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Triunity - Muliplicity in Oneness
Shin Rose

The Trinity

Multiplicity in Oneness...

by John J. Parsons

אֲנִי וְהָאָב אֶחָד
"I and the Father are One" - Yeshua

Recently I warned that certain "Messianic" teachers will attempt to seduce you into thinking that "following the law of Moses" is the best way to express your faith in Jesus... Beware, chaverim. These false teachers imply that the cross of Messiah (צְלַב הַמָּשִׁיחַ) is not enough. "True," they hiss, "we are 'saved' by grace -- but the rest is up to us..." In other words, Jesus lived and died to renew the covenant of Moses, and therefore we must return to Sinai. Our focus should be on Moses and the law.

Because of this, it's not surprising to see why so many of these "Torah observant" teachers struggle with the idea that Jesus is none other than YHVH come "in the flesh." Though they might accept the idea that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, they appear to have trouble with the idea that "God has a Son" and therefore struggle with the idea of the "Trinity" (השׁלושׁ הקּדושׁ) -- or the Triune nature of the Godhead.

The idea of the "Trinity," however, is clearly implied in the Scriptures. From the first letter of Torah (i.e., the Bet in the word "Bereshit") through the last letter of the New Testament (i.e., the Nun in the word "Amen") -- the letters of which spell the word בּן ("Son") -- we see God as defined as One yet expressing Himself in different Persons. God the Son is "First and Last" (Isa. 48:12, 44:6, Rev. 1:17, 2:8; 22:13):

First and Last

Indeed, the very beginning of the Torah (Gen. 1:1-2) speaks about the creative activity of Elohim (God) and the presence of Ruach Elohim (the Spirit of God) as narrated by an omniscient Voice or Word of God. Obviously the Spirit of God is God Himself (who else?) just as the Word of God is likewise God Himself, and therefore the Scriptures begin with the idea that God represents Multiplicity within Unity. The word for God (אֱלהִים) is plural in form, uses plural pronouns: "Let us make man in our image" (Gen. 1:26), and often is the subject of singular verbs.

In the Shema we read, "Shema Yisrael (Hear, O Israel): Adonai Eloheinu (the Lord our Gods), Adonai Echad (the Lord is one)." Interestingly, the word echad in Hebrew can imply a unity in diversity (the word for one and only one, i.e., unique, is more often rendered as yachid). For example, in Exodus 26:6 the parts of the Tabernacle (mishkan) are to be constructed so that "it shall be one (echad) tabernacle," and Ezekiel spoke of two "sticks" (representing fragmented Israel) as being reunited into one: "and they shall be one (echad) stick in My hand" (Ezek. 37:19).


Moses also uses the word echad in Genesis 2:24 when he says: "And they (husband and wife) will become one flesh (basar echad)."

The idea of the triunity of God does not impugn the Oneness of God, but it transcends rabbinical Judaism and Islam's idea of "absolute monism" by understanding oneness in reference to an eternality of intrapersonal community. In other words, Ultimate Reality is multidimensional, personal and loving, and that is part of the very essence of God. There is no such thing as a "Person" - either human or Divine - that exists in an absolute vacuum, outside of relationship. Aristotle's "Unmoved Mover" is a solipsistic illusion and logical absurdity....

As for the deity of Jesus, Paul quoted Isaiah 45:23: "I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear" and applied it directly to Jesus: "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus the Messiah is Lord (YHVH), to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-11; see also Rom. 14:11). The Apostle John also identifies Jesus with YHVH, the "First and the Last" of whom there is no other god (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 22:13, etc.). The very idea that Jesus is Melekh ha-Mashiach, the King of Israel, implies that He is none other than God, since only YHVH is the true King of Israel (Isa. 44:6).

Traditional Teaching Image

The Triunity is Jewish in origin... It does not derive from pagan ideas of "tri-theism" (Osirus-Isis-Horus) nor does it imply the worship of "three gods" (as has been slanderously charged by various adherents of Judaism and Islam). It predates the ideas of Gnostic modalism (2nd century AD), the Kabbalah's doctrine of the sefirot as emanation from a triadic First Principle of the universe (14th century AD), and the Hindu modalism of "Trimurti" (4th century AD).  The doctrine that there is only One God that is multidimensional (One what, Three who's) exceeds the power of analogy, though we understand ourselves in three temporal modes (past-present-future) located in three spatial dimensions... Our bodies are also triune - body, soul, and spirit, and the world around us as a triunity of space, time, and matter.  

Yeshua Ha-Mashiach (Jesus Christ) is YHVH "come in the flesh" (1 Jn. 4:2-3). Indeed, to say "Jesus Christ is Lord" (Phil 2:11; Rom. 10:9) is to confess Him as Adonai -- or YHVH -- Himself . As Jesus Himself said, "Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him" (John 5:22-23).


"Who has ascended to heaven and come down? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know! / מַה־שְּׁמוֹ וּמַה־שֶּׁם־בְּנוֹ כִּי תֵדָע (Prov. 30:4).
Shalom, chaverim.

Note: For more on this subject, see the Hebrew Names of God, Trinity page.

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