Is Elohim (the Godhead) A Duality or a Trinity?
My name is Johann Gadsden and I’m a retired Nazarene Jewish rabbi. As a Nazarene rabbi the Trinity wasn’t really an issue for me, until as a group we decided to take a serious look at the doctrines we held so dear. For the years that I was in the ministry Nazarene Judaism’s main focus was on a Torah Observant lifestyle as well as the acceptance of Yeshua as the Promised Messiah.
Since getting to know Adrian Ebens, I’ve been challenged to look at Nazarene Judaism’s teachings in light of what Scripture says about: Creation; the Godhead; the Levitical Feasts and Salvation etc.
After much prayer & challenging electronic discussions with Adrian, I thought it was time for me to answer the following questions:
Does the Bible teach the doctrine of the Godhead being a Trinity? Did the early Messianic Jews & Christians hold the Trinity as a key doctrine? After a lot of prayer & research I must conclude that the answer is NO!
Most Christian denominations consider the Trinity to be a central doctrine of Christianity. To many Christians and Messianic Jews alike a denomination cannot be considered valid without belief in the Trinity. But what does the Bible show us? Do Christians and Messianic Jews offer convincing explanations that can stand the test of Scripture?
I regret that I don’t have the time or the space to give a definitive study on this important subject. However, the following is a brief outline of my study:
In My Catholic Faith, by Louis LaRavoire Morrow, a book written in layman’s language, he states that: “There is only one God.” Then he explains further, “In God there are three Divine Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ... In speaking of the ‘Persons’ in God, we do not use the term in exactly the same way we use it when speaking of people. We use it only for lack of a word to show our meaning better” (page 30).
Morrow further explains that “The Three Divine Persons are really distinct from one another. The Three Divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another, because all are one and the same God.” Morrow continues, "How can we understand three persons as one Being with one nature? We can’t! We cannot fully understand how the three divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God, because this is a supernatural mystery.” According to Louis Morrow “the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity is a strict mystery; that is, we cannot learn it from reason, nor understand it completely, even after it has been revealed to us” (pages 31-33, My Catholic Faith).
But what about the Bible? My personal belief is that all doctrines must stand the test of Scripture – that we must prove all things (see 1 Thessalonians 5:21). And that proof lies in the Sacred Scriptures. We should not just take someone else’s word for it, like I did when I studied Theology at College.
From the over 162 texts dealing with the Spirit as well as using Strong’s Concordance for definitions of the Hebrew, Aramaic & Greek terms used in the doctrine of the Trinity, my conclusions are as follows:
THAT the Father is the sole Master Designer of all creation, which was carried out by His Son at the beginning of His creation, Proverbs 8:22, 31; Revelation 3:14; Colossians 1:15-17. The Heavenly Father's name as given in the original inspired Scripture is Yahweh, Psalm 68:4; Isaiah 42:8; Jeremiah 16:21; and Yahweh is His name forever, Exodus 3:14-15; Isaiah 63:12; 66:5. His majestic name is exclusive to the entire family of Yahweh, Psalm 22:22; John 17:11; Ephesians 3:14-15. He is the source of all power and authority, and all thanks and reverence is to be directed to Him, Matthew 4:10; 6:9; Colossians 1:12; James 1:17; 1Peter 2:5. Yahweh is spirit, John 4:24; and all worship centres on Him through His Son Yahshua (Yeshua as used by Messianic Jews) the Messiah, John 14:6, Ephesians 5:20.
THAT Yahshua (Yeshua) is the correct name of the Saviour, a contraction of the combination of "YAHweh" and "HoSHUA," the same as given to Joshua the son of Nun by Moshe, Numbers 13:16. Yahshua means "Yahweh is Salvation," for He is the salvation that Yahweh has provided for mankind, Acts 4:12. We joyfully accept the names revealed by our glorious Heavenly Father Yahweh and His wonderful Son, our Saviour Yahshua (Yeshua) the Messiah. Yahshua is the Spokesman, the Logos or Word (Hebrew Dabar) Who pre-existed and was with Yahweh the Father, Genesis 1:26;John 1:1-3; 8:58; 13:3; 1Corinthians 10:4; Colossians 1:15-17. He emptied Himself of His celestial glory, making Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a human, a servant, John 17:5; Philippians 2:5-7; Hebrews 2:6-14; was born of a virgin by the power of Yahweh, Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18, 23; Luke 1:26-38; came in His Father's Name, YAH-shua, John 5:43. He lived a sinless life; Isaiah 53:9; 1Peter 2:22,and was resurrected from the dead by the Father after 3 days and 3 nights according to the Scriptures, Matthew 12:40; Acts 3:15; 1Corinthians 15:3-4; and has now ascended into heaven sitting on the right hand of Yahweh our Father, Luke 24:51; Hebrews 1:13. He is now our Advocate, our Mediator and High Priest, Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 4:14; through Him only can we approach the Heavenly Father, John 14:6.
THAT the Holy Spirit (Ruach) is the invisible dynamic force, the mind, the power emanating from the Father and shared by the Son, Luke 24:49; John 3:8; 14:17; 15:26; 1Corinthians 2:10-16. This invisible essence or power is placed within the believer through the Son, Acts 2:33,Titus 3:6, by laying on of hands of the presbytery following baptism into Yahshua's saving Name, Acts 2:38; 5:32; 8:17; 19:6; 1Timothy 4:14; 2Timothy 1:6; and is also the baptism of the Spirit for it immerses us into the Body of Messiah, Romans 8:15-17; 1Corinthians 12:13 and Galatians 3:28. Through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh’s (Holy Spirit's) being placed within us, we demonstrate our love for Yahshua and the Father by joyfully keeping the Law, John 14:15;14:21-24; Acts 1:8; 1 John 2:5. The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is likened to the wind, John 3:8; Acts 10:45, a dynamic, invisible force and is not a person. Therefore, I have found from extensive research that the Trinity doctrine is not scriptural but is from paganism.
There is a lot more that I could write about Elohim/Godhead being a Duality or a Trinity, but then it would end up being a booklet of 30 or more pages. For more information about the Trinity I refer you to the many articles that Adrian has written on the subject.
Your brother in Yeshua the Messiah,