness.

Romans 1:7 (looking at the word “kai” being rendered) would read “grace to you and peace from God our Father ‘EVEN’ the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:2 would read “grace unto you and peace from God our Father even the Lord ‘WHO IS’ Jesus Christ.” Again, we see absolute oneness.

Greeks had no problem with this rendering; the early church fathers had no problem with it. Paul and Peter and John and James, had no problem with the way it was written. It was only after the introduction of the Nicene trinity and the separation of persons that this even became an issue. On what premise should we stand; upon biblical credence or upon the end result of an epic clash between backslidden church officials?

Conclusion

In closing, whether we look at the salutations the way they are written in English using the word AND denoting the distinction between the dual nature of Christ, or if we use the true rendering of the Greek and the word “kai”, as “even” or “who is”, we, as oneness believers in the Godhead, are fine with it, seeing how either way preaches untainted oneness theology. Trinitarians that get distinction of persons out of these salutations are clearly reaching for anything to back their stance and only ending up with a handful of straw. They pull out two titles that were spoken of and call it two distinct persons. The devil will use anything he can; he will twist any little thing he can to try to find his self a trinity. Everywhere he goes to get one, they must be fresh out, because in every question brought up, we still fail to see a trinity.

Scripture References

John 14:10

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

1 Corinthians 1:2-3

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, catted to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:5

That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

1 Corinthians 3:17

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

John 1:12

The same was in the beginning with God. Ephesians 4:4

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

Romans 1:7

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:2

Grace unto you, and peace, from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:14

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Three that Bear record?

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one

–1 John 5:7

Biblical Validity

Some students of the bible have made claims that 1 John 5:7 is not a true scripture of the bible. Some of the ancient manuscripts do not contain this verse and so the position is that it may be an interpolation. These claims are usually followed by a reference to the Catholic Church. Not all scholars adhere to this conviction.

The purpose of this book is not to prove or disprove the validity of the bible. This book is written with the assumption that the reader is a believer in the bible’s validity and is seeking to further their knowledge concerning the Godhead.

When examining scripture, just remember that the God who inspired men to write it can preserve the integrity of his work. Heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s words will never pass away (Mk. 13:31; Lk. 21:33). God’s word has and always will stand the test of time. You can always trust what you read in the bible.

The Trinitarian Question

The plot in the argument that the trinitarian presents concerning this verse is much like the rest of them, a stretch at best. We are supposed to be floored when we see the verse of all verses where the “three members of the trinity” are shown as “divine persons.” For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.” Well, I guess that is that. There are those three missing persons we have been searching for. Well, actually not. Let’s take a look.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

The first thing that we have to understand is that this verse, or any other one for that matter, is not a problem for us. It is, however, a problem for trinitarians. Here is how.

The first quandary they find themselves trying to resolve is the definition of the word ‘one’. There are two different words that are used in the Greek New Testament that are translated as the English word ‘one’.

The first of these words is “uia”, pronounced ‘mee’ah’. This word by definition is to agree, or to express unity.

The second of these two words is “eis”, pronounced ‘hice’. This word by definition is literally one; the numerical value, one.

We have all heard the analogies of how the Godhead is comprised of three individual persons who are one like a committee, a clover, even an egg. The purpose of these inaccurate analogies is to help us understand that God is three persons who are one in unity. You will notice, however, that the word translated as ‘one’ in the verse in question, is the word “eis”. This is the word that literally means the numerical value of one. This scripture is not saying that God is one because of some unification between distinct persons, but literally one sole entity. This obviously defies the logic of the trinity (one God comprised of three persons). This is not unity being shown here, but individuality. God is simply one.

The Task of Bearing Record

Another thing to look at is the task of bearing record. The scripture tells us that there are three that bear witness heaven. Is it saying that there are three people in heaven all keeping track of what they have done? Of course not!  What is actually being referred to, are the titles that God uses to accomplish His mighty works. It is a categorical breakdown of the works of God in heaven. He created the earth and all that is therein as Father (Mal. 2:10). Therefore He bears record of creation as Father. As Son, He became the sacrificial atonement and redeemed mankind (Ph. 2:8). Therefore He bears record of the great redemption as Son. He, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, has regenerated mankind, effectively reuniting the fallen creation with its maker; Himself (Ti. 3:5). Therefore He bears record of the church as the Holy Ghost. This is in no way separate divine entities, but one majestic God who created, redeemed and regenerated His people without any help.

Basically, everything that God has ever done has been recorded in heaven under three categories. Things He did as Father, those that He did as Son and others that He did as Holy Ghost; and these three titles belong to one God.

We often hear someone exclaim that we are saying the same thing, just in two different ways. That it is actually an argument of semantics. This, however, is not true. There is a clear difference and the difference is very simple. Trinitarians start with three persons and end up with one God, effectively going from 3-1. Oneness, on the other hand, both starts and finishes with the same one God, never changing that position, just proclaiming the works of that one God under the biblical titles, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. This stance never departs from biblical monotheism.

The Three That Bear Witness

The next problem that faces the doctrine of the trinity is the very next verse. We are reading about three that bear record in heaven, but the next verse lets us in on a great revelation if we will open our eyes to see it. It is the three that bear witness on earth. The blood, the water and the Spirit. Trinitarians tell us that the previous verse tells of three divine persons who are one in unity. Not one numerically, as we oneness suppose. They are one because they agree. Why then didn’t John just say that? Why did he confuse everything?

In verse 8, the writer tells of three that bear witness in earth, that agree in one. He had no problem telling us that the blood, water and Spirit were not actually one object; just that they agreed in one. Why then did he have such a hard time doing the same thing in the prior verse? If the Father, Word and Holy Ghost are one only because they agree, why didn’t John just say that? Nevertheless, he didn’t say it. He actually said exactly what he intended to say; that these three do not agree in one, but that they are one. There is a vast difference between something agreeing in one and something actually being one. My wife and I are one in the agreement we made at our wedding. We made vows that make us one, but we are not the same person. We agree in one. We are not one person.

Further, in examining these two verses, the subject of each is vastly different. Verse 8 is talking about three things that we know, without argument, are very different from one another; the blood is not the water, the water is not the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the blood. These three things do, however, agree in one. These are three separate parts that together become one experience; the new birth. Without one of these parts the experience is incomplete, therefore they agree in one. They are bonded together in marriage one to another bringing forth the great experience the new birth. The blood works alongside of the water and the Spirit. Repentance, water baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost bare witness in this earth of the redeeming power of God in the soul of man; these three agree in one.

In this verse the word translated as “one” is the Greek word ‘uia’. This, again, is the word meaning one, or unified together. This is not the case with the Father, Word and Holy Ghost. That verse uses the word ‘eis‘, meaning numerically one. He didn’t say that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost “agree in one”, he said they “are one”.

Proper English

The next major problem for trinitarians is the use of the English language in the King James Bible. The scripture says, “there are three THAT bear record in heaven…” This is King James English we are reading. If the three in question here were persons, as the trinitarians would have us to believe, wouldn’t the writer have had a little more regard for their personage? Proper English does not refer to persons, especially those of higher regard, as “thats”. “That” refers to an inanimate object or an impersonal thing. You would never refer to a human as an “it” or a “that”.

The proper rendering when referring to persons would have been “who” or “whom”. There are three “whom” bear record in heaven… You would never refer to God as a “that”, or a thing, you would refer to him as a “who” or a “whom”. Armed with this understanding, we know that this verse is not referring to three persons, much less “divine persons” when it says “there are three THAT bear record in heaven…” It is obviously referring to something either inanimate or impersonal. It is not referring to the actual person of God, but to His titles. Father, Word and Holy Ghost are not three persons, but three titles for the one mighty God.

Conclusion

1 John 5:7, whether an interpolation or not, is not a detriment to the truth of the word of God. It is actually a great help to the rest of the bible that is wholly oneness. The bible loudly exclaims all throughout its pages the very doctrine upon which the church was built; namely, that the Father was manifest in the Son and dwells in the church today as the Holy Spirit. This is not three, but emphatically one.

Scripture References

Mark 23:31

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Luke 21:33

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Malachi 2:10

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Philippians 2:8

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

1 John 5:8

And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.