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Author Topic: The Pluralty of Elohim?  (Read 2814 times)

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ICXCNIKA

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The Pluralty of Elohim?
« on: October 10, 2012, 09:46:09 PM »

First off, Hi everybody  :)

Here is a topic I've been studying and I hope you all don't mind if I share the burden/spoils of my quest.

I'm wondering if any one here on the forum has investigated the plurality of Elohim in this manner, or know where Ray has covered this specific definition?

Here is a thought provoking take on the plurality of Elohim:

"We read in Genesis that Bible begins by declaring that God is the Creator of all that exists. The name of God in Genesis 1.1 is used Elohim that is plural in form but not in number. The plural is used for honor or intensity, sometimes known as the plural of majesty."


I knew that Elohim was plural but, the possibility of it's plurality being for Majesty and used to compound honor upon God definitely fits with how I understand the Godhead; and how that Elohim should NOT be used to explain a trinity or some such nonsense.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my post, and hope it allows for some edifying discussion for all of us.
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Kat

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 11:25:03 PM »


Hi Metamatic,

This is taken from the 'Is Jesus God' Bible study 3-2011. the next one is from 'Who and What Is Jesus? & Who Is His Father?' Nashville Conf '07.  Hope it helps.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php?topic=12896.0 --------------------------

I think we should do away or should have done away… well it’s pretty hard to do it now... but we should have never got in the habit of translating in English Yahweh and Elohim and Adonia, we should have never translated it God. God is a pagan heathen title. Why should we call the God of creation after some pagan title? Why should we? After all we know He’s not a pagan god, yet we’re strapped with the idea that the word Elohim is translated the true God and the god of the pagans. God of creation that was Elohim and Mohoc of the Canaanites that was elohim too.

I would have made a distinction. I would have translated it something like this, since we know what God is from other Scriptures and so on. I would have translated it something like this, in the beginning the Almighty Family created the heavens and the earth. What’s wrong with that? To me that’s what God is. Takes care of the ‘one,’ family, takes care of the plural, family has more than one unit.

Or we could say, the Almighty Divine Family, saying let Us make man in Our image. You could throw the word divine or divinity in there, that okay that’s a good word. It takes care of the plurality of the word Elohim. We could call Him the Almighty Divine Family. What’s wrong with that?

To me the pagan title god or in Germany gott, it doesn’t do justice to the God of creation.


http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,4472.0.html ---------------------

 The Bible starts “In the beginning…”  In Gen. 1:1, Right? No, wrong pale face. It just says “In beginning…” or if anything  “In a beginning…” In a beginning God--Elohim. That Elohim is plural of Elyon or El, which is the singular for God.  So Elohim is plural, it’s more than one. But there is only one God. There is only one Elohim and Elohim is plural? Alright we are going to be talking about this. 

“… Created the heavens and the earth,” Now we know that this word Elohim is plural, not only from the entomology of the word and how it’s used in other religions anciently and so on  But we know when it says for example, verse 27, “God created man in His image” and God said in verse 26, “let US create in OUR image,” They did create, that word Us and Our, because the word Elohim is plural, it’s in the Hebrew. The Us and Our is in the Hebrew, it’s there. So it must mean Us rather than Me. It’s in the Hebrew, it’s there.   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mercy, peace and love
Kat

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ICXCNIKA

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 02:00:24 AM »

Great insight Kat, and Thank you for the added references. I agree with you on your wonderfully worded  "Almighty Divine Family".
However, it is intriguing to note that the Hebrew language does use (at times) what's called “plural intensive” i.e., where the plural is used in a singular context to denote the superlative degree or superiority. I wonder if that could explain the usage of words like  "our" and "us" in the context of Genesis, etc?  Truly, Paul was accurate when he wrote: "Unto a personal knowledge of the sacred secret of God, — ||Christ||: In whom are all' the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden away".  I was blown away by Ray's words when he touched upon this mystery with:

                I Believe that the Holy Scriptures are God's Authorized Biography,   
                and I Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is God's Authorized Autobiography

WOW!...Amazing! It gives me chills every time I consider those 22 simple yet profound words, and how they are able to completely express what I knew to be true, but was unable to articulate.
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Extol

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 12:24:20 PM »


I don't have anything to add to what Kat contributed, but just wanted to share this funny bit from my favorite Ray study (Foundational Truths Feb. 2008):

You say, ’what about the Trinity?’

Thy Word is Truth, is there a Scripture that says that God is made up of three people? No. Then you don’t have a Scripture for that.

‘No, but it says back in Hebrew Elohim, and that’s in the plural, so that’s the trinity.’

 Excuse me, if something is in the plural does that mean three? If I say I have eggs in the refrigerator, do you automatically think I have three? If I say I have dollars in my pocket, is it three? I could have two, or ten thousand!
 
I get emails that say, ‘Ray it’s in the plural! can’t you see it? God is in the plural, that’s the trinity!!’

I say I don’t see three in there any where. Look it up in the Hebrew, look it up in the dictionary. Elohim does not mean three persons!


http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,6452.0.html
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levycarneiro

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 02:41:53 PM »

Found something about the Hebrew "dual" symbol.

From Nashville 2008 Conference (http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,9502.0.html)

Let me give you an example of something here.  This man said, “if the heavens are indeed the Elect.”  Is that even in the realm of possibility, that the heavens means the multiple heavens or the spiritual realm of God’s Elect, where God’s Spirit lives in their heaven or whatever.  Is that even possibility?  No it’s not, it’s not possible, here’s why.  Remember I read this where he said, “in the Hebrew ‘heavens’ is always in the plural.”  That’s true, BUT… there’s a big but.  But it’s called a dual.  Even in Strong’s definitions he’ll say a dual, a plural - dual meaning two.  Plural yes, thousands or millions, no.  Two. 

Hebrew reads from right to left and when you come to the end of the word heaven/heavens it has what looks like a square box ( ם ), that’s the dual.  That’s the plurality, but it signifies dual.  Now some things can be plural and mean thousands, but not heavens.  Heavens is always used in the plural with that box, which means two.  Two heavens.

Now interestingly, probably most of you know that the word translated God, in the beginning of the Bible is Elohim, El means God.  Elohim means plurality - plural, but it’s a plural dual, two.  What does that do to the trinity theory, that Elohim is plural, Father, Son and Holy Spirit?  It wipes it out. 

What does it do with the idea that God created the heavens and the earth through His Son Jesus Christ?  It verifies it, dual.  “In the beginning, (dual) El.  Not that there are two Gods, but El in the duality of Father and Son.
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ICXCNIKA

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 10:46:57 PM »

Thank you for all the wonderful insights. I have never believed in the trinity, I was raised apostolic (Bishop Sherrod C. Johnson). My original inquiry on the "plurality of Elohim" was based on the uses of plurality in the Hebrew language that connotes a plurality of Excellence as in 2 Chronicles 13:6 "Yet hath Jeroboam son of Nebat, servant of Solomon son of David, risen up,—and rebelled against his lord." - The Hebrew is plural for the word "lord" (i.e., lords) and is plural for an expression of Excellence or Honor. That is where my study of the plurality of Elohim is focused. Therefore, the question I was faced is if Elohim is more a title of GREAT MAJESTY in which HONOR & GLORY & EXCELLENCE is exalted upon our Creator, and less about the Father and Son relationship? Maybe I'm sitting to close to the screen :o and can't see the whole picture, so feel free to pull me back a bit.    ;D
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 11:58:30 PM by Metamatic »
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ICXCNIKA

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2012, 07:50:55 AM »

Consider yourself pulled back.   ;D

You need a minimum of two Scriptures to establish a Truth.  That would be two Scriptures that stand on their own without a need to twist them to fit your opinion.

I would drop the "plurality of excellence" stuff.  Where do the Scriptures clearly teach such a concept?  Not your opinion or the opinion of others, but from the Scriptures?  Let the Scriptures speak for themselves.  The Truth doesn't need editorial comment.

Thank you JfromK for the reply, but allow me to clarify...
This has been the question currently on my heart, please don't misconstrue my intent. I believe all that I've learned here from Ray on Bibletruths, but I'm sure others can attest to this...Knowledge increased is useless without a greater measure of wisdom to guide us in our understanding of the depths of God. All my questions are simply, just me studying aloud with the council (BT forum members) that I trust; and always for reproof and correction on my part.
I'm not trying to establish, or argue any doctrinal ideas. But, it is imperative to understand how words and phrases were used, and their intended meanings in the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, etc.)  Otherwise we can only debate the various interpretations from man's "wisdom", and that will only lead to gross error. I'm not basing anything on "my opinion" (If this were a cooking forum, comparatively all I could contribute is: "how to make a pop-tart".) so believe me I'm definitely only here to learn! LOL, and I read every last line that is written in response to this post. And every post.

Here are clear examples of plurality being used in scripture (not used numerically, but for significance/excellence/majesty etc.)  I hope this will give anyone reading this post a better understanding of why I still ask the question, and hopefully show where I was coming from with my initial question. And why it is not a matter of "dropping the plurality of excellence stuff." But, more a question of understanding it. And I believe the concept is obvious in the following scriptures.

1. Exodus 21:29 "Its owner  (be'alav, "owners") also shall be put to death"
2. 2 Samuel 16:20 Absalom is looking for advice for himself, yet he refers to himself as "we" i.e.,  said to Ahithophel, "Give your counsel what we shall do"
3. Nehemiah 3:5 "...put not their neck into the service of their lords" Rotherham's Emphasized Bible has an "a" marking for a footnote that reads: (as pl. of excellence): "Their lord" or "Lord"
4. Nehemiah 9:18 "...||This|| is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt,..." Rotherham's Emphasized Bible has an "e" marking for a footnote that reads: Pl. ? "of excellence."
5. Isaiah 19:4 uses 'adonim for lords  instead of 'adon for lord even though referring to one person: "Into the hand of a cruel lord"

Jews believe, and have always taught the plurality of majesty in regards to the use of Elohim in Genesis. And also they believe that the "our" in "Let us make man in our image..." (Genesis 1:26) is GOD speaking to the ministering angels during the creation epoch (i.e., Job 38:7.) ??? I don't know if any other Churches teach this, though I was taught this same thing in my Apostolic upbringing.
Again thank you John from Kentucky for pulling me back a bit.  ;)  I appreciate you and everyone for taking the time to read and respond.....and I agree to let the scriptures speak for themselves - that being the very reason I have this question in the first place.
I'm going to sound like Capt. Obvious here for a minute, but...
 "The Word of GOD is Deep!"    :)
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ICXCNIKA

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 04:29:17 AM »

I just wanted make a quick comment about where I'm at with my study of "The Plurality of Elohim".  And to thank Kathy, Extol, Levy, and John from Kentucky for their amazing insights, reminders and the time it took to read and respond to my inquiry.  And especially to Kat, whose posts always give me SO MUCH, Thank you - your reiteration of Ray's "Almighty Divine Family" set me on a search and a revisit of some of the videos here....I just got done watching the 3 part study: March 2011 Bible Study - Is Jesus God / Are You Afraid of God.   And that really made a HUGE impact, so thank you.  I'm writing this through tears because I bowed my head and prayed along with Ray during the closing prayer for the food they were all about to eat, I don't know why since I'm not there to eat lol  ...But, I did it and it breaks my heart to never have been able to say "thank you" to Ray for ALL (and I mean all - as in ALL!) that I've learned from his ENORMOUS efforts of study and prayer....So please, Kat, Extol, Levy and John from Kentucky...accept my sincere gratitude for being a HUGE part of what has lead me to watching that amazing study; it was one I had somehow never seen! And it was..."wow!" Amen. Thank you.
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sunsetdramaking

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 11:12:22 PM »

Amen, brother Metamatic, I feel your pain about Ray's loss too. Also, the great joy at being able to study and learn from the fruits of Ray's labours.  I want to encourage you to keep seeking in the Word. There's soooo much depth to it. Don't let anybody's lack of encouragement or input hinder you in this search. I would contribute more to your study myself but I don't know much about it yet to be honest, but I agree with you it's worth studying as there seems to be enough scriptural merit to investigate this further.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 05:12:19 AM by sunsetdramaking »
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ICXCNIKA

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Re: The Pluralty of Elohim?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2012, 08:22:25 PM »

Thanks brother. I agree, there is a lot of merit for this sort of inquiry, but like most things scriptural.....a ton of mystery and deep studying is involved too. The Ray video I linked in my last comment (March 2011 Bible Study - Is Jesus God / Are You Afraid of God), really grounded me on some solid truths, and it answered some really important, nagging questions in regards to the Godhead enigma. And like all great enigmas.....it makes room for many more questions, The Bible is rich with layers, and amazingly so.
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