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OT Multiple Persons in the Godhead

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  • OT Multiple Persons in the Godhead

    I got halfway through the video on gnosticsm by Dr. Michael Heiser. It is six hours long. The start of it concerns the problems of Gnoticism in The Da Vinci Code

    The video provides a lot of insight into the prevalence of gnosticsm in various religious groups, so I recommend it in general -- at least the first 3 hours. But the especially interesting content concerns the things he says about multiple persons in the Godhead found within the Old Testament. He mentions how various passages about this duality had been noted among the Jewish writers and teachings.

    I just made a few quick notes but wanted to share this with some who might be interested in looking further.

    At 3:03:15 in the video he speaks about Gen 19:24 where the Lord asks the Lord in Heaven to enact judgment. "Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven."

    At 3:04:20 we see in Gen 31:10-13 that the Angel of God is saying he is the God of Bethel. The rabbis noted the oddity of this and the implications for other passages which speak of the Angel of God. Many of us have probably heard aspects of this which teachers who speak of Jesus being in every book of the Bible.

    AT 3:06:16 with Exod 3:13-15, Moses asked God's name and was told "I am that I am" and also Yahweh. Dr. Heisner notes "God told Moses his name." But then in Exo 33:12-34:6, God's says he will show Moses the name of Yahweh. But Moses had already learned Yahweh's name, so how is this name different? Also, God is speaking in first person, "I", while speaking about Yahweh in third person, as "show you his name."

    Heiser presents it better than I have done here.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDyl1qrpj_Q&

  • #2
    As far as "Elohim" (a plural form name for God) being a real plural, there are verses where a plural verb form is used with "Elohim":

    Genesis 20:13: "And it came to pass, when God (Elohim) caused me to wander [literally: They caused me to wander] from my father's house...

    And yet in a verse with a plural verb used with Elohim, we also have singular pronouns, "your," "his" and "himself" etc. are singular, as is "a name," though "went" is plural:

    2 Samuel 7:23 And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods?

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    • #3
      It's interesting Heiser actually points out that the concept of the two powers of Yahweh was part of early Jewish thought. It was not till later in the 2nd century that it was deemed a heresy. He recommends a book called Two Powers in Heaven by Rabbi Alan Segal.

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      • #4
        I don't think I've ever seen Heiser mention this example, but I noted it myself after reading his book. In Ezekiel 1, the text seems to list three voices of God (a voice from the angels' wings, a voice from the throne, and a voice from the man-like image). However, it only shows one image, like a man. At the start of the chapter, Ezekiel specifically says that he is describing a time when he saw the word of Jehovah.

        While some of this is speculative, I would suggest that the voice from the throne is the Father, the voice from the angels' wings is the Holy Spirit, and the man with the third voice is the Word of God.

        Arguably it's the most trinitarian passage in the whole Bible.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
          While some of this is speculative, I would suggest that the voice from the throne is the Father, the voice from the angels' wings is the Holy Spirit, and the man with the third voice is the Word of God.
          An interesting take on Ezekiel!

          Arguably it's the most trinitarian passage in the whole Bible.
          I would say the baptism of Jesus and the Great Commission are the clearest. And in the OT, we have this:

          "So now, the sovereign LORD has sent me, accompanied by his spirit." (Isa. 48:16)

          Which fits the two-powers view (mentioned above by ReformedApologist), or even three, if the one being sent can refer to the Messiah here.

          Blessings,
          Lee
          "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

          Comment


          • #6
            Quote

            Context Between the Testaments

            We will now examine Jewish speculations that accorded "the Wisdom of God" a quasi-personal status. We will then be able to see a continuity between the intertestamental literature and the New Testament that defines the nature of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ.

            Dunn puts it succinctly: "What pre-Christian Judaism said of Wisdom and Philo also of the Logos, Paul and the others say of Jesus. The role that Proverbs, ben Sira, etc. ascribe to Wisdom, these earliest Christians ascribe to Jesus." [James D. G. Dunn, Christology in the Making, 167] This conception of Wisdom parallels a less significant, general Jewish explanation of how a transcendent God could participate in a temporal creation. The Aramaic Targums resolved this problem by equating God with His Word; thus, in the Targums, Exodus 19:17, rather than saying the people went out to meet God, it says that the people went out to meet the word of God, or Memra.

            This term became a periphrasis for God; whether it could have been reckoned as a separate person, as in Christian Trinitarianism, is a matter of debate. The risk involved with making Wisdom/Word an independent deity was too great for the rabbis to speculate further, but Christians found in the Wisdom tradition an ideal categorical conception within which to place the person of Jesus.



            http://tektonics.org/jesusclaims/trinitydefense.php

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ReformedApologist View Post
              It's interesting Heiser actually points out that the concept of the two powers of Yahweh was part of early Jewish thought. It was not till later in the 2nd century that it was deemed a heresy. He recommends a book called Two Powers in Heaven by Rabbi Alan Segal.
              Segal's book is available at archive.org. I thought this was a bit odd since the book was published in 1977. But, until the recent republishing of it, the book was expensive.

              Segal seems to side with the rejection of the two powers concept. Still, he presents the discussions on it. Maybe Heiser uses the evidence while rejecting Segal's conclusions?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Chiefsinner View Post
                [I]Quote

                Context Between the Testaments
                Interesting! And welcome to Tweb...

                Blessings,
                Lee
                "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                  Interesting! And welcome to Tweb...

                  Blessings,
                  Lee
                  Thank you. Full disclosure, I used to post as Wordkeeper, but it didn't let me get past the image check. Maybe for the better, Wk was so pretentious! On the other hand, Cs reeks of false humility...hmmm. Good grief, I've gotta stop watching Fiddler on the Roof re-runs!

                  I think Hedrick posts on christianforums with me. Big shout out, if you can hear!

                  Comment

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