Monday, December 26, 2011

Is God Triune?

I was watching a video on YouTube about whether God was in fact a triune God.  The speaker, who was a professor of Hebrew studies at a seminary college, was trying to convince listeners that Jesus was not God, but only a mediator between God and man.  He said it was impossible for God to be triune because it states in the OT that God is one and claims that even Jesus agreed with that.  He was actually trying to use Jesus’ words to support this idea.  Let’s take a look at the scripture this gentleman referred to and see if we can figure this out for ourselves.

Mark 12:28-29 “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:” 


Let’s look at that word “one” in the Greek language and see if it really means only one.
Original Word: εἷς, μία, ἕν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: heis
Phonetic Spelling: (hice)
Short Definition: one
Definition: one.

Word Origin
a primary number
Definition: one
NASB Word Usage
agreement (1), alike* (1), alone (3), common (1), detail (1), first (9), individual (2), individually* (1), lone (1), man (1), nothing* (1), one (282), one another (1), one man (2), one thing (5), one* (2), person (1), single (1), smallest (1), someone (2), thirty-nine* (1), unity (1).

Well, from the limited study that we just did, it seems as if God really is only one after all.  There was one scribe and there is one God; same word "heis" is used to describe each example in this portion of scripture.  I guess we can put our bibles down and be confident in knowing that the truth has been revealed.  One means one and only one.

But wait, just out of curiosity, let’s see if there is another example where else this word “heis” is used to describe the word “one.”

Here's one.  Let’s see what it says.  I’m confident that it will back up my earlier conclusions.  Speaking of marriage, Jesus said: Mark 10:8 – “And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.” 

Okay, hit the brakes!  The word is used here to describe two people as being “one.”  The same word “heis” is being used in this scripture as well.  So two people, being married, become spiritually “heis.”  Although they are two separate individuals, they are still considered “heis” in the eyes of God.  This puts a whole new spin on what this word really means.

Now if we had stopped at our first example of the word “heis” we would have an incorrect understanding of who God is.  Too many people do too little studying and then spread false doctrine throughout the church which affects the lives of other Christians, especially the lives of young Christians.

Does this short bible study show that God CAN be a triune God?  Absolutely, because we’ve learned that “heis” can be used two ways; to describe an individual, or to describe a group of people.  Now, your decision is whether you believe that God is “one” by spiritual definition or if He is “one” by human definition.  Where does your faith lead you?

Let's not forget the other scriptures where Jesus said that He is God: 

John 8:56-59a  “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59Then took they up stones to cast at him:” 

Matthew 1:22  “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means, ‘God with us.’” 

In the Old Testament God called Himself the "first and the last"
Isaiah 44:6  "This is what the Lord says - Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God." 

What does Jesus call Himself in the New Testament?
Revelation1:17-18  ..."Fear not; I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One, I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!”

Revelation 22:12-13  "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Revelation 1:8  “'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'"

Of course, there's the Holy Spirit as well.
Isaiah 63:10: "Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them." 

Matthew 28:19: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". 

Psalm 139:7-8: [David cries to God:] "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there."

Acts 5:3-4:
"Then Peter said, 'Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.'" 


1 Corinthians 2:10b-11: "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."