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The golden calf and the Trinity

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by theophilus, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. theophilus

    theophilus Well-Known Member

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    While Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving God’s commands the Israelites feared that he was gone for good so they took action to ensure that they had someone to lead them.

    When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

    So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”

    So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”

    When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.”

    And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
    Exodus 32:1-6 ESV

    Their request was, “make us gods who shall go before us.” After Aaron had made the calf he said to them, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” In both of these statements the plural “gods” was used and yet there was only one calf. Perhaps the explanation for this is found in Aaron’s proclamation, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” When the word LORD is written in all capital letters it refers to the name Yahweh, which is the personal name of God. The Israelites didn’t intend to reject God. They just wanted an image to represent him in the same way worshipers of other gods made images of their gods. The use of the plural to refer to the one God is simply recognition of the fact that God is a trinity, consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    This answers one question but brings up another. Isn’t the Trinity a New Testament teaching? How could those living at least 1200 years before Christ know about it?

    The gospels only record one time in which Jesus mentioned the Trinity.

    And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
    Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

    You would think that he would have spent time teaching his disciples about this important doctrine but if so there is no record of it. Perhaps the reason for this is that they already knew this. There is evidence for this in the visit by the Wise Men after Jesus was born.

    Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
    Matthew 2:1,2 ESV

    The fact that they came to worship Jesus shows that they understood that he was God. You might say that because they didn’t have the Old Testament they were mistaken in this belief. The response by King Herod and the Jewish scholars shows they were not.

    When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

    “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
    for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

    Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
    Matthew 2:3-8 ESV

    Before they sinned Adam and Eve certainly learned what God was like and must have passed that knowledge on to their children. In the Old Testament there is no explicit explanation of the Trinity because it was general knowledge among the readers so there was no need to explain it.

    As people scattered throughout the world after the flood they gradually forgot the truth that had been revealed to them, and yet some traces of that truth remained. Many religions believe in a triad of gods that are their leading deities. This belief is what remains of their ancestral belief in the Trinity. Wikipedia has an article that lists some of these triads.

    Triad (religious) - Wikipedia

    (This isn’t the only truth that has been preserved. Many cultures have legends of a worldwide flood.)

    But what about the fact that Jews today reject any idea that God is a trinity or that the Messiah could be divine? That is explained by one incident in their history.

    Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
    John 19:15 ESV

    They rejected their king and God judged them.

    Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
    Romans 11:25 ESV

    Because they are now blind to the truth we cannot use current Jewish beliefs as a guide to what Jews believed in the time of Jesus. However this blindness is temporary.

    And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

    “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
    “and this will be my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins.”
    Romans 11:26,27 ESV

    When Jesus returns their blindness will be removed and they will finally acknowledge him as their Messiah and king.
     
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  2. 2 Chr. 34:19

    2 Chr. 34:19 Well-Known Member

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    The use of the plural to refer to the one God is simply recognition of the fact that God is a trinity, consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    ELOHIM
     
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  3. CharismaticLady

    CharismaticLady Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you know that God said "let US make man in OUR image," it is, at least, plural. As far as three, we have Isaiah 9:6

    For unto us a Child is born,
    Unto us a Son is given;
    And the government will be upon His shoulder.
    And His name will be called
    Wonderful Counselor (Spirit), Mighty God (all three),
    Everlasting Father (Father), Prince of Peace (Son).
     
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  4. theophilus

    theophilus Well-Known Member

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    I had never realized that all three members of the Trinity were mentioned here.
     
  5. CharismaticLady

    CharismaticLady Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that is Old Testament, and here is New Testament, besides 1 John 5:7 is Romans 8:9

    9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit (Holy Spirit), if indeed the Spirit of God (Father) dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ (Jesus), he is not His.
     
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  6. DPMartin

    DPMartin Well-Known Member

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    nope no way this is the explanation of the event of the calf in this case:


    Exo 32:7  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 
    Exo 32:8  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 


    not trinity, no other horse dump you've mentioned.


    Father Son and Holy Ghost are taught via Abraham the father Isaac the beloved son offered by the father, Jacob renamed by the Lord God as Israel (Holy Spirit) of which God referred to those in the desert with Moses as the children of Israel. the born again, are born of the Holy Spirit, starting with the twelve.

    there is more

    there is God:
    Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 


    the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Presence of God now in His creation:
    Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 

    and now God in His Presence in His creation speaks, hence the Word of God:
    Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 

    God the Presence of God and the Word of God three but One and none without the others that are God to anything not God.
     
  7. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    No it is not. The Trinity is revealed in the first book of the Bible (and subsequently). It is found throughout the Old Testament. It is a Bible doctrine which may not be rejected without rejecting the deity of Christ. And it is only the cults which reject both these doctrines.

    And what does the Golden Calf have anything to do with Bible truth? If a non-believer comes on site and sees the title of your thread, he will think that Christians worship a false god. So you might want to think about that and change the title of your thread.
     
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  8. Stan B

    Stan B Well-Known Member

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    If you explore the literal translation of Gen 1:1, it reads:

    In the beginning, the Gods [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth.

    God doesn't say how many Gods, but the whole idea of limiting or reducing the infinite God of the universe to some sort of 3-in-1 imprisonment is a totally ridiculous anti-Biblical delusion. As Jesus declared, there are millions of Gods.
     
  9. Cooper

    Cooper Well-Known Member

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    .
    These were pagan gods. The Israelites were idol worshippers, Baal, Ashtaroth and a whole lot more.

    Have a look here

    https://www.keepandshare.com/doc/4302607/false-idols-pdf-306k?da=y
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  10. tigger 2

    tigger 2 Active Member

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    Plural “God” (Elohim)


    That the Hebrew plural is often used for a singular noun to denote “a ‘plural’ of majesty or excellence” is well-known by all Biblical Hebrew language experts and has been known from at least the time of Gesenius (1786-1842), who is still regarded as one of the best authorities for Biblical Hebrew!


    Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament (“long regarded as a standard work for students”), p. 49, shows that elohim, (“God/gods”) is sometimes used in a numerically plural sense for angels, judges, and false gods. But it also says,

    “The plural of majesty [for elohim], occurs, on the other hand, more than two thousand times.” And that elohim when used in that sense “occurs in a [numerically] singular sense” and is “constr[ued] with a verb ... and adjective in the singular.”

    Gesenius - Kautzsch’s Hebrew Grammar, 1949 ed., pp. 398, 399, says:

    “The pluralis excellentiae or maiestatis ... is properly a variety of the abstract plural, since it sums up the several characteristics belonging to the idea, besides possessing the secondary sense of an intensification of the original idea. It is thus closely related to the plurals of amplification .... So, especially Elohim ... ‘God’ (to be distinguished from the plural ‘gods’, Ex. 12:12, etc.) .... That the language has entirely rejected the idea of numerical plurality in Elohim (whenever it denotes one God) is proved especially by its being almost invariably joined with a singular attribute.”

    Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary, 1925 ed. Pg. 224:

    Elohim "is either what grammarians call the plural of majesty, or it denotes the fullness of divine strength, the sum of the powers displayed by God."

    More modern publications (trinitarian Protestant and Catholic) also make similar acknowledgments of the intended plural of majesty or excellence meaning for elohim. (See the New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. v., p. 287.)

    Nelson’s Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, describes elohim:

    “…the common plural form elohim, a plural of majesty.” - Unger and White, 1980, p. 159

    The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says:

    “It is characteristic of Heb[rew] that extension, magnitude, and dignity, as well as actual multiplicity, are expressed by the pl[ural].” - Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984 ed., Vol. II, p. 1265.

    Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, 1982, Bethany House Publishers, written by trinitarian scholars, says of elohim:

    “Applied to the one true God, it is the result in the Hebrew idiom of a plural magnitude or majesty. When applied to the heathen gods, angels, or judges ..., Elohim is plural in sense as well as form.” - p. 208.

    The noted trinitarian scholar, Robert Young, (Young’s Analytical Concordance and Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible) wrote in his Young’s Concise Critical Commentary, p. 1,

    “Heb. elohim, a plural noun ... it seems to point out a superabundance of qualities in the Divine Being rather than a plurality of persons .... It is found almost invariably accompanied by a verb in the singular number.”

    Both Exodus 4:16 and 7:1 show God calling Moses "a god" (elohim).  This alone shows the error of some that the plural elohim must mean a "plural oneness" unless we want to believe Moses was a multiple-person Moses!

    And The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan Publishing, 1986, tells us:

    Elohim, though plural in form, is seldom used in the OT as such (i.e. ‘gods’). Even a single heathen god can be designated with the plural elohim (e.g. Jdg. 11:24; 1 Ki. 11:5; 2 Ki. 1:2). In Israel the plural is understood as the plural of fullness; God is the God who really, and in the fullest sense of the word, is God.” - p. 67, Vol. 2.

    The NIV Study Bible says about elohim in its footnote for Gen. 1:1:

    “This use of the plural expresses intensification rather than number and has been called the plural of majesty, or of potentiality.” – p. 6, Zondervan Publ., 1985.

    And The New American Bible (St. Joseph ed.) tells us in its “Bible Dictionary” in the appendix:

    ELOHIM. Ordinary Hebrew word for God. It is the plural of majesty.” – Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1970.

    A Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith (Smith’s Bible Dictionary, p. 220, Hendrickson Publ.) declares:

    “The fanciful idea that [elohim] referred to the trinity of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now [1865] a supporter among scholars. It is either what grammarians call the plural of majesty, or it denotes the fullness of divine strength, the sum of the powers displayed by God.”

    A work edited by Dr. James Hastings tells us, when discussing Elohim, that this Hebrew plural

    “may be easiest explained as a pl[ural] of eminence, like adonim, bealim, ‘lord,’ teraphim, (1 Sam. 19:13, 16),….” - A Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 2, p. 199.

    And another prestigious work edited by James Hastings says about this:

    "It is exegesis of a mischievous if pious sort that would find the doctrine of the Trinity in the plural form elohim [God]" ("God," Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics).

    To show how ancient Jewish scholars themselves understood this we can look at the work of the seventy Hebrew scholars who translated the ancient Hebrew Scriptures (OT) into Greek several centuries before the time of Christ. The Greek language did not use the “plural of excellence” that the Hebrew did. So, if we see a plural used in the Greek Septuagint, it was really intended to represent more than one individual!

    So how is elohim rendered in the Greek Septuagint by those ancient Hebrew scholars? Whenever it clearly refers to Jehovah God, it is always found to be singular in number (just as in New Testament Greek): theos ! Whenever elohim clearly refers to a plural (in number) noun, it is always found to be plural in number in Greek (just as in the New Testament Greek): theoi or theois (“gods”).

    For example: “I am the Lord thy God [elohim - plural of excellence in Hebrew becomes theos - singular in the Greek Septuagint]” - Ex. 20:2. And “know that the Lord he is God [as always, the plural elohim, as applied to the God of Israel, becomes the singular, theos in the Septuagint] he made us...” - Ps. 100:3.

    But when elohim really does mean plural in number, we see it rendered into the Greek plural for “gods” in the Septuagint: “Thou shalt not worship their gods [elohim in Hebrew becomes theois - plural in the Greek Septuagint], nor serve them .... And thou shalt serve the Lord thy God [singular - Greek].” - Ex. 23:24-25.

    We see exactly the same thing happening for translations of the plural elohim in the ancient Septuagint and in the Christian NT.

    Yes, all the NT Bible writers, whether quoting from the OT or writing their own God-inspired NT scriptures, always used the singular “God” (theos) in NT Greek when speaking of the only true God of the Bible. (If the plural form had been used for the only true God, we would even discover a new “trinity” at John 10:34.)

    It is absolutely incredible that John, Paul, and the other inspired NT writers would not have used the plural Greek form to translate the plural Hebrew form of “God” if they had intended in any degree to imply that God was in any way more than one person!
     
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  11. Cooper

    Cooper Well-Known Member

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    If people wonder about America, here is the answer

    CLICKY
     
  12. 101G

    101G Well-Known Member

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    Addressing the OP.
    a couple of things I got out of your post, by the way is a good one.

    #1. as with Arron, some, not all, preachers/Pastors, or whatever title they use, are stripping the down the people of their valubles (MONEY) for false gods. nothing new under the sun. men in position taking advantage of the uneducated.

    #2. God got Israel straight about any false trinity or anything else. Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:" so there is no excuse.

    now they did not understand that God himself came in flesh as the ordinal Last, where in lay the plurality of elohiym. and there are many today that don't know that either. 1 Corinthians 15:34 "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." God who is Jesus is LORD the ordinal First/FATHER, and the Lord the ordinal Last/SON. it's just that simple.

    PICJAG.
     
  13. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

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    "Then God said,
    'Let Us [plural] make man in Our [plural] image [singular],
    according to Our [plural] likeness [singular];

    let them have dominion
    • over the fish of the sea,
    • over the birds of the air, and
    • over the cattle,
    • over all the earth and
    • over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'
    So God created man in His own image [singular];
    in the image of God He created him [singular];
    male and female He created them [plural]." Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV​
     
  14. Stan B

    Stan B Well-Known Member

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    A valiant effort on the part of false teachers to declare the inspired Scripture to be a lie, in an effort to give credence to their false monotheist ideology.

    Nowhere does the Bible say, that the plurality of God merely means “a ‘plural’ of majesty or excellence”. This lie originated within the Jewish community in an effort to deny the Deity of Jesus Christ, and show Him up as a fraud and a hoax. Their demonic heresy has continued to be promoted within the Christian community, who are following the spirit of the Devil, instead of the Holy Spirit! And by the way the Holy Spirit is also plural. There are a whole bunch of Holy Spirits out there, like the ones sent to the churches, or the seven Spirits that stand before the throne of God, etc.
     
  15. CharismaticLady

    CharismaticLady Well-Known Member

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    As far as Genesis 1, all I said is that it was plural, not how many. The number 3 in 1 is confirmed in other parts of the Bible.

    As far as Jesus saying, we are gods, I'm not sure what he meant, but those that are born again are partakes of the divine nature, and we are children of God, and we have the authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons, so I like that.
     
  16. Stan B

    Stan B Well-Known Member

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    I was disagreeing with nothing you said.

    I assume we are gods because God made us in His own image.

    Just as I bear the name and image of my earthly father, I have chosen to bear the name and image of my Heavenly Father. Who knows what that will mean in the Eternity ahead. It’s going to be a VERY long time!
     
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  17. CharismaticLady

    CharismaticLady Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree.

    I remember the first time I commanded healing and it was done, was because I suddenly knew WHO I was in Christ.
     
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  18. Base12

    Base12 Well-Known Member

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    I've always felt there is a profound reason why the Golden Calf was made exclusively out of earrings.
     
  19. Base12

    Base12 Well-Known Member

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    Just an FYI...

    I believe the Golden Calf represented Hathor...

    [​IMG]
     
  20. theophilus

    theophilus Well-Known Member

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    If he reads the post he won't think that. I see nothing wrong with the title.

    When did Jesus say this?

    That is the lie Satan used to tempt Eve.
     
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