July 13th, 2010
The Trinity... it seems to be THE central doctrine of Christianity. Countless people have been murdered over the past 1800 years for believing in something other than the Trinity, and I myself was told by a university professor and pastor that if I did not confess the Anasthasian creed I did not belong to "them" (and as the creed itself proclaims, I am not saved). But we need to ask ourselves, is the doctrine of the Trinity an accurate reflection of what the Almighty Creator, HaShem, has revealed to us concerning His nature? Or was it simply a cultural misunderstanding due to the use of different languages to try and describe Hebraic concepts? Well, first and foremost, let us establish what the trinity is. Mainstream Christianity defines the trinity as follows,
First, the Trinity entails believing in one and only one eternal, invisible, immaterial, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient Creator. Second, the doctrine of the Trinity also entails believing that there are three eternally distinct yet inseparable Persons who do not act independently from the others, but in perfect unity. The three Persons of the Godhead do not function separately and apart from the other members. Rather, they always work in perfect harmony. Hence, historic Trinitarianism does not teach that the three distinct Persons seek out their own personal initiatives since to do so would destroy the perfect and inseparable unity of the Godhead.
Furthermore, by the term "Person" we mean that the three members of the Godhead are conscious agents who are aware of their own personal existence as well as the existence of the others. Because of this, the three Persons are able to have intimate communion and fellowship amongst themselves. By the use of the term "Person" we do not mean to imply that there are three material entities that occupy space or exist within time.
I have put in bold what should raise a serious question: can there truly be ONE G-d/Deity if there are multiple divine personalities that communicate with one another? Or is there another less-hellenized and more Hebraic way in which we can explain and understand things? My understanding of these issues continues to grow as I keep studying the Scriptures, but I did write an article that expressed my thoughts at the time which can be read here. This time however, rather than expressing my own thoughts and providing my own current theological conclusions, I thought I would archive some articles and resources from multiple and varied sources that you can read at your leisure. I think it is crucial to study various standpoints in an effort to get to know our Creator better and grow in our relationship with Him. The articles linked below are resources that I recommend checking out to get alternative perspectives on the nature of HaShem and His Mashiyach (Messiah) Yeshua (known through a successive series of several language translations as Jesus).
Finally, the historic Christian position on Jesus Christ is that he is one divine eternal Person having two distinct natures and wills. Jesus Christ is the God-man (theanthropos), perfect God and perfect man united in one Person.
(From Answering 12 Anti-Trinitarian Arguments)
Is Yeshua G-d?
Before we go any further, I think it is very important to grasp a Hebraic outlook on how one should view the Scriptures. This is one of the best articles I've seen in proclaiming how the Hebrew mind would look at this issue. The Hebrew mind is very submissive, not going beyond what HaShem has revealed to us. The Grecian mind is not so submissive, and seeks to go beyond the Scripture and establish it's own doctrine which is then authoritatively promoted.
What the Aramaic New Testament says about the identity of Yeshua
Secondly, I think it's important to understand what the Aramaic manuscripts say about Yeshua's identity, which is something that has been completely lost in the Greek. The depth and significance of this is important to establish, and this is one very strong reason why I am an Aramaic primacist and hold to the belief of these manuscripts being authoritative over the Greek. For a paper justifying MarYah, please click here.
The Refiners Fire: Who does Yeshua Say he is?
This is a fantastic study about what Yeshua says regarding Himself. Does it line up with Trinitarian thought?
Conundrum by Hillel ben David
This study shows what the original Hebrew term for G-d actually means, and how it is a title that can be applied to any human. The issue then is not whether or not "Jesus is G-d", but rather, is Yeshua HaShem?
The Refiners Fire: So you don't believe Yeshua was YHWH in the flesh?
In answer to the above question, this study goes on to provide evidence that Yeshua is HaShem in the flesh. But does this mean that Yeshua is part of a "Trinity"? Go and see what the Refiners Fire has to say about it!
YHWH is Revealed in HaMashiyach - the "Godhead"
A fantastic study by Baruch ben Daniel on the nature of Mashiyach and G-dhead issues. Highly recommended!
Leb Tahor: Doctrine of the Trinity
An interesting look again at whether or not Yeshua's words or Scripture supports the established theological position of the Trinity. If you found the last article a bit difficult to grasp, the simplicity in this one will be appreciated.
Youtube Debate: Is Yeshua of Nazareth the most high El Elyon?
Here's a video presentation where the identity of Yeshua is being debated. The video above is in support of HaShem being Yeshua, but is the truth in Scripture that he provides in line with Trinitarian theology?
Youtube Debate: Oneness VS Trinity
To see both sides of the story, watch some debates between Oneness theologians and Trinitarians.
Lee Stone King: Oneness of God
Pentacostal Oneness leader Lee Stone King presents the simplicity of the Oneness doctrine, and it's a great read to hear from a non-Hebraic roots perspective.
In terms of questioning Oneness theology, the following may be of interest. During an online seminar done by Aramaic and Hebrew Scholar Andrew Gabriel Roth (a Netzari Yehudim), a question was posed regarding the distinction between Yeshua and the Father. The seminar can be seen in full at The Aramaic English New Testament website (it is at the end of the B'resheet Parasha portion) but I have typed up the question and Mr.Roth's answer below,
QUESTION: "In the new testament Messiah is always depicted as the object of Yahweh's investiture. As Peter said he has made him to be both Lord and Mashiyach, he raised him from the dead, all authority has been given to him in heaven and on earth... does this not show a distinction between Messiah and the Father?"
For more on this from Andrew, one of the best explanations of Yeshua's divinity can be found in a recent article posted on the Refiner's Fire,
Andrew Gabriel Roth: "Okay Todd, great question. In terms of understanding what we clumsily refer to as 'G-dhead', we have to make a distinction between Mashiyach, which is a human office, but I am not saying that Y'shua wasn't Yahweh in the flesh, but I'm just saying that part of him is separate and side by side with his humanity. And the reason I can say that with such conviction is very simple because the text tells us this. Y'shua says that his nephesh [soul] is mortal, that it is troubled to the point of death, therefore, he is mortal. That Yahweh doesn't bleed and die on a cross, or the universe would stop running. And most importantly, Y'shua basically says, 'not my will Yahweh, but your will, my Father, be done.' So there are two separate wills here. There is a human will - 'if it's possible let this cup pass from me' - and there is a Divine will that is separate and side by side. It goes by/under another name you might be familiar with - Ruach haKodesh, the Holy Spirit, which is actually another title for Yahweh the Father. So there's not three entities here. It's all Yahweh manifesting in different ways. A way to get our head around this is that you have on the Divine side, think about how in Isaiah 53:1 it talks about "Who has the arm of Yahweh been revealed to". My arm is not separate from my body. My arm is not another man. My arm is not superior to my legs or my feet. It takes orders from my brain, from my mind. Three branches of the same tree, not three separate trees. Because if we take Yahweh's aspects and make them into separate divinities which is what I believe western Christianity does, because in the Greek New Testament it actually says "persapone" which means "persons". The Aramaic doesn't say that, it talks about occurrences of the one Divine nature. But if you talk about plural divine personalities, you have now committed idolatry and broken the first two commandments. So, I think we need to get our terms straight and have them rooted in the Semitic mind set that they were originally cast and not rely on English terms that can change at the drop of a hat, things like trinity and tri-unity which were never in the text and are inventions of the 'church fathers' as late as the fourth century. I don't know if that helps, but that's how I see it."
Messiah Yeshua not Divine?
As you can see, the study on the nature of G-d and Mashiyach from a Netzari perspective is fascinating, and for those who have the AENT Netzari Study bible, I have made a list of the references I know of off hand that you can check and read. This I believe is the most accurate description of YHWH's nature and who Yeshua the Mashiyach is. But I will attest to the fact that it can be difficult to grasp and wrap your head around if you have been ingrained with Trinitarian thought most of your life (although it's a breath of fresh air in the regard that it actually makes sense). But really, HaShem (whose name when broken down means "He exists and exists") is ein sof, or without end. He is an omnipresent infinite being as we read in 1 Kings 8:27, Psalm 25:6, 41:13, 90:2, 93:2, 103:17, 106:48 and Revelations 1:8. His infinite, all-present nature cannot be limited by this three person theory, and the AENT provides strong evidence for this with what is revealed in the Aramaic manuscripts. Yeshua, while fully divine, cannot be "100% G-d" as the evangelical catchphrase goes, because you can't take an infinite being and put all of Him into a finite universe. It just doesn't work. But understanding that Yeshua is the visible image of the invisible G-d from a Hebraic perspective lines up flawlessly. Get yourself an AENT Netzari Study bible and check out the following,
Verses (the corresponding footnotes is what I'm referring to)
Acts 2:36 (compare footnote with Colossians 1:19 verse)
1 Peter 1:11
1 Peter 3:15 (2nd edition only)
1 Corinthians 4:5-6
1 Corinthians 8:6
1 Corinthians 10:9
1 Corinthians 11:27
1 Corinthians 12:5,11
2 Corinthians 4:4
2 Corinthians 10:7
1 Thessalonians 4:9
2 Thessalonians 2:17
Appendices (these are the long explanations)
Coequal of Elohim - pg.754
New testament Misconception #16: Echad as Plurality - pg.801
Mashiyach Y'shua is YHWH - pg.900
The Word of YHWH - pg.965
Unity - Unity of Mashiyach - pg.999
Thirteen principles of Netzari Faith - 1-4 - pg.970
Y'shua in the Talmud - pg.1053 only (the second page)
I pray that the above resources will help every soul that reads them grow. Our seeking of HaShem and His truth should not be limited to other men's established theology. We must consider all angles and seek the Ruach haKodesh in guiding us to the truth. Amen.