|For the Christian who believes that there is only one God, supreme creator and ruler over all, the very first verse of the Bible seems to create problems. |
In Biblical Hebrew, Genesis 1:1 is translated from reshiyth 'elohiym bara' shamayim 'erets to "In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth."
However, elohiym (el-o-heem') is the plural form of elowahh, or "the Deity," and usually means "gods."
A polytheist will also be quick to point out that elohiym is also used in Genesis 1:26, which states "And God [elohiym] said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness..."
We will also see that when Moses speaks to the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3, he is speaking to elohiym, again the plural form of elowahh. Literally interpreting the Hebrew, Exodus 3:14 starts of like this:
So while it now appears to be very clear that there is more than one God, we run into another snag. Genesis 1:1, 1:26, and Exodus 3:14 directly contradict that which the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 45:21-22:
Looking at the Hebrew, this verse would read:
Isaiah emphasizes this point again in Isaiah 46:9, when he writes:
Yet this verse is very interesting, as translated from Hebrew it reads:
This brings us to yet another conflict. Isaiah clearly said that there is only ONE God, but now he is saying that there is only one God plurally.
This collection of verses rules out the possibility of there being only one form of a deity, but also rules out the possibility of there being many deities, as we know this deity is one (or one group), and there is no other deity existing outside of this group.
To further show this point, Revelation 1:8 which reads in English as:
Or through interpretation of the Greek:
In other words, this almighty, supreme authority has always existed, is living today, and will always exist. This of course challenges the Mormon belief regarding God's existence, as they believe in a magnitude of gods constantly conceiving new gods. In fact, looking at the verses above, it is clear that other than Yahweh, there can be no other deity.
This leaves us with two options, a council of gods that calls themselves Yahweh, or a multi-person God.
Now let's take a look at Hebrews 13:8, which reads, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Note how this verse compares to Revelation 1:8, stating that Christ was the same before, as He is now, as He will always be. Jesus also states in John 5:58 that "Before Abraham was, I am." Or in other words, before Abraham existed, Jesus existed. Interestingly, Jesus uses the phrase "ego eimi" or "I (singular) exist (in the first person, singular)."
Looking at this we can see that Jesus is identifying Himself in the very same manner that God identified Himself to Moses. Yet Jesus does not speak of a godhead, or a council of gods, but rather as an individual. Jesus did not say, "we exist," but very definitely, "I exist," showing us a singular God with different forms (as Jesus also spoke of the Father and the Holy Spirit). Along with further examination of the doctrine of the Trinity, we can see that the concept of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit provides a plural mechanism for a singular deity... and that Elohiym is not referring to many gods, or to a council, but to the three unique, individual, and eternal persons of one supreme God.