1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Genesis 1:26 and the Trinity

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Xavier Graham SA, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2021
    Messages:
    566
    Ratings:
    +551
    Religion:
    Christian Anarchist
    Genesis 1 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
    I was taught in church that the “us” was proof of the Trinity. Those who don’t believe in the Trinity, who are the “us” in this verse? I’m curious
     
  2. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus retired astronomer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,923
    Ratings:
    +1,847
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Some commentary on this

    Genesis 1:26 Commentaries: Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

    For example

    "Until recently, the traditional Christian interpretation has seen in the 1st pers. plur. a reference to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. The requirements of a sound historical exegesis render this view untenable: for it would read into the Book of Genesis the religious teaching which is based upon the Revelation of the New Testament."

    What do you think of that?
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    9,478
    Ratings:
    +6,670
    Religion:
    Judaism
    The forces of nature.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  4. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2021
    Messages:
    566
    Ratings:
    +551
    Religion:
    Christian Anarchist
    That makes sense, but it seems to be the perspective of the atheist scholarly view of the Bible. A Unitarian Christian wouldn’t see it as a survival of polytheism, as the next line of that commentary says.
     
  5. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    4,176
    Ratings:
    +1,406
    Religion:
    seeking
    In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. That sounds like TWO not THREE. The us is the Word and God. No sign of a trinity.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,028
    Ratings:
    +2,293
    Religion:
    Dinner
    The word in Hebrew is Elohim, which is plural. Make of it what you will, but shoehorning the much later trinity doctrine in there does violence to the original meaning.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    6,693
    Ratings:
    +4,629
    Religion:
    Jewish
    Here is the standard rabbinical understanding of the use of the plural in 1:25 (as written down by Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki)

    WE WILL MAKE MAN — The meekness of the Holy One, blessed be He, they (the Rabbis) learned from here: because the man is in the likeness of the angels and they might envy him, therefore He took counsel with them (Midrash Tanchuma, Shemot 18 and see Genesis Rabbah 8). And when He judges the kings He likewise consults His heavenly council, for thus we find in the case of Ahab to whom Micha said, (1 Kings 22:19) “I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left.” Has God, then, a right hand and a left hand? But it means that some stood on the right side to plead in favour of the accused and others stood on the left side to accuse; and similarly we read (Daniel 4:14), “the matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones”, — here, also, He consulted His heavenly council and asked permission of them, saying to them: “There are in the heavens beings after My likeness; if there will not be on earth also beings after My likeness, there will be envy among the beings that I have created” (Sanhedrin 38b).

    WE WILL MAKE MAN — Although they did not assist Him in forming him (the man) and although this use of the plural may give the heretics an occasion to rebel (i. e. to argue in favour of their own views), yet the verse does not refrain from teaching proper conduct and the virtue of humbleness, namely, that the greater should consult, and take permission from the smaller; for had it been written, “I shall make man”, we could not, then, have learned that He spoke to His judicial council but to Himself. And as a refutation of the heretics it is written immediately after this verse “And God created the man”, and it is not written “and they created” (Genesis Rabbah 8:9)

    ----

    So, the understanding is that the plural reflected God's speaking with the angels even though he did not need them to create.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2017
    Messages:
    2,946
    Ratings:
    +1,614
    Religion:
    Areligious Christian
    Well, it is not in my power to tell you who the “us” refers to.

    Only the Lord can do that.

    No person will be successful.

    You are a seeker, so I have every confidence that you will find. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    3,307
    Ratings:
    +2,097
    I think it is unlikely that this is proof of the trinity for several reasons, first of all if one read the bible as a whole, God really doesn't imply that a trinity is there in my opinion. One would assume that if God really wanted to get this point across or the biblical writers would, that they would have made it absolutely obvious that this were the case. In my opinion that is not the case, so throwing in a "us" in genesis, doesn't seem extremely convincing to me. God could simply talk to himself in that way as a matter of showing that he is everything and the creator, so "us" in this case is simply a way of exciting writing or what to say.

    Alternative he could be talking to "wisdom" which was there before anything else were created, even heavens.

    Proverbs 8:5-36
    5 - O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.
    6 - Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right,
    7 - for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
    8 - All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
    9 - They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.
    10 - Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,
    11 - for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
    12 - “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.
    13 - The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
    14 - I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.
    15 - By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;
    16 - by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.
    17 - I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
    18 - Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.
    19 - My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
    20 - I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,
    21 - granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
    22 - “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.
    23 - Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
    24 - When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
    25 - Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth,
    26 - before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.
    27 - When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
    28 - when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
    29 - when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
    30 - then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
    31 - rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.
    32 - “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.
    33 - Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
    34 - Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
    35 - For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD,
    36 - but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    33,603
    Ratings:
    +14,275
    Religion:
    liber-scripta grim Christian
    In my experience people have always had very individual ideas about the trinity even among Catholics and among protestant liturgicals. Most people don't speak with absolute certainty about their opinions but some do.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    33,603
    Ratings:
    +14,275
    Religion:
    liber-scripta grim Christian
    This used to be an area of interest for me. I think no argument is good enough either way. Either you believe that God is in control or you don't. You have no control over whether the trinity is true or false and over whether people believe it or do not. You can think you do and that you can prove things. I don't think it works that way.

    In answer to your question there is the plan of attack: open to the gospel of John chapter 1 which we can read like its a commentary on Genesis 1. First of all assume it is not a trinitarian book if you like.

    There are non-trinitarian Christian ideas about this that are mystical. For example when Jesus is quoted to say "Before Abraham was I am" some like me take it to mean that Jesus is preeminent, not that he exists before Abraham but that he is calling himself the goal of or purpose for Abraham.

    Goodness sakes how can a person be a Christian and not know the difference between preexistent and preeminent! :p I'm kiddin. I'm joking about myself and my arrogance. Jesus is not preexistent! No, he is preeminent which is completely different! :p :gun:

    .....
    It turns out that proofs about the trinity are complicated as are proofs against it. You look up one verse and its like "No there isn't a trinity" but then look up another verse and its like "Maybe there is a trinity." That makes it difficult to have a discussion let alone an argument. I've seen arguments about it on the internet for over 23 years. In my opinion such heated disagreement and pity for the other side cannot be the will of God.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2021
    Messages:
    566
    Ratings:
    +551
    Religion:
    Christian Anarchist
    Thank you all! This thread has been very informative for me.
     
  13. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    9,478
    Ratings:
    +6,670
    Religion:
    Judaism
    I just spot checked, Elohim is plural when talking about other gods and idol worship.
     
  14. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    4,176
    Ratings:
    +1,406
    Religion:
    seeking
    Let me ask you please for your view on this. The Bible says that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among man. It also says the Word was with God in the beginning. Some people think that the Word became Jesus so in a way Jesus existed from the beginning, just in a different form. Could this be a way of saying Jesus was before Abraham? Any thoughts on this?
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  15. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    33,603
    Ratings:
    +14,275
    Religion:
    liber-scripta grim Christian
    I go with the idea that in John 1 Jesus is the light and life and is not the logos, and John the Baptist testifies that Jesus is that light. John 1:14 says that the word came and dwelt among us, but the Greek wording (I am told) reveals that an alternative wording is "The Logos came and was tabernacled among us" which give a different and I think more accurate rendition.

    John 1:1 says the word was with God and the word was God, but Jesus is not yet mentioned. He is not mentioned until verse 4 which says in the word was life and that life was the light of anthropos (or humans). Jesus and his ministry go on to be described in John 3 as the light of creation which divides the good from the evil. He is the light and the life in John 1:4 not the Logos in John 1:1, however all things are in the Logos in potential form.


    John 3 also lets you know something: since Jesus is the light of a new creation then his ministry is its beginning. When 1John 1:1 says "From the beginning" it is this beginning to which they refer. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched." Its also related to why Jesus is considered the author and finisher, the alpha and the omega. Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Also all of us Christians live inside this new creation and are part of it.

    The following is some reference material on the word Logos, just a search on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, searching all articles with the word 'Logos' in them.
    Search (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    So then it helps to look up the original Greek term translated in John 1 into the English word, 'word' which is logos and to find out the origin of this word and what people used to think about it. Did it really only mean 'Word', or not? Well yes and no. The Logos was coined hundreds of years previous by Heraclitus who used it in his attempt to think about how everything came to be. He reasoned that the universe was from the combination of two things: chaotic potential (Chaos) and form (Logos).


    Logos is like a seed, too. A seed goes into the formless ground and produces a plant from the ground. When that plant dies its form returns to formless dirt until a new seed is planted. It loses something but retains its material. But what is it within the seed which produces the plant's form? Life? Water? People wondered about this a lot in ancient times. Heraclitus called it Logos.

    Logos brings form to the chaos. The chaos provides the material for the creation. It is like the voice in Genesis which begins with the previous formless and void creation, and it brings new form, separates light from dark and begins making things. John 1-3, then is declaring the previous creation to be relatively lawless or dead compared to the new creation through Jesus.
     
  16. moorea944

    moorea944 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,481
    Ratings:
    +359
    Well, first of all, God is written in two ways. It is GOD and God. Each have different Hebrew meanings. Example...... "God" can be EL, ELOAH or ELOHIM.
    EL is the power of God or God's power.
    ELOAH is singular meaning mighty one. God manifesting in a being .
    ELOHIM is plural for ELOAM. Mighty Ones. Also can be of a multitude singularity. (I can give examples)....

    In most cases, ELOHIM is the angels. Christ was made lower than the Elohim (Angels)
    Also the judges and priests were also called Elohim because they were the ones who brought the word of God to the people. Thomas to Christ - you are my Lord and Elohim (God). Christ could also carry and bear God's name too.

    Moses was Elohim or God to Pharoah.

    And the Elohim said...... Let us...... That is God and the angels. It is not Christ. Christ was not born yet. We also have to remember that the trinity was "added into" religion around 325 AD. No one and I mean one in the OT believed in a trinity. You talk to a Jewish person today about the trinity..... they would think that is repulsive!!! A trinune God comes from pagan beliefs.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Firelight

    Firelight The theory of evolution is false
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2021
    Messages:
    372
    Ratings:
    +143
    Religion:
    Christian

    I believe in the trinity, as far as the definition that I find most common amongst today’s Christian churches, which is: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, three persons in one Godhead. Each Christian denomination and individual having various explanations of those three persons.

    I do not believe in the Holy Trinity as defined by a council appointed by emperor Constantine in 324 A.D., which it seems few people know how to explain. I don’t know how it’s defined, either.

    Having clarified that, I believe the “us” is the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit may be involved, but I don’t know, but likely, it is.

    I’ve had someone explain their version of the trinity to me as: the Father is spirit, the Son (Jesus) is the flesh, and the Holy Spirit is....I don’t remember. I understand that no one may know the answer to this, but if this is one’s trinity and there’s no Son or Jesus yet, the “us” would be the Father and HS?
     
  18. moorea944

    moorea944 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,481
    Ratings:
    +359
    Well, you have to look at it this way... Who was with God at the time of creation.... it wasnt Christ, he wasnt born yet. The HS is not a person, it is the power of God, it comes from Him. The angels were with God at that time. God uses his angels to do things. In Proverbs is states that the angels are the fingers of God. God doesnt come down to earth, but the angels are here to do his will.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. Jedster

    Jedster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,890
    Ratings:
    +2,304
    Also in this case אֱלֹהִ֔ים(elohim) is preceded by וַיֹּ֣אמֶר(i.e 3rd singular)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    7,050
    Ratings:
    +3,336
    Religion:
    Judaism
    The most traditional understanding of this verse in both Judaism and Christianity is that God is talking to the angels.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
Loading...