The egg and God

shankara

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Genesis‬ ‭1:24-25‬ ‭
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.“​
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I think you slightly missed the point, I believe that what @illuminatimess was referring to was infinite causal regression i.e. what is the cause of the so-called "first cause"? what is the cause of the cause of the first cause? etc. etc. etc. Buddhism's answer, by the way, is that everything is beginningless, one cannot speak of a beginning of things.
 






Lisa

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If the chicken came first, how does the egg represent god? Doesn’t the chicken do that then...
The chicken and the egg joke has nothing to do with an egg and its parts and isn’t part of the analogy.
 






Lisa

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I think you slightly missed the point, I believe that what @illuminatimess was referring to was infinite causal regression i.e. what is the cause of the so-called "first cause"? what is the cause of the cause of the first cause? etc. etc. etc. Buddhism's answer, by the way, is that everything is beginningless, one cannot speak of a beginning of things.
And yet God said that in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth and He tells us exactly how He did it...
Genesis‬ ‭1:1-5‬ ‭
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.​
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shankara

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And yet God said that in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth and He tells us exactly how He did it...
Genesis‬ ‭1:1-5‬ ‭
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.​
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Ah yes, the old creation ex nihilo. I haven't got the patience to attempt to explain to you the whole notion of the creative deity not being the same thing as the Absolute/Ultimate Reality/Parabrahman whatever you want to call it. For you it is "not in the Bible" and therefore cannot possibly be true, in fact it is in the Bible but you would have to read the Bible in a totally different way to how you are accustomed to, which is to say the way it was intended to be read.

I assume being a Biblical scholar you would be aware that the Pentateuch was written by at least two different writers, called the "Elohist" and the "Jehovist", i.e. one who used the name Elohim and one who used the name Jehovah. Personally I'm more interested in what the first said, but I'm not going to waste my time trying to explain that to you either. But (as I am sure you are also aware), Genesis begins: "Bereshit bara Elohim", translated as "in the beginning God created", but the God-name Elohim is plural, and therefore it would be better translated as "in the beginning THE GODS created".
 






Lisa

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Ah yes, the old creation ex nihilo. I haven't got the patience to attempt to explain to you the whole notion of the creative deity not being the same thing as the Absolute/Ultimate Reality/Parabrahman whatever you want to call it. For you it is "not in the Bible" and therefore cannot possibly be true, in fact it is in the Bible but you would have to read the Bible in a totally different way to how you are accustomed to, which is to say the way it was intended to be read.

I assume being a Biblical scholar you would be aware that the Pentateuch was written by at least two different writers, called the "Elohist" and the "Jehovist", i.e. one who used the name Elohim and one who used the name Jehovah. Personally I'm more interested in what the first said, but I'm not going to waste my time trying to explain that to you either. But (as I am sure you are also aware), Genesis begins: "Bereshit bara Elohim", translated as "in the beginning God created", but the God-name Elohim is plural, and therefore it would be better translated as "in the beginning THE GODS created".
In the beginning God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit created the heavens and the earth...so it would still work as plural in that God is One but three.

That they ..God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have different roles..but they were also there together to make the heavens and the earth and create man in their image...
 






shankara

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In the beginning God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit created the heavens and the earth...so it would still work as plural in that God is One but three.

That they ..God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have different roles..but they were also there together to make the heavens and the earth and create man in their image...
I'm pretty sure that the concept of a Trinity would be completely alien to the writer of Genesis. The Jews of today certainly don't think Elohim refers to a trinity, though they would also disagree that it refers to multiple Deities. Of course ultimately Divinity Is One, this is quite clear, but in manifestation it can be referred to as three i.e. Positive, Negative, Neutral, though it must be understood that this is not really referring to IT, to the Ultimate Reality.

I'm not going to bother trying to explain this Kabbalistically, both for fear of getting something wrong and because it would be totally lost on you. But I will ask another question - why (aside from the fact that you cannot find it in the Bible, the way you are reading it) if you can accept the concept of Unity in Triplicity, why not in Septuplicity or in any other number of things which could be both one and different? For example, the Hindu Gods? - these are each representations of an aspect of Brahman and while not being the whole are means of approaching the whole, thus I think it could be justly said that they are simultaneously one and different to the whole. A person can approach one of them with "Bhakti" (Devotion) and through doing so approach the realization of the Ultimate Reality.

Of course I'm not going into whether approaching one of those Deities rather than following the deeper philosophy like Advaita is the best way, though this has some impact perhaps on whether approaching Divinity as a Trinity is as wise as approaching Divinity as a Unity.

Anyway, all of this is probably way over your head, but perhaps someone reading might find it useful. Have a nice day, I'm going to duck out of this conversation now.
 






Lisa

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I'm pretty sure that the concept of a Trinity would be completely alien to the writer of Genesis. The Jews of today certainly don't think Elohim refers to a trinity, though they would also disagree that it refers to multiple Deities. Of course ultimately Divinity Is One, this is quite clear, but in manifestation it can be referred to as three i.e. Positive, Negative, Neutral, though it must be understood that this is not really referring to IT, to the Ultimate Reality.

I'm not going to bother trying to explain this Kabbalistically, both for fear of getting something wrong and because it would be totally lost on you. But I will ask another question - why (aside from the fact that you cannot find it in the Bible, the way you are reading it) if you can accept the concept of Unity in Triplicity, why not in Septuplicity or in any other number of things which could be both one and different? For example, the Hindu Gods? - these are each representations of an aspect of Brahman and while not being the whole are means of approaching the whole, thus I think it could be justly said that they are simultaneously one and different to the whole. A person can approach one of them with "Bhakti" (Devotion) and through doing so approach the realization of the Ultimate Reality.

Of course I'm not going into whether approaching one of those Deities rather than following the deeper philosophy like Advaita is the best way, though this has some impact perhaps on whether approaching Divinity as a Trinity is as wise as approaching Divinity as a Unity.

Anyway, all of this is probably way over your head, but perhaps someone reading might find it useful. Have a nice day, I'm going to duck out of this conversation now.
The writer of Genesis was Moses...so he knew God really good and I doubt he’d be surprised as he was also inspired by God to write Genesis even the part where God said that He made man in Our image.

There is only trinity nothing more and nothing less. Jesus didn’t tell people to baptize only in His name, but also in the Father’s and the Holy Spirit’s name as well. We are baptizing in all three because there are three persons to the Godhood, not one. We are not baptizing in more names because there aren’t any others.

I guess it is way over my head because I don’t think that any other religion on par with Christianity...its all a bunch of false religions that work on deceiving people away from the one true God.

Enjoy your day then :)
 






floss

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There will alway be loop holes when using analogies from this world to describe the Almighty Triune God. If there exist a perfect analogy, then He is limited. However, He is NOT from this world so don't expect to fully comprehend His true nature. This picture represent the Triune God, either you believe it or you don't. If you choose to believe, then I promise you He will personally confirm it with you.
1586984610640.png
 






Kung Fu

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I think your inability to understand it says more about you than my analogy being pathetic and sad...
But yet you still refuse to answer the question. Geez I wonder why. I'll ask again. If the yolk and shell are separated do they still make up the same whole egg while being SEPARATED? Yes or no?
 






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However, He is NOT from this world so don't expect to fully comprehend His true nature.
This statement alone debunks the need to even believe the Trinity at all as a Christian. All logic points to the belief in the Trinity being meaningless, with no connection to the God of Israel (El is the word for "God" in the Torah btw, YHWH is the national name or title for God as distinguished by the Israelites).

Just think about it, using your argument, look how clearly the Tanakh (Old Testament) tells you that God is just ONE. Given your argument, what need would there be to believe in the Trinity when God himself is extremely explicit and leaves no room for reinterpretation:

"To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him. (Deuteronomy 4:35)

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (Deuteronomy 6:4-6)

'See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, he is God!, who formed the earth and made it, he established it;

he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited! “I am the Lord, and there is no other (Isaiah 45:18)

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’ (Isaiah 45:22)

To whom can you compare Me Or declare Me similar? To whom can you liken Me, So that we seem comparable? (Isaiah 46:5)

Bear in mind what happened of old; For I am God, and there is none else, I am divine, and there is none like Me. (Isaiah 46:9)

For the sake of My name I control My wrath; To My own glory, I am patient with you, And I will not destroy you. See, I refine you, but not as silver; I test you in the furnace of affliction. For My sake, My own sake, do I act— Lest [My name] be dishonored! I will not give My glory to another. Listen to Me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am He—I am the first, And I am the last as well. My own hand founded the earth, My right hand spread out the skies. I call unto them, let them stand up. (Isaiah 48:9-13)

"O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
(1 Chronicles 17:20)


Let alone Jesus himself confirming that he himself doesn't believe anything different:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) There is no commandment greater than these.”
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
(Mark 12:28-34)
 






Kung Fu

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The writer of Genesis was Moses...so he knew God really good and I doubt he’d be surprised as he was also inspired by God to write Genesis even the part where God said that He made man in Our image.

There is only trinity nothing more and nothing less. Jesus didn’t tell people to baptize only in His name, but also in the Father’s and the Holy Spirit’s name as well. We are baptizing in all three because there are three persons to the Godhood, not one. We are not baptizing in more names because there aren’t any others.

I guess it is way over my head because I don’t think that any other religion on par with Christianity...its all a bunch of false religions that work on deceiving people away from the one true God.

Enjoy your day then :)
How are you going to prove Moses wrote Genesis when the oldest and most complete Hebrew Bibles are dated to the 13th century (meaning way after the death of Moses)?

You still haven't shown us where Jesus says they are three and that they make up one?
 






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There will alway be loop holes when using analogies from this world to describe the Almighty Triune God. If there exist a perfect analogy, then He is limited. However, He is NOT from this world so don't expect to fully comprehend His true nature. This picture represent the Triune God, either you believe it or you don't. If you choose to believe, then I promise you He will personally confirm it with you.
View attachment 34984
Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One,
Allah, the Eternal Refuge.
He neither begets nor is born,
Nor is there to Him any equivalent."
 






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I actually started out reading the Bible cover to cover...
You started but never finished?

And actually when you see Jesus for who He is
A false prophet?

I guess, we might still be guessing about Paul but when Ananias went and laid hands on him because Jesus ordered Him too...that was the corroborative story we needed to believe what Paul said was true.
Isaiah 8:20
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

The law is what you're supposed to be corroborating things by. Not men named "Ananias" (or any man for that matter)

We can‘t keep God’s standards at all...there is always sin in our lives.
Deuteronomy 30:11
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.

I can literally find a verse to contradict everything you're saying..

Jesus is going into the milennium as King and He will rule with a rod of iron.

Revelation‬ ‭19:15‬ ‭
From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.​
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And it won’t be the Christians ..they will rule with Him..

Revelation‬ ‭20:4‬ ‭
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.​

It won’t be the Jews because they will be busy burying the dead...

Ezekiel‬ ‭39:11-16‬ ‭
On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the valley of Hamon-gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. Even all the people of the land will bury them; and it will be to their renown on the day that I glorify Myself,” declares the Lord GOD. “They will set apart men who will constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those left on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. As those who pass through the land pass through and anyone sees a man’s bone, then he will set up a marker by it until the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog. And even the name of the city will be Hamonah. So they will cleanse the land.” 
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More NT babble. This is end times prophecy according to the book of Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 37
20 Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding,[b] and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

24 “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations (i.e. YOU) will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’

The end times prophecy according to the OT is Israel being regathered to their nation, NOT sinning in regards to the law of Moses (i.e having gay parades), and having a temple (outlined in Ezekiel 40-48). Throwing Jesus over everything that speaks of David, doesnt change a thing about the Most High saying DAVID (not Jesus)... The term "rod of iron"? Yea, that was David too..

Psalm 2:9
Thou (David)shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

All your NT does is take OT verses and superimpose Jesus over it. Thats all it does. The Most High spoke "face to face as one speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11) yet no mention of Jesus. Abraham? Nothing. Jacob? Nothing. Noah? David? Samuel? Job? Its not like yall are the only religion that does this, but you're the only one that claims ALL of the bible is the word of God (no exceptions) yet, at the same time, turn around and ignore it when convenient.

At the end of the day, its a curse for Israelites to worship gods their ancestors (i.e. the men mentioned above) never knew. And since theres no mention of these men knowing Jesus in the writings that speak of them, then theres no reason for ANYONE, let alone an Israelite to worship/follow him. Thats for you to do because maybe thats the role you were created to play...
 






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Ironically the arguments you are using for God being one actually suggest otherwise.

One of the most compelling Trinitarian Old Testament texts is found within the confession of Hebrew monotheism, the Shema.[9] The passage from which the Shema is taken, Deuteronomy 6:4, reads “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” The Hebrew word used in this text for “one” is echad. While the word is accurately translated as “one,” it does not imply a position of isolation.[10] Instead, echad stresses the uniqueness, as well as the unity, of Yahweh.[11] The intent of the passage is to provide a clear distinction between the monotheism of Israel and the polytheism of the surrounding nations.[12] An example of unity is located in Genesis 2:24, when Adam and Eve are described as becoming “one (echad) flesh.” One should note that, while they became “one,” Adam and Eve did not lose their individuality. In light of this material, one could not propose that the Old Testament portrays God as a monad.
 






Lisa

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You started but never finished?
I read the Bible cover to cover..so ya I finished, did that a couple of times.


A false prophet?
Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭
God the Son, author and finisher of our faith..
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.​


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The law is what you're supposed to be corroborating things by. Not men named "Ananias" (or any man for that matter)
Ananias is the one who corroborated Paul’s story as Jesus spoke to him about Paul.


I can literally find a verse to contradict everything you're saying..
If it’s the OT then Jesus fulfilled the law..we are under grace now....we’ll those of us that are saved by the blood of Jesus.




The end times prophecy according to the OT is Israel being regathered to their nation, NOT sinning in regards to the law of Moses (i.e having gay parades), and having a temple (outlined in Ezekiel 40-48). Throwing Jesus over everything that speaks of David, doesnt change a thing about the Most High saying DAVID (not Jesus)... The term "rod of iron"? Yea, that was David too..

Psalm 2:9
Thou (David)shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

All your NT does is take OT verses and superimpose Jesus over it. Thats all it does. The Most High spoke "face to face as one speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11) yet no mention of Jesus. Abraham? Nothing. Jacob? Nothing. Noah? David? Samuel? Job? Its not like yall are the only religion that does this, but you're the only one that claims ALL of the bible is the word of God (no exceptions) yet, at the same time, turn around and ignore it when convenient.

At the end of the day, its a curse for Israelites to worship gods their ancestors (i.e. the men mentioned above) never knew. And since theres no mention of these men knowing Jesus in the writings that speak of them, then theres no reason for ANYONE, let alone an Israelite to worship/follow him. Thats for you to do because maybe thats the role you were created to play...
Yep the Jews are regathered in the land and they are sinners, don’t believe in Jesus..but God isn’t done with them yet. They will rebuild their temple because of a signed treaty. They will renew the sacrificial system because they think that’s how they get back to God. Then 3.5 years into the treaty the treaty will be broken and the antichrist will enter the temple and declare himself god and then he’ll will
Break out for the Jews and only a remnant will be saved physically and will know that Jesus is their Messiah and wil mourn that they didn’t recognize Him. And the Jews will be saved from the nations threatening them by Jesus who will come back to save them. That’s when there will be a lot of dead that will be left for the birds and they will take months to process the mess.

Jesus is God, He was there in the beginning, He was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word is God. One day the Jews will know Jesus and that will be a good day!
 






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Ironically the arguments you are using for God being one actually suggest otherwise.

One of the most compelling Trinitarian Old Testament texts is found within the confession of Hebrew monotheism, the Shema.[9] The passage from which the Shema is taken, Deuteronomy 6:4, reads “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” The Hebrew word used in this text for “one” is echad. While the word is accurately translated as “one,” it does not imply a position of isolation.[10] Instead, echad stresses the uniqueness, as well as the unity, of Yahweh.[11] The intent of the passage is to provide a clear distinction between the monotheism of Israel and the polytheism of the surrounding nations.[12] An example of unity is located in Genesis 2:24, when Adam and Eve are described as becoming “one (echad) flesh.” One should note that, while they became “one,” Adam and Eve did not lose their individuality. In light of this material, one could not propose that the Old Testament portrays God as a monad.
Nope. Any intellectual Christian will not deny the fact that you're speaking crap.


Deuteronomy 6:4
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (NIV)
1. It is believed by some that the Hebrew word “one” (echad) that is used in Deuteronomy 6:4 and other verses indicates a “compound unity.” This is just not true. Anthony Buzzard writes:

It is untrue to say that the Hebrew word echad (one) in Deut. 6:4 points to a compound unity. A recent defense of the Trinity argues that when “one” modifies a collective noun like “cluster” or “herd,” a plurality is implied in echad. The argument is fallacious. The sense of plurality is derived from the collective noun, not from the word “one.” Echad in Hebrew is the numeral “one.” Isa. 51:2 describes Abraham as “one” (echad), where there is no possible misunderstanding about the meaning of this simple word (p. 15).

There is no reference to the word “one” as to a plurality of any kind. It is used of “one” in number, “the first” in a series, “one” in the sense of “the same,” and “one” in the sense of “each” or “a certain one.” A study of its uses in the Old Testament will reveal its simple meaning and the truth it conveys. It is translated “first” in Genesis 1:5, when God made light on the “first” day. The whole earth spoke “one” language before Babel (Gen. 11:1). Hagar cast her child under “one” of the bushes (Gen. 21:15). In Pharaoh’s dream, there were seven ears of grain on “one” stalk (Gen. 41:5). In the plague on Egypt’s livestock, not “one” cow died in Israel (Ex. 9:6). Exodus 12:49 says that Israel shall have “one” law for the citizen and the foreigner. The examples are far too many to list. Echad is used more than 250 times in the Old Testament, and there is no hint in any Jewish commentary or lexicon that it somehow implies a “compound unity.”

The history of the Jews is well known. They were infamous in the ancient world for being downright obnoxious when it came to defending their “one God,” as civilizations down through the ages found out. Snedeker quotes Eliot:

One thing, very important, is certain, that if any such hints [that God was a plurality of persons] were conveyed, the Jews never understood them. The presumption is that they knew their own language, and it is certain they understood that the Unity of God was taught by their Scriptures in the most absolute and unqualified manner. Such was their interpretation of Moses and the Prophets at the time when Christ came. In all Palestine there probably could not have been found a single man or woman, who supposed that there was any distinction of persons, such as is now taught, in the Unity of God (p. 293).

2. Deuteronomy 6:4 is one of the strongest texts against the Trinity. God is “one,” not “three-in-one” or some other plurality. This has been the rallying cry of Jews down through the ages who have stood aggressively against any form of polytheism or pantheism. Jesus quoted this verse as part of the first and great commandment: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29 and 30). It is quite inconceivable that Christ would be promoting some form of the doctrine of the Trinity while at the same time quoting Deuteronomy that God is “one” to a Jewish audience who would be sure to misunderstand him. It is much more reasonable to believe that Jesus was simply affirming that if we are to love God with all our heart we must be certain who He is—the one God of Israel.



Here's another Christian debunking you:


God is one. On this much, Trinitarians and Oneness adherents agree. We differ on how we understand God’s oneness. Is God one in substance only (Trinitarianism), or one in both substance and person (Oneness theology)? Trinitarians routinely argue that the way we understand God’s oneness should be informed, in part, by the Hebrew words echad and yachid. Yachid is only used to refer to a strict numerical oneness, whereas echad has a wider range of usage that includes composite unities as well. If God is unipersonal in nature, they argue, we would expect for Him to describe His oneness using yachid. Instead, God described His oneness as echad (e.g. Dt 6:4). The fact that He chose to describe His oneness using echad indicates that He did not intend for us to understand His oneness in terms of a numerical oneness, but rather as a composite unity of persons (even if He would wait to reveal His tri-personal nature until New Testament times).

This is not a good argument for understanding God as a triad of persons subsisting in a single divine essence. Echad is used nearly 1000 times in the OT, and almost always refers to a single numerical entity. There are times when it is used of a composite entity (Genesis 2:24). It functions just like the English word “one,” which can be used of single or composite entities, although it most often refers to a single, solitary thing. Only the context can determine how echad is being used. Given the rarity with which echad is used to refer to a composite entity, we should understand echad as referring to a single entity unless there are good contextual clues that warrant the uncommon meaning. So given the lexical data alone, the best one could argue is that the semantical domain of echad allows for a Trinitarian understanding of “one,” but by no means does it prove it, and by no means does it rule out the understanding of God’s oneness as an absolute unity.

The question, then, comes down to context. Is there anything in the context of Deuteronomy 6:4 – or any other passage of Scripture in which God is described as being echad – that requires the meaning of composite unity? Meaning is not determined by a words semantical domain, but by the context. To demonstrate that echad means a composite entity with reference to God, the context must make it clear that this is the meaning intended by the author. For example, in Genesis 2:24 man and woman are described as being “echad flesh.” It is physically impossible for man and woman to be considered a single physical entity, so the author must mean “one” in the sense of a composite entity. Are there similar contextual clues that make it clear that echad is being used in this way in Deuteronomy 6:4? No. Indeed, given how God’s oneness is described in passages like Isaiah 42:8 and 44:24, we have very good grounds for understanding the nature of God’s oneness to be that of a numerically single entity.

The Jews read passages such as Deuteronomy 6:4 for 1500 years and always understood them to mean YHWH was a single entity. They never understood YHWH's oneness in a composite sense because there was no contextual warrant for doing so. It is only with the advent of the Messiah and the NT revelation that anyone had reason for reconsidering the meaning of echad. In their attempt to understand the Father-Son relationship, Christians began to interpret God's oneness in a new way. It is only the doctrine of the Trinity that requires us to interpret echad as a composite unity. If the only justification for interpreting echad as a composite unity is the fact that one has already concluded that God is a Trinity, then echad cannot be used as evidence for God’s triune nature. Understanding echad to refer to a composite unity is merely a means of harmonizing the doctrine of the Trinity with the OT data that describes God as being one. At best this means it’s possible to understand echad in a manner that is consistent with Trinitarian theology, but by no means is it evidence for the Trinity. Claiming otherwise is a clear example of the tail wagging the dog. 2`

As for yachid, I dispute the claim that it only refers to a strict numerical identity, and that if God is one in both substance and person that He would have inspired Moses to describe Himself using yachid rather than echad. Yachid is only used 12 times in the OT.1 An examination of the contexts in which it is used reveals two things: (1) It does not refer only to a single entity; (2) It would not be appropriate to describe God using this term.

Yachid is usually used to refer to an only child (Gen 22:2, 12, 16; Judges 11:34; Prov 4:3; Jer 6:26; Amos 8:10; Zech 12:10). In Genesis 22:2 when the English reads "your only son, Isaac,” there is no word for Son. The word is simply yachid. Yachid is also used to describe the emotion of feeling alone (Ps 25:16) or being alone (Ps 68:6), and even the uniqueness or precious nature of something (Ps 22:21; 35:17). The word is never used as a general term for “one.” Its meaning is more akin to “unique” or “only.” Indeed, Isaac is described as Abraham’s yachid even though Isaac was not his only son (Ishmael was born earlier). While God could have been described using yachid, it would not necessarily tell us how many gods there are, but rather what kind of God YHWH is: a unique God. If we want to know how many gods there are, the most appropriate word is echad.




Here's yet another Christian debunking you:


Introduction

One of the most frequently recited wholesale nfl jerseys from china verses in Scripture is Deuteronomy 6:4. In other words, that verse is spoken – out loud from memory – on an extremely frequent basis. For example, observant Orthodox Jews will recite that verse at least twice a day – once in the morning, and once in the evening.

The Hebrew in that verse is pronounced as follows:

Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Here is the translation of that verse, from the ESV:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
All of the other common English translations of the Bible have extremely similar renderings of that verse.

Deuteronomy 6:4 is sometimes referred to as “the sh’ma” (or “the shema”) – since it is referenced so frequently.

Interestingly, Jesus himself also recited the sh’ma. Note the following passage:

Mark 12:28-30 (ESV):
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
At this point, the obvious question is: why is that verse recited so frequently? The general answer to that question is that the sh’ma very succinctly summarizes the difference between the God of the Bible – Yahweh – and the pagan gods of other religions. Basically, that verse explicitly states that there is only ONE Almighty God. This is in stark contrast to the multiple, competing gods, in the pantheons of most other religions.

As a result, reciting the sh’ma is a very simple, convenient way for a person to re-confirm that he believes in the God of the Bible – rather than believing in multiple, pagan gods.



The Hebrew word “echad”

The very last word in the sh’ma is the Hebrew word echad. That word is rendered as “one” in most English translations of the Bible; some translations use “alone” instead. In either case, the straightforward, common-sense understanding of echad in the sh’ma tells us that only one person is Almighty God – and that one person is our Heavenly Father – Yahweh.

Some groups have an alternate belief about echad, though. In essence, those groups assert that echad refers to a “compound unity”. In other words, they believe that echad refers to one group, which contains multiple members. For example, they state that echad means “one” as in “one baseball team”; as opposed to “one” as in “one chair”.

So, according to that understanding of echad, the sh’ma could be translated this way:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is a compound unity.
Of course, the reason why this alternate understanding of echad is important is because it allows some groups to “spin” the sh’ma – into an endorsement for the Trinity! In other words, some groups state the following: “The sh’ma tells us that God is one. That is true – but that “one” refers to a compound unity. So, the sh’ma is telling us that there is only one God – but He is comprised of multiple persons.”



How is echad actually used in Scripture?

The crux of the above argument is that “echad” refers to a “compound unity”. Of course, in order to determine if that argument has any merit, it is necessary to examine how that word is actually used in Scripture.

The word echad (and its feminine version achat) appears 970 times in Scripture. In the vast majority of cases – over 600 times – the word echad explicitly refers to a simple, unitary one. In other words, in almost every case, echad refers to one single item – rather than to one group of items.

This concept is usually expressed in English translations with the word “one”; but the words “single”, “unique” and “first” are used as well, depending on the context. Here are some examples of echad meaning a simple, unitary one:

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one (echad) place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:9, ESV)
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one (achat) of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. (Genesis 2:21, ESV)
We are all sons of one (echad) man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.” (Genesis 42:11, ESV)
“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one (echad) shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. (Ezekiel 37:24, ESV)
It [the Passover meal] is to be eaten in a single (echad) house (Exodus 12:46, NASB)
I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single (echad) day (Zechariah 3:9, ESV)
For it will be a unique (echad) day which is known to the Lord (Zechariah 14:7, ESV)
But my dove, my perfect one, is unique (achat) (Song of Solomon 6:9, NASB)
The name of the first (echad) [river] is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. (Genesis 2:11, ESV)
And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first (echad) day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen. (Genesis 8:5, ESV)
Clearly, all of the above examples refer to one single person, place or thing – not to one group of items.



What about these cases?

As mentioned, in the vast majority of cases, echad refers to one single item. However, in a small minority of cases, echad refers to one group of items. Here are three examples of this:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one (echad) flesh. (Genesis 2:24, ESV)
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first (echad) day. (Genesis 1:5, ESV)
And they came to the Valley of Eshcol and cut down from there a branch with a single (echad) cluster of grapes (Numbers 13:23, ESV)
Here is a “summary” of the above examples:

Example 1: Echad is used to describe a husband and a wife – together – as one flesh.
Example 2: Echad is used to describe an evening and a morning – together – as the first day.
Example 3: Echad is used to describe a single cluster of grapes.
Some groups point to those specific examples, to try to prove that echad – in the sh’ma – refers to the Trinity. In other words, they assert the following:

Echad, in the sh’ma, is used to describe the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – together – as one God.
However, is the above assertion really true? Do the three examples listed above actually describe the doctrine of the Trinity?

Consider those three examples again. In example 1, Scripture states that a husband and wife – together – become “one flesh”. This means that the husband – by himself – does not fully comprise the one flesh; and that the wife – by herself – also does not fully comprise the one flesh. Instead, the husband and the wife, by themselves, are only parts – or “halves” – of the one flesh.

Similarly, in example 2, Scripture states that an evening and a morning – together – became the “first day”. This means that the evening – by itself – does not fully comprise the first day; and that the morning – by itself – also does not fully comprise the first day. Instead, the evening and the morning – by themselves – are only “subsets” of the first day.

The same principle applies to example 3. One single grape – by itself – does not fully comprise the entire cluster; one grape is just a single member – a subset – of a cluster of grapes.

The reason why the above items are important is because the doctrine of the Trinity asserts the following:

The Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God. However, there are not three Gods, but one God.
Of course, that doctrine is entirely different than the examples provided above. Consider example 1 again – it states that the husband and the wife – by themselves – are NOT fully the “one flesh”. The Trinity doctrine, though, states that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – by themselves – ARE fully the “one God”.

To make the contrast even more clear, consider the following: In order to cause example 2 to agree with the Trinity doctrine, Scripture would have to say something like this:

The evening fully comprised one entire day, and the morning fully comprised one entire day. However, there were not two days, but one day.
Of course, the above assertion is pure nonsense. What Scripture actually states is that the evening was just part of the day, and the morning was just part of the day – and that the two of them, together, comprised one full day.

Now, consider this: In order to cause the Trinity concept to agree with the examples above, one would have to say something like this:

The Father is “one third” of God, the Son is “one third” of God, and the Holy Spirit is “one third” of God; and the three of them – together – comprise one God.
However, most Trinity proponents strongly disagree with the above statement. This is because they are completely focused on the idea that each “person” of the Trinity is fully God – and that there are not three Gods, but one God. That concept is not expressed by the word echad at all – not in any of the places where it appears in Scripture.



Conclusion

Some mainstream expositors make the following type of blunt assertion, whenever they discuss the sh’ma: Echad means a compound unity – period.

The implication of that assertion, of course, is that echad only means a compound unity. In other words, that assertion implies that in every case where echad is used, it always refers to one group of items – rather than to one single item. However, as mentioned above, in the vast majority of cases, echad actually refers to just one single item.

So, the implication that echad always refers to a “compound unity” is demonstrably false.

Not only that, but even in the minority of cases where echad does refer to a compound unity, the meaning still does not conform to the doctrine of the Trinity. Basically, in the cases where echad refers to one group of items, it is clear that each member of the group is only a subset of the listed “compound unity”.

For example, Scripture states that a husband and a wife – together – become “one flesh”. This indicates that the husband and wife are each “subsets” of the one flesh – but that together they comprise a “complete” one flesh. This is the opposite of the Trinity doctrine – which states that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each fully God – but there is still just one God.

The final item to note is that many other passages in Scripture state that only our Heavenly Father is Almighty God. That, in turn, tells us that echad – in the sh’ma – refers to just one person: our Heavenly Father.

First of all, note that the phrase “God the Father” does appear in Scripture – in many places – but the phrases “God the Son” and “God the Holy Spirit” do NOT appear anywhere in Scripture. The terms that actually do appear in Scripture are the Son of God and the Spirit of God.

Next, consider the two passages below. In the first, Jesus himself states that our Heavenly Father is the only true God, while Jesus is the one who was sent by God. Similarly, Paul tells us that the Father is our God – while Jesus is our Lord – i.e., our “master”, or “boss”:

John 17:1-3 (ESV):
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
1 Corinthians 8:5-6 (ESV):
5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Finally, Jesus explicitly denied that he was Almighty God; and he even stated that our Heavenly Father was his God – just like He is our God. Consider the following passages:

Mark 10:17-18 (ESV):
17 And as he [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
John 20:17 (ESV):
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

This is without even getting into all the Jewish and ancient Hebrew scholarship on the matter.
 






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And it's also worth noting that as @grateful servant posted one of the most profound passages of text in history (being Surah Ikhlas from the Holy Qur'an), it's worth noting that the Arabic word (ahad) used for "One" is similar to the Hebrew word used for "One" in Deuteronomy 6:4.
Even in english transliteration both echad and ahad are based on the same root, the same word!
 






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In summary, within the Old Testament allusions to unity within plurality clearly exist.[17] While not stated as explicitly as in the New Testament or resulting creeds, the prospect of a pre-Christian Trinitarian theology is presented by terminology and grammar utilized throughout the Old Testament. After reviewing the evidence, N.T. Wright concludes that: “The oneness of Israel’s God, the creator, was never an analysis of God’s inner existence, but always a polemical doctrine over against paganism and dualism. It was only with the rise of Christianity…that Jews in the second and subsequent centuries reinterpreted ‘monotheism’ as the numerical oneness of the divine being.”[18] Clearly, one cannot propose that the Old Testament lacks any notion of God’s plurality within unity.
 






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